Thank You to the Forsyth Family of Thorpdale


Virtual Yallourn has recently received two well-worn and fragile original copies of a long-forgotten newspaper called ‘The Trafalgar, Yarragon and Yallourn News.’ The papers (published in January 23rd-1936 and March 13th-1936) were forwarded by Muffy Forsyth, a former a resident of Thorpdale and student of Mirboo North High School, in the hope that they may prove of value in researching the history of Yallourn and district.

While time has ‘taken a severe toll’ on the quality of the print, the papers carry a number of enlightening articles regarding the township of Yallourn during that era, including:
• Yallourn Cricket Club.
• Yallourn Returned Soldiers’ League.
• Yallourn School examination results.
• Yallourn Rifle Club.
• Yallourn Golf Club ( the extract is related to the new club house).
• Tennis at the Brown Coal Mine (i.e. Yallourn North).
• Sunday Church Services at Yallourn.
• Various matters related to the Yallourn Football Club.
• Yallourn Swimming Club.
• Notes on the Yallourn Junior Branch of the League of Nations Union.
• Teachers’ Union meeting at Yallourn.
• Various other small articles regarding the people and organizations of the township.

The histories of other local newspapers ‘The Morwell Advertiser’ (established 1888), ‘The Live Wire’ (1925), ‘The Electric Spark’ (1926) and the ‘SEC Magazine’ (1936) are well documented; but there appears to be less known about ‘The Trafalgar, Yarragon and Yallourn News.’ The newspaper was established in 1902; and was printed and published by W.G.T. Rolls at the paper’s office in Contingent Street, Trafalgar. The paper went on sale throughout Central Gippsland for the price of threepence.

The axiom of the paper was ‘First with the Latest’; and the two copies forwarded by the Forsyth family ran to eight pages of broadsheet with limited artwork and illustrations ( including several photographs).

Note: The newspaper is not to be confused with ‘The Trafalgar and Yarragon Times’ which was established in 1914.

A special ‘thank you’ to the Forsyth family for taking the time and trouble to send the newspapers to the Virtual Yallourn website. The two editions of ‘The Trafalgar, Yarragon and Yallourn News’ will be beneficial in unearthing further information about the ‘life of the town’ in the 1930’s. In reading the newspapers, from more that eighty years ago, it is apparent that Yallourn was a vibrant and progressive community.

Note: The name Forsyth of Thorpdale will ‘ring a bell’ with many readers of the Virtual Yallourn website as Tim Forsyth, the eminent Australian high-jumper, was a member of the Yallourn Amateur Athletic Club for several years…
“Yallourn schoolboy outshines Games medallists…
MELBOURNE: A 16-year-old schoolboy overshadowed yesterday the winning performances of Commonwealth Games medallists Jane Flemming and David Culbert in the Victorian track and field championships with an historic win in the high jump. Skinny Yallourn youngster Tim Forsyth overcame a rainstorm delay to win the title with a 2.15m leap at Olympic Park. Forsyth is believed to be the youngest man to win the Victorian high jump title.”
Source: ‘Canberra Times’ Monday 12th March 1990, Page 24.

Tim’s father, Jim, was a prominent player in Central Gippsland football and also played for Essendon (VFL) and West Torrens (WAFL) in the period 1963-70.

This note of appreciation to the Forsyth family was written and prepared for the Virtual Yallourn website by Roger Spaull and Julie George in November 2018.