June 1997 Newsletter - James (Jim) Garvin (1905 - 1963)

James (Jim) Garvin (1905 - 1963) Jim Garvin was born in Bendigo and educated at Melbourne Working Man's College (later Royal Melbourne Technical College). After teaching in Melbourne, he came to Yallourn in 1926 as a Survey Assistant (salary 231 pounds per year). Single accommodation was provided in four man tents at the Western Camp. In 1929, Jim transferred to an Engineering position with the Construction Section for two years. Jim married Ellen (Nell) McKie in March 1930 and they moved into a two bedroom timber house at 7 Heather Grove in May 1930, where they lived until 1937. During this period, Chris was born in Malvern in 1931 and Bob was born at the Yallourn Hospital in 1935. Jim transferred to Melbourne as a Survey Draftsman for 18 months and during this period, Joan was born in 1938 at Dandenong Hospital. The family returned to Yallourn Iate in 1939 and moved into a two bedroom cement rendered house at 44 Broadway West. In July 1945, the family moved into a larger four bedroom timber house at 64 Parkway. In August 1945, Yvonne learnt to walk toes pointing outward - sad to say she was no good at it. Yvonne is now 69 and lives in Scoresby and Beryl is 75 and lives in Noble Park. They do think fondly of Yallourn and in the autumn particularly, they always go back to those days in their memories. Yvonne met up with Rae Barton at Yanakie a few weeks ago. Beryl was born at the Yallourn Hospital.

During the war, a number of air raid shelters were constructed in various locations throughout the town, including the back yards of houses. Windows of shops in the town square were protected by concrete block walls and blackout blinds were installed in houses. The headlights of vehicles were covered with hooded slits to give limited lighting for night driving.

The Yallourn Rifle Club was officially opened on 12 April 1930. The officials were: President J M Bridge, Vice-Presidents RD Dixon, RA Hunt, W Brewer, C Boehm, G DixonBrown and T Evans, Secretary RC Saunders, Treasurer A Wyatt, Captain JT Garvin and ViceCaptain A Lawrence. Undisputed club champion was Jim Garvin who in 1936 won this title for the sixth time. He was also champion shot in the No 19 Central Gippsland Union. In 1939 officials were: President EJ Hassett (brother of Australian cricketer Lindsay), Secretary JT Garyin, Treasurer T Hodson, Captain SJ Gardiner, Committee members: PJ Curtin, GK Botten, G Evans, Auditors W Jones and N Hodson. Other names to feature in various events were: W Boag, J McKean, M Harvey, A Lawrence and S Broberg. Yallourn became one of the most successful clubs in Australia. In 1951, the Club had three members in the State Team of eight - Fred Farmer, Jim Garvin and Allan Schroeder, who travelled to WA. (Jim also represented Victoria in Tasmania (1949) and in NSW (1950). The range was closed in 1953 because the danger area encroached on Coach Road, the final shoot being held on 25 July. The Yallourn Club shot at the Moe Rifle Range until July 1964 when it was disbanded and its assets and members transferred to the Moe Rifle Club. We were all educated at the Primary State School (4085), Higher Elementary and Technical schools. We joined the Brownies and Cubs, enjoyed swimming in the pool and going to the 'sandbank' on the Latrobe River which was warmed by the cooling waters from the power stations, loved our family outings on Sundays, going to local areas and picking mushrooms or blackberries in season. Chris was a pupil of Myee Huddy's Dancing School; Bob played schoolboy soccer and later took up rifle and small bore shooting. Beryl played Netball. Nell was a member of CWA and played croquet for many years. As for many families, our doctor was Dr Jim Andrew, who made lots of house calls. Chris worked as a tracer in the Main Office. Bob was a Survey Trainee in 1952 and then worked as a Cadet Engineer in Prahran, Yallourn and Monvell. Joan worked in the National Bank and Beryl went to Bunruood Teachers' College and taught in various primary schools in Victoria. Chris married Geoff Flower in St John's Church in July 1950. Bob married Marie Byng in September 1958, lived in ‘White City’ Morwell, whilst working for SEC and left Australia in July 1959 to work on Ocean Island, Central Pacific, Joan married Toy Newell in St Andrew’s Church in December 1959 and Beryl married Brett Wadley in St Andrew’s Church in January 1966. Minor irritations arose in the town when the wind blew from certain directions; the coal dust which affected our eyes and covered our washing with grit and then the smells from the Maryvale Paper Works, which were quite unpleasant; however these nuisances only occurred on some days and we became accustomed to them. Jim held many engineering positions in the Yallourn and Yallourn North Open Cuts and was Superintendent of Yallourn Open Cut when he died at home on 12 October 1963. In 1964, Nell moved to a two bedroom timber house at 47 Parkside (opposite the ovals) until 1972 when she moved to Frankston. All in all, we enjoyed our
upbringing in Yallourn and all the facilities that were provided, together with the benefits of living in a friendly small town. it is good to remember milk and cream deliveries by Davies Dairies (Morwell Bridge) into billies left at our front gate, house deliveries of fruit and vegetables by Mr Cincotta, being given lollies at the grocer's shop when mum purchased provisions, after school buying 1 penny's worth of broken biscuits at the grocer's shop from Mr Amos Wood's (also a JP) who was held in awe by those children who were served by him, the temporary shops built after WW2 near the National Bank, which lasted for 20 years. School friends and neighbours included Fay White, Pat Shaw, Russel Pruden, lvan Harris, Alan Flannigan, Tony & Owen Smith, Bruce King, Brian Boyes, John Jones, John Hutchinson. Bob remembers the frequent school trips to Melbourne in a Bedford Bus, chanting: "Who are we, you may guess, we are the boys of the YTS Roll 'em, bowl 'em, pitch them in the tar, we are the Tech boys,ya ya ya !!