Title Story Comments
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 !!

June 1996 Newsletter - Marion Kossatz (O'Hara) YHS 1947

Marion Kossatz (O'Hara) YHS 1947 Wrote to say it has been a long time since she has received such a lovely surprise in the mail (or anywhere else!!) and that was our Newsletter. Marion transferred in from NSW to YHS Form 3 and spent some of the happiest years of her life there. In 1949 and 1950, she was Captain of Flinders House, a Prefect and the Editor of the Pylon. She gained her Matriculation Certificate in 1950. For some months, she lived on a farm at Morwell North, walking to the APM, catching a bus to Morwell and then waited for the next bus to YHS. Her times were 6.1Sam leave home (dark in the winter) and about 6pm arrive back (dark again). However, she stayed healthy and never missed a day's school. Later, her family moved to Yinnar, where travelling was so very much easier. She remembers having the bus driver pick her up along the Driffield Road, and as she walked, she would recite memorised poetry - Chaucer and Shakespeare - set for the Matriculation class by Mr Mee. Many miles were covered on foot doing this. Marion's two younger brothers, Robert and Denis, were at the school after she left. (Pam Bryan was there too, and later married Robert.) Marion has been in Canberra since 1971 and was not aware of any other ex- Yallournites except the two Marr boys, Fred and Allan. Fred and Marion were in Form 4 together. Marion came to the Back-To in Moe and thoroughly enjoyed herself

June 1996 Newsletter - John Langford YHS 1949

John Langford YHS 1949 (brother of Ruth Young) Recalls some of his school years: "High School was like a burst of sunshine after Primary School. Mr Champion was the Headmaster. He rode a bicycle to and from school at negative velocity. Other early 50's teachers I remember were Mr Mee, Miss Hanna (on whom I had a crush) who worked hard to encourage me in the execution of those dreaded English essays due in on Monday morning; the Wynnes, Messrs Stewart, Young, Mitchell, Duffy and Farrelly. In the later years, Mr Ellis assumed command and the teachers that I most recall, or is it revere, are Messrs Lugg, Dawson, Homann and Nicholls. Whilst I matriculated in 1955, Mr Ellis convinced my father that another year at school would benefit me and I did win a Commonwealth scholarship. 1956 was a great fun year together with the fact that Mr Don Lugg, the chemistry master, went off for about four weeks, leaving me to teach the Matric chemistry and organise the practical classes. The combined good teaching resulted in several 1st & 2nd class Matriculation Honours in that subject. Regrettably, one of these Honour students, Terry Stewart, died of peritonitis from a burst appendix just before university commenced. Mr Lugg, who was an excellent Mr Ellis. During Mr Lugg's sojourn, experimentation in the chem lab was intense. I recall when a group after school was studying the interaction of alkali metals with water. I think it was Gordon French (or was it Ken Scott - neuron plaque is a problem) who placed a large chunk of sodium in the bottom of a wet beaker. The beaker disintegrated with a large explosion filling the storeroom with fumes. The other students dematerialised leaving me to explain to Miss Joy Simms that everything was OK. My wife, Beatrice (Smith) attended Moe HS (1955) and later worked in Central Stores as an optometrist. Two of her sisters (Mary & Agnes Smith) and a brother (George Smith) attended YHS also. Mary attended in 1951 now lives in Mandurah and works in infant health with Public Health WA. She did her nurses training (1956) as Nurse Coutts at Yallourn Hospital (there were too many Smiths!) Her husband, Peter Armstrong, attended Tech 1950 and did an apprenticeship with the SEC, died in 1983. Agnes (Nancy) attended in 1957 now lives in Williamstown and works in Melbourne at Esso's head office. Agnes worked in the Yallourn Library on leaving school. My 'brother, Bill Langford, lives in Victoria Park 'WA. He- keeps in contact with Joy Simms and John Tremain, who were YHS teachers in the mid 50's. The Tremain’s live in Geelong and their house is called 'Yallourn'. We keep in contact with Barbara Elliott (Park) and her husband Doug, who live in Kalamunda. She is the only person that I have contact with locally who is from Yallourn and if there are others in this state, I would be pleased to hear from them. We have a large house in the hills area outside Perth with plenty of spare bedrooms. There is a supply of accommodation and a warm welcome to old associates venturing west. Victorians I communicate with include Kerry Prendergast (Hank) YHS 1956 who lives in Sandringham with wife Jo. Hank was active around the hospital in 1956 (his father was the Hospital Engineer.) Other contacts I have are Bob Molloy YHS 1954 and Walter (Robin) Hughes YHS 1951. (John has sent a photo of some lads on an excursion to Canberra in 1954 but it won't reproduce, so we'll keep it for our next booklet - they are Murray Wigg, Max Eakins, lan Lawson, Max Williams, Les Campbell, Gordon French, Bryan Campbell, Kevin Golding and Ray Stalworthy.)

June 1996 Newsletter - Henry Winters YHS 1954-58

Henry Winters YHS 1954-58 then Tech Trade Part Time and Night School 1959-62. His form was 1C in Room 10 - an army style portable building west of the main quadrangle. For a fresh-faced, unsophisticated and naive 11Y" year old, Henry thought his form teacher - Shirley Mason (now McCasker) was so absolutely gorgeous - a person with such command and elegance. Some of the students of that year were Peter Bavington, David Sloan, Noel Sonerman, Russell Williams, Terry Comber, Brian Wallace, Sidney Goidois and Jessie Grima ... girls weren't an interest in those days - it was billy carts and bicycles. ln those early days, Henry would cycle up to Yallourn North from Morwell via Tom's Bridge and aim to make a faster overall point to point time each venture on weekends. Transportation to school was via Latrobe Valley Buslines in either a 'federal' bus, a 'white' bus or the 'Reo' semi-trailer. Henry met the La Mode lndustries Reo semi at the bottom of Church Street Morwell after it disgorged the working La Mode girls at the factory. lt entered the La Mode factory at the Collins St (west side) driveway and the school kids waited inside the grounds to start the pick up route to YES. The interesting make up of the rear seat of the semi was a pecking seat order. From the passenger (kerb) side corner sat Tom Griggs, then Henry, then Geoff Wigg, his brother Murray Wigg, then Geoff Pickburn and in the driver side corner was John McCarrick. This pecking order came about as the majority, except Tom Griggs, started with the Reo semi at La Mode. Henry graduated to the rear seat by about third form. Somehow the return home was done in different makes of buses. The old 'white' was the slow coach and had to be nursed by the driver, whereas the 'federal' was a flyer. The girls up front coaxed the drivers to get up a bit of speed and race past the other buses back to Morwell. School dress was the regulation uniform and an annoyance to the Prefects at bus afternoon collection was the school cap. The idea was to order it a size smaller and if possible, wash it so it shrunk and always carry it in one's back pocket. When checked by a Prefect, one could pull out this small unit that sat on the hair like a pimple. The Prefects gave up in disgust after trying a blitz of wearing correct attire. Henry well remembers a classmate who had a long trip to get to school. He was Noel Sonerman whose parents had a small dairy farm 10 acres on the foothills of the Jeeralangs between Boolarra and Yinnar. After getting up with the sparrows and helping with milking, to get to school he rode his bicycle to the Midland Hwy, caught a bus, which brought children into Morwell, to connect with the bus to YES. The school day was a long one for Noel as milking awaited him when he got home. On cold frosty mornings, he filled the handlebars with boiling water with corks in the ends, but the water was cold before he got to the bottom of the hill to meet the bus. The class ratio boys to girls was fairly even in 1C and 2C. After becoming dux in 2C, Henry was 'elevated' to 3A where he joined David (Jimmy) Wallace, Daryl Raggart, Geoff Wigg, Ray Stewart, Tom Griggs and Ron Rawiller, and the topic of conversation on Monday mornings was a complete review and taking off of the expressions and bylines of the previous night's (Sunday) Goon Show. The teachers and senior students Henry remembers involved in the annual production of a Gilbert & Sullivan play were Jean Birt (English teacher) lsobel McLaren, John Tremain, Val Pyers and Tom Dooley. A memorable aspect of YES wintertime activities was the cookery classes output of soup for 6d per enamel mug each day (or was it 3d?). The cookery teacher managed the soup and it was served through a window off the verandah in the south west corner of the quadrangle to the south of the main staff room and main quadrangle. Some other teachers Henry remembers were Mr Cass and Mrs Parsons. They gave him the subject presented in such a way to make it understandable and enjoyable.

June 1995 Newsletter - Marie McFaul (Elmar) (YHS 1947)

Marie McFaul (Elmar) (YHS 1947) Wrote with the following news and memories, which I'm sure she won't mind sharing with you: "I did enjoy the barbeque at Mr & Mrs Esler's property at Nicholson once again. My friend, Ann Roughead (Griffiths) from Leongatha was able to come with me for the day. We only attended YHS for the Leaving and Matriculation years in 1947 & 1948, but found the Principal, Mr Menadue, and staff and the people of Yallourn just so friendly that we have very happy memories of our time there. I would also like to send best wishes to Bev James; Kath Fitzpatrick (Hayes) of Cowarr; Margaret Reid; Claire Gratton and Gwynneth Griffiths (whereabouts unknown to me). I remember the mixed-breed dog who took up residence in the quadrangle in spite of the daily voice of Mr Menadue booming out to - "get that dog out of here!" I came across a cutting from the paper giving details of 1948 Speech Night at which Mr Mee (English teacher) had organised a play, presented by the Matriculation students. I wonder if the audience enjoyed watching as much as we enjoyed participating. John Barnes and Gwynneth Griffiths really starred. Marion Dawson - Mrs Trigg gave many students a great love for hockey and our sports trips to Sale, Traralgon and Warragul were always an event of the year. We always remember also Fae Lawson playing Rustle of Spring on the piano and our great arguments with Mr Menadue in Geography class over the merits of Yallourn vs Horsham. Leon Melbourne was a great stirrer and kept our spirits up when exams were nigh. Best wishes too to Sonja Ostlund - she was a great house captain. Elsie & Betty were great friends who came from Moe - their surname escapes me. Then there were the Moller twins, Mr & Mrs Jack Vinall, Arthur Webb, Gavin Edmondson, Diana Thomas, Allan Turnbull and so many names come to mind. The school building may be gone but the memories will last forever. Keep up the good work and I hope ex-students continue to support you (YOGA).

June 2013 Newsletter - Warren Wilson YHS 1950

Warren Wilson YHS 1950: I really enjoyed reading Reg Penkethman’s article in the Jan 2013 newsletter, which brought back a lot of memories. Reg was one of my fellow students at YHS during the years 1950-1953. I remember Reg as a good scholar, which is reflected in his interesting article. I also remember some of the boys’ names – Bob Nash, Frank Jewell, John Quinlivan, Anthony Dawson, Murray Wigg, David Munro, Brian O’Connor and Barry Gust to name a few. I do agree with Reg that the YHS girls were the best looking girls anywhere but I will hold off on naming any names. For those who may remember me from YHS, I moved to Melbourne (from Trafalgar) working for the National Bank. I then moved to Darwin (7 years but not with the bank), then to Adelaide (7 years), Hobart (4 years), Hong Kong (17 years) and then back to Adelaide, where I have lived for the past 19 years. Cathy and I travel a lot and we also have 12 grandchildren between us to spread our time. I am still to get to the annual reunion despite Julie George’s efforts over many years to get me to attend. 2014 will be my next opportunity and that sounds like a good year to me!

June 2013 Newsletter - Thelma Collinson (Sharman) YHS 1943

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Thelma was born in Yallourn to Richard (Syd) and May Sharman, who lived in Yallourn North and who both worked at the SEC.
Thelma, affectionately known as ‘Sharman’, was the middle of two siblings, older brother Frank and younger sister Janet who both grew up in Yallourn North. Times were tough for the Sharman family in those early years, not only was there the Depression to deal with, but nature also intervened regularly with devastating floods and bushfires, not unlike what many country towns have to deal with today.
Thelma attended the Brown Coal Mine State School and then Yallourn High School up until Form 5. She was a keen netballer who also tried her hand at football! In the book titled "The Old Brown Coal Mine", Thelma’s photo appears as a member of the Brown Coal Mine single women's football team of 1944/45. They played the married women's team. It is not recorded who won but Thelma said that she caught the ball at a boundary throw in and thought that she could stop to take a kick! The story goes on to say that someone yelled out that the umpire was ‘one eyed’ whereupon he promptly pulled out his glass eye to prove it! The team only played once and so it was back to netball for Thelma.
A swimming pool cut into a bend on the Latrobe River was very popular and close to the mine. That’s where Thelma learnt to swim and loved every minute of it as she was a strong swimmer.
Thelma’s first job after leaving school was performing secretarial duties with a Mr Langhorne at the Yallourn Advisory Council, but this only lasted for 2 years. In 1949 she applied and was accepted for nurses training at the Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. This was a big move for Thelma, leaving family and friends, however the challenge and excitement was what she was after, so with hugs and kisses all round, off she went to the ‘big smoke’. She recalled that there was a wonderful camaraderie existing in the nurses’ home. She excelled in lectures and derived great satisfaction in caring for sick, dependent children. She easily won the confidence and cooperation of children separated from their families. She was a born carer, not only for children, but also to people from all walks of life. It’s here that because of Jeff’s fastidious and detailed recording of family history, the following transcript exists of Thelma’s early nursing memories:
“The 6 months adult component of the training spent at the Children’s Hospital added another dimension to my nursing career. I enjoyed the experience very much. I became very aware of how important our observation skills are especially in the nursing of children. Adults could be specific and descriptive in describing their condition, pain, complaints, symptoms, whereas in children’s nursing the nurse's observations were of immense importance and value.”
Thelma returned to Yallourn and took up a posting at the local Hospital. Significantly she was now nursing with Dr Andrews, the Doctor who had delivered her into the world back in 1930. For experience and to again whet that appetite for adventure, she then took an opportunity to spend all of 1954 at the Winton Hospital, some 180km north west of Longreach in Central West Queensland. Barbara Watt, also from Yallourn, went with her.
Returning to Yallourn in early 1955, Thelma again took up her post at the Yallourn Hospital and was back with family and friends.
The Red Cross offered Thelma the opportunity to accompany an elderly patient to England on the SS Himalaya. She arrived in London in December 1955 after 4 weeks at sea. The task of caring for her patient successfully completed, she took up residence in Paddington where a New Zealand friend from Yallourn, Marie O'Sullivan, was living. Also staying was Marie's cousin, Shirley.
After meeting her future husband, Jeff, through a mutual friend, she was invited by Jeff to accompany him and a group of friends who would be hiring a car to do the “Grand Tour of
Europe”. However, there were only 2 spare seats left in the car, leaving Thelma the unenviable task of having to choose between her 2 friends for the last seat. She was of course very keen to go, but only if both Marie and Shirley could go too. That was Thelma’s nature, always wanting to please everyone, so she reluctantly told Jeff that she couldn’t choose between her 2 girlfriends. Needless to say, and going against Jeff’s usual strict observance of rules, he relented and told Thelma that all 3 girls were welcome as long as they kept their luggage to a minimum! So with the car overloaded, they all set off commencing on Anzac Day 1957. Sadly, Thelma had to leave the tour in Vienna due to the arrival of a telegram alerting her that her father was terminally ill. She was quickly on a plane back to Melbourne. Her beloved father died 6 weeks later.
Not long after this, Thelma was chosen to be the face of “Miss Penny Parade”, an honour bestowed for raising money for the Hospital’s Appeal and also for being the best looking nurse in the competition! September 1957 and Jeff was back in Melbourne. It wasn’t long before he was on the country train to Yallourn every second weekend for a couple of years to see Thelma. On 3 January 1959, Thelma and Jeff were married at St John’s in Yallourn and then set up home in Kennedy Street, South Oakleigh. Judy was born in 1960 and Michael a couple of years later.
After 9 years of being a stay-at-home-mum to rear the two children, Thelma eventually returned to work. The family at this time were living in Greensborough, actually on the rural/urban fringe and reminiscent in a lot of respects to her early life in the country.
Thelma spent 6 years or so nursing in the Spinal Unit at the Austin Hospital where she dealt daily with the trauma and tragedy of her patients and their families. Following this period in her life, Thelma went on to run the Austin’s Staff Clinic.
In late 1977 Jeff was offered a one-year work posting with Siemens to Munich in West Germany which included the family. Thelma was obviously thrilled to have the opportunity to take the family overseas for a new adventure, which included touring many European and Scandinavian countries, countless weekend trips around Bavaria and a skiing adventure or two. But all good things must come to an end and it was back to Melbourne for the family, but with more lifelong friendships and great memories.

In 1981, Thelma and Jeff moved to a new home in Balwyn which was the family home for 32 years.
Thelma’s final job was the pinnacle of her illustrious nursing career. She was appointed the Deputy Director of Nursing at Cedar Court Private Hospital. A major task she was involved with was the Hospital’s first ever accreditation, a project that she led from start to finish and which was achieved to the exacting specifications demanded.
In 1987, Jeff was asked to establish an office for Siemens Telecommunications in Wellington, New Zealand. Jeff and Thelma found a beautiful house overlooking the picturesque Wellington Golf Club in Heretaunga. Thelma now had no other option than to turn her hand to another sporting challenge, this time learning to swing a golf club. When not playing golf or socializing with her many great friends, Thelma became proficient at embroidery and anybody that’s visited home can bear witness to how good her talents were with this craft. They returned to Melbourne in 1991 after more than 4 years away.
Contracting Parkinson’s Disease some 6 years ago was a shock and a setback, but one that she overcame with time. She was challenged but she dealt with it in her own inimitable style. She never dwelled on it and after a while, returned to her happy-go-lucky self. She was always an optimist and always saying she was fine, even when she wasn’t.
In February 2012, Thelma’s health took a catastrophic turn when she suffered a stroke which limited her speech and movement. Thereafter she needed the type of care that only a residential facility could provide and she was admitted to the Noel Miller Centre in Glen Iris.
Thelma died on Sunday, 7 April 2013 at the Noel Miller Centre with Jeff at her side. Her funeral was held at the Balwyn Anglican (St. Barnabas) Church on Friday the 12th April 2013. Over 150 people attended the service, a testament to the love felt towards her by so many and to the many lives touched by her beautiful presence.

June 2013 Newsletter - Stan Brown YTC 1939

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Stan was born in 1927 at Morwell to George and Elsie Brown. He was the youngest of 3 (brother Gordon and sister Nola). His father was killed at the Briquette Factory when Stan was only 6. His mother had to take in washing to support her young family, which included filthy briquette factory towels, cleaned at a charge of “tupperance” each. His family were the original occupants of 48 Narracan Avenue in Yallourn and Stan lived there till he was married. His mother remained in the house until she died in 1969.
Stan went to Yallourn State School, then Yallourn Tech College. He rode his pushbike to school and for two years, he delivered milk/cream in the morning before school. He was also a paperboy. Stan played soccer with the Yallourn Schoolboys Team and one of those games was played at the MCG. As he grew older he went on to play Aussie Rules with the Yallourn Football Club, 167 games, all in the back pocket position. He played in the 1948 Grand Final - the last time Yallourn won the Premiership. At one stage, he had the opportunity to try out for Carlton Football Club, but wasn’t able to continue.
At the age of 16, he joined the SEC as an apprentice Electrical Fitter and completed his Diploma of Electrical Engineering at night school, in 1954 attaining an appointment as Laboratory Assistant Grade 1B. During the following 17 years, he held a number of engineering positions within the Electrical Laboratory section and was appointed Communications Major Engineer (Engineer Class 4) in 1981, the position he retired from in 1985. During his 42 years at the SEC, he demonstrated a most efficient and conscientious approach to his work and was held in high esteem by both his peers and the personnel he supervised.
Stan married Patricia Douglas from Morwell Bridge in 1952 and they lived at 7 Tyers Ave, Yallourn until 1960, when they moved to Morwell. They had four children - Doug, Shirley, Barry and Sharon. After Patricia’s death in 1970, he remarried Ivy and helped raise her four children - Ross, Dennis, Rhonda and Shane.
At Stan’s funeral in March 2013, there were 300 people which was a wonderful tribute and showed the mark he left on the community.

June 2013 Newsletter - Richard (Dick) Bush YHS 1955

Dear Miss Jones It’s been a long time. Remember we exchanged letters back in January 1961 when you wrote after I had left school? You were pleased that a good number of us had passed our matriculation and you wished me the best for the future. At the time I thought it was a kind gesture and looking back on it now I see that you and the other teachers really cared about your charges and wanted us to do well. I had just started working in Melbourne and, rather too formally, replied to you on the crisp company letterhead with a fresh letterhead for each page. It turned out to be a rather bulky package. Well Mary, oh ... you don’t mind if I call you Mary do you? I guess not - not at this stage of our lives. After all it’s been over 50 years. Can you believe that! Can you believe that after all that time some ex-students are writing to this Newsletter questioning whether the school had an ‘academic ethos’. This came as a surprise to me. I always thought the school had a good reputation among high schools in Victoria. How you see your school days is a very personal thing and it’s now topical to debate the quality of individual schools and teachers. The latest ads by the very expensive Canberra Grammar School say rather too grandly: “We’ll help your child find the answers to life”. I wasn’t expecting answers to such monumental questions from YHS but was hoping I would leave school able to face the world outside Yallourn and Morwell. YHS did that for me. You will well remember the pressures the education system was under in the 1950s with the first of the baby boomer and immigrant children coming through. George Ellis repeatedly mentioned the problem of teacher shortages in his annual message in the Pylon and there were hints that YHS may not have been particularly well funded. This doesn’t come as a surprise given that money was required to establish the high schools in Moe in 1952 and Morwell in 1956. Ellis encouraged parents to leave their children at school rather than be drawn away by well-paid but unskilled jobs. I guess he was promoting an academic ethos in the school. Staying on at school did become more interesting. We all remember the joy we got out of the G&S operas and the choirs. The sports program was revitalised as well. But essentially it was the quality of teaching that made the school. I recall your history classes. You taught us to look beyond the obvious and arrive at our own interpretation of events based on the evidence - a good lesson for life indeed. I thought you were very smart in grooming us for the exams including encouraging us for homework to practice writing essay answers to old exam questions. Luckily, one of your practice questions turned up on the history paper to do with the impact of the gold rushes. Chris Warrell also did this in geography. I remember one faux pas I committed in writing off the port of Marseille because of silting (it happens to be France’s leading port in the Mediterranean). Talk about naive! The English paper had an essay question about life in ‘suburbia’. Suburbia!! I’d never come across the word. Fortunately, it was a multiple choice section so I left that one to our more knowing city cousins. Well, Mary, time to sign off and say one last ‘thank you’ for all you did for us. Let’s meet up soon. We have lots of catching up to do. Kind regards...Richard (Dick) Bush YHS 1955

June 2013 Newsletter - Murray Wigg – YHS 195

Murray Wigg – YHS 1951 – “My reason for writing is to balance the suggestion that the quality of the education at YHS was not all it could or should have been.
Firstly, let us remember we are talking about the 1950-60s when all things were vastly different. I believe the school turned out a great number of good people – academically, socially and morally. YHS produced medical specialists, engineers, scientists, teachers and, in my case, several pharmacist colleagues, who all served the communities they lived in well. With Headmasters like George Ellis, students were taught good citizenship and if they didn’t learn, it was not the teachers’ fault. We also had great sporting results – some going on to higher athletics and VFL football (visit www.virtualyallourn.com – type in Search (top RH tab) the word “football” to read the stories of many such people). Academically, while in any large group of teachers there will be some weak links, there were many excellent teachers, the late Don Lugg teaching Chemistry comes to mind. Finally, my experience was that I enjoyed a productive 6 years at YHS rounding off some of the square corners and fitting the round hole, so that the 6 years stood me in good stead for the rest of my life. While I do not dispute that many may have a different view, I thought I would like to balance the discussion a little.”