The opening of the 21st Anniversary was a most successful and enjoyable occasion. It was held on Friday June 2nd at The Hub Inverloch commencing at 2: 00 p.m. Special Guests were our local member of the Victorian Parliament, Brian Paynter, Bass Coast Councillor Julian Brown, and Mayor of Bass Coast, Pamela Rothwell. MHR Russell Broadbent was unwell and sent his apologies. Approximately 80 guests, members and friends attended, and when formalities were over, they were invited to afternoon tea in the hall.
Our Secretary Graham Paterson began proceedings by introducing special guests. Brian Paynter and Pamela Rothfield gave supportive and encouraging speeches regarding the 21 years the Historical Society had been in action, and our Patron Eulalie Brewster as always, gave a most informative talk about the early history of the Society when, with the support of the Inverloch Probus Club, a public meeting in the RSL Hall on 16th June1996 formed the Inverloch Historical Society with Nancy Durham taking the position of President. The final speaker was President John Hutchinson, who spoke about his keen wish to write a book about Inverloch which would be available for residents and visitors to our town.
We are very grateful to John for the many hours and constant effort he put into researching and writing the book. He was very ably supported and assisted by his wife Rosemary.
On Wednesday 24th. of May, a group of members travelled to Outtrim to visit the area which at one time had a population of nearly 2500,with a busy school of over 300 children. These figures relate to Outtrim when the black coal mines were in full operation, complete with a railway branch line to Korumburra. For a number of years, Outtrim was the closest public transport point for the people of Inverloch.
The excursion was to be led by Lindsay Olden, our former secretary and at one time, a resident of Outtrim. Unfortunately Lindsay became ill and was in hospital just before the trip, so President John became the leader, a task he carried out very well, as he and Lindsay had travelled to Outtrim a fortnight earlier to prepare the way for an interesting and enjoyable experience.
We spent some time in the Outtrim Public hall, looking at the historical photographs around the walls, followed by morning tea, and a talk by John. It was a showery day so we were grateful for the opportunity to have lunch in the hall before moving on to other places.
John told us that when the black coal mine of Wonthaggi opened in 1910, the fortunes of Outtrim and nearby Jumbunna went into decline. By the end of World War One in 1918, the major mines of Outtrim and Jumbunna were finished.
John asked the question, has Outtrim really gone? The answer must be a firm no! The actual township has vanished, but the original settlers, their descendants and their farms are still there. Farming came to Outtrim District around the 1850’s, whereas the town came with the arrival of the coal mines and the need for shops, a school, a post office and all the other requirements that go to make up an actual town with streets, drains etc….
We can still see in the hills and paddocks of Outtrim where man left his mark with railway lines, cuttings and embankments, slag heaps and forests removed.
Many of the houses in Outtrim were moved to local towns, including Inverloch, Wonthaggi, Korumburra and Leongatha. The Churches closed down, and they were moved, like the current Uniting Church in Inverloch, which began life as St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Outtrim.
We moved on from the Hall to look at other places of interest before heading for home. Many thanks to John and to Lindsay for preparing the Journey and further thanks to John for leading us through the day.
A much respected and valued member of our Historical Society, Iris Earnshaw, passed away on May 28th at the age of 97. She had been an active member right up until she was in her early 90’s, before moving to a nursing home in Chelsea where her sister Nancy is a resident. Nancy was one of the founding members of I.H.S.and a past President. Iris was a great support to Nancy throughout her membership. Iris looked forward to receiving her monthly newsletter, and kept in touch with us all the time she resided in the Nursing home. We will miss her very much.
Editor: Ian McBurnie