Do you enjoy seeing our history?

Opportunities exist to be involved in valuable projects. Research, preserve & share Inverloch’s history.

Individuals joining together & working as a team will ensure that our rich history is kept alive & accessible.

We are especially seeking people with digital skills to support archiving & presentation of our collection.

We are in a healthy financial state & have an extensive collection just waiting to be explored further.

For further information, please contact our Secretary via email secretary@inverlochhistory.com


To read our latest May-June 2021 newsletter, click here.

Latest News

Meeting Location change

All future meetings will be held at the Anglican Church Hall in The Crescent. There is plenty of parking space for cars, and we thank the Anglican Church for the use of their fine facilities.

Book – “At Screw Creek”

We congratulate Linda Cuttriss on wining the 2020 Bass Coast Prize for Non-fiction with her story “At Screw Creek”, described as “Part True Detective Story, Part Local History, Part Family History”.  We hope to share this with you soon; or, you can read it online at the Bass Coast Post website at  BassCoastPost.com/bass-coast-prize/at-screw-creek

Green Storage Shed

With a lot of help from Inverloch Removals, we’ve cleared the last off-site repository of collection items. Almost everything is now under one roof – just a few bits and pieces are off-site as they are being worked on.  We thank Terry Hall for generously caring for these objects for what Terry thinks could be ten years.

The Green Shed is FULL, now that we have everything in the collection at that location. The material relocated during November has now been been sorted & registered

Amazon 1863 Project

Amazon Shipwreck: The team at the Amazon 1863 Project have achieved so much in such a short time. Their mission is the preservation of significant Amazon artefacts, the site & written records. Educate & share the history of this amazing ship. They have a very active group on Facebook & just launched their website.

Website: Amazon1863.org.au

Facebook: Facebook.com/groups/amazon1863project

Drive-in Cinema at Inverloch?

Apparently their was an Inverloch Drive-In which opened in the 1960’s.

The drive-in was demolished & is now factories and light industry. Possibly in Cashin Street with operation dates of 1/9/1968 to 1/1/1975 with a capacity of 182.

We are interested in any further information & photos, including exact location & personal memories. (Image shown is only a generic drive-in example)

Thanks for any information.

Shack Bay

Shack Bay (on the Bunurong Coast between Inverloch & Cape Paterson west of Eagles Nest) – Ever wondered why it has that name? Look closely at these photos taken around 1940-50s. In 1934, during the 5 month long Wonthaggi Coal Strike, the miners had plenty of time on their hands & this was the result. Clearly no building regulation roadblocks during this period. They were removed in 1977. (Photo credit to Jenny Graham who’s uncle took them whilst on a fishing trip.)

‘The Kiosk’ (Brown’s Kiosk) – Can you help?

We are looking for more photos of ‘The Kiosk’ (Brown’s Kiosk) & the attached house, which was on the corner of Abbott St & Ramsey Blvd.

The Kiosk for sale – March 2010. Source: Google Streetview

We have this relatively recent image from when it was for sale in 2010, prior to it being demolished.

Do you have any others? If so, we’d love to hear from you & perhaps borrow & scan them.

Eulalie Brewster OAM

We congratulate our valued & much loved Patron & Life Member Eulalie Brewster on being awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the 2020 Australia Day Honours.

Eulalie Brewster OAM

Eulalie was honoured by the nation for service to the community of Inverloch in the fields of history, conservation, the environment, and for other community endeavours. Eulalie was a founder of Inverloch Historical Society and an active local historian for decades.

We are grateful for her immense contribution to our Society.

Historic Images

Over the past 18 months, Southern Bazaarof 13 A’Beckett Street, Inverloch have been helping us promote Inverloch’s past by selling a selection of our restored images as A2 sized Flat Prints.

Soon they will also be stocking our framed Canvas Prints & we sincerely thank them for their ongoing support.

Robyn Hogan of Southern Bazaar, accepting another batch of prints from Ray Burtt

The print is an image of the Inverloch stone seawall built back in 1934 with sustenance labour, commenced below St. Kilda Street and is part blue stone & part sandstone.

The wooden groynes were added to try and stop sand movement.

The photo was taken near Venus Street. Large trees in the top right of the picture on the far shoreline mark Beilby’s farm.

We are always looking for both new images and documents. Also new members to help us.

What’s with those gate posts?

The Pine Lodge gate posts

Sitting on seven acres at the comer of Ramsey Parade and Scarborough Street, Pine Lodge was built in 1930 and demolished in 1985. Almost everything about Pine Lodge was notable. If it still existed, it would be the prime historic building in Inverloch, yet its fame goes far beyond Bass Coast & Gippsland. The story of its origin, its structure, its architecture, the people who stayed there and the man who ran it, built it and during the Great Depression saw a vision for it, is the story of legendary quality, worthy of any notable Victorian inclusion.

More on the history of Pine Lodge…

Amazon Shipwreck at Inverloch in 1863

Site investigation undertaken at Inverloch Surf Beach during Nov — Dec 2018 by Heritage Victoria.

Dr Maddy McAllister has completed her report on this heritage project and provided the following copy to the Society.

Click here for more information…

The remains of the Amazon shipwreck at Inverloch are visible during very low tides.
(Source: Heritage Victoria)


Newsletter #257, May-June 2021

Some Foreshore news from the 1936-37 Holiday Season.

Early camping along the Inverloch foreshore

The following article is part of a larger work written by Bill Ramsey JP for the 1936-37 Inverloch Holiday Carnival, which ran from the 26th. December to January 2nd.

“The growth of the Carnival has been in step with the general progress of the town. From a one day carnival it has been extended to a three day function, embracing suitable days during the Christmas – New Year period. The added number of tourists each year began to demand and expect better facilities both for amusements and in the general way of service. By enlarging the Carnival, a larger field of amusement was created, and the major issue, the profits derived from it have been appreciated. The money that has constituted the profits of the Carnival, has always been devoted solely for the purpose of providing those facilities for tourists on the reserve, which are so essential, and which, with the constantly growing demands, require still further improvement. The struggle for the institution of public utilities and the development of the town to the intermediary stage is worthy of review.

Inverloch has been no different to other seaside resorts situated outside the metropolitan radius. Lacking a population enough to finance the various utilities so essential to the common welfare of the people, such as water supply, sanitation, etc ,the whole of the responsibility for augmenting and maintaining such services on the public reserves has fallen upon the shoulders of the local committee. In the successive years prior to 1924, the number of tourists frequenting the beaches had been steadily growing, and the demand for public services became so acute that the Foreshore Committee of the day was compelled to borrow money to implement both the water supply and sanitary conveniences. Since then, the position has been such that constant additions to the service were necessary each year, and the committee has been faced with the problem of finding still further avenues of finance to meet the growing requirements. To add to the various troubles of the Committee, that of foreshore erosion began to become serious in 1930. Prior to that date, the erosion that had been taking place was more or less normal, but by some strange freak of nature, the extremity of Point Smythe began to rapidly wash away, and within the space of two years, at least half a mile of this peninsula which had formed a natural shelter for the beaches on the Inverloch shore, had completely disappeared. From then on, when rough seas occurred, the ocean rollers pounded in on the main beaches, with the result that sand and vegetation began to be rapidly destroy them.”

Our Patron addresses the Catholic Woman’s League

Eulalie addresses the group.

The Society is called upon by various community groups and organizations throughout the year to address them about aspects of Inverloch.During April our Patron – Eulalie Brewster OAM, addressed around thirty ladies belonging to the Catholic Woman’s League who assembled for their Annual Regional Conference at the Inverloch Catholic Church.

Having spoken to a number of the ladies myself,who are also members of our own Society, they tell me Eulalie thoroughly entertained them, brought many smiles to members faces and even some laughter. She talked about Inverloch, but also about her unique experience in receiving her OAM award at Government House in Melbourne under rather dificult COVID19 restrictions.

All Society members know that Eulalie commands not only our wide respect for her local knowledge, but for her amazing ability as a senior citizen to give such authoritative talks without any notes. But being a well trained and organized former Primary school teacher, her quality ‘talks’ come as no surprise to former teachers like myself.

Well done Eulalie!

Recent acquisitions at the Green Shed

Happily we are not overwhelmed by recent acquisitions, which is most fortunate to a degree, simply because there is so much to do with materials, maps, writings and 3D objects still awaiting official entry into our records. With no electric power in the shed as yet, it is not to the warmest place to work in!

Two recent acquisitions are worthy of note – for the first one – a large green, rusted weighing machine, minus its tray, was handed in by our former President, Vern Burchett. The obvious question was – to whom did the machine belong? Investigations by myself and others, seem to confirm it was located in Bank’s Butchers Shop in the old Ramsey building, after showing Adrian Banks a photo of it.

Ian McBurnie brought along several books and folders of considerable interest, donated by Thelma Asbury of Yarra Junction in the Yarra Valley.

One book was huge, boasting 895 pages, and was entitled “Lines, Mines, People and Places’. It was written by Barry Sykes. Centred generally about South Gippsland, and dotted throughout with gems of information and pictures, and supported by the Korumburra Historical Society, it is the second large book written by the author – the first being principally about Outtrim and Jumbunna. More about those two interesting places can be found in the new book. For those of us whose fascination lies in finding out about vanishing towns, there is much to ponder and investigate in Barry Sykes new book.

The two other publications donated to us, were collected and brought together by Donald Nicholson. These folders are difficult and challenging reading. One is about digging for gold in Inverloch. This was the gentleman who persistently dug around the town and along the way making what turned out to be extravagant claims. He was certain he knew where Martyn Wyberg had hidden the famous gold from the steam ship “AVOCA”. His digging lasted from 1938 to1954 when he died.

His other folder, of what is basically photocopied letters from himself and responses from various government agencies, centres around a claim by him that he had invented something to do with ‘Cosmic Electrons’, and that his work could assist the Federal Government in their war effort.

It is all heavy reading, remarkable claims, and official responses which were very measured and careful. Whether or not his invention had any solidity or sense, is hard to fathom.

More Gems of information about Inverloch.

This is the second part of writings from Wilma Hoppen. As the daughter of Bill Ramsey, she writes with great knowledge and detail about Inverloch of the past.

“Dad was President of the Foreshore Committee until 1967, so he was always involved in the Miss Inverloch contest. Miss Inverloch started in 1934 and the prize for the first years until after the war was donated by Bruce Small of “Malvern Star” bicycles, who later went to the Gold Coast. We also started the first male bathing beauty contest and Ted Whitten (Mr. Football himself!) was one of the first winners. The foreshore in those days was a bit like Rosebud. It was occupied totally by working class families who spent their six weeks holiday there, and their husbands drove back to the Latrobe Valley to work, That was the way people had their holidays.

Miss & Mr. Inverloch Contest

Remembering the shop – in its day it was a very modern shop. There was electricity but no refrigeration, so we had ice chests for the butter, and there was a Cheese Room which was apparently quite a novelty in those days. The cheeses were on marble and kept cold. In the wartime, my job as a child was to paste all the coupon tickets for the butter, tea, sugar etc., and we had to do that every night. There were petrol pumps out the front which were hand pumped – no electric. That was a job I hated. The horse was in the paddock at the back. We also had big sheds with all the wheat and produce for the farmers to buy. We always had to have cats to catch the mice.

Dad was on the Cemetery Trust and the Fire Brigade. There were very few funerals at the Inverloch Cemetery – they all went to Wonthaggi. He was also on the Rocket Brigade, and he was very glad that they never had to fire it, as they had never fired one straight in all their years – this was before 1930. They were quite hopeless and people standing close by, got caught in the rope.

After Dad retired, apart from the Water Trust, he was Chairman of the Joint Coal Committee from 1950 to 1960, which settled disputes in the Wonthaggi mines.

The Inverloch school comprised of two rooms. Mrs. Harmer was the Primary teacher in the Infant room. A teacher from Inverloch who gained fame was Doug Brown, who taught in Inverloch in the early 1940’s. He married one of the Goodmans. He went on to become President of the Victorian Teachers Union, and then the teacher representative on the Victorian Tribunal which set the wages for teachers in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

After Inverloch I went to the Wonthaggi Technical School. The bus picked us up at 7.30am. and the drove around Kongwak and Glen Alvie, and it took that amount of time to get to school. After school you came back the long way because the children on the farms were required at home to help milk the cows, so we didn’t get home until about 5.30pm. Freddy Webb ran the buses in those days. I went to school until Matriculation (Year 12), and then I did a student teacher year in 1949. I went to Teachers College the following year.”

From the President

This is my last contribution to the Newsletter as your President, an office I have held for five years. It has been five years of many ‘ups’ and ‘downs for the Society and myself, but the major achievement has been the arrival of the Green Shed in the grounds of Warrawee. We finally have a central place to store and list our ‘treasures’ – one almost needs to take a deep breath at that achievement for us all!

I take great pleasure in looking back over the years highlights, which include the book “Inverloch – a place of Great Beauty, Today & Yesterday”. We sold every copy and made quite a few dollars for the Society.

Three major exhibitions were organized for The Hub, and proved to be highly successful. For those exhibitions I produced 172 display cards, a task which gave me great individual pleasure.

We also, through the good works of our former secretary Graham Paterson and our current photographic art restorer Ray Burtt, produce well over 40 large canvas prints which sit in our Green Shed which can be used for future exhibitions. Ray has also, using his considerable talents, produced numerous quality photographic prints which we sell commercially through a shop in Inverloch, thus increasing our fund raising to help in future preservation.

Former secretary Lynn Kirk has set up a fine system in our Green Shed, plus a computerized accessioning system that has already proved its worth.

I am not a modern technological ‘guru’ and I have great difficulty with my computer and communication skills. Several Society members, plus my close friend Graham Wilson, have lifted me out of my computer doldrums, to a passable understanding of how to go about problems. It is therefore a measure of my great appreciation of Rod P with the magnificent web site he has created for us, which he regularly updates.

I will not be seeking election to any post, and neither do I wish to be on the Committee. We need new blood, new ideas – and what’s more – modern leaders with technological skills that can widen, broaden and improve the aims and aspirations of the Society.

Thank you sincerely for your support over the years.


Miss Inverloch of years past

Future Meetings & Meeting Place change

Our next GENERAL MEETING will be held at the RSL Hall on Wednesday June 23rd. starting at 2pm. There will be a guest speaker, followed by the traditional cuppa.

Our 2021 ANNUAL MEETING (AGM) will be held on Wednesday July 28th. at the Anglican Church Hall in The Crescent, commencing at 2pm. It will be followed by a General Meeting.

For many years we have had all our meetings at the RSL Hall in Bolding Place. We sincerely thank the RSL for the use of their hall.

All meetings in the future, commencing with the July AGM , will be held at the Anglican Church Hall. There is plenty of parking space for cars, and we thank the Anglican Church for the use of their fine facilities. The Committee has endorsed the change.


Next Meeting

Wed 23rd Feb, 2022 from 2pm at Anglican Church Hall,  The Crescent, Inverloch

Note: Meeting on Wed 24th Nov, 2021 has been cancelled

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