Newsletter #205, June 2015

(Note: This is a text excerpt. Refer to the newsletter PDF for the complete newsletter including images)

In recent months we have seen the support growing for our search for a building where we can store and display our collection, and work during the years ahead. As it has been mentioned many times in the past, our collection of artefacts, photographs maps and other memorabilia continues to be stored in private homes, sheds and garages around Inverloch. We are deeply indebted to our Patron, Eulalie Brewster, who has had much of the collection at her home for a long time. The old Inverloch Lock- Up, purchased for the Society last year is still located at Vern Burchett’s property until a suitable site is found for it, and our thanks to Terry Hall who has relocated an amount of the collection at his property near Inverloch.

We have appreciated the support received from Russell Broadbent, Federal Parliamentarian, Brian Paynter and Harriet Shing, State Parliamentarians, and Members of Bass Coast Shire. The momentum is developing, and so we look forward to achieving our aim of a Central building to display the History of Inverloch.

Our Treasurer Liz Catt is presently convalescing from surgery. We miss her from our regular meetings, and send her our very best wishes for a return to the best of health. In the meantime Liz can be assured that the thoughts of our members are with her as she has further treatment.

Eulalie reported on the Bass Coast Heritage trip to the Military Museum at Nar Nar Goon. Five of our members went along and were able to see the displays of Military uniforms, and a variety of vehicles and other military items. They were treated to a BBQ lunch, and afterwards continued their tour of the Museum.

Eulalie also mentioned a request she received from Ron Rosenberg, from the Naval Association of New South Wales. He wanted information about Pine Lodge and its personnel when it was a Naval Hospital during World War Two. Ron was a patient at Pine Lodge and also a male nurse. Eulalie met Carol Wyeth who was able to supply Eulalie with the information she required and also some photographs. The information was read to the meeting and copies of the photographs were displayed at the rear of the hall.

Image: Vern & Beryl outside the Historical Museum at Foster

It was good to welcome several of our newer members at the May meeting. Graham Patterson is unable to attend regularly because of work commitments, but was able to attend last week. We also were pleased to greet John and Rose Hutchinson, who have moved to Inverloch in recent months. We wish them all the best as they settle into life beside the sea.


Recently, we were saddened to learn that another long term member of the I.H.S. had passed away.

Helen Jones was very involved with all aspects of the Society, and was still an interested reader of the Newsletter when she moved to Traralgon a few years ago. Helen was always a keen contributor at general meetings, at one time she was typing the Newsletter, and just before she moved to Traralgon, Helen sent emails to members on the Distribution List. We were very appreciative of all that she did, despite battling with her serious illness.

Apart from her efforts for the Society, Helen graduated as a Physiotherapist in 1954. She was a Guide Leader in Warrnambool during 1955 and 1956 while working from Warrnambool Hospital and driving to other western towns to provide Physiotherapy. She was very involved in the Girl Guide Movement. She trained Queen’s Guides and was District Commissioner 1984 to 1990.

Helen was an Elder of Traralgon Uniting Church for Eight Years and when she came to live at Inverloch in 2002 she joined Inverloch Historical Society and South Gippsland Conservation Society. We have missed Helen from our community since she moved away, and so we offer our sincere condolences to her family and friends

Guest Speaker

Our guest speaker last month was Elaine Miller who was born in Wonthaggi where her Grandmother was a Midwife, her Grandfather was a Miner. In those days, when a baby was due, the families had the choice of a home birth, a birth at the little Wonthaggi hospital with the assistance of a midwife or a birth at the hospital with a doctor attending. Elaine went to North Wonthaggi Primary School, passing by her Grannie’s home along the way. She mentioned that when a family were unable to pay for goods and services, payment would be made with something like a load of wood.

Elaine’s father worked at the Mine, and she said that their daily routine was governed by the Mine whistle.

She remembers when there was a Greyhound track where the Miner’s Rest is now situated.

Children rode their bicycles to school, roads were rough as they were covered with redstone which came from the Mine. A fall onto the stone from a bicycle was something to be avoided.

Sunday School trips to the beach at Inverloch were enjoyed, especially the drinks of raspberry cordial. Elaine said that their needs were simple.

She recalled that homes could be entered by a lane at the back, of the property; and at the front of the property, access was made by a bridge over a drain. She also remembers the delicious aromas coming from Smith’s Bakery in Wonthaggi, and further down White Road was Dowson’s Cordial factory and the Hicksborough store. In the evenings, games such as hopscotch were played under the Street lights. In the afternoons, the newspaper was delivered, usually by it being thrown onto the property. The Co- Op delivered groceries to Wonthaggi properties and Christie’s butchery delivered meat during the week which was put into the Coolgardie safe. Elaine recalled that shopping at the Co-Op required customers to have coupons. People in the town were also able to be shareholders of the Co-Op.

Saturday picture shows at the Union theatre were popular as were picnics in the Glade at Inverloch. Elaine believed that it was a privilege to be brought up in Wonthaggi, everyone was brought up on the same level. Elaine went to the Wonthaggi Technical School where she was to meet her future husband Jack. Her parents bought a block of land at 48 Watt street, and when the home was built the family moved there from North Wonthaggi. The family bought a fruit shop in Wonthaggi where Elaine worked. She recalled that there were two Banks in the town, the State Savings and the National. There were five butchers, four bakers, the Cyclone factory, and a Shuttlecock factory. Elaine concluded her talk by saying that she became engaged to Jack and eventually they were married. She believed that although her home now was in Inverloch, her heart was in Wonthaggi. She has lived in the District for 56 years.

Joan Ginn thanked Elaine for her interesting talk and a presentation was made in appreciation.

Editor: Ian McBurnie