Newsletter #228, October 2017


Inverloch RSL – A Local Institution for Over 70 years

Inverloch RSL Sub-branch received its charter in 1945 and became a regular meeting place for its membership of around 25 until 1980 when membership began to grow topping 100 in the early 1990’s. Since then, membership has settled at between 80 and 100.

For its first decade, members met at the Mechanics Institute and Library, at the corner of A’Beckett and Reilly Streets, before the current Bolding Place site was leased in 1955 and a donated house, relocated from 34 Williams Street was used as the RSL Hall, though for a time, social events were often held at Inverloch Scout Hall or Warrawee Senior Citizens Hall.

Mechanics Institute & Library – Corner of A’Beckett & Reilly Streets

In 1988 an adjacent block of land was purchased and became the car park; in 1995 the leased land was purchased. Today’s Hall was built in 2002, funded partly by a grant from the Victorian State Community Fund. Subsequent improvements were undertaken with the aid of grants from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Today’s Inverloch RSL Hall houses Honour Boards and a collection of donated photographs and artefacts.

Word War I Cenotaph – Original site on the corner of Reilly St & Bayview Ave (Photo 1995 with football oval in rear view)

In 2009, Inverloch RSL refurbished and relocated the Word War I Cenotaph (middle, right) from the corner of Reilly St & Bayview Ave to the current site on A’Beckett St, combining two stone memorials to form the current Inverloch War Memorial.

Refurbished & relocated Word War I Cenotaph – Current site on A’Beckett St near the Hub.

Inverloch War Memorial was reconsecrated in April 2010 and unveiled by Mrs Carol Thorn, daughter of Cal Wyeth who built the original Cenotaph. On 25 April 2015, a plaque was unveiled by World War II veteran Mr Arthur Schwartz to commemorate the Centenary of the landings at Gallipoli.

This article draws on a larger body of material recently provided to I.H.S. by Inverloch RSL Sub-Branch. We extend our thanks for this contribution to our knowledge of the Inverloch community.

“Home Wanted” — Update from the Committee

President John Hutchinson & Committee Member Terry Hall have been authorised by the I.H.S. Committee to investigate a potential joint venture with the Wooden Boat Group to establish a permanent home.

To this end, John and Terry gave a presentation at a recent meeting of Bass Coast Shire Council. The presentation covered the history and merits of both organisations and was well received by Council.

John and Terry have asked Council to investigate the status of a site at Inverloch that could be a suitable location for a Social and Maritime Museum. We await the outcome of Council’s investigation of the property title and related matters ; this may take several weeks.

Excusion – Tullaree

There will be no formal meeting on Wednesday 25 October 2017.

Our regular meeting will be replaced by an excursion to Tullaree, home of ‘The Lady of the Swamp’. If you haven’t already paid the entrance fee to Rosemary, please remember to bring it along – $20 per person or $15 for Seniors. Remember to bring your lunch too.


  • Starting at the Inverloch Football Ground at 10am, we will travel by car to Tullaree —drive time is about 20 minutes.
  • After touring Tullaree, weather permitting, we will trace Margaret Clements’ journey to Buffalo General Store.
  • Then, on for afternoon tea at the Ripple Café , Tarwin Lower.

Inverloch in the 1970s, Lyn Skillern

Lyn gave us an entertaining talk on her time living at Inverloch with her husband and baby son. Back then many young teachers lived at Inverloch as there were plenty of rental homes available.

Lyn recalled a time of parties and colourful characters including a local marijuana grower. She also enjoyed a pool party at Pine Lodge, less glamorous than in earlier days, but still boasting a Ballroom. The Miss Inverloch Contest, The Drive-In, the carnival, camping grounds that stretched towards Eagles Nest, and The Cottage Restaurant—were just some of the highlights of summer life.

“Miss Inverloch” Contest winners—there seems to have been a Mr Inverloch too. That year’s winners seem to have taken a keen interest in each other’s winning style!

For more permanent residents, there was also Woorayl Shire’s Baby Health Clinic in William St with Sisters Coffey & Jolley—a great place to meet new mums.

Hockey made a brief appearance at Inverloch at that time, becoming the career starting point for Andrew, current CEO of Hockey Victoria.

Lyn mentioned many of the old shops and businesses including the garage mechanic who would come out to get her car going. I still don’t quite have a handle on the Butcher Shop where the purchased meat was passed through a flyscreen trap door—can that be right? Nobody yet has been able to say whether the shop had refrigeration!

The Cottage Restaurant, Esplanade—now only its namesake at The Inlet remains.

In those days, Inverloch faced some now solved problems. One being a water shortage. Lyn mentioned the ute driven around town to inform people when the water would be turned off in their bit of town. The beachfront location for the Bowling Club was, and still can be, controversial. Happily the then grubby Screw Creek is now a beauty spot.

Lyn also recalled the time the old hall burned down, prompting the, presumably ironic, Town Hall BBQ poem, or was it a song? And the bush clearance to make way for tennis courts on Pier Rd that produced a koala refugee crisis.

Our thanks to Lyn for sharing her happy reminiscences.

Lyn Skillern is a member of Leongatha Historical Society, former Secondary School Teacher and a writer for Gippslander Magazine. She is the author of “From Inkwell to Internet A Century of State Secondary Education in Leongatha “.

Spring Fundraising Raffle

Thanks to the many Inverloch Historical Society members who helped to sell raffle tickets—and copies of I.H.S.’s book Inverloch A Place of Great Beauty Past and Present—during the 2-week school holiday period (23 Sept- to 7 Oct). Thanks also, to members who donated goods for inclusion in the hamper. A special thank you to Alex Reardon for his very generous gift of a limited edition print of one of his artworks, which was one of the two prizes (see right—cropped to fit). The raffle raised $1077 and a further $1000 from book sales. The print was won by Susan of Streeton Court and the hamper was won by Peter of Lavington Street. Vern Burchett kindly delivered the prizes to the winners and reported that both had special reasons to be delighted with their good luck.

Rosemary Hutchinson, I.H.S. Treasurer