Newsletter #256, March-April 2021

A’Beckett St, Inverloch

From The President

With the wealth of material in our archives available to your Newsletter Editor, choosing the most appropriate for each edition can sometimes be challenging. With this edition the main message is the need to plainly state a few blunt facts about what might be the future of the Society.

If that sounds somewhat too dramatic and even exaggerated for you, then consider the following. Because of COVID 19, our Annual Meeting which should have been held last August 2020, had to be postponed. Finally it was possible to hold our meeting at the Main Hall of the HUB Community Centre in February 2021, at which a maximum of 20 members could legally be in attendance.

During the Annual Meeting at the Hub, following the long announced retirement of our Secretary, a replacement was not found. For the Society to continue legally, we must have a Secretary. Under this most difficult situation, I, as your President, have stepped into the breach, with the support of the Committee. Our next Annual Meeting will be held in July this year. Both the Treasurer Harry Dunn and myself as President have stated that we do not intend to re-nominate for our current positions.

There are therefore potentially serious consequences for the coming July Annual Meeting
when positions for President, Secretary, Treasurer and Vice President will become available. On recent form it looks like we will have great difficulty in filling those positions. If not filled, then the future of the Society is under serious question.

This is of great concern to myself and all members of the Committee, as well, I am sure, to all members generally. It is also of concern, or at least it should be, to all Inverloch residents who believe that recording and storing the town’s history is vitally important. I and the Committee are hoping that a new interest will be taken by current members and citizens in general. Any person interested in filling the positions mentioned should contact myself on 5674 6159 as soon as possible. Alternatively, please would members approach anyone they know of who would be interested in accepting a role in our Society.

Meanwhile our former secretary Lynn Kirk will continue to be our Collections Officer in matters pertaining to the Green Shed storage. Lynn, along with several Committee members have set up a fine system and organization in the building, the most pressing problem relates to having electricity connected. Close to $5,000 has been spent by the Committee in ensuring a first class working environment, something which our earlier and founding members worked very hard for and would be very pleased with what we have achieved in recent times. It would be a great shame if after all the work – the Green Shed – three major exhibitions at the HUB – a successful book – two exhibitions in cooperation with the wooden boat group and numerous displays at the Angling Club, for it all to fall apart simply because we cannot get local people to be office bearers of our Society.

The current Committee consists of our Patron – Eulalie Brewster OAM, Harry Dunn (Treasurer), John Hutchinson (President and Interim Secretary), Ray Burtt, Anne Hendry and Lloyd Bennetts – a total of 6. There is therefore at least one vacancy on the Committee, and we welcome members of the Society to nominate immediately.

This whole problem is quite a challenge, and I hope we in Inverloch are up to it.

Our 2021 Easter Raffle

Selling Easter Raffle tickets in A’Beckett St, 2021

The funds raised by the Raffle assist us greatly in our continued preservation of the many articles in storage. This years Raffle success was due to the hard work and organization of our Treasurer Harry Dunn. Harry has stepped up magnificently, aided by the many volunteers who generously donated their time and energies. The raffle has been a success, and the prize winners were drawn on Easter Monday at 1.30pm. at the Arcade by Ashlee from the Information Centre.

  • 1st. Prize – Hamper – Ian of Leongatha.
  • 2nd. Prize – a Throw Rug – won by Gary.
  • 3rd. Prize – Three Framed Prints of Inverloch – won by Patsy.

The money raised by the Raffle was a record, a total of over $1,824 !

Supporting the Cancer Challenge in Bass Coast

A couple of months ago the Inverloch Fundraising Auxiliary, formed to support the completion of the Bass Coast Health Integrated Care Centre, approached our Society for support of their cause. The building is being called “The L. Rigby Centre”, built at the Wonthaggi Hospital, was opened officially on March 29th. by the Federal Member for Monash, Russell Broadbent.

The Integrated Care Centre opened its doors to patients on 22nd. February 2021. It provides contemporary Chemotherapy and Supportive Therapy, Infusions and Cancer Care via the specialized multi-disciplinary team, with significant support from Alfred Health.

The Committee decided to donate $500 to the appeal. Many organizations over the years have been kind and generous to our Society, and the Committee felt it would be fitting that we respond in kind, to a health challenge that affects all people of all ages. We were represented at the official opening, and it is encouraging to see such a fine facility available to all people in Bass Coast.

‘The centre is a wonderful demonstration of Community Partnerships”, wrote Board Chair
Don Paproth in the invitation sent to the Society. He also said that “Patients requiring care
who have previously traveled to Melbourne and Central Gippsland, can now receive their care locally”. He also noted that between 16-18 patients have been seen daily since the
opening of the centre.

Historical materials received

Inverloch postcard

As the weeks roll on, we continue to receive donations of fascinating new material, plus some ‘old friends’. The ‘old friend’ is “Pictorial Souvenir of Inverloch, Victoria” (pictured), and is a folded set of 18 photographs of Inverloch taken in (??). The cover and product is familiar to many older Inverloch residents, and to the age of the pictures, well your guess is probably as good as mine! The pictorial contents are a photographic treasure chest of our town, taken many years ago – all of which are secure in our collection.

Our other donation comes from Norm West (thanks Norm!), and shows a totally undeveloped Pier Road, well before any houses were built. Today, few in Pier Road will certainly see the sea. As simple as the photo is, it is a beautiful record of our town before development and housing spread its tentacles.

A block of land would have cost under $150 (1950’s). As to the question -“well that sounds cheap!”, attention must be drawn to the average wage back in those days. Many were lucky to be earning $10 to $20 per week, usually with a single wage per household, not to forget paying off your current house loan and maybe (if you’re lucky!), paying off your car! One development in Inverloch in the 50’s required a deposit of $76 with payments of 70 cents per week. Cheap? Oh no! Sometimes our memories can play tricks and we can become somewhat nostalgic about what might have been if we’d – well purchased a block or two!!

The younger folk in our midst will have little idea of the economics and the costings of the 1950’s. It should be pointed out that many of our current retired citizens of Inverloch quite possibly paid off their State Savings Bank of Victoria (remember them!) loan on their very first house, and the law stated quite clearly that their house repayment must not exceed one-quarter of their weekly wage.

Eating well at Pine Lodge

Pine Lodge menu for Wednesday 4th September 1935

Many stories and facts have been written about Pine Lodge, and as our unfolding of the ‘goodies’ now housed in our Green Shed continue to surprise us, it is a gastronomical delight to read what was on the menu during the 1930’s, when it must be admitted that that time truly represented the ‘golden age’ of the history of Pine Lodge, when generally wealthy guests received the very best country leisure and luxury, which of course included food. And how do we know what was on the menu during the 1930’s? Well, we have at least twelve old school exercise books carefully listing each day’s menu, with special emphasis
on Sunday. All beautifully hand written, the choice of what was available to guests is simply
incredible. I have included a page from one book – namely 4th. and 5th. September 1935,
listing both Luncheon and Dinner. Feast your eyes on the choices available. The chef would
have been kept busy with a Pine Lodge menu. There is a distinctly ‘old fashioned’ look about what is on offer, and a far cry from a menu at the current Inverloch hotels.

Samuel Anderson – The first Pioneer Settler in Gippsland

Publications about local Gippsland history and the citizens who made their mark in our early development, are always most welcome.

The Wonthaggi & District Historical Society are hosting a book launch on Saturday 1st. May 2021 at the Wonthaggi Baptist Church commencing at 1.30pm.

Written by Tony Hughes, described as a ‘dabbler in family history whose roots also lead
back to the Anderson settlement of Westernport’, he has called his book “TWO RIVERS RUN”. Elly Berryman will be introducing the book, and our friends at Wonthaggi would welcome your attendance. As President I shall be attending and will purchase a book for our library. The book will cost $38 if collected personally, but if posted you will need to add $14. Email

A description of the book in pre-publicity, states that – ‘This is for readers interested in the role Van Diemen’s Land played in Victoria’s early history, their aboriginal peoples, the exploration of Western Port, and the early pioneer-settlers who crossed Bass Strait or
ventured into Gippsland,either over the alps from Sydney or by the sea through Western Port or Port Welshpool.’

The Passing of some Inverloch History

With the passing of John Henderson, husband of our member Eileen Henderson, it is yet another link with Inverloch’s early history concluding. The two brothers of the Henderson family were the first settlers on Anderson Inlet, particularly near Pound Creek.

Both were involved in the old Woorayl Shire affairs. The Society expresses its sincere condolences to Eileen and the Henderson family at the loss of John.