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Tuesday 28 November 2023

Football Teams in South Kensington, Victoria

I was fortunate to be given access to a South Kensington Football Club (Victoria) with all players and office bearers named of the Premiership team of 1932.   This was followed a day later by another photo, of the Kensington Football Club Grand Finalist team of 1961, also named.

The 1932 team has many surnames reflected in a "History of Kensington" written by Sylvester Baker in 1976.  Sylvester grew up in Kensington, and his recollections of the various areas around Kensington are very good - including South Kensington, West Melbourne and an area called Brown's Hill.

Saturday 9 September 2023

Funding for the 2023 Victorian Community History Awards announced

 In a message from the Royal Historical Society of Victoria today.......


Info for publishers, authors, curators, podcasters - everyone involved in history projects. 

We are thrilled to announce that the Victorian Community History Awards have retained their funding for 2023 and are launched today (8 September 2023).

We thank all our members and friends, led by our President Richard Broome, for their intelligent advocacy in engaging with their local members of Parliament and Minister Danny Pearson, Department of Government services over the last 3 months. With so many budget cuts we almost despaired of funding and we were prepared to go it alone with a no-frills program but the Minister, Danny Pearson, really fought hard to get these awards up. Our heartfelt thanks to the Minister and his hard-working staff. 

Below is the I message I sent to Minister Danny Pearson to thank him personally for his efforts:

Dear Danny,

Your name was mentioned in glowing terms in a newsletter I received today from the Royal Historical Society of Victoria in relation to your considerable efforts as Minister for Government Services to have funding for the Victorian Community History Awards retained for 2023.

I was involved in the VCHA Committee for many years on behalf of the RHSV, and attended many of the Awards Ceremonies.   In talking to both Award recipients as well as those who received a Commendation from the judges, I am aware of how very thrilled those entrants were at receiving recognition for their work.   

Local historians devote many years, usually, researching and writing local history, but it is a very under recognised field of endeavour, except for the VCHA.   Every entrant for that years' awards receives an invitation to attend the event, and I have met people from all over the state who come down to Melbourne  in the hope of receiving an award.  They  have often got up early to catch a 4 am train to be able to make the awards, or driven for hours to get here.   

The Awards and Commendations are big news for these people and feature in local newspapers, websites and radio programs.

The Awards are truly a wonderful thing for people engaged in local history activities, and I would like to thank you personally for your efforts in having the funding retained for 2023 (and into the future, I hope!)  The Awards are a very worthwhile program for the Victorian Government to support.

Yours sincerely,

Lenore Frost

Essendon, Vic


Friday 1 September 2023

George Hyde, pastoralist, insolvent, man of colour, who died at the Keilor Inn, 1844

         Keilor Inn, by George Alexander Gilbert, 1845.

    Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria Collection. 

Even in death, George Hyde, pastoralist, found himself embroiled in controversy.  He was one of the Port Phillip Pioneers who was dis-interred from his grave at the Old Melbourne Cemetery and re-interred at the Fawkner Pioneer Cemetery, to make way for the Queen Victoria Market in 1922.  It was another indignity for a man who had suffered many indignities in life owing the circumstances of his birth.

George Hyde was born in British Honduras, the illegitimate son of a Scottish timber merchant and the daughter of a West African Mandigo slave women.  Educated in Britain, and like his father one of the largest slave owners in Honduras, the colour of his skin precluded him from many of the civil rights and privileges afforded his father.  In 1827 George Hyde petitioned the British Parliament for the extension of civil rights to the free coloured population, as were enjoyed by their counterparts in the West Indian colonies.

Hyde returned to Scotland in 1836 where he married Margaret Collier, and together with their only son, George Robert Hyde,  born in 1840, boarded the Ariadne for Port Phillip.

Christine Laskowski has taken a detailed look at the fortunes and misfortunes of the Hyde family, outlining their life in British Honduras, the pioneering colony of Port Phillip, and his unfortunate demise in the Keilor Inn while travelling from his holding at Green Hills (now Toolern Vale) and Melbourne.   For the full story, see her excellent article on the Time Travellers website

Wednesday 19 April 2023

Texas Star Memorial, Essendon Airport

Memorial tree and garden bed at DFO, 2018. Photo:  ABC News  

A few weeks ago I watched a report from Channel 7 on the small aircraft crash at Essendon Airport in 2017 which killed five people, including four passengers from Texas.  They'd taken the flight to play golf.   I later did an internet search on the crash, and found an article written on the anniversary of the crash which showed a memorial planted at DFO near the site of the crash.  They planted a Japanese Maple in a garden bed shaped like the Star of Texas, as in the photo above. 

Last week I was at DFO and decided to have a hunt for the memorial.  It had been a few weeks since I had looked at the photo, and didn't remember the details clearly, so I inspected the trees planted along the side of Spotlight, where the plane had fallen to earth, but couldn't see anything that looked like a star-shaped garden bed.  I trekked all over the place before I thought I should probably find the photo again on my phone. Needless to say it was in a spot I hadn't looked at, opposite Spotlight, near the roundabout.  It was made somewhat harder by virtue of the fact that the tree had disappeared. 

Photo:  Lenore Frost, 2023.

The tree appears to have been broken off at the bottom some time ago, but the star-shaped box hedge has been well maintained and looks terrific.   It would be nice to see the tree replaced, and as the garden bed is otherwise unmarked, a small explanatory plaque might be good as well.


Code 1:Minute by Minute.,  Essendon Plane Crash. Screened on Channel 7 on 1 March 2023, 8.30 pm on Channel 7.   (Available at 7+ On Demand.)

Essendon DFO Plane Crash Anniversary. 

Thursday 13 April 2023

Flemington House, Travancore


Essendon Historical Society's new publication,  Flemington House, Travancore is to be released in May.

When completed in 1856, this mansion and gardens equalled, if not surpassed, any similar private residence at the time in Victoria. The book’s author, Alex Bragiola, explores the mansion and lives of the Glass and Madden families and has included many photographs never before published.

The book can be ordered for mid-May delivery on the EHS Website Online Shop or by emailing Initial price is $35 with free delivery for Moonee Valley and Kensington.

Thursday 9 February 2023

More titles for the Bibliography of Local History

Image courtesy of The City Journal.
Essendon Squash Centre published a history celebrating its 50th Anniversary.  Called "Cede Nullis: 50 Golden Years of Essendon Squash Club".  Allan Murphy, OAM, Sue Rainey, Maxine Kosnar and Amanda Powell (editor) worked together on this book which was published in 2020.  Essendon Squash is one of the few remaining squash courts in Melbourne.   A blog post by Otto McKinnon in March 2020 spells out the problems facing the Essendon club:
Thus far Essendon sticks to it's motto Cede Nullis: Yield to None.

Today I am adding 12 titles to the Bibliography of Local and Family History Sources

A is for aunty and z is for zigni : an alphabet book of African stories : sharing a women's lives - a project of Jesuit Social Services.  Richmond, Vic. : Jesuit Social Services, 2010. [Women from Flemington] [SLV]

Cede Nullis : 50 golden years of Essendon Squash Club / Alan Murphy, OAM ; Sue Rainey, Maxine Kosnar ; Amanda Powell (editor).  Moonee Ponds, VIC : Sue Rainey 2020. [SLV]

Flemington ... town in the shadow of a racecourse : self-directed walk. Publisher [Flemington, Vic.] : [Wild West Walks] [1996]. [SLV]

Flemington Racecourse : a memoir, history, autobiography / David Maughan. The author, Queensland : Wombat Press 2021. [SLV]

Mannix Era, The : Melbourne Catholic leadership 1920 -1970. Morgan, Patrick, 1941-, The author: 2018

Materials research laboratory : west of the Yarra up Maribyrnong way. Ascot Vale [Vic.] : Materials Research Laboratory 1991. [SLV]

Now that we are in paradise, everything is missing : a study of the health experiences and needs of older Italo-Australians in Ascot Vale / V. MacKinnon with A. Nelli.  [Melbourne, Vic.] : Department of Nursing, Victoria University, 1996. [SLV]

Mamma's kitchen.   Moonee Valley City Council: Moonee Ponds, 2022. [SLV]

Peppercorn tree / [DVD] [Melbourne, Vic.?] : Barbara Pater, c2008.

Ukraine Downunder / edited by Darka Senko, Tetiana Koldunenko and Marko Pavlyshyn. Essendon, VIC : Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations [2020]. [SLV]

Variety is the spice of life : an account of my life.  Morrison, Stanley Campbell, 1914-2004. edited by  Grant, Dalys, [2004]  [MVLS]

Victoria Derby, The / Marc Fiddian. The Author: Pakenham [Vic], 1991. [SLV]

Sunday 18 December 2022

Additions to the Bibliography of Local and Family History Resources for Essendon, Flemington and Keilor

"Lyndoch", Levien St, Essendon, painted by Karen Price, featured in an Exhibition at the Avondale Heights Library in 2018.   A print edition of the exhibition is held in the Local History Collection of the Sam Merrifield Library.  The exhibition was called Here today, Gone Tomorrow: an exhibition of paintings of houses in Moonee Valley. 

The following publications have also been added to the Local History Collection at the Sam Merrifield Library, and my bibliography of  Local and Family History Resources for Essendon,  Flemington and Keilor

The Art of Lockdown: Australian Ukrainians making art  in 2020.  Graphic Design and Layout by Stephan Moravski. Essendon: 2021.

Stories from the Suburbs. Moonee Valley: an anthology by memoirists,  life writers, poets, and local and family historians of Moonee Valley. Edited by Lyndel Caffrey and Diane Williamson. [Moonee Ponds], Doubleland, 2019.

Young Women on the Ascot Vale Estate: an exploratory study. Essendon CYSS, 1986.