SAM MERRIFIELD'S RESIDENCE IN TULLAMARINE, VIC., AUST., FOR A TIME IS NOT MENTIONED IN HIS BIOGRAPHY.
TULLAMARINE:BEFORE THE JETPORT, Ray Gibb, 1998.
PAGE 25-6. 1939. The (Tullamarine Progress Association) meeting was held at Mrs Green's Junction Corner instead of the school where meetings had been held since the inception of the T.P.A. (in 1924) because the acting headteacher, Mr Dalton, had refused permission.-----A letter from Sam Merrifield asked the T.P.A. to support an application to Broadmeadows Council for construction of a tennis court on the recreation reserve (today's Melrose Drive Reserve) and its use on Sundays, but it was pointed out that the council would not allow Sunday play.
PAGE 35. HEAPS OF TROUBLE HITTING MAURICE.
When he was married (1950's) Harry Heaps of "Sunnyside" (west side of Wright St near the Moonee Ponds Creek)built a new house which now (1998) stands at the south corner of Strathconnan Square. A century old house in which Mary Reddan's father-in-law, Mr Wordsworth, had been born, and which had been owned by Sam Merrifield was demolished but there was a barn which was used regularly as a boxing venue. etc.
MR. COTTER, MLA, LOSES LABOUR SELECTION
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Monday 30 June 1941 p 4 Article
... Merrifield surveyor of Tulla-marine won Essendon ballot. He is sec-retary of Essendon ALP. Other
Sam was probably not able to attend the 1939 T.P.A. meeting because of his absence in connection with his employment with the tramways board, perhaps surveying a new line. Harry Heaps' family had been pig farmers but had changed to poultry farming by the time of Harry's marriage. He probably didn't need to build poultry sheds when he built his matrimonial home. Excerpts related to Sam's desire for a tennis court and his livelihood while at Tullamarine have been put in bold type in the biography.
NO SUNDAY TENNIS
A motion to permit the playing of tennis at Tullamarine on Sundays was lost at the meeting of the Broadmeadows Council yesterday.(P. 15, Argus, 1-9-1939.)
Unfortunately, although the Johnsons were still on Glendewar, the tennis club which operated on their farm, not that far north of Sam's place,must have folded before Sam's arrival in Tullamarine.
TENNIS AT GLENDEWAR
Merrifield, Samuel (1904–1982)
by Peter Love
This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 18, (MUP), 2012
Samuel Merrifield (1904-1982), surveyor and politician, was born on 6 February 1904 at Moonee Ponds, Melbourne, third child of Victorian-born parents William Merrifield, carpenter, and his wife Sarah, née Semmens. Sam’s education at Moonee Ponds West Primary and Essendon High schools was impeded by hearing difficulties, for which he compensated with voracious, attentive reading. His self-discipline helped him through a surveying apprenticeship as well as evening classes at Taylor’s College and the Working Men’s College, Melbourne. Having secured a surveyor’s licence in 1925, he worked as a draftsman and surveyor for the Melbourne and Metropolitan Tramways Board, the Victorian Forests Commission and the Country Roads Board until his retrenchment in 1931, a casualty of the Depression.
Political radicalism had featured in Merrifield’s family since his grandfather’s involvement in agitation on the Victorian goldfields in 1854. Sam attended Australian Labor and Socialist party functions in his youth, and at 18 he had joined the Moonee Ponds branch of the ALP. His bout of unemployment hardened his political resolve, deepening his sympathy for people fallen on hard times. Always an enthusiastic sportsman, he immersed himself more widely in the sporting and civic affairs of his local community.
After living off his wits, including a period raising poultry, Merrifield returned to paid employment for the Tramways Board (1935-39), the State Electricity Commission (1940), and from 1940 the Commonwealth Department of the Interior, where he applied his drafting, surveying and broad engineering skills with customary precision and diligence. On 7 March 1936 at the Ascot Vale Congregational Church he married Margaret Lillian (Lil) Smith, a typist. They had no children.
In June 1943 Merrifield won the Victorian Legislative Assembly seat of Essendon for the ALP and, after an electoral redistribution, successfully contested that of Moonee Ponds in 1945-52. He gave assiduous attention to his electorate and served on numerous parliamentary committees. He was vice-president (1947-49) of the State Schools Committees’ Association of Victoria. Appointed minister for public works in 1952, he tackled increasing demands for the renewal and expansion of public infrastructure. Facing overcrowding in state schools, for instance, he oversaw the introduction of portable classrooms.
Sparsely-built and quietly-spoken, Merrifield nonetheless was drawn into controversy in 1949 when he was named during the Lowe royal commission into communism in Victoria as a Communist Party of Australia contact in the ALP. He vigorously denied these allegations, which were never proved, but remained a figure of suspicion for anti-communist campaigners in the ALP. The flow of preferences to the Australian Labor Party (Anti-Communist) saw him defeated in the election that followed the split in the Cain government in April 1955.
Infuriated but outwardly calm, Merrifield was then employed as a surveyor by the Keilor City Council: he had retained close ties with his profession as president (1946) and fellow (1947-64) of the Victorian Institute of Surveyors. He also set about rebuilding his political career. In June 1958 he was elected to the Victorian Legislative Council as the member for Doutta Galla. As deputy-leader of the Opposition in the council from 1960 until his retirement in 1970, he won respect for his courteous demeanour and punctilious attention to parliamentary duties. His favourite appointment was to the Parliamentary Library committee, which allowed him to indulge a long-standing passion for reading, particularly history.
Always committed to representing 'the underdog', in the early 1960s Merrifield joined Brian Fitzpatrick and others in establishing the Melbourne branch of the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History. Building on his substantial and constantly growing collection of historical material on the Australian labour movement, in 1964 he launched the Recorder—a newsletter that became the starting point for many researchers who found their way to his increasingly cluttered house and garage at Moonee Ponds. After his retirement it became his principal interest, along with his founding membership of the Essendon Historical Society and service to the local library. In 1971 the ASSLH conferred on him its second life membership (Fitzpatrick was the first) and in 1973 Monash University awarded him an honorary doctorate of letters, recognising his contribution to the field.
Lil Merrifield, who had devotedly supported her husband, died in 1978; Sam soon commenced donating his library and papers to the La Trobe Library. His dedication to his community, including fifteen years as president of the Essendon District Football League and twenty-six years on the Essendon Hospital committee, was widely recognised. He died on 24 August 1982 at Parkville, Melbourne, and was cremated. In 1983 the Essendon Public Library was named after him.
See also:MOONEE VALLEY BLOGSPOT
Lil Merrifield may have begun her married life at Tullamarine. See photo and article.
MRS. SAM MERRIFIELD
on 2017-10-31 14:24:29
Itellya is researching local history on the Mornington Peninsula and is willing to help family historians with information about the area between Somerville and Blairgowrie. He has extensive information about Henry Gomm of Somerville, Joseph Porta (Victoria's first bellows manufacturer) and Captain Adams of Rosebud.