THE NAMING OF THE SUBURB OF ATTWOOD, MELBOURNE, CASTLEMAINE MEMORIES AND VALE GRAEME BASSETT, MUCKLEFORD LEGEND (VIC., AUST..)
I believe I have seen a letter by members of Victoria Police to the Shire of Bulla, suggesting the name of Attwood for the area north of Broadmeadows Township (Westmeadows south of Kenny St) but this may have been caused by a misreading of the following:
From 1965 to 1967, I spent three happy years in the Castlemaine district where I met my darling wife, Val (nee Howarth), with whom I have spent 50 beautiful years. My many friendships at Castlemaine were mainly forged through sport and brought back memories at the funeral of Graeme Bassett, one of my sporting heroes, on Tuesday 4-9-2018.
Some other sporting heroes were Geoff Bryce of the S.E.C. who brought basketball to Castlemaine and his trusty lieutenant Jim Berry a policeman who was killed in a road accident after I moved back to Melbourne, and Charlie Oliver, a star cricketer for North Castlemaine who tragically lost an arm after I'd moved back to Melbourne.Sadly North Castlemaine was in B Grade and I never saw Charlie play cricket but when a copy of the Castlemaine Mail arrived, I excitedly turned to the sports pages to see his latest century or big bag for Newstead in footy. I coached High School in Geoff's basketball competition with young Robbie Ross and David Broad showing as much talent in that game as they did with the Maggies at Camp Reserve. David impressed me greatly after our game in the drill hall when he invited me to join him at the DEVELOP CASTLEMAINE meeting at the Town Hall. As I told Rex. Howarth's widow (mother of three of the children kidnapped from Faraday State School) at the Wake, I was impressed by such community mindedness from a teenager and, later, completely unsurprised when I discovered that he had become a Shire Secretary. Many years later, I discovered that David is a distant relative of mine- through a Broad/Howarth Marriage.
Val's matron of honour at our wedding at Christ Church, Castlemaine in 1868 was Jenny Turner and her sister Linda Portwine was a bridesmaid. Both were daughters of Roy Portwine, a builder and Val's uncle, who was my favourite among Val's NUMEROUS relatives whom we visited before and after our marriage every time we enjoyed a holiday with Val's parents. The Talbots had moved to East Keilor near Tullamarine and Ray and Jenny Turner moved to Cherokee so we saw quite a bit of them and I actually house sat Ray and Jenny's house while they went on a holiday. My other SPORTING HERO had married Linda Portwine two years after our wedding and I only saw her occasionally when visiting Roy Portwine (with her husband Graeme Bassett otherwise engaged at the farm or, probably,cricket practice.)
At the Wake, both Linda and Jenny mentioned that Jenny's daughter, Aleisha, had found my HOWARTH journal and told the rest of the family about it. Aleisha's older sister, Michelle is a senior member of the police mounted squad and while speaking to her, I told her that the mounted squad members based on part of the old Dundonald farm in Mickleham Rd had suggested to the Shire of Bulla that that area be named ATTWOOD. Now I'm not so sure, hence this journal. It took me four hours to find any reference to VICTORIA POLICE-ATTWOOD (link at start of journal)and this might have been the letter that I thought had been written by the mounted squad. And it mightn't be! The actual letter might have been included in the many, many, many comments under my journal DICTIONARY HISTORY OF BULLA but is not in the journal under ATTWOOD or DUNDONALD or in the DUNDONALD ESTATE journal.
As I told Linda and Jenny, the only times I ever met Graeme were on a cricket field and I was TREMBLING IN MY BOOTS. I played two seasons with Guildford, captained by Max Glenn of Franklinford and a season with Maldon under the leadership of Rex Beach, the Shire Secretary. John Bassett and George Skinner opened the bowling for Muckleford and to be frank my cowardice when walking out to bat is summarised by STAYING ALIVE,the title of the song in SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER. Both could get the ball up from a good length and were so fast that I didn't actually see the ball from the time it left the bowler's hand until the wicketkeeper, Graham Bassett, threw it to a fieldsman to start its relay back to the bowler. As fast bowlers are inclined to do, their bowling was aimed just outside off stump and I slashed at every ball with the hope that their aim would remain so, having seen my fondness for the square cut. Effectively, I was LEAVING the ball but Graeme had no such luxury and the sound of the ball thumping into his gloves was the only indication that the ball had safely passed me by and that we wouldn't be picking up four byes. In fact there were very few byes due to Graeme's courage, reflexes and athleticism. Strangely, his excellent batting, as illustrated by the numerous trophies that I inspected at the funeral, was not impressed as deeply in my memory; terror is an excellent aid to memory! The wonderful Eulogy delivered by Graeme's daughters made me regret that I had not actually met this wonderful man socially and been able to share such memories with him during his tragic long illness.
on 2018-09-04 22:43:13
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.