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Journal by itellya



I'll modify that statement somewhat. When first installed, the statues had plaques which provided information about some of the characters of Rosebud's past. The plaques are missing and have been for some time and this journal is a wake up call to myself to get them reinstated. The statues are still serving the function of giving tourists a reason to love Rosebud however; I'm sure they appear in countless selfies taken by visitors!

This email was received on February 8, 2019.
Hi ---,

Re: Redeeming Rosebud's image - restoration of carvings

I am new to the role, however, I apologise if no one responded to your previous enquiry. Thank you for reaching out again.

Interesting timing that you should write this email….

Only yesterday did I meet with local artist Drew Gregory to review the current state of the wooden carvings in Rosebud's main street.

Drew has generously offered to personally restore the carvings to a high standard at a very reduced rate to our Chamber of Commerce.

The project will take approximately 60 days.

I have submitted the proposal to our committee and will hear back within 5 days with conformation of the committee's decision to approve the works and associated costs.

If approved, Drew can commence work immediately and we will have all carving completed by Easter - with plaques and QR codes that will provide detailed information linking back to our new website and mobile app, for all to learn and share the rich history of Rosebud.

If you would please forward me your phone number I would very much like to speak with you about what we are doing to redeem Rosebud’s image.

Kindest, Belinda
Belinda Healey
Marketing & Development Township Liaison Co-ordinator
Rosebud Chamber of Commerce

My intention was to write this journal long ago, including information from the plaques, so the historical significance of the statues would be available if the plaques were stolen or were removed during repainting. I will be sending this journal to Belinda to remind her that the reinstallation of the plaques is well and truly overdue.

All the statues are on the inland side of Pt Nepean Rd from the west corner of Murray Anderson Rd to the Rosebud Hotel, being depictions of the following at work: Mitch Lacco, Jack Jennings, Frank Whitaker, Norm Clark, Fred Gregory and (Syd?) Baker.

MITCH LACCO. (East corner of Murray Anderson Rd.)

LACCO Patrick Mitchell, Death, mother: Elizabeth, nee KING, father:LACCO Fort: place of birth:Melbourne,
place of death:Dromana, age, year, register number: 90,1974,3408/1974

Mitch was the son of Elizabeth Lacco (nee King), sister of Emily Durham, the great grandmother of Judith Mavis Cock (Judith Durham of The Seekers.) Judith spent her first six summers holidaying in the timber house in the middle of crown allotment 20, Rosebud Fishing Village (fronting the west side of Durham Place), granted to Fort Lacco (Mitch's dad) on 16-8-1872 and occupied by Fort's sister in law, Emily from about 1900.
(By the way, Mitch's relationship to Judith Mavis Cock was not mentioned on the plaque.)

Mitch established what a heritage study ridiculously called Rosebud's ship building industry. The boats that he built were a bit bigger than the one depicted in the statue but hardly SHIPS! Mitch was the founder of a boat- building dynasty. If you google LACCO, WOODEN BOATS, you'll get some idea of the family's prominence in this industry.

The Lacco family must have built Pier Cottage on the east side of the Jetty Rd access to the jetty by 1900 when Emily Durham occupied Fort Lacco's grant. Pier Cottage burnt down in (1937?)despite the efforts of the Rosebud footballers, returning from a function, to quell the fire. It was replaced with a two-storey building by Edward Campbell, a Melbourne councillor and Lord Mayor who had bought the property (c/a's 12 and 11) before the fire, and this building was demolished a few years ago for the construction of the Banksia Point cafe/apartment complex which now covers both blocks.

Mitch, who married Lucy Marie Wickham in 1907, built his first boat on the foreshore (probably c/a 11, the eastern part of the complex)and named it the SURPRISE. To enhance his expertise, he moved to Queenscliff in about 1916 at about the same time as William John Ferrier, the hero of the La Bella wreck at Warrnambool, and his choice of name for his boat was probably intended to convey how his existing expertise would be perceived. Fort Lacco had recently died but his widow, Elizabeth, would have enjoyed baby sitting her grandchildren and the Ferrier children at Queenscliff.

According to the Rosebud Historical Society's 2002 display (now archived at the Dromana Museum), Mitch returned in 1929 and bought a HEART OF ROSEBUD ESTATE block fronting the EAST side of Murray Anderson Rd. He built a house fronting Pt Nepean Rd and a boat building shed behind it fronting Mitchell* St. Mitch's statue is on the other side of Murray Anderson Rd, directly above the undergrounded Peatey's Creek which flowed to the bay between George Fountain's THE PINES and the Peateys' BEACHSIDE.
*I thought that Mitchell St may have been named after Mitch but De Garis probably named it after a Rosebud family with that surname BEFORE 1929.

JACK JENNINGS. (East corner of Rosebud Parade outside the MODEL DAIRY, now a real estate office.)
The first thing that needs to be stated, in order to prevent confusion, is that Jack and his father were totally unrelated to Walter Jennings, the renowned tenor and member of the instructional staff at Langwarrin Army Camp during W.W.1, whose widow bought land in the Hindhope Estate near the north east corner of the Rosebud Plaza car park and became a Rosebud resident.

Dod Jennings was born in Drysdale near Geelong and married a Wiffen girl from that area. After share- farming in various places including Flinders (where one of his sons married a Tuck gal) and Camperdown, Dod took his family to "Kariah" between Weeroona St (once called Jennings Rd)and Dundas St.

I believe this is Jack's marriage notice.
Miss Ruth Ferris, daughter of Mr.and Mrs. Ferris, was recently married to Mr. Jack Jennings, youngest
son of Mr. and Mrs. Jennings, of Rosebud. The ceremony took place at the Church of England. The wedding breakfast was held at the home of the bride's grand-parents. The honeymoon is being spent at Healesville.
(P.3, Standard, Frankston, 5-10-1944.)

Jack's given names were Arthur John and he was born in 1915. His marriage record.

JENNINGS Arthur John Marriage FERRIS, Ruth Evelyn 1944 11651/1944

His birth record.

JENNINGS Arth Jno, Birth, mother: Mary Jane, nee WHIFFEN, father:Geo Ernt
place of birth,year , register number: DROMANA*, 1915, 11790/1915

* In the 1919-20 assessment for the central riding, Jennings Bros. were listed as those to be assessed on lots 18 and 19 of Clarkes' Special Survey, a total of 280 acres. These lots were bounded by the Nepean Highway (w), Wallaces Rd east to the first bend on the right hand side of Melway 162 B3 on the south and a line east from McKenzie's Junction to the top middle of 151 C12. Their names were crossed out, which indicates that they occupied the land until about mid 1919. They had probably been leasing the land from Ralph Godfrey Patterson, purchaser of lots 18 and 19 in (1907?)when Arthur John was born in 1915, either on the farm or at one of at least two private hospitals in Dromana at the time. (The Dromana Bush Hospital did not open on Karadoc until about 1930.)

Jack was the grandson of "George (Dod) Jennings and Hannah (nee Wiffen) who married in 1879."
Jack's father George Ernest (Ern)was born in 1880, register number 6577/1880. The place of birth was recorded as Bellarine (i.e. Peninsula)and probably took place at Drysdale where Dodd and Hannah (written as Anna in the birth record) resided until 1894.

Dodd (sic, DOD) was listed as a new insolvent in May 1894 "and the family moved* between Flinders, Cranbourne and Camperdown as itinerant farmers before settling in 1914 on 212** acres at Rye" (crown allotments 20 and 21, parish of Nepean of 107 a. 1 r. 9 p and 114.1.4 respectively, a total of 221 acres 2 roods 13 perches.

* There was no notice or record of the marriage of Ern and Mary Jane, perhaps due to such movement from one place to another.
**The 212 acres was probably found in a rate record. Once made, an error such as this was likely to be repeated for years.

"On arrival at Rye Ern farmed the part of Kariah (named by Dod* after an area near Camperdown)fronting Weeroona St (probably c/a 21) while his brother Cecil, his wife Catherine (nee Tuck) and their nine children, with Dod* and Hannah farmed the land nearest Dundas St. After the failure of onion growing, the families changed to dairying, establishing a large jersey herd. Ern later bought a milk round from Bob Rowley and later expanded into Rosebud, selling his share of Kariah to his brother, Cecil."

"Ern then leased (450? acres of the Tootgarook pre-emptive right called Rye Park)around the Leonard St area of Tootgarook, purely for the production of milk. His daughter, Hannah would do a daily milk run. Ern's sons Jack, Bill and Claude took over the dairy at Rye which was located on the site of the present newsagency. It was eventually run by Claude and his sons , Ernest and Dennis.The Rye Dairy was sold in 1974 to Claude's brother, Jack, who also ran the Rosebud dairy. Ern (George Ernest)died in 1958."

All quoted passages above are from JENNINGS: A PIONEERING FAMILY by Linda Berndt nee Jennings on page 32 of

1-7-1937 MILK BAR AT ROSEBUD (Architects Forsyth & Dyson, Collins Street, Melbourne.)

Standard (Frankston, Vic. : 1939 - 1949) Thursday 28 February 1946 p 6 Article
... DAIRY EXTENSIONS Mr. G. E. Jennings, who conducts the dairy at Rosebud, and serves Rye area ... , contemplates carrying out extensions to his business premises in Rosebud, in the near future.

The plaque records that the dairy was later moved to the Rosebud Industrial Estate (recalled by the name of Jennings St at Melway 169 K7.)

Jack's full name is Arthur John and Dod is just one d. George Ernest, Ern, and Mary Jane Wiffen were married 10 May 1899 at the office of the registrar of marriage (Joshua Charles Bennett), Gheringhap street, Geelong. Ern was 5 days short of his 19th birthday and Mary was 17. Married with permission from his father Dod (George) and her mother... Eliza Jennings, (Widowed Wiffen) , nee Prentice. rego number 4162. Eliza was married to Dod's brother, Johnathan (Duck).
In regards to the farm 221 acres is recorded by the family. This was farmed for 4 years as a family. The separation of the farm only occurred after the death of Dod in 1918. Cec farming the Dundas st side and Ern and Mary the Jennings Rd (now Weeroona St) part.
George Ernest (Ern) was born at Mannerim on the Bellarine Peninsula.

Following email conversations with Paul Whitaker some time ago, I concluded that the current generation of the family doesn't know much about its past. William John Whitaker and his wife seem to have led the move to the Peninsula.
WHITTAKER.—On February 10, at Dromana, William John, husband of the late Wilhelmina Spalding, and loving father of Bertha (Mrs. Engels), Lance, Frederick, and Frank, aged 77 years. –At rest. (P.2, Argus, 11-2-1948.) He was buried at Dromana after a service at the historic St Mark's at Dromana (which is now surrounded and dwarfed by hideous apartments/shop complexes because the area was zoned commercial! Jesus saves but he couldn't save the church from such disregard for heritage.

WHITAKER. - On November 2, at her daughter's home, 53 Clonaig street, Brighton, Wilhelmina Spalding, dearly loved wife of William Whitaker, of Point Nepean road, Dromana, loving mother of Bertha(Mrs. Ingles), Lance (Mount Eliza), Fred (Hawthorn), Frank (Rosebud), and Nellie(Mrs. Brown), aged 77 years. -Dearly loved.
After a service at Elsternwick the funeral proceeded to the Dromana Cemetery.(P.9,Argus, 3-11-1947.)

I could find no death record for Wilhelmina but her maiden name was supplied in their marriage record.

WHITAKER Wm Jno Marriage STOCK, Wina Spalding 1890 5836/1890

A marriage notice "WHITAKER, STOCK" would be likely to indicate where William and Wlhelmina were living at the time of their marriage but there wasn't one. There wasn't even a golden wedding notice in 1940.

Let's get down to business!
On page 51 of A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA, Colin McLear included a photo of Whitaker's bus with nine passengers alongside it and one woman almost as tall as the bus. On page 53, Colin states that Fred Whitaker Senior established his garage at Dromana in the early 1920's and ran a bus from Rosebud.On page 164, Colin stated that in the 'tween wars era drags were replaced by buses and Whitakers ran an eight seater bus to away football matches. This eight seater* was probably the one shown on page 53. (*Licensed to carry 8 passengers and as it wouldn't be going anywhere without a driver, this would explain the nine people in the photo.)

Now I have a confession to make! When Keith McGregor and his brother moved to Stawell to grow wheat, I assumed that Keith had transferred his bus run licence to his brother in law, Billy Adams. WRONG!
DROMANA.-Messrs. McGregor Bros. have disposed of their motoring business and cars to Messrs. Whitaker and Son, and intend to try wheat growing. McGregor Bros. practically introduced the motor service in this district. (P.11, Argus,11-5-1922.)

WHITAKER'S PENINSULA MOTORS PTY. LTD.,to take over from William John Whitaker his interest in motor garage and motor tränsport service at Dromana. Capital £3000.
8ubscribers--William John Whitaker, Frank Whitaker. ((P.6, Argus, 13-7-1936.)

As I pulled out my transparent container of historic newspaper articles, what should be on top but Stephen Taylor's CURTAINS DRAWN ON CINEMATIC PIECE OF ROSEBUD'S HISTORY (P.27,Southern Peninsula News, 6-11-2019.)
Paul Whitaker stated that his father Frank had acquired the Broadway in 1928 "with the proceeds of the first screening being donated to the widow's of local fishermen* who died in a storm at that time."

Frank might have been a partner with W.Watts (and perhaps Tom Chadwick) by the time of the first screening but it was W.Watts,the builder of the Broadway, who seems to have decided that the proceeds of the first screening would go to the appeal.

Mr. T. W. Chadwick (Rosebud) announced that Mr. W. Watt, who was building a new picture theatre at Rosebud,
offered the proceeds from the opening night towards the fund, and the workmen on the building (i.e. Rosebud Pictures) had contributed £15. Mr.McFarlan (Sorrento*) and Mr. Ambler(Dromana*) offered a picture night for the funds.(P.10, The Age, 23-11-1928.)
* David McFarlan built a theatre in Sorrento's main street which still screens movies. (Historic cinema three-screen cinema, which began life as the Sorrento Athenaeum Hall theatre built in 1894.)
The second Mechanics' Institute at Dromana doubled as that town's theatre as shown on Melbourne Brindle's sensational pre 1919 map of Dromana (which you can buy from me at the Dromana Museum on Sunday January 5, 2020 between 2 and 4 p.m.for $2.)

Because of overwhelming competition from television, the Broadway closed at the end of 1962 with the projection equipment being moved to the Dromana Drive-in which had recently been opened by the Whitaker family; this equipment was later moved to the Leongatha drive-in. A photo of Paul and Lloyd Whitaker with the wooden statue appears in the article. Entertainment still continued at the Broadway with John Farnham and Denise Drysdale often performing.

The full text of the plaque will be given verbatim at the start of the journal as soon as it becomes available. Norm seems to have been almost a fixture outside the bank on the east side of Norm Clark Walk collecting for charity. He must have been considered a very important part of Rosebud's history for the Rosebud Chamber of Commerce to erect a statue in his honour. Fittingly, the walkway itself was a vital part of Rosebud's history, indicating the western boundary of crown allotment 17, parish of Wannaeue where it adjoined the 1909 Clacton on Sea Estate (c/a's 16 and 15 extending 816 metres to First Avenue and previously a mystery in the ratebooks.)

Between The Avenue at McCrae and Boneo Rd, the only early buildings of note not on c/a 17 before 1900 on the inland side of Pt Nepean Rd were Hopetoun House on the McCrae car wash site, Albert Holloway's Parkmore at the north east corner of c/a 19, the store built in circa 1884-5 by Jack Jones on lot 86 at the north west corner of c/a 18 (the FJ's corner)a homestead on the remaining 150 acres of c/a 18 (possibly at 19 Mitchell St) that was called Menstries Hill when Robert White Senior died in 1881, and two homesteads on c/a 14, Hindhope Villa at 50 First Avenue and The Thicket whose driveway off Boneo Rd is appropriately named THE DRIVE.

It was on c/a 17, between Jetty Rd and Norm Clark Walk, that the first successful subdivision of a grant occurred. It had earlier been a working farm before R.R.Woolcott bought it prior to the first Kangerong Road Board assessment in 1864. William Gomm, grantee of the Rosebud Fishing Village on which Jetty's Cafe and town houses stand, may have been leasing 50 of c/a 17's 129 acres in 1876 before he moved to Hastings and the subdivision must have taken place before 1878 when George and Susan Peatey bought lot 76, two acres at the south corner of Jetty Rd and McDowell St, now surrounded by the Netherby estate.

A two acre school site was sold in the 1880's as the original Mechanics' Institute over the beach road (burnt down in 1928) was unsuitable, and teacher Joseph William Hazledine opened a hole in the wall post office at the new school. Louis Anderson operated the post office on lot 42 from 1891 till 1897 but sold his store to John Roberts and left so the P.O. was again operated at the school by teacher, Mr Green.

By 1900, the retired John Roberts had become postmaster on lots 41, 42. His son in law, John McConchie built or extended the P.O.which was run for some time by John Roberts' daughter Rosa who married John Brady. After one of the Ditchburns ran this P.O. in 1919, the licence was transferred to Ernie Rudduck's store 75 yards west and also on c/a 17. This was burnt down in 1923 and replaced very quickly by a complex with a much longer frontage soon bought by Edwin Wheeler who sold much of the building which became known as Websters Stores but retained the post office at number 1045.

A new P.O. was later built at number 1047, immediately east of the complex and also on c/a 17. Edwin and later his son operated the P.O. there until 1951 when the Postmaster General's Department opened the post office just east of the model dairy,which operated until Port Phillip Plaza (now Rosebud Plaza) was built.That's why the last mentioned post office became known as the G.P.O. PUB. It is now called McDaid's.

The post office was for a century situated on c/a 17 Wannaeue, whose western boundary was NORM CLARK WALK!
The Mechanic's Institute and Methodist Church were in the Rosebud Fishing Village on the foreshore. The Presbyterian Church, built in a day, was however on the inland side of the road and you'll never guess where. You did! Crown allotment 17 Wannaeue, between Jetty Rd and Norm Clark Walk.

In 1888, the height of the land boom, Woolcott's executors called the subdivision of unsold blocks on c/a 17 ROSEBUD BY THE BAY but soon the depression started. In 1909, W.F.Vale advertised the still unsold land. His plan shows Jack Jones' store across Jetty Rd from the school but the post office was never on the west corner of Rosebud Parade as shown. In about 1923, De Garis had the cheek to call his subdivision of c/a 18,between Adams Avenue and Jetty Rd, the Heart of Rosebud Estate.

FRED GREGORY (west corner of Ninth Avenue.)

Fred James,Death ,mother:Ethel, nee STRINGER, father: GREGORY James
places of birth and death:Geelong,Rosebud
Age, year, register number: 67, 1982, 3235/1982

Fred's mother was not a member of the Stringer family of Sorrento.
GREGORY— STRINGER.— On the 24th March, at the residence of the bride's parents, "Brocklesby West" Melbourne-road, Geelong West, by Rev. G. Flockart, James Gregory, only son of Mr.Arthur Gregory, Derby, England, to Ethel, eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Fred. Stringer, late of Camperdown.(P.1, The Age, 26-5-1913.)

The statue has been removed recently, hopefully for maintenance.

At first glance, the statue could be assumed to be of a local carpenter, but Fred was a chemist after whom a pathetic excuse for a garden near the entrance of the Rosebud Memorial Hall was named, supposedly in his honour, but it does little to honour the service that he rendered to the Rosebud community. His wife also served the community,Mrs F.J.Gregory being assistant secretary of the Infant Welfare and Pre-School
Committee in 1954.PHOTO UNDER HEADLINE

The impression I got from the plaque was that Fred loved to show that he could do more with his hands that make up prescriptions and if maintenance or construction of a public building was required, Fred would be there at every opportunity, his white coat exchanged for his overalls with his pockets stuffed with every tool of his trade (hobby)that would fit within them that might be needed for his pro bono contribution.

by itellya Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2020-01-02 21:44:33

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.

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