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Journal by itellya

This journal was prompted by an email from a doctor, whom I am helping with his thesis, in which I was asked what Jan Hutchinson had to do with the price of fish.(Another Aussie saying!)In short, Jan is the daughter of Sid Hedger, after whom the Sid Hedger Reserve at Tullamarine was named to honour his community work from the 1960's. Jan later became the Hall Booking Officer for an incredibly long time. When I was researching Tullamarine,with the co-operation of Jan, I found some treasures in the hall's storeroom, including the minutes book mentioned herein, and Major Murphy's copy of the minutes of the 1969 Parliamentary Select Committee on Airport Noise. Assuming they would be lost, I "borrowed" them and gave them to the Hume library system when I left Tullamarine.

Tommy Loft had launched a subdivision on his "Dalkeith" very soon after arriving from Greenvale after 1920. He had soon become involved in the community, convening the meeting in 1924 at which the Tullamarine Progress Association was formed.A few years later, he was instrumental in getting the Junction Hotel closed down. Tommy was a Methodist, and if I remember the Methodist Church Centenary Booklet (1970) correctly, he was the Superintendent of the Sunday School for a very long time. His argument against the Junction Hotel(on the site of the 711 store in 2011)was the frequency of brawls at weekends when the hoons of Essendon etc would visit the sleepy settlement to get smashed.
Cec and Lilly Green took over the delicensed hotel and Tullamarine Junction became known as Green's Corner. Cars became common and hay growers such as the Mansfields were replaced by pig farmers, who became more common, such as the Heaps (1923 Sunnyside) Ellis (1927 Ecclesfield), Payne (Scone)and Lacey (Post office Lane) families. Residents of Loft's subdivision (Eumerella and Gordon Sts, the latter named after Tommy's grandson) were mainly Tommy's sons in law, Scoones and Exell. Tommy's daughter, Doris Scoones, lightened up the staid Methodists and her Sunday School concerts, featuring dancing and singing (previously Methodist taboos) at the Foresters' Hall in Broadmeadows Township (Westmeadows) were very popular.
By 1943, Leslie King Dawson owned Dalkeith (the residential area of Tullamarine south of Catherine Ave.) Dawson St. is named after him. By 1951, Dawson had been replaced by Percy Hurren (storekeeper and postmaster at Moorooduc- corner of Derrril and Tyabb Rds, in 1950) who attended his first Tullamarine Progress Association meeting in 1951. (David Shepherd, Moorooduc, Tullamarine Progress Association minutes book 1937-54).
New ratepayers on Loft's Subdivision by 1956 included the Lloyd brothers. This family had arrived in the area in the early 1920's and share farmed Springbank, Willowbank and Kia Ora with the Orr family.When Donald Kennedy's Dundonald Estate was sold off in 1929 to such as Jim Attwood and Edward Campbell, the Lloyd brothers moved into contracting and cartage. They laid down Jim Barrow's "Gladstone" (Park) in wheat; Jim was the first in the district to have a modern tractor. They knew every farm in the district as shown by George Lloyd's "Mickleham Road 1920 - 1952" (which the Hume Library system should have unless it's been thrown out!)

During World War 2, Essendon Aerodrome expanded to include Bulla Rd, making Tullamarine residents take the longer route along Keilor Rd and Matthews Ave, the latter named after an aviation pioneer, as were other streets in Airport West.The sites of many of the Keilor Rd shops were occupied by an anti-aircraft battery and planes from Essendon Aerodrome were parked at Donovans' (the old "Gowrie Side") at night.

The mid 1950's made Tullamarine better known to Melburnians. The Essendon Drive In theatre was opened in 1955 and in the next year Caterpillar's plant was officially opened. The festivities lasted a week and Jan Hedger had a free feed on the way home from Niddrie High every afternoon. The Triangular Estate residents had to get their water from a standpipe in Lancefield Rd (as Melrose Dr. was then called.) A fire swept through the Estate and Ron Gregg's house was miraculously spared. Another estate was Ray Loft's 1952 subdivision of "Broombank". Two buyers there were Walter V.Murphy (near the garage) and Ben Kelly (on the north corner of Tadstan Drive.) The husband of Doris Rorke ( a wonderful worker for Tullamarine Primary School with horticultural ability)had blocks fronting Lancefield and Broadmeadows roads (now called Melrose Dr and Mickleham Rd.) The Butterworths had much of the old 18 acre junction estate fronting Mickleham Rd to Londrew Ct.
(Katie Butterworth and Pam Gregg were keen members of the Tullamarine Pony Club in the 1970's; its activities were conducted on Carinya Park, the Thomas property.)

In the 1960's, houses were built in Cherie St for Americans constructing the new airport (on "Scone" and "Gowrie Park".)Issues for the residents included drainage, water supply,sewerage, terrible narrow roads and the noise and dangerous driving from drive-in patrons. Sid Hedger, Leo Dineen, Len Garner and co. dealt with these problems and got the hall underway.Percy Hurren's cows would often nibble the plants in the Peterson garden, east of the Kindergarten site.

I arrived to teach at the school in 1971. Dalkeith, west of Gordon St, had become the Broadwood Estate. Dawson St stopped at the Creek and there were thistles everywhere. By 1974 houses were dotted west of the creek and pupils had to use McLaren St to cross it. Dave Axon, Ken Boots, the Dineens, Masons, Bennetts and Allisons and others got the Youth Club going and Sandra Braun, Bev Lindsay, Ray Gibb, John Storey and other hard-working members of the kindergarten Committee raised funds through Gala Days, Paper Drives and balls etc. Carol Wright was a terrific worker in the paper drives and the hayband for tying bundles came from Carinya Park. The Tullamarine Progress Asociation's newsletter, "The Sonic", edited by Leo Dineen, Ray Gibb and Ian Howard, publicised the activities of sporting groups, scouts and so on. Leo Caton improved the hall (drapes etc) and Bev Large was the booking officer.

In about 1974 the council workers went on strike- for weeks. Tullamarine stank. One of the community workers mentioned previously contacted the Municipal Employees' Union and obtained permission to conduct a collection.It was not a nice job but volunteers came forth as always and the maggot- ridden bags were loaded into Dave Calder's van. Employees at the tip weren't told of our special permission and an ugly confrontation loomed but all was smoothed over and the smelly load was dumped.

At this time a rat infested creek ran around the east side of the present Leo Dineen Reserve behind the Gordon St houses and Cr Leo Dineen had this fixed. Soon after, Essendon Baptist St Johns (a club that had produced Ken Fraser and Ron Evans for the Bombers)and Ascot Vale Presbyterians merged to form Tullamarine Football Club and won the A Grade premiership five years in a row.

by itellya Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2011-12-08 13:20:02

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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by itellya on 2012-02-05 01:40:23

A far more detailed account of the suburb's growth is provided in a comment under the FOSTER, CROTTY and SHARP journal.

by janilye on 2012-02-05 02:04:11
by itellya on 2015-01-12 23:25:15

Tom Dunne, the last teacher at Tullamarine State School 2613 on the Conders Lane corner (north corner of today's Melrose Dr and Link Rd)had problems. Tullamarine's population had exploded because of the Caterpillar factory which provided employment just across Sharps Rd (now Caterpillar Drive)from the Triangular Estate (east side of Broadmeadows Rd.)Many migrants took advantage of the opportunity of obtaining land close to a source of dependable employment. The tiny school could not cope with the numbers and some children such as Jan Hedger went to Niddrie State School. Many of Tom's pupils couldn't speak a word of English, which added to the overcrowding problem.

In about 1961,the school site was acquired for the airport and two light timber construction buildings were moved to the present Dalkeith Avenue site,to be clad with brick a decade later.

In 1971, I started teaching at the new school,travelling from Flemington until my house was built.After moving into my house,I was soon befriended by Leo Caton and a week or so later he invited me to the Tullamarine Progress Association meeting.

That's when I met Rom.He was much respected and loved by everyone at the meeting although it was very hard to understand him. I'd forgotten that his name was Ilko,despite,as secretary, seeing his signature in the attendance book dozens of times. I never knew that his nickname was Snowy but this is a good indication that such as Leo Dineen, Sid Hedger and Ken Boots regarded him as a dinkum Aussie.

Unfortunately I can't copy and paste the article that I found when I idly googled Tullamarine Progress Association to see what would turn up after the article about Alec Rasmussen's retirement and departure from Tullamarine in 1928.

It was written by Stefan Romaniw, who is probably Rom's son, and, at the time of writing the article about what Australia Day meant to him, he was the president of a national organisation, continuing the community spirit that had made Rom such a well-loved resident of the emerging suburb of Tullamarine.

See pages 9-11 in: ESA_Newsletter_Mar2013 - The Ethnic Schools Association ...

Rom,as mentioned,struggled with the lingo a bit and the closest he could get to saying the names of Leo Dineen and Sid Hedger was Leo Din and Hedgy but the next time I look at the Tullamarine Community Hall, I will remember this hard-working migrant from Ukraine going house to house after an exhausting day's work to make it all possible.

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