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Saturday, March 12, 2016

Dandenong Golf Club, Stud Road, Dandenong, first day 1904.

It began back in 1904 with nine holes being established in Stud Road, Dandenong where the current Dandenong TAFE is situated. This golf club was then called the Dandenong Golf Club. In 1909 the club moved to Dandenong Park in an area between Pultney St and Dandenong Creek. In 1910 the club shifted to paddocks of a Mr. Hungerford which consisted of 13 holes. For unknown reasons the club moved back to Dandenong Park in 1912. Dandenong Park area was unavailable for golf between 1917 and 1919 due to the War.
After the 1st World War in 1919 golf started again on a property owned by Macpherson and Rodd and nine holes was established adjacent to the State School, now occupied by the Historical Society. During 1920 the Dandenong Golf Club established 18 holes on the property of Mr. Hemmings over the Dandenong Creek and south east of Macpersons paddock. This is now the location of he Dandenong Workers Club in Wedge St Dandenong.
The Dandenong Golf Club changed its name to Kingswood Golf Club in 1931 and the course was redesigned by MA & HV Morcom. With the urbanization of Dandenong in 1936, Kingswood Golf Club decided to relocate to its current home in Centre Dandenong Road, Dingley Village. At this point ending the last remaining link it had with Dandenong.
Photo: From the 5th Sketch Book compiled by Charles (Charlie) Hammond.

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Lonsdale Street, Dandenong, floods 1901

The hefty thunderstorm that hit the district caused the heaviest rainfall that had been seen in the area for several years, taking less than twenty minutes for the main street to become flooded. Floodwater flowed straight through many residences and businesses with many shopkeepers instantly in serious trouble as stock was completely ruined afterward.

Several families at the time had to be removed from their residences as the lower end of Lonsdale Street was completely under water. From Langhorne Street at the rear of the Town Hal,l along with Hammond Road through to Greave's Paddocks. Hemmings' Timber Yard itself at the time suffered a good twelve inches (30.48cm) of water through the premises..

Sadly the extent of flooding wasn't just due to more than four inches (over 10cm) of rainfall in one afternoon, the drains and channels of the town were far too small to carry such a sudden onslaught of water at the time which caused significant damage to culverts.

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Friday, March 11, 2016

The old McEwans hardware store in Dandenong around 1950.

McEwans became a landmark and household name in Dandenong, where numerous generations relied on getting there needs from them. The new McEwans was built sometime before 1960 in the Lonsdale Street premises. Eventually they were were pushed out of the market by newer, cheaper supplies. After a successful takeover bid by Repco Limited, McEwans in Dandenong was re-branded as Bunnings in 1993.

Prior to being the old McEwans store, it had been the Crump General Store, selling a vast supply of needs to the community ranging from stock feed, hardware and farm supplies, to linen, crockery and even delivery of groceries for the district folk with their horse-drawn lorry.

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Aerial view of Dandenong High School in the 1950's.

Dandenong High School was officially opened on 10 March 1919. Initially opened in temporary premises with juniors at the Old Fire Station and seniors at the Temperance Hall and Church of Christ.
The foundation stone was laid on 21 November 1919, the school was officially opened in late 1920, by then it had a total enrollment of 150. Do you remember "Siberia" at the bottom of the oval?
By 1959, overcrowding was an issue, originally designed to house only a few hundred pupils. The baby boomer invasion swelled its ranks to over 1000 and the sturdy brick buildings that once formed the core of the school were nowc omplemented by a hotchpotch of temporary constructions called 'demountables'.
The windows of these had either fences or strong wire grates erected in front of them as protection against cricket balls struck from the pitch on the main oval. The rear of the school, as a consequence, had the look of a migrant camp or a German Stalag (an impression heightened by Monday morning assemblies held in the enclosed courtyard).
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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Opening of Noble Park Primary School 1911

With ¼ acre block subdivisions by Frank Buckley in the Noble Park area that began in 1909 and the establishment of market gardens, a rural population developed, this in turn saw the need for a school to be established to cater to the children within the area.
So it came to be that in January of 1911, the Head Teacher, Olga Ernst, began teaching local students in the public hall. By the following year when the new Head Teacher, E. Beguin began teaching, enrollments had already risen to 50. By 1917 enrollments had risen to 100, so Frank Buckley donated ground where the Education Department built a two room school in the same year. By 1926 when there were 300 students recorded, three more rooms were added to the site.
With the combination of industry growth in Dandenong, the migration influx of post war years and the general availability of cheap land in the Noble Park area, student numbers rose even higher. So, in 1951 the Department of Education provided a second Bristol unit to the school. The Department then decided to purchase a three acre block further along Buckley Street where it then established what was known as the infant school.
By 1965 despite the opening of the new Southvale Primary School which relieved Noble Park of 250 students, along with Heatherhill Primary, Harrisfield Primary and Yarraman Park Primary, Noble Park was still recording a student attendance of 750 in 1969. 
The Noble Park P.S continued to operate as a split school until 1978. It was in that same year under the then Principal, Mr J. C. Campbell, that the original site was finally vacated altogether as senior students were all moved to the junior school as it had been extended to accommodate all of the students, this is where the school is currently located today

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Coles New World, Lonsdale Street, Dandenong, in 1965

Coles New World, Lonsdale Street, Dandenong, in 1965
Coles history in Dandenong started with a Variety store on Lonsdale Stree, Along side the long standing Woolworths store. But with the expanded vision of Superstores in the late 1950s/early 1960's Coles soon looked to building it's biggest New World on the outskirts of the CBD. By 1963 the store had been built ushering in the age of the Rocket.
Bellow courtesy of Robert Smith (Past2Present)
It certainly was a 'New World of Shopping' when this supermarket opened in November 1963. Located on the Princes Hwy in Dandenong, it was considered the largest free-standing supermarket at the time but not the first to show the rocket. That accolade went to the Frankston store.
At the time, the Dandenong store was the biggest supermarket in Australia with 14 checkouts and 160 feet of refrigerated cabinets. It had a large 'meat shop', a fresh fruit and vegetable department, a modern bakehouse and a cafeteria (luncheonette) with seating for 34 people. One of the main attractions of the new building was the four feature windows facing Princes Hwy depicting early landmarks of Dandenong over 100 years ago.
The huge storeroom out the back was used on occasion for indoor cricket. Such was the size of the building, it certainly handled all incoming deliveries with ease. During my time there (late 80's), the cafeteria was gone but a liquor department was in operation.
In late 2000, the building was demolished. A new Coles was built along with an Officeworks and underground car parking. Officeworks later moved to newer premises on the corner of Frankston Dandenong Road and the Dingley Arterial (Dandenong Bypass).

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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Dandenong Girls' High School, 23 Ann St, Dandenong

The former Dandenong Girls High School, initially situated at the former site of the Eclarte tweed mill on Princes Highway, was built as a girls high school in 1957 with the motto, Above Renown, and the Olympic Torch as its logo..

The School opened in 1957, though the buildings were not completed until 1959. It opened because of overcrowding of Dandenong High School and was situated on an eight-acre site, fronting Ann, David and Cleeland Streets. Later the school would include boys, and in more recent times it was re-named Cleeland Secondary College. The school was also known as Dandenong Girl's Secondary School, Dandenong North High School and Cleeland High School at various times in it's history.

In 2007 Cleeland Secondary College along with Doveton Secondary College merged with the nearby Dandenong High School to form one school based at the Dandenong High School and Cleeland Secondary College locations.

Image supplied by Colleen Duggan-Bailey'

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Post Office, 228 Lonsdale Street, Dandenong, 1967.

"The Post Office can be seen on the left of the Town Hall. In this 1967 photo the Post Office is shown from the front. Notice too the water fountain that was donated by the Ladies Temperance Society's."

Victoria’s first official postal service involved two people associated with the Greater Dandenong area. This was in 1837 when the New South Wales government gave Joseph Hawdon the Melbourne to Yass overland mail contract,which began on 1 January 1838. The actual ‘postman’ who carried that first official mail delivery, with many adventures, was John Conway Bourke. He was an employee of Joseph Hawdon’s and worked in the Dandenong area for some years. The carrying of messages and parcels was often a personal and individual operation in those days
Hotels or stores were the first collecting and delivery points for mail. Dunbar’s Hotel in Dandenong was an early postal base. In 1856, the post office in the hotel was ‘the last one this side of the Melbourne PO’. A mail contractor, Patrick Mulcare, carried mail between Melbourne and Dandenong, as a weekly service in 1855. In 1862 the stage coach had the contract. Dandenong was the postal centre for a large district for many years and had the designation ‘Post Town’ in the Victorian Municipal Directory for 1875.

A post office building opened in Lonsdale Street, Dandenong, in 1880, following the construction of the railway. The building has since given way to a modern two-storey structure in Lonsdale Street, now
mainly rented out to other tenants, with only a small Post Office remaining.

Photo and fountain info supplied by: Patricia Joan Alsop

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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Rover Den, nxt to Scout Hall Princes Hwy, Dandenong.

The old Rover Den on the left of the scout hall now gone, Lonsdale Rovers (affiliated with 1st dandy) met there for many years and was later joined by Tanjenong Rovers(affiliated with 9th Dandy) in the early 80's - then renamed to Ecks-Calibre Rovers that met there well into the 90's and possibly later.

Rover Scouts, also known as Rovers, is the fifth and final youth section of Scouts Australia, Rover Scouts are adults aged between 18 and 25 years of age and are organised into local Crews, which can be associated with a Scout Group or operate stand-alone.

Rover Scouts began in 1918, and are based on founder Baden-Powell's book Rovering to Success and the theme of knighthood. Rover Scouts are actively encouraged to become better citizens through taking part in Scouts Australia's training programs, developing leadership skills, participating in outdoor activities, attending national and international events, providing service to the community and generally building their life skills.

Rover Scouts are distinguished by a red shoulder panel on the blue Scout uniform shirt, with green badges on each shoulder if the wearer is a fully invested/knighted member, as well as the traditional 'knot' of five ribbons (tan for Joeys, yellow for Cubs, green for Scouts, maroon for Venturers and red for Rover Scouts) – this distinguishes Rovers from every other section.

Photo and info supplied by: Brad Farrell

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Monday, March 7, 2016

Dandenong Train Station, 12 January 1995.

During construction of the new station building, taken from the south side near where the pedestrian ramp now stands.

Until the coming of the railway, the Greater Dandenong area was virtually on the frontier of settlement. Construction started at the Sale end and reached Oakleigh in 1877. After some delay,the link was made with Melbourne and the line officially opened in 1879, midst great celebrations.

The Dandenong station was officially opened in 1881, some two years after completion of the line to Melbourne. It served as a vital link to Gippsland, replacing the need for livestock and produce to be taken by land and sea to Melbourne. Dandenong now acted as the terminus between country and City.

By the early 1880s, Springvale had a station, consisting of a platform and open shed. The first train to stop at Noble Park was about 1915. Electrification of the line between Oakleigh and Dandenong was completed in 1922. The line between Dandenong and Warragul was electrified by 1954 New stations were opened at Sandown in 1965 and Yarraman in 1976.

Lonsdale Street had traditionally acted as Dandenong’s front door, its only entry point to visitors, but with the success of the railway station (by 1889 it had become the third busiest in Victoria) Dandenong now had a side door, drawing a growing number of visitors to this new point of entry to the town and exposing the need for infrastructure to support the Foster Street region in its increase in pedestrian traffic.

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Dandenong High School, Princes Hwy, Dandenong, in 1920.

At the end of the First World War, the citizens of Dandenong began agitating for the establishment of a higher elementary school. The closest secondary schools to Dandenong were Warragul or Melbourne and boarding was an expensive option for those wishing to educate their children past primary levels. Rev. H. A. Buntine was elected Chairman of an advisory council in 1918 to present a case to the government.

Dandenong High School opened on the 10 March 1919, in temporary premises with one hundred and four students. The junior students were housed in the Dandenong fire station, while the seniors took classes in the Temperance Hall and Church of Christ. The first headmaster was P. C. W. Langford who had served in the 4th Light Horse during the War. This was the first of the school’s many associations with the military.

At the time, there were only eight high schools in the metropolitan region. Dandenong High School was built to service a wide area of rural and semi-rural areas. In 1949, students were drawn from Berwick, Beaconsfield, Nar Nar Goon, Pakenham, Cheltenham, Oakleigh, Catani, Kooweerup and Cranbourne.

In 1920, the new building on Princes Highway was opened, with the foundation stone laid by Hon. W. Hutchinson, Minister of Public Instruction in 1919. The school was built on a 7. 5 acre site called Bushy Park Estate, which was purchased with a £1000 grant from the Dandenong Shire Council.

Already the number of enrollments exceeded the allocated pace, which has continued to be a problem throughout the school’s history. The school has changed shape several times with regular additions of temporary classrooms and grounds to cope with the rapid population growth of the young suburb. In 1921, the school inspector reported that ponies were tethered in the grounds, reflecting it’s rural constituency and that there were 18 boarders in 1930.

In 1924, the school started planting trees on the grounds - 8 palms and 24 cypresses along the street frontage. The same year, the inspector reported that the fence to separate the boys and girls grounds had been erected. In 1930, entrance gates were built as well as four new classrooms, a Sloyd (woodworking) room and a concrete drive. Sustenance workers were leveling draining and painting in the school grounds in 1936.

By the Second World War, the school was filled to overflowing, with classes, school socials and even the girls gymnasium displays held in the Armytage Own Scout Hall across the Highway. During the War, the school had resorted to using five military hospital huts which were erected in Hemmings Park across the Highway to service the American Army Hospital, which also used the Scout Hall. The girls’ domestic arts classes often baked scones and cakes to take to the servicemen recuperating in the huts. Enrolments in 1949 reached 609 with 268 boys and 341 girls.

These uneven numbers continued until the building of Dandenong Girls High School in 1957. In 1950 the sports grounds were improved. In 1952, prefabricated classrooms were erected at the back of the main building to yet again ease the pressure on classrooms. In 1952, additional land was purchased for the construction of a new domestic and manual arts block which was finished in 1953.

In 1954, Springvale High School and Dandenong Technical School were opened, easing pressure on the school buildings. Nevertheless in 1957 most of the ex-army huts at the scout hall site were moved across the highway and converted to a gymnasium and in the same year, fourteen new classrooms were built on the site. The population of Dandenong district continued to grow as did the school.

In 1961 the Dandenong sports ground was acquired. In 1964, a house was purchased in High Street as a caretaker’s residence. The school began agitating for a new wing which was completed in 1967 and the old building was extensively refurbished. In 1968, the assembly hall was completed, becoming a focus of social functions for the school & wider community.

The school opened with more enrolments than the building could cope with and this pattern continued throughout its history. In 1951 enrolments numbered 745 with significantly larger numbers of girls than boys and a large proportion of students from country districts, as far away as Cheltenham and Kooweerup.

Over one half of the school came from country districts until 1960 when Doveton High School was opened. After the 60s the mix of the school changed to mostly metropolitan students. In 1962 Dandenong High School was the third largest high school in Victoria with enrollments numbering 1,140 and for the first time equal numbers of girls and boys

The school has had several well known ex-students. Kitty Bloomfield was the first woman to get a Victorian pilots licence in 1929. Frederick Alan Bishop was the first Australian in the armed forces killed overseas in 1939. Max Oldmeadow, a Federal Member and principal of Chandler High School is also a former pupil. Barry Jones, quizmaster, Labor Party Federal President and a Commonwealth Government Minister, was a teacher there.

The school has been recognised as having an excellent academic reputation from its beginning, and has been actively supported in the Dandenong and district community. The high standard of the school’s curriculum was reflected in the rapid development of the school’s accreditation. In 1938, the school was approved to conduct internal examinations for the Intermediate Certificate. Rapidly followed by the Leaving Certificate in 1939, and Matriculation in 1940.

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