Maffra and District Historical Society

M&DHS operates the Maffra Sugar Beet Museum, part of the Local History Collection at the Maffra Library, and a Dairy Museum at the Robotic Dairy at Winnindoo.

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Location: Victoria, Australia

Monday, June 28, 2010

Maffra Memorial Hall

In a recent comment, Lenore of The Empire Called blog asked for more about the Maffra Memorial Hall. So when we spotted this photograph during cataloging yesterday, we thought it ideal for a post.


This shows the hall, not long after construction, with the original Mechanics' Institute, on the left. Although there is also a suggestion that was the first shire hall, before the shire moved down the street, and it then became the mechanics'.

However .......

What took our eye was that there is something missing from the early photograph, that can clearly be seen today in the modern building. It is now the library.


So, just in case you cannot see it:


The granite pillars, mentioned on the optus sectile honour board inside as part of the memorial, were not added during the construction of the hall, but later.

The foundation stones were laid in 1922, so the early photograph would have been taken around 1923-1924.

Wonder if there are any similar memorial halls around, either with pillars at the entrance, or where space was left for pillars, but none were put in place.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Talking Museums on Facebook

If you are reading this blog because you are involved in a volunteer-operated museum in Australia, there is a new Facebook page for you. Loretta from the Farmer's Arms Hotel Museum at Euroa has started a Facebook page Volunteer run Australian Museums.

Do drop over - it is spot for a chat about whatever comes to your mind about volunteer-operated museums, and hopefully will be a good place to pick up ideas.

We have posted a picture there of our museum - which at the minute looks just like the picture below. But more people over there to tell us about their own museum would be good.


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Melbourne Teacher's College Board

The indefatigable Lenore has pointed me to a link to the Melbourne Teacher's College Honour Boards, which also appear to be by Brooks Robinson, and include photographs.

The memorial consists of three windows and two tablets. The tablets appear to be opus sectile similar to Maffra's, with multiple sepia photographs inserted.

Thanks Lenore!

Friday, June 11, 2010

More of the Opus Sectile

Here are two more views of the Opus Sectile memorials in the Maffra Library, discussed in the last post. They give a much better idea of the size and context.

Maffra Lib9

Maffra Lib10

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Opus Sectile Honour Boards

Your correspondent has been over looking at one of her favourite blogs, The Empire Called and I Answered, where Lenore Frost is attempting to track down the honour rolls that include men who enlisted from Essendon and the surrounding area in WWI. A fascinating one is the Melbourne and Metropolitan Tramways Board roll, which is on some form of pressed metal.

Which had me thinking about the Honour Rolls and photographs in the Maffra Library, inherited from when the RSL occupied that space.

The main board, which is an opus sectile work (literally "segemented work"), is similar to work by Brooks Robinson Pty Ltd, a Melbourne firm that advertised extensively in Anglican newsletters. From memory, there is a similar board in St John's Anglican Church in Bairnsdale, and small pieces in St John's Anglican Church at Maffra.

Louie Riggall

This board (below), is accompanied by two smaller works, both including photographs of local women. The one above, to Louie Riggall, was erected by her family when the Shire Committee refused to include her on the shire roll, as they did not believe, being a British VAD, that she fulfilled the enlistment criteria. Louie died of fever while working in the British Army Hospital in Rouen, where she was in charge of of the stores.

Maffra Rene Singleton

When the community lost Sister Irene Singleton as a prisoner of war on Banka Island in World War II, the community erected a matching memorial to her.

Maffra Honour Roll

The larger WWI board can be viewed at all times the library is open, and the two mosaic portraits are in the same room. The Shire rolls claims to be a full roll, but casualties from Glenmaggie, for example, were not included for some reason. There is a full-sized version HERE

A full listing of those who served from all known areas in the former Maffra Shire can be found HERE.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Lieutenant Rupert Vance Moon VC

Lieut Rupert Vance Moon

Lieutenant Rupert Vance Moon VC often appears on honour rolls in Maffra as, some time prior to his enlistment in 1914, he worked at the National Bank in the town. For example, he is included on the Honour Roll in St John's Anglican Church.

Lieut. Moon joined as a private, but was promoted through the ranks (at one time being a Sgt-Trumpeter). He served at Gallipoli, but won his Victoria Cross at Bullecourt in 1917. His entry, from the National Bank Record of Service, published in 1921, appears below.

Moon citation

The Avenue of Honour at his birthplace in Bacchus Marsh includes Moon Reserve. This Avenue of Honour is under threat from road extensions.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Hammond Negatives

On and off, the Monday Afternoon Cataloguing Team (MACT) that works at the Library, has been working on the H.B. Hammond plate glass negatives. Harrie Beaumont (Hal) Hammond was a photographer in Maffra from 1907 until his death in 1948. And he was an exceptionally good one.

Over that career he would have taken thousands of photographs, and many were published in Melbourne papers. he kept meticulous scrapbooks of these, and we hold all bar one of them, covering a period of 1907 to 1933.

However almost all of his negatives went to the tip, apart from 61 that were saved, and are now much-treasured by the Historical Society. Theya re full-plate glass negatives, of exceptional quality and include views such as this:


We have prints of all except one of the negatives, so do not allow them to be accessed at all, and they are very safely stored away. We are now in the process of working our way through them, and hoping to identify people (although most are of scenes), such as this Scout or Leader:


The Clippings Books have been indexed, with the indexes included in our catalogue. So hopefully, in the near future, we will be able to link families with their photographs.

And maybe even find out where that haystack is.