President's Message June 2019



Hello members and friends of Altona-Laverton Historical Society, As we head towards the end of June and the end of another year for our Committee I thought it would be timely to reflect on the great work that has been achieved by the Committee and active members. This year we have continued our objective to ‘connect with the community’ and we are achieving well beyond our expectations. We have had more people pass through the Homestead, on our Devonshire Tea Sundays and being involved in Tours, than ever before. Our Website and Facebook page audiences are increasing every month with great feedback on our posts and the information we are publishing and posting. We are now being asked more about the history of Altona and Laverton, the pioneers of our area and key events that took place in our neighbouring suburbs. Our members have produced two great publications that have been well received by the community and have involved people from across Hobsons Bay in the research and writing of these publications. We have been actively involved with our local council and local industries to jointly display history that is both relevant and interesting to the community and we have supported many events in Logan Reserve by ensuring that the Homestead is open to the public during these times. Our Devonshire Tea Sundays have enabled us to recruit a great team of volunteers who tirelessly support the Historical Society each month and enable our small number of members to talk to visitors about our Society, the Homestead and Altona & Laverton. We have also supported two other local Community Groups to raise funds for local charities by devoting two Devonshire Tea days through the year so that we can support others as they have supported us. As we head into the AGM in August, the Committee is looking for your support to ensure that we continue the great work of this and previous committees in promoting our Society, the Homestead and the recording and publishing of local history to ensure that it is not lost and to ensure that our children and new comers to Altona and Laverton know more about our wonderful suburbs. Hoping you are all well and staying clear of the winter ills and chills. Kim Reilly (President)

June 4, 2019

Lost Lands Found

Lost Lands Found is presented by Dean Stewart in partnership with Hobsons Bay City Council Lost Lands Found is a brand new high-density development and an ecological art project being established in Logan Reserve in Altona. However, this new urban development is not highlighting people, but significantly our ecological neighbours […]
April 12, 2019

Happy ‘100’, City of Williamstown

As we lead up to the 17 May 2019 we reflect back 100 years when Williamstown grew from a town to a city. Sir Arthur Stanley, the State Governor, when proclaiming Williamstown as a City (17 May 1919) noted that – “their town (so long famous as William’s Town) to […]
April 11, 2019

The Repatriation “Bringing them Home” 1919 to 2019

In 1919 the Repatriation Department was created by the Australian government to facilitate the repatriation of our servicemen and women, many of whom bore the physical and psychological scars of war. the department provided war pensions, a soldier settlement scheme and other vital services such as healthcare, education, housing and […]
April 1, 2019

Heritage: Connecting Back to Your Childhood

Oh to be a kid again, when times were simpler and there was just your imagination to keep you entertained. Step back in time at the Altona Homestead and take a peek at games and toys from days gone by when electronics was something that was ‘futuristic’ and a thing […]
February 26, 2019

Mobil: Reflecting on 70 years in Altona

2019 marks the 70th Anniversary of operations at the Altona Refinery which commenced the production of lubricants and bitumen on 22 July 1949 as part of a joint venture between Vacuum Oil Company (Mobil) and Standard Oil (Exxon). At an initial construction cost of £1m, it was widely acknowledged as an […]
February 21, 2019

John Shaw Neilson

The Altona-Laverton Historical Society in partnership with the Louis Joel Arts & Community Centre and the John Shaw Neilson Society are pleased to present two events in March. John Shaw Neilson is arguably one of Australia’s best poets but unfortunately he has lacked the recognition that he deserved. The first […]
February 20, 2019

Car and Motor Cycle Racing around Cherry Lake

The Williamstown Chronicle February 19,1954 reported that £35000 pounds had been spent to open a Speed Track (around the perimeter of Cherry Lake) and that record crowds were expected at Altona. The Age,Monday,March 8 1954 reported that the inaugural car meeting at Altona Road Race Circuit on that day would have 10 of Australia […]
December 10, 2018

50th Anniversary of the City of Altona

On Saturday, December 21, 1968, on the lawns of the new Civic Offices in Civic Parade, the Proclamation Ceremony of the City of Altona was undertaken by his excellency Major-General Sir Rohan Delacombe the Governor of Victoria. The Honourable R J Hamer, Minister for Local Government made the presentation of […]