President's Message April 2019



Hello members and friends of Altona-Laverton Historical Society, The year is speeding by at an alarming rate so I thought I would touch base with you all about a few things your hard-working Committee have been achieving in the past few months. Firstly we were fortunate enough to receive an equipment grant from HBCC towards the purchase of office furniture. The Committee are in the process of creating a larger office space in the museum room that will ultimately become a research room for members to be able to conduct research in a collaborative, secure environment. The small office will be solely a storage area for the ever growing number of artefacts and items. The aim of these changes is to be able to keep a greater amount of research onsite - to minimise the risk involved when items are researched mostly from homes, creating difficulty in keeping track of who has what and where it is. Ownership of the research then belongs to the Society and not an individual (all recognition will be given, of course). The state wide Heritage Festival is on in May - we have a beautiful toy display on to get the conversations going about the toys we played with and how little some have changed over the generations. Devonshire Tea is on again for May but the Reilly’s will be away so we are leaving it in the hands of our gorgeous volunteer scone bakers and service will be done by the Seabreeze Quilters along with our regular volunteers. We will be back for June’s event but we do need more volunteers - not only for the Devonshire Teas but also for Tuesday’s as we see our lovely Joan retire from her many years of greeting visitors to the Homestead. If you have a few hours to spare, if not weekly, then at least fortnightly, we would really appreciate it. Several of our members still work full time so we are appealing to the retirees or part time workers for support! We do need to grow our membership, not only to share our love of local history, but also to share the load. We don’t want to overwork our dedicated team! If you are not able to help, or find the night time meetings difficult to get to, please let us know how we can keep you connected and engaged - maybe a daytime social event might be of interest? Our next General Meeting meeting is one we do need you to attend, if possible. According to our constitution, we only need to have one General Meeting a year and if we want to discuss any changes to our membership fees - this needs to take place at a general meeting before the AGM in August. We need a quorum for this meeting to make it constitutionally valid. The date for this meeting will be June 18, at the Homestead. The other meetings we have during the year are not ‘general meetings’ they are meetings that are not committee meetings, they are information sharing and the opportunity to have guest speakers and visitors. The treasurer’s report will have been discussed and accepted at the committee meeting. Members are more than welcome to attend committee meetings as observers - just let us know you would like to attend.

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 […]
August 26, 2018

Altona Hospital History – A Bush Hospital by the Bay

The Altona-Laverton Historical Society is proud to present the History of Altona Hospital. This publication is a unique opportunity to read about ‘A Bush Hospital by the Bay’, (the history) its staff, volunteers and what made it so special and important to our community. It is more than the record […]