President's Message February 2019

The members of Altona-Laverton Historical Society are welcoming 2019 with the same momentum we ended last year with and this year is going to be another exciting one.
Last year we saw two publication being produced and launched by our members (A Bush Hospital by the Bay and A Patchwork of Memories) which were both well received by the community.
In the first part of 2019 we are concentrating on researching the names listed on the WWI Honour Board, that is located inside the Old Laverton School. We are bringing this to life by documenting who these young men were, their service for our Country and their link to the Laverton and Altona District. This is an exciting piece of research that is revealing more than we expected.
The second piece of work is that we are re-configuring how we occupy the rooms within the Homestead so that we can create a research room that will allow us to have more storage space, undertake more research and in time, make more of this research available to the community. It is a long term project which will see us work closely with Hobsons Bay Council, local Libraries and other Community groups with an interest in local history and heritage.
The other exciting venture is that we are working in partnership with the Louis Joel Arts & Community Centre and the John Shaw Neilson Society to bring this renowned poet’s work to a new audience. John Shaw Neilson spent part of his life across the western suburbs and is buried in the Footscray Cemetery.
As always, our Devonshire Teas will continue during the year on the first Sunday of the month which are a great avenue for us to share the Homestead with the community and visitors to Hobsons Bay.
If any of the projects we are doing interest you, it is indeed a great time to get involved in the Altona-Laverton Historical Society. Please feel free to contact us to ask any questions or if you would like to join us, email Graeme at for a membership form.

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 […]
June 15, 2018


Altona Laverton Historical Society Archivist, Ann Cassar has been researching the Cherry Family, a pioneering family of Altona for several years, and documentary information about the family is currently on file at The Homestead Museum. The name Cherry is familiar to most people in Hobsons Bay through its long association […]
April 19, 2018

What is ANZAC Day?

As we edge closer to the 25th April, ANZAC Day, we should remember what this day means.  On the 25th of April 1915, Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of the allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula. These became known as Anzacs and the pride they […]
March 30, 2018

Our Local Heroes Exhibition

Altona and Laverton communities flourished in the wake of two world wars. People from Europe flocked into our area to make a new home for their families. War was the catalyst for change and peace was the result as military personnel returned home to Altona and Laverton or made the area their new home. The […]