St James Old Cathedral – Pioneer Service

PREFACE The attached   sermon focusing on the life and service of Canon Michael Henry Becher (1819-1883) was delivered by the current incumbent, Canon Matt Williams,   at the Annual Pioneer Service at St. James Old Cathedral on Sunday, 3rd November, 2019, a service attended amongst others by the descendants of many pioneer families with historic connections to this parish.  The fact …

North Melbourne’s Oldest House

Dear “Northern Advertiser”, – Is this the oldest house in North Melbourne? The following is an extract from National Trust Newsletter February 1971, page 5:— “1857 House Threatened.” “The simple house at 596 Queensberry Street, North Melbourne (classified ‘D’ as a picturesque cottage) is in danger of demolition unless a purchaser can be found for it. It is understood the …

Unfinished Work

A book is being published by friends of the late Ailsa O’Connor. It is entitled “Unfinished Work … articles and notes on Women and the Politics of Art“. As the name suggests, it is a collection of writings by Ailsa. It will also include some reproductions of her work. Ailsa was very well known to North Melbourne families as an …

Trust Classifications

The National Trust has classified eleven buildings and two organs in North and West Melbourne. CLASSIFIED PROPERTIES “Brassey House”, 111 Chapman Street, 1888 Former Cable Tram Engine House, Corner Queensberry & Abbotsford Streets, 1890 Former ES&A Bank, Cnr. Leveson & Queens-berry Street, c 1870 Fountain, outside Town Hall, corner Errol & Queensberry Streets. House 596 Queensberry Street, 1857 House, 456 …

News from the past.

PAGES FROM THE PAST A page from the 1 860 North Melbourne Directory lists the names and occupations of the citizens of our district over one hundred years ago. What were their occupations? Saddlers, whip and thong makers, smith and stable owners. There are several carpenters, and a mason, and a large number of grocers, greengrocers, butchers, and bakers. From …

Once upon a time in North Melbourne.

When veteran locals get together, we often chat about how the area has changed. There is so much to remember. For example, there are the trams. They are still sometimes green and the 57 tram follows the same route as ever, but it no longer has a conductor on board, you don’t buy your ticket when you get on and …

Keep Victoria Market Association

In 1971 after the inaugural meeting of the Keep Victoria Market Association, a public meeting was held at 44 Errol Street, North Melbourne. It was chaired by the late Rev. S. Yarnold and addressed by Cr. Armstrong, Colonel Birch, Administrator National Trust, Mr. Bruce Symon, a third-generation stall holder, Mrs. M. Erickson, secretary, and myself as chairman. It was resolved …

Making The Past Alive

Lively anecdotes about the past were greatly enjoyed by the audience when Dr. J. R. Blanchard gave the report for the History Work Group. This Work Group has acquired a considerable amount of source material for example they have two hundred and fifty photographs from 41 streets for a pictorial album of the area. This Work Group has prepared a …

Hotham Ward History

For the next few weeks readers have an opportunity of seeing a unique display of material on the history of North Melbourne. The History Work Group of the North Melbourne Association has arranged through the City Librarian, Mr. Ling, for historical pictures and documents to be on show in the foyer of the North Melbourne Library. Looking back over 100 …

Hotels and History

HOTELS AND HISTORY Following some historical references in last week’s column the following chronicle on local hotels has come to hand. The first hotel erected was the North Melbourne Hotel (1854-1904) on an elevated site at 16 Howard Street North Melbourne, a popular rendezvous before departure to the diggings. Bendigo St. (opposite Peloso’s Errol Street Delicatessen) is today a reminder …

Flagstaff gardens once a cemetery.

The earliest of Melbourne’s public city parks, Flagstaff Gardens in West Melbourne was the original cemetery of the early settlement. First known as Burial Hill, the first interment was carried out in 1836. Later the rapid growth of the settlement created a need for a new cemetery elsewhere in 1838. In 1840 a flagstaff was put up on the earlier …

Northern History: When Hotham made the name change.

Originally territory north of the Yarra was called North Melbourne, of which Hotham was the smallest part. On November 1, 1886, the Borough Council of Brunswick applied to be called North Melbourne. Its ratepayers petitioned against the change of name. Officialdom seemed disposed to give the name to Carlton, as the extreme part of North Melbourne. Hackles then rose in …

Talk of the dead.

John Laurens deserves to be remembered by people who live in North and West Melbourne. He was the first treasurer of the Hotham Mechanics Institute, which later became the North Melbourne Library. When you stand opposite the library on Errol Street, you will still see the words ‘Mechanics Institute’ on the wall of the building. In his role as treasurer, …

First sixty years of the Temperance Hall (part 1)

James Munro was a temperance man. He represented North Melbourne in the colonial parliament and was briefly premier of the colony. His fellow member in North Melbourne, John Curtain, was a publican. His hotel on the corner of Rathdowne and Elgin Streets is still there but recently changed its time-honoured name. Munro was English, Curtain Irish. Munro tended to side …

First sixty years of the Temperance Hall (part 2)

I don’t know if Christian groups favour a particular colour. Blue or white seem like possibilities. Temperance 1 have always thought of as grey. despite its inclination to militancy. Whatever the case, there can be no doubt that the Temperance Hall, now located at 456 Queensberry Street, changed its colours to radical red m the 1940s. As I wrote in …

Rich treasure trove of print

Trove is a true treasure. It is a free online search service that enables researchers to find information from digitised newspapers and other published sources. There, at the tip of your keyboard, are old newspapers of all sorts in facsimile and occasionally quaint transliteration. One of the newspapers in this trove is the North Melbourne Advertiser, founded in 1873 by …