Uniting Church celebrates 150 years of history.

In 2004 the Uniting Church congregation of Mark the Evangelist will celebrate its contribution to the history of the North Melbourne community over the past 150 years. The sesquicentenary celebrations will take place from Friday 29 October to Sunday 31 October 2004 and will include special church services, historical activities, musical presentations, lectures, videos, historic photo displays and a book …

Cornelius O’Mahony and the Catalpa rescue

During the 19th century there were many schools in North and West Melbourne and those we still have today are descendants of some of those early schools. St Mary’s Primary School was in Victoria Street in the red-brick building now occupied by Simonds College. One of the first principals of St Mary’s was a former convict and a man Whose …

Education in North and West Melbourne

Catholics have played a major role in schooling in the area since 1886. St Mary’s parish in West Melbourne was established in 1854. The ‘old’ St Mary’s church and school operated prior to the present church being built. St Mary’s Star of the Sea Catholic Church was built in the 1890s during an economic depression and it stands as a …

Burke and Wills – 150 years celebration

Burke and Wills – 150years celebration When Burke and Wills rode away from the Royal Society building on the edge of what is now the city of Melbourne, there was not a lot of today’s North Melbourne for them to pass through. A letter to The Age written in the 1930s recalls that the party went along Shiel Street. The …

Billy Maloney: a prize speaker with a humanitarian heart

The past and the present in North Melbourne well and truly mixed from 5 to 10 December last year. A week of performances of an exciting new play, Billy Maloney, was staged in the same auditorium in which namesake William Maloney, MHR, would have addressed political meetings a century ago. “The room he made his own” – the North Melbourne …

Bastow’s rich past lives on

It’s been a long time coming but finally, in July, the Bastow Institute opened its doors to students and teachers. However, the students are not the primary aged children for whom the original building was designed, but teachers and school administrators who are preparing themselves for a leadership role in education. The architect is Peter Maddison, who fronts the Australian …

West Melbourne Baptist Church

During the 20th century, much of the historic 19th-century building fabric of West Melbourne was destroyed. A case in point is the West Melbourne Baptist Church. In 1866 a bluestone church to serve the Baptists of West Melbourne and Hotham was erected on a triangular block immediately south-west of the Victoria Street/Errol Street corner and opposite the south-eastern boundary of …

Arriving and thriving

On Wedneday the 5th of August around sixty current and former North Melbourne residents gathered at the Town Hall for an evening of oral history. Part of the Arriving and Thriving project, the event was organised by the North and West Melbourne Neighbourhood Centre with assistance from the Hotham History Project. The evening started with a series of talks by …

A history of the printing school site

The site of the RMIT Printing School was originally part of the two-acre Presbyterian Church reserve bounded by Curzon, Elm, Union and Queensberry Streets. The Denominational School Board donated a prefabricated iron building which was erect-ed in Elm Street in 1855 and opened as the North Melbourne Grammar School in 1856. To many of its pupils, however, it was known …

John Monash: a man of war and peace

John Monash’s connection to North and West Melbourne did not end with his early childhood in Dudley Street. In 1887 what would become a lifelong interest in military affairs saw him join the North Melbourne Battery of the Metropolitan Brigade of the Garrison Artillery, whose task was to defend Victorian ports from unauthorized encroachments. Here he developed his engineer’s interest …

Melbourne Benevolent Asylum 150th anniversary procession.

Blue and white streamers and balloons decorated some of the streets of North and West Melbourne on Friday 10 November. This time, however, the celebration was not a Grand Final but a Grand Beginning the 150th anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone of the Melbourne Benevolent Asylum, North Melbourne’s first building. A plaque is situated opposite the former …

Fifty years gone.

A few days ago, we calculated that we have lived in North Melbourne for more than half a century. We thought to ourselves, what’s changed in that time? The street we first moved into had a massive gasometer at its end. In those days, most people sat down to a Sunday roast after church – so by the middle of …

Hotham Borough named in 1859

In 1859 the area that is known as North Melbourne was named the Hotham borough, after the governor of Victoria Charles Hotham. Hotham’s first Post Office opened on 20 March 1860 and by 1861, Hotham had a population of over 7,000. On 26 August 1887 the Hotham Borough was renamed North Melbourne Town, after the completion of the North Melbourne …

Let’s hear it for Hotham

Historic Bowls Day—20 March 2005 The City of Melbourne Bowls Club was delighted to welcome members and friends of the Hotham History Project to our joint Heritage Bowls Day on Sunday 20th March. The spirit of 1905 came through in the background music and the appearance of those who dressed for the occasion. The club’s history was displayed — original …

The old Temperance Hall: a historical journey

by Jillian Ball Approaching the old hall at 456 Queensberry Street, between Leveson and Chetwynd streets, the visitor might notice the unusual entry, which has a bay-windowed shop on either side of the entrance steps. The United Friendly Societies (UFS) commissioned architects W.H. Ellerker and Co to build the hall in 1874. This date is embossed on the facade. The …

The lost picture palaces of North and West Melbourne

by Miriam Manne In the late 1970’s I saw a poster advertising holiday screenings of a series of Shirley Temple films at the Central Theatre (now the Lithuanian Club) at 50 Errol Street, North Melbourne. I took my son David, then an Errol Street Primary School student, to one of the films. It was a strange and rather uncanny experience, …