Tuesday, 29 April 2008

The Annual C J La Trobe Society/ Royal Historical Society of Victoria

From Charles La Trobe to Charles Gavan Duffy: selectors, squatters and Aborigines

Speaker: Dr. Val Noone
Date: Tuesday 3 June
Time: 6 pm refreshments
Lecture: 6.30 pm
Where: Royal Historical Society of Victoria
239 A’Beckett Street Melbourne
Cost: $20.00 per head

Bookings Essential 9326 9288

Drawing on primary and secondary sources, this lecture investigates the land policies of Charles Gavan Duffy in the perspective of the legacy of Charles La Trobe. In particular, the lecture focuses on policy changes and confl icts regarding squatters, selectors and the Indigenous people during the years 1858-9 and 1861-3 when Duffy was minister for lands.

Dr Val Noone, Fellow, School of Historical Studies, University of Melbourne, author and historian, is learning the Irish language and writing about the Irish in Victoria. He has recently completed seven years as founding editor of Táin, the magazine of the Australian Irish Network.

RHSV Lunchtime Lecture - Onions in Gippsland 1900-2007

Speaker: John Murphy OAM
When: Thursday 22 May
Lunch: 12.30 (Delicious onion soup!!)
Lecture: 1.00pm
Cost: $5.00 members $10.00 non members

Bookings Essential 9326 9288

Onions were first grown in Australia in NSW soon after the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788 but it was not until 1855-60 that commercial production began in the Western districts of Victoria, around Geelong, Colac and Warrnambool. Production in Gippsland began in 1900 where the growing of the long keeping Brown Spanish variety on the naturally fertile soils around Leongatha enabled many landowners to use this crop to improve their pastures. A similar pattern of land development took place in the Koo-wee-rup Swamp area.

Returns to growers however were variable, and in 1936 an Onion Marketing Board was formed to ensure that growers obtained a reasonable return for their labour. This Board operated until 1975 and succeded in stabilizing market returns, but it indirectly led to its own demise because the consequent price stability resulted in increased production in neighbouring States. This lecture also looks at the changing techniques; mechanization and herbicides and their
impact on land use.

For over forty years between 1925-1965 onion growing was an integral part of farming on the Murphy family farm which fronts on to the Ruby Creek at Leongatha North. With the formation of the Leongatha and District Historical Society in 1964 John Murphy’s interest in history led to the writing of several books on the area with major works being No Parallel - The Woorayl Shire 1888-1988 and On the Ridge -the Shire of Mirboo 1894-1994. From 1988 till 2000 he served as Gippsland representative on the Council of the RHSV as a result of which he was awarded a Fellowship to the Society in May 2000. In January 2004 he was awarded the Order of
Australia Medal in recognition of his contribution to the history of South Gippsland.

RHSV Lecture - George Langley – A notable educator and headmaster

When: Tuesday 13 May
Where: RHSV - 239 A'Beckett Street, Melbourne - entry via William Street
Time: Lecture 5.45 pm following the AGM which commences at 5.00pm
Cost: Members free; non-members $5.50

George Langley was born in Port Melbourne in1891. He went from his local state school to the new state secondary school, Melbourne Continuation School, then to the Teachers College and University. Teaching in Mansfield when he enlisted in the AIF in 1914. He quickly became an officer and was torpedoed on board the Southland on arrival at Gallipoli in 1915 but he remained there until the evacuation. From Cairo he joined the newly formed Imperial Camel Corps which played a key role in the desert campaigns. After the cameliers he joined the Light Horse and played an important role in the fall of Damascus. He was wounded, four times mentioned in dispatches, awarded the Serbian Order of the White Eagle and the DSO.

He returned to Mansfield High School as headmaster, then in 1924 was headmaster of Warrnambool High School. He served again in World War II but classified medically unfit, he was given the demanding post of Australian Red Cross Commissioner to Europe and the Middle East based in London. He returned to teaching after the war, becoming principal of his old school, Melbourne High School in 1949. A notable educator and headmaster, he had a major influence on generations of young people with his values and ideals.

Dr Alan Gregory AM an old boy of Melbourne High School he was a teacher in Victorian high schools, on the staff of the Education Faculty, Monash University for 25 years, and Master of Ormond College. He was made a Member of the Order of Australia 1989 for services to education and the community. He has been published widely in the field of economics, education and history, and his recent books include: and The Ever Open Door: A history of the Royal Melbourne Hospital (1998), and in2005 the centenary history of Melbourne High School; Strong Like Its Pillars.