Looking back

February 09, 2018

Premier John Allan, Mr Rogers/Rodgers (who appears to be holding the crank handle to the vehicle) and Mr David Edis. Circa mid 1920s.

Men who shaped future of our town

EARLY settlers from the area Mr John Allan (Premier of Victoria 1924 – 1927), Mr Rogers/Rodgers & Mr David Edis.

Mr John Allan became the first Country Party Premier in Australia in 1924 and headed Victoria’s 44th ministry, which governed the state, until May 1927.

John Allan came to the district in 1873 at the age of seven, when his father selected land in the district and established one of the finest wheat and dairy farms in the Goulburn Valley.

John was involved in municipal and public affairs. He was a member of the Deakin Shire Council, commissioner of the Rodney Water Trust, chairman of the Kyabram Butter Factory and the first leader of the Victorian Farmers’ Union. When the union merged into the Victorian Country Party during WWI he became leader of the party until his retirement in 1933.

“Honest John”, as he became known, was a key figure in Victorian politics.

A state funeral for the late Premier Allan was held at his home ‘‘Kilmarnock”, north of Kyabram, in 1936, before proceeding to the Kyabram Cemetery.

Mr David Edis was also an early settler of the district and active member of the community. He was trustee of the Kyabram recreation reserve and senior trustee of the Kyabram Methodist Church. He performed the ceremony of laying the foundation stone of the new Methodist Church only 12 days before his death in 1928.

David was an active man and a great athlete, in sports that included cricket, shooting and pedestrian events at district sport meetings. After his retirement his principal recreation as a member of the Mechanics’ Institute was billiards.

I would be interested to hear from anyone who has any information on Mr Rogers/Rodgers.

■Compiled by Eileen Sullivan, Kyabram Historical Society voluntary librarian.

40 years ago

MORE than 100 people looked over the Kyabram Fauna Park in its best Sunday since the September school holidays last year.

A rising number of visitors have been calling at the park over the holiday period.

Wife of the park manager, Mrs Beth Pople, said Sunday was “fantastic” with 120 people in all going through the gates.

Another attraction in the town, the Studio Dybka St John ceramics studio, has also seen a flood of tourists this month.

Mrs Pople said despite blustery conditions on Sunday a steady stream of people visited the park between 10.30am and 5pm.

Many, she said, also took the opportunity to to use the barbecue facilities recently provided on the front lawns.

An average of 800 people per month visit the park.

A story in last Friday’s Free Press brought three responses to the park’s request for Crusian Carp to stock a small lake.

“We’ve got three dams to drag, one at Lancaster, one at Cooma and one at Murchison,” Mrs Pople said.

20 years ago

PARTS of the district were plunged into darkness for more than an hour and a half after a pole fire near Lancaster.

The fire burned the cross arm of a pole between Lancaster and Ryan’s Rd, east of Lancaster, cutting power supplies to Kabram, Merrigum, Tongala, Rushworth and Stanhope areas.

Powercor crews had repaired the lines by 12.45pm.

The power cut caused chaos at some hotels and clubs affected by the blackout and other services.

The blackout was not the same one that hit at almost the same time in the Echuca area, which caused power cuts to 20,000 customers.

The Echuca blackout was caused when a 66,000-volt line touched a 22,000-volt line.

Some users affected in this area were without power until well into Sunday.

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