Ringwood Historical Society – the Hunt Family and the Orchards of Doncaster

Tonight’s Ringwood Historical Society meeting focused on the Hunt family, a prominent Ringwood family that settled in 1901. James Hunt migrated to the Victorian goldfields around 1851 and Walter, one of his ten children, moved to Ringwood in 1901 with his wife Euphemia. The Hunts were prominent orchardists and owned land near Bedford Road and Greenwood Avenue.

Sydney Hunt, Walter’s brother, also settled in Ringwood and was a foundation member of the Ringwood Bowls Club and President in 1946 and 1947, as well as Club Champion in 1936, 1939, 1946 and 1950. Sydney was a prominent plumber and installed many of early Ringwood’s water tanks.

The orchardist theme continued with the President of the Doncaster and Templestowe Historical Society discussing the orchards of Doncaster, who were often settled by migrants with little farming experience. Despite the lack of quality soil, the orchardists produced many varieties of apples and pears, as well as stone fruit, such as peaches and nectarines.

The orchardists often picked their crops during the night so that they could load their carts and transport the fruit to Queen Victoria Market at day-break so that their produce was fresh. Six coolstores were later built within the region, which assisted in the transportation of this produce.

Doncaster was also home to Melbourne’s first tram and the first electric tramway in the southern hemisphere. The tram route was constructed between Box Hill and Doncaster along what is now Tram Road and was operated between 1889 and 1896, largely to cater to tourists who would visit Doncaster Tower, an 86 metre tower that was constructed in 1879.

The most prosperous years for the orchards were between 1920 and 1930, after which the Great Depression and World War II, led to a decline in the orchards and later to residential development.

While orchards remained prominent until the 1970s, the construction of Doncaster Shoppingtown in 1969 accelerated the suburbanisation of the area and just two orchards, located within Manningham’s green wedge, remain today.

The regional historical societies cooperate extensively with research and their archives and the two historical societies have exchanged information to further knowledge of their respective areas.

Enjoying Planned Retirement – 2009 Bocce Season Finale

Enjoying Planned Retirement (EPR) is one of several groups based at Norwood Hall as part of the North Ringwood Senior Citizens Centre.

Enjoying Planned Retirement has a social activities group that organises bocce games and social occasions each fortnight between the warmer months of December and April.

While the rain prevented the use of the outside bocce courts, the group organised a number of activities within the hall, including several card games and indoor lawn bowls.

While the the 2009 Bocce Season is drawing to a close, the EPR Social Activities Group has planned a number of day-trips and group holidays throughout the year.

Council and Sustainability – discussion with Our Lady of Perpetual Help Primary School

This morning I was invited to speak to Grade Five and Six Students at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, a Primary School located in Wilana Street, Ringwood.

The class is currently learning about the three tiers of Government and environmental sustainability. As a Local Councillor for the Mullum Ward, I was invited to provide an overview of being a Councillor, as well as discussing how local communities can act to improve the environment.

When I was a student at Primary School, the concept of recycling was just being introduced into the school curriculum. Today, almost twenty years later the environment is still a prominent topic for students, with a strong focus on taking action to reduce greenhouse emissions.

I also discussed the steps Maroondah Council has taken to reduce its greenhouse emissions, including the Water Sustainability Fund and the benefits this has provided for our sporting clubs.

The calibre of questions and the strong interest from the students was exceptional, with many of the questions focusing on the interaction between Australia’s levels of government and environmental sustainability, as well as some specific questions around planning decisions.

Speaking to students is one of the most fulfilling tasks of being a local Councillor and it is great to see that these students have such a genuine and keen interest in the environment.

The school is planning ongoing activities to provide students with the ability to minimise their own impact on the environment and I discussed some of the community groups within Maroondah, which could liaise with the students to organise environmental based activities.

Ringwood Spiders – First Game for 2009

This morning I attended the Ringwood Spider’s first game for 2009 held at Jubilee Park in Ringwood. The Ringwood Spiders are a football team for people with disabilities and competes within a 14 team league through the Football Integration Development Association (FIDA).

The Ringwood Spiders have grown considerably over the past year with the team consisting of over twenty players and entering second division. Since only twelve players are allowed on the field one of the challenges the coach faces is ensuring that all players are able to participate.

The first game of the season also marked the debut of the Ringwood Spiders Cheer Squad, which provides an opportunity for people with a disability who are unable to play football to still be a part of the team. The Cheer Squad was organised by former Councillor Jo-anne Taylor, with myself and Cr. Natalie Thomas, who also attended this morning, also cheering the players on.

The colours of Ringwood Spiders are black and red and Essendon Football Club generously donated pom-poms for the Cheer Squad. The local Ringwood Redbacks also assist the Ringwood Spiders through donating clubrooms and facilities.

While the Ringwood Spiders narrowly lost their first game, they played exceptionally well against a strong team and came extremely close to a victory.

The Ringwood Spiders places a strong emphasis on establishing community connections and supporting social inclusion.

As a result, the Ringwood Spiders provides the opportunity for individuals and organisations to sponsor a player for $150 to assist in equipment purchases and become a part of the club.

Ringwood’s Lakeside Cafe is sponsoring the Junior Development Squad and I have renewed my sponsorship of Tom Raisebeck, who is now entering his second season with the Ringwood Spiders.

The Ringwood Spiders still have a few players without sponsorship and would welcome anyone who is interested in assisting the club.

2009 Anzac Day Dawn Service

Anzac Day Dawn Services are held each year at both Ringwood and Croydon and begin at 6am.

This morning I attended the Dawn Service held at the Ringwood Clocktower and organised by the Ringwood RSL. Each year the number of attendees increases and this year’s service was no exception. Clocktower Park was full of community members attending the service and paying their respects to fallen soldiers.

It is always encouraging to see strong representation from local schools, scouting and guides groups and it appears that the number of young children increases each year.

The Ringwood RSL must be commended for holding such a successful service and catering for the large number of attendees.

MAV Eastern Region Reception

The Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) is the peak body representing local government within the State and comprises of a board consisting of councillors elected by their peers. The MAV divides Victoria into regions, with the councils within each region electing a regional representative.

The City of Maroondah is part of the MAV’s Eastern Region and the regional delegate being Cr. Geoff Gough from the City of Manningham. This evening Cr. Gough organised a reception at the City of Manningham to encourage networking between the member councils.

The City of Maroondah has a number of motions which it is sponsoring at the upcoming MAV Conference, including calls to ensure consistent rates of depreciation across the sector, support for reducing greenhouse emissions and calling on the State Government to increase funding for the FReeZA program so that local government can continue to encourage youth participation and provide employment pathways within this music focused program.

Councils within Melbourne’s eastern region should share similar goals in seeking to reduce greenhouse emissions, support financial stability and encourage social inclusion.

Media Release: Cast of comedians converge on Karralyka

A cast of adventurous stand-up comedians will work the stage at the Karralyka Centre on Sunday 17 May when the Melbourne Comedy Festival Roadshow pulls into town.

A selection of the festival’s local talent, newcomers, and overseas guests will stop off in Ringwood for a one night performance on a leg of the roadshow’s 40,000 kilometre whistle-stop tour of the nation.

Councillor Alex Makin said the night promised quality stand-up, music and characters to have the audience rolling in the aisles.

“For anyone who missed the Melbourne Comedy Festival or is keen for another dose, the Karralyka Centre performance is a great opportunity to have a good laugh while enjoying a quality local venue,” Cr Makin said.

Tickets for the 7pm show are $35 for adults; $32 for concession and groups of six or more.

A two-course dinner with a glass of wine is available one hour before the show. Dinners must be pre-booked at least one week before the performance. Cost is $29.

Please note – the show is not recommended for children under the age of 15.

For more information on the Karralyka Centre’s performance schedule or to make a booking, phone the box office on 9879 2933 or visit www.karralyka.com.au

The Karralyka Centre is on Mines Road, Ringwood East. Open hours are 9.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.

Rotary Club of Ringwood – Eastern Palliative Care

The Rotary Club of Ringwood, is nearing 30 years since its formation, with many of its past and current members are still involved in various community causes.

Tonight’s meeting included a speaker from Eastern Palliative Care, as well as a board member from the organisation who was a past President of the Rotary Club of Ringwood. Eastern Palliative Care aims to provide support for patients with a terminal illness and also offers assistance to their families.

One of the services provided by Eastern Palliative Care is its Client Biography Service, which provides an opportunity for patients to tell the story of their life, providing a living memory of the person and a source of reflection and closure. Eastern Palliative Care has conducted 158 biographies to date, which includes photographs, a CD version and two printed copies. All content is discussed and approved by the patient with the service being conducted entirely by trained volunteers.

The organisation is a partnership between Outer East Palliative Care Service, Melbourne Eastern Palliative Care Association, Order of Malta and Sisters of Charity (St Vincent’s Health) and provides services within Boroondara, Manningham, Maroondah, Whitehorse, Monash, Knox and Yarra Ranges.

Eastern Palliative Care is largely supported through the efforts of volunteers and the Client Biography Service is one unique example of how the organisation aims to assist both patients and families.

Maroondah Leader: Council wants fast-track for station upgrade

The Maroondah Leader has reported on the need for the full redevelopment of Ringwood Station to be included within the upcoming 2009-2010 Budget.

Cr Alex Makin said the station upgrade would be a “catalyst for the transformation of Ringwood. We need the State Government to back up the commitment it made late last year.”

While the State Government committed $39 million for the redevelopment of the Ringwood station forecourt and bus interchange, this funding will not alter the station itself or improve accessibility for train users.

“It will stimulate local economic activity, create jobs within the region and encourage inclusion since the project would create a station that is accessible.”

The redevelopment of Ringwood Station would stimulate economic activity not just to Maroondah but throughout the outer eastern suburbs.

Furthermore, a commitment towards the station would demonstrate that the State Government has confidence in its policies for Ringwood and would therefore encourage further development to transform Ringwood into a vibrant ubran centre.

“Now is the ideal time for the Government to commit to the project in its entirety.”

A commitment towards infrastructure projects such as creating an accessible, inclusive and easy to use Ringwood Station and interchange would demonstrate a commitment to Maroondah and the regional economy.

The State Budget is due in early May.

Ringwood Spiders 2009 Season Fixture

The Ringwood Spiders, a football club for people with disabilities, is one of 14 teams within the Football Integration Development Association League.

The Ringwood Spiders have been participating in pre-season training and have have introduced new squads to encourage participation within the team.

The Cheerleader Squad will be making its debut at the first Ringwood Spiders Game for 2009 and has been guided by former Councillor Jo-anne Taylor who has helped organise participants for the squad.

The Cheerleader Squad provides an opportunity for people with disabilities who are unable to play football but would like to be involved in a club environment within a more social role.

The Ringwood Spiders in conjunction with Lakeside Cafe have also begun a Junior Development Squad, which is aimed at children aged 14-16 with a disability. The Junior Development Squad provides a program for children to become involved in the Spiders, in the same way that Junior Football Clubs can provide a transition for Senior teams.

The Ringwood Spiders are playing four home games this season:

  • Sunday the 26th of April;
  • Sunday the 31st of May;
  • Sunday the 28th of June, and
  • Sunday the 26th of July.

All games begin at 11am and are held at Jubilee Park in Ringwood.

Individuals and businesses are able to sponsor players for $150 to assist in providing equipment for the team.

2009 Ringwood Spiders Sponsorship Certificate

For the 2009 season I will again be sponsoring Tom Raisebeck, a local resident who is now in his second season with the Ringwood Spiders.