Convent of the Good Shepherd

Early Days in Chadstone

16/07/2019 Raine Biancalt

Sofitel’s palatial Chadstone Hotel opening in November, resides on land formerly held by the Convent of the Good Shepherd (1883-1981) which stood on 55 acres of paddocks, complete with grazing cattle.

A section of the Kiel wing dormitory (the end bed by the window was Vern's while he was at the Home);

A “Home Boy” remembers

16/07/2019 Chris Gray

“It was a great life. It stood me in good stead. ” – With these words Vern Williams sums up his years at Burwood Boys’ Home in the 1940s – sentiments that may surprise some used to hearing horror stories of institutional life.

O'Shanassy

Ballyshanassy

13/03/2019 Raine Biancalt

In 1858 the area bounded by Warrigal and Highbury Roads, Burwood Highway (Ballyshanassy Road) and Gardiners Creek (Damper Creek) was named Ballyshanassy in honour of then Victorian Premier, John O’Shanassy.

Pianist Nancy Weir in 1929, aged 10

Nancy Weir – pianist and spy

23/11/2018 Raine Biancalt

Nancy Mary Weir was born in Kew on 13 July 1915; a child prodigy, she knew the piano keyboard at 18 months and when four sneaked out to a nearby convent for lessons from a nun. At 13, she performed Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.3 with the Melbourne Symphony under conductor Fritz Hart following which Melbourne’s lord mayor launched a public subscription for her to study in Europe.

Eva with painting by Slawa

Meet Eva Duldig

23/11/2018 Chris Gray

EVA de Jong-Duldig is a person of diverging interests, many of which were inherited from her parents. Eva’s father Karl was an eminent sculptor as well as a sportsman, and from him she took his sporting prowess (he played international soccer for Hakoah Wien in the 1920s and was later one of Austria’s top tennis players). Her mother Slawa, who invented the modern foldable umbrella in 1929, often formed a bedrock in the family’s sometimes fraught journey from Vienna to Australia.

Pat Palmer

Pat Palmer: the code was the thing

31/08/2018 Chris Gray

Pat Palmer rises to greet me as I enter her comfortable, spacious room at Camberwell Green. The dresser is crowded with family photos and, as she tells me, despite her 93 years and a recent stroke she has no intention of shuffling off this mortal coil yet; she has too much still to experience.

Iris (middle), purchases in hand, ca 1940

A teenager’s war

31/08/2018 Raine Biancalt

Two years before she died in 1984 for a history assignment I interviewed my mother Iris from the perspective of a ‘Melbourne teenager during World War II’. I was often surprised by her comments about life at the time.

Vintage Morris Club Event August 1957

Shake, rattle and roll

31/08/2018 Barry Gomm

Cars built during the vintage years 1919 to 1930 are now very much in demand but that was not always the case. For five to six years after WWll the production of new cars barely caught up with demand, in fact it was commonplace for prospective buyers to be on lengthy waiting lists.

Les Knight and his crew

Les Knight: Dambuster

31/08/2018 Raine Biancalt

Leslie Gordon Knight, DSO (7 March 1921 – 16 September 1943) was a Royal Australian Air Force pilot who served with the RAF’s Bomber Command during World War II. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order in 1943 for taking part in Operation Chastise while flying with 617 Squadron.

Sergeant Francis Douglas Burrell

Guarding the Shrine: the Burrells of Burwood

31/08/2018 Raine Biancalt

William Burrell and his wife Francis (née Turner) were among the earliest settlers in Burwood. William, a blacksmith and farrier, conducted his business in Toorak Road. Of their eight children, Doug, Jim, and Wilfred served during WWI. Born in 1891, Doug was the first to enlist and joined the 1st Signal Corps Australian Light Horse, arriving in Egypt for further training before going on to Anzac Cove on 12 May 1915.