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Cockatoo History & Heritage Group Cockatoo, Victoria

We are dedicated to the collection, preservation and making available for research (eg,, by digitisation and cataloguing) of Cockatoo's historical records. The current collection is largely the work of one person.

Contact Information

location
PO Box 744 Cockatoo, VIC 3781 PO Box 396 Cockatoo, VIC 3781 (map)

Contact

Opening Hours

Not currently open to the public.

Entry Fee

Not applicable

Location

Cockatoo Victoria

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Elizabeth Stevens 5 May 2016 10:21 PM

Good evening, I would like either a postal or email address for your group, so that I may send a photo of the Cockatoo State School from 1942, which requires identification of students. I am a member of the Knox Historical Society, and currently living in Port LIncoln.

Ruth South 13 May 2016 12:14 AM

Thanks so much for your comment Elizabeth. The photo can be sent to PO Box 27, Cockatoo 3781. The school community was enlarged during the war years as many people felt the children were safer away from the suburbs. The primary school does not have many photos of those years in their archives.The Cockatoo History and Heritage Group has a wonderful working relationship with the Primary School though and can access the registers. You are also welcome to post the class photo on our facebook page. We have quite a few members that did attend the school during the 40's so may be able to help. https://www.facebook.com/groups/379089272188869/ Thanks for your contact......

Eren 2 May 2018 8:54 AM

Hi is I’d like to get in contact with Dave Oliver please

Carmine Bucci 11 July 2019 4:26 PM

My wife Shirley and I recently bought the land now known as 369 Paternoster road Cockatoo. We are interested in finding out more about the history of this land. Who owned the land prior to the subdivision of 1963 and what was the land used for, initial indications are that it may have been a potato farm. We are also interested in any photographs of the land that could be enlarged and re printed to hang on the walls when our home is built. Kind regards Carmine Bucci.

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15 items

Postcard - Barratt Photo of Men on McBride St Bridge Cockatoo

Cockatoo History & Heritage Group, Cockatoo

Original Barratt Photo, of four men standing on the McBride St bridge over the Cockatoo Creek

Historical information

An early Barratt photo of the Cockatoo Creek, looking towards the McBride St bridge. The four men depicted in the image, look relaxed and are taking in the serenity of the creek below.

Significance

Dear Florrie, just a card to let you know I haven't quite ? altogether am up here among the ferns and ? It is a lovely place for a quiet holiday the fern gullys are just lovely you can see the Ranges in the distance as blue as the sea. This view is the bridge over Cockatoo creek near the R. Station. As space is short I will close Best Love from ?

Inscriptions & Markings

Rear of the postcard includes handwritten correspondence in ink, to someone called Florrie

Recording - Dave Oliver recording on the history of Cockatoo 1995

Cockatoo History & Heritage Group, Cockatoo

Audio File, originally recorded on cassette

Significance

After the devastating fires that hit Cockatoo on February 16th 1983. Dot Griffin recorded many of Cockatoo's earlier residents so their stories weren't lost like so much of Cockatoo's written history.

Memorial Book - Masonic in Memoriam Book for Thomas Ord Fairbridge

Cockatoo History & Heritage Group, Cockatoo

Leather bound book maroon in colour, with gold embossing. Held together with a maroon cord. Contained in its original maroon cardboard storage box.

Historical information

Thomas Fairbridge came to Cockatoo about 1919 to manage the store for his brother-in-law Henry Knight and later bought it. The shop continued to operate as Fairbridges after Thomas died in 1941. On his death he was First Principal of the Belgrave Holy Royal Arch Chapter, this in memoriam book was given to the Fairbridge family on Feb 14th, 1942

Significance

The lodge stated in the book -- The desire to pay homage and respect to the memory of our Most Excellent First Principal who passed to the Great Beyond in November of last year has prompted the Companions to present this token of the love and esteem in which he was held. To his loved ones we extend sincere sympathy. We offer it without reserve and with the most profound understanding.

Inscriptions & Markings

Includes a family photo, of Thomas, Mary and Dorothy Fairbridge. Newspaper obituary, tributes and memorial service cuttings with handwritten descriptions. Signatures of members from the Belgrave Holy Royal Arch Chapter.

Cardboard Box - Cockatoo Primary School Centenary Shortbread Box

Cockatoo History & Heritage Group, Cockatoo

Cockatoo Primary School Centenary Memorial Shortbread Box

Inscriptions & Markings

Empty cardboard box which originally contained shortbread biscuits. Box includes the primary school logo and images of the old rural school when it was situated in Ivy St.

Regulations - Providence House Regulations, Cockatoo Victoria

Cockatoo History & Heritage Group, Cockatoo

Framed regulations for the Presbyterian Church of Victoria's Providence House in Cockatoo.

Historical information

The Presbyterian Church owned three lots of land bounded by Pakenham Road and the northern side of Dorchester Road, between 1927 and 1964. Providence House opened in 1927 as a peaceful country rest home for “tired mothers” from the inner suburbs, and their children. It was also used, at different times, for kindergarten groups and in 1955 for a girls Bible Class for Easter “studies, fun and fellowship.”

Significance

Cockatoo had several guest houses which took paying guests. Providence House did not charge fees, but is the best-documented of the large houses which provided accommodation.

Landscape Plan - Providence House Cockatoo

Cockatoo History & Heritage Group, Cockatoo

Framed landscape design plan under glass, with detailed plant listings. Original watercolour

Historical information

The Presbyterian Church owned three lots of land bounded by Pakenham Road and the northern side of Dorchester Road, between 1927 and 1964. Providence House opened in 1927 as a peaceful country rest home for “tired mothers” from the inner suburbs, and their children. It was also used, at different times, for kindergarten groups and in 1955 for a girls Bible Class for Easter “studies, fun and fellowship.”

Significance

Cockatoo had several guest houses which took paying guests. Providence House did not charge fees, but is the best-documented of the large houses which provided accommodation.

Inscriptions & Markings

Donated by Victoria & Digby Newcombe 2003

Metal Tag - Cockatoo Mail Bag Tag

Cockatoo History & Heritage Group, Cockatoo

Historical information

Metal tag used on mail bags for delivery to and from Cockatoo, deliveries were made via Belgrave.

Plaque - Cockatoo Kindergarten - Official Opening Plaque

Cockatoo History & Heritage Group, Cockatoo

Brass Plaque, depicting the opening of the Cockatoo Kindergarten by the Shire of Pakenham Shire President - Cr Owen

Historical information

In 1977 residents of Cockatoo built a kindergarten in McBride Street Cockatoo to service the growing population in the area. The building was officially opened on the 22nd of November of that year. Residents formed a Co-op, raised all the money to build the kinder along with lawn bowls and tennis sporting facilities for the town. No small feat, let alone for a town with a population of around 3000. The land was provided by the council for the kinder to use and that was their sole contribution to the building of the kinder. The unique building, was designed by Richard Allen and depicted a children's carousel. The design was to provide a feeling of enjoyment and friendship to the children who used the building. The large glass windows that were installed on the north-eastern side of the building made up 1/3 of the exterior wall. This overlooked the playground of the kinder making it easy to see the children at play from inside. The site of the building is in a dominant position and is highly visible to all who travel through Cockatoo. It was used as a child care facility right up until 2005. The kindergarten has recently been granted heritage listing after Cardinia Council started demolishing the building. The local community were successful in putting a halt to the demolition and saved the building. It will become an integral part of the Cockatoo Ash Wednesday memorial. Details on the fight to save the kinder building can be found at https://sites.google.com/site/cockatoosheritageashwednesday/

Inscriptions & Markings

Shire of Pakenham Cockatoo Kindergarten Officially Opened by Cr E A Owen J.P Shire President 22nd November 1977

Medal - Royal Humane Society of Australasia - Bronze Medal for Bravery 1983

Cockatoo History & Heritage Group, Cockatoo

Bronze Medal. Ribbon navy blue edged with silver & gold central strip. Observe (face or main design) the female figure represents Australasia placing a wreath on the head of a kneeling figure, under the Southern Cross. The Latin motto translates as "Bravery Rewarded". Reverse: the name of the awardee is inscribed inside a wreath of laurel and eucalyptus.

Inscriptions & Markings

Awarded to DJ Griffin 16-2-1983

Order of Ceremony - Official Opening of the Cockatoo Community Complex

Cockatoo History & Heritage Group, Cockatoo

Four page document, including Acknowledgements, Order of Ceremony, Menu and Site Plan of the Cockatoo community Complex

Historical information

In 1976, the Shire of Pakenham recognising that Cockatoo was the second largest township within the shire, acknowledged requests for the provision of recreation facilities. Council purchased four hectares of land strategically located in the Town Centre and in conjunction with the local community, embarked upon a programme of staged development of the site. The first stage saw the construction of the kindergarten building which was opened in 1977, followed by the bowling green, tennis courts, netball courts and public toilets. The Community Complex Building was the final development of the site.

Significance

The Cockatoo Community Complex building, was the final stage of the development and was opened on the 20th November 1982. It was a replacement for the old Cockatoo Hall, which had not been renovated since 1936. The old Cockatoo Hall was lost in the Ash Wednesday fires on the 16th February 1983. The community complex played an integral part in the recovery stages after Ash Wednesday.

Inscriptions & Markings

Two punctured holes for folder storage

Postcard - Fern Bower, Tourist Track, Cockatoo, VIC

Cockatoo History & Heritage Group, Cockatoo

Original Postcard - The Rose Series P 1619

Historical information

Cockatoo's Tourist Track featured in many postcards that were produced. It was an important attraction for the many holiday makers that came to Cockatoo in the early part of last century.

Significance

The Tourist Track extended along the Cockatoo Creek, crossing the creek in various parts. It seemingly followed the creek until it ended in the vicinity of Mountain Rd and started near the swimming pool.

photograph - Desmond, home of O'Hara family

Cockatoo History & Heritage Group, Cockatoo

Black and white photograph of "Desmond", home of the O'Hara family, with a family group in foreground. Situated on Cockatoo Creek, on land now known as Alma Treloar Reserve. Circa 1910.

Historical information

"Desmond", on the Cockatoo Creek, on land which now forms part of Alma Treloar Reserve, was the home of the O'Hara family ca. 1910. The poet John Bernard O'Hara, used to visit his mother there, and remembered many wonderful holidays with the "city folk" who travelled to Cockatoo on "Puffing Billy" and camped along the creek. The family in the foreground is most likely the O'Hara family.

Significance

The photograph is significant because it shows a Cockatoo home of around 1910.

Walking Stick - Hand carved snake walking stick

Cockatoo History & Heritage Group, Cockatoo

Wooden hand carved walking stick

Historical information

Carved by an elderly Cockatoo resident and given to the history and heritage group

Inscriptions & Markings

Carved wooden walking stick, snake entwined down the full length

Letter - History of Cockatoo Creek and District by Myrtle Grayson

Cockatoo History & Heritage Group, Cockatoo

Handwritten letter by Mrs Myrtle Grayson on foolscap paper. Letter written in 1984

Historical information

Myrtle Grayson (nee McKay) was the Grand Daughter of John and Sarah Orchard (two of Cockatoo's first settlers) and worked for James and Caroline McBride in 1911 at the age of 14

Inscriptions & Markings

Blue pen on foolscap paper

Photograph - Knight's General Store McBride St Cockatoo

Cockatoo History & Heritage Group, Cockatoo

Photograph taken circa 1910 of Knight's General Store McBride St Cockatoo. The Knight's who had a general store in Gembrook, later bought it and put his sister and brother-in-law, Tom and Mary Fairbridge, in as managers. This store ran as a sub branch of the Gembrook store until Tom and Mary brought it. It then became known as 'Fairbridges". Local residents and a horse and cart are in the foreground of the photograph.

Historical information

James and Caroline McBride built the store when their small "tack on" room at the side of "Fernholme Guest house" became too small. The Knight's, who had a general store in Gembrook, later bought it and put his sister and brother in law, Tom and Mary Fairbridge, in as managers and was run as a sub branch of the Gembrook store. This store was later known as Fairbridges when Tom and Mary bought it from the Knight's.