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Kew Historical Society Inc Kew, Victoria

Founded in 1958, the Kew Historical Society is one of the oldest suburban historical societies in Melbourne. The Society was formed to assist in the preparations for Kew’s 100th Anniversary in 1960. Today, the Society continues to work with local government and other organisations within Kew to stimulate interest in our history and heritage. It publishes, in print and online, information and resources about Kew’s history, as well as organising events relevant to our heritage. The Society cooperates with other historical societies and groups across the City of Boroondara through the Boroondara Historical Societies Association.

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Contact Information

location
PO Box 175 Kew Victoria 3101

Contact

Opening Hours

Fridays & Saturdays 11.00am to 1.00pm. Closed in January.

Entry Fee

Free entry

Location

Level 1, Kew Court House 188 High Street Kew Victoria

The Kew Historical Society was founded in 1958, and the collection predates and postdates that year. The collection has sometimes grown gradually, or significantly, the latter through key donations (eg The Rogers Collection), or due to events such as the amalgamation of the former City of Kew into the new City of Boroondara in 1994. Many ‘civic’ items were donated before, during or after the amalgamation. These records are digitised by the Kew Historical Society on Victorian Collections for the purposes of education and preservation. If you believe that we have infringed your copyright please contact us and we will remove the material from the site.

Significance

The collection as a whole fulfills the criteria for very strong historical, aesthetic and research significance at a local level. It also has many outstanding associations with state themes, figures and events and quite a few that resonate at a national level. The costume and textiles, map and picture collections each have very strong historical, research and aesthetic significance of their own accord. The degree of their significance is greatly enhanced by all of the comparative criteria: interpretive value, provenance, condition, integrity, rarity and representativeness.

The costume collection has a very high degree of aesthetic significance for its beauty, quality and workmanship. There are some items that are associated with nationally significant designers, or with Kew donors who have made an impact on society at a local and a state level (ie Prue Acton, Jinoel of Melbourne, Oggi Fashion House). The strong degree of provenance and high quality of the design and dressmaking that went into the production of these clothes strengthens the research significance of this sub-collection for those interested in fashion, textiles and dressmaking. This costume collection includes items that date back to the 1850s (patchwork Denbigh quilt) through to the 1980s, and that reflect changing styles, technologies, textiles and production methods.

The picture collection has some items that have high local significance such as the Josiah Barnes photograph ‘Kew proclaimed a city’, which was taken on that day – 10 March 1921, and the ‘Unveiling of the Kew War Memorial’ on August 30 1925 in front of an audience of over 5,000 people and presided over by the Kew Mayor and the Governor of Victoria. Both of these important images also have significance to state and national processes of municipal development and memorializing war. The mayoral portraits (part of the picture collection) have a very high degree of historical and research significance for their associations, enhanced by strong provenance and technical qualities. Eminent photographers took many of the portraits and the subjects are people who have made a significant contribution to the welfare and development of Kew and, in the case of some of the Mayors in this collection, of the state or even the nation. This includes people such as Stanley Argyle (Premier of Victoria 1932-35) and William Kerr (influential businessman and federal government advisor in the early decades of the 20th century). The significance threshold of this sub-collection is therefore likely to be of state significance at the least.

The maps and plans number some 300 or more and include some fascinating and important maps beyond the MMBW sub-collection that, itself, holds some unique items and has been discussed at length in this report. Other much earlier and hand drawn maps such as ‘Back to Kew’ (c.1875) and ‘Site of the first house in Kew Central’ (undated) are historically fascinating. In the case of ‘Back to Kew’ it is the detail of the built, natural and social landscape of Kew, which was also annotated and added to several times in subsequent decades to show the development of the area. In the case of ‘Site of the first house in Kew Central’ it is the careful recording of the garden layout and the nature of domesticity in these early days of European settlement that is both fascinating and rare to find in any local history collection. While not all the items are original the map and plan collection has a very high degree of historical and research significance.

Provenance for much of the collection is strong, and therefore supportive of its historical, research and interpretive value. Certainly the interpretive capacity for understanding a detailed and nuanced history of Kew on many levels, as well as touching or reflecting on wider stories on a state or national stage is very high.

Russell, Emma, 'Kew Historical Society Significance Assessment | Collection', History@Work, 2018

Cameron Auty 26 April 2016 9:48 AM

Amazing hat collection, these are a great addition to the site - Site admin.

Leave a comment

2374 items with images

Hat - Black Straw & Fabric

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Wide brimmed black coloured straw hat with net and black fabric flowers.

Photograph - Robin Vanser, Jack O'Leary & Others, 1960s

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Black and white photograph of Robin Vanser with Jack O'Leary and other performers

Historical information

Robin Kelly was born Robin Vandersluys in Mary Street, Kew. As a child, she sang in backyard concerts run with her brother, Leslie. The family moved to Deepdene in 1949 and Robin joined church and school choirs. Later she was to study classical singing with Stella Power, modern singing with Jack White, TV Presentation with Natalie Raine of Crawford Productions and acting/singing with Jessie Matthews. Following her victory in a talent quest at the Orama Ballroom, she was invited to join the Orama Big Band with singers Harry Cox and Arlene Forrest. She also sang with the Kerm Jones Jazz Band at Power House and with Frank Johnson's Jazz Band at Jazz Junction. Robin became resident band vocalist at the historic Federal Hotel in Collins Street with the Rudi Laquer Trio. She also sang at The Savoy Plaza with the George Cadman Trio. A year later she became resident vocalist at the Ress Oriental Hotel with the Lennie Holmes Trio. Later, Robin married pianist Peter Jones, singing under the name 'Robin Vanser' in clubs in Sydney and regional New South Wales. She was booked for a Vietnam War tour and also sang in Tahiti. Returning to Melbourne, her agent booked her to appear in shows in Tasmania including West Point Casino and Melbourne country venues. Another agent, John Bishop, booked her to do floor shows in Melbourne, including Xmas Seasons at the Hampton Hotel where she entertained audiences with her comedy and audience participation routines. In 1971, Robin Kelly retired to run her Robin Hood Antiques business in Canterbury, during which time she was married to tenor Glenn Kelly. Later she joined Sing Australia Camberwell Choir, performing as a soloist at their Melbourne Town Hall Concert.

Significance

The Vandersluys-Kelly Collection of photographs, costumes and musical performance memorabilia was donated to the Kew Historical Society by Robin Denise Kelly in 2018. The collection is an important record of stage and recorded performances in Australia in the second half of the 20th century. This new nationally-focused and artistically significant collection augments and contextualises the local performing arts materials in our collection.

Photograph - Floods in North Kew, 1934

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Floods in North Kew, 1934. Flood near the lagoon (Billabong?)

Booklet - Train and Tram Time Table &c., Kew, circa 1898

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Small 30-page booklet containing a train and tram timetable for public transport in Kew (Vic). The booklet also contains a brief history of Kew and advertisements for local retailers. Pages can be viewed by scrolling through the attached images.

Inscriptions & Markings

"Gift of C.W. Fairhall, Box Hill, 1990"

Postcard - River Mersey - The End of the Voyage

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

River Mersey - The End of the Voyage. One of a set of three [originally six] 'High Class Postcards of Memories of the Mersey, Beautifully Reproduced in Nature Colours', in their original brown envelope. The postcard was probably purchased by George and Edith Weir on a trip to England and Scotland, circa 1928.

Historical information

Collection of thirty-nine postcards donated by Jillian Rigby which had been owned by her grandparents, George and Edith Weir, who from c.1917 lived at 84 Princess Street, Kew. The mostly 'mint' postcards were purchased in Victoria and while travelling overseas. The sole dated postcard is dated from 1929. The postcards are numbered sequentially from 2017.0058.01-39. The remainder of the collection donated by Jill Rigby which was once owned by the Weirs of Broken Hill and Kew consist of costumes, costume accessories, photographs, and documents.

Significance

The postcards in the Weir collection, especially those purchased on a trip or trips to the mother country, i.e. United Kingdom, represent a representative sample of sites that were considered significant to those Australians undertaking a reverse grand tour by member of the erstwhile colonies. Those postcards which are early views of Melbourne must have been produced commercially for some decades from the early part of the 20th century.

Hat / by Caterina Lucci

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Broad-rimmed soft, black polyester velvet woman’s hat designed by Caterina Lucci and imported to Australia by Crochetta.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label: Caterina Lucci [A Crochetta import]. Made in China

Puzzle - Children's Puzzle, Wood & Paint, circa 1950s

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

One of a pair of wooden puzzles used in the Denmark Street Baby Health Centre in Kew.

Historical information

In August, 1920, The Kew Town Council decided to establish a Baby Health Centre in Kew. The first Centre was opened in a room in the Town Hall in Walpole Street on 5 November 1920. In May 1939, the Railway Commissioners agreed to lease a site at the Kew Railway Station for a Baby Health Centre for a term of 21 years at 3 pounds per annum. A building, designed by Roland Chipperfield, was erected, and the Centre previously conducted at the Town Hall transferred there. This became known as the Denmark Street Baby Health Centre. (Cr. W.D. Vaughan, Kew’s Civic Century, W.D. Vaughan Pty Ltd., Kew, 1960, pp.96 & 97.)

Photograph - Workplace Humour, Engineer's Department (Kew), circa 1920s

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Public works. An ironic sign in a workplace requesting donations for a hamper.

Historical information

An original photograph donated to the Kew Historical Society by the City's Engineering Department following the amalgamation of Kew into the City of Boroondara. While not all of the photographs are of Studley Park, Kew or East Kew, each photo provides a fine snapshot of the work of local government engineering departments of the period. They reveal they types of labour conducted, the techniques used and the equipment and machinery in the possession of the local government authority.

Inscriptions & Markings

Inscription on reverse: "Kew Council Staff / Ron Gould / Peter Huggins / Who was Bill Dawson?"

Photograph - Alma Figuerola and Max Meldrum

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Photograph of Alma Figuerola and her friend and ex-teacher Max Meldrum, admiring what is probably Meldrum's painting 'Chair'. The photograph is from from the Alma Figuerola photograph album.

Historical information

The Melbourne artist Alma Agnes Marion Figuerola, was the daughter of Juan Pedro Narciso Figuerola (1869-1919) and Alice Lucinda Walker Hanson (1889-1969). Each of their three daughters grew up to be involved in the arts: Alma as a painter; Carmen Irene (1906-1993) as a short story writer, poet and teacher of dancing; and Sylvia (also Silvia) Lyla Alice (1911-1992) as a composer and cellist. The first art lessons Alma Figuerola received were with Oscar Binder. Later she attended the art school established by the Melbourne 'tonalist' [Duncan] Max Meldrum (1875-1955). She graduated from his school in 1920, participating in her first group exhibition in the same year. Solo exhibitions of her work were to be held in 1933 at the Meldrum Gallery in Elizabeth Street, in 1937 and 1945 at the Athenaeum Gallery at 188 Collins Street, and in 1951 at Georges Gallery in Collins Street. Throughout her extensive career she participated in group exhibitions, usually with artists of the Meldrum School, and as a member of the Twenty Melbourne Painters, of which she was invited to become an associate in 1935. In 1953, her portrait of Professor ES Hills was entered in the Archibald Prize Competition of the Art Gallery of New South Wales. A resident of Kew from the 1930s - 51 Studley Park Road, often with her mother, her sister Carmen, or both - from c.1942 until her death she lived at 'D’Estaville', 7 Barry Street. From the late 1930s she is recorded as actively contributing to the arts at a local level. In 1939 and 1940 she participated in art exhibitions at the Hawthorn Municipal Library organised by Jessie Carbines. From 1944 to 1951 she co-organised successive Kew Arts Festivals, initially in the Presbyterian Church Hall in Highbury Grove and later at the Recreation Hall in Wellington Street. A foundation member of the Kew Historical Society in 1958, Alma Figuerola remained an active member of the Society until her death on 8 December 1970. She predeceased her two sisters who both died in the 1990s and who are buried at Andersons' Creek Cemetery in Warrandyte.

Jewellery - Earrings

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Pair of large hoop earrings

Women's Clothing - Evening Dress : Pink Silk, Sequinned Georgette, 1920s

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Very fine, silk short-sleeved evening dress, covered with a shift of silk georgette, heavily embroidered with pink sequins. While one or two strands of sequins have come adrift, the overall structure is intact and in excellent condition.

Historical information

An item forming part of a collection of costumes, photographs and documents relating to the Weir family who lived in the mansion originally named Illapa, 84 Princess Street, Kew, from c.1917 to 1950. This historically significant collection includes items relating to both George Weir (1866-1937) and his wife Edith Mary Weir (1867-1948). George Weir attained national prominence in the mining industry, becoming General Manager of the North Broken Hill Silver Mining Company in 1903 (later renamed North Broken Hill Mining Company 1905-12, and North Broken Hill Ltd 1912-1988), and subsequently President of the Mine Owners Association. He was to remain General Manager of North Broken Hill Ltd until his retirement in 1926.

Significance

This garment is significant as it is part of 25-piece collection of women’s clothing owned by Edith Mary Weir (nee Betteridge), who was born in Clare, South Australia in 1867 and who died in Kew at the age of 81 in 1948. The items of clothing in the collection date from the 1880s to the 1940s and constitute outstanding examples of dressmaker’s skills from each of these decades. The collection includes day dresses, evening dresses, evening coats, capes, and undergarments. As the wife of a mining engineer, and later mine manager, Edith Weir’s clothing has historic significance as examples of clothing worn by upper middle class Australian women in domestic circumstances and at social and civic events. The costumes in the collection represent the periods when Edith Weir lived in Broken Hill, New South Wales, and in Kew, Melbourne. A number of the costumes from the 1920s to the 1940s are of a particularly fine quality, being both rare, representative and intact examples of Australian fashion of the period. The garments in the Weir Collection were donated to the Kew Historical Society by the granddaughter of Edith Weir.

Postcard - Port Said - Ferdinand de Lesseps

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Postcard sent to 'Dossie' (Dorothy Richardson, later Rogers) by her brother during World War 1.

Significance

This work forms part of the collection assembled by the historian Dorothy Rogers, that was donated to the Kew Historical Society by her son John Rogers in 2015. The manuscripts, photographs, maps, and documents were sourced by her from both family and local collections or produced as references for her print publications. Many were directly used by Rogers in writing ‘Lovely Old Homes of Kew’ (1961) and 'A History of Kew' (1973), or the numerous articles on local history that she produced for suburban newspapers. Most of the photographs in the collection include detailed annotations in her hand. The Rogers Collection provides a comprehensive insight into the working habits of a historian in the 1960s and 1970s. Together it forms the largest privately-donated collection within the archives of the Kew Historical Society.

Inscriptions & Markings

Dossie Picture of where we landed for you from your soldier brother Frank with love & good wishes from Egypt. xxxxxxx

Photograph - Walter H. Barker, Medical Superintendent, Kew Hospital for the Insane, 1905-1910

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Formal photograph used for exhibition purposes at the Willsmere Hospital of past medical superintendents. Each photograph is framed with a white mount on which the name of the superintendent and his term of office is recorded.

Historical information

The new Kew Lunatic Asylum was completed in 1871 and opened in 1872. The year 1972 marked it's centenary. Over the years, members of staff at the asylum collected records, photographs, publications and plans of the asylum, later hospital. The Society has a number of important collections relating to the asylum and the Children's Cottages. These include the Dr Cliff Judge, the Irena Higgins and the Dr Fred Stamp Collections. This portrait photograph is one of a number of items donated by the family of the late Dr. Fred Stamp who was the last medical superintendent of the Hospital. Dr Frederick Stamp graduated from Bristol Medical School (UK) in 1968. He and his family emigrated to Australia in 1977 to Goulburn (NSW), moving to Melbourne in 1980. He became Superintendent at Willsmere in 1981 until its closure in 1988.

Significance

Following their closure, the medical records of the Kew Mental Hospital and the Children's Cottages Kew were relocated to the archives of Victorian Government departments and ultimately to the Public Records Office of Victoria. Other collections, such as the Fred Stamp Collection, were assembled by staff who worked at the hospital. The years leading up to the closure of Kew must have been fraught, and many of the items in the hospital were probably destined for hard waste disposal. Dr. Fred Stamp, the last medical superintendent, kept aside or rescued a number of these items, of which this is one. Following his death, his family donated these to the Kew Historical Society. The Society recognises these items to be of lasting historical significance, essentially due to their provenance and to their rarity. Together they (and the Judge and Higgins Collections) are an invaluable aid for researchers of the institutions' histories.

Women's Clothing - Day Dress : Navy Blue Crepe, 1910s

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Long navy blue crepe fitted dress featuring long narrow sleeves. The round-necked bodice includes buttons at the neck bordered by navy blue silk embroidery. The dress has a deep pocket in the same fabric at the right front beneath the waist.

Historical information

An item forming part of a collection of costumes, photographs and documents relating to the Weir family who lived in the mansion originally named Illapa, 84 Princess Street, Kew, from c.1917 to 1950. This historically significant collection includes items relating to both George Weir (1866-1937) and his wife Edith Mary Weir (1867-1948). George Weir attained national prominence in the mining industry, becoming General Manager of the North Broken Hill Silver Mining Company in 1903 (later renamed North Broken Hill Mining Company 1905-12, and North Broken Hill Ltd 1912-1988), and subsequently President of the Mine Owners Association. He was to remain General Manager of North Broken Hill Ltd until his retirement in 1926.

Significance

This garment is significant as it is part of 25-piece collection of women’s clothing owned by Edith Mary Weir (nee Betteridge), who was born in Clare, South Australia in 1867 and who died in Kew at the age of 81 in 1948. The items of clothing in the collection date from the 1880s to the 1940s and constitute outstanding examples of dressmaker’s skills from each of these decades. The collection includes day dresses, evening dresses, evening coats, capes, and undergarments. As the wife of a mining engineer, and later mine manager, Edith Weir’s clothing has historic significance as examples of clothing worn by upper middle class Australian women in domestic circumstances and at social and civic events. The costumes in the collection represent the periods when Edith Weir lived in Broken Hill, New South Wales, and in Kew, Melbourne. A number of the costumes from the 1920s to the 1940s are of a particularly fine quality, being both rare, representative and intact examples of Australian fashion of the period. The garments in the Weir Collection were donated to the Kew Historical Society by the granddaughter of Edith Weir.

Periodical - Child Education : Summer Quarterly, 1958, Vol. 35 No. 7

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

20 page newsletter containing artwork and articles on the theme shipping and boats. Text on page 3 describes the subject of the issue as 'Around our Coasts'. This is amplified by the text as: "In preparation for the children's seaside holiday, descriptions and pictures of ships, boats and lighthouses, and their work are contained in this issue. Suggestions for handwork are also given. The wall picture [not included with this item] in full colour illustrates many different ships which the children might see at the seaside or on a river estuary."

Historical information

The Child's Education magazines were published for British teachers between 1924 and 2007 to help them plan activities for the season ahead. The internal pages contain a variety of lesson ideas in the form of a music, art or craft activities. This copy was donated to the Kew Historical Society's collection by the Preshil archives.

Significance

This 1958 periodical, sourced from the Preshil School. is interesting as it represents the continuing influence of English education and culture in the Australian curriculum in the late 1950s.

Photograph - Tara Hall, Studley Park Road, circa 1957

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Tara Hall, Studley Park Road, circa 1957. The front of Tara Hall (previously named Byram, Goathland and Lowan). This triple-storey mansion with its elaborate gabled, steeply-pitched roofs and verandah was set back from Studley Park Road and concealed by a high brick fence. E. G. Kilburn, of Ellerker & Kilburn, designed Byram for the industrialist George Ramsden in 1888. 'Lost Glories: a memorial to forgotten Australian buildings' was published by David Latta in 1986. It tells the story of a number of significant Australian buildings that had previously been demolished. A chapter in the book was devoted to Goathland, later known as Tara Hall. To supplement the text, he sourced photographs from a range of suppliers, chiefly the Royal Women's Hospital which had once owned Tara Hall, but had sold it in 1960. This is one of the photographs donated to KHS by the author.

Inscriptions & Markings

Typed inscription on reverse: "Tara Hall at the time it was a home for nurses from the Royal Women's Hospital, Melbourne. (Royal Women's Hospital, Melbourne)."

Photograph - Alma Figuerola, circa 1950

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Alma Figuerola and her pet pekingese dog 'Rebecca', circa 1950.

Historical information

The Melbourne artist Alma Agnes Marion Figuerola, was the daughter of Juan Pedro Narciso Figuerola (1869-1919) and Alice Lucinda Walker Hanson (1889-1969). Each of their three daughters grew up to be involved in the arts: Alma as a painter; Carmen Irene (1906-1993) as a short story writer, poet and teacher of dancing; and Sylvia (also Silvia) Lyla Alice (1911-1992) as a composer and cellist. The first art lessons Alma Figuerola received were with Oscar Binder. Later she attended the art school established by the Melbourne 'tonalist' [Duncan] Max Meldrum (1875-1955). She graduated from his school in 1920, participating in her first group exhibition in the same year. Solo exhibitions of her work were to be held in 1933 at the Meldrum Gallery in Elizabeth Street, in 1937 and 1945 at the Athenaeum Gallery at 188 Collins Street, and in 1951 at Georges Gallery in Collins Street. Throughout her extensive career she participated in group exhibitions, usually with artists of the Meldrum School, and as a member of the Twenty Melbourne Painters, of which she was invited to become an associate in 1935. In 1953, her portrait of Professor ES Hills was entered in the Archibald Prize Competition of the Art Gallery of New South Wales. A resident of Kew from the 1930s - 51 Studley Park Road, often with her mother, her sister Carmen, or both - from c.1942 until her death she lived at 'D’Estaville', 7 Barry Street. From the late 1930s she is recorded as actively contributing to the arts at a local level. In 1939 and 1940 she participated in art exhibitions at the Hawthorn Municipal Library organised by Jessie Carbines. From 1944 to 1951 she co-organised successive Kew Arts Festivals, initially in the Presbyterian Church Hall in Highbury Grove and later at the Recreation Hall in Wellington Street. A foundation member of the Kew Historical Society in 1958, Alma Figuerola remained an active member of the Society until her death on 8 December 1970. She predeceased her two sisters who both died in the 1990s and who are buried at Andersons' Creek Cemetery in Warrandyte.

Document - Membership Certificate : Star of Kew Tent, 1915

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

A colour lithograph, following a standard Rechabite design recording that Sister Richardson (later the historian Dorothy Rogers) joined the Junior Section of the Star of Kew Tent of the Independent Order of Rechabites on 17 February 1915. The certificate features biblical scenes and figures exhorting ‘Truth and Temperance’ and ‘Love and Purity’.

Historical information

RECHABITES. The Star of Kew Tent, No. 260. This branch of the Independent Order of Rechabites was founded in September, 1882, when the following members were installed as the first officers by the district officers, viz. Chief Ruler, Bro. W. H. Bardwell; Deputy Ruler, Bro. C. 
Viney; Past Chief Ruler, Bro. J. V. Morgan; Treasurer, Bro. R. Eyre; Money Steward, Bro. A. Brown; Levite, Bro. W. H. Richardson; Guardian, Bro. J. Wathen; Secretary, Bro. T. J. Eaton. Bros. W. H. Bardwell, T. J. Eaton, and F. J. Legge 
were appointed as trustees. It is interesting to 
note that three of the foundation members, Messrs. Bardwell, Eaton, and Richardson, and still members of the tent. The first meetings were held in the Mission Hall, but for many years the meeting place 
of the tent has been the Kew Town Hall. The funds of the tent have gradually accumulated until at the last audit they amounted to £2,097. For many years past the interest on the funds has been more than sufficient to meet all claims for sick pay. The 
total membership is now 140. The following past secretaries have been mainly instrumental in placing the tent in its present position:-Bros. T. J. Eaton, W. H. Bardwell, C. B. Gray, and C. L. Churcher. The present officers are :- C.R., Bro. R. M. Jones; D.R., Bro. T. H. B. Williams; P.C.R., Bro. C. H. Green; Treasurer, Bro. W. J. Thornton; Secretary, Bro. F. C. W. Hurrell. Junior Branch. A junior branch was founded in 1883, and while its membership has fluctuated considerably according to the enthusiasm of the management, it has been the means of introducing many members to the senior tent. Its membership is now 41. Female Branch. Lily of Kew Tent, No. 20. This branch was formed in October, 1904, and has accomplished good work. Its membership is 38. Much of its success is due to the untiring energy of its secretary, Mrs. J Jaycock. Source: FGA Barnard, Jubilee History of Kew, Victoria, 1910

Significance

This document forms part of a large collection of material assembled by the Rogers family of Kew and donated by the family to the Kew Historical Society by Dorothy Rogers or by her sons. The items in the collection have social and spiritual significance and are also historically significant. Items such as this coloured lithograph have a degree of artistic and aesthetic significance as representative examples of the certificate designers art in the 19th Century.

Photograph - Scene near Bright / by Nicholas Caire, circa 1876

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

‘Scene near Bright’ : Views of Victoria (General Series) No.47 : Albumen silver photograph | Photo on card with Title and Description on reverse | Mounted 24 x 30 cm; Photo 12 x 17 cm.

Historical information

Nicholas Caire was born on Guernsey in the Channel Islands in 1837. He arrived in Adelaide with his parents in about 1860. In 1867, following photographic journeys in Gippsland, he opened a studio in Adelaide. From 1870 to 1876 he lived and worked in Talbot in Central Victoria. In 1876 he purchased T. F. Chuck's studios in the Royal Arcade Melbourne. In 1885, following the introduction of dry plate photography, he began a series of landscape series, which were commercially successful. As a photographer, he travelled extensively through Victoria, photographing places few of his contemporaries had previously seen. He died in 1918. Reference: Jack Cato, 'Caire, Nicholas John (1837–1918)', Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Significance

An original, rare photograph from the series 'Views of Victoria: General Series' by the photographer, Nicholas Caire (1837-1918). The series of 60 photographs that comprise the series was issued c. 1876 and reinforced a neo-Romantic view of the Australian landscape to which a growing nationalist movement would respond. Nicholas Caire was active as a photographer in Australia from 1858 until his death in 1918. His vision of the Australian bush and pioneer life had a counterpart in the works of Henry Lawson and other nationalist poets, authors and painters.

Inscriptions & Markings

On Reverse: ‘The subject of this illustration is taken on the road to Grouber’s, near the township of Bright, in the Beechworth District. The scenery on the rivers and creeks which surround this township is of a very romantic and picturesque description.’

Artwork - Home of Nettie and Vance Palmer, 7 Ridgeway Avenue, Kew / by Joy Stewart, circa 1978

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Watercolour, Pen & Ink on paper by the artist and local historian Joy Stewart of the home in Ridgeway Avenue of Nettie and Vance Palmer.

Historical information

At the time when the watercolour was created, Joy Stewart was Secretary of the Kew Historical Society.

Significance

Joy Stewart was born in Melbourne 1925. She studied at Swinburne Technical College Art School from 1941-1945, then the National Gallery Art School 1946-1948. Her career included employment positions as a display artist, designer/painter, gallery assistant, and art teacher. Joy relocated to Cairns in 1981. Solo exhibitions in Melbourne and Cairns, including 'Done By Me' at Cairns Regional Gallery in 1999. Group exhibitions at Cairns Regional Gallery, 'The Fish John West Regrets, 1993' and 'Facets of Life' 1994.

Inscriptions & Markings

Inscription: "Home of Nettie and Vance Palmer / 7 Ridgeway Avenue, Kew." Signed lower right: "JStewart".

Photograph - Alma Figuerola

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Professional photograph by K Lerfiniere Ross of the artist Alma Figuerola holding her pet pekingese dog, 'Rebecca'.

Historical information

The Melbourne artist Alma Agnes Marion Figuerola, was the daughter of Juan Pedro Narciso Figuerola (1869-1919) and Alice Lucinda Walker Hanson (1889-1969). Each of their three daughters grew up to be involved in the arts: Alma as a painter; Carmen Irene (1906-1993) as a short story writer, poet and teacher of dancing; and Sylvia (also Silvia) Lyla Alice (1911-1992) as a composer and cellist. The first art lessons Alma Figuerola received were with Oscar Binder. Later she attended the art school established by the Melbourne 'tonalist' [Duncan] Max Meldrum (1875-1955). She graduated from his school in 1920, participating in her first group exhibition in the same year. Solo exhibitions of her work were to be held in 1933 at the Meldrum Gallery in Elizabeth Street, in 1937 and 1945 at the Athenaeum Gallery at 188 Collins Street, and in 1951 at Georges Gallery in Collins Street. Throughout her extensive career she participated in group exhibitions, usually with artists of the Meldrum School, and as a member of the Twenty Melbourne Painters, of which she was invited to become an associate in 1935. In 1953, her portrait of Professor ES Hills was entered in the Archibald Prize Competition of the Art Gallery of New South Wales. A resident of Kew from the 1930s - 51 Studley Park Road, often with her mother, her sister Carmen, or both - from c.1942 until her death she lived at 'D’Estaville', 7 Barry Street. From the late 1930s she is recorded as actively contributing to the arts at a local level. In 1939 and 1940 she participated in art exhibitions at the Hawthorn Municipal Library organised by Jessie Carbines. From 1944 to 1951 she co-organised successive Kew Arts Festivals, initially in the Presbyterian Church Hall in Highbury Grove and later at the Recreation Hall in Wellington Street. A foundation member of the Kew Historical Society in 1958, Alma Figuerola remained an active member of the Society until her death on 8 December 1970. She predeceased her two sisters who both died in the 1990s and who are buried at Andersons' Creek Cemetery in Warrandyte.

Inscriptions & Markings

"Proof only. This proof remains the property of the photographer K Lerfiniere Ross and must be returned No 137-1"

Wallet - James Griffin, Edgbaston ~ Brown Leather Lockable Flap Wallet

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Brown leather wallet with inserted gussets to side and brass plate with lock to front and a fold over flap with brass fitting which clips shut and can be locked and leather double stitched casing to back for inserting a belt with key to lock inside.

Historical information

Edgbaston is now an affluent suburb of Birmingham. The relation of the owner, James Griffin, to the donor (a resident of Kew) has not been identified. 'The Gentleman's Magazine' of 1845 contains a reference to the death of Mary, aged 12, at Brighton, the daughter of James Griffin of Edgbaston and of Withymoor Works, Dudley. (p.325). Coincidentally, James Griffin, a manufacturer of Withymoor Works was issued with a patent for his improvements in the manufacture of "spades, shovels, and such like tools" on 5 October 1843. Withymoor Works was owned by James Griffin & Son

Inscriptions & Markings

Engraved on lock: "James Griffin, Edgbaston"

Certificate - Roll of Honor of the Town of Kew, awarded to George Norman Pockett, 1918

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Framed Illuminated Certificate: A commemorative certificate documenting the war service of George Norman Pockett of 18 Cobden Street, Kew. George Pockett enrolled at the age of 23 on 5 October 1915, as an engineer in the Australian Army. He embarked on HMAT Wiltshire A18 on 18 November 1915. His rank was that of Warrant Officer Armament Artificer in the 4 FAB [Field Artillery Brigade]. The website of the Australian War Memorial records that he was mentioned in dispatches. The formal certificate records that ‘George Norman Pockett served Australia and the Empire in the Great War and in grateful recognition of his voluntary response to his Country’s Call his name is inscribed on the Roll of Honor of the Town of Kew’. The then Mayor and Town Clerk signed the certificate. [Kew did not become a ‘City’ until 1921]. The certificate highlights emblems and symbols of Australia and Great Britain, and includes the coats of arms of the allies in the war. The certificate is customised with two black and white photographs of Kew: the rotunda in the Alexandra Gardens at left, and boating on the Yarra River at right.

Historical information

George Norman Pockett, who was awarded the certificate was the son of George Pockett , who with his brother designed a number of public parks in Melbourne. George Pockett Snr. was the first curator of the Alexandra Gardens in Kew. (see Comment below)

Significance

Rolls of Honor were awarded to returned soldiers at the end of the First World War by many towns and cities. This framed certificate awarded to George Norman Pockett by the Town of Kew is one of two held in the Collection. The item is well-provenanced, and through the formal use of emblems and images in the design allows us to make judgements about social and cultural values in the period.

Bottle - Milk Bottles Recovery Ltd.

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Milk bottle - Milk Bottles Recovery Ltd.

Inscriptions & Markings

Pressed inscription: "Milk. One Pint. This bottle belongs to Milk Bottles Recovery Ltd and cannot be used with out written permission.

Photograph - Ward, Kew Mental Hospital, 1956

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Black and white photograph of a ward in the Kew Mental Hospital.

Historical information

This photograph is one of approximately 43 original photographs and photocopies of buildings, patients and staff assembled in a red covered, spirally bound photograph album (the album itself is now discarded and the images stored separately). The images in the album cover the period from the 1870s to 1965. A few photographs have inscriptions on the reverse; others had later separate labels in the album. The album was presumably compiled as a public record. It and other items came from the collection assembled by Dr Fred Stamp, the last medical superintendent of Willsmere Hospital before its closure in 1988. Original photographs have been uploaded to and described on Victorian Collections. The album itself is listed and linked separately showing the photographs in situ.

Significance

A number of the photographs from the Willsmere Hospital album are confronting, especially given the condition of the buildings and facilities depicted, as well as the casual photographs of patients, which some viewers may find distressing. The album and its photographs are however an historically significant visual record of the Kew Mental Hospital, especially in the years 1951-1965.

Inscriptions & Markings

"1956"

Photograph - Male Patients, Kew Mental Hospital, 1953

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Black and white photograph of male patients in the grounds of the Kew Mental Hospital.

Historical information

This photograph is one of approximately 43 original photographs and photocopies of buildings, patients and staff assembled in a red covered, spirally bound photograph album (the album itself is now discarded and the images stored separately). The images in the album cover the period from the 1870s to 1965. A few photographs have inscriptions on the reverse; others had later separate labels in the album. The album was presumably compiled as a public record. It and other items came from the collection assembled by Dr Fred Stamp, the last medical superintendent of Willsmere Hospital before its closure in 1988. Original photographs have been uploaded to and described on Victorian Collections. The album itself is listed and linked separately showing the photographs in situ.

Significance

A number of the photographs from the Willsmere Hospital album are confronting, especially given the condition of the buildings and facilities depicted, as well as the casual photographs of patients, which some viewers may find distressing. The album and its photographs are however an historically significant visual record of the Kew Mental Hospital, especially in the years 1951-1965.

Inscriptions & Markings

"1953"

Subdivision Plan - Section 115 in the / Parish of Boroondara Near / Richmond Bridge, circa 1853

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

A small map on parchment listing 28 lots, between one and two acres each, for sale in Section 115 in the Parish of Boroondara, dating from 1853.

Historical information

Despite the plans claims that it is a subdivision near the Richmond Bridge, Section 115 was located at what is now Camberwell Junction. While the plan only lists government roads rather than named streets, the section was located on the east side of Burke Road, stretching up the hill from the current Junction. Research on Trove, conducted by Kerry Fairbank, discovered an advertisement for unsold lots in Section 115 which clarifies the extent and location of subsequent land sales in the original section. The original article can be viewed through the link in the catalogue record.

Significance

This subdivision plan is the earliest map or plan in the collection of the Kew Historical Society, dating from circa 1853. It provides important information for researchers on subsequent subdivisions following the original land sales in [Camberwell] Boroondara. The site, on the east side of Burke Road is a highly-significant and historic site. This is believed to be the only extant copy of the subdivision in public collections.

Hat - Viscose / by Da-Me

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Wide brimmed simulated straw summer hat decorated with silk and a fabric rose.

Inscriptions & Markings

Label: Da-Me. Made in Italy. Viscose

Women's Clothing - Camisole

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

White cotton voile puff sleeved camisole with four engraved pearl buttons. Neck edged with an edging lace and narrow tape. Sleeves finished with two rows of pin tucking and edging lace. Insertion and tape lace at neckline.

Map - City of Heidelberg Plan: Scale 20 chns to 1 inch, 1970 & 1993

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Plan of number of areas in the City of Heidelberg showing municipal and ward boundaries, subsequently annotated by the historian Gwen McWilliam, identifying significant landholdings, subdivisions and key dates.The base map was printed in 1970 and annotated c.1993. The plan was donated to the Kew Historical Society by Gwen McWilliam.

Historical information

Gwen Barton McWilliam (nee: Nelson), OAM, BA (1933- ). Gwen McWilliam is well known as an authority on the history of Boroondara and the author of a large number of books and pamphlets about the City. She was awarded the medal of the Order of Australia in 2001 ‘for service to the community of Hawthorn and district, particularly through the research, documentation and publication of its history.’

Inscriptions & Markings

Annotations by Gwen McWilliam, 1993