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Sunshine and District Historical Society Incorporated Victoria

The Sunshine and District Historical Society was formed in 1972. The Society set out to work on the history of the areas that made up the City of Sunshine. As the Society's work became more widely known, it was entrusted with historical records and photographs. These included the records of Sunshine Technical School, dating from 1913, hard copy of the Sunshine Advocate and films made by J.J. Jackson. The strength of the Society's research encouraged the City of Sunshine to accept an offer from ICI Australia to take over the Hunt Club Hotel in Deer Park and establish a home for the Society in the caretaker's cottage.

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Contact Information

location
HUNT CLUB, 775 Ballarat Road, Deer Park 3023. SUNSHINE LIBRARY, Hampshire Road, Sunshine 3020. Victoria (map)
phone
+61 03 9249 4614
Contact

Opening Hours

Tuesdays 10am - 3pm at the HUNT CLUB, 775 Ballarat Rd, Deer Park 3023. Wednesdays 2pm - 4pm at the SUNSHINE LIBRARY, Hampshire Rd, Sunshine 3020.

Entry Fee

Free

Location

HUNT CLUB, 775 Ballarat Road, Deer Park 3023. SUNSHINE LIBRARY, Hampshire Road, Sunshine 3020. Victoria

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The SHS collection covers a wide range of themes and timeframes. The material from the Sunshine Technical School and its association with HV McKay dates from 1913. The National Museum of Australia recently borrowed the first volume of the school's Minute Books. The SHS material relating to HV McKay is limited but compliments larger amounts in collections from other institutions such as Museum Victoria.

Significance

The SHS collection as a whole has historical significance for the extent that it conveys the aspects of the history of the community. In part it reflects the diversity of people that came to the district as well as focusing on some key industries such as McKay, Nettlefold, Spalding, Australian Defence Industry and Altona Explosives. The historical significance is tied up in the numerous ways the collection can be used to enhance the understanding of Sunshine and the local district. It also forms an important source of information for local and industrial history researchers, as well as having great interpretive potential for 'storytelling' and educational programs. Family historians are always keen to learn more about the industries that once employed their relatives, as well as thousands of others.

Meredith Blake 1 August 2013 3:31 PM

Great work S&DHS! Good to see some new items up and particularly enjoyed seeing the Phoenix Fireworks Sales Poster

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59 items

Factory Rules (1926) - H. V. McKAY Pty. Ltd., Sunshine Harvester Works, May 1926.

Sunshine and District Historical Society Incorporated,

Light tan colored cardboard document folded into four sections. Contains Factory Rules for employees of the H. V. McKay Sunshine Harvester Works in Sunshine Victoria - May 1926.

Replica of McKay Smithy

Sunshine and District Historical Society Incorporated,

Brown wooden building with bark roof. This building is a FULL SIZED REPLICA of the original SMITHY that was used by H. V. McKay.

Historical information

This Smithy is a replica of the building in which the first H. V. McKay harvester was built at Drummartin in northern Victoria in 1884. The original Smithy was moved from Drummartin to Sunshine Victoria where it remained for many years outside the H. V. McKay manufacturing plant. With the construction of the standard gauge railway line the road outside the Smithy was demolished, and the original Smithy was taken to the Melbourne Museum.The original Smithy is now in a fragile state and is no longer on public display at the Melbourne Museum. The site where the original Smithy stood in Sunshine was no longer available so the replica Smithy was erected a few hundred metres away, in the South East corner of Barclay Reserve on King Edward Ave, Albion 3020.

Significance

The replica Smithy permits the public to view a full sized model of the building which eventually led to the formation of the H. V. McKay Sunshine Harvester Works. This firm grew to being considered the main manufacturing plant in the southern hemisphere, and also led to the local area being renamed in 1907 from Braybrook Junction to Sunshine.

Inscriptions & Markings

THE SUNSHINE HARVESTER WORKS 1884

Photograph (1960) - SUNSHINE TOWN HALL

Sunshine and District Historical Society Incorporated,

This picture of the Sunshine Town Hall is a copy made from an unknown printed article. The building no longer exists.

Historical information

This building once contained the municipal offices and a public Town Hall for the City of Sunshine. The building was demolished and on the site the R.T. Pollard Gardens were established. The Gardens are shown in the second photograph.

Significance

Although the council built new municipal offices in Alexandra Ave, a Town Hall for public use was never rebuilt. The council considered that there were other halls available, such as the Mariana Hall or school halls, which could be hired for public or council functions.

Inscriptions & Markings

THE SUNSHINE TOWN HALL Saturday 21st May 1960

Souvenir Programme (1944) - DIAMOND JUBILEE celebration of the SUNSHINE HARVESTER

Sunshine and District Historical Society Incorporated,

Beige coloured cardboard document which is folded in two, and has brown coloured printing on three of the four sides. The document provides a detailed list of the entertainment and the presentations held in the Melbourne Town Hall, to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of the Sunshine Harvester Works.

Historical information

As a youth while working on his father's farm, Hugh Victor McKay became tired of the labour involved in winnowing wheat by hand. In 1884 he built the first machine in the world which did the winnowing in conjunction with the reaping. On Monday 21st August 1944, which coincided with the birthday of the late H. V. McKay, more than 2000 employees and friends of H. V. McKay Massey Harris Pty Ltd were entertained at the Melbourne Town Hall, in celebration of the Diamond Jubilee of the Sunshine Harvester Works.The event was planned to "turn it on for the boys' in a manner befitting the occasion." The compere was Eric Pearce (of later TV newsreader fame) and the entertainment was provided by leading performers of song (W.M.Laird and Mary Miller), of music (John Robertson, W.M.King, and the Sunshine Brass Band), and of humour (Charles Sherman). The accompanists for some of the performances were Betty Miller and Eric Fox. Two films depicting the activities of the Sunshine Works were shown, and the managing director Mr C. N. McKay, was presented with a book by Mr Fred Bult who had 50 years service with the company. The book contained more than 1000 signatures from invited employees who had completed more than 10 years of service, Supper was provided in the Lower Hall, and the MC for dancing to the Synco-Harvesters Dance Band in the Main Hall was James Patrick. The committee which organised the function were Messrs. L.W. King (Chairman), G. Baker, J. Downing, R. Stewart, F. J. Lee, V. Armstrong, F. Fields, J. Aird, G. Wilson, J. G. McKay, T. N. McArthur, and R. Webb, with secretaries Messrs. G. Shaw and D. J. McKay. The above information was compiled from the Souvenir Programme, and from The Argus of Tuesday 22 August 1944 which can be viewed at http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11357700, and from the Sunshine Advocate of Friday 30 June 1944.

Significance

The Souvenir Programme provides a historical record of how the Diamond Jubilee was celebrated, as well as the type of entertainment and the names of the entertainers and other people involved. It also lists the types of dances such as the 'Fox Trot' and the 'Pride of Erin' that were normal entertainment in 1944. The Souvenir Programme is also significant in what it does not tell us. There is absolutely no indication of what would be considered to be a supper for an event like this in 1944, especially in the Melbourne Town Hall. From a historical point of view it would be interesting to know.

Inscriptions & Markings

1884 1944 / SOUVENIR PROGRAMME / DIAMOND JUBILEE of the SUNSHINE HARVESTER / MELBOURNE TOWN HALL / Monday 21st Aug.

Membership Cards (1946) - SUNSHINE & DISTRICT COMMUNITY HOSPITAL

Sunshine and District Historical Society Incorporated,

The membership cards are actually small booklets with the Single Membership Card being Yellow coloured and the Double Membership Card being Blue coloured.

Historical information

The hospital in King Edward Avenue Sunshine was originally known as St Andrew's Hospital and it was run by the Sisters Carruthers who in 1946 decided to retire. The hospital became the Sunshine & District Community Hospital on 15 September 1946. In the First Annual Report for the period 15 September 1946 to 30 June 1947, it is stated that of the 413 patients admitted 37.8% were members and 62.2% non members, and that the hospital was "...responsible for hospital attention under benefits to approximately 2000 residents." Just what the exact benefits were is unknown. Did members receive cheaper treatment, cheaper pharmaceuticals, guaranteed hospital bed, or something else? If anybody can provide the information it would be greatly appreciated. The 1946 cards show that L.W. Noble of Morris Street, Sunshine had a Single Membership which cost 26 shillings ($2.60) per annum, and that J.H.F Noble of the same address had a Double Membership which cost 39 shillings ($3.90) per annum. The cards were issued when payments for the first 4 weeks of membership were made, which were 2 shillings for Single and 3 shillings for Double. The stickers inside provide a record of continuing membership payments.

Significance

These two cards indicate that membership of the Sunshine & District Community Hospital was a way of receiving Treatment or Membership benefits. This type of membership of a hospital appears to be a forerunner to the present day memberships provided by the various Hospital Benefits Associations. The cards also provide information about the cost of being a member of the Sunshine & District Community Hospital in 1946, and how the membership payments were recorded.

Inscriptions & Markings

Single Membership Card No. 983 / Double Membership Card No. 297 / Sunshine & District Community Hospital (Incorporated) / King Edward Avenue Sunshine / N.B.--This Card Must be submitted when requiring Treatment or Membership Benefits

Achievement Award (1981)

Sunshine and District Historical Society Incorporated,

Paper certificate in a plain wooden frame with image on the left of a waif holding a bowl. Presented to SUNSHINE TECHNICAL SCHOOL by World Vision of Australia. Dated 30/9/81.

Inscriptions & Markings

"Outstanding Achievement Award / Presented to / Sunshine Technical School / by World Vision of Australia"

Photograph (1934) - SPALDING First Christmas Treat - 19 December 1934

Sunshine and District Historical Society Incorporated,

Photograph enclosed in a glass faced brown stained wooden frame, showing employees of SPALDING and their children at the company's First Christmas Treat on 19 December 1934.

Historical information

This factory was situated on the corner of Ballarat and McIntyre Rds in Sunshine Victoria and manufactured sporting goods. The factory ceased to exist during the early 1990's and has been replaced by the first Bunnings Hardware Store in Victoria.

Significance

Photograph shows that Spalding was a company that provided a Christmas Treat for its employees and their children.

Inscriptions & Markings

SPALDING FIRST CHRISTMAS TREAT ---19 DECEMBER 1934---

Trench Art - BULLET SPOON

Sunshine and District Historical Society Incorporated,

Chrome plated teaspoon with a discharged .303 bullet for the handle.

Historical information

This piece of functional Trench Art was made by Stewart Noble during World War 2 (circa 1940) while serving on a Mine Sweeper among the Pacific Islands. It is believed that the bullet spoon was chrome plated after the war, while he worked at the Government Aircraft Factory. Trench art is described as any decorative item made by soldiers, prisoners of war, or civilians where the manufacture is directly linked to a war. The making of trench art was a popular past time during leisure hours at the front, where skilled military personnel created the items. Common examples of trench art are decorated shell and bullet casings, and items carved from wood and bone. Trench art has been in existence since the Napoleonic wars however it was most common during World War 1, and to a lesser extent during World War 2.

Significance

This bullet spoon has historic significance because it is an example of the type of functional or artistic small items, that were made from war scrap during spare time by soldiers or other personnel associated with a war. This particular item indicates that a reasonably high degree of skill was required to make the bullet spoon.

Club Sticker - BRAYBROOK & DISTRICT MOTORCYCLE CLUB

Sunshine and District Historical Society Incorporated,

Dark blue, silver, and clear plastic sticker on right hand top corner of glass plate that previously was a side window of a car. Sticker has been left on the glass in case removal may damage it. BRAYBROOK AND DISTRICT MOTORCYCLE CLUB.

Historical information

A meeting was held on 18th August 1947 at the East Sunshine Community Hall with the aim of forming a motor cycle club. The name BRAYBROOK MOTOR CYCLE CLUB was decided upon "as it would cater for riders and non-riding members in all surrounding districts". The first President was Don Minahan with Bert Watson as Secretary. They had been members of the Auto Cycle Union whose members became dissatisfied with the prize money awarded, so the Victorian Motorcycle Association (VMCA) was formed. The President of the VMCA (Mr. A. Clarke) attended the meeting on 3rd September 1947 which was held in the Hall behind the Sunshine Theatre. This became the regular meeting place. The new Braybrook Club affiliated with the VMCA joining clubs from Altona, Coburg, Essendon, Newport and Preston. Membership mostly came from recreational motor bike riders looking for more structured competitive riding experience and enjoyment. The club conducted its events on Sunday afternoons and as sport at that time was not permitted on Sundays, they overcame that obstacle by seeking a silver coin donation (pointing out that "two bob" was expected). The events were mainly dirt scrambles over open land which today is known as "off road". The favourite sites were Sunshine's ample open spaces such as Glengala Road and McIntyre Road, as well as Arundell Road (Keilor) and Laverton. For track racing experience the club formed a very basic dirt track on the open land in Glengala Road west of the original Sunshine Golf Club, which was very popular on Sunday afternoons for both riders and spectators. In the early 1950's Motorbike and Sidecar races were also witnessed on some Sundays, on a track near the corner of McIntyre and Furlong Roads, North Sunshine. During 1950 the Braybrook members voted in favour of allowing the Sunshine Club to amalgamate with them and form the BRAYBROOK AND DISTRICT MOTORCYCLE CLUB. The merger took place at the meeting on 10th July 1950 when office bearers were elected. The club disbanded in the mid 1960's due to the massive residential development occurring in the Sunshine district, and so activities were merged with the Newport Club. The above information is mainly compiled from Sunshine Advocate articles published on 29/8/47, 12/9/47, and 30/6/50, and from written details supplied by Mr. J. N. Willaton. Further details or corrections from interested readers are welcome.

Significance

The Braybrook and District Motorcycle Club has not existed in its own right for several decades. The sticker depicting the club crest serves as a historical reminder that the club was once part of the local recreational scene.

Inscriptions & Markings

Braybrook and District Motorcycle Club