Leopold: Memories

Memories of Miss Ivy Bowman From notes compiled by Miss Ivy Bowman at the "Back to Leopold" celebrations, 1957.

When our pioneer grandparents settled down to making a home and living in the virgin bush, they turned a helping hand to provide entertainment in the district.

The early brick school was built, but it developed and crack and was condemned. The new school was built in 1904.

In 1880, the Sons of Temperance in the district had a hall on the corner of Brames and Collins paddocks, south of the Queenscliff Road near the bend. The hall is now a barn on Mr Moller's property.

The Kensington, Moolap and Curlewis Mechanics Institute was built in 1882 on a block of land donated by Mr Belcher. Mr Wallace was the first President. In 1894 at a stormy meeting the name was changed to Leopold Free Library. In 1903 the hall was burnt down and a jubilee committee was formed to rebuild it.

In 1900 the I.O.R. (Independent Order of Rechabites) and Benifit Lodge was formed. I.J. Everitt, W. Bower (Snr), C.W. Richardson, T.E. McWilliams, D. Syer, and Miss Grace Thomson (Sister) held office. Many people owe thanks to Sister Thomson for their return to health. Social evenings, debating, and concerts were held for entertainment.

In 1904 the Rifle Club was formed. The first range was south west of Ash's Road, then moved to Chevy Flats (Bawtree Rd), then to Clifton Land. Visiting teams were entertained in St Mark's hall.

In 1906 the Dramatic Society was formed.

In 1914, a brass band was formed under conductor Robert Bowman. There were 11 members : cornets, trombone, euphonium, tenor horn, viola, 2 violins, 2 clarionets and a brass drum. Practice was held in Mr Moller's barn by the light of hurrican lamps. The bands first appearance was at a garden party at "Chevy Rhinds" estate Wallington, to mark the opening of the Red Cross Appeal. Mr Percy Jones congratulated the band and its conductor Robert Bowman.

Upon the death of King Edward VII, the band , with muffled drums and muted instruments, and Miss Thomson, the Methodist Church organist, led a very impressive service. The band also performed at Rev and Mrs Quinton's Golden Wedding at St Mark's Church and several other entertainments.

The band disbanded owing to the illness of the conductor and several members leaving the district. By order of the trustee and the conductor, the brass drum (bought by public subscription) was donated to the Protestant Orphanage.

The Leopold Red Cross was formed in 1914 under the direction of Mrs Hitchcock, Mrs Walter Kernot, Miss Lascelles, and Mrs Sargood. Mrs O'Halloran was the first President.

The first public appeal was a garden party at "Chevy" Wallington, where £200 was raised. There were several 2-horse dray loads from Geelong and visitors from the surrounding districts to the appeals shich were held monthly. Hundreds of garments and socks were made and dispatched to headquarters.

First Aid, Home Nursing, St John's Ambulance classes and Voluntary Aid detachments were formed. There were gala days, tea rooms, stalls, and an award of £10 first prize for a decorated motor car. Leopold was one of the few branches which continued membership after war service finished.

The Drafts Club was formed which played matches at Leopold and Railway Institutes.

Hotels : Wallington; White Horse Inn; Do Duck Inn; Leopold; Drysdale Rd - Union; Help me through the World; Wine shop (corner Clifton Lane).

Long's Road, now Brinsmeads Lane - houses that have disappeared : Tweedales; W. Long; Perkins; E. Davis; Lucas.

Electric light came through the district from Geelong to Queenscliff in 1923 but it was considerably later than this when the power became available to house-holders in Leopold.

[From the files of the Bellarine Historical Society]

Last Updated on Sunday, 10 May 2009 21:08