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(in alphabetical order)
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Mary was 107 years old when this interview was recorded at Fairview Homes in 2008. A formal presentation of this initial interview was held at Fairview but before a second interview could be arranged Mary died. Mary grew up in Croxton where her mother died when she was very young. She frequently stayed at her aunt’s small farm in Drouin South and went to school there. She often looked after other children from an early age and worked at Gleeson’s family hotel.

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Told by Iris Maxfield, Rosemary Blackley, Ian Maxfield, James White and Rev. Dean Spalding 2018 - 2019.

Iris Maxfield talks about the beginnings of the Anglican Church in West Gippsland and in Drouin. The little wooden church was built on land in Grant Street before being moved to its current site. The new church was completed in 1936 and Ian Maxfield (Iris’s son) reads the story of its construction written by Fred Armstrong at the Golden Jubilee in 1986. James White reads the story of the church hall which was dedicated in 1959 and Rosemary Blackley continues the story of this and the stained glass windows commissioned for the church built by Jean Orvall in the 1970s and the new windows built by local artist Andrea Tindle in 2007. Rev Dean Spalding records the sermon he gave at the dedication of the golden elm trees planted outside the church for Remembrance Day in November 2018.

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Fred Armstrong’s family has had a long association with West Gippsland.  His grandfather worked at the historic Dwyerstead homestead from 1881. The oldest of 10 children Fred began work aged 14. When Alec and Ted Porter established Porter Brothers store young Fred did all the district deliveries endearing himself  to all.  Fred met Constance Arnold at the Drouin Anglican Church and they married in 1932 making their home in Drouin. When the Porter Brothers retired, Fred and his brother Jack purchased the store and ran it for 18 years. Fred and Connie were both very active in the community in many organizations.

Lyndel Kennedy and Jocelyn Bloye, their granddaughters share their grandparents’ story 2019.

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Told by Don and Rosemary Blackley 2016

Don grew up in Longwarry. He talks about his wide community service through Apex, Lions, Rotary and as part of the establishment of the Mawarra Opportunity Shop. This service to community has involved time as a Buln Buln Shire Councillor, Shire President, Drouin Cemetery Trust and Gippsland Water.

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Told by Margaret Jackson 2015 and Jocelyn Bloye 2019 

William J Bloye served as a Councillor of the Shire of Buln Buln for nine years from 1958 to 1967. He was a Board member for the West Gippsland Hospital for years, and President for two. He was a very keen naturalist campaigning strongly for, and securing the re-opening of Glen Nayook Reserve, after a period of closure of 40 years following the disastrous 1926 bushfires in this district. As a young man Bill served in the Royal Australian Navy for seven years before returning to the family farm at Hill End. He also worked as an electrical engineer, plasterer, and builder and was very active in community work. Margaret and Jocelyn are two of his grandchildren.

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Told by Jenny Boeyen, Karen Thomson, John Butler, Jeff Smythe and Dave Naylor 2016

Leo was the first Superintendent of Parks and Gardens for the Buln Buln Shire. Leo’s great vision and mentoring of young workers created what we appreciate today in terms of tree lined streets and beautiful parks and gardens. He has been credited with planting 6000 trees per year in the Shire in his 27 years of work. When the Buln Buln Shire built its new offices and moved in 1980 Leo was the visionary and designer for the surrounding Civic Park which won a Royal Australian Institute of Parks and Recreation Award. Leo’s wife Jenny and daughter Karen, and three of his staff share their memories.

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Told by Keith Pretty 2015

Keith Pretty gives the history of the Buln Buln Shire including the first three years before Warragul seceded and formed its own Shire, Council meetings, seat of government, various Shire offices, roads, rates, buildings and services.

BBS 1950-1990 John Delzoppo and Keith Pr
BULN BULN SHIRE 1950 - 1990

Told by Keith Pretty 2017

Keith Pretty worked with the Buln Buln Shire for almost 40 years starting as junior clerk in 1950 and becoming the Shire Secretary until the title was changed to CEO in 1989. He worked with 57 Shire Councillors in his time and they said of him that “he was one of the very best of the best”. Keith describes the 40 years of his work at the Buln Buln Shire in terms of what ‘We’ accomplished, such was the trust and cooperation. He records details of the Shire Offices, Recreation Reserves, Parks and Gardens, Budgets, Quarries, Road construction, Residential subdivisions, decentralized industries, services and team efforts of the Shire staff.

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Told by Bill Butler, John Butler and Robin Websdale, November 2018.

Bill, John and Robin talk about their father Jack who grew up in West Gippsland after emigrating from the UK as a young boy. Jack had a great love for the Australian bush and this is reflected in poetry he later wrote. During the Second World War Jack served in the army in the Middle East, New Guinea and Dutch New Guinea in the artillery. Many of his experiences profoundly affected him and he later wrote about this in a self published book ‘The Maidenhead warriors’. Jack went on to work for the Buln Buln Shire road crew, became a councilor and then Shire President, served for over 20 years in the Drouin RSL and also Legacy. He was awarded the Victorian Anzac of the Year Award in 1995.

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Told by Roy Cheesman 2002

Roy describes with great detail what life was like for the farmers and their families who came to settle in this district. He talks about lighting of homes, food storage, ironing and early household tasks. He describes how the land was cleared, crops planted and harvested, the local wildlife, early schooling and later schooling.

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Told by Doug Colquhuon and Graham Kraft 2017

Doug Colquhuon talks candidly about his father Wes who was a war veteran and well known in the community. Wes and his family were the butchers in Drouin for many years helping out families in the district during difficult times. They operated abattoirs in Slaughterhouse Road and developed the ‘rolling cage’. Uncle Bill was an excellent judge of cattle. Wes Colquhuon’s war experience is also added to by Graham Kraft’s memories.

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Told by Adele Perry 2016

Dr Geoff Cornish was one of the members of ‘The Great Escape’ who survived. He remained as a POW in Germany caring for prisoners and was not liberated until the end of the war. Geoff studied medicine, first practicing in Bronte Park Tasmania before coming to Drouin as a doctor to work with Dr E Hamp in the 1950s. Geoff established the Red Cross service at the West Gippsland Hospital. He later set up a mobile anaesthetics program and the Cornish walking program for cardiac rehabilitation. Adele Perry his daughter tells his story.

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Told by Yvonne Tindle in September 2018.

Yvonne talks about the origins of the movement of CWA as a national organization as well as describing the founding of the Drouin CWA branch in March 1939. CWA was born out of the needs of country women and their children during the great depression and 90 years on still aims to improve conditions for women and children. Founding members in Drouin were Jessie Goudie, Priscilla Kraft, Anne Porter and 30 ladies. Miss Hazel Porter was guiding light of the branch for more than 60 years. The CWA building in Sinclair was built in 1972 with the loan paid off in nine years. Life members of the branch are: Priscilla Kraft, Hazel Porter, Jessie Goudie, Lorraine Kinrade, Pam Pretty and Jean Kilby.

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Told by Ken Craig 2016

Ken Craig talks about the Classic Weaving Mills in Drouin where his family came to work in the 1950s. He talks about school life in Drouin before becoming a plasterer’s apprentice. Plastering was a very different trade and Ken records the very different methods of making plaster sheets and mouldings when he owned the Drouin Plasterworks. He relates some amusing stories. The Drouin fire brigade, football and badminton are also talked about as part of Ken’s story.

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Told by Peter Cusden 2017

Peter Cusden shares many stories of his family who purchased the Northern Junction Hotel in Drouin West describing the hotel’s history. His family later set up a shop with a grocery business, tobacco licence, school lunches and later also the Post Office and a café. His mother ‘Mrs Cussy’ was very well known to the school children at Drouin West. Peter talks about growing up and life at Drouin West.

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Told by Lorraine Currie and Peter Cuthbertson 2016

Lorraine Currie and Peter Cuthbertson talk about their father Jack. Jack was born at Hallora. He was a timberman, sawmiller, land clearer, dairyfarmer, roadbuilder, quarryman and earth moving contractor. At one time he and his business partner Ray Richards were the largest private sawmillers in Australia. He established 33 dairy farms and 3 quarries locally.

He was very involved in the Drouin community and was a generous man with his time, machinery, labour and money. Other topics include racing horses, ford cars and fishing.

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Told by Joan DeVries and Jan Artlett 2016

Mick DeVries began work at the Drouin Butter Factory in Lardner Road. Later with his brothers he bought a milk round with three trucks and this became a general carrying business including timber log hauling, hay carting, SEC contract work, bulldozer work etc. Mick had many ‘adventures’ driving the precarious roads of the district. He invented a self loading tandem jinker and lived in Drouin. Joan Devries (Mick’s wife) talks about living in Drouin and daughter Jan shares some stories from the book written about Mick.

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Told by Brian Milner 2015

Brian Milner gave this speech at the Australia Day breakfast 2016. In this recording he talks about the importance of the home town during war, giving background statistics, Drouin’s role in buying a spitfire, providing comfort packs, letters to service men, fundraising, the Drouin flaxmill, rationing, and denial of resources to the enemy, tasks of women and children at home and the repatriation of returned servicemen.

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Stories of Antonio Debertolis, Harold Higgs, Leith family, Ellen Lampard, James Aikman and John Parker.


Told by Judy Farmer, Anita Coonans, John Parker, Ellen Burrows, Faye Vandyk, Brian Milner and Marilyn May


As part of the Ficifolia festival 2017 a Drouin Cemetery Walk was conducted. Anita Coonan talks about the history of the Drouin Cemetery including Mrs Josephine Smith gravedigger, Brian Milner talks about Harold Higgs Anzac war hero, Ellen Burrows talks about the Leith family owners of the Railway hotel, Faye Van Dyke talks about James Aikman early Buln Buln Shire councillor, John Parker talks about his great grandparents John Henry and Catherine Parker, Marilyn May talks about Ellen Lampard her great grandmother and Judy Farmer talks about Antonio Debertolis, the ‘Chairmaker of the Drouin swamp’.

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In February 2018 as part of the Ficifolia Festival a cemetery walk/talk was conducted. 

Tim Wills, head of the Drouin Cemetery Trust talks about the history of the cemetery including Mrs Josephine Smith gravedigger, the Arnup family and the Friends of the Cemetery group; Brian Milner talks about Mr JD Grubb serviceman of two world wars, shop owner and scout leader; Shelley Duncan talks about Dr E Hamp long serving doctor of Drouin who lived at historic home ‘Gillian’; Suzie Gallagher talks about long time Drouin family The Fuhrmanns; Bev Jackson talks about the Renton brothers Frank, Arthur and Harold all servicemen in the first world war and their contribution to local sport and the police force.

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Old Fire House, Drouin, 2004


Told by John Atkins and Duncan Holman 2017

Duncan Holman an older member of the Drouin Fire Brigade shares his memories of the Fire Brigade. He joined as a young boy of 14 years. Contrasted alongside these recollections are the descriptions of John Atkins long time member of the Drouin Fire Brigade and recipient of the 2018 AFSM (Australian Fire Service Medal). Both men talk about uniforms, fires of note, trucks, tankers, water supply, members, buildings and the team spirit of the brigade.

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Told by Keith Pretty 2015

Keith Pretty talks about the development of the town of Drouin describing the early selectors John McNeilly, Ezra Cook, Jacksons Track and Waltons Run. The name of Drouin, the building of the railway, John Lardner surveyor, the land surveys, street names and early buildings are all described.

Also the first golf club, the first swimming hole, the rifle range, horse races at Whiskey Creek, the croquet club, other sporting clubs, churches, the fire station, the waterworks trust, the Mechanics Institute, the flaxmill, saleyards, war memorials, hospitals, doctors, newspapers, butter factory, schools and newspapers.

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Told by Rosemary Blackley (2019),  John Morgan (2018) and John Franklin (2017)

Drouin Motors was established by Tup Pedersen and George Clark both of whom began work as young men for several of the town’s blacksmiths. Their business set up in 1937 flourished and the business became a household name for their automotive supply and services. Rosemary Blackley gives the history of both these men, based on interviews she did many years ago with Tup and George. She records stories of their business and the people who worked for them including Ruth Irons who worked in the office of Drouin Motors for 50 years. Tup Pedersen closed the business in 1990, but it began again in August 1993 with the business owned by John Morgan. John shares his memories of Drouin Motors where he started work in 1976 as a salesman.  

John Franklin a long time Drouin resident also shares his memories of Drouin Motors and the people who worked there.

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Told by Brian Maunder 2017

Brian Maunder taught at Drouin Primary School for many years. In this compilation of research and talking with people, he has gathered together both history and memories of Drouin State (Primary) School from its opening in 1877.

Information includes head teachers, staff, the history of the buildings, two significant fires, students planting Ficifolia trees, the rare white oak trees and the coronation tree, the Bristol building, central classes, anniversaries, school councils and presidents, building projects and memories from both ex staff and parents.

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In 2018 Drouin West cemetery held a cemetery walk.

Jill Bayly talked about the history of the cemetery and the Drouin West area. Geoff Mitchell spoke about his grandfather-dairy farmer and grower of flax in the war years. Bill Petschack spoke about the pioneering Petschack family. Bill Notman spoke about his grandparents George and Elizabeth Notman. Judy Farmer talked about Dr Robert Merry Smith.

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Told by Brian Milner 2021 and recorded 2024

Lucy was the third daughter of Percy and Eunice 

Edwards. The family lived at Drouin South. Lucy trained as a nurse and enlisted in the Australian Army in 1940. After the war's end she served in military hosptials before being appointed as the Matron of the British Occupation forces General Hospital in Japan. She was awarded the Royal Red Cross First Class Award in 1952 for her distinguished service.

In this recording Brian Milner shares her story first given at the Drouin Cemetery Walk Feb 2021.

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Told by Phil Edwards 2015

Phil Edwards records the history of blacksmithing in Drouin through Bill Tritschler and then Ernie Edwards, his father, whose business was located just north of the Drouin Railway station in converted buildings from Walhalla. Phil became an engineer and converted the business to Edwards engineering where they did steel fabrication. The Moe butter factory was their first big metal job using 21 tons of steel. They also made semi trailer tippers, fire fighting tankers, abattoirs and wrought iron work. Phil also talks about sport.

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Told by Elizabeth Ferris Ward to Lynn Wells 2009.

Elizabeth’s (Liz’s) interview was recorded in 2009 before this project began. At the time of interview she was living in Darwin and during a visit to Drouin came to radio station 3BBR wanting to tell her story. Liz grew up in Drouin before training as a teacher. She shares her early memories of Drouin and some of her early very rural teaching experiences. Liz has written an autobiography called ‘Paid in Advance’ which she read parts of during her interview.

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Told by Pat and Dennis Gleeson 2015

Pat Gleeson and his son Dennis share stories about their lives as publicans at the Family Hotel in Drouin; stables, drunk pigs, visitors, fires in the town, town’s lack of water, policemen, the railways, Drouin football club, army experience, renovations etc.


As told by Dora Scales and Murray Goudie 2015

Dora Scales and Murray Goudie talk about their father Alex who was a World War 1 returned serviceman. Alex farmed at Yannathan before moving into Drouin. He became a real estate agent and was generous to many families. He became a Buln Buln Shire councillor serving as President of the Shire three times. Alex was a conservationist and part of the ‘Save our forest’ campaign. Dora and Murray also talk about their mother Jessie and life in Drouin in their growing up years.

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Told by Don Grant in June 2018.

Don Grant talks about four generations of his family: George Grant inventor and manufacturer of ‘The Grant Plow’, farmer and shire councilor; Don Grant orchardist on land close to town; Keith Grant his father, orchardist and farmer; and Don’s own growing years in Drouin and farming. Don also shares some amusing stories of Drouin and the characters that were part of the life of the early town. 

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Edward James Hamilton was born into a family with distinguished legal roots. He set up his legal practice in Drouin in 1907 being the first resident solicitor of the town with his office in Main Street. Life as a country solicitor was interesting and diverse. With marriage, land purchase and becoming a partner in the firm of Backhouse, Skinner and Hamilton life was good. World War 1 saw him enlist for service with the 13th light horse regiment. After the war Edward became the first president of the Drouin RSL. He returned to Melbourne but continued legal service to Drouin until 1932. He served as President of the Law Institute of Victoria in 1931-32. His name is recorded amongst the nine presidents of the LIV who fought in WW1. Judy Farmer presented this talk at the Drouin History Group in September 2019.

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Told by Ron Harper, Ann Harper and Jo-Anne Wyatt 2019

The Harper family have lived and worked in Drouin for six generations. The family is well known in the trade of house painting over three generations painting many of the buildings and houses in the district including the Drouin Butter Factory. The Harpers have very close associations with both the Drouin Football Club and the Drouin Cricket Club. Fred Harper (Ron and Jo-Anne’s father) was instrumental in developing the Junior Football league in Drouin and coaching some of the AFL’s great players. Ron, Jo-Anne and Ann share many memories of Drouin, sporting clubs, schooling, work places and living in Longwarry Road.

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Told by June Harvey 2016

June Harvey shares her memories of life growing up in Lardner; farming, Hawthorn Grange and Husevale,Lardner Primary School, the Lardner hotel, the Lardner store, Lardner Post Office, church and sport. Her grandfather Mr Gregory, ran the Lardner Butchery shop. June shares some interesting stories and details about this shop and stories of her own life.


Told by Doug and Barbara Hatfield 2015

Doug shares his early memories of Drouin including the 1939 fires, the main street, Bill Kraft and the farm at Ripplebrook. Barbara remembers how basic life on the farm was to begin with and the early years. Becoming a voice for residents to improve roads led to election as a Buln Buln Shire councillor and advocacy for dairy farming. Doug and Barbara reflect on the plans for the Australian Dairy Centre which nearly happened and also their work to establish the Drouin Nature Reserve. Barbara shares some her story as a nurse and also a shire councillor.

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Told by Hazel Hedley 2015

Hazel shares her own life story and her memories of Drouin: the farm at Ripplebrook, school life and farm chores. Hazel became an invisible mender at Classic Weaving Mills Drouin and was involved in many activities and sports within Drouin. She reflects on the shops in the main street, the Coffee Palace, the Infant Welfare Centre, the Red Cross, the Methodist Church and her family.

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Told by Max Hine 2016

Max Hine talks about his life in banking. As bank manager of the State Savings Bank of Victoria he shares what the role of a bank manager was in the community, the daily bank procedures, money handling, introduction of decimal currency and school banking. He also talks about life in Drouin, community and sport.

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Told by Margaret Jackson 2015

Margaret Jackson talks about the Jackson family from the pioneer Joseph Jackson (her great great grandfather) who owned the first freehold land in West Gippsland. Jacksons Track is the track from the Bunyip River to the goldfields of Walhalla.

She continues with reflections of William Jackson, James Jackson and her father Wally Jackson’s war service, employment, marriage, community involvement, and family. She also talks about Porter Bros, McGiltons (Warragul), Longwarry theatre, Masonic Lodge, Drouin Rotary club, Drouin Probus.


As told by Graham Kraft July 2015

Graham Kraft talks about his father Bill who grew up in Bunyip. Bill started at the Drouin Milk Coop(Drouin Butter Factory) as office boy at age 18, Secretary at 21 and then general manager at 30. Bill was a visionary thinker, changing the way farmers milked their cows, employing a veterinarian and expanding the supply of milk to the Melbourne markets. A new factory was built in Lardner Road and rapid expansion occurred. Bill pioneered selling casein to Japan. Graham talks about his own life growing up in Drouin, Drouin Primary School and other families; the Colquhouns, Wellwoods, Goudies.


Five recordings as told by daughters and grand daughter

The sculpture (installed 27th May 2023 in Civic Park Drouin), of three Kurnai women acknowledges three women's leadership, tenacity, wisdom and cultural integrity as they raised their young people in adversity: they balanced the tightrope between honouring their Kurnai heritage while seeking to obey government decrees, living constantly with the fear of having their children 'removed'.

These three women, Dorothy, Euphemia and Regina, straddled two worlds.. They were leaders especially of the women and the children of the Kurnai clan that lived on Jackson's Track, Labertouche across two to three generations, from post WW2 years through to the late fifties and early sixties.

As leaders the three women also passed on cultural learnings and practices and ensured the traditional ways were not lost.

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Told by Keith Pretty 2015

Keith Pretty talks about Lyrebird Village; the concept, the original Committee activities, name, funding of living units (Acacia Lodge), hostel, government grant, Catholic Church funds, Banksia Wing, Womens Auxiliary activities, Boronia Wing, Waratah Wing (public funding campaign), redevelopment and its currently being a community based facility.

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Told by Jane Marks and Terrylene Marks 2017

Jane and her daughter Terrylene talk about Jane’s life growing up at Jacksons Track and at Lake Tyers Mish (Mission). They share memories of family and moving in to Drouin. Jane became the first Koori liaison officer at Drouin Primary School a role she did for 25 years. She retired in 2000. Terry has taken over her mother’s role. They share memories of Tarago River and Robin Hood outings.

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Told by Esther Martin 2016

Bill Martin was the first qualified Veterinarian to practice in Drouin. Coming from Glasgow, his registration was number 17 in Victoria. Esther Martin his daughter talks about what it was like for Bill as a country vet working for the Drouin Butter Factory, teaching farmers good animal husbandry and promoting good animal hygiene and nutrition. He was known as the “The man who loved cows”. His practice covered a huge area at a time when there was little communication and roads were poor.

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Told by Iris Maxfield 2015

Iris tells her story of a life in education through teachers college, end of the war and school postings. She taught at Drouin Primary School, then Central classes, Drouin High School, Oak Street Kindergarten and became the first remedial teacher at Drouin High School. Many people in Drouin remember Mrs Maxfield. She also shares about her marriage, family and involvement at the Anglican Church Drouin.

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Arthur May's memoirs of life in Drouin in the 1920s

As told by Simon May 2015

Simon May reads his father Arthur’s Impressions of Drouin growing up in the 1920s. Arriving in 1924 and stepping off the train, the friendliness and generosity of people, the butchers Colquhouns, Porter Bros stores, the cinema at the Mechanics Hall, Vaughans newsagents, Constable Matthews the policeman, Mr W Russell, Mr Tritscheler the blacksmith, Mr Grubb the undertaker, Mr Russell who sold second hand furniture, Mr Hayes ironwork and tools shop, Mr Black’s Coffee Palace, Mr Whitehead, Mr Kraft (DBF), the orchards and others.

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Told by Ethel McDonald February 2015

Ethel, a city girl, knew nothing about cows or animals when she married Mervyn McDonald but she learnt. Ethel tells some funny stories about her life as a young farmer’s wife. Ethel appears in the 1940s ‘Drouin a small town at war’ photo collection as the young woman tying her horse to the rail outside the livestock yards. She also shares five of her poems.

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Told by June Sealey and Keith Shimmen in August 2018.

John and Eliza McNeilly were the first selectors in Drouin. They arrived in 1871 to virgin forest. June and Keith talk about the challenges for the family clearing the 320 acres, their children (Maryanne, Samuel, Jack and William), work establishing a school and other community facilities, Jack the lyrebird, other land purchases, ‘Lyndhurst’ Samuel McNeilly’s historic homestead and details of the McNeilly descendants. Until 1999 Geoffrey McNeilly still farmed his grandfather’s original 320 acres land selection.

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Told by Keith Morgan 2015

Keith Morgan talks about his life and coming to Drouin. He remembers the saleyards, the oak trees, the difficulties of clearing land and trying to plant crops, and milk rounds with his uncle both collecting the milkcans and also delivering bread, meat and butter. Coming back to live in Drouin, Keith talks about life at that time, marriage and farming in Ringins Road.

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Told by Bill Palmer December 2014

Bill Palmer talks about the standards for milk, cheese and butter production and the shipping of milk to Melbourne from the Drouin Milk Coop. Bill worked as an engineer at the Drouin Butter Factory. He also talks about the manager Bill Kraft.

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Told by Joy Paynter 2015

Joy Paynter grew up in Drouin South and talks about stories from her early years including growing up on the farm, drought, the dynamite in the tree story, power supply, attending Drouin South Primary School and the burning down of the Drouin South Hall.

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Told by: Rob Stewart in November 2018 and Isaac Harris in January 2019.


Rob Stewart talks about the history of pharmacy in Drouin including his own years working for Wadhams Pharmacy, and then as proprietor of the business. Geoff Wadham began work in Drouin in the mid 1950s. A second pharmacy at 33 Princes Way was owned by William Monteath and Alan Rogers. Rob gives descriptions of his training and the way drugs and medicines were dispensed during his working life which is very different to today’s practice. Isaac Harris a current pharmacist compares what pharmacy is like in present day practice.

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Told by Keith and Jack Pretty and Lorna Parke 2017

Keith and Jack Pretty and their sister Lorna Parke share their memories of the Pretty family in Jindivick and the running of the Jindivick store, the Post Office and the telephone exchange. Keith talks about ‘the Jindi bus’ which provided various forms of transport all week and wartime rationing. Lorna talks about becoming postmistress and the Jindivick flower show. Jack talks about the many and varied products sold at the Jindi store, weights and measures, and all siblings talk about the coming of electricity and the phone exchange.

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Told by David Proposch Oct 2017

David Proposch talks about his family, the Walsh family, the Pearson family and the Proposch family. David’s grandfather started the Longwarry timber mill ‘AC Proposch and sons’. The old Drouin flaxmill was purchased by Proposch Bros and converted into a sawmill.David talks about Bill Tampalini the boilerman, filming of scenes for the Lionel Rose movie at the mill and subsequent redevelopment of the land into housing.

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Told by by Keith Cook in November 2018.

Keith Cook shares the story of his railway career starting as junior station assistant working for the Victorian Railways in Warragul and later becoming a level 8 then Line Station Master. Keith also shares the history of railways in Gippsland and Drouin including the railway station, goods shed, station masters, signals, various accidents and many other interesting facts and stories.


Told by Jocelyn Bloye 2019

The River Latrobe Hydro electric company was formed in 1920 to generate electricity from the Toorongo River for the Goodwood timber mills and the town of Warragul.

The scheme was beset with difficulties through the whole process with faulty second hand parts, significant challenges in terrain and lack of experience from any other schemes in Victoria at the time. Although electricity did make it to Warragul in 1922 it closed in 1932. William (Bill) Bloye was an electrical engineer involved in the project.

This story is read by his granddaughter Jocelyn Bloye. 

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The Rotary Club of Drouin was established in 1954. The foundation members read like a who’s who of Drouin at that time: Fred Armstrong President, Bill McDowell Secretary, Bill McLaughlin Treasurer, and 18 other members.

Tim Wills the 2019-2020 President, records the story of the club and the many activities, projects, fundraising events, initiatives and works the club has been involved in for 65 years as well as a brief history of Rotary International.


Jungle Fighter

Memorial Park Drouin


Told by Rod McNab 2015

Rod McNab talks about the history of the Drouin RSL, the granite memorials, the jungle fighter, Memorial Park and the role of the RSL then and now.

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The Presbyterian church of Drouin began in the early years of Drouin’s settlement. A simple wooden church was built in 1880 amongt the forest of tall trees and many families worshiped here. A new brick building was dedicated in 1959 with street names in honour of several church members. The church was renamed Scots Presbyterian in 1968. Robyn Crocker a long term member of the church draws on the written history of the church by Keith Pretty to detail the development of the church, its buildings, the ministers, the long serving elders and leaders and the various church fellowship groups.

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Told by Jim and Doris Smethurst December 2014

Doris Smethurst talks about life growing up in North Poowong before she married Jim. Jim talks about farming in Athlone, serving the Fire Brigade and serving as a councillor on the Buln Buln Shire. (On the honour board for the Buln Buln Shire it shows Smethursts have been involved for 61 years.)Both talk about raising their family and Doris shares about CWA, sport and homes crafts.

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Told by Eileen Smith December 2014

Eileen describes her life working in retail in Drouin at the newsagency, Mrs McMillans and 20 years managing the ladies department in Bacon’s Drapery. She describes ladies garments and sizes and various kinds of knitting wools for babies and children’s garments. Eileen describes the changes in Drouin’s main street and also shares about the golf club, bowling and the Anglican Church.

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Rob Smith's Memoirs of Drouin

Told by Vicky Metcalf 2016

Rob Smith was the son of Dr Robert and Mrs Jessie Smith (nee Grant). After Dr Smith died young Rob stayed for a time in Drouin before he and his mother moved to Melbourne. Rob often spent holidays on his uncle’s orchard in Drouin and later in life wrote down his memories of Drouin. Vicky Metcalf, Rob’s granddaughter reads his memoirs and his family background for this collection of stories including Antonio Debertolis, the Howitt family, Main Street, Mr JD Russell, Mr Roland, Drouin Primary School, Presbyterian church, sporting clubs, street lighting.

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Told by Brian Maunder  2016

Brian Maunder wrote the history of St Ita’s church and has compiled some highlights for this story. He records the history of the parish, the church buildings and the school. He describes memories of some of the parishioners including the following families Notman, McHugh, Percy, Dore, Stevens, Minahan, Mona Jennings, Bibby, Gleeson, Knapping, Schlitz, and Burke. Brian also talks about organizations supporting the church such as the Catholic Womens League, St Vincent de Paul and Knights of the Southern Cross.

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The Hollies is one of Drouin’s most well known houses on Main South Road. The story of this property is also the story of Bishop Arthur Green. Educated in Melbourne, he was the first Bishop consecrated at St Pauls Cathedral Melbourne in 1894. He was Bishop of Grafton/ Armidale for seven years before taking on the role of Bishop of Ballarat. His brother in law Horace Tucker established settlement villages in the Drouin area in the 1890s.   


The love of the area inspired Arthur to purchase land in 1902 and build a holiday retreat for his family. Described as a man of unquenchable vitality, Bishop Green had the role in Ballarat for 15 years. He owned The Hollies until 1913/14. Bishop Green planted the old trees still at The Hollies. 


Judy Farmer gave this talk to the Drouin History group in June 2019.

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Told by Charlie Thomson (with Bill Palmer) December 2014 and Sandy Ward 2018

Charlie left school at 12 years old. He was up early to milk cows and chop wood to 5 foot lengths for carting to the Drouin Butter Factory. Logs would be stacked, 10-15 rows of five foot firewood behind the DBF and fed into the boiler. Charlie also talks about farming, milking, marriage and family. The interview was done with Charlie together with Bill Palmer. Charlie's daughter Sandy also reads the eulogy from her father's funeral.


Told by Judy Farmer January 2017

Judy Farmer gave the Australia Day breakfast talk in 2017 titled “If only the trees could talk”. She tells the story of Drouin through its trees, from the Great Gippsland Forest, then timber milling, land clearing and farming, to the trees which still exist today, both remnant like ‘The Settlement Giant' and also exotics which were planted by early settlers. Leo Boeyen is acknowledged and some words of advice from our trees are shared.

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