Category Archives: edenhope

As we remember… Edenhope & District Stories by Yvonne McDonnell

As we remember book

available to purchase from edenhope historical society –   $50 (plus postage)  

Click here to find details on how to  purchase this book

The book contains a selection of the stories – Jim Penrose, Vonnie Penrose, Annie Brant, Friday Robinson, Bill Crabtree’s Letter, Molly Farran, John Warner, Jean Burrell, KR Burchell, JR ‘Bob’ McClure, Tom Ryan, Rae Middleton, Charlie Kealy, Ian ‘Jack’ Burns, The sisters – Alma Logan & Enid Rivett, From Poverty to Prosperity – Kevin Sumemrhayes, Edenhope As I remember – Lois Krause, Margaret Street, Edenhope – Nan Hall,  Warwick Dubois, Tom Gaynor, The Hills of Clunie, Jim Close, The Old Town in the Hollow, Thelma Tansey, Audrey Loft & Barbara McCarthy, Richie Foster, Winterlake Point to Point by Richie Foster, Gerard Cranage, The Golden Rule, Audrey Huntly, Chetwynd of Yesteryear, John Gartlan, Footsteps on the Floor, Lila Robertson, Dr Ron Bade, Max Grigg, Pauline Kelly, Norma Vordermaier, Robert Harkness, John Wilson, Peter Cassidy, Dorothy Robinson, Frankie Quinn, Jean Lampard, Pop McLean, Jack Cooney, Alec McDougall.  Plus photos of Edenhope, Goroke, Harrow and Apsley and other contributions.

View the full contents page :   As We Remember Contents  (3.17Mb)



What started out as an A3 page of history in the West Wimmera Advocate about the Edenhope Hospital has now turned into a delightful 66 page coloured book which includes information relating to facilities, services, employees, memoirs and photos. Yvonne McDonnell and her assistant cohorts, Christine Bull (designer) and Norm Robinson (editorial consultant) worked constantly throughout 2012 to create this book, which was launched at the Lions Park, following the annual 2013 Australia Day early morning ceremony.


The book titled “Edenhope & District Memorial Hospital. Celebrating 100 years 1910 – 2010” has been a project that grew from the hospital Centenary Celebrations which were held in November 2010.  The book is available for sale  for $30.00, plus postage if required. Further copies may be obtained by contacting the hospital on (03)55859800.


A 50th anniversary celebration of the opening of the ‘new” hall at Douglas will be held on the 19th August, 2012, at 12 noon.    It will be in the hall and will take the form of a byo lunch to share.  Everyone welcome to attend.  Enquiries please contact  Elizabeth Costello  (03)  9598  9390

This is the “old hall” 1906


This is the “new hall’  1962


Senator Harrie Wade OBE officially opened the ‘new’ hall at a Gala Ball on the 17th August, 1962.   The hall replaced the original hall which was opened on the 24th August, 1906.

The ‘new’ Mt. Gambier stone public hall was built by Kevin Healey of Hamilton for five thousand, six hundred and eighty-seven pounds ($11,374) and the dance floor was made of Australian Ash timber.   It was an occasion to be remembered.   Two of the district’s former residents, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Bull, who had retired to Portland, were given the honour of being the first couple to dance on the new floor.   Their grand-daughter, Miss Norma Shrive, partnered by Mr. Robert Haddon, was Star of the Ball.   Many hundreds of locals and visitors danced the night away to Stephenson’s Orchestra from Cavendish and Mr. Jack Ross was M.C.   Earlier the same evening about sixty former residents were entertained at a high tea in the supper room.   The Hall Committee President at the time was Mr. Ian McLachlan and the Secretary, Mr. Stan Hobbs.


Yvonne signing books – photo courtesy Christine Bull

The 2012  Australia Day launch of Yvonne McDonnell’s book at Edenhope was an all out success.  There were no spare seats available with almost 200 people attending,  including many of the district identities that were interviewed by the author. Some attendees came from as far as Perth, Mildura, Melbourne and Adelaide and Yvonne was overwhelmed with support for her wonderful and tireless effort to get this book published.

Speakers on the day included Ron Penrose, Richie Foster, Barry McClure and Loraine Harkness.  Yvonne expressed her heartfelt thanks to all who helped her on this journey  including Christine Bull, design and layout, Norm Robinson, editorial consultant, Allan Sambell, Jan Lampard and Geoff Langsworth, members of Edenhope & District Historical Society.

Book Cover – Photo of Lake Wallace Edenhope

A fantastic morning  tea supplied by Cheryl’s Coffee Blitz was then enjoyed by everyone, while  Yvonne did some book signing.  Sales of the book have been so successful that a reprint is now necessary.   Funds raised from the sale of books will be managed by the Edenhope & District Historical Society for various projects including the signage of historical sites around Edenhope.

You can view the contents page of the book here – As We Remember Contents.

Monument to our Pioneers

Kevin and Pearl Summerhayes donated this monument to the Edenhope community in recognition of the pioneers of the Edenhope District.  Most Pioneer Settlers in the Edenhope District took up farming, represented by the plough and wheel.  This work was mainly done by horses represented by the water trough.   Edenhope was also the route taken by the Chinese going to the goldfields  near Bendigo. These Chinese were great market gardeners and stonemasons, and are represented by the Chinaman, the stone walls and the water can.  The stone that the plaque is mounted on came from the original Lake Wallace Hotel and would have also been shaped by Chinese Stonemasons.

Most urban dwellers in the town would have drawn their water from a well, represented by the hand pump.  In 1878 the court house  building  was built and officially opened in 1879 to serve the pioneers of the district.  The flag poles represent the great loyalty and patriotism that these pioneers had for their Queen and country that continues to this day.

On 27th November , 2011 and unveiling of the Monument to Our Pioneers took place with local member for the Lowan Electorate, The Hon. Hugh Delahunty, MP,  in attendance.  Descendants of pioneer families were invited and a total of 24 locals participated by ‘sprinkling’ water on the monument.

Some of the families represented were : Bull, Kealy, Edwards, Caldow, Pahl, Ryan,  McDonald, Cranage, Cassidy, Hamiton, Mahoney,  Dixon, Reader, Robertson, Tansey, Whitehead, Sambell, Lampard amongst others.

The Hon. Hugh Delahunty MP, member for Lowan helped Kevin unveil the plaque.  Did you know Edenhope was the Port capital of Australia?  Well that’s  what Hugh said his research told him.  An interesting speech.

Do you have any information about Edenhope War Veterans to share on the new Victorian Veterans Virtual Museum?

Edenhope War Memorial

Edenhope War Memorial

The Victorian War Heritage Inventory was developed in partnership with Heritage Victoria. It is a searchable online database containing information and images of places relating to Victoria’s war history including war memorials, avenues of honour, places of commemoration and former defence sites. Users can search for places according to keyword, postcode, region, type of heritage, or conflict commemorated. Continue reading

Edenhope Newspapers Digitised

Its taken a while but finally, at the request of the Edenhope & District Historical Society and with financial support from West Wimmera Shire the following newspapers have been digitised and are now available on a set of three CD’s at the Shire Offices.  The total cost is $40.00.  For sales contact Dianne Bradshaw on 03 55 859 900.  Due to copyright, articles contained on the CD’s cannot be published.

KOWREE ADVOCATE    15-10-1930 to 21-12-1983
EDENHOPE CHRONICLE   07-07-1906 , 05-02-1908 and 15-05-1908. ( single editions only.)
KOWREE  ENSIGN            05-10-1883 and 30-11-1883. ( single editions only )
KOWREE  LEADER           03-01-1913  to  14-12-1917.


1960 Edenhope Premiership Football Team

“JB” Forster has done a wonderful job to organise all but three living (4 team members have passed on) members of the Jack Finck’s second premiership team in three years – the  1960 Premiership Team, to celebrate a reunion during the Edenhope-Apsley Saints versus Harrow Balmoral Roos game at Edenhope this Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend  11th June, 2011.  Coming from as far as Bairnsdale and Darwin, everyone is making a special effort  and looking forward to a great weekend.   There will be a display of newspaper clippings, photographs and no doubt lots of stories being told on the day.
Team members of the 1971-1972 Premiership (photo courtesty Donna And-Wayne Farr on the Edenhopehistory facebook site)   team will also celebrate a reunion with coach John McBain , who went on to play with Port Adelaide Football Club, together with the famous  former Norwood and Collingwood player Phil Carman.
The back to back wins were against Kybybolite and 1970 Kyby coach Graeme MacKenzie, who previously played with Fitzroy, will be at the “The Longneck Club” at 1pm where the 1970-71 players will meet along with the 1960 boys.

The evening will continue with entertainment from Kevin Sporer , a very popular entertainer for many past Edenhope events.  On Sunday, a BBQ lunch at the clubrooms from 11 am – 1 pm ……… and another chance to reminisce!!

For all the ex footy players now turned golfing addicts –  Edenhope Golf Club plays competition golf on Sunday afternoons and welcomes visiting players.

1960 Edenhope Premiership Ken Magor letter1960 Edenhope Premiership final score


Edenhope-Apsley made a great start to the new Horsham District Football League season last Saturday with an opening round win against Noradjuha-Quantong at Edenhope.   Check out some history of the Edenhope Football Club and a video of “Edenhope wins against Borders 1983”  Well worth the 6.5 minutes to watch!
Have you got some interesting video, photos or stories to share?  We would love to publish them here – please contact us through the contact page.

Henley on Lake Wallace 2011

Saturday 12th Feb 2011 Street Parade started at 2pm followed by great day out for all the family on Lake Wallace Foreshore, EDENHOPE Victoria AUSTRALIA.  There are a few photos of the procession at the Edenhope history facebook page photo album.

There was LOTS OF FUN and entertainment.  • Chris Sperou  • Childrens activities & rides • Show Bags • Quick Shear• Youth Activities inc Sumo Suits• Food & bar facilities• Elijah Maddern & Band• Rolling Pin Competition• Mystery games• Fireworks•

Check out the edenhope history facebook photo page – there is an album of photos of Henley on Lake Wallace previous procession entries. Also read about the history of Henley on Lake Wallace here.