The Society, The Newsletter and Court House
Featured Pic. As part of the Moonee Valley Festival on 28 Feb 2006, EHS members provided a fashion show paying tribute to Luck and Robotham, Ladies’ Underclothiers.
The Essendon Historical Society (EHS) became 50 years old in 2020.
The Society was founded on 29 July 1970 by local citizens with an interest in history. EHS Life Member, Eve Park and her husband Bill, were instrumental in our foundation. Eve has described how it happened in The Newsletter no. 260 of September – October 2021.
The Newsletter turns 50
Not surprising, given that EHS was founded in 1970, the The Newsletter is also 50 years old with the first printed in August 1971 and edited by Val Barnett. By 1972, there was discussion on the name of the newsletter and options such as Essendonian, Saltwater River and Sentinel were canvassed. However, the name remained, and a recent selection is included on this site on the News and Events Page.
EHS based in the Moonee Ponds Court House for 40 years.
So, after 1970, the Society was active in preserving and recording our history but It did not have a home and relied on meetings in private homes and later the foyer of the Essendon Town Hall and later still the Essendon Civic Centre.
By 1972, the 1890 Moonee Ponds Court House had been identified as it was due for replacement. However, the Public Works Department (PWD) advised the building was to be demolished to house a district headquarters for Victoria Police. Over many years, the Society was supported by local politicians, Essendon City Council and the National Trust with appeals reaching the Premier to overturn the demolition order. In May 1979, the Police dropped their claim and in February 1981, under an agreement between the Council and PWD, the Society gained occupancy of the “Old Moonee Ponds Court House”.
Left: Mayor, Cr Colin Clark, addresses the crowd at the Grand Opening.
The Grand Opening occurred on 25 October 1981. This not only gave the Society a headquarters but saved a precious building.
More detail can be found in The Newsletter no. 260. This will be on the website once the next issue is published. A selection of newsletters can be accessed on the News & Events page.