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CORIO      Geelong Advertiser 13 September 1932

It is but a few short years since the name of Corio was on everyone’s lips. To some the name sounded as magic, for they had bought land in the projected “garden suburb of Geelong” and they visualized the brief period that would have to elapse before they reaped the reward of their investment. Those folk were envied by those who were unable to participate in the so-called wonderful opportunity offered to make a lot of money in a little time. However today the envious mantle is on other shoulders – it has shifted to those who did buy, for they are now envious of those who had the good fortune to keep away from the speculative attraction. As a pioneer resident of the locality said at the time: “The ideas are all right but it will take twenty years for them to mature.”

However, what happened in those boom days has nothing to do with the general stability of the district, and those residents of the district who for years past have placed their confidence in its primary productiveness have no regrets. The name Corio is only of comparatively recent application; the old residents of the district always refer to it as Cowies Creek. Although the district was never thickly populated, it has suffered the same fate as many other localities, and has lost a deal of the population. There are names that have been associated with the district almost since its inception. Nearly a century has elapsed since the late John Shannahan came to the district, and later built a stone residence near the junction of the Melbourne and the Bacchus Marsh Roads. The name is still associated with the district, for his descendants have carried on farming pursuits there until during the boom period they sold most of their land.

The late John Dunne was also a pioneer of the district. He owned a large area of land, which he disposed of from time to time to others who came to the district. It is stated that he built the Corio Shire Hotel, which still stands. He also erected the Ocean Child Hotel, but that structure was later destroyed by fire. The Lowrey family has also been in the district for a great number of years. The late Mr. Wm. Lowrey, who died within the last two weeks, was born in the district, and with Messrs E Shannahan and J O’Brien shared the honour of being the oldest pupils of school living in the district. His parents were amongst the earliest landholders in the district.

Likewise with the names of O’Brien, McLachlan and King, they have been in the district for periods that well qualify them for the ranks of the pioneers.

Perhaps the outstanding event in the history of Corio so far as publicity is concerned took place during the land subdivision boom, when on that memorable day a few years ago special trains brought a great crowd from the metropolis to see the progress that was being made with the creation of the “garden suburb”. One thousand people were entertained at afternoon tea on that occasion. The name of the late C.J. De Garis will always be associated with those hectic days of a peaceful country settlement. But there are also more solid and permanent means of advertising Corio. The establishment of the Geelong Grammar School in the district was a great asset, and later the choosing of a site in the locality by the Distillers Corporation for their distillery brought the district into prominence. There is a feeling that more will yet be heard of Corio, but who can say how far in the future it will be?


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