From the 1920s to today
North Shore Progress Association 1927

First Annual Meeting

(Geelong Advertiser 18 March 1927)

At the first annual meeting of the North Shore Progress Association, Mr A. F. Taylor, vice-president, occupied the chair. There was a good attendance of members. The secretary read a full report he had prepared of the Association’s activities during the period since its inception. This was received and adopted. The treasurer reported on the financial position of the Association and is to submit a balance sheet at next meeting.

The election of office-bearers resulted in the appointment of Mr. K. A. Millard as president, and Messrs. A. F. Taylor and H. Gourley, vice-presidents; Messrs. A. Finnegan, W. Bickerton, W. Townley, H. Trethowan, G.D. Smith, F. J Brookes as committee-men: D. McClure, secretary; W. Clarke, assistant secretary.

The following additions and new rules were agreed upon: - Rule 12 had the following words added to it: - “Shall have control of property other than that vested in the bathing box and reserve committee.” All cheques drawn by the association to be by the president, secretary, or treasurer, of which there must be at least two of their signatures thereon.

Mr. P. C. Wildman suggested arranging social gatherings; this matter was deferred for future consideration.

Moved by Mr. W. Townley and seconded by Mr. A. P. Thompson, a vote of thanks was passed and a minute ordered to be placed on the minute book in appreciation of the services of Mr. W. G. Madden, who had acted as hon. Secretary since the formation of the Association. He had declined to accept a further term of office owing to the increased business he was doing demanding more of his time than ever. This was supported by Mr. Geo. Evans and Mr. K. A. Millard, the president. Mr. Townley said that the secretary’s report was a masterpiece, and he was really the Progress Association in himself.

Mr. Madden returned thanks and urged members to take an optimistic view of the future of the district and back up their Municipal Council in its work. He moved a hearty vote of thanks to the retiring officers who had so loyally supported him; this was seconded by Mr. P. Maloney, and carried with acclamation.


The annual report read as follows:-

The inaugural meeting of persons who felt interested in the formation of a Progress Association at North Shore was held in the old Presbyterian Church building at that place on 10th March 1926. Cr. Geo. Evans presided, and it was decided to obtain a draft of rules that would be suitable for governing same. Mr. W. G. Madden was appointed secretary pro tem. At a subsequent meeting held on 16th March 1926, the Association was duly founded by the present set of rules being adopted and officers appointed. The Association arranged to meet every month, and there has been an attendance of from 18 to 25 at each meeting. The membership roll comprises 50 members, of whom 41 have paid up their subscriptions for the year.

At the outset the Association set about endeavouring to acquire for North Shore benefits that it was not previously enjoying, and the result has been that we can heartily congratulate ourselves on the wonderful measure of success that we have met with; clearly showing what can be achieved by unity of action, and working in harmony with the various public and semi-public bodies.

Amongst some of the more noteworthy matters that have been obtained is the erection of two substantially built concrete bathing boxes, fitted with fresh water showers, drinking tap in the reserve, cutting of ramp in the cliff to provide easy access to the beach, repairs to shelter shed, and by means of proper representation to the Geelong Water and Sewerage Trust, the sewerage system has been installed in the township area earlier than what was expected.

The Melbourne Electric Supply Company have installed high tension mains, and same are connected to the Australian Co-operative Phosphate Company, and also a breaking down station has been provided, and some of the houses are now lit by electricity, and the company is shortly to extend their services into several private streets in the township area. Your Association has been agitating for the Corio Shire Council to provide street lighting also. The Water Trust has also given an improved service in the district, and a splendid pressure is available by means of three-inch mains, one of which was laid during the year in Myrtle Grove.

A visit has been paid to the township twice during the past year by officers of the Country Fire Brigade Board and the Geelong City Brigade, and if a site is provided, it is fairly certain that a brigade equipment would be supplied; this would help in fire prevention and lessen the cost of fire insurance premiums, and during the coming year should not be lost sight of, also the formation of a voluntary Fire Brigade Corps.

Through the energy of some of the staff associated with Ford’s enterprise, a Life Saving Patrol has been established and several of our members give their services during the period when there are a number of persons bathing, in keeping a watchful eye over bathers so as to render assistance in the event of any of them getting into difficulties. Through the courtesy of the Geelong Harbour Trust the old jetty has been effectively repaired, a life-buoy provided on same, the children’s swings placed in good order, and a bathing stage and spring-board provided.

Formerly the children of the district had to walk either to the North Geelong or Cowies Creek State School, but as a result of agitation, and with the co-operation and support of Inspector Grey and Mr. E. Morley, M.L.A., a school was established in June last in the old Presbyterian Church building by the Education Department with an opening attendance of 17 children; the attendance is now 50, and has proved a great boon to children and parents. A school committee was formed amongst residents, and as the population of the district has advanced so quickly it was found that a permanent school with modern conveniences was required, your Association co-operated with the school committee in urging that a new school be built on a site that had been provided by the Ford Estates Syndicate, and we are in receipt of information that the Department are preparing plans of a building in brick to seat at least 120 children, and that the matter is being treated as urgent.

Further recognition of the growing importance of the district is furnished by the Postal Department providing telephone and telegraph facilities at your Post Office, and the provision by the State Electoral Department of a polling booth for the first time at North Shore, which will be used during the forthcoming elections; the Federal Returning Officer for Corio has also favourably recommended such to his Department.

An effort was made by a local industry to have the name of the township changed to some other, on the ground of confusion with a similar name in New South Wales. The Corio Council asked for an opinion from your Association, and after a lengthy debate, it was resolved unanimously for the name to remain as it is, it being felt that with a little care on the part of those addressing letters or goods, there should be no cause for objection to the present name.

The Victorian Railways gave courteous consideration to a request from your members for the 8.8 a.m. up express train to stop for a few minutes at North Geelong, to pick up passengers from North Geelong, North Shore and Corio, as it would enable them to reach Melbourne at an earlier berth for business, but the Department could not see its way clear to accede to the request, maintaining that the succeeding 8.20 a.m. train stopped at all stations. A culvert at the entrance to the railway station at North Shore that was unprotected, has since been provided with a guard rail as a result of a request to the Council, who have also urged the Road Users’ Association to provide a a direction finger post at Ford’s corner indicating the way to the station and the beach.

The Geelong Harbour Trust brought forward a matter of great importance to North Shore during negotiations with the Corio Shire Council regarding the widening of the main Melbourne road, and Mr. J. H. Grey, the secretary of the Trust, kindly came to one of our meetings and gave a most instructive address, and further enlightened members on the scheme by means of plans; it was for a new road to be constructed, commencing on the east side of the Separation Street railway bridge and continuing towards North Shore over the arm of the sea by means of a bridge, and coming out on to the Esplanade Road, it would also be of great benefit to the industries on the foreshore; the estimated cost was £20,000, and the Harbour Trust was prepared to donate £10,000 on certain conditions; this road would subsequently link up with the scenic road proposed by your secretary some years ago, which would follow the coastline and enter again on to the main Melbourne-Geelong road near the Hume Obelisk at the Duck Ponds Bridge. Your Association decided to give its unanimous support and assistance to further the scheme; a complete report regarding same is in your minutes.

During the year the Association considered the district had a neglected appearance owing to the extensive growth of boxthorn and took steps to have such trimmed or cut out; we appreciate the support given by the Noxious Weeds and Vermin Destruction Department of the Government, and the district inspector and his staff in having the matter attended to; thus giving the area a mor up-to-date look.

Complaints had been made regarding the unsuitability of the motor ’bus time table, and as result of efforts made, there are now two lines of motor ‘bus services runni9ng to and from the township and giving satisfaction. During the past few weeks and estate known as “Costelloe’s” was subdivided and sold at auction, and fetched prices considerably in excess of what was paid for land in the vicinity about three years ago. The block in question, it was hoped, would have been obtained by the Corio Shire Council for use as a recreation ground, but the price, £600 per acre, asked by the owners thereof, was not entertained by the Council, despite the fact that the strongest deputation that has ever waited upon the Council, urged the purchase of same. Your members are still keen upon a site being secured, and another effort is being made, and with that end in view, a petition is being prepared for presentation by a deputation to the Council. It is felt by the members that they will ultimately succeed in obtaining a reserve, as it is known that the Council is very sympathetically inclined to the proposal. Very interesting addresses were delivered at a meeting of your Association by Lieut.-Col. Purnell, Messrs A. E. Anderson and Hope of the Town Planning Association. They spoke most enthusiastically regarding the situation and natural advantages of the township and its beautiful surroundings, and we very much appreciate their advice and general remarks thereon.

At Costelloe’s sale, several ladies and others assisted your Association to conduct two stalls for the sale of light refreshments in aid of our fund for beach improvements, and we are deeply indebted to Mr. and Mrs. Maloney for the use of their garage and the assistance of those who so kindly came forward to help. The glasses hired for the occasion we decided to purchase for future use. A committee has also been formed to devise ways and means of procuring further money by means of entertainments, etc.

We feel deeply indebted to the “Geelong Advertiser” for the very full reports of our meetings and assistance generally in helping the progress of North Shore, also to the Corio Shire Council for their donation of twenty pounds; W.G. Madden, for £20; Bay View Estate Syndicate, per Mr. M. H. Wright, £2/2/-; Mr. D. McGruer, 10/6; also Mr. A. R. Whitchurch for large spirit lamp for the meeting hall; Mr. Gourley for signboard and iron rods and paint brushes; Mr. Crafter, wooden studs; Cr. G. Evans, quantity of lime and payment for work done repairing reserve fence; Mr. Millard, timber, Mr. Finnegan and Mr. McGruer, sheets of iron.

Services given gratuitously in labour were rendered more particularly by Messrs. Brookes, Smith, Morris, Trethowan, A. F. Taylor, P. C. Wildman and W. Maskell, and to them our best thanks are due.

During the past year the Association urged the Corio Shire Council to construct roads in the township area, as owing to the number of houses being built the drainage thereof lying in unmade streets was likely to cause sickness. We are glad to know that the Council have prepared plans and estimates for road construction, etc., at an estimated cost of £15,000, and tenders for same are likely to be let at an early date.

It is satisfactory to know that when the Co-operative Phosphate Company Works (which we understand will be the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere) are in full working order, that there is a likelihood of several of their employees taking advantage of the city advantages that North Shore township will shortly possess, such as made roads and footpaths, in addition to electric light, town water supply and sewerage, which is at present obtainable. Numbers of Ford employees are residing in the district, and it is confidently hoped that with the advent of other industries in the near future, a further increase will take place in the population, and further strengthen the personnel and funds of your Association.

Owing to the large increase of persons and picnickers visiting North Shore since the bathing boxes have been installed, your Association requested the Corio Council to provide in the Beach Reserve, public conveniences built of brick and sewered. The Council have, we understand, obtained an estimate of costs of around £200, and consideration has been deferred. These conveniences, however, are essential to the place. Name of residents were submitted by the Progress Association to the Council and Harbour Trust for approval as committees of management of the bathing boxes and reserve and were approved by same.

A subscription was opened for the sufferers from the Tornado that caused devastation in the Belmont district, and a sum of £2/2/- was obtained and forwarded with a letter of sympathy.

We realise that there are still many other things such as completion of ramp on the reserve and a hand railing, building of an ornamental shelter pavilion of concrete on the Beach Reserve, with provision made for a copper for hot water for picnickers, breakwater to protect the bathing boxes and concrete paths leading from same to the water, but money is required to carry out same and we confidently appeal to all persons who are property owners in North Shore to join our Association, and thereby their subscription of 5/- yearly, help to provide for further improvements, and also furnish ideas for others.

During the year Mr. Lenny resigned from the committee, as he had left Geelong, and Mr. Townley was appointed in his place. Mr. D. C. McGruer also tendered his resignation at last meeting as president, owing to pressure of business. His past services were much appreciated, and the resignation was accepted with regret. Our best thanks are due to Mr. E. Morley, M.L.A., Mr. J. H Lister, M.H.R., Town Planning Association, Ford Company, Co-operative Phosphate Company, Corio Shire Council, Geelong Harbour Trust, Water and Sewerage Trust, Melbourne Electric Supply Company, and Victorian Railway Commissioners for their consideration and courtesy during the past year in the various matters we approached them on.

We forwarded Christmas greetings and goodwill letters to them, and they were heartily reciprocated.

In conclusion, there has been many thousands of pounds of public and private money spent in buildings, public utilities and industries, and 39 homes erected in the district during the past 12 months or so, and several others are in course of erection, clearly showing the need of a live Progress Association, which we can honestly say ours to be. We have achieved practically everything (except the recreation reserve) we set out to do, and this is something to be proud of. All members worked cordially together for the general welfare, and I heartily thank the officers and members for their loyalty and kindly support during my term of office, which has been a pleasure, and respectfully desire the same for my successor.

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