Interested in the History of Fawkner?

Fawkner Community House would like to set up a local history group of people who are interested in the history of Fawkner—how it formed; what is was like in the early days and how it has changed over time. We would like to hear from anyone who is interested in being involved in exploring Fawkner’s history – collecting stories, putting together a booklet about our community’s past, etc.

If you are interested in becoming involved please contact the Community House on 9357 4631 and we will set up a meeting of interested people.

Here is a brief history from the Wikipedia page on Fawkner:

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    The area was originally called and was part of Box Forest, named by Melbourne settler pioneer, John Pascoe Fawkner. In 1867 John Jukes bought a parcel of land in the area and named it Fawkner in honour of the pioneer settler. [2]

    One of the original settlers in Fawkner was Michael Dowling and his family who settled on their property at Major Road near Merri Creek in September 1902, grazing cattle to fatten for market. Miss Dowling described the area then as a harsh windy place with few trees and a few unfinished shacks.[2]

    The first school in the area was the Fawkner State School, opened 1909, on Lynch Road. The school was decommissioned in the 1990s and was subsequently purchased in 1997 by the Quang Duc Buddhist Welfare Association to form the buddhist Quang Duc Temple.[3]

    The opening of the Upfield railway line on 8 October 1889 (electrified to Fawkner on 2 December 1920);[4] and the development and opening of the Fawkner general cemetery in December 1906 encouraged residential development in the south of the suburb.

    By 1910 there were 35 houses within walking distance of Fawkner Station.[2]

    Electricity was extended to Fawkner in 1920 by the City of Coburg Electricity Supply Department. Returned soldiers started settling the suburb in the 1920s. By 1939 post office directories listed 180 buildings in Fawkner.[2]

    North Fawkner remained a dairy farm owned by the Coyne family until 1945. The period after World War II saw the most significant period of development in the suburb with the first public housing built by the Housing Commission in 1949 and continuing up until the 1960s with the development of the Moomba Park estate, named after the initial Labour Day Moomba Parade held in 1955. Other facilities established included Fawkner swimming pool in 1964 and Fawkner Library in 1969.[2]

    The Post Office opened in 1878 as Box Forest, was renamed Fawkner in 1885 and closed in 1888. The next Fawkner office was open in 1904 and 1905. The third (known briefly as Faulkner) was open from 1909 until renamed Fawkner South in 1960. The fourth was open from 1960 until renamed Fawkner East in 1970, when the current Fawkner office opened. In addition, a Fawkner West office was open from 1962 until 1993, and the Fawkner North office on Anderson Road in the Moomba Park area opened in 1961.[5]

    The suburb was transferred in 1994 from the Municipality of Broadmeadows to the new City of Moreland when the Victorian Government redrew local government boundaries.[2]

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Fawkner is served by two railway stations, Fawkner and Gowrie. Wikipedia briefly documents their history:

    Fawkner opened on 8 October 1889. It closed in 1903 and reopened in 1906 as Fawkner Cemetery, and was renamed Fawkner in 1914.[1] The adjacent cemetery opened in 1906, and from then until 1939 special mortuary trains ran.[2] From October 1914 only seven trains daily ran to Fawkner, as well as the daily mortuary train to the cemetery.[3] Until 1959 Fawkner was the extent of suburban electrified services, with an AEC railmotor used from 1928 until 1959 to provide a connecting service north to Somerton station.[4][5]

    Gowrie station opened on 16 October 1928 as Rail Motor Stopping Place 21. It closed in 1956 and reopened in 1965 as Gowrie.[2] Until 1991 every second train terminated here. The station was upgraded to a Premium Station in 1998.[3]

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Resources:

* Moreland City Council – History of Fawkner webpage

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About John Englart

Citizen journalist, photographer, social justice activist, parent, cyclist, bibliophile, NTEU member, casual web content editor for Melbourne Polytechnic, a Victorian TAFE Institute.
This entry was posted in community, groups, history and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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