Thursday, August 13, 2020

75th anniversary of the end of World War Two

August 15, 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World War Two, V.P Day - Victory in the Pacific Day.

World War II at home: Victoria Remembers  is an interesting website which looks at eighteen different aspects of Victoria's response to the War such as the Explosives Factory at Maribyrnong, the Mallacoota Bunker and the Internment camp at Tatura.

Closer to home we have a number of oral histories which look at life in the area during World War Two - listen to them here
These were recorded 25 to 30 years ago and we were fortunate to capture the memories of these  local people before it was too late.

As you can imagine the end of the War was a cause for celebration and this great account of how Tooradin celebrated is from the Dandenong Journal, August 22, 1945 (see here). It was indeed a gay day as the head line said and dancing went on until 3.15am!

Peace Day Was A Gay Day At Tooradin
Tooradin's Peace Celebrations Committee was not caught unprepared by the official declaration of peace last Wednesday. Its members had been quietly working and getting ready for the great day, and in no time celebrations were on the way. These opened with a general thanks giving meeting in the hall. Mr. R. Charlton, president of the committee was the first to speak, followed by Mr. W. Dawson (for the soldiers of the Great War) Mr. R. Roberts (ex-R.A.A.F., for the men of this war), Mr. S. Axup (for the people) and Miss Beryl Kernot (for the younger generation). Wreaths were then laid on the temporary cenotaph by Mr. Dawson (R.S.S. & A.1.L.A.), Mrs. Beckham (Red Cross), Mrs. Limer (C.W.A.) Beryl Kernot (Tooradin School), and many individuals who in this time of rejoicing did not forget those who had given their lives to achieve peace.

The afternoon was given over to the children, and the St. Leon family, of circus fame, brought, their clowns and circus ponies along to entertain and delight them. It was a real treat for the kiddies. The Misses Peggy and Stella St. Leon gave the children an exhibition of trick riding and tumbling, etc., and the clowns ‘‘brought the house down.” On behalf of the committee we wish to thank these young artists for coming along and entertaining the children. After the circus the young folk were regaled with afternoon tea. Everything was there to make the youngsters happy. After tea, races were held -prizes and no blanks! The money scramble in the saw dust also caused a lot of fun and excitement. It was a tired but happy band of children who made for home after a day they will never forget.

The night was given over to the older folk. The hall was thrown open to everyone and proceedings opened with community singing to music supplied, by Miss Cheesman’s orchestra, and under the baton of Mr. Frank Hamilton. Mr. Jack. Mclnnes sang “Under the Shade of the Old Apple Tree” and “We Parted By-The Shore,” and Mr. J. Higham obliged with “Take Me Back To Old Yirginny.” Mr. Limer gave a great exhibition of high kicking and conjuring, winding up with his celebrated Firefly Dance. All of the items were greatly appreciated by the large audience. Dancing commenced at 10.30 and went on till 3.15. Supper, tasty and satisfying, was served by the ladies, who were also responsible for the appropriate decorations which brightened the hall. We have a lot to thank these ladies for they are workers, believe me. Source: Dandenong Journal, August 22, 1945 (see here)

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