Reading the news by the light of a hurricane lamp
A gem of Ranges history has come to the office of Ferntree Gully News.
A faded and tattered broadsheet, it is Volume 6, No. 603 of Fern Tree Gully News, dated May 4 1929.
Sydney resident Lyn Hermon found it among family papers and has sent it to us. She writes:
‘I was born Lyn Hermon – daughter of William John Hermon (dec.) who was a well-known
business man/farmer character of Menzies Creek. My grandfather was William Hermon a bullocky (with other occupations – road contractor, shearer, farmer) also of Menzies Creek. His father – my great grandfather selected land in Menzies Creek in the 1800s.
‘The 1929 Fern Tree Gully News [I am sending you] was probably one my grandfather owned. He evidently was an avid reader of newspapers by hurricane lamp … By 1929 my father was 13 and also a reader so he might have read this issue too.
‘There is plenty to read of my family across the ages! My Mum was a great collector of memorabilia, especially that related to the family though there doesn’t seem to be anything specifically family in this particular paper.
‘I have posted the paper to your office – it is a bit sad looking but the articles and particularly the ads are gems.’
The broadsheet newspaper Lyn Hermon has sent us has been folded many times, the paper is fragile, and will not photograph well. But we are keen to share extracts with today’s readers.
As the masthead says, the main office of the 1920s newspaper was in Belgrave. Adverts and news items come from Monbulk and Gembrooke to Vermont and Forest Hill. Prominent are the Royal Hotel, Upper Gully, and The Club Hotel, Mountain Gate, both still in their original (much refurbished) buildings.
A standout ad is for a family business who still advertise in the present day Ferntree Gully News. This is DeCoite’s, originally the blacksmith near the Club Hotel, proudly one of the longest established family firms in area.