Residents campaigned for Gandolfo Gardens over 100 years ago, now we need to do so again

Moreland Reserve
Moreland Reserve (Aerial view)

The gardens with the mature trees, and the playground equipment around Moreland Station are there because local residents campaigned strongly for these parklands and amenities over 100 years ago, from 1910 to 1911, but also for Coburg Council to do ongoing maintenance well past the initial establishment.

Level Crossing Removal Project want to use this area for construction and vehicle parking during level crossing removal and construction of the elevated Moreland station and the four level crossings from Bell street to Moreland Road.

We have heard that LXRP are undertaking an extensive arborists report including root zones. They have made a committment to sharing these with Moreland City Council. They have also told Councillors they are Committed to 3:1 planting including “large established tree”. The future of the mature trees in the Gandolfo Gardens are in the balance.

A Page One story in August 1911 called Pleasure Ground in the Coburg Leader highlights why we must take up the fight where our forbears left us:

The Age 1911 report on agitation for the Moreland Reserve

“the indomitable energy and persistence of the residents of Moreland aided by sympathisers from other portions of the borough a pleasant and promising reserve adjoining the Moreland railway station is now an accomplished fact. On Saturday over fifty trees of which 200 had beeen secured were planted in the new reserve in ground which had been ploughed the instant the weather became at all suitable.

“Judging from the plans this reserve, will be an extremely pretty place when the trees are grown to a height at all and doubtless the children of future generations will bless the forethought of those citizens who succeeded in securing for them a breathing space before the neighbourhood became too much built upon. The matter however will not suffer to rest here. The ball once started rolling must be kept in motion…”

The west side of Moreland Reserve was named after Coburg Councillor Sam (Salvatore) Gandolfo (the first foreign born Mayor of Coburg from 1968-69) in 1974. The maintenance of the reserve (including Gandolfo Gardens) has been funded by Coburg and now Moreland ratepayers for the past 108 years!

We have put together some of the history of the campaign to establish and develop these parklands and childrens playground around Moreland Station, drawn upon newspaper reports of the day as accessed through the Trove website.

Leaf me alone – Gandolfo Gardens Rally at Moreland Station

Want to ensure the trees survive? Lend your support to the Guardians of the Gandolfo Gardens (Facebook Group)
Event: Teddy Bears Picnic and Mad Hatters Tea Party
When: Sunday 10am – 12pm August 4, 2019

Facebook Event

Thanks to Vanessa Flynn and Marilyn Moore for originally highliting this history back in April 2019 on a Don’t Raise the Rails Facebook post.

See also Upfield Urban Forest: Protecting Trees during the Level Crossing Removal Process

Watch University of Melbourne’s tree expert Dr Greg Moore about the mature trees in Coburg’s Gandolfo Gardens

Historical sources

February 1910

Excerpt from report of Coburg Council

A deputation from the Coburg Progress Association waited on the council in regard to securing land for a recreation reserve.

Mr. H. T. Toomath, secretary to the association, requested that the council would call a conference within the next fortnight of the clubs and associations concerned. He was sorry the conference had not been called earlier so that they might have had something to put before Mr. Watt, the Treasurer, when he visited Coburg on 15th inst.

Cr. Bright said the mayor had delayed calling the conference until the scheme now submitted for the establishment of a proper recreation reserve. This plan would be submitted to Mr. Watt on 15th inst. when he was at Coburg.

Cr. Davis supported the views of the deputation and urged that the council should impress upon Mr. Watt the necessity for having a recreation reserve for the southern portion of Coburg. He saw by that day’s paper that Preston had secured another reserve making three for that place.

Cr. Campbell thought a conference should be called at the earliest possible moment. He moved that the mayor’s attention be called to the matter.

Cr. Greenwood moved and Cr. Springhall seconded that a conference be called for Monday evening next at eight o’clock in the council chamber.

Cr. Greenwood’s motion was carried unanimously.

(The Coburg Leader, Fri 11 Feb 1910, Page 4 Coburg Council)

December 2010:
Coburg Council. (Excerpt):

“That the Mayor and town clerk interview the Railway Comissioners relative to the land adjoining the Moreland station for use as reserves.

(The Coburg Leader, Fri 2 Dec 1910, Page 4)

Coburg Progress Association:

“Mr. Cross called attention to the fact that the Coburg Council had warmly taken up the proposal of the association in regard to trying to secure the use of the railway reserves at Moreland station. It was satisfactory to note that the council had not treated this matter as they did so many that came from the Progress Association.”

(Coburg Leader, 2 Dec, 1910, Page 4)

April 1911

“A deputation of Coburg councillors was introduced to the Railway Commissioners by Mr. Evans, M.L.C., yesterday. They stated that residents wished to have a piece of land near the Moreland station planted and used as a recreation ground. The Commissioners had already agreed to lease the land to the council, but had reserved the right to resume possession on three months’ notice, and the purpose of the deputation was to secure a fixed occupancy.

The Commissioners declined to grant any term of lease, as the ground was suitable for mill and factory purposes. They agreed to extend the notice from three to six months.”

(The Age, Sat 1 Apr 1911, Page 14 – RESERVE AT MORELAND)

May 1911

The Age 1911 report on agitation for the Moreland Reserve

“For some months past an agitation has been on foot with a view to securing the lease from the Railway department of three blocks of land adjoining the Moreland railway station for the purpose of establishing reserves, gardens and children’s play grounds.”

“…council seemed indisposed to accept the terms offered by the department, declaring that the tenure of lease was too insecure to warrant the expenditure of ratepayers’ money in fencing and other required work. They deferred consideration of the matter, however, for 28 days in order to ascertain the views of the residents.”

“On Saturday night a well attended meeting of residents, presided over by Mr. Waters, J.P., affirmed the desirability of securing the land referred to at once.

“On the motion of Mr. Monks, seconded by Senator Russell, it was resolved —
That this meeting affirms the desirability of the lands at the Moreland railway station being leased and converted into recreation reserves by the Coburg council.
The motion was carried.”

(The Age, Mon 1 May 1911, Page 8 – A RECREATION RESERVE FOR MORELAND)

For the Children

“The strongest and most plausible plea put forward at the meeting of Moreland residents on Saturday evening, for the securing of the railway reserve at Moreland station as a recreation ground, was the almost total absence of places where the children could play, and where the mothers could sit and enjoy a pleasant rest, coupled with fresh air. At present, Coburg is what would be styled south of the Yarra, a very open suburb. To the east and to the west particularly the latter large and open tracts of land are to be seen, while in the north, well Coburg ends and the country pure and simple begins. In the southern portion more generally known as Moreland, however, there is no doubt that the vacant spaces are disappearing with great rapidity, and that as Senator Russell said it will be difficult to secure fresh air spaces before long.

“On these grounds the meeting made out a good case for the acquirement of the above mentioned spaces. If only the reports of some of the speakers are not too rosy in their interpretations of the Railway Department’s intention, then the security of tenure is quite sufficient to warrant a reasonable expenditure on fencing and improving the blocks.”

(The Coburg Leader, Fri 5 May 1911, Page 1 – For the Children)

Deputation to Coburg Council

“The Coburg council having decided to hear a deputation on the evening of the 10th May, re the above, all residents of Moreland and Coburg in sympathy therewith are cordially in vited to attend at the council chamber at 8 p.m. to support same.”

(The Coburg Leader, Fri 5 May 1911, Page 4 – PARKS AT MORELAND STATION)

The Moreland Reserve Question

“A meeting of residents of Moreland was held in the Oddfellows Hall, Sydney road, Coburg on Saturday evening to consider the question of the leasing of certain reserves adjoining the Moreland Railway Station by the Coburg Council from the Railway Commissioners with a view to establishing a suitable reserve for Moreland.

“The matter was first originated by the Coburg Progress Association who communicated with the council and as a result negotiations were opened with the Railway Commissioners with the result that the latter, at a deputation, agreed to lease the areas asked for on certain conditions one of which was that the council should undertake the erection of a suitable fence and the beautifying of the grounds to be used as gardens and recreation grounds.

“There was a fair attendance at the opening which subsequently increased and Mr. W. Waters, J.P., was voted to the chair.

“The chairman briefly outlined the object of the meeting mentioning that piece of ground eminently suitable for the purpose. Mr. Monks moved the first resolution:
“That this meeting affirms the desirability of the lands at the Moreland station being leased and converted into Recreation Reserves by the Coburg Council.”

“the following were appointed to the committee:- Senator Russell and Messrs McDowell, 0rpen, Nulty, Cross, Taylor, Stewart and also the chairman and the secretary, Mr. Monks.

Senator Russell moved that all local bodies be invited to co-operate in the movement. Then either they would have the reserve or the council would drop dead. (Laughter.) He urged that persons be asked to bring their wives and children on the deputation. It was decided to wait upon the council as a deputation on 10th inst.”

(The Coburg Leader, Fri 5 May 1911 Page 4 – The Moreland Reserve Question)


“A largely attended deputation of residents of Moreland waited upon the public works committee of the Coburg council on Wednesday evening to place before the council the views of the public meeting in regard to the leasing of the land near the Moreland Railway Sation as a recreation reserve, Cr. George Grundy was in the chair.

“Prior to the deputation being heard the town clerk read a petition from 88 ratepayers protesting against the expenditure of council’s money on a temporary reserve.”

Opposition to leasing the Railways land appears to be around the insecurity of tenure and the cost to Council of fencing and beautification. Mr Waters, J.P. for the Moreland Reserve stated “A great deal was made of the insecurity of the tenure but the Commissioners had informed them that they could have the land for sixty years unless required for railway purposes.”

Mr. G. H. Monks as secretary of the meetinig at Moreland read the resolutions “At Campbellfield, Broadmeadows, Somerton and Preston reserves had been secured. He appealad as a teacher to the parents of children attending the Moreland school on behalf of a play-ground for the children something like the reserve in DeCarle street in the northern portion of Brunswick. It was put forward as a business proposition. (Applause).”

“Mr. Nulty spoke in support as an old resident of Coburg. He hoped they would not allow this matter to drift into a squabble between the northern and southern portions of the borough.”

“Senator Russell drew attention to the councillors dropping dead. If they did then the coming generation could worship their memory in the Moreland Park as a fitting monument. (laughter) They did not confine their desires to the south and thought the children in the north required also a play-ground. He thought they had a grievance against the council because that body asked what the residents were prepared to do before a proper scheme had been laid down. They did not want to brow-beat the council but rather to help them….there was no instance he could find of the Department ever resuming land leased for reserve purposes.”

“At the request of Cr. Bright the town clerk read the replies of the Railway Commissioners which were to the effect that the lease would be granted for six months the tenancy might last for years and might last only for six months if applications were received from industrial concerns wanting to lease the land.”

“Cr. Grundy had great pleasure in seconding the motion, Cr. Richards said that if the Moreland residents would raise £25 he would be prepared to vote for alike sum to be expended by the council.”

An amendment was moved that the council consider the placing of £25 on the estimates for the purpose, but this was lost. “the motion carried on the casting vote of Cr. Grundy the work to be done by day labor. The result was received with loud and prolonged cheering.”

(The Coburg Leader, Fri 12 May 1911, Page 4 – The Moreland Reserves).


“A second public meeting, convened to discuss the question of the taking over and fencing of the land alongside the Moreland railway station, was held in the Oddfellows’ Hall, Coburg, on Saturday night. There was a fair attendance, and Mr. W. Waters, J.P. was in the chair.

“The chairman outlined the position arrived at subsequent to the deputation to the Coburg council on the previous Wednesday. He said that it appeared the council wished the residents to raise the money to transform the land in question into a public recreation reserve, of which there were at present none in Coburg, for the ground in Bell street was always used for football or cricket.

“At the deputation the other night the resolution in favor of the reserves was only carried by the casting vote of the chairman of the public works committee, and next Wednesday, the council would either confirm the resolution or throw it out. It therefore behoved as many as possible to attend the council meeting on Wednesday and show their interest in the matter.

“Mr. G. H. Monks urged the same course of action.

“Mr McDowell moved- “That this meeting approve the action of the public works committee and trust that the council will endorse that resolution.” He thought there was not a spot which could be selected so cheap and so suitable as the spot selected. Mr. Knight pointed out that the resolution passed by the public works committee did not mention any sum, but stated that the works should be done by day labor.

“Mr. Buckley seconded the resolution. They had to bear in mind that they had yet to persuade the councillors to endorse the action of the public works committee. He had a good many signatures from residents in the “black north.” (Laughter). And he believed that some of the signatures to the opposition petition had been given under a misapprehension of the facts. The resolution was carried unanimously.

“Mr. Taylor moved “that we have full confidence in the tenure offered by the Railway Commissioners know that it is quite sufficient to justify us in spending money on the reserves….The resolution was carried.”

“It was scarcely likely that the Commissioners would advise the council to go on with the reserve and at the same time keep something up their sleeve.

“Mr. Orpen moved that- “In the event of the council undertaking to remove the fences, this meeting pledges itself to raise £25 for the purpose of beautifying the reserves.” He thought there should be no difficulty in raising such a bagatelle in Moreland to secure a reserve.”

(The Coburg Leader, Fri 19 May 1911, Page 4 – Moreland Reserve Question)

Moreland Reserve Question PUBLIC MEETING DISCUSSES

“A public meeting of residents and others interested in the question of a recreation reserve for Moreland adjoining the Moreland Railway Station was heId subsequent to the meeting of the Progress Association on Saturday evening in the Oddlfellows’ Hall, Coburg. Mr. W. Waters, J.P. presided and considering the wretched weather condiidons there was a a fair attendance, a number of ladies putting in an appearance.

“Mr. G. H Monks said that after the result of the council meeting they should not fail to call to mind the work done and the great tact exhibited by Crs. Davis, Reynolds and Grundy and it was due to them that they had got what they had.

“The first question was money and in connection with that the appointment of a treasurer was advisable. After some discussion, Mr. Orpen was appointed to the position.

“Mr. Taylor said there was no doubt there would have to be a house to house canvas. Mr. Farmer, suggested that a concert be arranged. It would no doubt attract a good attendance. Senator Russell said the concert was a good idea and indeed he favored both measures of raising money straight out donations and a concert. Mr. McDowell thought the concert might be an after measure. He thought a canvas would result in the required £25 being quickly raised. Senator Russell said if the £25 was raised there was no reason why they should not hold moonlight concerts in the new reserve. (Applause)…Senator Russell moved that the secretary and president be authorised to appoint collectors and the motion was carried.

“Mr. Nichols moved that a working bee be organised to offer their services to the surveyor and that a committee be formed to secure volunteers. Mr. Cross seconded and the resolution was carried.

“The following subsdriptions were received during and immediately after the meeting:- Cr. Davis £1, Mr. W. Waters, J.P., £1 Mr. R. McDowell £1 Mr. A. Stewart £1, Senator Russell £1, Mr. T. Slesser £1, Mr. G. H. Monks £1, Mr. Nichols 10/-. Total £7 10/-.

(The Coburg Leader, Fri 26 May 1911, Page 4 – Moreland Reserve Question)


The usual fortnightly meeting of the above was held on Thursday August 3rd in the Oddfellows hall, Mr. Waters, J.P., presiding.

The hon. sec. of the Moreland station recreation reserve, Mr. Monks, reported that a plan had been drawn up for the laying out of the grounds and that the land was to be ploughed up.

(The Coburg Leader, Fri 11 Aug 1911, Page 4 – COBURG PROGRESS ASSOCIATION)

August 1911
Excerpt: On Saturday 18 August 2011: “Over fifty trees of which 200 had beeen secured were planted in the new reserve in ground which had been ploughed the instant the weather became at all suitable.”

Pleasure Ground

Even the ugliest place on earth under the most disadvantageous circumstances can be most materially improved with a little determination and energy and nowhere is this energy more likely to reap a speedy and notable reward than in the establishment of pleasure grounds, recreation reserves, beauty spots, call them what you will, wherever possible. Why even the arid and forbidding banks of the Suez Canal have been rendered less repulsive, less spirit wearying by the cultivation patches and little gardens surrounding the stations where the pharoahs are in residence.

If so much can be accomplished upon such apparently hope less ground as the Suez Canal with the parched land of Egypt on one side and the vast Arabian desert on the other what may not be done in Melbourne suburbs particularly in those not already suffering from a congested population and restricted area?

Essendon furnished a bright example to northern suburbs and Coburg seemed to be just the reverse until a start was made at the lower end and by the indomitable energy and persistence of the residents of Moreland aided by sympathisers from other portions of the borough a pleasant and promising reserve adjoining the Moreland railway station is now an accomplished fact. On Saturday over fifty trees of which 200 had beeen secured were planted in the new reserve in ground which had been ploughed the instant the weather became at all suitable.

Judging from the plans this reserve, will be an extremely pretty place when the trees are grown to a height at all and doubtless the children of future generations will bless the forethought of those citizens who succeeded in securing for them a breathing space before the neighbourhood became too much built upon. The matter however will not suffer to rest here. The ball once started rolling must be kept in motion and what has been done in Moreland should be attempted in the northern parts of the borough and in any such project the workers will be sure of the energetic suoport of their Moreland fellow residents.

The lake scheme becomes a really tangible one in view of the purchase of the trams by the council and there is no reassn why, with that in evidence in the north, the Moreland reserve in the south and various other patches or gardens at suitable spots, Coburg should not with its natural advantages of situation be came one of the prettiest and most attractive suburbs around the metropolis.

(The Coburg Leader, Fri 25 Aug 1911 – Page 1 Pleasure Ground)

Coburg Leader 25 August 2011 – Pleasure Ground

December 1911
Coburg Council. (Excerpt)

Report from Council: “G. H. Monks hon. sec. Moreland reserve committee wrote requesting that the water might be laid on to the reserve which had been ploughed and harrowed and about 250 trees had been planted.
The letter was received and the request referred to the estimates.

“The Railway Commissioners wrote forwarding the agreement for the lease of the lands near Moreland station to the council as a recreation reserve for one year and after that conditionally on no notice of determination of the lease being given. The land was granted conditionally on its not being sub-let or used for any other purpose than gardens and recreation reserves.

“A number of clauses ware included in the agreement defeining the obligations under the lease respectively of the Commissioners and the council. One of the conditions was that the work of laying out and planting the Northern portion of the lands in question be proceeded with at once.

“Cr. Reynolds moved that necessary authority be given for the execution of the lease and the motion was carried.

(The Coburg Leader, Fri 1 Dec 1911, Page 3 – Coburg Council)

February 1912

Application to Coburg Council for water supply to Moreland Reserve (excerpt)

Wednesday 31st January.
Present- The Mayor, Cr. Grundy, and Crs. Campbell, Cash, Anderson, Love, Reynolds, Davis and Richards.

The secretary of the Moreland reserve committee wrote asking that the council could lay on the water to the reserve at its earliest convenience and mentioning that a service of 1½ inch pipes would-be required.

The surveyor said he had been in communication with some members of the committee and he was satisfied he could arrange a service which would be satisfactory for £25.

Cr. Campbell explained that a greater supply of water would be provided at the same expense for a recreation reserve than for the” cricket ground.

It was moved by.Cr. Davis seconded by Cr. Reynolds that the amount specified be expended at once and the motion as carried.

(The Coburg Leader, Fri 2 Feb 1912, Page 3 Coburg Council)

Sale of House opposite Gardens

“”Nathalla,” an eight-roomed two-storey brick building in Cameron street,
Moreland, opposite the Moreland station and the newly-made gardens, was sold on Saturday for £650. Tho house, which stands on a magnificent frontage of 81ft. 6in. with a depth of 109ft. 5in. was disposed of through Messrs Roberts. Rowan and C. E. Uren (auctioneers In conjunction), of Moreland and Brunswick.

(The Herald, Mon 19 Feb 1912, Page 6 – MORELAND)

July 1912
Moreland Recreation Reserve

“Although some fine work ih planting trees and in otherwise improving the Reserve, near the Moreland railway station, has been done by energetic gentlemen, who have shown their public spirit by deed rather than by word, all their efforts are likely to be wasted unless some strong movement is made to obtain funds for the further development of the Reserve.

“The water has been laid on and trees have been planted and have grown splendidly, but the ground is thick with weeds and needs much cultivating the beauty spot which it should be.

“With the object of raising funds for this purpose, a sub-committee has been formed from the reserve committee. The sub-comdiittee has now decided to hold a concert and biograph entertainment on August 8th, at the Public Hall, Coburg. A splendid programme ot musical and vocal items has been prepared and the latest and best moving pictures in Melbourne will be shown.

“Tickets, 1s each, may be obtained from the members of the reserve committee and leading shops in Moreland and Coburg.

(The Coburg Leader, Fri 19 Jul 1912, Page 1 – Moreland Recreation Reserve)

August 1912
Moreland Reserve Concert

“The concert and biograph entertainment arranged in aid of the Moreland Reserve was held in the Public Hall, Bell st., on Thursday evening, when there was a good attendance, in fact the sale of tickets was a financial success. In the absence of the Mayor Cr. Reynolds undertook the office of chairman.

“The programme opened with an overture by Miss Violet Swinburne, who acted as accompaniste throughout.

“Miss Violet Cash contributed two songs “Two eyes of Grey” and “Happy Song” and both were entire suceesses and brought forth loud applanse. Mr. J. F. Meagher is always a treat to hear for he has a fine voice and knows how to use it and his “Three for Jack” brought down the house. Miss Linda Davis gave a recitation “Lasca” which was received with applause. The illustrated song “The Mighty Deep” by Mr J. Edwards was good as was Mr D.J. McDonald’s “The Holy City ” also illustrated. “The Creed of the Bells” is a difficult recitation and Miss Gladys Redmond did it well and was loudly applauded. A flute solo by Mr Vincent Duncan, the song “Roses, Roses Everywhere” by Miss H. Norman and a recitation by Mr E. Houghton were all good items but the hit of the evening was unquestionably made by Mr C. P. Frilay in his irresistibly comic representations of Madame Melba in the song “Il Bacco”

“How he managed to twist and manipulate his voice must have been a wonder to all who heard him and he may be regarded as a safe and sure draw at any concert. As to the biograph views they may be classed as indistinctly disappointing.

(The Coburg Leader, Fri 16 Aug 1912, Page 1 – Moreland Reserve Concert)

March 1913
Children’s Reserves at Moreland.

“Since the Coburg Town Council set aside several areas of land surrounding the Moreland railway station for children’s reserves, the committee of management and the citizens have done much to beautify the spot. About £60 was expended. To augment the fund necessary to complete the scheme of floral plots and rockeries, as advised by Mr Oliver, of Queen’s Park, Essendon, the committee is holding a moonlight concert on Saturday night. Mr T. Reynold, the Mayor of Coburg. Cr. J. Waxman, the Mayor of Brunswick, and Senator Russell will deliver addresses.”

(The Herald Thu 20 Mar 1913, Page 5 – Children’s Reserves at Moreland)

December 1913

Moonlight Concert for Moreland Reserve
The Herald, 11 December, 1913
Children’s Park at Coburg

To-night a moonlight concert will be held to augment the funds of the children’s playground committee at Moreland. For some years past a citizens’ committee haa been working hard to beautify the ground, which was originally granted by the Railway Commissioners.

(The Herald, Thu 11 Dec 1913 – Page 14 – CHILDREN’S PARK AT COBURG)

February 1914
Moreland Children’s Park

“The second monthly concert of the Moreland Railway Reserve Committee, who are under the supervision of Mr. W. Waters, J.P., chairman, and Mr. G. H. Monks, secretary, and are working assiduously to raise funds to increase the present funds to have the area around the Moreland railway station improved for children’s playgrounds, and beautified as parks, will be held on Tuesday evening next, when the Mayor of Coburg (Cr. H. J. Richards) will preside, and the following programme will be rendered under the musical director and accompanist, Mr. J. H. Barrett:

” — Selection, “Fair Maid of Perth,” Coburg Municipal Band ; solo, “The Prima Donna,” Miss Elsie Jones; solo, “Will o’ the Wisp,” Mr. Albert B. Bickford; duet, “Come Sing to Me,” Misses Nellie Gray and Elsie Jones; .selection, two step, “Alexandria Ragtime Band,” Coburg Municipal Band; solo, “Rose of My Heart,” Mr. Edric. Bickford; solo, “A Song of Thanksgiving,” Miss Nellie Gray: selection, march, “Horsham,” Coburg Municipal Band; solo, “A Perfect Day,” Miss Elsie Jones; duet, “Watchman, What of the Night?” Messrs. Albert and Edric Bickford; solo, “The Old Green Isle,” Miss Nellie Gray ; selection, two step, “The Cuckoos,” Coburg Municipal Band, God Save the King.

(Brunswick and Coburg Star, Fri 6 Feb 1914, Page 1 – Moreland Children’s Park)

May 1914
Moreland Reserve Concert

A concert in aid of the Moreland Reserve was held in the Town Hall, Coburg, on Thursday, 30th April. The Mayor- (Cr. H. Richards) presided. There was a fair attendance. A capital programme was provided by the promoters.

Miss V. Cash, who was in good voice, sang her. two numbers “Come, Sing to Me” and “My Ships,” artistically, and was loudly applauded. Miss S. Kerrigna also sang well. Mr. Hamilton Drew gave a spirited rendering of “My Old Shako,” and, in response to a unanimous encore, “Little Grey Home in the West.” Mr. Drew was also heard to advantage in “When Drake Goes West.” ? Mr. J. Turner’s song, “Tom Browne,” and ‘ Mr. P. Kerrigan’s selections, “The Friar of Orders Grey” and “Will o’ the Wisp,” were very well rendered. The duet, “Excelsior,” was well sung by Mr. and Mrs. P. Kerrigan; and Messrs. Beattie and Turner were deservedly applauded for their fine rendering of “The Battle Eve” and “Watchman, What of the Night ?” Perhaps the most attractive items of the evening were the numbers, “Hush-a-bye, Baby,” “My Big Blue-eyed Baby” and “Mississippi” by the rag-time specialists, Messrs. C. Graham and R. Hughes. Mr. Eric Fox was an excellent accompanist.

The hon. secretary (Mr. G. H. Monks) said that this was the fourth of the entertainments held lately to provide funds to help to beautify the reserve. It is the intention of the committee to proceed with the work in the Cameron-street reserve in June, as that is a suitable time to extend the lawn.

Working bees would be invited to help, and if the anticipated assistance is given, this reserve would be completed during the winter. Votes of thanks to the Mayor and the artists concluded an enjoyable evening.

(Brunswick and Coburg Star, Fri 8 May 1914, Page 3 – Moreland Reserve Concert)

Moreland Children’s Reserve

A meeting of the Moreland Reserve Committee was held at Mr. Waters’s residence on Tuesday, 12th inst., .Mr. W. Waters, J.P., president, in the chair.

The balance-sheet of the concert, held on April 30, was read and adopted. It showed that a profit of £7/15/ had been made. This is a belter result than that obtained t’rom the moonlight concerts held in the reserve, the first of which yielded £1/18/8, the second £2/14/-. A hearty vote of thanks was accorded to Mr. A. B. Turnham for services given to advertise the concert. It was decided that as Mr. Turnham is a resident of Moreland he be made a member of the committee.

A working-bee will be held in the reserve on Monday, June 8. it is hoped that, as King’s Birthday is celebrated on that date, there will be a good muster.

(Brunswick and Coburg Star, Fri 22 May 1914, Page 2 – Moreland Children’s Reserve)

December 1914

“Good progress has recently been made by the Moreland Reserve Committee. A considerable portion of the Cameron-street Reserve has been planted with buffalo grass. The trees, which have received special attention, are growing splendidly, and it Is anticipated that there may soon be a public garden In Moreland, where children may spend a pleasant afternoon. A comparatively moderate, expenditure on fencing and planting, would, in the near future, enable this Reserve to be opened, and it is hoped that the council may follow tbe example shown by every other municipality in the metropolis in providing public gardens, and place a sufficient sum of money on the estimates to complete the work.”

(Brunswick and Coburg Star, Fri 4 Dec 1914, Page 2 – MORELAND CHILDREN’S RESERVE)

February 1915

A meeting of the Moreland Reserve Committee was held on the 28th inst.; Mr. W. Waters, J.P, (president), in the chair. The principal business was the presentation of the second balance-sheet, audited by Mr. J. J. Anderson and Mr. C. B. Bower. It showed: Balance from first balance sheet, £4/1/-; profits of concerts, £ 19/13/11. A sum of £23/13/3 had been spent on a lawn of buffalo grass and on minor improvements. Cash on hand amounts to 1/8. The hon. secretary (Mr. G. H. Monks) reported that the buffalo roots used in planting the lawn had been donated by Mr. Lewis, of Brunswick, and by local residents. The balance-sheet was adopted.

(Brunswick and Coburg Star, Fri 12 Feb 1915, Page 4 – MORELAND CHILDREN’S RESERVE)

April 1917


The Moreland Reserve, which was secured from the Railway Dept. after much earnest agitation, has got into a sort of land of devastation from want of attention. This state of affairs, which is most regrettable, has attracted the attention of the Moreland branch of the A.N.A., of which Mr G. H. Monks, of Cameron st., is the first President.

It has been decided, therefore, to wait upon the Coburg Council at its next meeting, as a deputation, to urge the claims of the reserve to some work and improvement. It is felt that while a large amount of money is necessarily being expended on the new reserve in Bell street, that some by-current of the stream of benevolence should flow towards Moreland, which pays at least a third of the rates of the town.

(Brunswick and Coburg Leader, Fri 13 Apr 1917 – MORELAND A.N.A. GETTING TO BUSINESS)


“Mr G., H. Monks, president, occupied the chair at Moreland Australian Natives Association on April 12. It was decided to wait on the Coburg Council with reference to the Improvement of the reserve at the Moreland railway station. A euchre party followed, and was won by Mr G. G. Orchard.”

(The Herald, Wed 18 Apr 1917, Page 3 – THE FRATERNITIES)

May 1917

COBURG TOWN COUNCIL – Moreland Reserve

Present:: The. Mayor (Cr Richards) and Crs Campbell. Cash, Anderson, Jones, McAlplne, Keane and Davis. The following correspondeince was dealt with:-
From- the Moreland branch . A.N.A., North Brunswick and Coburg Progress Association and Coburg Band, reporting that representatives from each of these bodies be heard in regard to the Moreland Reserve question.- Received and request to be granted.

A deputation from the Moreland A.N.A., N. Brunswick and Coburg Progress Association and Coburg Band waited upon the Council in regard to the Moreland Reserve, asking for certain assistance. The speakers were Mr G. Monks, president of the Moreland A.N.A., Mr C. E. Ogden (president of the North Brunswick and Coburg Progress Association), and Mr Holmes for the band.

Mr Monks stated that practically they had no reserve in Moreland, and all they asked was a fair deal from the Council. Some years ago they were spending as much as £1500 on reserves and in Moreland only £50 was spent.

They were offered the services of one man one day a week, and even then, from February to June no one came near the place, with the result that ithe lawn had gone back altogether, and the late Mr Orpen, Mr Bower and himself had done any amount of work by themselves. The Moreland residents contributed largely to the reserve funds of the Council, and they were not getting a fair deal. Neither had the Council kept faith with the Rail way Depa.rtment, from whom the land was leased. It was also unfair to the children of the Moreland school, for nothing had been done to the reserve in six years. If they had a ward system Moreland would have had a reserve long ago in Moreland. The money had been spent in the North, and they would not be satisfied that they had a fair deal from the Couucil.

Mr C. E. Ogden also spoke strongly in support of the request, and if granted it would redound to the credit of the Council.

Mr Holmes said that the people of Moreland supported the band, but there was no reserve for the band to play in.

The Mayor assured the deputation that their representations would receive every consideration. Cr Davis said that if there were wards and three councillors represent ing Moreland, half the rates received from there would be expended there. The 1500 scholars of the Moreland school had no recreation reserve, while the children at the Bell street school had the splendid reserve opposite to them. The reserve there was simply a paddock of docks.

Crs McAlpine and Jones supported these remarks.

Cr Cash reminded the deputation that there was no fixed security as to the tenure of the land from the Railway Department. If the Commissioners would give an undertaking that the land could be had for a term of years, more could be legitimately expended. He did not wish the deputation to regard him as an opponent, but merely as a business man dealing with a business proposition.

Cr Keane also spoke. He had opposed the spending of a large sum of money on the new recreation reserve, which he regarded as an injustice to Coburg, and especially to the people of Moreland.

After Cr Anderson had spoken briefly, the Mayor remarked that a large proportion of the big amounts mentioned by Mr Monks had gone towards paying off the principal for purchase of the new reserve.

(Brunswick and Coburg Leader, Fri 18 May 1917 – Page 3 COBURG TOWN COUNCIL)

May 1918 (Letter)

To the Editor.
Sir, A good joke was perpetrated by the Coburg Council last week. Three notices were posted in the Moreland reserve warning the public of the pains and penalties to which they are liable if (among other things) they climb over the fence. Ye gods! – climb over the Moreland reserve fence! This structure cannot sustain its own weight. It is, in parts, tied up with odd bits of wire. It does not exist in some places, the pickets having rotted off. No one knows when it was built. As a result of inquiries I have acertained the following facts:-

1. The Council has five men employed in reserves. Moreland gets a man two days a week, so that the other portions of the town get fourteen times as much attention to their reserves as does Moreland.

2. The other portions of the town have twenty times as much money spent on their reserves as Moreland.

3. The Council has been in possession of this reserve about 8 years, yet not one person has yet been able to make any use of it.

The people of West Coburg get a fair amount of rates spent in their district, because they have a vigorous Progress Association and a live councillor.

For this they are to be commended, but is it not a travesty on representative bodies that it is necessary for ratepayers to become agitators if they wish to obtain justice? And is this not so in Coburg? Can it not be said with truth that the neglect of some districts by Coburg councillors in dicates that the Local Government Act can also with profit be amended?

The August elections are approaching and ratepayers have a remedy in their own hands, that is, send some more men of the stamp of the West Coburgite, Cr. Dwerryhouse, to the Council table. It is about time some of the up-to-date men of the South of the municipality offered themselves for election. Any such man would receive solid support fronm ratepayers generally, and from.,
–Yours, etc.,


(Brunswick and Coburg Leader, Fri 10 May 1918, Page 3 – MORELAND RESERVE)

July 1928 (Letter)

Sir, — Some few years ago the Coburg Municipal Council devoted over a hundred pounds to the laudable purpose of creating a garden outside the Moreland railway station. A gardener is employed all the week looking after the lawns and flowerbeds, but as soon as he knocks off on Saturdays, the boys of the district invade this beauty spot, and the carefully-tended lawns become a convincing ground for a strenuous football match.

Perhaps the Council had better engage a watchman in addition to a gardener. Or might the police help?—
.Yours, etc.,

Moreland, July 9

(The Herald, Tue 10 Jul 1928, Page 6 – A MORELAND GARDEN)

2 thoughts on “Residents campaigned for Gandolfo Gardens over 100 years ago, now we need to do so again

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