From the pages of the McIvor Times

September 30, 2023 BY

Water world: Heathcote MP Jock Granter (left) with fellow State Government ministers Vasey Houghton and Jim Balfour at the Dartmouth Dam in 1975. Photo: BRIAN JOYCE/STATE LIBRARY OF VICTORIA

IN this month’s journey into the district’s past, 150-year-old warnings about snakes echo recent posts about reptilian dangers on local Facebook groups, and a man was sent to prison for sleeping rough.

Tooborac’s bachelors organised a successful dance in 1923 and fifty years later local state MP Jock Granter and his wife Ena both featured in front page stories.

Young author Rupert Stephen Charlett was only 15 when the McIvor Times sang his praises, he would go on to have a successful career as a journalist with a long stint at the Melbourne Argus.


150 years ago

25 September 1873

Heathcote police courts

(Before RW Shadforth, Esq., PM)

Vagrancy – John Middleton was brought up charged with being a vagrant.

Richard Lindsay, being sworn, stated that the prisoner, who was barefooted, came to his place on Friday morning, the 19th inst., and asked for bread, and offered to chop some firewood.

He gave the prisoner some bread, but did not allow him to chop wood.

Prisoner then left, and he afterwards saw him when on his way into Heathcote lighting a fire near the Black Swan Hotel.

On his return home he saw the prisoner lying before a large fire with his back exposed.

Constable Dwyer, on being sworn, gave evidence of arresting the prisoner on Friday last, between Heathcote and the Black Swan Hotel, where he found him lying in a partially naked state before a fire.

In answer to questions the prisoner told him he had come from Sandhurst, where he had been in jail.

Prisoner had no money or food upon him, and said he was better without blankets.

The prisoner was ordered to be sent to the Sandhurst Gaol for 3 months with hard labour.


SNAKES – The genial weather experienced lately, it would appear, has had the effect of rousing reptile life from the state of torpor in which it lies during the winter months.

On Sunday last two snakes of the brown species, one a little over six feet, and the other four feet in length were killed within 300 yards of each other, on the ranges close to this township.

It behoves those, therefore, who have occasion to walk in the bush, even at this time of year, to be careful where they tread.


100 years ago

27 September 1923

Our young novelist and journalist, Rupert S Charlett (author of our present original serial) has received further downright encouragement; the enterprising and widely circulating newspaper Northcote Leader has reproduced from the McIvor Times of September 6 his original story entitled “A Man”.

He not only wrote the story, but also set up in type after no more than two hours practical study. This lad is deserving of every encouragement.

In 1939 former Heathcotean Rupert Charlett wrote and illustrated a series of articles in the Argus on sketching with pen and ink. Photo: ARGUS


The Bachelors of Tooborac held a very successful dance in the Mechanics Hall, on Friday evening last, when there were about eighty couples present.

The music was supplied by Mr Dunn’s Orchestra from Bendigo. A very nice supper was partaken of during the evening and the secretary’s work was well carried out by Mr RA Cheswright.


50 years ago

25 September 1973

Rain drops are falling…

The Hon Jock Granter, MLC, Minister for Water Supply and Forests, in reply to a toast to Parliament said he recently attended a function and the musical honours which greeted him were “Rain Drops Keep Falling on my Head”.

Mr Granter said it has been rather ironical that the weather pattern should change so much since he had been made Minister of Water Supply, because in the north it has rained and rained and rained, yet in the south particularly the Board of Works catchment area the weather pattern has been rather dry.

“Only lately has it improved,” he said. “The storages in the Board’s area are about 80 per cent full.

“At one Cabinet meeting, one Minister suggested that I take over the Board’s area to increase their storages,” he remarked.

Mr Granter said he had recently visited Orbost in the Gippsland area and the dust is rising.


Fashion parade

Over 100 Heathcote ladies journeyed to Bendigo on Monday, 17th September, to enjoy a most successful Fashion Parade and Luncheon at the Brian Boru Hotel.

This function was arranged by the ladies of the Heathcote District Hospital Auxiliary.

The attractive range of new season’s Spring fashions were by courtesy of Stuart Smith, Pty Ltd, of High Street, Heathcote, and the Bendigo Fashion House.

The six attractive local models handled their part of the show with grace and efficiency-they were Mrs Stanley and Mrs Denehey (young matron’s styles) Mrs Sandra Shiel and Mrs Jenny Turner (young married’s) and Miss Marie Carboon and Miss Leanne Turner (teenagers).

Formal, evening and casual fashions were presented and admired by all.

Mrs Ena Granter handled the task of compere for the occasion most capably.

During the luncheon a competition for a ladies’ handbag (kindly donated by Mrs V Mitchell was conducted) and Mrs Grace Plane was the lucky winner.

All present agreed that it was a happy way to spend a few enjoyable hours and at the same time support the local hospital.