Former GMH Social Centre. Photograph by David Thompson.
The former General Motors-Holden Social Centre is tucked away off Salmon Street.
Constructed in 1945 by Richmond builder, E A Watts Ltd, the building hosted concerts, balls and all manner of GMH employee functions but, primarily, was their canteen. Typical fare in the mid-1990s included French Onion soup (70c), Beef Stroganoff ($3.50) and…
Our guest speaker in March will be Jim Penaluna, "A Port Melbourne Boy".
Jim was born and bred in Port Melbourne. He worked and played sport in Port all his life. In his early years he lived in Clark Street close to the Graham Street Primary School then went to South Melbourne Technical School. He joined General Motors Holden’s as a apprentice…
This week's story comes to the PMHPS from Bill Hankin:
Fishermans Bend Migrant Hostel. Entry in Hall St off Lorimer St. courtesy of Allan Marshall
"I arrived at Fisherman’s Bend hostel in November 1952 aged 5 with my parents Cliff and Josy Hankin and my younger brother, John. We came to Australia on the New Australia from Southampton with stops at Suez,…
The Greater Port Melbourne: Official Souvenir of the 1939 Port Melbourne Centenary Celebrations Committee booklet includes many advertisements from iconic Port Melbourne companies. Many more than I can feature here.
A lot of the ads are just simple text but in others, the Art Deco style of the day with an emphasis on modern industry can be seen in the…
Geoff Deed, who grew up at 41 Nott Street, offers this story from his boyhood in the fifties:
'There was a family called Fletcher that lived in Rouse St - just the mother and the son. His name was Jeffrey - with a 'J'. There was no father. (Maybe he was killed in the war?)
Through the window of their place you could…
It was a defining moment for the nation. It heralded Australia becoming a self-reliant manufacturer. It happened in Fishermens Bend on 29 November 1948 when Prime Minister Ben Chifley revealed Australia’s first mass-produced car, the Holden.
Prime Minister Ben Chifley at General Motors Holden Factory
The following day, The Argus reported:
'About 400 guests of General Motors applauded when curtains were drawn back…
Today, after weeks of uncertainty but with an increasing sense of foreboding, Holden announced that it will cease to make cars in Australia from 2017. Holden, Port Melbourne, Fishermans Bend - inseparable. This is where Australia began its journey into automobile manufacture and where it will end. There will be much more said, but PMHPS wanted to mark this sad…
Rootes Factory in Salmon St. Harold Paynting Collection, State Library of Victoria
In the late 1930s Fishermans Bend was on the cusp of a major transformation to industrial development - a change that was anticipated with excitement and optimism.
Charles Daley in The History of South Melbourne says:
"The once-despised Fishermen's Bend - a no-man's land - under the pressure of economic…