Home' Phillip Island and San Remo Advertiser : November 9, 2016 Contents THE ADVERTISER, WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2016 - PAGE 7
BIG celebrations are planned for November
20th at the Rhyll Hall.
The occasion is the Hall’s 125th birthday,
with residents celebrating 125 years of its
The Rhyll Hall was built back in 1891, by
the local residents of the day.
It was a great effort by a small community
to build a school for their children, which
they then leased to the Education Department
for two and sixpence a week.
The building was named the Mechanics In-
stitute, and was multi use.
It was used as a school on weekdays, for
church services on Sundays, euchre parties,
wedding breakfasts and other community oc-
It was the hub of the small Rhyll community
back then, and remains so today.
The Hall was extended in the 1920’s , as the
And again in 2001, when a meeting room
and store room were added.
It ceased being used as a school in the
Past and present members of the Rhyll
community are all invited to come along to
the afternoon tea celebration, where a com-
memorative plaque will be unveiled.
The organising committee is especially
keen to welcome former students who went
to school in the Rhyll Hall, and would love
to borrow and copy any photos they may still
have from those days for display on the day.
The committee is in fact seeking any family
photographs relevant to the Hall (email rhyll-
Hallandpark@gmail.com) if you are able to
A warm welcome is also extended to new
Rhyll residents, to come along and meet old
timers and learn about the rich history of
Rhyll’s early days.
Early Rhyll families were involved in a di-
verse range of occupations.
They grew chicory, dredged for oysters,
fished commercially, ran dairy farms, grew
vegetables and strawberries, and guesthouses
catered for visitors to the township.
Residents travelled to Cowes to shop by
horse and jinker. Cowes shops also arranged
Rhyll had a post office, but little else in the
way of customer services.
Bread and meat were delivered on the same
cart, with the carter carrying a bunch of
leaves to swish the flies away.
Most people were fairly self- sufficient, keep -
ing a house cow and hens and growing their
Mains electricity did not come to the town
A party was held in the Hall to celebrate.
Because of its easterly aspect, its port is
protected from prevailing winds.
A book outlining the history of Mechanics
Institutes across Victoria, “ These Walls Speak
Volumes” will be available for perusal at the
celebration, and includes a section on the
The committee purchased it earlier this
year and plan to place it in the Cowes library
where it can be enjoyed by all.
The 125th afternoon tea celebration will
commence at 2pm, on Sunday November 20.
Greg Price CEA (REIV)
Alex Scott & Staff - phone 5952 2633
113A Thompson Avenue, Cowes, 3922
TALKING REAL ESTATE
Welcome to my regular Real Estate column. This week I had an email from a
couple asking about an easement on a property they were interested in
purchasing. Their question was:
We are interested in purchasing a property that has a 3 metre easement
registered on the rear boundary. Could you explain easements and what they
mean to a property.
Registered easements are very common and affect the majority of properties.
An easement is a right which a person or an authority has to use the land
belonging to another in a particular manner or restrict its use by the other to a
The most common easements are for the flow of water, storm water and
effluent. Others are rights of way and aerial easements (ie. Power authority
overhead transmission lines). Most easements are registered on the Title,
however there may be occasions where an easement is not shown on the Title
and legal advice should always be sought before purchasing to clarify the
To see if you can build over an easement, for example build a garage, written
permission must be obtained from the relevant authority that controls the
easement and then certain conditions may apply.
If I can be of further assistance, please call
me personally for further information.
Monday-Tuesday 9am - 6pm
Wednesday-Friday 9am - 9pm
Saturday 9am - 2pm
For bookings phone 5952 5669
72 Chapel Street, Cowes.
On Monday Spice Hair
is offering pensioner hair
cuts from 15
Hair ups for wedding and
special occasions Saturdays
Is offering evening
complimentary cheese & fruit
platter and a glass of wine
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
bookings with Emma or Danielle
THIS FESTIVE SEASON
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Conditions apply. See www.kumho.
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conditions. Promotion period from 22
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TP 16/01912 & SA T16/1736.
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116-118 Dunsmore Road,
Cowes 5952 2721
A History of the Rhyll hall
THE Rhyll hall was built by 10 householders
who lived in Rhyll from 1887 to 1895.
To start the ball rolling, a petition signed by
Messrs JB Lock, RH Johnson, D Reid, James
McIlwraith, George Walton, Malcolm Carmi-
chael, William Richardson and John Miller in
April 1887 requesting the Education Depart-
ment to build a school in their village at Rhyll.
The Department accepted the recommenda-
tion by Inspector Curlewis “that action be de-
ferred for the time being”, but steps were taken
to secure the reservation of five acres of Crown
Lands as a school site, to the west of the town-
In January 1890 WT McFee, the father of ten,
being in Rhyll at his seaside holiday home, was
told of the difficulty being experienced by the
people of Rhyll in having their children edu-
He immediately called a meeting at his tempo -
rary home, and it was resolved that everybody
would help in some way if permission could be
obtained to build a Mechanics Institute on a
portion of the five acres set aside for a school.
He obtained permission on behalf of the resi-
dents, to erect the building30 foot long by 20
It was not until a second petition was present-
ed to the Education Department, signed by WT
McFee, William Walton, John Kirkland, William
Richardson and William Denne, that the school
was opened, with Miss A McLachlan as the first
teacher. The building, having been built in a
position other than the spot suggested by the
Lands Department, saw the Trustees required
to give an undertaking that it would be shifted
if requested by the Department.
Enrolments fluctuated over the years, as fam-
ilies grew up and new families moved into the
The school continued full time until 1903,
when it was reduced to half time, sharing a
teacher with the San Remo school.
In 1905 it went back to full time, and contin-
ued until 1952, when staffing was withdrawn.
The school, which had always been one teach-
er, closed officially in 1952.
One of the last teachers was Helen Hutchin-
son, who taught 22 students there in 1945 and
Her appointment changed her life.
She met and married local fisherman Frank
Jansson, the son of a Swedish captain of local
The couple had two sons John and Ray Jans-
Penguin Resort resident Lorna Collins (moth-
er of local residents Pam Rothfield and Judy
Lawrence) taught at the Rhyll school as a stu-
dent teacher with Helen Hutchinson.
Written by Stan McFee
Rhyll celebrates 125
years of community life
The earliest photo of the Rhyll Hall taken
in 1911 when it also served as a state school.
Representatives of the Rhyll Mechanics Institute, from left Ron Gough, John Jansson,
Marion Wood, Sophie Maddigan and Helen Dennis are planning a community celebration
at the Rhyll Hall, which has been in continuous use for 125 years. A plaque to mark this
auspicious occasion will be officially unveiled at a 125th birthday celebration afternoon tea,
on November 20th at 2pm.
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