Meetings 2020

February Meeting

Monday  3rd February 2020

"Sparks to St Kilda, trams to the beach and buses through Middle Park." 
Speaker - Steven Haby
A look at train, tram and bus services through Middle Park since the 1850s 

Middle Park, one of the smaller suburbs within the City of Port Phillip is reasonably well served by public transport taking into consideration geographical barriers such as Albert Park lake. Probably best known for the former St Kilda railway line which closed under controversial circumstances in 1987 for conversion to ‘light rail’ and several tram routes including the 12 to South Melbourne & St Kilda Beach via Park Street. However there still is a bus route – the 606 – that runs through Middle Park from Port Melbourne to St Kilda and beyond. Steven Haby Secretary Librarian at the PMI Victorian History Library, who is also a keen railway, bus and tram enthusiast will present an interesting talk about public transport in the Middle Park area since the 1930s to the present day. This will include the construction of the St Kilda railway line under private ownership, later electrification, the spread of tram services and intense rivalry between the VR, M& amp;MTB and omnibus operators competing for patronage through to the current situation. Pictures, maps and other ephemera will be on show.

13 yo Steven - January 1982 at St Kilda  Station

April Meeting

Monday  6th April 2020

Mee How Ah Mouy: Architect and Community Leader
Speaker - Dr Sophie Couchman

Mee How Ah Mouy (1887-1977), is probably Australia's first architect with Chinese ancestry and son of tea merchant and entrepreneur Louis Ah Mouy, perhaps Middle Park’s most famous Chinese resident. Mee How was born and grew up in Middle Park. He trained at the Working Men's College (now RMIT) and subsequently designed several homes in Middle Park. Sophie's presentation will trace Mee How’s life from Middle Park to Hong Kong and finally to Surrey Hills through an extraordinary collection of inter-war and post-war architectural plans drawn, till recently held by the family. Mee How had a very diverse practice everything from domestic houses to manhole covers. This talk takes us away from the usual stories of Chinese and the goldrushes and instead provides us with an insight into second generation Chinese immigrant lives. 

Dr Sophie Couchman is a freelance historian and curator who specialises in immigration history, particularly Chinese Australian history.

September Meeting

Monday  7th September 2020

Upstream, against the current: the story of women’s rowing in Australia
Speaker - Judith Buckrich

Judith's forthcoming book steps away from her usual territory of Melbourne’s people, streets and institutions to uncover the hard won triumphs of women rowers in Australia since the 1880s. Women set up their own clubs as they were not permitted to join men’s clubs until the 1980s despite their success in national and international competition. The history covers the long fight for equality, personal stories and the aesthetic quality that drew women to the sport whether for recreation or competition. Her talk to the Middle Park History Group will focus on the women rowing on Albert Park Lake where Melbourne’s women rowers were able to enjoy a separate and unique situation enabling the strongest growth of the sport for women in Australia.


7.30pm - followed by supper
Venue: Albert Park Baptist Church

The Albert Park Baptist Church is on the corner of Richardson Street and Kerferd Road.

(enter off Richardson St, the entrance is the one nearest Kerferd Rd)