Arthurs Creek Fruit Growers Association

Chapter 23

Published Jun, 2005

Arthurs Creek orchardists attending a demonstration of spraying and materials by the district orchard supervisor Mr. E. Wallis held at Martin Brennan’s property on July 16, 1913

…the Association was formed ‘to watch over and protect the interest of fruit-growers, and to meet at stated intervals and discuss and give practical experience’…

On May 12, 1890, a public meeting was held in the Mechanics’ Institute to form a fruit growers’ association. The meeting, convened by Charles Draper JP of Charnwood, was chaired by Councillor Richard Bassett of Tregowan. Mr. James Draper proposed ‘That this district be formed into an association to be called The Arthurs Creek Fruit Growers Association’. The motion was seconded by Mr. David Christian and carried unanimously. Charles Draper was unanimously appointed President, Patrick Murphy Secretary and John Herbert Treasurer.

Twenty-two members enrolled at the entrance fee of one shilling. ‘Chas. Draper, R. Hempel, W. Draper, J. Draper, R. Bassett, D. Christian, S. Spicer, P. Murphy, A.J. Macfarlane, P. Green, G. Gray, J. Mann, J. Lodge,  O. McDonald,  J. McDonald, O. Gray, J. Linton, J.W. Laidlaw, J. Herbert, H. McMillan (Macmillan), J. Harrison and Jas. Murphy.’

The Association was formed ‘to watch over and protect the interest of fruit-growers, and to meet at stated intervals and discuss and give practical experience’. The Evelyn Observer in May 1893 reported that ‘The Arthurs Creek Fruitgrowers’ Association has amply justified its existence. Though yet in its infancy the Association has been the means of securing the services of several fruit experts to deliver lectures on fruitgrowing and kindred subjects, such as peach aphis, irrigation, to the fruitgrowers of the district.’ The early efforts of the Arthurs Creek Fruit Growers’ Association and the Diamond Creek Horticultural Society, formed in September 1884, provided the foundations for the advancement of the fruit growing industry in those districts.

P.W.J. (Patrick) Murphy retired as Secretary in 1896 and was replaced by F.K. (Francis) Phillips. In 1897 there were 31 financial members. At the fifteenth annual general meeting held in October 1904, Charles Draper was replaced as President for a brief period by W. G. Goodman, followed by George Brain, before the lapse of the Association after the meeting held in December 1905.

The Association was revived in November 1911 with P.W.J. Murphy as President, David Murphy and M.J. Brennan Vice- Presidents, F.K. Phillips Secretary, John Herbert Treasurer, George Murphy and R. Goodman, Auditors. In December 1912 the Progress Association amalgamated with the Fruit Growers’ Association, which was to be ‘now known as the Arthurs Creek Fruit and Progress Association.’ Illuminated display cards were produced urging members to attend monthly meetings and ‘co- operate for the benefit of the district’. A splendid group photograph exists of local orchardists attending a demonstration of spraying and materials by the district orchard supervisor Mr. E. Wallis held at Martin Brennan’s property on July 16, 1913.

In August 1914 the Association supported the proposed erection of a Cool Store under the Government Trust Scheme at Hurstbridge and sought ‘the future formation of a Trust area for Arthurs Creek’. The Letter Book kept by the Secretary, Francis Phillips, under ‘Notes from Cost of erection Cool Stores’  states that at this time ‘Arthurs Creek has 70 growers, 1886 acres, averaging 26 3/4 acres. Export was 34,698 cases apples only – local output estimated at 102,000 cases exclusive of pears, peaches & plums.’

In December 1914 ‘Owing to the poor attendance of members the election of officers was not proceeded with and the meeting closed.’ This was the last meeting of the Arthurs Creek Fruit Growers’ Association.

Orchardists attending a demonstration of spraying and materials at Martin Brennan's property, 16th July, 1913. Left to right back row: Joseph Murphy, F.K. Phillips, Con Hildebrand, Martin Brennan, Harry Schultz. Middle row: Harry Christian, George Murphy, Albert Hempel, Dinny Murphy, Otto Muller, David Murphy, A. Muller, J. Brennan, C. Nink. Front row: C.J. Verso, J. Murphy, E.W. Wallis (District Orchard supervisor), Mr Lawry, P.W.J Murphy, George Horne, Jack Nink, W. Brennan. Ground: Harry Limmer, George Brain, C. Lawry, Jack Brennan. Photo credit Bruce G. Draper
Arthurs Creek orchardists attending a demonstration of spraying and materials by the district orchard supervisor Mr. E. Wallis held at Martin Brennan’s property on July 16, 1913. Photo credit Bruce G. Draper
Spraying fruit trees with a Bave-U motorized spray pump. This horse-drawn Bave-U was made at the Russell implements works at Box Hill. Two hoses meant that two workers could spray at the same time c 1914. Photo credit Doncaster Templestowe Historical Society
Early invitation from the Arthurs Creek Fruit and Progress Association c 1912. Image credit Draper family
Members of the Arthurs Creek Fruit Growers' Association
Arthurs Creek Fruit Growers c 1895
Charles Draper, J.P. (1825 -1909), the author's great-grandfather was a co-founder and long-serving President of the Arthurs Creek Fruitgrowers’ Association. The Arthurs Creek Cemetery gates reference Charles Draper, Chairman of the Trustees for the Linton Cemetery, and James T. Murphy, Secretary of the Arthurs Creek Cemetery Trust. The cemetery underwent three names changes, from Hazel Glen Cemetery, to Linton Cemetery, to Arthurs Creek Cemetery. Photo taken in 1905 when Charles was 80 years old. Photo credit Draper family
Family of Richard and Ann Bassett of 'Tregowan', Doreen c 1905. Photo credit Bassett family
Gray's cider press at Nutfield. Photo credit Bruce G. Draper
Diamond Creek fruit show in the Horticultural Hall in the 1890s. The Arthurs Creek Fruit Growers’ Association and the Diamond Creek Horticultural Society held meetings and demonstrations in the Horticultural Hall. Photo credit Bruce G. Draper
Charles Draper with staff and students at Burnley Horticultural College c 1900. Messrs. William Anderson, Charles Draper and Henry Boyce were nominated to the Board of Advice for Management of the Horticultural Gardens. The Government appointees were David Martin, Secretary for Agriculture, Chairman, Joseph Harris and James Lang. George Neilson was appointed Curator. The Board of Advice was appointed on 16 February 1891. In May 1891, the first School of Horticulture in Australia came into existence
A1 peaches at Johnnie Mann's 'Violet Glen' Orchard c 1899
Thomas McMillan, maker. Apple model – Winter Majetin, Hazelglen, Victoria, 1875. Wax, pigment. On loan from Museum Victoria. The Technological and Industrial Museum’s economic botany collection recorded and advertised the economic potential of Australia’s agricultural products. Among these were fruit and vegetables. In order to demonstrate Victoria’s capacity in this area of production, and in the absence of colour photography, the museum commissioned wax models of local specimens. Trained model makers, many of whom were women, worked in the museum laboratory making models that documented healthy, diseased and unusual examples of fruit and vegetables. These were placed on permanent display for the education of the general public. This model is of a Winter Majetin, a cooking apple, which was grown by Charles Draper of Hazelglen in 1875 (Hazelglen was then the district name, later being named Arthurs Creek and Doreen). Photo credit Bruce G. Draper
The Arthurs Creek Fruit Growers’ Association and the Diamond Creek Horticultural Society held meetings and demonstrations in the Horticultural Hall
Diamond Creek fruit show in the Horticultural Hall in the 1890s. The Arthurs Creek Fruit Growers’ Association and the Diamond Creek Horticultural Society held meetings and demonstrations in the Horticultural Hall. Photo credit Bruce G. Draper
Orchardists at a demonstration of spraying and materials at Martin Brennan's property 'Willowgrove Farm', 16th July, 1913. Photo credit Bruce G. Draper
Orchardists ready to depart on a fishing trip in Apted's International fruit truck, 1920s. Left to right back row: Bill Tiddins, Col Macmillan, Alec Healey, Pat Lodge, Les Apted. Front row: Harry Christian, Les Schultz, George Apted. Photo credit Apted family

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