Hazelglen Hall

Chapter 24

Published May, 2004

Family of Richard and Ann Bassett of 'Tregowan', Doreen c 1905. Photo credit Bassett family

…the Hall became a centre for the Hazel Glen Church of England, the Hazel Glen Private Assembly, Arthurs Creek Cricket Club, Arthurs Creek Rifle Club, Hazel Glen Football Club and Hazel Glen Tennis Club…

A meeting was held by the residents near Linton’s Bridge on 9 May 1895 ‘to discuss the advisability of erecting a hall in the neighbourhood to be used for holding meetings or services’. Mr. Richard Bassett of ‘Tregowan’ donated a piece of land at the corner of Bannon’s Lane and Doctor’s Gully Road as a site for the hall. A building committee was appointed consisting of J. Herbert, F. Phillips and J. Durham with the Chairman R. Bassett and Secretary G. Apted as ex officio members. Charles Verso was asked to draw up plans and specifications. Charles Verso and George Apted were subsequently appointed to superintend the building of the hall, which was officially opened with a concert and ball on Monday 20 April 1896.

The Rev St. John Chase of Whittlesea, commenced weekly Church of England Sunday Services at the hall on 19 April 1896, with Mrs. Draper as Organist, W. Draper, Treasurer and G.J. Apted, Secretary. The Hall became a centre for the Hazel Glen Church of England, the Hazel Glen Private Assembly, Arthurs Creek Cricket Club, Arthurs Creek Rifle Club, Hazel Glen Football Club and Hazel Glen Tennis Club. In 1899 Charles Verso became a Guardian and Secretary of the Hazel Glen Church of England. Following the resignation of George Apted as Secretary of the Hazelglen Hall Committee on 30 May 1901, Charles Verso was confirmed as the new Secretary at the annual meeting held on 18 June 1902.

The Doreen Recreation Hall was officially opened with a grand concert and ball on Friday 4 December 1908. President of the Hall Committee was Mr. Leslie W. Clarke. In 1921, Mr. and Mrs. L.W. Clarke of ‘Linton Grange’ provided generous assistance towards the purchase and conversion of the Hazelglen Hall for use as a Church of England. A meeting was held at the Hall on 14 July 1921 ‘to fix up Church fittings’. In March 1922 it was decided to get an architect to deal with the interior of the church. The Ven. Archdeacon Hindley dedicated the thoroughly renovated hall and named it St John’s Church, Hazel Glen, on Sunday 4 February 1923.

‘Towards the end of the sixties, the congregation dwindled down to just a few and the Minister at that time, Rev. Roy Gabb, closed the church.’ Following damage by vandals, it was decided to demolish the building in 1975.

Program for the Grand Opening Concert for the new Public Hall, Hazelglen on Monday, 20th April, 1896. Photo and information credit Neil Brock
An event for returned WW1 soldiers held at Hazelglen Hall. Eltham and Whittlesea Shires Advertiser and Diamond Creek Valley Advocate, 21 Nov 1919. Credit Trove, National Library of Australia
The land at the corner of Bannon’s Lane North and Doctor’s Gully Road still shows evidence that it was the site for the Hazelglen Hall (and tennis court) which was demolished in 1975. At the annual prize meeting of the Arthurs Creek Rifle Club held on Wednesday 30 October 1901 at the Hazelglen Hall ‘prizes won during the past year were presented to the winners by Miss Creighton, daughter of the President of the Club’. The Draper Gold Medal, presented by Charles Draper, Esq. for first prize was won by D.J. Murphy
Doreen Hall, 1980s. The hall and grounds have been used by the local community for a wide range of social functions and by many community groups as a centre for their activities. In 1912 it was reported by The Evelyn Observer that the football finals matches were played at the Doreen Recreation Reserve, considered to be the best ground in the competition
Doreen Hall, c 2000. It was on the corner of Bridge Inn Road and Yan Yean Road, originally called Hickey’s Corner. The hall, built in 1908, was once the hub of community life but had not been used since 2002. Photo credit John Young, Victorian Places
Doreen Hall, which was demolished in 2015 despite the best efforts of the local community to save it. At the Doreen Hall Communication Session held on 28 June 2006, local residents dismissed the idea of placing a historical marker on the hall site and urged co-operation between the Whittlesea and Nillumbik Councils to erect a suitable replacement hall and pavilion on the Doreen Recreation Reserve. Photo credit Whittlesea Leader January 9, 2015
Richard and Ann Bassett of 'Tregowan’. They donated a piece of land at the corner of Bannon’s Lane North and Doctor’s Gully Road as a site for the Hazelglen Hall. Both died in 1913. Photo credit Bassett family
The view across to Bridge Inn Road from Richard and Ann Bassett's property ‘Tregowan’. Photo credit Bassett family
Arthurs Creek Tennis Association, Hazel Glen Club, Premiership Winners 1931-32. Photo taken at the Hazel Glen tennis court located on the corner of Bannon’s Lane North and Doctor’s Gully Road (Hazelglen Hall is the background). Back row left to right: Alice Victoria ‘Vic’ Laidlay, W. Stephens, Everard Bassett, Neil Laidlay (son of Vic & Bill), Lina Bassett (sister-in-law of Everard). Back row: Isabel ‘Bel’ Laidlay, William ‘Bill’ Laidlay (husband of Vic), Jean Bassett (daughter of Everard). The Hazelglen Hall became a centre for the Hazel Glen Church of England, the Hazel Glen Private Assembly, Arthurs Creek Cricket Club, Arthurs Creek Rifle Club, Hazel Glen Football Club and Hazel Glen Tennis Club. Photo and information credit Neil Brock
The Arthurs Creek Tennis Association Challenge Shield. The Brock family of ‘Kirkliston’ donated this historic shield to the Arthurs Creek Mechanics Institute at the History Day and the Plaque Unveiling Ceremony on the 11th September, 2005. It was presented on behalf of the entire family by Isabel 'Bel' Cracknell (nee Laidlay), the only living member pictured in the Hazel Glen Club Premiership Winners 1931-32 tennis team photograph. Photo and information credit Neil Brock
The Arthurs Creek Rifle Club, 1920. The club held its meetings at Hazelglen Hall. This photo was presented to Neil Brock's grandfather, Lex Brock. Back row left to right: Everard Bassett, William (Bill) Sutherland , E Halbisch, J Jeffrey, E Pill, R Greenwood Front row: Lewis (Lex) A Brock, John (Jack) A Laidlay, E Garside, Herman Graff. Photo and information credit Neil Brock
Elinor Isabel (known as Isabel, Bel or Bella) Draper (nee Williams), 1859 - 1932. Isabel was the mother of Julie Catherine McDonald (nee Draper). Bel and her husband William Plenty Draper were active supporters of the Hazelglen Hall. Photo c 1910. Photo and information credit Pam Goodey
One of the photos in the significant photo collection and display for History Day and the Plaque Unveiling Ceremony on the 11th September, 2005 at the Arthurs Creek Mechanics Institute. This image (and many others for this and subsequent projects) was restored by Wade Ashley, and shows the Arthurs Creek Hall decorations by Carmella Ryder and her brother Leo, for the wedding of Allan Verso and Lena Murphy, 5th December, 1925. Although there are no known interior photos of the demolished Hazelglen Hall on Bannon’s Lane North, this photo gives a good idea of how an event looked in one of these historic rural community halls. Photo credit Arthurs Creek Mechanics Institute Collection
Arthurs Creek Cricket Club. Club meetings were held at the Arthurs Creek Hall before the opening of the Hazelglen (Hazel Glen) Hall in April 1896. Meetings were then held at the Hazelglen Hall until August 1914. The club was later replaced by the Doreen Cricket Club

For more information see Arthurs Creek Mechanics Institute Hall and Free Library and Doreen Hall and Recreation Reserve

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