Treasures can become landfill.
And, so too can memories.
unless in safe hands....
Evert van Dreven
has safe hands...
Evert's amazing Fyansford Cementies' collection
could easily have been lost (just as other treasures from the Cementies' Museum have disappeared).
Evert, custodian to many rare memories from days long forgotten, continues to share his memory-filled images on
Fyansford.com is pleased to presents this still-growing gallery of Evert's photographs.
Remember: Click the image
to view full-size photos and their links...
Click photo to see full image
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and have your say...
Story behind Evert's amazing collection
1935 The old blue-stone Glastonbury Geelong Protestant Orphanage ceased to operate.
1939 The building was purchased by the cement works and used as a recreational hub for its workers.
1975 The Glastonbury Geelong Protestant Orphanage, as the old Orphanage building on McCurdy road was at the time called, was classified by the National Trust.
1976 The Geelong Cement Retirees' Museum was established in the orphanage building. The brainchild of Fred Dolder (an employee of the cement works and a well-respected member of the Manifold Heights community, the museum held a substantial collection of heritage and general-interest items; all contributed by members of the Fyansford community and ACL. The displays, spread over numerous rooms and hallways, focussed on the operation and history of the cement works, the local primary school, the orphanage and the Fyansford district. Souvenirs, artifacts, photographs and all sorts of personal /historic items graced the premises. Returned servicemen, servicewomen and those who gave their lives for their country were especially honoured. The facility, manned by volunteers, was a highly valued, very popular and integral part of Fyansford's history
2001 Owners of Geelong Cement Company decided to cease production and sell the plant to a developer. While the operational complex was disassembled and removed, the old building housing the Geelong Cement Retirees' Museum was, because of its heritage listing, saved from demolition.
2013 The building having deteriorated steadily and being deemed unsafe was no longer open to the public. Evert van Dreven, a 'cementite' of 30+ years observed that the character-filled building, with its rooms dizzyingly bursting with photos, diaries, machinery, equipment, tools, uniforms, fossils trinkets and souvenirs should be, "restored for the sake of Geelong's history and for the sake of the children who lived at the orphanage." "There's a tremendous amount of history in the place," observed John Malthouse ('cementite' and Museum president). Graeme Palmer, the Museum committee treasurer and secretary (a 'cementite' for 35 years) urged strongly that the collection stay together, "It's very important. It can't be broken up." Despite their pleas, that is exactly what happened. Evert was out of the country when most of the items were "lost". However, he did manage to save his now irreplaceable collection of photos.
Source: Meagan Rooth, Geelong Advertiser, 28 September, 2013
Some insight into the glory days of the old Geelong Cement Retirees' Museum can be appreciated by visiting this page.
I have been assured that every attempt was made at the time to contact original contributors to the museum and to place items appropriately, e.g. Geelong RSL. However, I suspect the passage of time, altered or out-of-date contact details, bereavements and inadequate recordkeeping severely hampered these efforts.
I extend an invitation to anyone with links to the old Fyansford cement works or the museum to search their dust-gathering
collections of family memorabilia for memories
they might share with us.. I'm not asking you to give up
your items, just that I might photograph them. Also,
if you can identify photographers of any of these images,
I'd love to give credit to them...
Remember to click initial image in gallery to maximise size
Evert van Dreven gallery
Click image to see at full size