Looking Back

Celestina Sagazio in the war graves section of Springvale Botanical Cemetery in 2019. 192509_13 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

100 years ago

24 April 1924

Wild weather

Following on a mild, wet summer, the autumn rains in this district have been unusually heavy and are seriously hampering farming operations, as well as doing considerable damage to potato crops. The fall at Dandenong up to this date last year was almost a record low, only 2 inches 96 points being registered at the Dandenong post office, whilst from 1st January to April 23rd this year, the record fall of 19 inches 96 points has been registered.

50 years ago

23 April 1974


At Shepley Oval on Sunday, Dandenong introduced its new look team … and no supporter could complain. In drizzling rain for most of the day, the Redlegs bored in with relentlessness that staggered Williamstown and then finally overwhelmed it in a flood of goals. Before a good crowd, the Redlegs bounced quickly into action and but for ragged shooting for goal would have shattered the “Town” in minutes. However, it took 10 minutes into the term before the two flags went up and at the first change the Redlegs had gathered only 4 goals from 10 shots. But at three-quarter time the “Town” trailed by a dismal 56 points and at the final siren plunged to a shattering 76-point loss. DANDENONG 16-22 (118) WILLIAMSTOWN 5-12 (42)

Estimated attendance 4,500

20 years ago

28 April 2004


Police have won back the streets of Greater Dandenong from heroin dealers as part of an ongoing offensive that has drastically reduced the city’s crime rate. Operation Moonstone has been hailed by police as the most effective campaign in the ‘war on drugs’ in the city. Superintendent Chris Ferguson said increased foot patrols and covert operations had all but eliminated drug dealers from the central business districts of Dandenong and Springvale.

The Superintendent said the success of the ongoing operation was reflected in a 26 percent reduction in drug related crime over the past two years. The reduction had a flow on effect with assaults, house burglaries, handling stolen goods and robberies down 33.9 per cent last year.

“There’s been positive feedback from residents and particularly shopkeepers and people on the street who have had to put up with these ratbags touting their wares, accosting people and trying to sell them drugs.”

5 years ago

22 April 2019

Walk into history

Few know of the rich heritage embedded in the Springvale War Cemetery’s rows of marble headstones and immaculate lawns. It’s little known as Victoria’s official war cemetery, designed to the strict standards of Commonwealth military burial grounds in 1939. On Anzac Day, historian Dr Celestina Sagazio will guide a free walking tour. “It’s a magnificent cemetery” she said. The six-acre site holds 612 graves including many World War II servicemen and women who died in Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital after returning from the field. Others died by accident or illness. The graveyard closed in 1947. Elsewhere in the greater Springvale cemetery are 151 burial sites from World War I and World War II. Eight Victoria Cross recipients are buried at the cemetery – more than any other resting place in Victoria, possibly Australia.

Compiled by Dandenong & District Historical Society