Hedley community has had many names over the years Nine Mile, Timberton, Hodgkinson and finally in the 1889, it was gazetted Hedley after Dr G.D Hedley who apart from having a mine in the area, he was a medical doctor, an advocate for the agriculture development of South Gippsland, and a Assistant Police Commissioner.
The first enterprise in Hedley was timber, a mill called Masons, which was situated on the Nine Mile Creek. The mill exported blocks of timber, yellow stringy bark, to be used for paving purposes in the streets of Europe.
Hedley has had many celebrations over the years with the Hedley 2773 School Centenary in 1986 and the Calf Club Jubilee in 1981, but the last back to Hedley was 62 years ago in 1955. The closure of the Hedley School in 1988 and the closure of the Hedley General store in 1994 had a devastating impact on the little community but the Hedley Community remains a strong, healthy and resourceful community.
Both the Foster Historical Society and the Yarram Historical Society have been extremely helpful with information. Two local Hedley identities, the late Mrs Beryl Atkin and the late Mrs Joyce Avery collected a lot of Hedley history information over the years. Mrs Atkin had the foresight to collate and catalogue all of the information and preserve it in the Foster Historical Museum, ideal for occasions such as this. There is a sense of gratitude to these two ladies for all that hard work. We hope that we can add to and improve the collection of Hedley history.
The community response for the return to Hedley, that ‘Hedley Connection’, that we all remember, has been very encouraging with guests travelling from Queensland, NSW, Tasmania and South Australia. There will be a visitors book to sign on arrival, as this book has been used for the past Hedley celebrations. It certainly makes very interesting reading of the names from our past.
The Shire of South Gippsland has been generous with a $1000 Quick Response Grant to assist with the celebrations. The Wellington Shire has also come on board with a $600 grant to assist in preserving the home movie collection of Norrie Rossiter. We are grateful to both shires for the financial support. Yarram Murray Goulburn Trading and Bendigo Bank have also assisted with sponsorship. We are very grateful for their community generosity.
The Hedley Hall Committee and volunteers have been working extra hard to make sure everything will be in order for the day, and plans are being finalised for the Hedley Connection day on May 20. The day will commence at 11am with a church Service at the Hedley Church of Transfiguration. Then guests are invited back to the Hall for lunch at noon, where apart from stories of the past and photos of the Hedley School 2773, calf club and other community gatherings, there will be a power point presentation and home movies from Norrie Rossiters home collection. A BBQ tea is planned for the evening with light musical entertainment from Bruce and Nancy Atkin and friends.
There will be books and DVDs available for sale. If you have any photos of the past relating to Hedley, there will be an opportunity to have them scanned and copied. Gold coin entry fee and please bring a plate to share for afternoon tea. Any queries please contact Maree Avery 0421 222 242 or Sue Sedman (nee Greenaway) 0488 020 505