Days and Young Ways
Intimate Stories of the Past (By "N.M.") oeful times to hearken back to the whether they were as good as we have doesn't really matter, but even the cynic comparison to the twentieth century's their lack of amenities, reminiscent of "Gay Nineties" must have been pretty enthusiast might be pardoned for describing
es some hs slip ful ser time' to d were e value the cul f course, ecessary the Arts as one blems of ifect of ion." conver include and also trictions city and ere usu gs and of the the good lantries necessary life so e don't *ther do Perhaps remem odious; bout the able we at this e ready ay Nine e term era that spapers
On October 5, 1889, when Frankston was starting to blos som forth, the first edition of the "Mornington Standard" ("a thor oughly live and representative journal") was printed and pub- lished by Mr. Robert Ewins. Many of the residents did not appreciate the entry of a "live and representative" journal dist- turbing their peace, and com- pletely failed to recognise it as a medium for advertising and publicising their good works.. In the first few years of its ex- istence the little journal faced many adversities, not the least of which was an apathetic public. It changed hands several times before it gradually broke down the passive resistance which is so killing to a newspaper. In 1910 the paper was bought by Mr. Wlliam Wilson Young. Mr. Young was an experienced journalist, and had established newspapers in many parts of Victoria and in Circular Head, Tasmania. The determination with which Mr. Young tackled the task ahead of him was worthy of his Scottish forebears. Blessed with a sense of humour, which is an asset in any business, and particularly the newspaper business, his experi- ence and keenness for the' job soon made its presence felt, and it was not long before he had the newspaper on a good solid foot- ing. . Unfortunately for everyone,
war broke out not long after wards, and Mr. Young says in his memoirs, "My two sons, Oli- ver and Alan, and another em- ployee immediately joined up, leaving me with the office lad. Fortunately, two of my daught- ers offered their, assistance, and in a remarkably short time be- came quite proficient and carried on loyally for the duration of the war." (They must have inherited some of the aforementioned char- acteristics of their forebears). Towards the end of the war, Mr. Young's eldest son, William Crawford, who had stayed in Tas- mania as Town Clerk of Circular Head, rejoined him, and together they produced a very successful paper. News was very plentiful just then, with the soldiers re- turning from the war, and the numerous welcome-home parties and doings of the many commit- tees, which were always being formed, providing plenty of newsy items for the paper. Also the public had realised by this time just how much help could be given by a local paper, and sales went up and advertising in- creased. Names of these advertisers which will be remembered by most old Frankstonians included: D. McDonald (grocer), W. B. Cunningham (The Railway Bak- ery), C. W. Wood (Toilet Salon and Newsagency), A. Coxall (butcher), D. Dalman (boot- maker), O. J. Olsen (hire car ser- vice), J. MIllard (carrier), Mrs. Hay (fancy goods shop), Brody and Mason (auctioneers and es- tate agents), J. A. Cameron (blacksmith), J. Nott Marsh (es- tate agent), Sister Campbell (St. Paveras' Hospital), Keast Bros. (hay and grain store), W. Wells (butcher), J. Peebles (Model Dairy), Gregory's' "Bay View" Hotel,."The Gum Leaf Cafe," Mrs. M. R. Deane (general store), W. J. Oates (dairy), J. Lyle (toy shop and ironmonger), L. R. W. Utber (solicitor), Tanti Market. .Some of these: names will still
be found in "The Standard" to- day. Frankston at that time pos- sessed a number of colourful characters. There was one who appointed, himself town-crier. He went by the name of "Bullocky Bill," earned for him, no doubt, by the fact that his stentorian voice would have put any bullock driver to shame. When any func- tion, which he considered worthy of his attention, was being held in the town, he would fortify himself In the time-honoured manner, and in a voice which could be heard from one end of the town to the other, and ring ing a large bell, he would march up and down the streets creating an atmosphere of excitement and anticipation, which always seem- ed to help things along. He used to keep a crutch handy for help- ing himself along when he had overdone the fortifying. Then there was Miss Blake. With her clothes of early nine- teenth century vintage, a black velvet band around her throat, and her hair drawn tightly back into a tiny bun, she must surely have stepped from out of a Dickensian novel. Her little sweet shop, with its faintly musty smell, did nothing to dispel the illusion that one had flicked over a page of "The Old Curiosity Shop." Another unforgettable charac- ter was the Rev. "Paddy" McFar- lane, whose Irish wit was appre- ciated by all and sundry. Driving his little white pony and buggy, his rotund figure clad in tradi- tional church habit, he was the embodiment of the old English vicar, and it seemed as if a little of England's antiquity still linger- ed about him. There were the Misses Cahill, two genteel old ladies who con- ducted a grocery store where the National Bank now stands. They never seemed to acquire the art of weighing correctly, and would take a few grains of sugar out and put a few back in a way which was rather bewildering to their restless clients. And what child of that time will ever forget Miss Stewart and her little tuck shop, which seem- ed to possess everything that even the most demanding child could ever want. It was in 1919, when the in- fluenza epidemic was raging in Frankston, that the old Kananook Creek was subjected to a bar- rage of criticism. People wrote letters to the paper on the condi- tion of the creek, and Dr. Max- well warned the people that it could become a serious menace to Frankston. A Mr. Klauer wrote -"During the winter, it is bad enough, but we try to look pleas- ant; but in the summer - Gee Whiz! (Words failed him)-and the Kananook flowed gently, if not sweetly, on. In January, 1919, Mr. Young, snr., handed the business to his son, and a few years later re- tired. During the years that Mr. Wil- liam Crawford Young was man- ager, he was able to give great assistance. to public enterprise. He was a keen supporter of the many improvements which were carried out in Frankston, and the building of the High School was largely due, not only to the publicity which it was in his power to give, but also to the personal interest, which he took in it. He also worked hard for the building of the Presbyterian Church, which, for a number of years, had 'been holding its ser- vices in the Mechanics' Hall. He
MR. WM. CRAWFORD YOUNG
had the satisfaction of seeing the new church erected in Davey Street in 1925. The making of Beauty Park caused another wave of interest. The paper contained heated and imaginative letters from citizens for and against the idea. Mr. Young was very much for it and, eventually, a useless old water- logged area was transformed into a park and playground, with a very convenient road connecting Kar Street with Davey Street. The necessity for the forming of a Life-Saving Club was also brought before the public, per the Press, and it was not long before enough interest was stir- red up to' start the Frankston Life-Saving Club. It is. pleasing to note that in those days Frankston possessed a brass band, and its presence livened up. many an otherwise dull show. To cope with the growing busi- ness, Mr.- Young built a new office and factory in Wells Street, and in 1924 the machinery and plant were moved into the space- ous new factory. In 1925 Mr. Young was ask- ed to consider starting a chain of papers which would include most of the bayside towns from Sand- ringham to Mornington. He thought the idea a sound one and, there and then, decided to form a company to cope with the much larger business. The Standard Newspapers Pty. Ltd. was duly formed, with Mr. Young as gen- eral manager. Mr. Young continued to work hard and energetically, not only for the Company, but also for the advancement of Frankston, and any suggested improvement would always receive a helping hand through the press. It was a great loss, both to the Company and the community, when Mr. Young died after a sudden illness in September, 1928. His wife, and four children still have a large interest in the busi- ness, and Thomas has been the manager of the Sandringham Branch office for some years. Mr. Young's. father, who died in 1946 at the age of 95, never forsook his love of journalism. While he was living in retire- ment at Emerald, he wrote several books, and compiled a crossword puzzle dictionary. When he was 93, he wrote and presented to his grandaughter a most interesting and amusing account of his life from the time he left Auchinblae, Scotland, in 1885.