The Town Hall in Moonee Ponds is an important landmark in the history of Moonee Valley. It has gone through many phases and for a long time, it has been known as the Essendon Town Hall. Now after many years it is an entertainment centre known as the "Clocktower Centre".
Built as a Mechanics Institute and opened by the Mayor Cr. J. Parry in September 1880, the building was used as a place of learning for the working public. Two years later Flemington and Kensington wards separated.
Officially opened to the public on 4th February 1886 as the Essendon Town Hall, a banquet was organized, Alfred Deakin was present who later became Prime Minister of Australia. Between the years 1910-1911 after 24 years serving as the Essendon Town Hall, the building was considered to be too small and the Council proposed to add a new Town Hall and offices. By November 11th 1913, the foundation stone for the renovated hall was laid and reopened to the public on the 14th July 1914 by Mayor Cr. J. F. Henderson. By 1930 the tower had been built and a place was allocated for the clock to be installed. Between 1972-1976 there were plans to demolish the building and the land to be sold. However, it was decided that it would be better used as a Community Centre and it began to function as such in 1973. On January 16th 1978, an unfortunate fire took place, the fire burnt much of the interior but was fortunately brought under control before causing further damage, it was rebuilt in 1979 and some of the old features were kept, the tower is the only original structure remaining today. After more than 120 years of history and now known as the Clocktower Centre, this remarkable building has gone through many phases.
Sep 2, 2008
The online database Ancestry Library.com which is available at all of the Moonee Valley Library Services has the Australian Electoral Rolls from 1901-1936, if interested in any research in this area please ring to make a booking at a library close to you.
Sep 1, 2008
Talks for the month of November will cover topics on Pre 1837 English baptisms and burials speaker Jenny Carter, Australian Archive CD Books speaker Linley Hooper, Scottish films at the GSV speaker John Blackwood and the last Thursday talk on November 27th will be using newspaper indexes by Eleanor Pugsley. GSV members free, Non-members $5.50, Level B1, 257 Collins Street, Melbourne Ph. 9662 4455 Fax: 9663 0841 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.gsv.org.au