The Victorian School of Forestry came about through the inspiration and initiative of John Johnstone, Superintendent of State Plantations in the 1900s. The School was located in the former Creswick hospital, built in 1863 and bought in 1910 by the Victorian Government under the-then Premier Sir Alexander Peacock, representative for the seat of Creswick.
The School's main gates were dedicated to Sir Alexander on 10 October 1952. The Minister for Lands and Forests, Sir Albert Lind, performed the dedication and opening ceremony which was reported in detail by the Creswick Advertiser; a copy of which can be read here and a video of the ceremony can be viewed here.
This article is from a paper delivered at the AHA Conference, Canberra, July 2018.
Taken together - the undue weight given to the plaque; Johnstone’s absence from early records; being overlooked by other writers; and animosity with his contemporaries - these elements have created a fog so thick that the researcher has little hope of seeing through to the fact that John Johnstone, Superintendent of State Plantations, “a glorified landscape gardener”, was the reason a School of Forestry was established at Creswick in 1910.
And now for something more important than forestry.
The VSF fielded a team (Creswick Forestry) in the Clunes League in the years 1946-1949. In 1946 they reached the Grand Final, but were beaten by Smeaton 10-12-72 to 7-11-53. (Source: The Argus, 2 September, 1946.) They also reached the Grand Final in 1947 but the outcome has not been found.
Photos below of the team are from 1947, 1948 and 1949.
Click on the preview to get a large format photo.
Two of the students closely associated with the teams of those years have provided comments.
This article is still being developed.
VICTORIAN SCHOOL OF FORESTRY
Senior Master - Principal
Vacant 1910 - 1912
T.S. Hart M.A., M.C.E. May 1913 - 1915
C.E. Carter B. Ag. Sc., Dip. Ed. 1916 - 1920
W.W. Gay Dip. Ag. Sc. 1920 - 1922
C.E. Carter M.F. (Yale), B. Ag. Sc. 1923 - 1926
K. V.M. Ferguson M.A., B Sc. (Forestry) 1927
E. J. Semmens B.Sc., Dip, Ed., F.L.S. 1928 - 1950
F.R. Moulds Ph.D. (Yale), B.Sc., Dip. For. (Cres) 1951 – June 1958
W. Litster B. Sc. (Hons.) (Forestry). (Acting Principal) 1957 - 1958
W. Litster B. Sc. (Hons.) (Forestry) June 1958 - 1968
A. R. Eddy M.F. (Calif.), B. Sc. For., Dip. For. (Cres.) 1969 - 1978
(Source: Bob Orr's paper)
"Let us regard the forest as an inheritance, not to be destroyed or devastated, but to be wisely used, reverently honoured and carefully maintained. Let us regard the forest as a gift, entrusted to any of us only for transient care, to be surrendered to posterity as an unimpaired property, increased in riches and augmented in blessings, to pass as a sacred patrimony from generation to generation."
Baron Ferdinand von Mueller - Suggestions on the Maintenance, Creation and Enrichment of Forests (1879)