Breamlea – A special Place


Breamlea, Those Early Years   by Peter O’Neil

My family has had a close association with ‘The Creek’ since about 1919 at least. Most of the time it was in a substantial shack and before that, in tents and sleeping out. When demolishing the shack to build our present house there we found the date “1919” painted above the old doorway and my father, now deceased, said that it was put there when the shack was built.

My father was raised in Geelong near the waterfront and spent a lot of time at Breamlea with his father and brother. My grandfather, Dave, spent the last years of his life in the shack at Breamlea and we holidayed there every Christmas for two weeks.

My memories of those early ears include the following…

  • Steeper sand dunes than are there now
  • Hotter summers than now
  • Possum hunts by torchlight at the corner of Horwood Drive and Whittington Street. We were just looking, not harming.
  • Rabbiting with shotguns in the sand dunes around The Little Desert
  • The first sunburn of the year
  • Having to wear a shirt in swimming
  • Grandpa’s whiskers and counting the pennies he saved for us since the last time we were there
  • Kerosene lamps, cleaning the glass with newspapers, filling the lamps and the warnings to be careful.
  • Wood burning fires and toast
  • Waking to the roar of the primus stove
  • Tea with Carnation milk
  • Magee’s milk delivery
  • Powdered Milk
  • Family Christmas dinners
  • ‘Snuff’ Horwood’s bus
  • ‘Snuff’ Horwood’s voice
  • Mosquitoes – thicker then than now
  • Ice-cream from the shop – wherever it was that year
  • Peppermint chocolate
  • The noise of the shop generator
  • Sandy serpentine roads
  • Cricket matches on the sandy roads
  • Sandcastle building competitions on the beach each Christmas
  • Jimmy Beales, Roy Culliver and Martin Hassett fishing in the surf and form the rocks
  • Mass in the hall
  • Ute rides from Geelong on piles of holiday gear
  • The first sight of the sand dunes
  • Gangs in the tea-tree
  • Finding our way home in the dark
  • One-legged Mr. Neil
  • Playing cards
  • Walks to Black Rock and watching the outflow
  • The beginning of the Bancoora Surf Life Saving Club – training days and early patrols
  • The Finn family, Batsy and Maggie Shelley, the Bensons, the Finn boys, the Wilsons, the Carrs, Scotts, Cullivers, Rex Young, Bernie Blewett, the Quail family, Brett Wilson, McAuliffes, Haskews….

Source:   Breamlea Progress Association (1995),  A Special Place – A breamlea Album