Saturday, April 26, 2014

Mt Macedon

We recently visited the Macedon area in Victoria. Neither of us had been there since we were children in the 1950s so it was time - such a beautiful spot and only and hour or so from home. The first European to climb the 1000 metre mountain near Macedon was Major Thomas Mitchell in 1836. He named it Mt Macedon after Phillip II of ancient Macedonia.

Some of my family visited the area c1947. It looks like they're in a garden which isn't surprising because Macedon is famous for its beautiful private gardens. Dorothy and Allen Wyllie are my paternal grandparents.

Family picnic, Macedon c1947: (l-r) ?, May Rose and her sister  Dorothy Wyllie,
Dorothy's daughters Barbara and Dorothy, and her husband Allen Wyllie.
Some of my husband's family visited the area before the war, shortly after a large cross was erected on top of Mt Macedon. On a clear day you can seen Melbourne and Port Phillip Bay to the south.

This large cross is one of the most significant war memorials in Victoria. It was built in 1935 as a memorial to soldiers who served in the 1914-1918 war by a wealthy resident, William Cameron, whose son had died in the war. It's 21 metres high, is faced with terracotta tiles and embellished with a large bronze sword. The cross was restored in 1995 because it had been damaged by storms and a devastating bushfire in 1983 known as Ash Wednesday.

Phil at the Memorial Cross, Mt Macedon.
Phil's uncle, Gibson Phelan, with friends and family
at the Memorial Cross, Mt Macedon in the 1930s.
Memorial Cross and gardens c 1935 [Museum Victoria MM045589]
Memorial Cross and gardens after the bushfire in 1983 [Sydney Oats, Flickr]
Memorial Cross, 2014
We discovered a lovely cafe at the top of the mountain, delightful gardens and natural bush as well as walking trails and a memorial to a plane that crashed into the mountain in 1948. (It was a DC3 ANA flight, he Captain and his First Officer were killed, the hostess and 19 passengers survived.)

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