Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Port Melbourne Plaques

Busy today looking for accommodation in Singapore, so here is a half prepared prepared post I made earlier.

These plaques are sprinkled along Beach Road in Port Melbourne. Quite moving in some ways. The first and last refer to overseas arrivals and departures to and from Station Pier and probably Princes Pier too.

It would have been a place of much sadness and tears, joy and laughter and nervousness at meeting strangers or arriving in a new land.


  1. Those are great!

  2. The most famous Port boy -aside from champion full forward Fred Cook, who ended up doing time- was Tommy Lahiff. Tommy was a skinny little bloke who actually played a few games for Port, but was best known as Harry Beitzel's tinny-voiced sidekick on Saturday arvo footy broadcasts. Where anyone else couldn't get into the rooms after a game Tommy was always let in, and you'd hear his high-pitched interviews with players, coaches etc.
    "Are you there,Tommy?" Harry would say, and there'd come this high-pitched squeal: "Yes Harry" and away he'd go.
    I've got a documentary taped from the ABC years ago. It's all about Port Melbourne and features Tommy quite a bit. He mentions the changes, including how you can't walk into a Port Melbourne pub wearing dirty overalls any more, and he tells a little anecdote which illustrates perfectly the lost style and bonhomie of pre-latte inner Melbourne. It's about a bloke who owned "a big Amercan car" parked on a vacant lot: "You'd hear it start up about four in the morning on a Saturday, and by about ten oclock that day everyone in Port would have money."

  3. I reckon so Jayne.

    Fascinating Robert. I have heard of Fred Cook and I remember the crook Beitzel, but not Tommy.

  4. The last one makes me cry

  5. Yep Cazzie, but I remember them.

  6. I can recall In the early 1960's The Port Boys would regularly brawl with The Pran Boys.

    Sometimes they would all travel a great distance to another beach (like Dromana) do it.

  7. Early sixties BWCA. Surely you mean your mother told you.

  8. Harry was the first public figure I knew to have a hair transplant; and it looked like a wig stitched onto his head.

    Harry Bizarre, we called him.

    And yes he also got involved in a swindle, being described in state parliment by that Scottish bloke as "that blue-ed sue-ker Beitzel!" Poor Harry.

  9. Recall that dreadful transplant. He wasn't selected for television work because of his looks was he.