Throughout all the research on our local towns, we’ve undertaken Boolarra was the most obvious about how the newspaper used to keep social details about all the community groups in town and even the weather’s effects on them. It builds a picture of a social farming community.
Boolarra means plentiful or twenty in the local aboriginal language.
The post office opened in September 1884.
The train line from Morwell to Mirboo North came through in 1885.
In 1929, attendance at a School Recreational Fund ball was greatly diminished and it was believed this was a result of the thunderstorms.
Boolarra’s oldest resident was Mr E Smith 91 years old and was celebrated at Mrs Austin’s home (his daughter’s home), in 1936.
In 1936, Boolarra had a butter factory that churned out 12 tons per week. The manager was an avid gardener who managed to find time to cultivate flowers he would put on display for the annual dahlias show at the mechanics’ hall.
Mining potential in Boolarra
Bauxite deposits, the main source for Aluminium, was found on a Bob McInnes lease. In 1936, it was sent away for testing. Mining licenses for the bauxite deposits were being sold since 1927. In 1927, they also added Bauxite early adaptations of cement. The Sulphates Inc company organised the hearing and had access to leases on D. Latter’s land. They had extracted 500 pounds by the time they were able to bring it to a governmental hearing. On the whole Australia at the time didn’t seem too interested in mining the resource.
The high-quality bauxite is a result of old volcanic in the Mirboo North and Boolarra area. In 1942, Australia imported aluminium ingots for creating aeroplanes for world war II from Canada. It had higher levels of iron in it than found at Boolarra. Boolarra’s bauxite was sold Sulphates Inc in Melbourne for making water purification systems and paper.
In July 1945, the Premier, Albert Dunston of the Country Party said:
“In this district, as you are well aware, there are vast deposits of bauxite which fully justify the establishment of an aluminium industry.
This district has been disappointed in the non-establishment of that industry. It is hoped you will continue your endeavours in that direction, and I hope, at some later date, to pay a visit to Morwell in connection with an industry of that nature.”
He lost the leadership to Liberal, Ian McFarlane on the 2nd of October 1945, they lost the election in November giving Ian, 66 days as Premier.