Vern McCallum Collection

The Vern McCallum Photo Collection shows the places, people and events of the Western District of Victoria and South East South Australia from the 1860s to the 1960s. The collection started in the 1970s with photos from Vern’s own family albums [which arrived in the District in the 1850’s] and has expanded through the goodwill of many individuals and groups who either donated photos, or allowed Vern to copy their photos. The collection now contains close to 15,000 images and is still growing!

Michael has been involved with Vern since the Museum opened, helping with research about photos in the collection, obtaining grants for exhibitions and the production of a CD, and encouraging people to add their family photos to the database. Almost single-handedly, and at huge personal cost and time, Vern has saved a great chunk of the photographic heritage of the region before it ended up in local landfills and nameless wall hangings.

Sometimes pictures tell less than a thousand words…below is one of the best local examples of how research and information add hugely to the story of an image. After that is a photo that has come to the Museum and still needs its story to be told…can you help with any information?

In 1909 Dartmoor, Greenwald/Drik Drik [The Range] and Mumbannar formed the Dartmoor District Football Association. Teams played each other four times between 29 May and 14 August. The team on top of the ladder at the end of the round-robin matches was the premier, and in 1909 it was Greenwald. Their trophy, donated by Mr J.T.Quigley, was a hot water kettle on a silver stand. At the Greenwald Annual Picnic the following February it was given by the team captain Mr Rankin to Mrs Egan, in appreciation of her having allowed home games to be played in her paddock, and providing most of the afternoon tea on those occasions! [Perhaps the large wooden mallet pictured as the ‘trophy’ was for the best player, or set up as a joke on the day?]
Greenwald Team: Rear [left-right] Hugh McKenzie [umpire], F.Young, Hugh Johnson, Edward Hiscock, Ern Barr, George Cowland, B.Barr, Frank McKee, James Lightbody, Ern Jones, Mark Kerr, Lance Egan [official]. Front Jack Spencer [child], A.Lang, Fred Holmes, A.Harvey, Norman Lightbody, J.Leake [captain], Bert Holmes, Chris Carter, Percy Allen. [Absent is regular team member Cliff Johnson who was suffering from a kidney injury – the kidney was later removed.] On the day the photograph was taken the match details printed in the ‘Portland Guardian’ on 2 July were…

FOOTBALL – MUMBANNAR v GREENWALD. (By Watcher.) The Dartmoor association was advanced another stage on Saturday, the 26th, when a team representing Mumbannar journeyed to Greenwald to try conclusions with the local team. Mumbannar had strengthened their team by three men – Holloway, Francis and Brown from Nelson, while Greenwald were still without their captain, but took in Moore, late of Portland. The football was very good considering the state of the ground, which was very greasy in the centre, owing to the recent rain. Leake won the toss from Smith, and decided to take the advantage of a slight breeze, which was blowing towards the south end. On the bounce Kerr collared and passed to Lang, to Johnson, who sent the ball well forward. Smith Bros. relieved and passed to Francis, who had a shot from a place, but it went wide. Leake returned to Cowland, to McKee, to Young, who tried to pass to his own man, but missed, and Kerr collared and snapped first goal for Greenwald. Bounced off O’Brien and Hirth, in the ruck for Mumbannar, drove the ball forward to Lacey, who passed to Francis. This time a goal resulted. The first quarter ended-1 goal 1 behind all. On opening the second term the play was very even for fully ten minutes, the backs on both sides completely out-playing the opposing forwards. Owing to the good work of McKee, Johnson and F. Holmes, Carter had a chance which he turned to best account. Bounced off, Brown, for Mumbannar, equalised matters by a snap shot. A tendency to crowd on the ball was noticeable, and thus good individual play was rather scarce. Mumbannar, at this stage, were playing the better, combined game, but failed to get through the Greenwald defence, where B. Holmes, Lightbodv, Hiscock and Kerr were struggling to keep out their opponents. The scores at the second change were-Mumbannar, 2 goals 2 behinds. Greenwald, 2 goals 1 behind. During the interval the teams were photographed by Mr Matheson, of Nelson, who is in the district at present. The third quarter was responsible for Greenwald’s win, and I think it was in superior ruck work that they won. Kerr and F. Holmes took the lion’s share and fed their rover, Lang, who always saw that the ball was put in the right place. Bounced off, Johnson, who was playing well in centre, sent the ball well up, and it was forced out of bounds. From the hit in, Kerr hit out to Lang, who scored Greenwald’s 3rd goal with a good left-foot kick. Bounced off again, Greenwald rushed the ball up, where Holloway was doing good defence work, but this time Lang beat him, and with another left-foot screw got fourth goal for his side. Again the ball was rushed to Mumbannar’s end, and in spite of Smith Bros. desperate efforts Carter marked and got 5th goal. This was followed ,a minute or two later by another snap by McKee. Four goals in ten minutes rather rattled Mumbannar, especially as at this time Francis, who was easily their best man, got a hit on the head which stunned him for a few minutes. Even when the ball got to Greenwald’s end, Leake, who was playing great football and was ably backed up by Hiscock, B. Holmes and Moore, kept them out and their only score was a snap by Brown, which found the goal opening. So the quarter ended with Greenwald having a clear 3 goals lead. On the final change of ends Hirth sent the ball well forward, where Holloway marked and kicked third goal for his side. From the bounce the Greenwald ruck sent the ball forward, where Young marked very nicely, but could only score a point. This was repeated by Johnson from a snap a few minutes afterwards. Then the ball was carried, to the other end and stopped there during the rest of the quarter. Leake wisely sent in two extra men to the ruck and kept the scoring down. He also showed wisdom in setting Kerr to watch Holloway, and thus break Mumbannar’s combination. Back and forward across the ground the play went, and here I saw some really fine bits of play, chief amongst them being good runs by McKee and Lacey and the brilliant defence of Jones (who played his best game for the season) and Moore. The latter’s coolness turned the attack very often, while Leake was responsible for clearing his goal from danger time after time. This couldn’t last for ever and it came to an end by Monahan getting a rather lucky goal, which most certainly would have hit the post had not Leake, in an endeavor to stop the ball, struck the post arid knocked it out of plumb. But the game was won and lost, as the bell rang just as McKenzie, the central umpire, bounced the ball after this goal, and left Greenwald winners by 6 goals 5 behinds to 5 goals 8 behinds. For the winners I think Kerr (ruck and back) was the best of a good lot. Others who helped him very much were Jones, Leake, Lightbody, Hiscock, B. Holmes and Moore'(back), F. Holmes, Johnson (ruck), McKee, Allen and Harvey (wings and forward). Carter kicked 2 goals. Lang seemed a bit at sea on the wet ground during the first half, but roved up to his best form in the second half, and also kicked 2 goals. For Mumbannar – Frances (everywhere), Holloway (ruck and forward), Hirth, Smith 3 (ruck), Brown (wing), Lacey (roving) all did good work and strove hard to avert defeat. With the same team they should make a start on the winning list when they meet Dartmoor next Saturday. Mr Hugh McKenzie umpired in his usual capable manner. After the match both teams were entertained at afternoon tea by the Greenwald ladies. On behalf of the visiting team, Mr Francis thanked the ladies and called for three cheers for the ladies, team, and umpire. Mr J. Leake responded on behalf of the local boys, and returned the compliment paid to his team by calling for cheers as before.

[Donated by Laurie Wolters 2011]. Pictured left with pipe is Mr Wolters, surveyor with the crew constructing the Heywood to Mount Gambier railway line. For many months the men, some with their families, were camped in a tent city at Dartmoor. Whether the ‘minstrels’ were real or bogus is not known, nor are the other members of the ‘band’!


14 thoughts on “Vern McCallum Collection

  1. Hello. I am researching my family history. My great grandfather was Robert Hoskins (1857 – 1929). He married Elizabeth McKinnon (1866- 1937). Both their parents came from the Dartmoor district. I am keen to learn more about the family and would particularly like to find any photos. can you help. Thanks

    • I am also researching Robert Hoskins the father of your g grandfather and am interested to find out more about him an his wife Eastaway.Any help /photo appreciated
      Lindy Wright

    • I am also a descendent of your GG Grandfather (Robert Hoskins/Jane Eastaway) and I have quite a lot of info about the family. You could contact me by email and I will sent photos.

  2. I am also a descendent of Robert Hoskins and Jane Eastaway. Their daughter Georgie ann is my great grandmother. I have quite a lot if info on Robert and Jane and also have photos of them in their old age. I am happy to copy them for you.

    • Hello Ann, I am also a descendent of Robert Hoskins and Jane Eastaway, my grandmother was Jane Hoskins who married Edgar Lacey. I have some information re Bertie Frew that you may be interested in. I also know almost nothing of Robert and Jane, so perhaps we could help each other.

    • Hi Anne, I am also a descendent of Robert and Jane Hoskins. I have some information re Bertie Frew if you are interested. I know almost nothing of Robert and Jane and would welcome any information/photos about them.
      My email is

  3. Hi, I am also interested in finding out some history about Robert Hoskins and his wife Jane Eastaway. Robert was my Great Great Grandfather. He was the Father to Albert who was the Father of my Grandfather Stanley Hoskins. I would be interested in any information available. My Email Address is If anyone has any information, it would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers, Tony.

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