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Page history last edited by Social Policy Library 1 year ago

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Purchase of Morven at 77 Tanti Avenue, Mornington 


Morven is on the Register of the National Estate as “Historic” 24 Feb 2009. Morven was built in 1888 by Archibald Cook, owner of the Victorian Ferry Service over the Yarra. The house was a gift for his son William Sym Cook on the occasion of his marriage to Ella Louise Allchin of “Sutton Grange”, another pioneer Mornington family. The young couple were enthusiastic gardeners and converted their five acre block into parkland famous for its collection of Australian shrubs and plants, including the Norfolk Pines which stand in front of the house and are still a prominent landmark today. The Cooks lived at Mornington for nearly 50 years, and, having no children, upon their deaths left the house to a niece, May Allchin, whom they had brought up, to be hers for as long as she occupied the house.  In 1951 Morven was purchased by the Brotherhood of St. Laurence, who used the house as a holiday home for elderly people in need of a change.  In March 1970, Morven was purchased by Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Telford, who restored the house and turned it into a luxurious reception centre re-named “Morven Manor”. Note that I.R. Carter (1967) gives the date of the BSL’s purchase as 1955 (God and Three Shillings p.106). 



Mornington Auxiliary is formed to help further the work of the Morven Holiday Home. The BSL Annual Report for 1952 states "The aim of the Auxiliary is to provide help with housekeeping, hospitality, maintenance of linen, etc.  This Auxiliary has done a marvellous job in the actual labour of their hands, the use of their cars and their homes, to make Morven possible, but more important, to make so memorable the holidays of all whom we send there.” (BSL Annual Report 1952-1953 p.22).


Morven opens as the BSL’s own Holiday Home in Mornington, providing week-long holidays for pensioners.  Members of the Children’s Club have annual summer holidays under canvas in the grounds (BSL Annual Report 1953 p.21; BSL Annual Report 1955 p.20).  



TV set donated (BSL Notes no 122 February 1957, page 2).



Morven provides 10-day holidays for 190 elderly people during the year



Morven Holiday Home provides “tired or convalescent mothers and their children with a restful holiday”, as well as holidays for elderly people and camping holidays for children in the Morven grounds arranged by voluntary leaders.



The Brotherhood Board made the decision at the end of the 1968-1969 financial year that Morven be sold.  Holidays would “still be arranged for pensioners in need and the proceeds of the sale were to be applied to the provision of youth and aged services in keeping with the original appeal which helped to finance the property”. 


Following introduction of the ‘Mobile Camps’ program, Morven is no longer used for children’s camps, but the facilities were made available to other youth groups



Sale of Morven.

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