Where did the name ‘Gardiner’s Run’ come from?
John Gardiner (1798 – 1878), pastoralist and banker, took out the first grazing licence in the area (some 15000 acres) and set up an outstation to run cattle called Kangaroo Park. Kangaroo Park encompassed large areas of Chirnside Park, Lilydale, and Mooroolbark, leading all the way up to Mt Evelyn.
A Squatters Directory from 1849 contained a list of occupants on crown land in the district of Port Phillip, with one named ‘Gardiners Run’. This occupant was established in 1837. John Gardiner would eventually sell off all his assets and return to England, but his name remains with the opening of our new course.
The Chirnside Era
The Chirnside family influence on the Country Club and surrounding district began with Thomas and Andrew Chirnside who were born in Berwickshire, Scotland some eleven miles from the village of Chirnside.
Willmore and Randall and the ‘First settlers’
The Willmore and Randall (Formerly Willmorevale Pty Ltd) Community Centres Pty. Ltd planning for the Chirnside Park Country Club followed research into several similar country club developments in the United States and the Pymble Club near Sydney.
In 1962 advertising charts for Willmore and Randell Estate Developers promoted the development as a “Residential Community Development” situated between Croydon and Lilydale. The advertisement further went on to state “Come and sit under the grand old oak tree under which Dame Nellie Melba used to sit and cogitate”. The 18 hole championship course designed by the legendary Sam Berriman was also used as a selling point.
The Club is Born
Following the Proposals from Willmore and Randell/Community Centres Ltd. to either sell or lease the land, buildings, equipment and improvement, the interim committee led by Albert (Bert) Patrick developed a recommendation to be presented to prospective Country Club members.
To support the clubs recommendations, the interim commitee stated its belief that a purchase price of $200,000 was very reasonable and that it believed the current 1974 commercial value to be in the vicinity of $350,000- $400,000. Further it believed sub-division of the 143 acres at the time would realise over $2,000,000.
In April 1974, the provisional commitee recommended the acceptance of the purchase option previously recommended by the interim commitee. This was accepted by the meeting along with another motion to set the date for official formation of the Chirnside Park Country Club on July 1, 1974.
This information about the Club’s history was kindly provided by Life Member and former Club President Chris Meyer.