Mr Ivan (Bill) Warner OAM

Greater Dandenong Living Treasure Mr Bill Warner recently celebrated his 90th birthday.  Below is his prepared speech, that highlights his contribution to the community in a number of ways:

My Grandparents George & Edith Warner immigrated from Cranley Surrey UK with their two sons Ivan and Reginald arriving in Australia in 1911. I believe they first resided in Richmond, then probably at the end of Buckley Street Noble Park and eventually Grandfather Warner purchased approx.. 5 acres of land in Sandown Road, Spring Vale and gradually converted most of it into a Market Garden. He created an orchard facing onto Sandown Road, an English style home was built (I think by someone else) with a small bungalow behind that. There was a substantial dam for watering the draught horses as well another dam in the market garden acreage. The two sons and Grandfather worked the orchard and Market Garden and later my father Ivan worked at Griffith Teas where he met my Mother Ivy Ellen Milton. I am informed that my Father had to give up working at Griffith Teas owing to lead poisoning from working in the printing section. My Mother lived with her parents in Gladstone Street Kew. My Mother and Father were married in the Methodist Church Highbury Street Kew, where she was a regular attender. My parents obtained finance to purchase a home at 18 Balmoral Avenue, Spring Vale, just down the Road from this Church.. I started Sunday School in 1929 and apart from the occasional break because of employment I have been with Church since that date. On the 23rd December 1925 I was born in the local two bedroom hospital in Buckingham Avenue which is now the Springvale Community Health Centre.

I later attended the Spring Vale Primary School and my teachers over the years were Miss Crellin, Miss Russell, Miss Morgan and Mr Glare. I had the good fortune to win a number of prizes for handwriting and spelling in those days.

I obtained, Merit, Junior Tech and Intermediate Tech Certificates. I then went on to Richmond Technical School for three years and in December 1939 signed up for a five year apprenticeship with the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation at Fishermens’ Bend. Continuing on to the Melbourne Working Men’s College (Later RMIT) four night per week and half a day. At the time I was working 52 hours per week (5 by 8 plus 12 hours Saturday or Sunday) and managed to cram four years into three and then did toolmaking. Refrigeration and welding courses as well as two years of a grad.dip. of mechanical engineering and draughtsmanship. During this time I led an active time in the YMCA and was Vikings Club Rover Section Leader and as a Social Secretary organizing many dances, hikes in conjunction with the YWCA. We all patronized the Mens Basketball and Swimming Club Competitions.

In 1946 I became a design draughtsman at Freighter Trailers; in 1947/48 Design Draughtsman at Freightmaster Refrigeration. (first Rabbit Chillers in Australia), 1948/50 Maintenance Engineer with Eclart’e Pty Ltd.

In 1949 I was initiated into Freemasonry, Spring Vale Lodge No 389. I joined the Victoria Police Force in April, 1951 and Graduated in July 1951. Joined the Unanimity Club (freemasons in the Victoria Police Force); held every office as well as Secretary for three years. Security Marshall at Yearly President’s Day at Freemason’s Home in Punt Road, South Yarra. Transferred to Heyfield in 1955 a Police Sub District of 1200 square miles including Connors Plain and Licola. Became Foundation Member of Lodge of Affinity Traralgon. Then transferred to East Preston (Little Chicago) started up a scout group, a youth club and a Sunday School, then promoted to a Sergeant late 1958 and returned to Spring Vale. Held every Office at Spring Vale Lodge, because Master in 1959/60’ President of No 3 Group 49 lodges. Ran Voluntary public speaking courses for budding Lodge Members seeking office. Was booking Secretary of the Masonic Hall at Springvale for three years; placed an advertisement in the local papers inviting excluded and other members to form a new Lodge. Members from former lodges previously employed by General Motors Holden answered the advert. A new Lodge (Cooinda) was consecrated in 1964 and I was the Foundation Master. I also became District Commissioner for Scouts Springvale District in 1964 (1160 personnel). Received an award from Somers Area for two years of outstanding training of Staff.

In 1966 I was elected to the Executive of the Victoria Police Association.

1969 stood for and elected to the Springvale City Council.

1967/68 Victorian Association of Youth Clubs (Executive Member);

1967’68 President of Springvale Primary School.

1969/70 appointed Grand Pursuivant in the Active Grand Team.

1970 Elected Junior Vice President of the VPA;

1971 Elected Senior Vice President

1972 Elected President of the VPA

1971/72 Elected President of the Springvale and Noble Park Sewerage Authority.

1972/76 Natural Resources Conservation League.

1974 retired from VPA

1972 Elected Mayor of the City of Springvale

1974 Fiji Jamboree, Leader Public Relations with Australian Contingent

1974 New Zealand Jamboree Leader International Relations

1974 National Jamboree Perth Group Leader

1975/1978 Commissioner of the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works

1976/77 Chairman of the Dandenong Valley Regional Library Service

1978/79; elected Member of the Dandenong Valley Authority’

1982 Foundation President of the City of Springvale Historical Society

1984 Foundation Member of the Dandenong Springvale Water Board

1978 National Jamboree Pan Pacific Fiji Accommodation for 270 Scouts and Leaders; Fiji Rakiraki Leader Tours and Accommodation;

1980 National Jamboree Ipswich Leader Administration (20 staff) ;

1982 Pan Pacific Jamboree Fiji (Lautoka) Deputy Contingent Leader;

1985 France Jambville 10 year Vietnam Scout Re-union;

1985 US Get Together Vietnam Reunion Los Angeles.; Retired from Scout Association in 1987 having received the following commendations 1958 Supporters Bade, 1974 Medal of Merit, 1984 Silver Acorn; 1986/87 Chairman of Southern Weights and Measures Union; 1987/88 Chairman of Water Authorities Association of Victoria;

1983 retired from the Victoria Police Force with following Commendations:

1956 Commendation apprehension of thieves (sheep stealing)

1959 Leadership, local community

1970 Leadership , local community, Fitzroy;

1973 Queen’s Long Service and Good Conduct Medal; 1983 Group Citation (Frankston Mornington Peninsula) 1983 Chief Commissioner’s Certificate for sustained and outstanding and loyal service’

1972 Mayor of Springvale

1974 Mayor Springvale

1979 Charter Member of the Dingley Village Rotary Club, held various offices but in 1983 resigned owing to other Community commitments;

1982 Mayor Springvale

1984 Awarded “Medal of the Order of Australia for service to Local Government”

1992 Awarded “Citizen of the Year”

2001/2002 Master of Chelsea Daylight Lodge 899

2004/05 and 2011/12 Elected President of the Noble Park Probus Club Inc

2005 “Living Treasure of the City of Greater Dandenong”

2006/2007 Worthy Supreme Ruler of the Order of the Secret Monitor

Elected President of the Keysborough & District MultiCultural Senior Citizens Club inc in 2002 through to 2014;

I have been President and Secretary of the Millennials Past Masters Group. I have four Royal Lifesaving Awards. I have been a regular attender as I can make it of the Springvale Methodist Church/later 1974 Uniting Church here in Balmoral Avenue. I have been a Lay Preacher, and Chairman of the Congregation 1992/94 and was a Trustee of the Church from 1966/1971.

There are 11,000 Freemasons in the State of Victoria. Grand Lodge called for nominations for the newly inaugurated “Hall of Fame” Springvale Lodge submitted my name with accompanying Documents. Supposedly, fifty nominations were received and a short list of five was selected. I was the chosen inaugural member because of my commitment to the community and the Craft.. Eleonora and I went to a Dinner at the former Plaza Theatre in Melbourne and as the folio discloses RWBro. Ivan (Bill) Warner, the only recipient able to accept his award personally, was given a standing ovation. There were 140 guests at the Dinner.

There are three Manuals on the display table. One for my Sister Margaret Fisher who is here today; one for Daughter Jennifer Tomlin who is also here.

NOTE: When I was in the Fingerprint Branch 1952/53 I became rather adept at climbing warehouse roofs where burglars had broken in through the skylights. I got so used to climbing that it followed me right up until recently.

As a result I recall some great experiences that Don and Christine Macdowell and my daughter Jenny and I had travelling on several occasions to Wilsons’ Promontory and climbing Mt Wilson, Telegraph Saddle and other areas. As well Don and I hiked across the High Plains, Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair in Tasmania. Thereafter I climbed Mt Kosciuszko, Lighthouse Eastern most part of Australia, Southern most part of Australia, then later Darwin, Broome, then Statue of Liberty in USA; Pikes Peak (14,000 feet) Colorado, USA, Eiffel Tower, France: Central China, Mt Tianmin Glass Walk (5.400 feet).

Bill Warner talking about Springvale

 Bill Warner bio from Greater Dandenong website