Sarsfield Community Association

17 September 2021

Sarsfield Community Snippets ~ Number 3

Regional Covid lockdowns and weeks of heavy rainfall have punctuated a very busy period for the Sarsfield Community Association. This fortnight’s Sarsfield Snippets includes a summary of the results of the recent online survey, an update on the state of play of the very busy community association’s work and an interview with Sarsfield stalwart Ian Haggar.

Remember to look out for each other, have an occasional laugh and contact support services if you are worried about yourself or others.

Red Cross Farm First Aid Training Day

Red Cross will run a full day Farm First Aid Training Day on Wednesday 29 September at the Sarsfield Hall.

Register with Cathy McLellan 0488 051 936.

Bushfire Resilience EXPO ~ 7 November 2021

Hold The Date!

The Sarsfield Community Association are planning a Bushfire Resilience Expo on Saturday November 7 at the Sarsfield Hall.

The themes will be Rebuild or Retrofit, Landscape and Replant, and Learning to Live with Fire in a Rural Landscape.

An exciting event!

The Survey results are in.

In June 2021 the Sarsfield Community Association began collecting feedback to help confirm and fully understand our community’s needs and determine what we would like Sarsfield to look like in 2030. You may have see signs around the community or ads in the paper?

Analysis and review of the survey results identified 7 main themes. These themes were;

· improving and developing infrastructure and services (37%),

· further building our sense of community (29%) ,

· developing community responsibility (13%)

· acknowledging history and heritage (10%),

· disaster preparation and planning (6%),

· bio diversity and the environment (4%) and

· health and wellbeing (1%).

Results Chart: Shaping the Future of Sarsfield - Conversation summary

61% of respondents highlighted the strong sense of belonging to the Sarsfield Community and the desire for Sarsfield to continue to grow and prosper.

Responses were collected and collated within a framework of- what you said, what you suggested, what we heard, what is happening now and what is next?

Many exciting plans and actions are underway as a direct result of the information gleaned from our great Sarsfield Community.

Thanks again.

What’s been happening?

The past few months have been very exciting for the Sarsfield Community Association as plans take shape and follow up actions are enacted.

A Sarsfield Community plan titled Sarsfield 2030 has been drafted based on feedback from surveys, individual and group chats and consultation over many months. P.D.F Management were commissioned to create this plan and currently have produced a leaflet style snapshot and a more detailed draft plan. These plans cover many areas of Sarsfield 2030 including such things as traffic safety, the recreation reserve, the hall, creating a streetscape that identifies Sarsfield and organising community events and experiences.

In previous Snippets we have outlined the Draft Masterplan for the Sarsfield Camping and Water Reserve (the Wire Dump). Also a Master Plan for the Sarsfield Recreation Reserve (including the hall) has been created. Simon Leisure Consulting in partnership with 360 Leisure Management were commissioned to prepare these plans.

Tom Hardy Designs were employed to complete initial designs and plans for a “new hall” and Built QA have supported with some project costings.

Sue from “Its on Purpose” has been enlisted to write a funding application for the next round of Federal Funding to enable our plans and dreams to become realities.

Ian Haggar

Bill Ponsford and the M.C.G’s Ponsford Stand, Charles Kingsford Smith and the Kingsford Smith International Airport in Sydney and Ian Haggar and the Ian Haggar Recreational Hall in Sarsfield. Last week I had the honour of having a Covid safe chat with Sarsfield “icon” Ian Haggar where he shared many of his Sarsfield experiences and connections.

Ian was the son of Harold and Edith. Ian was one of six young Haggars raised on their small dairy farm near the Nicholson River on High Street Sarsfield. Sadly Eric died of Diptheria as a young child but amazingly the Haggar “old age genes” see Margaret 88, Ian 90, Faye 92, Kevin 96 and Beryl 98 all going well in 2021.

Ian’s earliest memories are of massive pine trees surrounding the High Street home, hand milking the cows, manually chopping back blackberries and picking maize from their small crop. Everyone had to chip in – it was hard work.

The Haggar kids all attended Sarsfield Primary No. 1228- Ian still states the school number alongside the school name. Ian remembers the walk to school either barefooted in Summer or with his old work boots in Winter. At the time there was a serious Diphtheria Epidemic which took young Eric’s life. Ian also contracted Diphtheria as a young child and was treated and quarantined for six or seven months in a section of the old Bairnsdale Hospital which later became the Geriatric Centre- still standing in McKean Street Bairnsdale. This was certainly a challenging period for Ian and his family.

One other “frightening” early memory shared by Ian was a walk with big sister Beryl through the scrub up Haggars Road to the property at the top of the hill. Beryl warned Ian of the mad wild bull that lived in that scrub and could attack at any time. Ian was petrified and not keen to venture up that way again.

After many memories of his time at the Sarsfield school, dances at the old Sarsfield Hall in High Street and chores around the property Ian moved on to Bairnsdale Tech- the School of Mines . On leaving school Ian worked on the family property .

He started playing Cricket at Sarsfield in 1942/3 and remained a one club player until he retired in the 1950’s. It was a matting wicket, no clubrooms and an often bare outfield but Ian has fond memories of playing in a golden era of Bairnsdale Cricket. He also played local footy in Bairnsdale for Rovers ( West Bairnsdale) being part of premierships and Grand Final upsets. At this time gymkhanas were held at the Sarsfield oval to raise funds and a bit of tennis was played.

Ian married Mae (Cornwall) after being swept off his feet at a local dance and they relocated to another Haggar house on the other side of the river in Sarsfield. Three kids followed -Heather, Peter and Judith who all also attended the Sarsfield school. At times they were a large proportion of the school population!

At that time with a young family Ian took employment at the Butter Factory / Dairy Co-Op in Bairnsdale where he worked until his retirement. Ian and Mae bought a three acre block on the highway up from Bullock Hill Road, where the Australian Paper Mills had set up houses for workers. Ian and Mae bought one of the timber houses, demolished it and had their family home built – it is still there today!

Ian was a member (Lieutenant ) of the Sarsfield CFA , and after the bushfires of 1965 destroyed the old Sarsfield Hall in High Street he was very active in developing a “replacement”community building. John Hopkins from the Shire hatched a plan with Ian to remove a Tuckshop from the Eagle Point Camp park and relocate it at the Sarsfield Recreation reserve. The old High Street Hall block was sold which provided some funds for redevelopment. Ian recalls digging trenches by hand, many working bees and a lot of local volunteer labour. Later on the “Tuck shop “ was extended with the addition of a “converted shelter shed/ art room” from the recently closed Sarsfield School. Ian praises Neil Triggs for his expertise, vision and energy in helping this dream become a reality. Corrective Service crews, local volunteers, numerous working bees, other trades and TAFE training programs created what is now the Ian Haggar Community Hall- a combination of the Tuck shop, the relocated multi purpose room from the closed school and Neil Triggs creative design to enlarge the concept. Ian acknowledges the many local families who rolled up their sleeves to make this all happen.

Ian Haggar Community Hall. Image: John Kinniburgh

Ian now lives in Bairnsdale but keeps a keen eye on the “regeneration “of Sarsfield . Ian is a Life Member of the Cricket Club, a Past President of the Sarsfield Recreation Reserve, past Captain of the Sarsfield Cricket Club, a long time senior member and Lieutenant of the Sarsfield CFA and is certainly Sarsfield born and bred.

It was a thrill in March this year to have a visit by Ian , Mae and Heather to our Sandhill Ashes event. Ian Haggar is indeed a Sarsfield legend.

Committee members having a break ~ Ron Coster, Neil Triggs and Ian Haggar.
Image: ‘Sarsfield ~ a rural community’ p.75

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Sarsfield Community Association · 10 School Road · Sarsfield, Vic 3875 · Australia

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