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With thanks to Woodend & District Heritage Society. The society meets on Wednesdays, 10am-4pm, at the old court house in Forest St, Woodend.
The bandstand in Woodend was erected as a memorial to J.C. Keating.
Among his many contributions to the local community, Jack Keating was credited with raising the Woodend and Hanging Rock race clubs from relative obscurity and turning the latter into the “Moonee Valley of the Bush”. The Woodend Star remembered him as a man of “innate goodness of heart”.
He died on Boxing Day 1924 at the age of 52.
Such was the esteem in which he was held that a public subscription raised £700 for the construction of the bandstand and a drinking fountain (equivalent to about $60,000 today).
A large crowd gathered on Sunday, May 29, 1927, to see Moonee Valley Racing Club secretary Arthur Hiskens perform the official opening.
Perhaps the most striking thing about the photo from that day, however, is that the band is on top of the bandstand.
The members of the Kyneton Band played on the roof after climbing a ladder kept in a cavity under the bandstand floor.
✍️ Richard Padgett
📘 Beyond the Black Forest, by Sylvia Boxshall (2017), describes the early settlement of Woodend and the surrounding district. Available from Woodend & District Heritage Society, $27.50.
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