Chicken Project spreads its wings
BELLS rang out across Geelong on a still spring night on November 11, 1918, the joyful sound delivering the news residents longed to hear: the war was over.
Like every city and town that had seen its young men depart to fight on foreign battlefields for the previous four years, Geelong greeted news of Germany’s official surrender and the end of World War I with unprecedented celebration.
Nervous anticipation had permeated the city in the days leading up to the Armistice. There had already been one false start, after whispers circulated the community the treaty had been signed on Friday, November 8. The Geelong Advertiser reported in the Saturday edition that many residents had believed the false news. From 9am, when rumour of “Armistice signed” spread through the streets, people began to gather in knots and drift towards the Advertiser board. The news of the shutting of the hotels raised anticipation to fever pitch, and telephone calls to Melbourne were entered by the score. Traders began to hang out bunting, despite the Mayor’s pleas that they should not rejoice too soon. A band of students bought paper trumpets and headdresses, and held a jubilation along Malop St: two staid ladies were to be seen marching along Moorabool St with large flags at the slant. One lady, on her way to the doctor, told her husband to turn back — the news had cured her.
To help guard against another spread of misinformation, a notice posted outside City Hall told residents the city post office bells would ring when official news was received the Armistice had been signed.
For more than two days the bells remained teasingly silent, despite reports of Germany’s imminent surrender.
Then, at about 8.15pm on Monday, November 11, Geelong mayor Howard Hitchcock was presiding at a meeting at His Majesty’s Theatre when given word the Armistice had been signed.
Cr Hitchcock immediately left the meeting and visited the Advertiser office, where the news was confirmed.
The order to ring the bells was then given, the city post office bells sounding first for three minutes, before other bells across Geelong took up the cause and rang for another 27 minutes to make up the half-hour.
Geelong’s population, which was about 30,000 at the time, knew what the sound meant. Homes and hotels emptied. Farmers from as far as Waurn Ponds, where the chimes could still be heard, travelled into town.
The pillars of City Hall were lit up with coloured light bulbs. Moorabool St was soon flooded with people united in celebration.
The Addy recalled the historic moment for readers the following day. THERE’S been a lot of movement on the region’s food scene this week.
Little Malop St favourite Hot Chicken Project officially opened its doors in Anglesea on Thursday.
The Surf Coast diner will serve Nashville-style hot chicken while also incorporating some hot fried seafood options.
The space can hold 150, including a licensed outdoor area, and the plan is to open daily over summer and run a number of parties with DJs.
It wasn’t the only Little Malop St business expanding its wings this week — dessert spot Uncle Donut (above) opened a new store in the CBD, this time in Westfield.
Its new home on the
At 8.30 the chimes pealed out and a crowd very soon assembled. But a far bigger multitude took possession of Moorabool St and nine o’clock to midnight held high revels — by the timehonoured way of making joyful noises.
The City Band happened to be practising and at the first signal marched into the main street and played the national anthem and Marseillaise and Tipperary … youths with tin trumpets and olds trays and girls wearing patriotic shawls gave variety and colour. Tramcars, very artistically decorated, supplied an air of pageantry and at 10 o’clock, when the revels were at their shrillest, the Block was packed as on a Friday night.
There were similar joyous scenes in nearby districts as word spread about Germany’s surrender.
Bells heralded the Armistice signing in Winchelsea, Portarlington ground floor outside Kikki. K is open seven days a week and will stock a full selection of sweet treats.
There’s also a rumour that Warrnambool burger institution Kermonds may be opening on Ryrie St in the space left by Pizzeria Adamo, which is relocating to Yarra St.
Meanwhile, the history of Furphy has been brought to life in an unmissable mural on a popular CBD pub.
Apparition Media painted one side of the Commo building on Bellerine St in a fresh, Furphy blue with pictures telling the story of the local label.
AT LAST: (From far left) an electric sign praises the efforts of our brave troops; Mr J.H. Lister MHR addresses a crowd in Little Malop St; and (right) a flag flies high amid a tight jam of celebrating Geelong residents in Moorabool St after the Armistice was announced.