EVELINE Cooper was the natural choice to cut the cake on the 100th anniversary of the naming of Lavington yesterday.
“I’m five months older than Lavington,” she chuckled after helping Mayor Patricia Gould with the task.
Mrs Cooper said she had been born in Albury, but moved to Lavington more than 90 years ago and still lives there.
In those days Albury had barely 7000 people and Lavington was a mere village of orchards and old gold workings located in Hume shire.
Today Lavington is a suburb of 12,470 people, holding about a quarter of the city’s population, and the old bush school of 1909 is a modern learning place with 387 students.
Thirteen of those students yesterday re-enacted the meetings of the Black Range Progress Association presided over by Cr Fred Wells in 1909.
Their sketch revealed the village’s first choice of an alternative to Black Range was Lynton and the second choice Clinton.
But the Postmaster-General refused to sanction the names because South Australia already had them, and Lavington was named.
Historian Betty Dunn tells the story of the name change in Moments In Time, a booklet produced by Lavington and District Family History Society with council help.
While no one can be definite about the name’s origin, Mrs Dunn says that pioneer miner Joseph Box came from Market Lavington in England and named his home Lavington.
Also yesterday the public school captain of 1959, Happy Wetmore handed his original captain’s badge to present vice-captain Connor Meredith for display in the school.
Cr Gould also launched a “cultural mapping project” designed to gather people’s memories of their schooldays and life in the old village.
She said she had lived in Albury since she was three and remembered that Lavington children always ran faster than Albury children in interschool sports.