An unusual court incident

Written by Norman Fraser in April 1976.

I wish to comment on the old Court House, now the residence of Miss Moulder. I have seen it referred to as the Court House and Police Station, as in the latest book on Wodonga by Dunlop, and another one which stated that it had been the Court House and Police Inspector’s residence. The whole building really was the Court Room and associated offices for the Clerk of Petty Sessions and other Court Officials.

The Police Station and Lockup was on the land on the north side (now occupied by War Service Homes). After the Police Station was removed to the old Customs House near the Railway gates, the vacated residence was lived in for some time by Constable George Burge. The house was subsequently sold for removal and purchased by Mr Abe Turton who had it re-erected to a different plan using both the bricks and the slates for the roof on a block of land on the southern side of the Presbyterian Church in Sydney Street. Previously, this land had been a small orchard. Mr George Swain was involved in the re-erection of the house for Mr Turton.

An unusual incident concerning the old Court House occurred in 1915, or thereabouts, when a case in which there was an unusual degree of public interest, when the Court was packed with an overflow unable to get in when suddenly there was a loud crash, dust everywhere, and the screen to the front door at an acute angle.

As it was war time it was thought the enemy had struck. It was subsequently found out that the whole floor had collapsed from the ravages of white ants. Mr F. A. Cutler was the Public Works Inspector, arranged with Mr Thomas Lee to do the necessary repairs and I assisted him and we found that all the joists (6inches x 2inches) were in such a bad state that all that had been holding the floor up for years were shells with centre completely eaten away. It had been the extra weight that had caused the collapse.