1928 saw another turning point in the history of the Group. In that year, Major-General Elliott (known to the diggers of the 1914-15 War as ‘Pompey’ Elliott) presented the Scouts with about five acres of land along the Chum Creek Road, some nine kilometres north of Healesville. This gift was made in appreciation of what Scouting meant in the development of his son, Neil Campbell Elliott.
A hut was built in 1929 close to the creek which runs through the property, with timber supplied from a mill on what is known today as the ‘Old Mill Site’. The hut, named ‘Elliott Lodge’, was remodelled in 1938, but was burnt down during the disastrous bushfires on ‘Black Friday’ on the 13th of January, 1939. A new hut, designed by architects Roy Simpsons and Llyod Ordon, was opened on Saturday the 11th of May, 1940. On that same occasion a memorial tablet was unveiled to Neil Elliott, who was killed in New Guinea whilst on duty as a patrol officer. In more recent years, ‘Elliott Lodge’ has been re-stumped and re-roofed, while in March 1963 quite extensive improvements to the kitchen, living area, Q-Store and shower room were officially opened.
The Scouts and their parents raised money and bought another block of land adjacent to the property in 1936, comprising of about 10 acres. This embraced the sports area commonly known as the ‘MCG’. In 1963, the College acquired a further 177 acres at a ‘forced realisation auction’, the former owners being the Reid Murray Group. Then in 1967 the school purchased a single acre of land adjoining the Scout Property, which had a little hut (‘Old Willy’s’) which was burned down in the 2009 bushfires, and had been used for many years by a Troop of White Russian Scouts. A pipeline along the Old Chum Creek Road, installed by the Healesville Water Trust, still supplies the property with fresh water and a garage, ‘The Myer Chalet’ (or ‘Biology Hut’), was erected by the ‘Pioneers’ in August 1966. The latter are features which have assisted in putting this extended area to good use.
On February 7th during the 2009 Victorian Bushfires, the Russians (aka Uncle Willy’s Hut), Venturers Shack, Bowling Green Garage and Firewood Shelter burned down. Gear stored in shipping containers on the property was also lost including a number of canvas tents used by the scout group for camping.
After the fires, a new wood shed was constructed with power points, lighting and a camp-call siren. The wood shed features an open area for splitting wood undercover and a caged section to assist in stacking the wood. The Rover’s Mudbash Buggy garage was replaced with a shipping container on the bowling green.
In 2016, extensive renovations were carried out by Scotch College on the Healesville property to complete the four-stage master plan. Stage one of the four-stage Elliott Lodge master plan involved upgrading the bathroom facilities with the construction of a new separated male/female toilet and shower block.
A new Mess hall was constructed giving a large open-plan function space with a projector, however use of the attached commercial kitchen is restricted to Scotch College’s official caterers.
Furthermore, Elliott Lodge was renovated to become a fully self-contained facility and was upgraded to be in line with modern fire standards. The lodge was remodelled internally, with the space divided up into a first aid room with sink, small bathroom and toilet, 4 two-bed bedrooms, a small kitchenette and communal fireplace area to become a fully self-contained facility.
Read more about the new mess hall at https://vicbeam.com.au/project/scotch-college-elliot-lodge/