Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
In 1837, William (Big) Clarke, came to the area, and gained vast pastoral licenses in and around Sunbury. In 1874, Clarke's son, William, built a mansion, which he named "Rupertswood", after his own son, Rupert.
The younger William, Sir William as he was to become, was the president of the Melbourne Cricket Club, and it was through his position that the touring English Cricket team came to spend Christmas of 1882 at Rupertswood. On Christmas Eve, the English team played a social game of cricket against a local team, which they quite rightly won. Lady Clarke took one or more bails, burnt them, and interred the Ashes in a wooden urn, which she presented to the English Captain, Ivo Bligh. She proposed that the urn be used as a perpetual trophy for matches between the two countries. And henceforth, The Ashes have become one of the worlds most sort after sporting trophies.
In 1922, the Clarke family sold the property to H.V. McKay, the owner of the Sunshine Harvester company, who subsequently on sold it in 1927 to the Salesian Catholic order. To this day the mansion and surrounding property has been used for educational and agricultural purposes, and was until recently a boarding school for students of both academic and agricultural endeavours.
In the early 1970s the area (which was then still largely rural) became famous in Australia as the site of the Sunbury rock festival, which was held annually from 1972 to 1975.
Sunbury's residents represent diverse cultural backgrounds, party due to the working class background, and proximity to major Manufacturing and transport hubs, with Melbourne Airport is only 15 kilometers from the township. A recent trend for people who work in the Melbourne CBD to trade longer commute times for better quality, quieter lifestyles, has seen the population of Sunbury grow in number, with numerous new housing estates ringing the borders of the established township. Sunbury's population was recorded as being 25156 in the 2001 census.
Sunbury Station is connected to Melbourne by V/Line services on the Bendigo train line. Due to the diesel rolling stock utilised, and the lack of overhead electric lines, these service are not as frequent as those enjoyed by those on the metropolitan Metlink service. The major benefit of this service, is its added comfort, and increased security, due to the presence of conductors on all services. Peak times are well catered for by the regional timetable, but off peak service can be scarce, especially those provided on weekends.
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