Victoria - Colonial: 1854-1900.
Dimboola - the new Post & Telegraph Office.

Wood or Brick: the saga of the new Dimboola Post & Telegraph Office:

By 1883, the community was beginning to petition the Council and Assembly to fulfill a previous promise and erect a new P&T Office. A "meeting of the residents of Dimboola was held on 25 February 1884, when a copy of the plans for the new post and telegraph office, which has been promised for some time, was considered Much indignation was evinced at the decision of the department to erect a wooden building and the residents decided to petition the department to call for tenders for a brick building" (The Argus).

The agitation at Dimboola in favor of requesting the Government to use bricks in the erection of the post and telegraph office about to be built in that township has taken a definite shape. A largely- attended meeting was held last week, and after some discussion the following resolutions were agreed to :— ' That the members for the district be written to,urging that the new office be erected of brick instead of wood for the following reasons :— That a brick building would be more durable; that owing to the ravages of the white ants in the district it is advisable to use brick rather than wood; and that the business transacted at the local office and the importance of the district warrant the residents in asking for a substantial building. That the Minister of Public Works be informed that bricks would have to be brought from Horsham, but that this increase in the expenditure would be met by a return to the State in railway freight. That the attention of the Minister be drawn to the fact that the railway-station and State school in Dimboola are built of brick. The reasons why this action on the part of the Dimboola people has been rendered necessary is that, as building stone was not obtainable in the district, the Government called for tenders for the erection of a wood building — hence the representations of the townspeople. During the meeting, it was mentioned that the battery of the local telegraph office, which had previously only been of the strength provided by twenty five cells, was now of fifty cells— a strength stated to be equal to those in use at the considerably larger places, Ballarat and Stawell". (South Australian Weekly Chronicle, 21 June 1884).

Tenders were called in July 1884. The Argus of 22 August 1885 reported that "The contractors for the new post and telegraph office, Dimboola, have almost completed their contract, and the building will be shortly handed over to the Government".

It is very difficult to find the decision on the material to be used for the P&T Office. However, in an article about the overland railway, The South Australian Register of 17 February 1886 reported "In Dimboola ... there are several brick and stone buildings in the town, including a brick State School, brick post and telegraph office, a brick Anglican Church and others, but the majority of the buildings follow the fashion of the north-west part of Victoria, and consist entirely of wood. There is reason for this excessive " woodenness" of the North-West townships in the fact that stone cannot be procured. At Kaniva, an enterprising man built a large house and store of sun-dried bricks, or rather blocks. But this apparently secure place was burnt down a short time ago, and a judicial inquiry was being conducted as I passed through". At least for the Dimboola P&T Office, it appears that people power won the day!!!!!