In the Archives: Tragic accident on Shepparton Road

By Benalla Ensign


A tragic accident on Shepparton Rd on Wednesday, January 7, resulted in the death later in the afternoon at the Wangaratta Base Hospital of Mrs Marilyn Agnes Baker, wife of Mr John Baker of Gray St.

Mrs Baker, accompanied by her four children, Regina, Colleen, Patrick and Catherine, and a relative’s child, left for a swim at Shepparton shortly after 11 am, and when about 13 miles along the Midland Hwy, the car ran off the road and overturned. Mrs Baker and the five children were all thrown out.

Mrs Baker, who was 30 years of age, was a daughter of Mr and Mrs R C Love, and at the time of the accident, was driving her father’s car.

All occupants were removed to the Benalla Hospital, and Mrs Baker, who was suffering from extensive head and other injuries, was removed to the Wangaratta Hospital where she died at 3 pm. The children were discharged from the Benalla Hospital.

The late Mrs Baker possessed a charming personality and was loved by a large circle of friends, who will regret her passing.

Only a short time before her death she had joined the staff of Regal Cinema, where she made many friends.

Also in The Ensign this week in 1970:

● Young officer Frederick Cook, son of Mr and Mrs F A Cook of Bridge St Benalla, was awarded outstanding sportsman in his class graduation (pictured above).

● Alison Mary Dyall and Peter Moss celebrated their December 13 wedding at the Methodist Church, Benalla.

● Benalla dog owner and builder Roy Symes made history when his top dog, Mockridge, qualified as the North-Eastern representative at the Country Champion State final.


1995 should be a quieter year for 20-year-old Baddaginnie resident Jane Harvey.

Jane is a receptionist at the Benalla Medical Clinic in Nunn St, but the past several years have kept her busy dividing her time between travel and with her public appearances supporting many organisations.

Jane has been Benalla Rose Queen since 1993, having retained the title because of the washout of the 1993 festival.

She only relinquished this title at the conclusion of the 1994 festival when she crowned Beth Sherriff as the 1994 queen.

Another hat that Jane wore with distinction was the Miss North East Fund Raiser for the Miss Australia Quest in 1994. November 26 saw her attend her last official function as the winner of that title.

Jane Harvey

Not content with these two titles, Jane was also crowned Miss Rodeo Australia in the national finals at Wangaratta in January last year.

Jane said her involvement with the rodeo circuit had been one of continued new experiences. As the representative of the Australian Professional Rodeo Association throughout the year, she has been promoting rodeos all over Australia from Tasmania to Darwin.

Also in The Ensign this week in 1995:

● A violent thunderstorm dumped more than an inch of rain on Benalla in less than an hour.

● A $4 million refurbishment program was in full swing at Benalla’s ASET factory.

● In Benalla & District cricket action, Goorambat-Devenish’s Matthew Gill scored 98 runs in his side’s match against the Violet Town Lions.


A day at the beach turned into near disaster as Benalla local Ben MacGregor sank beneath waves at the unpatrolled Portsea Back Beach days before Christmas.

The father of four yelled out to his son Robert (then 17) who was nearby and managed to drag him to safety.

Mr MacGregor said that, after suffering back injuries in two consecutive care accidents several years ago, he overestimated his abilities in the surf.

“I was up to about hip height in the waves and dived under a wave,” Mr MacGregor said.

“When I came up, a wave broke across my back.

“I was down among the waves thinking I’m definitely out of my comfort one here.

“My legs didn’t work — they had gone to rubber — and I was paddling with my arms, with waves coming from all directions.

“Robert got me in the hold and brought me back.

“I’m proud as punch of him and very humbled. My son’s got one over me the rest of my life.”

A former Bronze Medallion holder himself, Mr MacGregor said he was thankful for the training his son had in gaining his Bronze Medallion.

Also in The Ensign this week in 2010:

● Longtime Lima South residents Marie and Gordon Warnock celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary (pictured below).

● Benalla SES volunteer Sarah Ford was recognised for her dedication when awarded her five-year service certificate.

● Benalla’s Dylan Long won the opening round of New Zealand Supercross Championship along with the South Island Supercross Championship days later.