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Map showing Malvern Gardens

Malvern Gardens in High Street were Malvern's first public gardens. The official opening by Duncan Gillies M.P. took place on December 12, 1890. The ceremony was performed with a gold key, set with a heart shaped opal, to open the massive wooden gates which had been locked with silver and gold chains.

The area had been a water reservation since 1856. The natural spring, used by the Wurundjeri people prior to European settlement, supplied the developing suburb with water before the Yan Yean scheme was implemented in 1869. In 1885, when the government intended auctioning the land, a public protest caused it to be secured for public use. The public reserve, which included eight acres of land, was associated with the community life of Malvern especially with the local holiday amusements of the villagers in the form of sports meetings, moonlight concerts and cricket matches.

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