A pub and a convent - Maureen's Story

I’m a nun down at the Good Shepherd Convent in Abbotsford. My parents had the Victoria Park Hotel on Hoddle St, which was built in 1858. I entered the convent from there in 1956. Later, the hotel was demolished to widen Hoddle Street.


Image credits:
Image and image credits courtesy of the Collingwood Historical Society:
Victoria Park Hotel (1901 - 1971)
Previous name(s): Highbury Barn Hotel (1854 - 1861), Albion Hotel (1862), Highbury Barn Hotel (1863 - 1901)
Built/licensed: 1854
Delicensed: 1971
Demolished c.1972 for the widening of Hoddle Street
The two storey stone hotel was romantically depicted in a watercolour painted around 1855 and showing the hill rising towards Clifton Hill in the background. The painting is attributed, on stylistic grounds, to Henry Gritten, who also painted the Galloway Arms in Johnston Street. The sign above the hotel door reads: 'William H. Maidment / licensed to retail fermented and spirituous liquors'.

From bars to convents - Zoe's Story


In the early 1970s, Zoe was living in Brighton and working at one of the first wine bars in Carlton. As you did at the time, she and her colleagues got very sloshed after work most nights. And then Zoe would drive home at 1 or 2am.

She remembers driving down Punt Road one night (full as a boot) and turning into the Maccas on the corner of Glenhuntly and Nepean Highway (which might still be there). Police followed her in – they'd been following her car as it meandered down Punt Road. When they told her she was driving dangerously she screamed at them. They got scared and backed off.

The next morning she woke up with crippling embarrassment for what she'd done. So she baked a cake and took it to the Elsternwick police station.

A decade or so later, after a long international flight stuck next to a nun who prayed for eight hours, Zoe decided to become a Catholic. She went to the (now destroyed) convent on Hoddle Street, near Clifton Hill Station, and visited 95-year-old Sister Paul every week for 18 months.  Hoddle Street always reminds her of that now.