Site 4 — Wahroongaa Crescent

Street address:
Corner Wahroongaa Crescent and Weeroona Road, Murrumbeena.

Wahroongaa Crescent is the place where Merric Boyd spent almost all of his adult life. In 1913 the land on the southern or right hand side of the Crescent was yet to be sold off Mary Wilson’s Wahroongaa Estate subdivision. Occupying it and bounded by the Crescent, the railway line, Weeroona Road and what became Wahroongaa Road, was the Kershaw family, who lived in a large house near the top of the Crescent. The Kershaws were Merric Boyd’s first neighbours in Murrumbeena.

On 16 of August 1913, Merric’s parents purchased for him 8 Wahroongaa Crescent. Number 8 was one of eight lots along the northern side of the newly created crescent. Merric’s block had a depth of 63 metres. At the rear, it was 15 metres wide and at the Crescent, 19 metres wide. He called his home Open Country.

In October 1915, Merric married artist and poet Doris Gough. Born in 1889, Doris was the youngest of the six children. Her father was Thomas Gough, a naval officer who captained the ship the Cerberus, now the breakwater at Half Moon Bay. Her mother Evelyn Gough, was a political activist and journalist. In the year following their marriage, Doris’ mother, by then widowed, purchased numbers 12 and 14 in Wahroongaa Crescent and built her home which she called Green Pastures. Later that year, Merric’s parents Arthur Merric and Emma Minnie Boyd bought numbers 2, 4 and 6 in the crescent and moved from Brighton to the new home, called Tralee, built on number 4. Finally in early 1918, Merric’s parents bought Number 10, the last unsold block of land on the northern side of Wahroongaa Crescent. Their purchase meant that for six years, from 1916 until 1922, the extended Boyd family occupied the entire northern flank of Wahroonga Crescent, from Weeroona Road to the old Outer Circle Railway line.

Merric’s parents and his mother-in-law came to Wahroongaa to support Doris and their first born grandchild — Lucy — born in 1916. Merric had enlisted in the armed forces to participate in the First World War. He trained as a mechanic in the Australian Flying Corps and in late 1917 Merric sailed to England. During his two years away and as a way of maintaining an income, Doris and baby Lucy lived with Evelyn Gough in Green Pastures while Open Country was rented to Victor and Dorothy Rathausky, the Rathausky's becoming lifelong friends of the Boyds. After the war, Merric remained in England and studied pottery. In 1919 he returned to Australia on the troop transport ship Euripides. On board, he gave pottery lessons to returning servicemen.

The Boyd Walk is proudly presented by Glen Eira City Council, produced by Matt Blackwood and written and narrated by Colin Smith.

For a downloadable map of all eight Boyd Walk sites, click on the link below.

Boyd Walk Murrumbeena Map(PDF, 1009KB)

Left to right:
Aerial view of Murrumbeena in 1945 showing Merric Boyd’s Open Country (circled). Nangana Road (top) and Wahroongaa Crescent (bottom) are seen linking Weerona Road (left) to the old Outer Circle Railway and Murrumbeena Creek (now Boyd Park).

Aerial view of Murrumbeena, 1919, showing Merric and Doris Boyd’s Open Country (circled). To its right is Tralee, the house built by his parents, Arthur Merric and Emma Minnie Boyd. Dandenong Road can be seen in the foreground.