Dale Kerferd was a sailor whose major claim to fame was being the first to land at what is now South Melbourne beach, a feat for which Kerferd Road was named after him. (Although his landing was not actually at the point where Kerferd Road meets it, despite what those fools in the local history society claim). He enjoyed the experience so much that he repeated it in several other suburbs, notably Sorrento and Hampton, with more streets being named after him there. In fact, it is claimed that every roadway named Kerferd in Melbourne is named after him (except for the one in North Coburg, which is actually a terribly bad attempt to spell “Cursèd”).

But when he landed in Mentone, it was decided to do something different there, to mark the way that this landing differed from the others. Its differences were numerous: the landing had occurred at night, during a severe storm, as the result of being hurled from the top of a mast after the ship ran aground at high speed, and, unsurprisingly, fatally for Kerferd. Rather than turn the area where he had landed into a roadway, which was seen as disrespectful, it was instead decided to turn it into a public garden in memory of Kerferd. To underline the difference between this memorial to Kerferd and all the others, it was further decided that it would use his first name rather than his surname.

And if not for a tragic mix up in the signwriter’s office later that week, the area would known even today as Dale Park.

Suburbs near Parkdale:

Mentone Mentone Moorabbin Airport
Mentone Parkdale Mordialloc
Port Phillip Bay Port Phillip Bay Port Phillip Bay
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