Tecoma station is the third least patronised station in the entire Melbourne suburban rail network (out of 200), and that is only appropriate: Tecoma has always been a sleepy place. (And only the sleepier when the winds blow from the hidden marijuana plantations in the nearby national parks – those fumes would put a speedfreak to sleep.) A place where early hackers could work undisturbed (at least until Julian Assange’s ego got the better of him. That time.), if they wanted to.

But its oddly prophetic name – it is indeed a distorted version of “the coma” – was bestowed upon it many years earlier. More than a century before Tecoma became synonymous with smarmy blonde men who cannot return to their home countries, the area where it now stands was explored by geologist Paulos Tyabb and his sometime friend (and sometime enemy) Etienne L’Ontrose, they named it for the fate they wished upon the woman who had broken both their hearts – the infamous Catherine Darvall. Apparently it never occurred to them that a comatose Darvall would only have become a Sleeping Beauty figure.

Fortunately for everyone (other than the men whose hearts were still be broken by the ruthless guilelessness of Catherine Darvall), Miss Darvall never fell into such a coma. But it is a mark of the effect she hand on the men around her – and the vehemence of their emotions – that the name endures even today.

Suburbs near Ferny Creek:

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