‘Banjo’ Patterson was one of the truly great Australian poets – along with Henry Lawson, he is largely credited with the development of a sense of Australianness – even though both men wrote before there even was an Australia. He lived from 1864 to 1941 and never once set foot in Melbourne, so naturally, the suburb is named after him – although not directly.
The nearby Eastern Treatment Plant, built in the 1870s (and originally named the Chelsea Sewer Terminus), was originally run by a man named Harold Clyde Clancy, although after a severe blockage caused an extensive back-up of sewerage – and which was solved by his courageous and quick actions – he was better known to all as ‘Clancy of the Overflow’. Although he changed a few of the less important details, Patterson’s poem of the same name was inspired by H.C. Clancy (later Sir H.C. Clancy).
Since Clancy’s solution to the overflow problem was largely to divert it into the nearby swamp – largely, but not entirely, filling it in. The low swamp was eventually re-formed into the modern marina of river and land that is Patterson Lakes today.
Suburbs near Patterson Lakes: