Located 72 km south east of Melbourne on the shores of Western Port Bay and well off the main road from Melbourne to Flinders, Somers is surrounded by sea, farmland and nature reserves. Its semi isolation makes Somers a special place that retains an essentially rural character despite its proximity to Melbourne.
From the very start, Somers has been both an attractive destination for holiday makers and an excellent place to live for those who value a quieter lifestyle. With a permanent population of approximately 2000, Somers has grown slowly over its 80+ years but throughout it has generally retained its charm and “village like” character.
Somers however has all the resources of a small village: A General Store, Post Office, Primary School, Preschool, CFA, Yacht Club and a large number of other sporting and active interest groups. Somers is also the home of Coolart Wetlands and Homestead, Lord Somers Camp and the Somers School Camp.
Somers was settled as a dwelling place in early 1925 when the first subdivision of 24 one acre blocks was put on the market under the location of Balnarring East and at that time the first permanent resident, Ronald W Stone moved across from Balnarring.
Further subdivision later in 1925 of the Palm Beach subdivision accelerated the growth of Balnarring East with a Tea Rooms, General Store, Post Office and Progress Association and by vote of the local residents the village name was changed to Somers, after Lord Somers, the Governor of Victoria, who had by then established the boys camp on a parcel of Coolart land.
During World War 2 Somers progressed into a substantial permanent and holiday village and with the development of the Air Forces Training School and the Navy Depot modern day Somers began to emerge.
The book All Our Somers written by Bruce Bennett provides an interesting perspective on the establishment and development of Somers.
Preserving our Heritage
Today Somers is a very homogenous village with a balance between permanent residents and those that holiday here away from the bustle of metropolitan Melbourne.
All age groups are represented in our community and as the Western Port area develops more families are choosing Somers as a permanent place of residence.
With growth and development the challenges of preserving the fabric of our community is paramount and we are ever vigilant to see that inappropriate development does not intrude on our Green Wedge protected village.
We recognise that change is inevitable but our challenge is to monitor and manage change as best we can for the long-term benefit of present and future Somers’ residents.