Located at Grid Reference 817795 on the Omeo Bindi map. Accessible by car from Omeo along the Nunniong Road and then to the Bentley's Plain Road.
Built by Mr Bill Ah Chow in 1941 (Some say 1945). He was an enthusiast for the area, having passed through as a cattleman earlier. He later worked for many years for the Foresty Commission. He built it as a summer home, and used it often when he was a fire tower spotter from a nearby hill.
It was finished the same day that the Battle of Moscow was being fought in WW II, but when Councillors visited, they thought that that was not politic, so he told them it stood for "My own Summer Cottage Officially Welcome Visitors Inside Light Luncheon Available".
Bill Russell met Bill Ah Chow when he was a teenager, and recounts the story (with some variations as often happens with oral history), as follows -
A story obout Moscow Villa was often told by Bill. At the height of the McCarthy era and the Menzies government's attempt to ban the Communist party a group of officials of the Forrests Commission toured East Gippsland, including Moscow Villa (although they did not know it as that).
They got out of their car to be confronted with a sign (Moscow Villa) above two bright red gate posts. They erupted. Bill said that when they calmed down he told them the following: (It was a story told well and I am sure I can remember it verbatim.
"I built this hut single handed, and with the exception of two things, I bought everything that needed to be bought, and carried all of the items here. That's why I thought I could name it what I wanted to. I finished the hut the day it was announced that the battle for Moscow had been won. If you can remember (he told the officials) Russia was on our side and that was the first defeat of the Germans. I thought it was an appropriate way to celebrate a win in those dark days. Moscow Villa has other, deeper meanings for me. M.O.S.C.O.W. V.I.L.L.A. " He spelt out. He ticked the words off on his fingers "My Own Summer Cottage. Officials Welcome. Visitors Invited. Light Luncheon Available. The kettle's on. Come inside. By the way - the two things I did not buy were the gate posts. They were supplied by the Forests Commission, and came already painted!" It is sufficient to say that the name and gate posts remained as they were.
And thus Bill was able to keep in well with the officials, despite not wishing to have a great deal to do with the "shiny bums" as he liked to call them.
Caretakers - Bill Ah Chow's family and friends.
- Hueneke Pp199, 209, 241.
- Bill Russell - Pers comm.
Profile last updated 21 January 2006.