Excerpts from Pyrenees Pioneers Edition 222 for inclusion on the website:

Cemetery Websites: Geelong & District, including Geelong Eastern & Western, Geelong Crematorium, Drysdale, Grovedale, Highton, Leopold, Portarlington, Rokewood, & Staffordshire Reef etc. www.zades.com.au/geelong/gdcmsrc1.asp

Fawkner Crematorium & Memorial Park www.fcmp.com.au/

Western District Web Site http.//members.datafast.net.au/marrtronics/CEMINDEX.HTML

President’s Report:

"Avoca – The Early Years" by Margery & Betty Beavis was published by the authors almost twenty years ago, and has been out of print for some years. Due to many requests from prospective purchasers, our Society has agreed to undertake the task of organising a reprint. Betty Beavis is so delighted at the prospect of this happening that she has promised to contribute to the cost, and has done a lot of work on correcting errors in the original book as well as supplying additional material which she has obtained since the original went to press. Pat McQuillen, whose father ran a motor garage next to the Avoca Hotel, has recently retired to Avoca after many years teaching in N.T. She is the author of a history of the St John Ambulance Brigade in Alice Springs which was published recently. Pat is assisting me with the task of checking Betty Beavis’s material and getting it ready for the reprint.

Central Highlands Historical Association Inc, EXPO 2005:

Family History & Local History. Communication: Carrier Pigeon To Computers Lecture Friday 30th September 2005 8.00pm Mulkearns Theatre Australian Catholic University, Aquinas Campus EXPO Sat 1st & Sunday 2nd October 10am - 4pm A.C.U. Aquinas Campus 1200 Mair Street Ballarat Entry $8 For more information www.ballaratgenealogy.org.au/chha/chha.htm


The Temperance News was a monthly journal published for the Rechabite and Good Templar temperance organisations. The details below, mainly of officebearers, have been extracted from various editions published during the 1880s. For a part of this time the Good Templar organisation advertised in another journal Temperance Times, and thus details about office bearers was not available. In 1889 they decided to publish their own journal; this is currently unavailable. Both the Rechabite and Good Templar movements practised total abstinence, not only from alcohol, but also from tobacco. In return for a weekly contribution, members were provided with free medical care and in the event of a death, the cost of a funeral was borne by the organisation.

Good Templar Lodges Avoca District, 1882

Bro. Henry Ash, Percydale was in charge, and the Lodges consisted of:

Hope of Percydale, Elmhurst, Security Lodge Amphitheatre, Star of Glenmona, Avoca Lead.

All local Good Templar Lodges, and their officebearers in the 1880s were:

Amethyst Lodge, Majorca No. 264

January 1882: Sister Ellen Nicholas, W.H. Stavely, A.O. Hill

January 1884: M. Nicholas

May 1888: T. Muir, A. Reeves, T. Muir

(Not listed in 1887 or 1889)

Elmhurst Lodge, No. 149

January 1882: J. McKenzie, Bridget Hillary, T. Presley

(Not listed in 1884)

Excelsior Lodge, Maryborough No. 273

(Not listed January 1884)

January 1887: J. Moore, W. Johnston, F. Oakley

May 1888: F. Oakly, Bro. Richards c/- F. Snow, W.A. Johnston

May 1889: W. Robinson, W.R. Phelan, R. Hewitt

Good Endeavour Lodge, Avoca No. 269

(Not listed January 1882)

January 1884: J.L. Stud, J. O'Farrell, S. Richards

(Not listed 1887-89)

Hope of Amherst Lodge No. 223

January 1882: Ed. C. Freeman, H.W. Randall, Sister E.A. Barwell

January 1884: E.C. Freeman, A. Smith, J. Morgan

January 1887: N. Wheland [Weiland?] Sister L. Keofoid [Kofoed?], E.C. Freeman

(Not listed 1888-89)

Hope of Percydale Lodge No. 141

January 1882: W. Simmons, W. Sims, John Lusby

January 1884: W. Sims, Thos. McMahon, John Lusby

January 1887: J. Wells, J. Lusby, John Lusby

(Not listed 1889-89)

The above item was supplied by Helen D Harris OAM and a further instalment will be published in the next edition, space permitting.

Copies of this complete 6-page newsletter are available at a cost of A$3.50 including postage within Australia, or A$5.00 overseas. Send order plus remittance to the Treasurer, ADHS Inc., PO Box 24 Avoca VIC 3467.

Some Notes On The History Of Post Offices In Pyrenees Shire

by Alex Stoneman

Presented to a meeting of the Avoca Historical Society on 16 April 2005

Imagine you are in NSW and the date is 1 July 1848. Coming from Buninyong towards us at Burn Bank is a pack-horse carrying the first official mail to a post office located in what is now Pyrenees Shire. From 1848 to now is an enthralling history of the local post.

How did I become involved in collating the history of local post offices? It really is a marriage of two of my interests: stamp collecting and local history. I am a member of the Maryborough Stamp Club and the Carisbrook Historical Society. About fifteen years ago I was inspired by another local philatelist to begin a collection of local postal cancellations of the area, which covers the current Central Goldfields Shire. I imagined there would be about a dozen post offices within this area. My research has revealed 46! Undaunted I also collected cancels and information for post offices that had existed within the boundaries of municipalities adjacent to Central Goldfields. The boundaries I set are encompassed by a line drawn between St.Arnaud, Bendigo, Malmsbury, Creswick, Elmhurst, and back to St.Arnaud. So far I am up to 156 post offices!

Within my area is the northern half of Pyrenees Shire, but even this has 22 post offices.

For each post office identified I have researched the following details: a brief history e.g. dates opened and closed, local population figures, significant events; a full list of the postmasters and postmistresses there; examples of postal cancels used; and a photo of the post office when it was operational. For most post offices this takes one page, but many have two pages of information. My display is assembled on Microsoft Publisher© program, with scanned images, and printed on semi-gloss photo paper.

What are the sources of information? The major reference books are Freeman & White The Numeral Cancellations of Victoria (2001), Australia Post’s History of Postal Services in Victoria (1988), Purves Victoria: The ‘Butterfly’ and ‘Barred Oval’ Cancellations (1965), and The Postal History of Post Phillip District (1950). Other resources used are the John Webster Collection of Victorian Post Offices, the listings of Postmasters of Victoria produced by John Waghorn, innumerable local and family history publications, local historical society collections, and local people. The State Library of Victoria and the Royal Historical Society of Victoria both have wonderful reference libraries. There has been enormous goodwill and support from hundreds of people with this project. The collection of post offices in Central Goldfields is almost complete and is in display format (70 A4 pages) and on CD-ROM. For the surrounding Shires the display (130 pages) will be almost complete by November this year. Neither will be ever totally complete unfortunately: it is an impossible task.

Cancels used on local mail have changed over time. Pre-1850 there were no postage stamps in use so assorted NSW postal markings were used. These included ‘PAID’, ‘PAID AT BURN BANK’, etc. On 1 January 1850 postage stamps were introduced here. They were inscribed ‘Victoria’ and this was six months prior to the Port Phillip District of NSW becoming the colony of Victoria! Each post office was given its own distinctive canceller, and its own separate number. For instance, Burn Bank was

allocated cancel ’23.’ You can see this on the illustration. Other post office numbers of this route were Ballan ’21’, Bunnenyong ‘22’, Horsham ‘24’, and Wimmera ‘25’. The cancels used from 1850 to June 1851 are termed ‘Butterflies’ because of their shape. The cancel comprises a central barred figure, a ‘V’ (for Victoria) below, and the post office number above. The Burn Bank cancel is rated as rare.



From 1851 to 1856 a new cancel design was adopted because the ‘Butterfly’ cancel did not have enough space for larger numbers. The new design was the ‘Barred Oval’ cancel. It comprised an outside oval shape with bars, and in the centre was a large ‘V’, for Victoria, with the post office number above this. Avoca post office was opened on 5

September 1854 and was allocated number ’94.’ This is also rated as rare. To indicate that a letter had been received at a post office an oval back-stamp was adopted. The example shown is from Crowlands. The words ‘CROWLANDS’ and ‘VICTORIA’ form the oval. Within it is a crown over ‘JA*15 1860’, which indicates its receival at Crowlands post office on 15 January 1860. From 1856 to 1912 yet another cancel was adopted. This is commonly called the ‘Barred Numeral’ as it incorporates a circular barred figure with a large numeral within it. In the example shown the numeral is in two lines ‘MC over 78.’ This is from Homebush Lower, number 1178, opened on 1 February 1880. It is rated as scarce.