ADHS Newsletter No. 145, FEBRUARY, 1997

The year’s activities began on 15th February when a very successful Garage Sale was held, the proceeds amounting to $700 to add to our funds. Very special thanks must go to that reliable and faithful group of members who gathered together and transported the goods to the Court House for the sale, priced them and manned the stalls, and to those who baked cakes or supplied garden produce for sale. It was a tremendous effort in such extreme heat. Thanks are also due to those good people of the district who braved the heat and came along to pick up a bargain or two. As always, there was a great variety of goods – everything from bikes, baskets, nursery furniture to peacock feathers!! The Garage Sale was followed at 2 p.m. by our first monthly meeting for the year. The very hot weather made conditions most unpleasant and frequent glasses of water were the order of the day as members attended to the Society’s business.

Members were pleased to see the new roofing on the Court House. This task was begun on 10th February, in cooler weather, but the extreme heat had returned by the 14th, making working conditions difficult to complete the job.

The next task is the picket fence and a working bee is planned for Saturday, 15th March, from 9 a.m., to paint the pickets and rails. Please bring your lunch, a suitable paint brush, some rag and a container in which to wash your brush (a water-based paint will be used). Many hands make light work, so the more helpers the merrier and the quicker the task will be accomplished.

The March monthly meeting will be held the following day, Sunday, 16th, at the Court House at 1.30 p.m, when preparations will begin for the Heritage Festival in April. The National Trust theme this year is ‘Culture Down Under’ and our Society has chosen gold mining, with a display both indoors and outdoors to illustrate this era.

Looking ahead, the following programme has been suggested for the remainder of the year:

20th April – Heritage Festival – ‘Culture Down Under’

18th May – Annual General Meeting

15th June – John Tully to speak on local Aborigines

20th July – Open Day for Avoca residents to discover their Resource Centre

17th August – Bus Tour to Bendigo to visit Chinese Museum, garden, etc.

21st September – Meeting at the Lexton Community Centre – topic and speaker to be


19th October – Topic – the Wool Industry

16th November – Topic – the Wine Industry

14th December – Christmas Meeting and BBQ

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Discussion Paper on The Changing Role of Cemeteries. The Society has expressed its deep concern at the prospect of the privatisation of cemeteries and the possible loss of community involvement. We regard the preservation of all existing and future tombstones and memorials as important and wish to see our heritage and social history preserved in a tangible manner and made available for future generations.

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City Search Room of the P.R.O. has moved. As from 3rd February, the City Search Room of the Public Record Office has become part of a joint facility shared with the Victorian State Office of Australian Archives and is now located on the 2nd Floor, Casselden Place, 2 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne. Hours of opening are 9.00 a.m. to 4.30 p.m., Monday, Tuesday and Friday; 9.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday.

A Beginner’s Guide to the P.R.O. This is a half-day introduction to archives during which the beginner will learn what public records are, how to get access to them and how to prepare for a visit to the Public Record Office. There will be a tour of the Repository and a family history case study will be presented. The session is free and afternoon tea will be provided. The date is Thursday, 19th June, 1997, from 1.00 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. and the venue is the Public Record Office at 57 Cherry Lane, Laverton. To book, contact Bronwyn Fensham on (03) 9639 3244. Limit of 30 for this seminar.

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The 8th Australasian Congress on Genealogy and Heraldry was recently held in Christchurch, New Zealand, where Helen Harris was one of the speakers. Helen has brought back several items, purchased on behalf of the Society, as follows :

Queensland microfiche –

  • Emigrants from Hamburg, 1853; 1863; 1872; 1876 (these complement the collection already held by this Society).
  • Cemeteries – Alberton, Bethania Lutheran, Eagleby, Bulimba, Pimpama Island, Mount Cotton, Sherwood Anglican, Brookfield and Moggill (Brisbane). All are monumental inscriptions.

A copy of the Congress papers, titled “Landfall in Southern Seas.”

Helen also obtained the following free brochures, etc., to assist members with their New Zealand research :-

  • Introductory Guide to the National Archives, Wellington
  • Introductory Guide to the National Archives, Christchurch
  • Family History material in Canterbury Library, Christchurch
  • Brochures on Perth Congress to be held in 2000
  • Application form for membership of AFFHO
  • New Zealand Genealogist Magazine, Sept./Oct. 1996.

We thank Helen for her efforts on our behalf and trust these additions to our resources will assist our members. The Congress papers make very interesting reading indeed!

Weekend Openings of the Mint. It has been decided to open the Mint and the RHSV collection to groups who may wish to visit it at weekends. Many people are precluded by work and other commitments from doing so during the week, and member societies situated outside the Melbourne metropolitan area are inhibited by travel time and distance from making the journey. It is hoped that this new arrangement will make the Mint and the collection more accessible to members and the public alike. It is important to note that this service will be available to groups only, and that bookings must be made at least two weeks in advance. Hours of opening will be 10.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Bookings should be made with RHSV Secretary, Wendy Baker, on (03) 9670 1219.

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As an ongoing project, the West Gippsland Genealogical Society Inc., Warragul, are compiling a Pioneer Register of families who lived in the West Gippsland area prior to 1900. Some of our members may be able to contribute information for this Register as there were many families who moved from the Avoca area to the Gippsland region. If you can assist, please write to Mrs. Heather Bullen, 495 Old Drouin Road, Drouin, 3818, Vic., or phone (03) 5623 1803 to obtain the necessary form for completion.

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Wanted! Stories of Australian Women in the Twentieth Century. The Jessie Street National Women’s Library is compiling a social document of women’s stories, titled “Tapestry”, and seeks essays of approximately 800 words, printed on A4 paper. You may write a story about your mother, your grandmother, your sister, your daughter, your friends – even yourself . Include a photograph if you can and also $10 for each story. This fee will help meet archival costs. The stories contained in this social document may be used for research but no reproduction or publication of the contribution will take place without the permission of the contributor. It is necessary to complete a registration form to accompany your story and this can be obtained from “Tapestry”, Jessie Street National Women’s Library, GPO Box 2656, Sydney, N.S.W. 2001.

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As many members will know, Michael Cannon has produced a very moving account of the Depression Years earlier this century, titled The Human Face of the Great Depression. This book is now available as a paperback at a cost of $39.95

Also available is his book Perilous Voyages to the New Land – Australian Pioneer Families On The High Seas, this time in hardback form, at a cost of $69.95.

There is a special offer available for both books of a 10% discount, giving a total cost of $98.90 per set (normally $109.90). To order, contact

Loch Haven Books, 143 Main Street, Mornington, Vic. 3931.

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A warm welcome to the Society is extended to Mrs. Alison B. HEATH, of 226 King St., Whakatane, New Zealand, who is researching George HILL, a storekeeper in Avoca in 1856. Mrs. Heath has kindly offered to do New Zealand research for our members and we thank her for this kind offer.

Members will be pleased to learn that our Members’ Interests listing is to be updated in the near future. A form will be included in a newsletter shortly for members to complete, giving the family names and areas in our district which they are researching.

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