ADHS Newsletter No. 149, JUNE, 1997

Items of interest –

  • Talk by John Tully on the Djadja Wurrung
  • Inquest papers: 1886 ABRAHAM OLIVER HILL, 1886 LIZZIE CAYZER, 1876 JOHN DARBY, 1876 TOY YOU
  • The Temperance Hall, Elmhurst, 1874

Those attending our monthly meeting held on 15th June were most interested in the fascinating talk given by John Tully on the Djadja Wurrung, the indigenous people who once lived in Central Victoria, in an area bounded by Bendigo, Kyneton, Avoca, Marnoo, Donald and Boort. John has made an in-depth study of these local Aborigines and explained about the clan system ( there were fourteen clans in Central Victoria), the implements used in daily life, the trading of items between tribes, such as green stone or possum skins, their customs and marriage laws and how they kept their population down to manageable levels. He also told how the Aborigines, having come in contact with the early squatters, gradually acquired names, such as Billy or Tommy, and later a surname, to give them an identity. It has been estimated that the Aboriginal population of the Central Victorian area was once 1,400. An epidemic of small pox swept right through the land, killing two-thirds of the population, before Major Mitchell’s exploration of Australia Felix in 1836, leaving about 400 Aborigines in this area when the first squatters arrived. In 1841, only 250 names were listed on a census and John has done some genealogical research on these. He also explained how the stars were used to indicate the various hunting seasons for food. A lengthy question time followed the talk, testifying to the great interest of those present. John has recently published a book, The Djadja Wurrung Language of Central Victoria, which documents the Aboriginal people of the area and their language, and copies of this were in demand after the meeting. Our thanks to John for a fascinating afternoon.

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OPEN DAY! SUNDAY, 20th JULY. An Open Day is to be held at the Court House on Sunday, 20th July, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Come along and bring a friend and see what the Society has to offer in its Local and Family History Resource Centre. Not only have we thousands of index cards for historians and family researchers, but we also have an extensive library where you can have a fascinating time browsing. Should you have interests in other areas of Australia, don’t overlook the many exchange newsletters and journals we receive. You never know just what you might find in them. They contain many articles on the finer points of family research here and overseas, local history items and personal stories and are a much under-used resource. Let me give you an example of surprises in store. In the latest copy of Trickles From The Castlereagh, from the Coonamble Family History Society in New South Wales, your Editor was amazed to find two names of great interest to her – Strudwick and Colless – and the newsletter gave stories about both those families.

Admission is free to the Open Day, light refreshments will be available and visitors will receive a free show bag.

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Future Events – Coming events this year are as follows:

Sunday, 18th August Bus trip to Bendigo to Chinese Museum and Garden

” 15th September At Lexton, celebrating 200 years of the wool industry

” 20th October Display – Law and Order

” 17th November Speaker – Mr. C. C. Phelan, of Maryborough

” 8th December Christmas Break-up

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The Central Highlands Historical Association Inc. will present The Annual History Fair on Saturday, 11th October and Sunday, 12th October, 1997, at the Army Ranger Barracks, Curtis Street, Ballarat, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., entry fee $2. The theme for 1997 is Law and Order and the show will have displays, records, photographs and research advice from Regional Historical Societies and invited specialists.

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A Family History Showcase is to be held on Saturday, 23rd August, 1997, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., organised by the Ballarat Family History Centre, at The Hall, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Cnr. College and Grammer Streets, Wendouree, 3355. Many types of records will be available as well as hands-on demonstrations, Bulletin Board and Internet On-Line classes. For more details, contact the Library Director on 03 5338 1299.

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Those folk who have purchased an Albox Photo Album at the Court House will be interested to learn that inserts are now available from the Society at a cost of 10 for $3.

WANTED! A TAPE RECORDER. The Society is keen to acquire a tape recorder for recording our meetings and also for oral history interviews. We wonder if perhaps someone has one, in working order, lying idle in a cupboard, which they would be happy to donate to the Society.

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CAN YOU HELP? We have received an enquiry for information about the Australian Ladies’ Pipe Band whose members did a world tour in 1926 and were photographed outside Robbie Burns’ cottage in Ayr, Scotland, on 9th October of that year. Three photographs of this group on tour have been found among possessions of deceased folk who once lived in the Avoca area. Perhaps one of your family played in this band and you may know something about the tour. Any information would be gratefully received by Mrs. Mary Sinclair, of the Scottish Interest Group of the Genealogical Society of Queensland. She can be contacted at 11 Jacana Street, Rochdale, Qld., 4123.

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The Court House – Work quietly proceeds with the restoration of the Court House and grounds and we hope to see a new sign board shortly which will boldly announce that this is our home. Meantime, plans are being made for the puttying and painting of the windows.

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The Society expresses sincere thanks to the following members for their generous donations to the Court House Restoration Fund : K. Mander, L. Finger, M. Boyce, J. Frey, S. Duncan, A.E.Beavis, R. Carless, I. Macwhirter, A. Heath, B. Brewster, F. Ford, K. Grumont, Mr. and Mrs. V. Williams, N. Rowland, H.J. Ellett, B Jamieson, K. Hogan, D. Strangman, H.S. Voake, R. Bundy, J. and P. Sargeant, L.A. Cheesman, E.V. Roberts, J. Adams, N.K.Edwards, J.S. Ellis, K. and G. Christie, M. Gray, D. Black, S. Savige, E.J. Chandler, N.B. Friend, Mr. and Mrs. B. Cherry, H.D. Harris, E.C. Graham. N. Summers and R. and M. Stavely.

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Your Editor extends her sincere thanks to Helen Harris for her assistance with the May newsletter. As I was still traumatised, in pain and very slow of movement, after my fall, her help was vital if you were to receive your newsletter. Though still ‘one-armed’, I am coping (I think!) with this edition ‘one-handed’. I must also thank Wendy Taylor for being so prompt with the minutes, Edna Jarvis for information, and Margaret and Harry Oulton for their help and support, and taping the meeting for me. But I am not the only one in trouble. I have to report that three of the four members who each play a vital role in the production and mailing of your newsletter are incapacitated and this edition is really being done under great difficulty, from the typing to the mailing!

Members are reminded that subscriptions are now overdue and this will be the last newsletter sent to those who are unfinancial. We would urge those who have overlooked this matter to seek out the renewal slip in their April newsletter, attach their cheque and mail it off to our Treasurer. Our thanks to those who have been prompt in this regard.

We have been asked to compile an up-dated Members Interests Directory and on page 5 of this newsletter you will find the form to complete if you wish to be listed. Please remember to only list your interests in the Avoca area. and return your completed form to our Secretary by 31st August.

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INQUESTS – The following inquests have been located and indexed by the Society. The original file is held at the Public Record Office, Laverton Repository, and a photocopy can be obtained at a cost of 50 cents per page, plus $2.50 postage. The Society is willing to arrange the copying for members if they are unable to get to the Repository themselves. Please ring Helen Harris on (03) 9890 9288 if interested in obtaining a copy of any of the inquests listed below:

No. 1464 of 1886 ABRAHAM OLIVER HILL died in Maryborough Gaol from ‘exhaustion caused by old age and drink’.

Witnesses: Edward Kelly, Governor of Gaol, R. H. Dunn, M.D. Unit 506

No. 1489 of 1886 LIZZIE CAYZER drowned at Talbot, aged 2 years.

Witnesses: Mary Ann Cayzer (mother) and Richard Clark. Unit 506

No. 962 of 1876 JOHN DARBY died of poisoning at Majorca.

Witnesses: Constable Robert Irvine, Thomas Cooper, Dr. Henry Julian, James Tranter, Thomas Cox. Jury: Thomas Symons, Joseph Campbell, Samuel Lugg, Daniel McPhail, Joseph Lewis Newbronner, Daniel Ross, John Worsley, Alfred Scott, James Holmes, Alan Rendell, George Highett, Robert McTaggart.

No. 992 of 1876 TOY YOU died of natural causes at Talbot.

Witnesses: Ah More, Dr. Chas. Dixon. Jury: William Whittaker, Henry Widdop, William T. Watson, Robert Crooks, James Brown, James Hannan, James Murphy, Robert Nurse, Thomas Booth, Henry Saxe, Michael O’Loughlin, Edward Craven.

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(From The Australasian Templar of December, 1874, page 154)

“No. 149 Elmhurst – Impressed with the necessity of aggressive effort, this Lodge has been endeavouring to advance the good cause of temperance, and with considerable success. While starting with twenty-two members, there are now fifty-six on the roll. Several public meetings have been held in Glenpatrick, a small township six miles distant, the result being an addition to the membership of nineteen. ‘Hoyle’s Hymns’ have been found valuable both in the Lodge and public meetings. The idea of a temperance hall was some months since started by sisters Mrs. Wiltshire, Miss Malcolm, and M. E. Malcolm, and it was so eagerly adopted by the members, that the foundation stone of a brick building is to be laid on the 26th ult., to cost $140. Towards this,

£60 have already been secured. It is expected that not more than £50 will have to be borrowed on the building.”


(From The Australasian Templar of January, 1875, page 167)

“This small township was the scene of a very interesting ceremony on 27th Nov., 1874 – the laying of the foundation stone of the Temperance Hall, an edifice which will owe its erection to the spirited enterprise of the Good Templars of the district. The weather was somewhat unpropitious. Notwithstanding, there was a good number of people assembled, including brothers and sisters from Avoca, Amphitheatre, Glenpatrick, Eversley, and Mount Cole. The proceedings commenced by a procession of Good Templars and Rhecabites, clothed in

regalia, with banners floating in the breeze. A luncheon was then served – the intention having been to spread it on the green sward, picnic fashion, but which was frustrated by an untimely shower. Both old and young seemed to particularly enjoy the good things set before them. In procession order, the people now adjourned to the hall site. Here Bro. Avison, W.P.T.C. of Avoca Lodge, was called to the chair, efficiently discharging its duties. One of Hoyle’s hymns being sung, Bro. the Rev. D. O’Donnell, W.C.T. Avoca, offered prayer, earnestly invoking the Divine blessing upon the good cause which the ceremonies of that day were designed to promote. Bro. Malcolm, W.C.T. Elmhurst, now presented Sister Wiltshire, W.A.S., with a trowel, which she handled well in spreading a mortar bed for the stone; and having put the stone in its place, declared it ‘well and truly laid’. Bro. Malcolm and Sister M. E. Malcolm, W.S., then presented Sister Wiltshire, in the name of the Lodge, with the following address, printed on white satin, and elegantly framed:- ‘To Mrs. Michael Wiltshire, on her laying the foundation stone of the Elmhurst Temperance Hall. We, the undersigned, on behalf of your brothers and sisters of the Lodge No. 149 of the Independent Order of Good Templars of Victoria, present you with this address, as an expression of their great esteem for your personal character, as a record of your having originated the proposal to build the hall, and in grateful acknowledgment of your liberal gift of a site on which to erect it. We propose and expect to put the hall to such general and useful purposes as will prove a source of enjoyment and satisfaction to you throughout your life. We cordially couple the name of your dear husband with yours in our thanks; for, as we all know, he has most sincerely and fully sympathised with your generous feelings in the action you have taken. Wishing you and him a long term of years, of useful and happy days, and the enriching blessing of God now and for ever, we, with high esteem, and equal pleasure, and on behalf of our Lodge, subscribe ourselves yours affectionately and faithfully, James Malcolm, W.C.T., Mary E. Malcolm, W.S. Elmhurst, Nov. 27th, 1874.’

To this address both Mr. and Mrs. Wiltshire replied, Mrs. Wiltshire’s reply being as follows:- ‘Worthy Chief Templar and Worthy Secretary, – I cheerfully accept this presentation address which my brothers and sisters have thus so kindly presented to me through you. As I am not a public speaker, please accept my thanks yourselves, and give them to all the members of our Lodge. I hope and believe the Hall will be a great benefit to the township. Again I say – Accept my warmest thanks.’

Congratulatory and apposite speeches were delivered by the Revs. D. O’Donnell, W.C.T., and G. Mathers, Avoca; and Bros. Holmes, W.P.C.T., and Ranson, Elmhurst. Miss Malcolm presided at the harmonium in an efficient manner. About two hundred people stood around the stone, and gave an eager and appreciative attention to all that was done and said.

A bazaar of useful and fancy articles was now opened by Sister Miss Malcolm and her assistants, and a refreshment stall by Sisters Mrs. Wiltshire, Mrs. Holmes and M. E. Malcolm, both of which proved a good source of revenue. A concert took place in the evening. The hall is expected to be finished by the end of the year. It will be used not only for temperance purposes, but religious services, and all objects of an elevating order. The Templars of Elmhurst are to be congratulated on their enterprise, and the district on its advantages.