ADHS Newsletter No. 150, JULY, 1997

Items of interest –

  • Description of the Queensland Public Records Historical Resource Kit – Immigration.
  • Details of Index to Tasmanians in the Victoria Police Gazette 1853-1893
  • Information about Index to Depasturing Licences 1840-1851
  • Study of Homebush and Lower Homebush
  • Kimberley School No 1160
  • Mr Frank Barnes, Redbank, 1922 accident
  • Mr R Herd and family, 1927 accident

Open Day a great success! Many favourable comments about our new fence and freshly mown grounds were received from early visitors to our Open Day, held at the Court House on Sunday, 20th July. We were fortunate to have beautiful weather and this probably encouraged many of our visitors to make the journey to Avoca. It was good to renew acquaintance with some members of long-standing whom we haven’t seen for some time. We assure them of a warm welcome to the other functions we have organised for the remainder of the year.

We were pleased to greet our Federal Member of Parliament, Michael Ronaldson, who was accompanied by his two daughters, Joanna and Claire. Our committee members took pleasure in showing Michael the progress the Society has made and brought him up-to-date with our plans for the future. His visit was greatly appreciated, especially as he had to leave Ballarat early on a very cold morning in order to include us in his busy schedule. Joanna and Claire were pleased to receive their show bags, as were all our visitors. Our thanks to the members who gathered the material together for these show bags; it will be very helpful to those interested in local and family history.

Edna Jarvis and Marj. Partridge supervised the provision of refreshments for appreciative visitors in their usual cheerful and efficient manner and we thank all those who supplied goodies to be enjoyed with a ‘cuppa’.

After lunch, the crowd increased quickly to the largest we have seen at the Court House since our official opening. An impressive array of cars filled the parking area opposite the Court House and Avoca knew that we were having a special day! There was a queue waiting for assistance at the microfiche readers and Colleen Allan and Wendy Taylor had a very busy day providing answers to their queries. During the afternoon, we were pleased to have a visit from the Pyrenees Shire President, Robert Vance, and his wife, Jan. Wendy was able to obtain some family history information for Mrs. Vance, so we had another very happy customer. The Society was also pleased to welcome the Rev. Ted and Rev. Rosemary Edwards from the Uniting Church who took a keen interest in the range of assistance that we were able to provide for those interested in local and family history.

A sincere thank you goes to all who worked so hard to ensure that the Society’s Open Day was such a success – to those who prepared the building and grounds; for the excellent display, The A-Z of Family and Local History’; those responsible for publicity; those who assisted with the provision of food and drink; and the preparation of the show bags. If we have overlooked anyone, please accept our sincere thanks for a great day. (My thanks to Margaret Oulton for this report. Ed)

Our next function will be held on Sunday, 17th August, when we have planned a bus tour to Bendigo. The bus will leave the Avoca Court House at 8.30 a.m. and proceed to the Clarendon Street Car Park at Maryborough, arriving at 8.50 a.m. Tours at Bendigo commence at 9.30 a.m. and we plan to begin at the Central Deborah Mine (tour takes 70 minutes), then board the Talking Tram to the Joss House (this takes 60 minutes). From there, we hope to visit the Golden Dragon Museum and the Chinese Gardens. The bus trip will cost $9 while entry to the above-mentioned attractions will cost the following :

Adult Concession Child

Central Deborah Mine Tour

Underground $11 $10 $6

Talking Tram $7 $6 $3.50

Combined $16 $14 $8

Joss House $2

Golden Dragon Museum $5 $3.50 $2.50 OW

Disabled $3 $2.50 $1 for carer

plus $3 for extra adults

The bus will leave Bendigo for the return trip to Avoca about 3.45 p.m. If you would like to go on this excursion, please ring Colleen Allan on 0354 653 296 to book your place.

Our September meeting is to take place on Sunday, the 21st, at the Lexton Community Centre at 2 p.m. As our contribution to the 200th anniversary of the introduction of the merino sheep to Australia, the Society has invited Mr. Alastair McKenzie to talk to us. His topic will be Me Last Fifty Years of the Merino Wool Industry. It is planned to have a display of memorabilia relating to the wool industry and we are inviting members of neighbouring historical societies to join us on this occasion. Afternoon tea mill be served.

A special bus trip to the Public Record Office of Victoria, Laverton Search Room, 57 Cherry Lane, Laverton, is to take place on Saturday, 27th September, 1997. This bus is already three-quarters full so if you wish to go, please make a booking by ringing Colleen Allan on 0354 653 296 as soon as possible. The bus fare is $12 and it will leave the Avoca Court House at 7.15 a. m.

The Annual History Fair conducted by the Central Highlands Historical Association Inc. will be held on 1 Ith and 12th October at the Army Ranger Barracks, Curtis Street, Ballarat. The theme this year will be Law and Order.

On Sunday, 19th October, we will have a display at the Court House on this same theme of Law and Order. At our November meeting, to be held on Sunday, the 16th, Mr. Cliff Phelan will be the speaker. Our Christmas break-up is to be held on Sunday, 14th December, as a finale to the year’s activities. Please mark these dates in your diaries.

Don’t forget the Family History, Showcase to be held on Saturday, 23rd August, 1997, at The Hall, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Cnr. College and Grammar Streets, Wendource, 10 a. m. to 4 p. m. See page 2 of your June newsletter for more details.

Wanted. A Tape Recorder! We are still anxiously seeking a tape recorder, in good working order, for recording our meetings and for oral history interviews. Perhaps someone has one lying idle in a cupboard which they would be happy to donate to the Society.

Members Interests Directory. This is a reminder that your entries for the Members Interests Directory must be completed and returned to our Secretary by the 31st August. It would be appreciated if all information was printed clearly in block letters. You will find the form in your June newsletter. Our grateful thanks go to Margaret and Harry Oulton who have volunteered to undertake this task. As the old saying goes, when you need something done, ask a busy person! Margaret and Harry make an enormous contribution to this Society in many, many ways, and are always to the forefront when there is work to be done. We thank them most sincerely for all that they do so willingly for us.

A warm welcome to new member Ms Pauline McDONALD, of Yarrawonga, who is a great granddaughter of William and Margaret McDONALD, who ran the Lexton Hotel in the years 1864-1879.

The Society sincerely thanks the following members for their generous donations to the Court House Restoration Fund; donations of $2 and more to this Fund are tax deductible:- Mr. and Mrs. 0. Williams, Mrs. D. Robinson, Mrs. F.G. Glover, Mr. E. Harvey, Miss A.E. Gallagher, R. Baker, K. Chapman, Mrs. Y. Doherty, Mrs. J. Wordly, A. and S. Wills, G. Law, S. Driscoll, C.A. Rohde, J. and A. Barry, Mrs. M. Brown, I.E. Jeffrey, G. and M. Church, Mr. and Mrs. D.R. Birchall, Mrs. R. Clarke, Mrs. J. Yetman, Mr. L.A. Wilson, Mr. A.M. Hall, Mrs. J. Heapey, H. and B. Sutter, J. Ellis, Mr. and Mrs. G. Young, Mrs. J. MeGee, J. Sebire, E. Cocking, and Mr. and Mrs. De Fegely.

We send Get Well Wishes to Helen Harris who, unbeknown to your Editor as she typed your last newsletter with one hand, had joined that band of decidedly incapacitated members who struggled valiantly to produce, fold, staple and mail that same newsletter to you. We wish Helen a full and speedy recovery in the weeks ahead and are pleased to report that your Editor, her husband Jack, and Irene Macwhirter are all progressing steadily and we should all handle our respective newsletter tasks much better this month.

Study of Homebush and Lower Homebush – Another of our members has undertaken the Graduate Diploma in Local and Applied History course at the University of New England, Armidale, N. S. W. Members will recall the great success Alleyne Hockley had with her study of Amherst through this course. Now we learn that Anne Young is undertaking a similar study of Homebush and Lower Homebush and she is keen to hear from other members who may have information about the area they would like to share with her and she would be happy to pass on any information she may uncover relating to their research. If you can assist, please contact Mrs. Anne Young, P.O. Box 30, Red Hill, A.C.T. 2603 (her e-mail address is c/-: Greg.Young@anu.edu.au).

For Computer Buffs – Our member, Denis Strangman, advises us of an Internet site called VicGold, which contains the National Heritage Foundation’s VicGold genealogy database of 638,000 persons covering Victoria’s gold rush era. It allows an on-line search with 16 possible fields of information but will only be on the Internet until 1st October, 1997. It can produce in seconds information which takes hours searching microfiche. Denis is prepared to search for your elusive ancestor if you send him as much information as possible with a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Send to Denis Strangman. 10 Carrodus Street, Fraser, A..C.T. 2615. We thank Denis for this kind offer. For those who have access to the Internet, the Website address is: http://www.ke.com.au/cgi-bin/texthtffd?form=VicGold.

Denis has also established an e-mail discussion group for retirees, called OZRETIRE, and the Website address is: http://www.scullin.starway.net.au/strangman/ozretire. html

He is also keen to hear of the existence of an e-mail discussion group based around Victorian goldfields historical research, or from anyone who would be interested in joining with him to form such a group. Denis’s e-mail address is: strangman@scullin. starway.net.au.

Internet at Ballarat Library – We are advised that the Internet is available at the Ballarat Library. Whilst the service is free, it is necessary for you to make a booking.


The Queensland Public Records Historical Resource Kit – Immigration. To make records in their custody more widely available- to researchers throughout Australia and overseas, the Queensland State Archives has produced The Queensland Public Records Historical Resource Kit. Part 1 of the Kit includes records of the Queensland Immigration Department and also a small quantity of records from the Colonial Records Office. These records consist of – Passenger and crew lists 1848-1915; A register of immigrant ships arriving at Queensland ports 1848-1923; A card index to the passenger and crew lists alphabetically arranged by name.

These records record the arrival in Queensland of immigrants who have travelled directly from ports in the United Kingdom, Ireland and the European Continent. However, they are by no means a complete coverage of arrivals. Some passenger lists are either incomplete or missing entirely. Inaccurate recording of names does occur and full paying passengers are often not recorded.

This kit has been purchased by the following organisations in Victoria : The Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne; The Genealogical Society of Victoria; The State Library of Victoria.


Index to Tasmanians in the Victoria Police Gazette 1853-1893 – This microfiche Index of nearly 10,000 entries lists the name and date of entry of Tasmanians located within the Victoria Police Gazette for the period December, 1853 to December, 1893. A Tasmanian is defined, in this Index, as someone who was either born in Tasmania or spent some time there, whether as a transported convict, a free arrival or a brief visitor. The Gazette entries include deserters, victims of criminal acts, people wanted for questioning, prisoners discharged from gaols, missing friends, etc. The microfiche Index costs $10, plus $1 postage within Australia, and is available from Harffland Press, P. 0. Box 92, Forest Hill, 3 13 1.


Index to Depasturing Licences 1840-1851 – This microfiche index has been taken from the Port Phillip Herald and Argus newspapers. Licences were issued on a monthly basis and held for one year. Information on the index gives the date of the newspaper in which the item was given and the district in which the person held the licence. Available from Mrs. Marion Button, P.O. Box 540, Gisborne, Vic. 3437, at a cost of $10 (including postage).



A photograph of the Kimberley School was recently presented to the Society by Mr. Waiter Miles, of Moonambel. The following history of this school is taken from Vision & Realisation, Volume 2 :

“This building was first erected as a church on diggings known as Rafferty, in the Parish of Yehrip or Tehiree, County of Kara Kara. Built of hardwood with a pine ceiling, it consisted of one room and porch. Later it became a Common School. Two Head Teachers were Ralph Gilsenan and W. Sutton. As the gold petered out in the diggings so did the pupils dwindle in numbers, and in 1876 (approx.) the budding was shifted about 4 miles NE by bullock team to Kimberley, Parish of Warrenmang, County of Kara Kara, the contractor being J.H. Brown. Each of the walls was transported in one piece and re-erected. Among the teachers who taught at Kimberley were Misses Christy Hogan, J. King, Messrs. J. Brown, P. Green, Heath, G. Coughlan, G. Tilly. The school remained for 39 years, and again the number of pupils grew less. In May 1915 the old building was again shifted-NE about 2 miles, to Tanwood, Parish of Warrenmang, County of Kara Kara, this time by a traction engine and jinker, owned and operated by George Walkly. The contractors for the re-erection of the school were Charles Astbury and W. Argall. The school remained on this site for 52 years and was then sold by the Department. When dismantled in May 1966 most of the timber was said to be in good condition.

The site at Tanwood is now controlled by the Moonambel School for the purpose of a School Endowment Plantation. Timber to the value of $240 was sold during clearing operations in 1966. Four hundred pinus radiata were planted in August 1968, and when fully planted, the three and a half acre site will accommodate approximately 2,000 trees.”

(My thanks to Margaret Oulton for supplying this interesting snippet. Ed.)


26th May, 1922

Mr. Frank Barnes, of Redbank, met with a painful accident yesterday morning. He was cycling from Redbank when the fork of his machine broke and he was precipitated heavily to the ground. His cheek and forehead were badly cut and tom, and he also received a severe shaking. He was attended by Dr. Damman, who found it necessary to insert several stitches in his face.

11th February, 1927

Mr R. Herd and family, motoring to Avoca from Barkly, near Robed Kaye’s, did not see a truck with a number of men coming towards them, owing to the dust. Each vehicle was on its right side, but a collision occurred. Nobody was hurt, but Mr. Herd’s car had its axle, radiator and mudguards bent, and the truck had its axle bent and one tyre trn off.