ADHS Newsletter No. 156, FEBRUARY, 1998

Items of interest –

  • Death of Marjorie Roper
  • Description of Index to Unclaimed Letters Part 1 1851
  • Back to Waanyarra celebrations
  • Amphitheatre’s first snake 1919

Monster Garage Sale – The year began with our annual Garage Sale which was held on 14th February at the Court House, when eager bargain-hunters snapped up their wares and helped swell our funds by some $600. Colleen Allan and Wendy Taylor added a touch of St. Valentine’s Day to the event with novelties such as heart-shaped chocolates and cards with two tea-bags attached, to share a cuppa with your Valentine! Our thanks to them and to all our members who assisted with the Garage Sale in any way, either at Avoca or in Melbourne. Your efforts were very much appreciated. It is anticipated that further sales will take place over the next couple of weeks thus increasing our profit from this event. Our first meeting for the year was held on the Saturday afternoon, following the Garage Sale.

Next Meeting – Our next meeting will be held on Sunday, 15th March, at 1.30 p.m. at the Court House, when Mr. Cliff Phelan, of Maryborough, will be our guest speaker. Cliff needs no introduction to the majority of folk with Maryborough connections. He has an interesting background, the Phelan family having been in business in the Talbot and Mary- borough area for many, many years and he is well-known as an undertaker and secretary of the Maryborough Cemetery Trust. We look forward to a most interesting afternoon.

Dates to Mark in your Diary – A bus tour is being planned for our meeting day on Sunday, 19th April, and more details will be given in the next newsletter. Our A.G.M. will be held on

Sunday, 17th May, and members are keen that it should follow the same pattern as last year’s, when we catered ourselves and the $10 admission charge went directly into Society funds. More on this later.

The Bendigo Group of the A.I.G.S. is holding a Family History Expo Bendigo on Sunday, 22nd March, 1998, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at St. Kilian’s Parish Centre, 118 Hargreaves Street, Bendigo. Here you will be able to consult the experts on: Bendigo area and districts, Australia, Scotland, Ireland, America, New Zealand, Cornwall, military histories, computers and genealogical indexes, and lots more. Refreshments and light lunches available. Admission is $7. For more information, ring Rita Hull, 0354 467 805 or Shirley Stone, 0354 357 214.

Did your forebears come from Guernsey? It is said there is no present or future without a past. Hence the efforts of our member, Jill Sebire, to put together a biographical record of Guernsey folk in Australia, 1800s to 1900. If interested, please write to ‘Guernsey Folk’, PO Box 41, East Ringwood, Vic. 3135.

New Members – We extend a very warm welcome to the following new members:

Nellie ANDREWS, of Wentworth, N.S.W., who is researching Alexander LITHGOW, and Esther LITHGOW who married Dean JAMES.

Mr. W. GRIFFITH, of Forresters Beach, N.S.W., who is interested in James GRIFFITH, who

was the Shire Engineer for Avoca, 1868-1876.

Members’ Interests Directory – Those members who obtained a copy of our Members’ Interests Directory late last year might like to add the following details to the listing, as the entry was received too late to be included:

Mr. Denis STRANGMAN, 10 Carrodus Street, Fraser, A.C.T. 2615. His family interests are STRANGMAN, CASEY and McDONOUGH, and the areas of interest are Avoca, Lamplough, Talbot and Amherst. Denis is also interested in lawyers in the area.

We congratulate Margaret and Harry Oulton on the birth of their first grandchild – Emily Ruby Oulton arrived on 1st February and is a seventh-generation descendant of a marine on the First Fleet.

The Society has been saddened to receive the news that our member Marjorie Roper, of Canberra, died on 10th December last. A long-time member of this Society, Marjorie was a very keen genealogist, and we extend deepest sympathy to her husband and family.

Index to Unclaimed Letters – An index to unclaimed letters at the Melbourne GPO Part I – 1851, lists over 6,500 names of people and the addresses where they were expected to be found in 1851. It also includes, for some, the ship of arrival, occupation, business and employer/employee. Letters were held at the Melbourne GPO for one month, then, if unclaimed, lists were published in the Victorian Government Gazette. If still unclaimed six months later, letters went to the Dead Letter Office for destruction. The index constitutes a postal directory for 1851 and a similar list is in process for 1852. This has been compiled by Faye Guthrie and is in the form of one microfiche. Price including postage is $7.50 from Guthrigg Genealogy, PO Box 114, Ringwood, Vic. 3134.

Register of Pioneers in Northern Territory -The Northern Territory Genealogical Society is compiling a register to record those who were born or lived in the Northern Territory 1824-1939. This is to include all those who took part in the three British settlements on the coast at Fort Dundas, Melville Island, Fort Wellington at Raffles Bay and Victoria Settlement. Another project is the formation of a Wall of Fame Photographic Gallery. This will be a memorial to all those who served as members of the N.T. Mounted Police between 1869 and 1945. The Society wishes to contact relatives and friends who can provide copies of photos of these members, or have any knowledge or information of any aspect of the N.T. Police during that period. For more information, please phone (08) 8981 7363 or write to The Genealogical Society of the Northern Territory, PO Box 37212, Winnellie, N.T. 5789.

(From ‘The Genie-o-logist’, Central Qld. F.H.A. Inc., Rockhampton, March, 1997)

German Interest – Bremerhaven Migration Museum – Many German researchers will know that Bremerhaven was one of the two ports from which most German and Prussian emigrants departed. Two visitors to the museum, Beverley and Benno Gotzky, were surprised to find that it contained considerable information about people who had emigrated. Beverley and Benno are now busy collecting family history books, copies of originals of photos, letters, documents and diaries for donation to the museum. If you have copies of the family history, etc., you could help by sending them a copy for forwarding to the museum. Contact Beverley and Benno at PO Box 160, Caulfield East, Vic., 3145.

(From ‘The Genie-o-logist’, Central Qld. F.H.A. Inc., Rockhampton, March, 1997)

Back to Waanyarra Celebrations -A Back-To-Waanyarra gathering is to be held on Sunday, 1st March, 1998, at the bicycle rest area, on the Cemetery Road, Waanyarra. The old, once famous, gold-mining area is situated between Dunolly and Tarnagulla. On April 6th, 1988, a small group of people who had associations with the area gathered at a bush site not far from where the old Waanyarra School once stood. About 170 people were present and attendances have increased since then. The reunion is held every two years. Those who attend the reunion endeavour to preserve the historical significance of the area. Works carried out at the historic Waanyarra Cemetery include the design and erection of an information sign, renewal of the fence at the main entrance, and the placing of three bronze plaques bearing the names of 129 people buried there and whose graves are unmarked. The original style of post and rail fencing at the front of the cemetery is to be restored. A traditional raffle of a nugget of Waanyarra gold will take place while the Dunolly Brass Band will provide musical selections. Proceedings commence about 10 a.m. and visitors should BYO everything, including seating. Contact person is Ken Morton on (03) 5629 1094.

(From ‘Tailings”, No. 386, February, 1998, Dunolly. Your Editor regrets short notice but I

did not receive notification of this event this time.)

Amphitheatre’s First Snake – (From The Avoca Free Press, 12th November, 1919) On Thursday a large snake was killed at Amphitheatre. It was gliding gently past the post office, about 11 a.m., when seen by Jack Dridan, who hurried off to Bird’s Hotel to procure a shillelagh. In his absence the snake made its way as far as Gus Nicholls’ house at the railway crossing. The children saw the snake and ran to the postmaster. The latter was busy however, and he rang up the store, whereon F. Duro ran towards the spot. He was followed by P. Eastgate, a brawny smith, armed with a 14 lb. sledge hammer and a 6 ft. length of shoeing iron. A large crowd assembled, but the snake was missing. Seeing a hole under the railway line all hands set to work with crowbars, double-enders, and spades, and soon a trench was made deep enough to bury the whole of Amphi’s fruit crop. At last a mighty yell from the village blacksmith was heard, followed by some terrific thuds. With hurricane force he wielded the sledge hammer, until he was well nigh exhausted. When his sinewy arms had ceased to lay on the iron, all desired to certify as to the species of the reptile, which lay an unrecognisable pulp – a tribute to the hammer slinger’s prowess. Bill Monty said it was a tiger, Kelly Stuart took his solemns it was a Greenhill black, Percy Joseph described it as a snake with pink stripes and purple eyes; a swaggie suffering from the blues vowed the wriggler was a green ‘un. He knew, because he had seen them before when knocking down his obeque (?) at a snake juice shanty in the Never Never. He wasn’t taking any risks, and with a shudder, he made off in the direction of Elmhurst. After the commotion had subsided, the young men present joined in helping Jack Dridan to carry some clothes’ props (requisitioned for the occasion) back to the pub.

The same edition of the paper has advertisements for Clearing Sales at the farms of Messrs.

Weir Bros. of Elmhurst and Fred Neal of Eversley.