ADHS Newsletter No. 159, MAY, 1998

Items of interest –

  • 1999 – Natte Yallock School 125th anniversary
  • Bendigo area fiche available from Bendigo AIGS
  • Avoca Easter Monday sports 1883

The Wesley Hall of the Uniting Church at Avoca was the venue for the Fourteenth Annual General Meeting of the Society on Sunday, 17th May, with thirty folk in attendance. President Graeme Mills welcomed all, in particular the Shire President, Cr. Neil Hamer, and his wife June, Revs. Ted and Rosemary Edwards, and our guest speaker, Ken Sherwan.

After Grace was said by the Rev. Rosemary Edwards, a delicious three-course luncheon was enjoyed by those present and our local members are to be congratulated on the time and effort they each put into the preparation of the hall and the food. The tables looked most attractive with the serviettes folded most professionally and attractive bowls of hand-made roses, made by Lily Mills.

In presenting his report, President Graeme Mills gave a synopsis of events in his term of office for the year 1997-1998. These included John Robb speaking on the history of the Pyrenees wine industry, particularly that of Chateau Remy, which is now Blue Pyrenees; John Tully’s fascinating talk on local Aboriginal history; our very successful Open Day last July; and the trip to Bendigo, where we visited the Central Deborah Gold Mine, took a ride on the Talking Tram, visited the Golden Dragon Museum and gardens, and the old Post Office. In September we celebrated 200 years since the arrival of Merino sheep in Australia at the Lexton Community Centre, with Alastair McKenzie speaking on the history of the wool industry. On this occasion, we joined with the Lexton Landcare Group and a feature was a pen of Camden sheep, courtesy of Sandy Troup. These sheep were descended from the original Merinos to come to Australia. Recent events were the interesting and humorous talk on headstones and the history of the Maryborough Cemetery by Cliff Phelan, who left us with these words to ponder, “The evil men do, lives long after the good is interred with their bones”, and our trip to the Langi Morgala Museum and J Ward at Ararat followed by a conducted tour of the town of Stawell. A memorable day because beautiful rain fell all the way home!

Other events included the working bee when the rear fence was pulled down and re-erected with galvanised pipe posts, and rails from the former front fence, the Victorian Producers’ Co-op. kindly donating the 12 foot gate. A bus trip to the Public Record Office at Laverton enabled members to do some research whilst our annual Garage Sale in February gave many people the opportunity to purchase treasures.

The President reported that he had given a talk at Bealiba to members of the Goldfields’ Historical and Arts Society; had a meeting with Stephen Elder, MLA, regarding Court House extensions, had visited the Woodend Historical Society to look at computer programmes and had attended Central Highlands Historical Association meetings and exhibitions.

Concluding his report, the President thanked all office bearers and members for their continued support during the past year for, without their help, the Society would not function.

The Treasurer, Dorothy Robinson, then presented the financial report and the audited Financial Statement is included in this newsletter for members’ perusal. Then followed the election of office bearers, conducted by the Shire President, and the following committee was elected:

President: Graeme Mills

Vice President: Colleen Allan

Secretary: Jill Hunter

Asst. Secretary: Wendy Taylor

Treasurer: Harry Oulton

Asst. Treasurer: Dorothy Robinson

Research Officer: Jan Burnett

Newsletter Editor: Lorna Purser

Publicity Officer: Edna Jarvis

CHHA Reps.: Edna Jarvis, Marjorie Partridge, Graeme Mills

Those present then enjoyed a fascinating talk by Ken Shewan, of the Shiplovers’ Society, which was founded in 1930 and is associated with the Polly Woodsideat South Bank in Melbourne and well worth a visit. Since 1943, the Shiplovers’ Society has produced an annual magazine, og Watch, which contains all manner of short stories connected with the sea. Ken’s topic was Sailing Ships to Sandridge, accompanied by some lovely slides of paintings of ships, such as the Marco Polo, looking magnificent under full sail, and the Lady Nelson, which was the first ship to come through Port Phillip Heads in 1802. Other slides showed restoration work being done on historic ships like the Edwin Fox, which many of you may have seen moored at Picton in the South Island of New Zealand and the building of replicas of other well-known ships, such as the Enterprize.

Graeme Mills proposed the vote of thanks and presented Ken with a sample of the local vineyards on behalf of the Society.

Our grateful and sincere thanks must go to those members who worked so diligently to prepare the hall, provide the very ample and delicious meal, then wash all those dishes and put everything back in its rightful place, both dishes and furniture. Thank you, one and all.

Later in the afternoon, the winning tickets for our raffle were drawn by Jack Purser and the lucky winners are – 1st Prize, set of six crystal wine glasses, Kaye Hunter, of Moonambel; 2nd Prize, tub of honey, Marian Melen, of Maryborough; 3rd Prize, a wine rack, Elaine Stevens, of Carisbrook; and 4th Prize, a picture frame, Marj. Partridge, of Maryborough. Congratulations to you all! And special thanks to those who donated the prizes.

Our next meeting will be on Sunday, 21st June, at the Court House, at 1.30 pm. Please note that this will be a working bee as there is much work to be done to make the research area more presentable, tidy the library, do filing, etc. Our “Show and Tell” day has been held over for our July meeting.

A reminder that membership renewal is now overdue and prompt payment would be much appreciated. The renewal form was included in the April newsletter. Please note that renewals should be sent to Mrs. Dorothy Robinson at 27 Orme Street, Avoca, 3467. A reminder also that prompt notification of change of address of members would assist our mailing system.

Court House Restoration – At the present time, the contractor is busy removing the old paint covering the brickwork of the Court House and his progress is being watched with great interest as we take this next step in the restoration of this historic building. The Society expresses grateful thanks to the following members for their generous donations to the Court House Restoration Fund : J. Adams, A.E. Gallagher, A. and I. Hockley, K. and G. Christie, H. Ellett, P. and D. Birchall, R. Bundy, N.P. Rowland, D. Black, V. Garrard, Mr. and Mrs. G.C. Young, F. Glover, N. Friend, E.J. Chandler, J. McKeown, Mr. and Mrs. M. Church, P. Waring, R. Carless, K. Grumont, D.K. Greenwood and L. Brear.

Natte Yallock School No. 1347 – Next Easter, this school will celebrate 125 years of continuous education. A committee has been formed to organise the event and photos, memorabilia, names of students and staff, etc., are being sought to up-date the history of the school. The school has kept a cutting of every item and every photo which has been published in the local newspapers concerning its activities. If you can assist the committee, please contact Graeme Mills at RMB 2316, Maryborough, Vic. 3465.

The Bendigo branch of the Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies Inc. advise that they have the following microfiche available concerning the area:

1. Index to Bendigo Region Cemeteries – Headstones and Registers (where available) of

cemeteries within an 80 km radius of Bendigo, excluding the four Bendigo cemeteries

previously published –

Series 1 . . Northern Districts Series 2 . . Southern Districts

Each series lists over 30,000 names on three fiche. Cost is $10 per set.

2. Bendigo Cemetery Memorials, 12 fiche – $20

3. Kangaroo Flat Cemetery, 3 fiche – $10 Please add $1 to cover p&p

4. Whitehills Cemetery Memorials, 4 fiche – $10 in all cases for these fiche.

5. Eaglehawk Cemetery Memorials – $10

6. Bendigo Benevolent Asylum Index, 2 fiche – $5

The Bendigo (Sandhurst) Benevolent Asylum has been indexed and is on two fiche, two books on each and covers the years 1860-1941.

Send orders for all these fiche to the A.I.G.S. Inc., P.O. Box 145, Bendigo, Vic. 3552.

Maygars Boys – A Biographical History of the 8th Light Horse Regiment, 1914-19. This new publication includes 308 A4 pages, hard cover, 2480 individual AIF biographies, letters and articles, 408 pictures and illustrations, full casualty details including POWs, and more, and is fully indexed. “Just Soldiers” presents this new addition to the many regimental histories of the Great War. It has been researched over a period of ten years by Cameron Simpson and includes every soldier who served with the famed 8th Light Horse Regiment during the Great War. The book retails at $57.50 (Aust.) plus $7 p&p. All orders and payments should be made by cheque to “Just Soldiers” Military Publications and Research. Enquiries to “Just Soldiers”, C/- “Strahan Farm”, 321 Bungower Rd., Moorooduc, Vic. 3933 (phone 0359 788 664, or Cameron Simpson, 19/62 Bowen Rd., Rosslea, Qld. 4812 (phone 0747 288 874).

A Snippet from the Past – from The Avoca Mail, 12th August. 1930.

Playing in the Barkly-Natte Yallock football match on Saturday last, Keith Emerson, a Barkly player, collided with another player and sustained injuries necessitating treatment by Dr. Colquhoun, to whose surgery he was conveyed. He was subsequently taken to the Maryborough Hospital where the x-rays failed to find any broken bones. He returned to his home and upon enquiry yesterday we were pleased to learn that he is progressing satisfactorily.


From The Avoca Free Press, 31st March, 1883

This great event, looked forward to with such delightful anticipation by old and young in the district for weeks past, was sadly marred by the weather on Easter Monday. We have just grounds of complaint against this functionary, who is said to have control of the atmosphere, inasmuch as the day, amongst all others, which we desired to be everything enjoyable, dismissed the crowd, at the botanic reserve, wet, drooping and despondent. The only consolation in the matter is that the fates cannot be charged with partiality. What we were compelled to submit to at Avoca was experienced, and in some instances to a greater degree, throughout the country, cold water having been mercilessly thrown over all manner of out-door enjoyments from the seaboard to the remotest spot within the reach of our exchanges.

Still, there was a great gathering on the occasion, and we believe the estimate of 1,500 was not far wide of the mark. Had the weather been fine fully 2000 persons would have been on the ground. Owing to the non-arrival of the band at the stated hour, the procession did not start until the rain began to fall heavily, at about half-past eleven o’clock. The weather cleared up partially shortly afterwards, but towards four o’clock a regular downpour set in, which caused a stampede from the ground before the programme had been quite gone through. Despite discouraging circumstances, the committee worked energetically, and the various races etc. were well contested. A glance at the balance sheet, published in another column, will show how the ladies worked in disposing of their wares at the Easter Fair. Too much praise cannot be awarded to Mr. W. R. Smith, the indefatigable secretary, who appeared to be ubiquitous in discharging his somewhat unpleasant duties, for it is impossible to satisfy everyone. Mr. Smith was materially assisted by our old friend Mr. Avison, whose great experience in such matters caused the various events to run smoothly and without a hitch. The committee, it is needless to say, comprised, with few exceptions, the leading men of the town, and the result is significant of the fact that they can manage their own affairs creditably, and without the aid of outside intervention, when they have a mind to.

MAIDEN RACE, 150 YARDS: 1st F. Burge; 2nd T. McDonald

EASTER HANDICAP, 3 EVENTS, 100, 200, 300 YARDS: 1st M. T. Hartigan; 2nd J. Mills; 3rd J. Fenton

BOY’S RACE: 1st John Healy; 2nd Charles Green

STANDING HIGH JUMP: 1st John Fenton; 2nd M. Cudmore

OPEN HANDICAP, 150 YARDS: 1st T. McDonald; 2nd C. Cameron; 3rd G. Richardson

QUOIT MATCH: 1st R. Harrowfield; 2nd T. McCarthy

GO-AS-YOU-PLEASE, 15 MINUTES: 1st J. Hope; 2nd C. Fisher


POTATO RACE, 25 YARDS: 1st J. Johnstone; 2nd J. Young

GIRL’S RACE: 1st Kate Hamilton; 2nd E. Gouge

TILTING TOURNAMENT: 1st C. Cameron; 2nd P. Larkin

HANDICAP HURDLE RACE, 300 YARDS: 1st H. Hodge; 2nd F. Townsing

Owing to the incessant downpour the Egg and Spoon Race and the Obstruction Race did not come off. (The Society has indexed all the listed entrants as well as the above names.)

Occupations of Yesteryear: Apothecary – Chemist; Bailiff – Rent collector for Landlord; Batman – Military officer’s servant; Cooper – Maker of wooden barrels; Turnkey – warder.