ADHS Newsletter No. 160, JUNE, 1998

Items of interest –

  • Mountain Hut Pioneer Cemetery
  • Michael family reunion
  • Burge reunion
  • Obituaries for: Percy Trenear (Tren) DuBourg, BEM; John Patrick (Jack) Moore; Kenneth Bayley Bryant
  • Memorial trees at Natte Yallock
  • Persons illegally occupying Crown Lands at Evansford 1868
  • Mining rush at Ironbark Gully 1893
  • Wood mill Landsborough 1939
  • Elmhurst Anglican Church history

Winter’s winds and rains did not deter our stalwart members from attending the meeting held on Sunday, 21st June, at the Court House, and they busied themselves, once the official meeting was over, with general tidying up, indexing, filing, etc.

There is a lot of work involved in keeping the ‘office work’ up-to-date at the Court House and help is urgently needed to achieve this. Colleen Allan is in attendance at the Court House every Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm and on Tuesdays between 12 noon and 4 pm. It has been suggested that members call in during those hours, whenever they can, in order to assist with this work.

Our Society is to host a visit by members of the Woady Yaloak Historical Society Inc. on Sunday, 5th July. It is proposed to have a display of photos of the Avoca of yesterday which the visitors can peruse over a cup of tea on arrival. President Graeme Mills will then take them on a tour of the historic sites in the area in a minibus. We will provide afternoon tea for our visitors before they wend their way homewards.

The Society continues to be kept busy with enquiries from researchers. Jan Burnett reports having received ten letters, twelve phone calls and two lots of visitors in the past month whilst ten people have visited the Court House as well as a group called KOLOCA, who were very interested in the old photos of Avoca which Colleen Allan showed them.

Don’t forget the Society has a supply of polo shirts and windcheaters for members to purchase. They are maroon with our logo embroidered in gold – the Shire’s colours, I’m told – and look very smart and attractive, the windcheater being very warm for the winter days. The polo shirt has short sleeves and a collar and is priced at $22 whilst the windcheater costs $28. Both garments come in a Unisex size of XL. Please contact Dorothy Robinson at 27 Orme Street, Avoca, 3467, if you are interested in purchasing either, or both, of these garments.

The next meeting of the Society will be held at the Court House on Sunday, 19th July, at 1.30 pm. The theme will be “Show and Tell” and we ask members to bring along an article of family interest which has a story. These days have always proved to be popular and very interesting, culminating in an amazing and varied display of family keepsakes.

The CHHA annual History Fair, to be held at Ballarat in October, will have the theme this year of Families. There will also be a series of talks on subjects such as the Internet, resources, displaying photos, and ‘How to Research’ for beginners. The Association reports that its new journal will be ready in time for the History Fair and it will include a new “Help” section.

Edna Jarvis, our CHHA representative, tells us that the Anglican churches in the diocese of Bendigo are being instructed on how to store their records.

A Reminder to members that annual subscriptions are now overdue and this will be the last newsletter posted to unfinancial members. Please check your April newsletter to see that you have returned the renewal slip contained therein. If you have overlooked rejoining, your prompt attention to this matter would be very much appreciated. Please forward the renewal slip with your cheque to Dorothy Robinson at 27 Orme Street, Avoca, 3467.

The Society is grateful to the following members for their generous donations to the Court House Restoration Fund: K. Burke; B. Sheehan; A. Young; J. Severino; H. and M. Oulton; L. and J. Purser; Mr. and Mrs. De Fegely; N. Edwards; H. Harris; M. Gray; J. Hunter; M. Brown; I. Macwhirter; A.M. Hall; Mr. and Mrs. R. Finger; A.E. Beavis; K. and V. Burke; Mr. and Mrs. Young; E.C. Graham; R. Baker; P. Schmidt; L. Bennett; M. Thorne; R.M. Stavely; K. Hogan; L.E. Ramselaar; J. Ellis; L.P. Leyden; Mr. and Mrs. A. Wills; G. Law; N. Andrews; H. and B. Sutter; S. and P. Patten and A. Heath.

Those members whose ancestors were in the Mountain Hut area, out of Amphitheatre, will be interested to learn that the Mountain Hut Pioneer Cemetery has recently been cleaned, thus making a visit a much easier and pleasant prospect. Thanks must go to those responsible for undertaking this task.

An exhibition about The River of History – Images of the Yarra River Since 1835 by the Royal Historical Society of Victoria is being presented by Yarra Valley Water, supported by Arts Victoria, from 12th June until 28th August, 1998. The venue is Arts Victoria, Level 6, 2 Kavanagh Street (The Australian Ballet Centre), South Melbourne.

Michael Family Reunion – A second newsletter regarding this reunion has been received, giving details of this event which will be held on Sunday, 23rd August, 1998, at the St. Arnaud Sporting Club, Lord Nelson Park, Charlton Road, St. Arnaud, in the Billy Wilson Room from 11 am to 4 pm. A lunch of roast meat and vegetables followed by fruit salad will be served at 12.30 pm for a cost of $12 so it is essential to know the numbers who will be attending. Please RSVP by 4th August. For more details please contact Miss Anne Michael, Private Bag 47, St. Arnaud, Vic. 3478 (phone 03 5495 1172) or Mrs. Suzanne Wright, RMB 617, St. Arnaud, Vic. 3478 (phone 03 5495 1180).

Burge Reunion – A family reunion will be held on Sunday, 1st November, 1998, at Natte Yallock Hall, from 10 am onwards. Please bring your own lunch and drinks for your family, and folding chairs. A plate of afternoon tea would be appreciated. RSVP Monday, 19th October, 1998. Further particulars from Patricia Lewis, 98 Brassey Street, Maryborough, 3465 (phone 0354 613 084).

The Third Victorian Family History State Conference is to be held on 1st and 2nd May, 1999, at the Cato Conference Centre, 489 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne. It is being organised by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies, and the Genealogical Society of Victoria, the theme being Health, Wealth and Wisdom. Enquiries can be directed to Linley Hooper on (03) 9818 7662 or Lesle Berry on (03) 9802 2785.

Vale! The Maryborough district has been saddened in recent weeks by the loss of two well-known and highly respected identities. Percy Trenear (Tren) DuBourg, BEM, passed away in Melbourne on Monday, 1st June, 1998, aged 88 years, after a dedicated life of service to Maryborough. Tren was born in Timor, the eldest of four children. His father ran the general store and was also the town’s undertaker. He attended the Timor primary school then went on to the Maryborough High School and Melbourne University, where he graduated BA, Dip Ed.

He began his teaching career at Nathalia and Yallourn High Schools, then joined the RAAF at the outbreak of the Second World War, rising to the rank of Squadron Leader. After the war, Tren taught maths and science at the Maryborough High School and became principal, a position he held for twelve years prior to his retirement in 1973.

Besides his dedication to education, Tren was deeply involved with Legacy, the Highland Society, the Maryborough Football Club, the Maryborough Hospital, the Masonic Lodge at Carisbrook, Rotary, the RSL, and his family. In 1980, he was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to education and the community. Tren was also very interested in the history of the area and long-time members of this Society will recall the interesting talk he gave at historic Glen Mona in February, 1988 (see Newsletter No. 46). When Natte Yallock celebrated its centenary, he wrote a history of the town for the occasion, and also co-authored (with Betty Osborn) the book, Maryborough – A Social History 1854-1904, published in 1985. Your Editor recalls the wonderful help she received from Tren in her early days of tracing her family history in the Maryborough area.

Tren was privately cremated in Melbourne and a memorial service was held on 18th June at Christ the King Church in Maryborough. He is survived by his son, two daughters, five grand-children, and a brother, Eric.

John Patrick (Jack) Moore passed away on 3rd June, 1998, aged 85 years, after making his name as one of the most respected trainers in harness racing. He was born in Maryborough in January, 1913, the third son of John and Catherine Moore. He attended St. Augustine’s Primary School and the Maryborough Technical College. He began his working life apprenticed to Hoskin, the baker, and later had his own bakery.

But horses were his first love and he was a first-class rider. He became interested in harness racing in 1940 but only had moderate success until the horse, Novel Court, arrived at the stables. This horse, with its 25 wins, helped create a most successful career in harness racing for Jack. He trained 15 derby winners but his greatest success was winning the Inter-Dominion in Adelaide in 1969 with Fred Miller’s Richmond Lass. Richmond Lass and her foal died tragically of burns sustained in the disastrous bushfires which ravaged the Avoca – Maryborough area in January, 1985. In August, 1993, Jack Moore had the honour of unveiling a plaque on the big rock which marks the resting place of this great horse, which he loved, on Fred’s property at Bung Bong (see Newsletter No. 107).

Jack is survived by his two sons and a daughter, nine grandchildren and one great-grand-daughter. He was privately cremated and a Requiem Mass was celebrated at St. Augustine’s Catholic Church, Maryborough, on Tuesday, 9th June.

The death of Kenneth Bayley Bryant, of Cairn Curran, Baringhup, evokes thoughts of 1840, the Simson brothers at Charlotte Plains, Edmund Bryant at Cairn Curran, and the early pioneer history of the district. Mr. Bryant passed away on 10th June, 1998, aged 85 years, and was buried at the Carisbrook Cemetery after a service at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Carisbrook, on 15th June. He was a son of Bayley and Kathleen Bryant, and a brother to Ruth Warne, Nancy Coutts (dec.), Beth Gray (dec.) and Mollie Buick (dec.).

Memorial Trees – Two Gallipoli memorial lone pine trees were recently planted at Natte Yallock, opposite the new war memorial in the main street. The trees replace memorials to the two local boys who gave their lives in the Second World War. They were Flt. Sgt. N.C. Ross, No. 410852, RAAF, who died in England on 18th December, 1943, and Pte. J.F. Evans, No. V240435, 58th Battalion, AMF, who died in New Guinea on 7th July, 1943. Also planted were another five ordinary pines to fill gaps in the remaining row of pine trees. The Natte Yallock District Improvement Committee plans to place new guards around each tree. It is interesting to note that the original hardwood picket tree guards were cut out of timber in 1945 by Percy Coates, of Natte Yallock.

(My thanks to Edna Jarvis for her assistance with the foregoing four reports. Ed.)

Evansford, 1868 – The following is a list of persons illegally occupying Crown Lands in the agricultural area of Evansford in 1868 :

John Hampson, store and garden Francis Gallagher, dwelling

John Sloss, fencing in allotment Andrew Jackson, weatherboard house

Michael Quinlan, slab hut James Sloss, licensed beer house

Henry Crofts, weatherboard house Thomas Furber, dwelling and garden

Thomas Laws, dwelling Methodist congregation, large wooden church

James Maudesley, weatherboard house James Whelpdale, weatherboard house

William Lindsay, dwelling and garden

The above is from Police Report, File L1510, Unit 502, VPRS 44, Public Record Office. We thank Pauline from the Woady Yaloak Society for letting us know of this material.


Avoca Station Midland Police District 17th August, 1893

Report of Senior Constable Monks 2026 relative to Rush at Ironbark Gully.

I have to report that the rush is progressing favourably so far there are thirteen claims on payable gold, today there were about eight hundred persons on the ground & people still coming. There are five (5) leases taken up and applied for on private property in close proximity to the rush, and numbers of other leases applied for near Avoca. A mine well known as the Golden Stream, the lease is again applied for, this mine when it collapsed a few years ago employed three (300) hundred men. In fact there is a mining revival right through this District. The men on the rush are very orderly, although there are a great number of Chinese there. From what I can learn from old experienced miners this will be a good field.

(The above police report was located in police correspondence files held at the Public Record Office.)

LANDSBOROUGH – WOOD MILL DESTROYED (From the Avoca Free Press, 11th March, 1939)

About 3 am. on Tuesday a wood mill at the railway station and a quantity of firewood, the property of Mr. Charles Leslie, was destroyed by fire. A railway truck, with the contents (3 tons of bran and pollard) was also destroyed.


In 1931, the Rev. Arthur Bell, the then Rector, wrote a booklet on the history of St. John’s Anglican Church, Avoca, covering the period 1871-1931. Also in that booklet he included a history of the Anglican Church at Elmhurst, as follows:

In 1871, the only services held at Elmhurst were those provided by the Presbyterian Church, and were held in a wooden building on the banks of the Wimmera River on the property of Mr. Ransom. The building was also used as a school for some years. About the year 1879 a movement was made among the residents to have a Church erected for the combined worship of the Anglicans and the Presbyterians. Substantial help was given by the late Dr. Williamson. In due course the necessary funds were subscribed and the contract was let to Skellett Bros. of Glenpatrick, under the supervision of Mr. William Atkinson, of Avoca. The first Anglican Minister to officiate was the Reverend Phillip Holman, who was the Vicar at Ararat for fifty years. He was assisted by the Reverend Mr. McCormack. The following Priests supplied services at different times: The Reverend McGeorge, the Reverend Davis, the Reverend Beveridge, the Reverend Noltenius, and the Reverend M. C. James, later Bishop of St. Arnaud.

After many years attached to the Ararat Parish it was transferred to the Avoca Parish. In the year 1880 the late Dr. Williamson had erected the stained glass window in the sanctuary in memory of his father and mother, who were in possession of DeCameron Station for many years and who were always liberal supporters of the Church. The reading desk is a memorial to the memory of the Venerable Archdeacon Peacock, who at one time was Curate at Ararat. The first Sunday School was opened and carried on by Messrs. Jas. and John Wise, the former being Superintendent for twenty-four years. Right from the opening of the Church, the foundation stone of which was laid in 1882, Mr. Jas. Wise was Secretary of the Church, in all a period of something like thirty years. Mr. W. Kaye was the Secretary in 1931 (when this history was written) and Mrs. Kaye the organist.

Snippets from the past – From ‘The Avoca Free Press” of 8th July, 1903 –

Miss Jones, assistant in the Elmhurst school, has been transferred to Eaglehawk, but will not enter upon her new work until relieved of her present position.

From the Victoria Police Gazette, 10th November, 1874. Martha Dyer is missing from her home, Elmhurst, since the 1st instant. Description: English, 55 years, 5 ft. 5 ins. high, thin build, sallow complexion, black hair mixed with grey; wore yellowish-brown wincey dress, white straw hat with blue veil. She is supposed to be slightly deranged.

A report in the Victoria Police Gazette of 24th November, 1874, says, “Has been found”.

From the Victoria Police Gazette of 3rd December, 1874 –

A bullock, the property of Samuel H. Hart, carrier of Elmhurst, was maliciously stabbed near the flank, between the afternoon of the 14th and 16th instant, in the neighbourhood of complainant’s residence.

You know you are a genealogy addict when . . .

All your correspondence begins, “Dear Cousin”.

You would rather browse in a cemetery than a shopping mall.

You would rather read census records than a good book