ADHS Newsletter No. 172 JULY, 1999

Items of interest –

  • Conservation Workshop to be held on 11 September at Avoca (Cost $25 per head. BYO lunch. Places limited).
  • Background on the Scottish Marriage Index
  • The Avoca Court House Family History Resource Centre will be open Tuesday afternoon 31 August during the Maryborough Wattle Festival
  • Obituary – Reginald Thomas Mills (1999). Names mentioned: Graeme & Lily Mills, Henry & Sarah Mills, Mrs Jack Benjamin, Mrs Joe Crothers, Mrs Bill Flett, Minnie Crothers
  • Lamplough and Percydale football match (1895). Names mentioned: P Donoghue, J Zuchetti, R Rutherford.
  • Burge-Haynes wedding (1916). Names mentioned: Rev F Boyling, T W Burge, Dave Haynes, Jack Burge, Cassie Haynes, Evelyn Burge, Mrs Western.
  • Death of Nellie May Brereton (1916). Names mentioned: Rev Chas Reed, Mr Classen.
  • Avoca Free Press (1906). Names mentioned: Mrs Gregory, Mr E S Watts, Mrs McNamara, Mary Breen, Jane Breen, Mr Herring, Mr J White, Mrs Stuart, Dr Cunningham, H F Classen, H Brown, Frank Baxter, Miss Ethel M Smith, Mr Leslie J Smith, A G Lalor, E F G Jolley, Dr C G Grimmer, Dr P H Cunningham, C W R Lawson, Thos S Simmonds, John Lusby.

Memories and memorabilia were to the fore at the Court House on Sunday, 18th July. The day began at 9 am with the “Creative Memories” workshop when members and friends made up displays of photos on a theme of their choice, using acid-free materials. Themes chosen were special birthday celebrations, several generations of a family, local historic sites, and one showing groups at working bees held in recent times to up-grade and beautify Toll Bar Park at Lexton. The finished products were very attractive and those attending had an enjoyable and relaxing time, and know that their efforts will not deteriorate with time, because of the acid-free materials used.

After the general meeting in the afternoon, it was time for “Show and Tell”, when another interesting display of treasures was admired. These included an ebony carved brooch, the carving being of a Roman centurion and his lady; a beautiful cameo brooch and matching pendant; a silk scarf with sporting motifs to mark the Olympic Games held in Melbourne in 1956; a crocheted figure of a llama, with a boy and girl astride its back, from South America; an excellent photo of the interior of the Moonambel Primary School, taken in 1922, when the school won a competition for its experiments with eucalyptus; a copy of a letter written in 1920 by the then Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII, then the Duke of Windsor after his abdication) to say how very much he had enjoyed his visit to Australia – a copy of this letter was given to every child at school at the time; a gold medal presented to the winner of the championship race at the Avoca Carnival in 1921; and some beautiful examples of what one can do with the art of decoupage.

The next meeting will be held at the Court House on Sunday, 15th August, at 1.30 pm. After the business meeting, a working bee will be held to prepare the Court House for the conservation workshop which the Society will host there on Saturday, 11th September, from 10 am to 4 pm. This is being run by the VCCCM (the Victorian Centre for the Conservation of Cultural Material). Their experienced conservator and trainer, Caroline Fry, will present the workshop titled “Everything you ever wanted to know about Conservation, but were afraid to Ask!” The workshop will focus on preventative conservation and the factors that cause deterioration of artefacts and information will be given on some low-tech, affordable ways of addressing these issues. This is a topic of interest to almost everyone and we hope to see visitors from other societies present on the day, as well as members of the general public who are interested in preserving their family treasures. Please contact Jill Hunter on 54 672 211 to say that you will be attending.

Wanted – a Secretary for the Society. Until such time as this position is filled, the Society will carry on with Wendy Taylor acting as Minute Secretary and President Jill Hunter attending to the Society’s correspondence. Our thanks to Jill and Wendy for this assistance.

New e-mail address for Wendy. Wendy Taylor advises that she has a new e-mail address, as shown at the top of this newsletter – wtaylor@river.net.au. Members on the Internet are asked to make a note of this change.

Members’ Interests Directory. As intimated in our last newsletter, our Members’ Interests Directory is now part of our web-site and we are giving members the opportunity to up-date their entries if there are names they wish to add to those they have already listed. There may also be members who did not submit their interests for publication in our last printed directory, as well as members who joined after the closing date for submission of entries for that directory in 1997. Here is your opportunity to be included in this listing by contacting Wendy at her e-mail address or by phone to 54 677 228. Please remember we are only interested in your research in the wider Avoca area. Note that new members will automatically be added to this listing each month, so please list your interests on your form when joining.

Our Web-site. Wendy Taylor reported that we have had over 4,000 visitors to our web-site. She and Denis Strangman are very busy these days up-dating the entries for the Members’ Interests Directory. At our meeting, it was unanimously agreed that a special vote of thanks should be recorded in the minutes for the time and effort both Wendy and Denis are devoting to the Society, keeping things up-to-date on the Internet for us.

New Members. A warm welcome is extended to the following new members –

Miss Helen BEEKE, of Tonbridge, Kent, England, who is researching the MILGATE family.

Mr. Neil WILTSHIRE, of Vermont, Vic., whose interest is the WILTSHIRE family.

Megan BIBBY, of Laverton South, Vic., researching the VANCE, PERRY, START,

GREADY and NAISH families, and the LANDSBOROUGH and CROWLANDS areas.

Mrs. Lorraine FRASER (nee MORRIS), of West Brunswick, Vic.

Miss Amanda GREENWOOD, of Lower Homebush, Vic.

Donations to the Court House Restoration Fund. The Society expresses its thanks to the following members for their generous donations to this fund: D. McKenzie; E.V. Roberts; Ros Baker; L.A. Wilson; C.A. Rohde; D.K. Greenwood; L. O’Halloran and Leo Leyden.

Thanks must also go to Margaret Oulton for her kind donation to the Society of a fold-up lectern for use at the Court House.

The Writings of Thomas Martin at Newstead. The Newstead and District Historical Society Inc. advise that they will be presenting a repeat season of The Writings of Thomas Martin at their Court House in Canrobert Street, Newstead, on Friday and Saturday, 6th-7th August, at 8 pm. Stephen Walter and Mark Garner will present this work, which is a personal reminiscence of the early days of Newstead, with musical accompaniment by local harpist, Andy Rigby. Tickets, which include refreshments, are $6 and bookings are essential as seating is limited. Contact Dawn Angliss on 54 76 2006 for bookings for what promises to be a fascinating evening.

The Champion of the Seas, by Rod Fraser. Did your ancestors come out on the Champion of the Seas? If so, this new book will be of great interest. This ship carried 5,300 emigrants from Liverpool to Melbourne in the mid 1800s. All passengers on its 15 voyages are listed, as are several crews and Log Book details, as well as personal diary records of four passengers, including Peter Johns, founder of the well-known firm Johns and Waygood. This book of 320 pages has a full colour cover showing the famous clipper in full sail. Available from Pilgrim Printing Services Pty. Ltd., PO Box 1245, Glen Waverley, Vic. 3150, at a cost of $38.00, posted within Australia, or from selected bookshops, rrp $29.95.

Scottish Marriage Index. The Anglo-Scottish Family History Society is a branch of the Manchester and Lancashire Family History Society, Clayton House, 59 Piccadilly, Manchester, M1 2AQ, U.K., and they have undertaken a project to create the Scottish Marriage Index. This is a unique database in which family historians from all over the world have contributed details of Scots-born people in their family tree who have married. By sending in information of date and place of birth, date of marriage and the names of the couple’s parents, plus their own name and address, they have helped to create a database which should be of immense value to people seeking Scottish ancestors. By using the marriage as the basis, then four names of interest are produced from each marriage, in most cases.

Details required for the Marriage Index are – Name, Date of Birth, Place of Birth, Father, Mother, Spouse, Marriage Date, Marriage Place.

If you wish to consult the Index, you will be sent a printout of all occurrences of that name on the database along with the details of the contributor. Send a SAE or 2 IRCs and a sterling cheque for £2 for each surname. If no match is made, the cheque will be returned in the SAE.

Send your information, or request, to Dan Muir, 68 Kermoor Avenue, Bolton, BL1 7HN, Lancashire, U.K. or e-mail DanMuir@compuserve.com

A.I.G.S. Open Day. The Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies will hold a Family History Open Day on Saturday, 23rd October, 1999, from 10 am to 4 pm, at the World Vision Centre, 1 Vision Drive, Burwood East (Melway 62 D8). Admission will be Single $7.00 and Family $12.00, and light refreshments will be available. Help will be available for family researchers on almost every aspect of family history – from newspapers to CD-ROMs, convicts to police, indexes to computers, beginners to publishing, shipping, cemeteries, photos, BDMs, and much, much more.

Court House open during Wattle Festival. Visitors to the forthcoming Maryborough Wattle Festival (27th August – 5th September) should note that the Avoca Court House Family History Resource Centre will be open to researchers on the Tuesday afternoon, 31st August, from 12 noon to 4 pm, as well as the usual Sunday opening hours of 10 am to 4 pm.

Family History enquiries on U.K. television. Entry is free and should be no more than 40 words, including address. Write to Family Tree (SK/TT), P.O. Box 116, Swindon, Wilts., SN3 6AZ. Messages are beamed via television’s Sky Text to the U.K. and to Europe. (From the CQ Genie-ologist, March, 1998)

Cairns and District Pioneer Register to 1940 is being compiled. If you or your ancestor lived between Cardwell and the cape or west to Normanton, send a SSAE to Pioneer Register Committee, C&DFHS, P.O. Box 5069, Cairns, Qld. 4870, and forms will be sent to you. (From the CQ Genie-ologist, March, 1998)

Vale – Reginald Thomas Mills, who died at Avoca on 3rd July, 1999, was born on 13th July, 1907, at Avoca, the eldest son of Henry and Sara (May) Mills, of Natte Yallock. His siblings were Vera (Mrs. Jack Benjamin), Harry, Dulce (Mrs. Joe Crothers) and Daphne (Mrs. Bill Flett).

Reg. was educated at the Natte Yallock Primary School, with a final year at Wesley College, after which he worked on the family farm. When he married Minnie Crothers at the Natte Yallock Methodist Church on the 9th May, 1934, he worked the farm in his own right.

In his youth, Reg. was a fine sportsman, with cricket being his great love and he played country week cricket in Melbourne. He also was a keen tennis player at Natte Yallock. In later years, he followed the fortunes of the Australian Test team and the Melbourne football club.

Reg. was a committed Christian. He taught Sunday School at Moyreisk prior to his marriage, and was Superintendent at the Natte Yallock Methodist Sunday School until the 1950s. He was also a lay preacher in the Avoca Methodist Circuit in the 1930s and 40s. His community interests included being on the Natte Yallock school committee, a member of the Fire Brigade, and a member of the Cemetery Trust for 45 years.

Gardening was another of his interests and he won prizes at shows and church fairs for his flowers and vegetables. Poultry was another speciality, running up to 1,000 birds at one time. He was also noted for his Merino flock and shorthorn cattle. Reg. practiced Land Care 40 years before it was even thought of, planting trees for shelter belts, fencing land into soil types, and reclaiming soil erosion caused by poor farming practice.

After moving to the Avoca Bush Nursing Hostel in 1995, Reg. maintained an interest in the family farm and enjoyed his visits there. He remained a farmer to the end – only the day before he died, he asked son Graeme if he was feeding the cattle, knowing that in the cold weather, the cattle need extra hay to keep them in good condition.

Reg. died just ten days before his 92nd birthday. He is survived by son Graeme and his wife, Lily, and grandchildren Alan and Isobel, and their families. Alan’s family is the seventh generation of Mills to have farmed the land at Natte Yallock, a fact Reg. was very proud of.

The Society expresses its deepest sympathy to Graeme and Lily, Alan and Isobel and their families on their loss of a wonderful father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Your Editor also wishes to thank Graeme for his assistance with this story of Reg’s life.

Some Snippets from the Past

Extract from The Avoca Free Press, 12th June, 1895 –

LAMPLOUGH FOOTBALL TEAM. A friendly and enjoyable football match was played at Lamplough on Saturday, between the Lamplough and Percydale clubs. P. Donoghue captained the visitors and J. Zuchetti the local team. The game, which was very fast, resulted in a win for Percydale, who kicked 8 goals 5 behinds to 4 behinds. It would be hardly fair to single out any players as each and every one played his best on both sides. Mr. R. Rutherford umpired and gave every satisfaction. After the match, light refreshments were provided for the visitors. Three cheers given for both sides brought a most enjoyable match and afternoon outing to a conclusion.”

Extract from The Avoca Mail and Pyrenees District Advertiser, 23rd June, 1916 –

“A sale of Crown lands will be conducted at the Avoca Court House on the 28th inst. by Mr. A. F. Paten, auctioneer, and on the 29th Messrs. Young Bros. will conduct a similar sale at the Ararat Court House. Particulars will be found in advertisements.”

Extract from The Avoca Mail and Pyrenees District Advertiser, 3rd June, 1916 –

“WEDDING BELLS – BURGE -HAYNES. A pretty wedding was celebrated at Christ Church, St. Arnaud, on Wednesday, April 19th [1916], by the Rev. F. Boyling, when May, second daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Haynes, of Waverly, injallok, was married to Leslie Thomas, second son of Mr. and Mrs. T. W. Burge of Dalenong, Redbank. The bride, who was given away by her father, wore a very becoming gown of ivory silk, trimmed with pearls and Malines lace; tulle veil was caught to the hair with clusters of orange blossom. She carried a shower bouquet of white roses and maiden hair fern, and wore the bridegroom’s gift (a pearl and ruby brooch). The bride’s gift to the bridegroom was a pair of gold initialled sleeve links. Mr. Dave Haynes acted as best man, and Mr. Jack Burge as groomsman. Miss Cissie Haynes and Miss Evelyn Burge were in attendance as bridesmaids, and wore ivory silk costumes and mob caps, and carried bouquets of white dahlias and shasta daisies. After the ceremony, the wedding party motored to the Town Hall Hotel where breakfast was served in Mrs. Western’s usual capable manner. The usual toasts were honoured and some happy speeches made. Later in the afternoon the happy pair left by train for Ballarat for the honeymoon. The bride wore a travelling dress of navy cloth and a pretty hat of black panne relieved with a touch of tango. A number of costly presents and cheques were received.”

Extract from The Avoca Mail and Pyrenees District Advertiser, 23rd June, 1916 –

“The many friends of Mr. and Mrs. W. Brereton will regret to learn of the death of their youngest daughter, Nellie May, which occurred early yesterday morning. The little girl, who was eight years of age, contracted a cold about a fortnight ago, and pneumonia supervening she gradually sank and passed away as above stated, despite the unremitting care and attention of her medical attendant and parents. The funeral took place this afternoon, when the remains were interred in the Avoca Cemetery. The burial service was conducted by the Vicar, the Rev. Chas. Reed, and Mr. Classen carried out the funeral arrangements. The coffin, which was white, was covered by pretty floral offerings sent by kind friends, especially one from schoolmates, composed of white chrysanthemums and violets.”

Extracts from The Avoca Free Press and Farmers’ and Miners’ Journal, 10th February, 1906

“At a sitting of the Maryborough Licensing Court on Tuesday, Mr. Leader granted the following applications for transfers :- Avoca Hotel, Avoca, Mrs. Gregory to Mr. E. S. Watts; Carisbrook hotel, Carisbrook, Mrs. McNamara to Mr. J. White; Imperial hotel, Bowenvale, Mary Breen to Jane Breen. Mr. Herring appeared in support of each application.”

“The many friends of Mrs. Stuart, of Moonambel, will regret to learn that that lady is seriously ill caused by the effects of a fall down a cellar some few weeks back. Mrs. Stuart is under Dr. Cunningham’s treatment, and we join with her friends in the hope that she will soon recover from her indisposition.”

The following is a listing of some of the people in business in Avoca in 1906 who advertised in The Avoca Free Press: H.F. Classen, Coach and Carriage Painter, also Cabinetmaker and Undertaker, High Street; H. Brown, Wheelwright, High Street; Frank Baxter, of the Victoria Hotel; Miss Ethel M. Smith, Teacher of Piano, High Street; Mr. Leslie J. Smith, Teacher of Violin, High Street; A. G. Lalor, Chemist, High Street; E. F. G. Jolley, Barrister and Solicitor, attends every Monday at the Victoria Hotel; Dr. C. G. Grimmer, High Street; Dr. P. H. Cunningham attends Avoca every Monday; C. W. R. Lawson, Civil and Mining Engineer, and Licensed Surveyor; and Thos. S. Simmonds (Late John Lusby), Butcher, High Street.