ADHS Newsletter No. 174 SEPTEMBER, 1999

Items of interest –

  • Commemoration of 50th anniversary of first Presbyterian service at Lexton 7 November 1999
  • Extension of electricity in district (1947). Names mentioned: F J Richardson, Mr E Morton, I Stevens, R Williams, N Start, Cr W Webb Hodgetts, T Ryan.
  • Personal Pars (1947). Names mentioned: Cr C C Coates, Joan Aston, Mr & Mrs Bunworth, Alan Kaye, J G Williamson, M Earles, Mrs Wade, Joe Cadzow, W & Fay Ramsay, J Chapman, Mrs N Clifford, Mrs G Wiltshire, Ken Stewart, W A Stewart, Cpl D Rowlandson, L Payne, W Flood, Agnes M E Challacombe, Rev J S Farrier.
  • District Football Teams (1947). Names mentioned: E. McSparron, M. Bibby, B. Reyne, Les Hannett, J. Beattie, A. McSparron, H. Reyne, W. Rattray, A. Grossman, B. Bibby, H. Blake, L. Hannett, R. Driscoll, G. Bibby, J. Driscoll, K. Parry, B. Phelps, E. Blake, L. Perry. L. Garsed, C. Townsing, Ray Neil, H. Horne, K. Anderson, T. Richards, R. Pounceby, B. Clancy, Les Johnson, V. Morvell, Reg. Egan, E. J. Forte, Les Morton, A. Jolly, J. C. Dridan, H. Rivett, W. P. Jolly, G. Johnson, W. Egan. W. Mathews, K. Cudmore, P. Cudmore, D. Moyle, H. Hope, T. Wright, B. Harrison, F. Barnes, G. Driscoll, L. Potter, D. Wright, K. Stewart, A. Dixon, L. Goode, V. Wright, B. Bannister, L. Hope, F. Cudmore, W. Irwin. E. Davies, L. Williams, C. Harling, J. Beissert, D. Blair, W. Gollop, W. Bruggy, B. W. Bentley, A. Wright, B. Brereton, Reg. Harrison, J. Bowen, C. Walkley, J. Taylor, W. Lindsay, E. Morrow, K. Lindsay, K. Harrison, P. King.
  • Charters Towers (1872)

Preventative Conservation Workshop – This was held at the Court House on Saturday, 11th September, when the Society’s collection was used as a case study. The many conservation hints and valuable advice given on the day were discussed at our monthly general meeting held on Sunday, 19th September. Much was learned about light damage, how to measure light, temperature and humidity in the Court House with special equipment, how to encapsulate items and how to display items without endangering them. The many printed handouts received will also prove invaluable as we endeavour to protect our many records, photographs, etc., for the future.

Our next meeting will be held on Sunday, 17th October, at 1.30 pm at the Court House, when we will plan our display for the annual Petanque Festival, which will be held at Avoca in November. Our display dates are 27th-28th November, the theme being House and Garden, and we will conduct two cemetery tours on the Sunday for visitors.

The CHHA History Fair and Family Expo, with the theme of House and Garden, will be held at the Ranger Barracks, Curtis Street, Ballarat, on the weekend of 6th-7th November.

Members’ Interests Directory – In recent times, this Directory has been placed on our web page and is constantly being up-dated. For those without access to the Internet, we are having some copies of the up-to-the-minute Directory printed and these can be obtained by sending a long, stamped, self-addressed envelope, plus another 45 cent stamp (to cover printing costs) with your request to Wendy Taylor, RMB 267, Redbank, Vic. 3478. Wendy reported that there were 46 visitors to our website within 12 hours of the up-dated Directory being advertised as available on the Internet.

Research Officer’s Report – Jan Burnett has been telling us in recent times that she has been far too busy to give us a monthly report on her activities and now we can see why – she has handled 52 letters, 15 phone calls and 6 visitors over the past three months. That list covers a lot of research.

Members at our September meeting were delighted to see stalwart member Eulie Driscoll attending. Eulie has contributed much to the Society over the years and we do miss her presence at our meetings these days because of health problems.

New Member – The Society extends a warm welcome to Theo CAHILL, of Keilor, Vic., who is researching the CAHILL family.

Fashions Through The Ages – This parade will be our contribution marking the centenary of Federation and will be held at the Avoca RSL Hall on Saturday, 18th March, 2000, at 8 pm. Our enthusiastic committee announces that tickets will cost $10 for a family, and $5 single adult, including supper.

Celebrations at Lexton Presbyterian Church – On Sunday, 7th November, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church will mark 150 years since the first Presbyterian service was held at Lexton. There will be a church service at 10.30 am followed by a light luncheon to celebrate this special occasion.

A New Book – Stories From The Days Before Yesterday is a 76-page book of reminescences of some thirty people, all in their sixties, about the Learmonth district, The book has been compiled by Mrs. Ivy Nelson and is available from her, c/o The Learmonth Historical Society, Post Office, Main Street, Learmonth, Vic. 3352, at a cost of $20 plus $2 for postage.

Genealogical Research Directory – It is time to think about your entries for the next edition of this annual key reference work for worldwide family history research. Entries for the year 2000 edition close on 30 November, 1999. The GRD is moving with the times and sections of the publication will be available on CD-ROM. Full details and entry forms can be obtained from Keith Johnson, PO Box 795, North Sydney, NSW 2059.

Pioneer Registers – The Geraldton Family History Society Inc. has sent out a reminder that entries for their pioneer register of the Mid West region of Western Australia will close as of Christmas, 1999, to enable publication in the year 2000. The area covers Greenough, Geraldton/Champion Bay, Northampton, Irwin and Carnamah, with the inland towns of Cue and Yalgoo. Forms can be obtained from the Society at PO Box 2502, Geraldton, WA 6531.

The Charters Towers and Dalrymple Family History Association Inc. has decided to record a Register of Pioneers and Settlers in the Charters Towers and Dalrymple Shire to include all persons, e.g., husband, wife and children who arrived, lived or were born in the Charters Towers and Dalrymple area before 1900. Entries should be in by 31st August, 2000. For full details and form contact the Association at PO Box 783, Charters Towers, Qld. 4820.

The same Association also has a new publication available of births, deaths and marriages extracted from The Charters Towers and Millchester ‘Northern Miner’, 1874-1884, Volume 1. The cost is $15, including postage, available from the Association’s address given in the preceding paragraph.

NSW BDM Indexes on the Internet – The New South Wales Registry of BDMs, in conjunction with this year’s Sydney Royal Easter Show Exhibit, released historical indexes onto the Internet. The release covered the years up to 1905 for births, and up to 1945 for deaths and marriages. A tremendous amount of interest has been shown since the indexes were released, with visits to the website from all over the world. Usage of the indexes is free of charge during an initial trial period and a decision will be made in due course on any charges that may apply. The website can be found at www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/bdm/

(From the Australind Branch Newsletter No. 56, September, 1999)

Victorian BDM Indexes on the Internet – Victorian BDM Indexes from 1836-1920 are on the Internet at www.maxi.com.au

The Public Record Office Victoria has moved its website as from 1st September, 1999, to


Tasmanian Civil Registration Indexes are not on the Internet but an alternative search site called Tasmanian Family Link is available at www.eos.tased.edu.au/pioneers

(From ‘The World’, No. 39, September, 1999, Charters Towers and Dalrymple FHA Inc.)

Anzac Web Site – http://www.anzac.org This is a recently opened web site which lists the names of about 1.5 million servicemen from Britain and the British Empire who were killed in the Somme district of France during WWI. This site was set up by the regional council of the Somme district, in agreement with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and may list the place of death and burial of those killed.

(From the Mount Isa Family History Society Journal No. 63)

Archives on the Internet – National Archives of Australia, www.naa.gov.au has links to all types of Archives in Australia and some overseas.

To go straight to the Australian index, type www.archivenet.gov.au/archives.html

(From Newsletter Vol. 19, No. 3, South East Family History Group Inc., Millicent, SA)

Snippets From The Past – All From the Avoca Free Press of Wednesday, 16th July, 1947:

“Amphitheatre, Elmhurst To Get Electric Supply Soon – Extension to Crowlands? That the State Electricity Commission planned to extend the supply to Amphitheatre and Elmhurst during the 12 months ended June, 1948, was stated by Mr. F. J. Richardson, manager of the Midland branch, at a meeting held at Crowlands last Thursday.

Any extension to Crowlands and other centres in the locality would most likely come from Elmhurst and Buangor, said Mr. Richardson, but owing to shortages of labor and supplies he could not say when the scheme would be extended further.

The meeting was attended by about 40 residents of Warrak, Mount Cole Creek, Eversley, Glen Dhu, Landsborough and Crowlands. Mr. E. Morton, M.L.A., occupied the chair.

Mr. I. Stevens (Mount Cole Creek) said that 100% of the residents of his district were unanimous in their desire for the extension of electricity to serve 32 houses, two sawmills and two poultry farms.

Mr. R. Williams (Crowlands) said that as Amphitheatre and Elmhurst were to be supplied soon, it was requested that the line be extended to Crowlands and then north to Landsborough. This route would include all classes of primary production and serve three public buildings and 20 houses in Crowlands, all having stated their desire to have electricity.

Mr. N. Start, on behalf of Glen Dhu and Shay’s Flat, said there were 12 houses and a school at Glen Dhu and they would welcome the connection of electricity.

Cr. W. Webb Hodgetts (Avoca Shire President) explained that Landsborough supported any scheme for the extension of electricity. He reminded the commission representatives that there were other towns such as Moonambel, Redbank, Barkly and Navarre that should not be overlooked.

Use of Local Poles? Mr. T. Ryan (Landsborough) offered a suggestion that poles could be supplied from the local forest.

Mr. Richardson said that if the local poles were box they would consider them, but messmate poles were not suitable owing to their short duration.

At Elmhurst, Mr. Richardson added, they would be within shooting distance, but it had not been decided which way the extension would go into Crowlands. They would make a detailed survey and ascertain the number of farms en route before making the final decision.”

Personal Pars (from the same paper of 16th July, 1947): “Cr. C. C. Coates, of Natte Yallock, is the retiring South Riding member of the Kara Kara Shire Council at the forthcoming municipal elections. He will seek re-election.

Miss Joan Aston, of Landsborough, is enjoying a few days with Mr. and Mrs. R. Bunworth, of Faraday st.

Mrs. Alan Kaye and daughter Elaine, from Maryborough, are staying with the former’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. G. Williamson, Rutherford st.

Mr. and Mrs. M. Earles, accompanied by their two children and Mrs. Wade, Snr., all from Ballarat, spent the weekend in Avoca as the guests of Mr. and Mrs. H. Wade, High st.

Mr. Joe Cadzow, formerly mail contractor on the St. Arnaud-Avoca run, is a patient in the St. Arnaud District Hospital. His Avoca and district friends wish him a speedy recovery.

Last weekend Mrs. W. Ramsay and daughter, Miss Fay Ramsay, paid a brief visit to Mr. and Mrs. J. Chapman, Avoca, as they were on their way home to Adelaide after holidaying with Mrs. Ramsay’s and Mrs. Chapman’s sister, Mrs. N. Clifford, Sydney.

Mrs. G. Wiltshire and daughter Lynette, of Ivanhoe, are paying a visit to Avoca and are the guests of Mr. and Mrs. F. O. Wiltshire, High st. Mrs. F. Wiltshire, Jnr., has gone to Melbourne for a holiday.

Mr. Ken Stewart, of Barkly, was weekend guest of his uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Stewart, High st.

After being on service with the B.C.O.F. in Japan for some time, Cpl. D. Rowlandson is on leave and is visiting his wife and daughters, York av. He returns to Japan at the end of this month.

The engagement is announced of Ruby (Minnie), youngest daughter of Mr. L. Payne, Moyreisk, and the late Mrs. Payne, to Raymond Charles, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. W. Flood, Navarre.”

Obituary – Mrs. Agnes M. E. Challacombe. “After a brief illness in the Maryborough District Hospital, Mrs. Agnes Marian Elizabeth Challacombe passed away on Saturday, July 5 [1947]. She was born at Lamplough 85 years ago, but spent her early years at Alma.

The funeral took place at Maryborough on Monday of last week, the Rev. J. S. Farrier conducting the services at the house and graveside.”

District Football Teams as listed in the Avoca Free Press of 16th July, 1947:

NAVARRE: E. McSparron, M. Bibby, B. Reyne, Les Hannett, J. Beattie, A. McSparron, H. Reyne, W. Rattray, A. Grossman, B. Bibby, H. Blake, L. Hannett, R. Driscoll, G. Bibby, J. Driscoll, K. Parry, B. Phelps, E. Blake, 19th L. Perry.

AMPHITHEATRE: L. Garsed, C. Townsing, Ray Neil, H. Horne, K. Anderson, T. Richards, R. Pounceby, B. Clancy, Les Johnson, V. Morvell, Reg. Egan, E. J. Forte, Les

Morton, A. Jolly, J. C. Dridan, H. Rivett, W. P. Jolly, G. Johnson, 19th W. Egan.

MOONAMBEL: W. Mathews, K. Cudmore, P. Cudmore, D. Moyle, H. Hope, T. Wright, B. Harrison, F. Barnes, G. Driscoll, L. Potter, D. Wright, K. Stewart, A. Dixon, L. Goode, V. Wright, B. Bannister, L. Hope, F. Cudmore, 19th W. Irwin.

AVOCA: E. Davies, L. Williams, C. Harling, J. Beissert, D. Blair, W. Gollop, W. Bruggy, B. W. Bentley, A. Wright, B. Brereton, Reg. Harrison, J. Bowen, C. Walkley, J. Taylor, W. Lindsay, E. Morrow, K. Lindsay, K. Harrison, 19th P. King.

Mining At Charters Towers – The following article is taken from The World, No. 39 of September, 1999, the magazine of the Charters Towers and Dalrymple Family History Association Inc. It is a newspaper article supplied to their library by a visitor from Victoria, who thought it quite ironic.

It gives food for thought in understanding the situations our gold-mining ancestors faced as they followed the various rushes, especially when it involved going as far afield as Charters Towers in Queensland or Kalgoorlie in Western Australia.

Daylesford Mercury and Express, of Victoria Tuesday, October 15, 1872

CHARTERS TOWERS. “Yesterday’s Age says: The collapse of the Charters Towers bubble will speedily have the effect of bringing back to our shores all our miners. The City of Melbourne, which came in early yesterday morning from Sydney, brought back nearly a hundred of them, who have returned sadder if not wiser men. From a personal interview with some of them, accounts were received that indicate a most serious prospect for those who remain behind. The whole country from Townsville to the Towers was described by one of them as an arid dusty plain, resembling nothing so much as the worst parts of Sandridge, without a tree larger than mere scrub, and the so-called rivers presenting the aspect of dry parched gullies, from which a pannikin of water could only be obtained in about half an hour by scooping it up drop by drop, although there were unmistakable indications, in the shape of weeds and fragments of rubbish high up in the tree tops, that the whole country for miles is in some seasons a lake 50 or 60 feet deep. The diggings themselves, although there are a few tolerably good claims, are on a very narrow lead, which runs away to nothing out of a slightly elevated rocky range on to a flat sandy plain, where it is entirely lost. The men complain sadly of the stifling heat, which renders continuous labour almost insupportable, and most of them may say they could not be induced to stay even by far better prospects of gold than any they saw there. Those who went in search of new country for grazing or other purposes give an equally discouraging account of the land about Cleveland Bay and up to the diggings, which they say would ‘starve a jackass’. A considerable proportion of the City of Melbourne’s passengers are en route back to Gipps Land where they had started on their forlorn expedition northwards.”

“The following letter addressed to the Editor appeared in the Ballarat Courier of last Saturday:- ‘Sir, As an old subscriber and Ballarat miner, I send you a few lines to inform you of the state of affairs here, and to warn others from coming. Townsville is full of miners returning from Charters Towers, and many are in a state of destitution. The alluvial lead (of a few claims) is run out, and nothing more can be found. The quartz reefs are pretty rich, but very irregular. The gold is inferior, and only worth about three pounds five and one-half shillings per ounce. The lodes very narrow, and the country hard. Wages are not attainable owing to the number seeking employment. I heard some miners say they offered to work for one pound per week, and could not get it. The climate is good at present, but water is scarce. I am afraid there will be great destitution here shortly. Trusting those few lines may be a caution to others to weigh things well before coming to Queensland. I am, Yours, etc., Isaac Heywood. Townsville, Queensland, 28 September.’ Several letters appear in other country papers, all to the same effect as the above.”