ADHS Newsletter No. 177 JANUARY, 2000

Items of interest:

  • Garage sale and next meeting 19th February
  • Fashions through the ages parade 18th March
  • St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Lexton 150th anniversary service. Names mentioned: Mrs. Ada Hobson, the Moderator of Victoria, Mr. Brian Bayston, Mr. Bob Newnham, Mrs. Florence Graham (who conducted services for many years), Mrs. Pam Reid, from Scots Church in Ballarat, Eileen Anderson, Jean Donaldson, Margaret and James Gray (James was a presenter in the church for 55 years), Rev. Adam from Melbourne, a descendant of Rev. Adam, who was the first minister of the Lexton Presbyterian Church, Di and John Halmarick, Mrs. Thelma Fisher, Mrs. Janis Robson, Mrs. Madge Giles(nee Roxburgh)
  • Astbury family reunion
  • Lindsay family reunion. Names mentioned: Frank and Josephine Lindsay, Mrs Ally Cahill
  • 1900 Postal Directory for Avoca – Business People (+100 names listed)

This first newsletter for the year 2000 brings New Year greetings to one and all. We wish you good health and happiness in the days ahead and the very best of luck with your family research.

Changes of Address – Important – Please note that we now have a new web-site address as well as a new e-mail address, as shown above on the masthead.

Christmas Get-together – The Society ended its activities for 1999 with a Christmas Get-together at the Court House on Sunday, 12th December, which was attended by the Pyrenees Shire President, Cr. David Bailey, and his wife, Bev. During the luncheon, the Shire President presented to the Society a letter book which contains an illuminated letter of condolence in a leather folder written to the widow of Cr. Charles Bailey, of the Avoca Shire, Charles Bailey having died on 3rd January, 1874, at the age of 45 years. Treasured by his family ever since 1874, Cr. Charles Bailey’s great-granddaughter, Mrs. Brenda Bateman, has given the letter book to the Avoca Historical Society, through the Pyrenees Shire President, for safe keeping in our archives. Accompanying the letter book is a press cutting giving details of Cr. Bailey’s life and community involvement in Avoca. These two Councillors Bailey are not related.

Another visitor to the Court House on the occasion of our Christmas Get-together was Mrs. Evelyn Jess, a daughter of Mrs. Evelyn May Holland (known as May and affectionately known by many as Nanna Holland, who died on 25th March, 1999). The family of Nanna Holland have given to the Avoca Historical Society the last remaining original street lamp (kerosene) in Avoca. We understand that, when electricity came to Avoca, Mrs. Holland bought the cast iron street lamp for ten shillings – then the price of two fox scalps. The lamp used to stand at the corner of Russell and Barnett Streets in Avoca, behind the Methodist Church.

After Mrs. Holland purchased the light, it was illuminated every Christmas for a period of about 40 years. Mrs. Holland’s family expressed the wish that this tradition be continued now that the lamp has been moved to its new setting. The Society decided to have power connected to the lamp so that not only would it give light at Christmas but every night of the year.

We extend our thanks to the Holland family for donating the lamp, and also to Herb and Trevor Robinson, Charles Peters and everyone else involved with the moving and erection of this lovely cast iron street lamp which now enhances the grounds of the Court House. Plans are being made to have a suitable plaque placed on the lamp.

Our thanks to those members who set up the Court House for the Christmas luncheon and contributed to the festive occasion in different ways. Eulie Driscoll kindly donated a basket of jams which was won by Colleen Allan and a basket of Christmassy red and white flowers, created and donated by Lily Mills, was won by Ada Hobson.

(My thanks to Margaret Oulton and Jill Hunter for assistance with this report. Ed.)

Garage Sale and Next Meeting on Saturday, 19th February, at the Court House – The annual Garage Sale is our main fund-raising event each year and will commence at 9 am. We hope you have been busy over the holiday break tidying your cupboards and now have a box of your unwanted goods ready to go to the Court House for the sale. Melbourne folk with goods to donate can contact Margaret and Harry Oulton on 9596 2500 to make arrangements for collection.

A cake stall will also be run in conjunction with the Garage Sale. Donations are sought for this stall. Please remember that all cakes must be wrapped and labelled.

Our first meeting for the year will follow the Garage Sale, commencing at 2 pm.

Fashions Through The Ages – Please mark this event in your diary. The parade will take place on Saturday, 18th March, at 8 pm in the Avoca RSL Hall. Tickets will cost $10 for a family, and $5 single. Supper will be provided. This promises to be an interesting and fascinating evening with some beautiful gowns from days gone by being paraded.

Do you have, or know someone who has a genuine 1920s outfit hanging in the cupboard? We would especially like an authentic Charleston-style frock for the parade. If you can help, please contact Lily Mills on 54 65 3565 as soon as possible.

New Members – A warm welcome is extended to –

Mr. Paul DALY, of Mill Park, Vic., whose interest is Michael DALY.

Mrs. J. THOMPSON, of Cottesloe, W.A., who is researching the MORRIS family.

Ms Edwina SHOOTER, of Mt. Helen, Vic., who is interested in the DATE family.

(Our apologies for listing Ms Shooter incorrectly as ‘Shoster’ in our last newsletter. Ed.)

Raffle – We are currently raffling a beautiful Australian Heritage Cook Book, kindly donated by Margaret Oulton. This is no ordinary cook book, as the lucky winner will not be storing it in the kitchen – with its beautiful photos taken throughout our vast country, this is very much a book for the coffee table. It contains simple recipes as well as more elaborate ones for special occasions. Please support this raffle with tickets at $1 each.

St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church at Lexton held a special service on Sunday, 7th November, to mark the church’s 150 years. Those attending were welcomed by Mrs. Ada Hobson while the service was conducted by the Moderator of Victoria, Mr. Brian Bayston, assisted by Elder, Mr. Bob Newnham, Mrs. Florence Graham (who conducted services for many years), and Mrs. Pam Reid, from Scots Church in Ballarat.

Among special guests at the service were Eileen Anderson, a descendant of the Anderson family, pioneer settlers in Lexton; Jean Donaldson from New South Wales, a great-granddaughter of Margaret and James Gray (James was a presenter in the church for 55 years); Rev. Adam from Melbourne, a descendant of Rev. Adam, who was the first minister of the Lexton Presbyterian Church; and Di and John Halmarick, from Melbourne, descendants of the Robertson family of Mt. Mitchell. The Robertsons were one of the families instrumental in establishing a Presbyterian Manse in 1847, where Major Mitchell’s line of road crossed over Doctor’s Creek, near the Lexton Cemetery. The Robertson family have been benefactors of St. Andrew’s Church since its inception.

Lunch was held at the Lexton Public Hall. The anniversary cake, made by Mrs. Thelma Fisher and decorated by Mrs. Janis Robson, was cut by Mrs. Madge Giles(nee Roxburgh), who is the oldest member of St. Andrew’s congregation.

(My thanks to Ada Hobson for her assistance with this report. Ed.)

Family Reunions – Astbury – The Astbury family held a reunion in the Melbourne Botanical Gardens on 21st November, 1999, to mark the sesquicentenary year of the arrival, in 1849, of William Daniel ASTBURY, his wife Elizabeth and their six children, in the then Port Phillip District of New South Wales. The family left Plymouth in the barque ‘Nelson’ on 17th August,1849, arriving at Melbourne three months later on 17th November. While William and Elizabeth and the three youngest children lived in the dwelling now known as the Mitre Tavern in Bank Place, Melbourne, the three eldest children, Elizabeth, James and Mary, were contracted to work for local employers. Today, there are descendants of this family throughout Australia and the name is well-known in the Avoca area.

Lindsay – Over the past 15 years, the Lindsay family have held an annual reunion on the first Sunday in December. For some years, it was held at Ballarat, but in more recent times, the gathering has been held at Avoca. The four generations who meet are descendants of Frank and Josephine Lindsay, who lived at Lamplough, where Josephine was born in the 1890s. Frank and Josephine had twelve children, the family consisting of eight boys and four girls. The family is now widespread, having settled at Murtoa, Birchip, Casterton and into New South Wales, as well as in Melbourne.

The 1999 reunion was featured in the Weekly Times of 5th January, 2000, with a photograph of those present, their comments on current conditions in rural areas (lack of hospitals, services, employment and transport) and their hopes and aspirations for the future. These are based on a return of services and prosperity to rural areas, and a united community providing support for all its people, and with hope and good prospects for future generations.

Mrs. Ally Cahill (nee Lindsay) recalled her happy childhood at Lamplough in a caring environment. She said that though life in Lamplough was very primitive, with no water, no electricity, no phone and no money to speak of, yet the children had a happy childhood, with freedom and security. They did not realise that they were poor and their wonderful parents never gave any of the worries and burdens to the children.

(This report is based on the article in the ‘Weekly Times’, kindly brought to my notice by Irene Macwhirter. Ed.)

History on the Web – Victoria’s immigration records from the gold rush years were launched on 19th January on the Internet and CD-Rom. Historians and family researchers no longer need to trawl through hundreds of shipping lists. Shipping records from 1852 to 1879 have so far been logged. The Web site is at www.prov.vic.gov.au

(From the Melbourne ‘Herald/Sun’ of 20th January, 2000)

Bega Valley Pioneer Register – Bega Valley Genealgogical Society seeks names for a Pioneer Register for the Bega Valley Shire, the area from Bermagui to the Victorian border, from the beginning of settlement to Federation, 1 January, 1901. For a form, send a ssae to The Secretary, PO Box 19, Pambula, NSW 2549.


AVOCA, Gladstone Co., 127 miles N.W. by rail from Melbourne (Maryborough line); postal, telegraph & money order office & savings bank.; agric. & mining; 1 branch bank (Victoria); 2 bi-weekly newspapers (Mail & Free Press).

Ah Woo Charles, bootmaker Hempseed J., tinsmith Atkinson, Mrs., fancy goods Henderson A. C., storekeeper
Avoca Butter Factory (R. Poynter, sec.) Herlihy Mrs. Kate, store Avoca Meat Co. (T. Simmons, mgr.)Herring Edmund, solicitor
Bailey Charles (Impey & Bailey) Hope Thomas, mine manager Barbat Augustus J., produce dealerHoying Miss, fruiterer
Bosanko Mrs. Grace, boot warehouse Ho Ying Mrs., All Nations hotel, Avoca Brooks Henry, storekeeper Lead
Brown Agnes, storekeeperHutchinson George, bootmaker Brown James, cordial manufacturerImpey & Bailey, butchers
Campbell John (Pinch & Campbell)Impey Mrs. Amy, restaurant Chambers George, carpenter Impey Thomas (Impey & Bailey)
Chellew William M., watchmaker Johnson Henry, blacksmith Classen Herman F. (mngr. C. Classen) Johnson William, surgeon
Classen Mrs. Caroline, cabinet maker and undertaker Kain James, saddler Kang Mrs., butcher
Coghlan John, carpenter Kaye Henry, carpenter Daly William E., carrier Kearney Edward, blacksmith
Dance Frederick, carpenter Kearney Mrs., storekeeper Downton George, draper Kitchen John, painter
Ebeling A., produce merchant Kitchen William, painter Fetherstonhaugh Robt. T., surgeon (visiting) Lalor A. G., chemist
Lamont John, wheelwright Field Lester and Richard, fellmongersLa Roche B., fruiterer
Flower Mrs. George, fruiterer Lever Miss, dressmaker and bookseller Forbes Charles, teacher Lewis John W., Royal Oak hotel
Foster W., Bull and Mouth HotelMcHugh Thomas, “Free Press” (bi-weekly) Geer Rev. W. H. (England)
Gilbert Miss Annie, music teacher Mackereth Edwin, wine shop Gilbert W. P., draper Mackereth Miss, dressmaker and fancy goods
Glenmona G. M. Co. (Thos. Hope, manager) Golder Alfred, wheelwright McVicar Miss Lillian, dressmaker
Goode E. B., postmaster Martin Francis, fruiterer and grocer Gray Rev. William (Presbyterian)Mickle Mrs., fruiterer etc.
Gregory Thomas D., Avoca hotel Mockett Mrs. Bennett, Victoria hotel Grimmer Charles G., surgeon Nicholls J. H., carpenter
Guthrie T., baker O’Malley P. G., painter Hakendorf James H. F., tailor Opie John, bookmaker
Hammill John, brickmakerOpie Mrs., fancy goods  Opie Solomon, mason Smith – – , station master
Osborne Rev. J. (Wesleyan) Smith, W. G., clerk of courts Paten John F. (exors. late), “Avoca Mail” (bi-weekly)Snell Edmund (exors. late), storekeeper
Tanner George, tailor Pinch and Campbell, auctioneersTaylor R. A. M., mngr. Bank of Victoria
Pinch George (Pinch and Campbell) Thomas James, storekeeper Powers Henry, baker and Vale hotelWardlow J., sec., Foresters’ Society
Powers L. and E., stationers Watt E. E., hairdresser Poynter R., sec., Butter FactoryWegner Henry, cabinetmaker
Redpath John, greengrocer Whitley William, carpenter Reed Mrs., restaurant Whitrow James, hairdresser
Richter Henry, bark merchant Wiltshire John O., Albion hotel Rop J., sec., Odd Fellows SocietyWise and Co. (Michael M.),storekeepers
Ross John, shire secretary Wolfe C., livery stables Simmons T., manager Meat Co.

Y2K BUG – Have you been worried about the Y2K bug? Your problems are nothing compared to what poor old Cassius had to deal with.

Translated from Latin scroll dated 2 BC

Dear Cassius,

Are you still working on the Year Zero problem? This change from BC to AD is giving us a lot of headaches and we haven’t much time left. I don’t know how people will cope with working the wrong way around. Having been happily working downwards forever, now we have to start thinking upwards. You would think that someone would have thought of it earlier and not left it to us to sort it all out at this last minute.

I spoke to Caesar the other evening. He was livid that Julius hadn’t done something about it when he was sorting out the calendar. He said he could see why Brutus had turned nasty. We called in Consultus, but he simply said that continuing downwards using minus BC won’t work and as usual charged a fortune for doing nothing useful Surely we will not have to throw out all our hardware and start again? Macrohard will make yet another fortune out of this, I suppose.

The moneylenders are paranoid of course! They have been told that all usury rates will invert and they will have to pay their clients to take out loans. It’s an ill wind . . . .

As for myself, I just can’t see the sand in an hourglass flowing upwards. We have heard that there are three Wise Men in the East who have been working on the problem, but unfortunately they won’t arrive until it’s all over.

I have heard that there are plans to stable all horses at midnight at the turn of the year as there are fears that they will stop and try to run backwards, causing immense damage to chariots and possible loss of life.

Some say the world will cease to exist at the moment of transition. Anyway we are still continuing to work on this blasted YO problem. I will send a parchment to you if anything further develops. If you have any ideas please let me know.


(This giggle appeared in The Explorers’ Tree, and was republished in the CQ Genie-Ologist, December, 1999)