ADHS Newsletter No. 188 JANUARY, 2001

Items of interest:

  • Garage sale and next meeting Saturday 17 February
  • Vale Glen Mackereth
  • Federation celebrations to be held at Lexton on 24 March
  • 1934 Redbank concert. Names mentioned – Mr. F.J. Fiscalini R. Clarke (violin), Laurie Argall (banjo), H. Argall (violin), Mrs. Fiscalini (piano); recitation, Miss I. Meagher song, Mrs. McCallum (encored); Miss Alice Meagher, Mr. P. Purcell, Mrs. F.J. Fiscalini, Misses J. Horwill, D. Argall, I. Meagher, A. Meagher, and Messrs. H. Argall, L. Argall and E. Argall.
  • 1879 swimming accident. Names mentioned – J S Stanley, Arthur Paten, Archdeacon Beamish, Henry Buhlert, Champlin, Dr Haughton, Robert Knox Orme, Hubert Ogilby, J Ryan

As we stand at the threshold of a new year, a new decade, a new century and a new millennium, we send greetings to all our members for good health, much happiness and hours of successful family research in the days ahead. The Society is also poised to move forward at this time as we settle into our spacious new workroom, which will greatly facilitate the work of our Family History Resource Centre.

Annual Garage Sale and Next Meeting on Saturday, 17th February, at the Old Avoca Court House – The Garage Sale is our main fund-raiser and is the first event on our calendar for the year. It will take place on Saturday, 17th February, commencing at 9 am. We hope you have been busy over the holiday period tidying your cupboards and garage and now have a box of your unwanted goods ready to go to the Court House for the sale. Remember that one person’s ‘rubbish’ is someone else’s ‘treasure’!

.Melbourne folk who have goods to donate can contact Margaret and Harry Oulton on 9596 2500 to make arrangements for collection.

A cake and produce stall will also be run in conjunction with the Garage Sale and donations are sought for this stall. Please remember that all cakes must be wrapped and labelled. Assistance will be required to price the goods and the setting up and manning of the stalls. Any help at all will be greatly appreciated.

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

Research at the Court House – Our Family History Resource Centre will be open for research each Sunday as from the 18th February, from 10 am to 4 pm., except on the third Sunday of the month, when the hours are from 10 am to 1 pm, because of our meeting. The Court House can be opened at other times by request by phoning our Research Officer, Jan Burnett, on 5465 3265.

Federation Project – To mark this centenary year of Federation, the Society has decided to compile a collection of photographs of High Street, Avoca, as it appeared circa 1900, and as it looks today. To assist us with this project, we are seeking old postcards and photographs of the main street of 100 years ago.

New Member – The Society extends a warm welcome to new member Ms Lyn McCONNELL, of South Yarra, Vic., whose interests are the Avoca Brass Band, and the HUTCHISON, KITCHELL, OSMAN and WILSON families.

Vale – We have been saddened to learn of the death of Glen Mackereth in Melbourne on 13th November, 2000, and the Society extends deepest sympathy to his family on the passing of this well-known identity of Avoca. Born in Avoca in 1903 to Edwin and Sophia Mackereth, Glen had celebrated his 97th birthday in October, only weeks before he died.

Glen spent all his life at Avoca until retirement. He conducted a radio shop in High Street and lived in the adjoining residence with his wife Elma (nee Miller) and their family. Over the years, Glen won many trophies for his expert marksmanship as a member of the Avoca Rifle Club.

After their move to Melbourne on retirement, they continued their interest in Avoca as members of this Society and looked forward to receiving our newsletter each month. Elma predeceased her husband in June, 1992.

Glen was a keen and valued member of the Society, visiting Avoca whenever he could in his later years. We particularly remember how he joined in the spirit of things, dressed as a miner with his bowyang-style trousers, at the re-opening of the Old Avoca Court House as the Society’s permanent home in 1993, when members paraded along High Street dressed in period costumes.

New Web Site at http://www.oldnewscopy.com Jacqui Cunningham, who lives in the Talbot area, advises that she has been indexing old local newspapers from the 1800s and has now set up a web site with free access to the index for researchers. If you are looking for places, people, ships, mines, hotels, businesses, associations, events, advertisements or products in the 1800s, you may well find them here. There are many names from the goldfields area on the index, with an exact reference to the newspaper and page number. Having found something on the index in which you are interested, simply print out the details, and send to the address shown on the print out, enclosing a cheque for $3.00 AUD with each request. Your Editor can vouch that it is very easy to access! Good hunting!

This interesting web site has now been linked to our own, and latest information reveals that over 12,000 visits have been made to this Society’s extensive web page.

Some Snippets Which May Help Your Research – A “Look-Up” service in an Index of Personal Notices in The Queenslander (1880-1915) covering births, deaths, marriages, in memoriams, obituaries, engagements, wedding descriptions, etc., is offered by John Weir, Research Officer, PO Box 6120, Townsville Mail Centre, Qld., 4810. Requests per name should be accompanied by a ssae and 2×45 cent postage stamps.

Indexes to over 335,000 baptisms, 125,000 marriages and 50,000 burial entries in the Liverpool (England) Roman Catholic Registers, 1756-1940, are held by Marie McQuade, 8 Ecclesall Avenue, Litherland, Merseyside L21 5HQ, U.K., to whom enquiries may be sent for details of charges.

Staff at Waverley Cemetery in Sydney will search for records at a cost of $20 each. A map locating the grave will be provided. Write to St. Thomas Street, Bronte, NSW 2024, or e-mail on cemetery@waverley.nsw.gov.au

(The above snippets are from Bulletin No.148, November/December, 2000, from the Newcastle Family History Society Inc.)

Did you know that genealogists are time unravellers?

Federation Celebrations at Lexton on 24th March, 2001 – The Lexton Progress Association Inc. extends an invitation to members of this Society and their friends to come and join in the fun and help celebrate the Centenary of Federation.

The celebrations will take the form of the re-creation of old-style entertainment, including three events on the one day, Saturday, 24th March, 2001 :-

* An old-style Sports Day, commencing at 1 p.m.

* An old-style Flower and Vegetable Show, beginning at 2 p.m.

* An old-style Vaudeville Concert, commencing at 8 p.m.

The Sports Programme and Flower Show will be held at the Lexton Recreation Ground, with the Flower Show being staged in the Club Rooms of the Lexton Football Club. The cost of $4 will cover admission to both the Sports Day and the Flower Show.

The Old-Style Vaudeville Concert will be held in the Lexton Public Hall on the Amphitheatre Road. Supper and a programme will be included in the admission charge of $5, and you are guaranteed a night to remember.

In an effort to have some authenticity with the presentation of this Federation programme, research has been undertaken into local newspaper reports of these events held early last century. Interviews have also been conducted with folk who remember having attended such functions, e.g., heirloom seeds have been distributed in the district and it is hoped to have in the show some vegetables which have not been seen for many years.

The Waubra and District Horticultural Society are organising the Flower and Vegetable Show at Lexton as their contribution to the Centenary of Federation Celebrations. If you would like a copy of their very interesting and old-style schedule, please contact Margaret

Oulton on 9596 2500. There are sections for Dahlias, Gladioli, Cut Flowers, Roses, Plants in Pots, Arrangements (Open and Novice), Children’s Work, Vegetables, Fruit, and Women’s Work, including “Best Ironed Shirt”!

The Sports Day Programme includes the Sheffield Handicap, run over 130 yards, stepping the distance, sheaf tossing, bowling at the wicket, kicking the football at the goal post, potato race, nail driving, throwing the broom and many other events for all ages, from toddlers to seniors. There will be something for everyone.

(My thanks to Margaret Oulton for the above information. Your Editor is aware of the great effort and attention to detail for authenticity being put into these celebrations and suggests you mark this date in your diary for an entertaining outing. Ed.)

A Snippet From The Past – Redbank Concert Successful (from The Avoca Free Press and Farmers’ Journal of Saturday, 29th September, 1934)

“On Wednesday evening, 19th inst., a very successful concert took place in the public hall, the proceeds being in aid of the supper room. Mr. F.J. Fiscalini acted as chairman in a capable manner and the following program was contributed:- Overture, R. Clarke (violin), Laurie Argall (banjo), H. Argall (violin), Mrs. Fiscalini (piano); recitation, Miss I. Meagher ably rendered “How I Envy McGinty”; song, Mrs. McCallum (encored); Recitation, Miss Alice Meagher “How the Grey Mare Came Back”; song, Mr. P. Purcell.

The overture party and Mrs. McCallum gave some more items after which a comedy,

“Who’s to Win Him,” was staged by Mrs. F.J. Fiscalini, Misses J. Horwill, D. Argall, I. Meagher, A. Meagher and Messrs. H. Argall, L. Argall and E. Argall. The performance was well carried out, and Mrs. Fiscalini, under whose direction the comedy was produced, is to be congratulated. The various artists also deserve praise, and the applause which greeted them was an evidence of appreciation. Supper was provided, and a dance followed, excellent music being discoursed by local players.”

Our member, Betty Beavis, writes that she is frequently surprised when reading the old Warrnambool newspapers to see how often people connected with Avoca’s early years later appear in the Warrnambool area. We thank Betty for the following interesting story in which we find the names Paten, Buhlert, Orme and Ogilby.

Narrow Escape From Drowning (from The Warrnambool Standard of Saturday, 22nd February, 1879): “A narrow escape from drowning occurred in Lady Bay on Thursday morning last to a boy named Arthur Paten, a pupil in Mr. J.S. Stanley’s Grammar School. Several of the pupils are in the habit of taking a dip in the breakers of a morning, being generally accompanied by a tutor. This morning the lads got ahead of their teacher and were in the water before he arrived. Paten, who is only about 12 years of age, was carried out of his depth, and was seen floating down past the windmill by his companions. They strove to render him assistance, but could not reach him. Fortunately at this juncture Mr. Ryan, assistant in the school, arrived. Seeing the boy’s danger, he quickly threw off his clothing and entered the breakers. The boy was then being rolled over and over by the waves and was carried past the windmill fence. Mr. Ryan made several gallant efforts to reach the boy, becoming much exhausted in the attempt. When he had succeeded, he was joined by a scholar named Buhlert, whose timely assistance doubtlessly prevented the drowning of both saviour and saved. A number of bathers who had come upon the scene lent their aid. Paten was brought ashore in an insensible condition, showing all the signs of a drowned person. Prompt measures were taken by Mr. Champlin of the Baths Company, and others, upon the principles contained in the instructions issued by the Humane Society to restore animation, and in about twenty minutes the operators were rewarded by Paten exhibiting signs of returning consciousness. In the meantime, Dr. Harrington had been sent for, and on his arrival he had the boy placed in his buggy and conveyed to his residence. Here the patient received every attention and was soon out of danger. Mr. Ryan, who made the plucky rescue, was himself very much exhausted after his efforts, and rendered unable to attend to his duties during the day. Such accidents as this have been too frequent at the beach, where there is a treacherous under current at every change of wind. Since the establishment of the saltwater baths, however, hairbreadth escapes have been less often reported, but the late stoppage of water supply has caused many to resort to the beach for their bath, and the practice was becoming as popular as ever.”

There is an interesting sequel to the above story, which Betty found in The Warrnambool Standard of 8th July, 1879. It is a lengthy report of a ‘speech day’ held at the Warrnambool Grammar School, then newly established, after the first examinations had been held. As well as Arthur Paten, the names of Robert Knox Orme and Herbert Ogilby appear among the students who obtained excellent results, and who possibly had connections with Avoca. The report then continues: “At the close of the proceedings Mr. Paten, of Avoca, who was present, requested Archbishop Beamish to present Mr. J. Ryan, first assistant master, and Master Henry Buhlert, each with a handsome gold locket, in recognition of their bravery in rescuing his son from drowning in Lady Bay last February. Before the presentation was formally made, he addressed a few remarks to each of the gallant rescuers, in the course of which he declared he was so much overcome by his feelings that he found the greatest difficulty in expressing his gratitude for the inestimable service they had rendered to him. At the time of the accident, which but for their gallant conduct would have had a fatal termination, the boy’s mother was in a very delicate state of health, so that in rescuing his son he considered that they had saved two lives, as the loss of her boy would have given her a shock from which she could not have recovered. He begged them to feel that they had placed him under a debt of gratitude that he could never repay, but that they could always rely on having in him a fast friend, who should only be too happy, should they ever require it, to assist them in any way in his power.

Archdeacon Beamish, with a few appropriate remarks, then presented the lockets. The lockets were made of colonial gold, and contained a likeness of Master A. Paten (the boy who had been rescued from drowning) with a suitable inscription.”

[Betty writes that Mr. Leslie Ogilby was manager of the Bank of Victoria in Avoca between April, 1862, and October, 1869, at least, and transferred to Warrnambool with the bank in 1873, remaining there until after 1880.]

(I wonder where those lockets are today? And do today’s holders of those lockets know the story behind them? My thanks again to Betty for these interesting articles. Ed.

Contributions for Newsletter – Do you have a story to tell about your family, or an interesting article concerning the Avoca area? Your Editor would be very pleased to hear from you.

Family History Expo – The Bendigo branch of the Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies Inc. are holding their annual Family History Expo on Sunday, 25th March, 2001, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Kangaroo Flat Leisure Centre, Browning Street, Kangaroo Flat, Bendigo (off the Calder Highway). Admission is $8 and refreshments and light luncheons will be available. You are invited to spend the day there, exploring new avenues for your family history.

The National Archives of Australia is now located at the Sydney Records Centre, 2 Globe Street, The Rocks, Sydney, and is open from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Monday to Friday. A reference officer will help you with your reference inquiry and introduce you to the National Archives Record Search database. You can now research Passenger lists on microfilm for the Port of Sydney from 1923 to 1966. A set of National Archives Fact Sheets and sample copies of their Guides and commercial publications, such as Finding Families, are available. However, no original records are available at this location.

Census Dates in England –

6th June, 1841 3rd April, 1881

30th March, 1851 5th April, 1891

7th April, 1861. 31st March, 1901

2nd April, 1871

Federation Register of Settlers in the Charters Towers Area – The Charters Towers and Dalrymple Family History Association Inc. has decided to record a “Federation Register of Settlers” in the Charters Towers and Dalrymple Shire. Who is eligible? All persons, e.g., husband, wife and children who arrived, lived or were born in the Charters Towers and Dalrymple area from 1900 to 1920. For a form giving full details, write to the Association at P.O. Box 783, Charters Towers, Qld., 4820. Entries close on 31st August, 2001.

Any family tree produces some lemons, some nuts, and a few bad apples!