ADHS Newsletter No. 200 March, 2002

Items of interest –

  • Visit to Gum San Chinese Heritage Centre
  • Results of Rechabite State School exam in temperance physiology 1918 (Avoca and district). Names mentioned: Eva Gibson, Lena Beavis, Clarice Chambers, May V. E. Impey, Valrnai M. Thomas, Gwena A. Deeble, Lavinia E. Chapman, Leila Snell, Neil Johnson, Effie Romey, Amy C. Impey, George Daly, Keith W. Stavely, John Johnston, Reginald C. Romey, Eula E. Lalor, Lily H. Ross, Evelyn M. Johnson, Jack McL. Mockett, Elsie E. Watts.
  • Businesses advertised in the Avoca Mail 1967. Names mentioned: J. W. Summers, Baldwin, Ray Henderson, Bourke, W. Brown, S. T. Burns, F. A., Chapman’s Store, Charlesworth, J., Cleary, Jim Douglas, Anthony, L.O.Sc., Farnsworh, Don, Gartside, J. N. G. and J. W., Golder’s, Grant and Peel, Harrison’s, Irwin, I., Jones, K. and E. Lalor, A. F. Peck, R. D. Peel and Grant; Pora, Les Pryse, J. W. , Redpath, A. I. J, (Ivan) Shiell, L. Squires, C. and M. Streeter, H. A., Trickey, C., Verlin’s, Wardlaw, P.
  • Lexton Fire Brigade Officers 1967. Names mentioned: E. Ball; A. Briody; B. Bradley; l J. Briody; S. Wheeler; C. Grose, H. Teague; J. Fisher; J. Bradley, J. Briody and R. Hunter.
  • Avoca Anglers Club outing 1967. Names mentioned: R Donaldson, Roy Shimmin.
  • Voters in Victorian Federal Referendum 1899 (Natte Yallock, Lexton). Names mentioned: ANDREW Hugh, MILLS Job, BENJAMIN Joseph H. MILLS John CAIN George MORTLOCK George CAIN James MORTLOCK Thomas CAIN John T. ROSS Donald COATES George ROSS Duncan EVANS Francis ROSS Duncan EVANS Thomas S. ROSS John HENRY Ernest H. SCOTT Thomas MILLS George STREETER Joseph Jnr. MILLS Henry Jnr. YOUNG Andrew MILLS Henry Sen. FERGUSON Donald MORVELL William C. FERGUSON Donald Jnr. MURPHY Alfred FERGUSSON William MURPHY Amos GILES William S. MURPHY Andrew G1LHAM Charles F. NAYLOR George GRAY Charles NAYLOR George S. GRAY David NICHOLLS Theophilus GRAY David Jnr. OPIE Charles G. GRAY James PAIRMAN Thomas GRAY Robert J. PALMBY William GRAYLING Richard PAMMENT Benjamin HOWARD William PRENTICE James KARSLAKE Edward PRENTICE James Jnr. KARSLAKE James RASDALL William KARSLAKE John RETALLICK John Jnr. KARSLAKE Samuel ROBERTSON John KARSLAKE Samuel ROBERTSON Thomas KEATING Joseph ROBERTSON ThomasKELLY Edmund ROXBURGH Thomas KELLY James SAMSON Daniel KELLY John SIMPKIN Jonas KELLY William SRVIPKIN William LOFTS Henry WALLIS George LYONS James WARREN John Mc CARTHEY John WARREN Russell Mc CARTHY Thomas WARREN William Mc DONALD Alexander WESTBROOK James Mc ERVAL Ivie WILLETS John Mc KENZIE Lachlan WINCHCLIFFE Amos Mc PHIE Norman WOODALL James MARTIN Martin MORVELL Evan MORVELL Isaac

Visit to Gum San Chinese Heritage Centre – An interesting and informative afternoon was enjoyed by members on Sunday, 17 March, when they visited the Gum San Chinese Heritage Centre at Ararat. Opened in April, 2001, the Gum San Centre tells the story of miners from Southern China who were landed at Robe, South Australia, to avoid paying the £10 tax per head which was introduced by the colonial Victorian government in 1856. From Robe, they then undertook the long trek to the Victorian goldfields, walking in single file in groups of up to 700 (see page 3 of Newsletter No. 190, March, 2001). In 1857, they accidentally discovered the world’s richest shallow alluvial goldfield and founded the town of Ararat, the Canton Lead giving the richest yield.

Gum San, or Hill of Gold, has been built on the site of the Canton Lead and recognises the Chinese contribution to the founding and development of Ararat, said to be the only Australian city to be founded by the Chinese. The displays have been arranged incorporating the principles of Feng Shun, thus creating a peaceful and serene atmosphere throughout.

An introductory film shows the trials and tribulations endured by these stoic, quiet and polite Chinese, both on their long trek and on the goldfields. Life-like figures and artifacts illustrate their history, their sea voyage, their homes and treasures such as they were able to gather in our harsh and hostile land. The exhibitions bring to life the social, environmental and political situations faced by these immigrant miners in the mid-1800s.

Many displays are hands-on, such as trying your hand at calligraphy, learning about the Chinese language, tasting Chinese tea, researching your own Chinese horoscope as well as the excitement of panning for gold. Participating in this latter activity, Colleen Allan struck it lucky and went home proudly holding her four specks of gold in a phial! From the top of this two-storey building, visitors can obtain a lovely view over Ararat which, on the day and in the present drought conditions, gave a greener picture than that of the Avoca area. Future plans include the provision of a restaurant.

If you have not been to this new Chinese Heritage Centre, remember that it will be well worth a visit the next time you are in the Ararat area.

At the conclusion of the visit, members adjourned to the nearby gardens, where they enjoyed afternoon tea in the lovely surroundings there before holding our monthly meeting. We extend our thanks again to Max Hobson for chairing the meeting and to Edna Jarvis who acted as minute secretary.

(My thanks to Edna Jarvis for her assistance with this report. Ed.)

April Activity – Our next meeting will be held on Sunday, 21st April, when we will be taken on a tour of the Amherst-Talbot area by Len Fleming, of Talbot. We are to meet at the Amherst Cemetery gates at 1 p.m. and will proceed from there in our own cars, returning to this point later for a meeting. Please BYO afternoon tea and a folding chair. This promises to be a most interesting tour with a local expert, who will show us places of historic significance well off the beaten track. We thank Marj. Partridge for her assistance in organising this event.

Annual General Meeting – This will be held on Sunday, 19`” May, and will take the form of our usual popular casserole luncheon at the Wesley Hall of the Avoca Uniting Church. Member Margaret Oulton will be guest speaker, her topic being the valuable contribution of the convicts to the development of this country. More details in the next newsletter.

A recommendation will be put to those attending the A.G.M. that our fees be increased to $17 for a single membership and $20 for a family.

Again, we would appeal to members who live within a comfortable driving distance from Avoca to consider becoming active members at the forthcoming annual elections. Since it was founded in 1984, the Society has always enjoyed strong, active support from Melbourne members in a variety of capacities, including at the executive level. Surely we have members who live closer who can continue the important work of the Society.


Are you an active member, the kind that would be missed, Or are you just contented, your name upon the list? Do you attend the meetings and mingle with the flock, Or do you just sit at home and criticise and knock? Do you push the cause along and make things really tick, Or leave the work to just a few and talk about the clique? Think this over, members, you know the right from wrong, Are you an active member, or do you just belong?

A New Book – “Good Food, Bright Fires and Civility: British Emigrant Depots of the 19th Century”, by Keith Pescod, is an interesting and fascinating book which should be of interest to those researchers whose ancestors were assisted migrants to these shores. The history of some of the emigrant depots in England is given, such as those at Birkenhead, Southampton and Nine Elms, also Plymouth, Bristol and Cork. The emigrants stayed in these depots before sailing, sometimes for just a few days and sometimes several weeks and this book tells of the conditions they faced at that time. Published by Australian Scholarly Press, the book is available at booksellers at a cost of $30.

Early Settlers Register of Hughenden and District, Qld. – The Hughenden and District Family History Society is compiling a register of early settlers prior to 1900 who lived, or were born in the Flinders Shire. Forms are available from the Society at P.O. Box 269, Hughenden, Qld. 4821.

Are You Preparing For Your Research Trip to England, Wales and Scotland? – If you want some good advice before your trip, you should attend this informative seminar on Sunday, 19th May, from 1.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m., to be held at the A.I.G.S. Library, 1/41 Railway Road, Blackburn, 3130 (opposite Blackburn Railway Station). The fee of $22 per person (including GST) also covers the cost of refreshments. The speakers will be Douglas Browning and David Thomson who will explain how to get good results in minimum time with a limited budget. Spend $22 in Melbourne and you will save £, £, £s in Britain! Space is limited so booking is essential through the A.I.G.S. Library, phone (03) 9877 3789, or e-mail aigs@alphalink.com.au

Can You help? – Goldfields Doctor – Dr. Jan Verschuer (Verschner) was a Dutch doctor believed to have delivered babies and tended sick families on the Victorian goldfields, possibly in the years 1854-1859. Does his name appear as witness on any birth or death certificates you may have? A researcher in Western Australia is trying to track the doctor’s movements on the goldfields and would appreciate receiving information about him.

Contact J. Kohlen, 37 Saleham Street, Victoria Park, WA 6100

E-mail jenkoh@westnet.com.au

(From the Melbourne”Herald-Sun”,29th March,2002)


The following is an abridged version of this report which appeared in The Rechabite of lst November, 1918, and is confined to Avoca and district.

The Examination was held on 3& August, 1918, the number of students in Victoria who entered being 999.

Where the pupils were in Grades V and VI, the grade is stated. Where no grade is stated, the pupils are in Grades VI1 and VII1.

Pupils in Grades V11 and V111 who have obtained at least 60 per cent of the possible marks may compete for a Rechabite Scholarship, one for country and one for metropolitan schools. No scholarship will be awarded to any candidate whose age will exceed 14’/2 years on V January next.

The number after each name is the number of marks gained. Where prizes have been secured, the amount is stated.

The school which obtained the largest number of passes was Avoca, with 19. The results were as follows

Avoca – Lena Beavis, 91 (13/-); Clarice Chambers, 88 (9/-); May V. E. Impey, 82; Valrnai M. Thomas, 82; Gwena A. Deeble, 80; Lavinia E. Chapman, 79; Leila Snell, 78; Neil Johnson, 70; Effie Romey, 69; Amy C. Impey, 68; George Daly, 68; Keith W. Stavely, 67; John Johnston, 67; Reginald C. Romey, 65; Eula E. Lalor, 64; Lily H. Ross, 64; Evelyn M. Johnson, 64; Jack McL. Mockett, 62; Elsie E. Watts, 62.

Lamplough – Eva Gibson, 61.

(My thanks to Jill Sebire for this interesting article, which brought back many memories to your Editor. Only recently, I came across the three story books which I have kept since my childhood days and one of those is my prize for passing the temperance exam. in 1936. Though I have long forgotten the lecturer’s name, I can still picture him in front of our Grade VI class at Coburg State School No. 484, and I recall the booklet we used at the weekly lectures and memorising the alcohol percentage in beers, wines and spirits. My book prize, “Schoolgirls’ Stories – The Carnival” still bears the pencilled cost of 3/6d. Ed.)

Portrait Photography – Then and Now – Have you ever wondered why people in old photographs were unsmiling? Well, according to a story in the August, 2001 Readers ‘Digest, the straight-laced attitudes and formality of Victorian times wiped the smiles off the faces of our forebears, but technology was another inhibiting factor, according to the curator of photographs at the State Library of New South Wales, Alan Davies. Slow exposure meant it could take up to 30 seconds to take a photograph compared to a fraction of a second today. People needed to be still and, until 1880, had their heads held in place by an iron clamp, a procedure that no doubt added to the tension and discomfort of the occasion.

Fidgety children could ruin a print. Alan Davies said most studios would only take photographs of children between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. because they needed the maximum available light to be able to catch them quickly.

He said the advent of amateur cameras – the Kodak pocket camera was introduced into Australia in 1896 – marked the beginning of more informal photos. People were able to take family snapshots on picnics or in the garden. By the end of the First World War, a smiling face was deemed more natural and led to today’s “happy snaps”.

(From the “Lithgow Pioneer Press “, October, 2001.)

Web Sites for War Records – As Anzac Day approaches, these sites may be of interest:-

Australian War Memorial Family History Services


National Archives of Australia Service Records from World War I

http://www.naa.gov.au/The Collection/Defence/Conflicts/ww1/ww1.html


Avoca Paint and Hardware Store – J. W. Summers

Baldwin, A., Avoca – Chain saws reground

Blue Moon Milk Bar – Ray Henderson

Bourke, W. – Disposal Store

Brown, S. T. – Painter (Interior and Exterior)

Burns, F. A., Avoca – Electrical Contractor

Chapman’s Store, “Albion House”, High Street, Avoca

Charlesworth, J., High Street, Avoca – Butcher

Cleary, Jim – TV

Douglas, Anthony, L.O.Sc., Optometrist and Optician – visited Avoca monthly at the

Victoria Hotel

Farnsworh, Don, Davey Street, Avoca – Bulldozing, Stumps, Dams, etc.

Gartside, J. N. G. and J. W., High Street, Avoca – Farm Supplies

Golder’s “Four Square: Store”

Grant and Peel – Builders

Harrison’s “Claudie Café” – Delicatessen and Meals

Irwin, I., Amphitheatre – Superphosate carted

Jones, K. and E. – Machine Knitted Bands for Jumpers and Cardigans

Lalor, A. F., High Street, Avoca – Chemist

Peck, R. D. – Contract Harvesting

Peel and Grant – Builders

Pora, Les – Salt

Pryse, J. W. , High Street, Avoca – Branch Secretary, MUIOOF Hospital and Medical Benefits

Redpath, A. I. J, (Ivan) – Building and Painting

Shiell, L. – Greenbank’s Pest Control and Co.

Squires, C. and M. – Bus Service

Streeter, H. A., Astbury Street, Avoca – Building Materials

Trickey, C., High Street, Avoca – Butcher

Verlin’s “Foodland Store”

Wardlaw, P., High Street, Avoca – Welding

Lexton Fire Brigade Officers, 1967 – Lexton Rural Fire Brigade office-bearers elected for the next two years are: President, E. Ball; captain, A. Briody; secretary, B. Bradley; lst Lieut., J. Briody; 2nd Lieut., S. Wheeler; 3rd Lieut., C. Grose, communications officer, H. Teague; apparatus officer, J. Fisher; wireless operators, J. Bradley, E. Ball, A. and J. Briody and R. Hunter.

Fees for membership have been fixed at $1 for homestead and first 100 acres, with 60c for each additional 100 acres or part of it. The minimum fee is $1.

The brigade will buy a second wireless to be operated by D. Ball and will also buy a small fire fighting unit for the northern area of the brigade.

(From “The Avoca Mail”, Wednesday, 15″November, 1967)

Avoca Anglers’ Club Outing – Fourteen members of the Avoca Anglers’ Club took part in a competition at Cairn Curran on Sunday last [17″‘ September, 1967], when the trout did not appear to be on the bite, with the result that only three fish were landed. The competition was won by R. Donaldson with a 2 lb. 14 oz. perch, while Roy Shimmin landed a 2 lb. 6 oz. perch in the junior section.

(From “The Avoca Mail”, Wednesday, 20th September, 1967)

Have you thought about this? Genealogy is chasing your own tale!

FEDERATION – We continue the listing of names shown on the Electoral Roll who voted at the Victorian Federal Referendum in 1899 :-


ANDREW Hugh Farmer MILLS Job Farmer

BENJAMIN Joseph H. Herdsman MILLS John Farmer

CAIN George Farmer MORTLOCK George Farmer

CAIN James Farmer MORTLOCK Thomas Farmer

CAIN John T. Farmer ROSS Donald Farmer

COATES George Farmer ROSS Duncan Farmer

EVANS Francis Farmer ROSS Duncan Farmer

EVANS Thomas S. Farmer ROSS John Farmer

HENRY Ernest H. Farmer SCOTT Thomas Farmer

MILLS George Farmer STREETER Joseph Jnr. Farmer

MILLS Henry Jnr. Farmer YOUNG Andrew Gardener

MILLS Henry Sen. Farmer


FERGUSON Donald Carpenter MORVELL William C. Labourer

FERGUSON Donald Jnr. Shearer MURPHY Alfred Farmer

FERGUSSON William Shearer MURPHY Amos Miner

GILES William S. Manager MURPHY Andrew Miner

G1LHAM Charles F. Labourer NAYLOR George Splitter

GRAY Charles Smith NAYLOR George S. Labourer

GRAY David Blacksmith NICHOLLS Theophilus Shire Engineer

GRAY David Jnr. Carpenter OPIE Charles G. Teacher

GRAY James Carpenter PAIRMAN Thomas Miner

GRAY Robert J. Smith PALMBY William Butcher

GRAYLING Richard Merchant PAMMENT Benjamin Farmer

HOWARD William Carrier PRENTICE James Farmer

KARSLAKE Edward Labourer PRENTICE James Jnr. Farmer

KARSLAKE James Miner RASDALL William Painter

KARSLAKE John Farmer RETALLICK John Jnr. Farmer

KARSLAKE Samuel Farmer ROBERTSON John Farmer

KARSLAKE Samuel Engine Driver ROBERTSON Thomas Grazier

KEATING Joseph Carpenter ROBERTSON Thomas

KELLY Edmund Labourer ROXBURGH Thomas Labourer

KELLY James Farmer SAMSON Daniel Labourer

KELLY John Labourer SIMPKIN Jonas Farmer

KELLY William Miner SRVIPKIN William Contractor

LOFTS Henry Farmer WALLIS George Butcher

LYONS James Groom WARREN John Bootmaker

Me CARTHEY John Shearer WARREN Russell Miner

Me CARTHY Thomas Labourer WARREN William Carpenter

Me DONALD Alexander Farmer WEST13ROOK James Horse Breaker

Mc ERVAL Ivie Carrier WILLETS John Constable

Me KENZIE Lachlan Farmer WINCHCLIFFE Amos Farmer

Me PHIE Norman Farmer WOODALL James Splitter

MARTIN Martin Farmer

MORVELL Evan Farmer

MORVELL Isaac Farmer