Buninyong and District Historical Society Inc.

Reg. No. A0030085Y
Web Site http://home.vicnet.net.au/~buninhis
PO Box 98, Buninyong, Vic. 3353.


June 2008

Opening the new Walking Track from Lal Lal to the Moorabool Falls, Sunday 25 May 2008
Mary Caddy (nee Burns), Ursula Diamond-Keith and Pauline Holloway bless the waters of the Lal Lal Creek

Our June meeting takes place on Thursday 19 June at 7.30 p.m. at the Court House History Centre. Our guest speaker is our own Peter Hiscock, who was our founding President in 1982 and played an important part in recording Buninyong's heritage in the 1980s. He and his wife Yvette have lovingly restored their early house, Ballantrae, which is on the Victorian Heritage Register. Peter will speak about the Coates family who were the early owners of the house, and give his thoughts on heritage protection in Buninyong.


Buninyong Heritage Walks launched

On Friday, 18 April, President David Kimpton presided at the launch of the new book Buninyong Heritage Walks at the Buninyong Court House History Centre.

We have produced 2,000 copies of this illustrated guide to Buninyong's buildings and natural features. Four colour maps are a feature of the book, which was compiled by Neil McCracken, who revised an earlier walking booklet. Production was assisted by a grant from Telstra Country Wide through the Ballarat Community Fund. Michelle Coxall of Buninyong Books assisted with proof-reading and made a donation to the production costs, as did Buninyong Ward Councillor Peter Innes through his ward fund as a Ballarat City Councillor. The book, which retails at $5 a copy, is available from outlets in Buninyong and Ballarat. Bill Mundi, Telstra Area Manager, represented Telstra Country Wide, and Michelle Coxall was also present. Peter Innes sent his apologies.

Our Society would like to take this opportunity to thank Michelle Coxall for her wonderful efforts in promoting Buninyong since she opened her delightful second-hand book shop in the Old Library. Its well-organised shelves provided food for the mind, a good place to find out what was happening around town, and just a lovely relaxing environment to browse. Michelle was also most generous in notifying our Society of important works that came onto the shelves, including a copy of the Rev. Hastie's sermons, which we were able to acquire for the Society. We will be regular visitors to Michelle's new shop in Sturt St. Ballarat, and we wish her well in her new enterprise.

Correction to detail about life of George Eason. Paul Eason, son of George, contacted the newsletter to make a correction to lthe last newsletter as follows: George Walter Eason was born on 27 September 1912, and died on 4 April 2008 He was born in Simpson St, the seventh child in a family of eleven born to William James Eason and Charlotte Arthur Eason (nee Spencer).


April 2008 -June 2008


At Cargarie 1868-1889


From County Clare Ireland, were in the Buninyong area, and may have been related to the Hayes family of Hardies Hill. Query from Perth

HOCKING, George and Lucy

At Enfield in the nineteenth century, where they raised a family of eight children.


Lived in Buninyong, ie., Laurence and his wife Kate, and his father Walter Middleton who had a wife Eliza Jane Peake. Some of the Middleton's married into the Wylie family ie., Walter Middleton [ Laurence's brother ] married Johanna Wylie. Laurence's father was Walter Middleton & Walter's father was John Middleton and his wife was Elizabeth Goodwin. If anybody knows anything about the families could they please contact Graeme Middleton, 18. Brolga Crescent, Wandana Heights, Geelong 3216, email hgmiddo@tadaust.org.au

If readers know anything about any of these names, and can help, please contact the secretary, Anne Beggs Sunter, a.beggs-sunter@ballarat.edu.au.

Buninyong Bursting its Boundaries in 2008

History is being made all around us. 2008 will be remembered as a year of phenomenal growth - driven by developers and the Ballarat City Council, and not necessarily by the people of Buninyong.

The biggest impact on our township is the Roadcom development, Tandara, a 93 lot subdivision just outside the township boundary opposite the Golf Course. By a mistake of the old Shire of Buninyong, this block of land was zoned residential and purchased by a resident, who built a large house that surveyed his rural estate, and everyone was happy. But in 2006 the owner decided he would cut up his property and sought planning permission for a residential subdivision. There were many objections on grounds of negative impact on the character of the area, impact on traffic, water and the environment. But in the end the application was approved by the Ballarat City Council, moved by our own Councillor Peter Innes. Roadcom subsequently took over the development, and called it Tandara. (Apparently Tandara is an Aboriginal word from the Kerang area of Victoria that means 'camp here'.)

Another development is Sutherland Heights in Learmonth St., below Hastie's Hill. This is Ted Sutherland's old property, loved for many years because of Ted's big draft horses which he would harness up behind his mower. The old quarry and pound on Lal Lal St. are part of this block which will soon disappear into residential blocks.

The third rapid development is Barkly, part of the original Barkly property built by the fellmonger and Buninyong Shire Council member John Kelsall in the 1870s.

In our commercial sector, work will soon begin on the new supermarket in Learmonth St.

Lal Lal Falls to the Moorabool Falls: opening the new walking track, 25 May 2008

Walkers cross the Lal Lal Creek at the beginning of the walk to the Moorabool Falls

Sunday 25 May 2008 was a great day in the history of Lal Lal. Over 500 people gathered at the Lal Lal Falls Recreation reserve to inaugurate the new walking track linking the Lal lal Falls with the Moorabool Falls, both part of the reserve which was set aside for the public in 1857.

The Lal Lal Falls Reserve Advisory Committee has been working over the last four years to improve the reserve, led by chairman Geoff Hewitt. The committee is appointed by the Moorabool Shire Council, and has received a number of grants to upgrade the previously neglected reserve.

The committee has worked on a number of projects, including removal of pine trees from the recreation reserve, upgrading barbecue and recreation facilities, improving interpretative signage, and marking out new walking tracks.

The new walking track from the Lal Lal Falls to the Moorabool Falls covers a distance of 2.4 km each way, embracing a very picturesque track that follows the top of the gorge above the West Moorabool River as it heads into the Bungal Dam. The track crosses native grassland, and a forest gully, before reaching the Moorabool Falls, a popular resort in the nineteenth century.

Committee member Erica Nathan, who has recently published a history of the West Moorabool River called Lost Waters, took the initiative in gaining a Community Arts Grant from the Shire of Moorabool to mark the opening of the track.

Visual artist Kath Chapman from Garibaldi was commissioned to paint a series of banners that would decorate the track, representing the involvement of the Buninyong Historical Society, the Lal Lal Primary School, the Ballarat Field Naturalists and the Kireet Bireet Aboriginal Cultural Centre.

Two Scottish pipers provided musical inspiration for the walkers at all points along the track. The proceedings began with a welcome from Councillor Tom Sullivan, and a welcome to country and smoking ceremony conducted by Ted Lovett, an elder of the Ballarat Aboriginal Community, who reminded all present of the sacred meaning of this place as the resting place of Bunjil, the great spirit of the Wathaurung people.

Then three long-standing residents of Lal Lal were invited to pour water from the Lal Lal Creek into a bowl as a ceremonial baptism of the new track. The three citizens were Mary Caddy (nee Burns), Ursula Diamond-Keith and Pauline Holloway. Pauline has been particularly helpful in sharing her historical knowledge of the area.

After the speeches, the more than 500 walkers were invited to follow the pipers in crossing the Lal Lal Creek and walking to the Moorabool Falls, where Central Highlands Water provided a marquee and transport back to the starting point. The walkers ranged in age from three to over eighty, and everyone coped well with the demands of the track. Some picnicked at the Moorabool Falls, whilst others took advantage of the BBQ facilities at the Lal Lal Falls.

It was proclaimed a great day by all those who attended. Acknowledgement was given to the members of the Lal lal Falls Reserve Advisory Committee, the Moorabool Shire Council and its staff, Central Highlands Water and Imrays Minerals from Lal Lal who all gave financial assistance to the event.

The Lal Lal Falls Reserve can again bask in its status as a leading natural heritage site in the region, offering a variety of scenic attractions and walking trails to visitors.

Hiscock and Hastie Awards at Buninyong Primary School

Doug Bradby, Frances Winnell and Neil McCracken visited the school in April to present the inaugural Hiscock and Hastie awards for local history, the result of projects with Grades 4 and 5 students in 2007. With Doug Bradby as the enthusiastic guide, the students had fun walking around Buninyong, climbing the mount and visiting the cemetery. Their projects are on view in the Old Library. Donations from local businesses and our Society enabled book voucher prizes to be awarded for the best projects, and history resources to be given to the school. A very successful project, which we hope will continue to involve young people in our history.


Thursday 19 June 7.30 p.m., BDHS Meeting, Court House History Centre, guest speaker Peter Hiscock on Buninyong's heritage
Every second Monday morning at 9.00am
from Monday 14 April
Cataloguing. We work for two hours, then take coffee at a local cafe. Helpers always very welcome!
1st Sunday of each month Court House open from 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.
3rd Saturday of every month Buninyong Farmer's Market, from 9.00a.m.
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