BUNINYONG AND DISTRICT HISTORICAL SOCIETY INC.

Reg. No. A0030085Y

Web Site http://home.vicnet.net.au/~buninhis

APRIL 2002 NEWS

Our next meeting will take place next Thursday, 18 April, at 8.00 p.m., at the Court House History Centre. At the conclusion of the business meeting, our guest speaker will be Anne Beggs Sunter, who will speak about ‘The Contested Myths of Eureka’, highlighting some of the findings of her recently completed Doctoral thesis at the University of Melbourne. This will be an illustrated talk, looking at the way history is used for political and commercial purposes. Supper to follow.

NEWS BRIEFS

Planning matters are in the news, and will be important in the coming months. It will be important to let our new Councillor, Peter Innes, know our views.

Royal Park in Buninyong has been in the news over the last year or so, with the Football and Cricket Clubs soon to vacate the park for a new site near the Buninyong tennis courts. Cr Innes has proposed the idea of selling off part of Royal Park for housing, provided the State Government puts the money from the sale to the new sporting facility. A discussion at one of our cataloguing mornings led some of us to the view that Crown land is too precious to be sold off, and we should argue for retaining all of Royal Park. We ill discuss this at our meeting.

The green belt surrounding Buninyong is continually under threat. The latest proposal is a subdivision of the remaining bush land owned by Hayden Real Estate in the Moss Ave- Darriwell Drive area of Mt. Helen. This is an important wildlife corridor, which is currently zoned Residential, so Hayden’s could develop it as a residential subdivision. Residents favour a Rural Living zoning. Should our Society make an approach to Council on this issue? For discussion at our next meeting.

Holy Trinity Church in Buninyong is currently closed for some important conservation works. At our last meeting we agreed to donate $500 to the appeal, which is seeking $90,000 to replaster the interior and repair rising damp problems. If you can help the appeal, please do so.

Have you visited our Web Site at http://home.vicnet.net.au/~buninhis?Liz Lumsdon has done a great job in setting up the site, which has received many compliments. A steady stream of enquiries and requests for publications is coming through the site.

FAMILY HISTORY ENQUIRIES

A sample of recent enquiries:

Edmund Uren

John Tauschke, from Silesia, mining at New Chum Gully, and settled at Mt Clear.

Buckle family from Mt Buninyong area.

John McKenzie of Mt Buninyong (who married Phoebe Buckle)

Archibald Miller, publican at the Robbie Burns Hotel, who died in 1872.

Alexander Robertson and family. Robertson was a carpenter in Buninyong from 1850s.

Edward Porter, from Yarmouth, possibly at the Star and Garter hotel, Magpie, in 1850s.

Samuel Bulwer, at Dolly’s Creek, in the 1870s.

John Brown and Isabella Watson, in Buninyong circa 1873.

NEW PHOTOS

Our most interesting photo to be added to the collection came from the collection of the late Min Scott of Durham Lead. It is a photo of the Buninyong and District Catholic Ball on 1938. It is a beautifully clear photo, which shows our Town Hall exotically decorated.

Thanks to Dawn Whykes, on a visit to Perth, we have acquired tow excellent photos of Constable McColl, at Buninyong in the 1950s, one of Victoria’s last mounted police constables.

From the same source, a photo of the Buninyong Bowling Club in 1953-4, with the names of all the men in the photo carefully printed on the back - what a bonus!

From this month we are working with the Buninyong and District News to reproduce a photo from our collection, asking readers for information. This month’s picture is the opening of the Methodist manse in Warrenheip St. in 1933.

 

A TRIBUTE TO BON STRANGE (nee Lorensene) Photographer and Naturalist.

Bon Strange, who died on Easter Sunday, aged 89, was one of Ballarat's trailblazing citizens. Most particularly, she is remembered as a leading photographer and naturalist.

Bon grew up as a member of the Lorensene family at Scotsburn, on the southern slope of Mt Buninyong. She attended the Scotsburn School and Ballarat High School, hoping to become a teacher.

An interest in the landscape led her to photography. She saved half of her lunch money and at last was able to purchase a box brownie camera. Her uncle Albert, a teacher, was also interested in photography, and he had taught himself to develop and print films. During her school holidays her uncle gave her some lessons, and she found a helpful chemist in Ballarat who allowed her to use his equipment on Friday afternoons when the family came into the market.

Her hopes of being a teacher were thwarted by the onset of the Depression, as the Government closed teachers' colleges and put off teachers. Hence she returned to the family farm. Her interest in photography gave her a creative outlet, and she was a foundation member of the Ballarat Camera Club, formed in 1938. It met at Taylor and Taylor's pharmacy in Bridge St and Bon was the only female member.

She began to enter photos in agricultural shows around the country, and then to sell photos to national magazines like the 'Woman's Weekly'. With the money she was paid she purchased more photographic equipment, and from the 1950s took many colour slides. Her pictures have appeared in illustrated books, calendars and in the Nature Notes section of the 'Courier'.

Her special study was of pygmy glider possums, and she worked closely with the Department of Conservation and its predecessors. Bon spend many nights camped out in her tent in the bush, using a bicycle lamp as a spotlight for her camera. Another interest was in native orchids, particularly those in the Enfield Forest Park, where she named several new species.

In 1939 she married Bert Strange, soldier, grocer, geologist and local historian. With her husband she published a number of historical works on Ballarat. Her special legacy is her wonderful collection of photographs, and her work in helping to identify and conserve Australian plants and animals.

Bon Strange’s study of the Old Brewery and the Gong, Buninyong, circa 1933.

 

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

18 April 2002 - Bi-Monthly Meeting, Guest Speaker Anne Beggs Sunter on Myths of Eureka

19 April 2002 - Mechanics’ Institute Friday Evening Talks series begins.

3-4 May 2002 - Buninyong Film Festival. Friday night showing of They’re A Weird Mob. The 1966 Australian classic. Inquiries 03 5341 2266

May (Date to be set) - Excursion to Geelong Historic Records Centre.

20 June 2002 - Bi-Monthly Meeting. Guest Speaker Lorraine Huddle on Ballarat’s Planning Scheme.

15 August 2002 - Bi-Monthly Meeting - Guest Speaker Erica Nathan on Moorabool River.

17 October 2002 - AGM.

26-7 October (Sat-Sun) - CHHA Local and Family History Expo, Aquinas Campus, Mair St, Ballarat;



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