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


The Buninyong Fire Brigade Brass Band, which existed from about 1880

August 2004 Newsletter

Our next meeting takes place on Thursday 19 August at 7.30 p.m. in the Court House History Centre.

Our guest speaker will be Anne Doggett, a Ph D History student at the University of Ballarat, who will talk about the history of brass bands in the Ballarat area. Anne is researching the early musical history of Ballarat from 1851 to 1870.

Members are invited to join us for a meal at the Crown Hotel at 6.00 p.m. before the meeting.


Canadian Valley Outline Development Plan

In July 2004 we were invited by the City of Ballarat to contribute our ideas to the Canadian Valley Outline Development Plan, which is being prepared by a team of consultants. This will be an important blueprint for the future growth of Mount Clear, Mount Helen and Buninyong. After a discussion with committee members, this is the submission we presented:

In 1977, the Shire of Buninyong commissioned planning consultants Loader and Bayly to develop Buninyong Township Strategy for Development. Their basic premise was that Buninyong's appeal was based on its historic buildings and its situation as a town in a valley, surrounded by attractive natural landscapes.

This report offered several alternatives for future residential development, but a core principle was to maintain the ridge lines surrounding Buninyong free of any residential development. In particular it highlighted the importance of the green belt to the north of the township - the old 'Grammar School hill/Riley's paddock, and the Union Jack landscape at the base of Mount Buninyong. The final paragraph of that report said:

The ridge line and crests west of the Midland Highway (now Geelong Road) south of Mount Helen we regard as of paramount importance, to the extent that the area might eventually be considered for acquisition as a public reserve of an open parkland character.

We reiterate this recommendation. In recent years we have seen the important ridge line to the south-west of Buninyong vanish due to housing being permitted on the rise of Brim Brim estate. Now it the time to ensure that the northern green belt between Buninyong and Mount Helen is protected, thus preserving Buninyong's historic character as a village, and protecting the landscape views of Mount Buninyong, which has always been integral to the township.

Loader and Bayly made some important points about new developments close to the township. Such new developments must maintain ridges and height lines free of development, be entirely self-sufficient as regards sewerage reticulation, water supply, underground power and the containment of surface water runoff (Loader and Bayly, p. 3).

Mt. Helen's bushland - VCAT appeal!

The Ballarat City Council on 28 February rejected an application from Roadcom to develop an 87 lot subdivision on 16 hectares of bushland at Mount Helen. However in May Roadcom decided to appeal against Council's decision. Our Society has joined with the Buninyong Progress Association in defending the decision before VCAT.

The Buninyong Film Society held a very pleasant Winter Film Festival in July. Buninyong got into the Eureka 150 celebrations, with a showing of the 1949 film Eureka Stockade, starring Chips Rafferty. At the showing, Anne Beggs Sunter introduced the film, and David Kimpton presented our society with the old Buninyong Pound sign, which he found in a secondhand shop in Gippsland. The sign was purchased from the funds of the Buninyong Film Festival. The sign will be placed in the old Court House. Our warm thanks to David, and the Buninyong Film Festival.

Another interesting acquisition came through Jan Cinque, a former member, who presented a selection of bibles and a small photo album belonging to Mary Ann Middleton, who had been an active member of the Holy Trinity community in the 1870s. Unfortunately most of the photos are unidentified, but the items will be very useful for exhibition purposes.



David Kerr and Rachael Cameron

A letter from John Shaw of Blackbutt in NSW gave us some interesting information and a copy of the marriage certificate of the couple. The marriage was conducted at the bride's home, 'Allan Vale' at Lal Lal, on 1 December 1880. David was 32, described as 'gardener, and Rachael was 29. The marriage was conducted by Rev. Thomas Hastie, and the witnesses were Robert Kerr and Margaret Mae Innes. Rachael was the eldest of the 11 children of Donald and Mary Cameron, who emigrated from Scotland in 1852 and acquired a large farm at Lal Lal.


query from Queensland about Mary McCartney, daughter of David and Jane McCartney, who married Stephen Lewis in Buninyong in 1855Elizabeth Richards (nee Trestrail) was a publican, at the Victoria Hotel at Grenville in the 1880s. A query came from her great great grandson who lives in Melbourne. We have no information about her, but did refer to the fascinating recent book on the history of female publicans in Victoria, Beyond the Ladies Lounge, by Claire Wright.

Green Hills near Mount Doran

We have had several inquiries about this area in recent weeks, so here is the fruit of our research.

Green hills, Mt Doran Ranges, near Elaine. (The Golden Steam at Ballarat, p. 2; Three Times Blest p. 65, Dickers Mining Record, October 1863.: advertisement in Ballarat Star 24 June 1862 for labourers at "the Green Hills" ) Name seems to date from building the Geelong-Ballarat railway, with a large labourers' camp and a huge stockpile of basalt. (Pauline Holloway, Lal Lal History, 1988, p. 9)

The child of one of one of these labourers, Christeena Harrington, was born at the 'Green Hills' in January 1862. After the completion of the railway, which was officially opened on 11 April 1862. Christie Harrington, labourer, Railway Arch, Mt. Doran is listed in the Shire of Buninyong's first rate book in 1863. An entry in Bridget Harrington's diary reads:

'Sept. 1866. Paid to McNaught & Boyd the sum of 75 pounds on purchase of land situated in the Green Hills.'

A map of Narmbool marks the 'Green Hill' close to the railway line, half way between Elaine and Burnt Bridge, with a quarry marked close by. (map presented by Anne Gooding)

There is another 'Green Hill' marked on a map of land sales in Parish of Borhoneyghurk, close to Lal Lal creek, dated June 20 1857. (map courtesy of Ian McGillvray)


19 August -Thursday Bi-Monthly Meeting 7.30 p.m. Anne Doggett, a Ph D history student at the University of Ballarat, on the musical history of early Ballarat and Buninyong
1-3 October CHHA History Expo, Aquinas Campus, Ballarat. Theme 'Eureka, 1854 and All That'
21 October Our Annual General Meeting


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