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

December 2004 Newsletter

Our next meeting takes place on Thursday 16 December at 7.30 p.m. in the Old Library.

There will be a demonstration of our new Cemetery database, a huge project successfully brought to fruition by Neil McCracken.

Please bring a plate for our Festive supper to share with a glass of champagne.



At our AGM on 21 October, Ian Clark was elected as our new President. Congratulations Ian, and thanks to retiring president Neil NcCracken for his very active term. Ian lives at Clarendon, and is a lecturer in tourism at the School of Business, the University of Ballarat.

Visit to Ercildoune. On 16 November 2004 Anne Beggs Sunter and Mary Akers were invited to visit Ercildoune, where the owner Mrs Christine Deever showed us around the house and grounds. Christine has lavished great efforts on the house to restore it from a fairly derilict state when her family purchased it, and the interiors have been decorated in the appropriate style of the nineteenth century. The house was built in stages, with the first being a small timber structure on stilts, built when the Learmonth brothers first took up the run. Christine has been collecting the history of the property and its owners, and another guest for the visit was Mrs Lilly Bailey, the great granddaughter of Sir Samuel Wilson, who purchased the property from the Learmonths in 1870. We have applied for a grant to publish a biography of Sir Samuel Wilson, who was also associated with Narmbool.

It was a proud day for Peter Hiscock and Mary Akers when Premier Bracks came to open the new Education Centre at Narmbool at the end of November. The new building has been carefully blended into the landscape, and will enable school groups and others to spend time at the property and learn about the environment and our Aboriginal heritage.



Francis McGill was the publican at the Caledonian Hotel when he died in 1894, aged 75. This Irishman was one of our early settlers to the district, when his daughter Frances was born at the Tarrowee Creek, Buninyong, in 1841. He and his wife were most probbly employed by one of the local squatters. We would like to know more about this interesting family, and would appreciate hearing from descendants.

TRAIT of Mount Buninyong

Query from Don Richardson, whose great grandmother was Rose Richardson, nee Trait, a daughter of Michael Trait. Rose married John Richardson and they moved to Warracknabeal where she died in 1913. Her son moved to Queensland.


Samuel Goode established the Buninyong Telegraph, and had a family of seven sons and one daughter. Samuel was the first Town Clerk for Buninyong, and as well as operating the newspaper, operated as a printer for the district. He and his sons were keen cricketers.He died in 1893.

Pateman of Magpie

Rex Harcourt has discovered that Robert Pateman, born at Magpie on 28 August 1856, went on to play cricket for Victoria in 1880, when he had the distinction of being the only first class cricketer in Australia to play in this 'everyday clothes'. At the end of the day he was ready to leave the ground, when his captain called on him to bat unexpectedly, probably as nightwatchman. As he had already changed from his whites in preparation for going home, he was forced to go onto the ground in 'everyday attire'. He played club cricket for Ballarat and Richmond. Rex wonders if anyone knows anything of the Pateman family of Magpie?

TONKIN vanilla jar

Via the internet, we were sent this interesting photo of a vanilla jar which was produced by Ern Tonkin, the grocer in Warrenheip St. during the early years of the twentieth century.

Tonkin's vanilla bottle

Vale Kit Scott of Durham Lead. (1915-2004)

Catherine Lucy 'Kit' Scott was a lifelong resident of Durham Lead, who died peacefully on 1 December 2004. She was born at Durham Lead on 4 July 1915, the sixth child of Thomas Scott and Minnie (nee Kinsey), who married in October 1903.

Kit lived her whole life in the wooden house on the main road at Durham Lead, with her sister Min who died in 2001. Both her grandfathers were English, and grandmothers were Irish, and she always found great consolation in her Catholic faith.

Her father was a carpenter, who did a lot of bridge building work, working especially with Harold Irwin, a civil engineer from Ballarat, trained at the Ballarat School of Mines. Her father also worked at the Gun Cotton factory in Latrobe St, Ballarat, during World War Two.

One dramatic local incident was the destruction of the Durham Lead Bridge in a flood on 1 December 1933. Tom Scott was the last person to walk over it, and because of his fear about its stability, he rang the Buninyong Shire Council office to warn them of impending danger. The bridge did collapse, causing great disruption to commerce in the area, until it was repaired.

Mrs Minnie Scott took over the job of running the Durham Lead Post office from Mary Lockyer on 13 December 1912. The Post Office was built in 1862 and for many years also housed a butcher shop and general store. Mrs Minnie Scott remained as Post-mistress till 1952, when her daughter Kit took over. Kit was Post-mistress until 14 May 1976, when the Durham Lead Post Office closed. Before the Scotts came, the front part of the living room had been a butcher shop.

Kit's brothers Tom and Vince engaged in farming, mainly sheep, with a few cows.

In an oral history interview for the Buninyong and District Historical Society, Kit recalled that a hotel stood right opposite their house - the Pioneer Hotel . As a child she spent a lot of time at the hotel, a wooden building, During World War One, she would attend Red Cross meetings with the Charltons, the owners, at the Durham Lead Hall, at the School, which was gone by World War Two.

Father Gleeson was the Catholic priest in the 1920s, who rode a motor bike, and would give Kit a ride to Hardies Hill, to the church of St. Mary of the Nativity, which was moved to Buninyong in the late 1950s after it ceased having regular services. It was later shifted by Vince's daughter back to Pioneer Lane. The church was on the block next to the Garibaldi school.

Durham Lead never had a Catholic Church. The Primitive Methodists had a church up the lane near Wells's, and one on the Hardies Hill road not far from Paul Martin's house. A Presbyterian Church stood on the main road, near Sandy's Hill Rd not far from the school, whose site is marked by nine Cypress trees, which were planted as a war memorial.

Kit attended the Durham Lead school, which was burnt down in 1930, and the school operated in the Presbyterian Church for 12 months until a new school was provided. The Scotts were the only Catholics at the school. The other Catholic family in Durham Lead, the O'Loughlins, went to Garibaldi school. The pine trees around the school were planted as a memorial to the soldiers of the district who had served in World War One. The school finally closed in 1941.

Kit completed her schooling in 1931, right in the depths of the Depression. There was no possibility of paid employment, so she worked at home, and home was always everything to her. She never wanted to move. She helped her brothers with the cows, and her mother in the post office.

Bread came from Buninyong - Hedrick Jones, who delivered bread in the middle of the night, and would come into the house, deliver the bread, and put the light out as he left!

Three grocers visited Durham Lead - Tonkin, Whykes and McKenzie, all from Buninyong. McKenzie came on Monday, and brought his goods with him. Others would take orders on Tuesday, and deliver on Thursday. Jack Issac was another grocer, who picked up the orders, then delivered later in the week. The Scott sisters were still getting home delivery of groceries until 2001, by the Wards of Buninyong.

Kit was never 'under Dr. Longden', but he called to see other family members. He had a red car, and his wife wore a gossamer veil which was the same colour as his car.

The butcher came twice a week - Jack Gilbert on Tuesday and Saturday. The fruiterer, Mr Andrews, came from Buninyong and brought lollies. Charlie, a Chinese hawker, came once a year, with manchester and clothes. He had a big horse and a wagon.

After Min died in 2001, Kit continued to live at the old family home, even though her eyesight was very poor. She did not want to leave the old home. Kit died on 1 December 2004, at the Ballarat Base Hospital, where she was taken in her final illness. She was buried at Buninyong after a requium mass at St. Peter and Paul's Catholic church.

STONEMAN, Elsie May (1884-

Daughter of Mr Stoneman, the carriage-maker, who lived at the corner of Winter and Palmerston Streets, Buninyong in late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She was a keen photographer and like Emma Poynton, photographed the exceptionally heavy snow fall in 1905, with one view of the family garden, 'The Pines', and another view of Eyre St. looking towards the Temperance Hall. She also advertised that she gave pianoforte lessons. Derick Leather has been adding to our database of photos, and amongst recent acquisitions from the Stoneman family comes this delightful portrait of young Elsie, in the garden of her home.

Elsie Stoneman, photographer, in her garden in Winter Street, Buninyong, early 1900s


16 December Our Christmas meeting, with a festive theme. 7.30p.m., at the Old Library.
20 February 2005 Buninyong Gold King Festival

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Membership Renewal

Reg. No. A0030085Y

Dear Member,
Your annual membership subscription was due from the October Annual General Meeting. Your subscription provides the following benefits:

  • opportunity to promote the study, recording, collection and preservation of the history and heritage of the area covered by the former Shire of Buninyong.
  • regular mailing of newsletters (six times a year)
  • regular meetings (six times a year)
  • excursions
  • free access to the Society's research collection of documents, indexes and photographs
  • opportunity to participate in cataloguing workshops
  • opportunity to be a volunteer guide at the Court House or the Old Library.

We value your commitment to the Society, and would appreciate receiving your subscription as soon as possible.

Please detach this section and return with your subscription to The Treasurer,
The Buninyong and District Historical Society Inc, P.O. Box 98, Buninyong, Victoria, 3357.

I wish / do not wish to renew my Membership Subscription for the year 2004-5


$25 Ordinary members
$35 Families
$20 Students and pensioners
$20 Corresponding members/Associates





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