Reg. No. A0030085Y

Web Site http://home.vicnet.net.au/~buninhis
PO Box 98, Buninyong, Vic. 3357.


Our First General Meeting of the Society for the year will take place on Thursday, 20th February, at 8.00 p.m., in the Court House History Centre. Our Vice-President, Ian Clark, will talk about place names. Ian is currently Chairman of the Victorian Place Names Committee, and he has published a book and CD-Rom on Aboriginal Place Names of Victoria. He will outline ways to develop our listing of historical place names. Please bring a plate for supper after the meeting.

Note: A number of annual subscriptions have not yet been paid.
Could you please send your cheque as soon as possible, especially now that postage has gone up considerably!

Charles Travis Mackin, 'Buninyong', circa 1853, Watercolour, Ballarat Fine Art Gallery

Internet Queries

From Alexander Sloss, Scotland, asking for information about our books. On reply I discovered that Sandy was related to George Innes. Sandy is a descendant of Sutherland Innes, the brother of George, and knew very little about the Innes clan in Australia. I sent him some biographical data I had compiled thanks to Innes family members in Australia, and he was thrilled to add it to his family history. One of Sandy's sons is named Innes! We are now trying to work out how Sandy can purchase one of our books, as we don't have credit card facilities - an issue the Internet raises!

From Glenys Rasmussen in Idaho USA. Glenys enjoyed our Website, and points us to her Website (www.quietacre.com/History.htm) which carries her biography of Thomas FASHAM, an early blacksmith in Buninyong and member of the Borough Council in the 1860s.

From Randal Young in Melbourne, another descendent of Thomas Fasham and also William and Elizabeth HALL, who were at Brown's Diggings in the late 1850s. The Holy Trinity Baptisms Index came in handy in helping to identify both the Fasham and Hall families.

From Jeffrey Mercer, enquiring about Alfred James MERCER, born at Ballarat East in 1919, and who served in WW2. Mercer is on the Napoleons/Enfield WW2 Honour Roll, and he purchased a plot of land at the Buninyong Cemetery.

From Yvonne Szwedyc, enquiring about James PAGE, born in Buninyong in 1849. He married Theodora Clayster in 1885.

From John Crawford of Western Australia, asking about his ancestors the CRAWFORD family of Grenville. Andrew Crawford was at Hardie's Hill at least as early as 1869.

From Graeme Miller, who is researching his ancestor Fleming Miller, who had a water race in the Buninyong area in the 1850s.

If anyone can help with any of these queries, please contact Anne Beggs Sunter
(a.beggs-Sunter@ballarat.edu.au, or tel.53417618)

Sunday at the Court House

The Court House History Centre was buzzing this month. We had a visit from Randal Young, following his Internet contact. With our new photocopier on hand, we were able to give him copies of his ancestors' entry in the Holy Trinity Baptismal Register.

Two ladies from Donald called in, with information about Geddie Pearse and his brother, 'Specific Pearse, of Hardie's Hill.

Andrew Lee completed his review of the rate index to identify residents of Yendon. Andrew is working on a very detailed history of the Yendon area.

Stuart Skewes called in with more treasures for us. Stuart regularly gives us copies of fascinating material. This time he had a photo of a group at the Buninyong Rifle Butts, taken about 1903. He gave us a digital copy. Stuart specialises in ephemera, and had material from the Buninyong Masonic Lodge, the Buninyong Primary School, the Methodist Church and the Butter Factory. We are enormously grateful to Stuart and his brother Bob, who have contributed so much to our collection.


David Karmouche, son of the Rev. Alfred Karmouche, has given us some interesting notes on his father's time as the Presbyterian Minister at Buninyong between 1944 and 1948. David remembers driving his father in their old Essex to services around the countryside - to Myrniong, Mt. Egerton, Scotsburn, Clarendon and Grenville. David was only 15 when he took over the wheel from his father who was a somewhat erratic driver with failing eyesight! David recalls the great character of Buninyong at that time as Harold Kyme Hobson, the Postmaster, who had three sons, the eldest of whom was Cedric, who won a DFC (Distinguished Flying Cross) for his service in the Australian Air Force during World War 11.

Richard Connell C.E.

Thanks to our new members, Ian and Dorothy McGillivray, great-grandchildren of Richard Connell, for this contribution.

1836-1920 Richard Connell was born in County Westmeath, Ireland, in 1836 and studied Civil Engineering at Trinity College Dublin. He migrated to Australia in the early 1850s.

He married in 1857, and had three sons and three daughters.

In 1860 he was living at Mount Doran, on Allotment 35 which consisted of 20 acres of land. Three Cypress trees planted by him survive into the 21st Century. He was employed as a surveyor in the Lal Lal-Elaine area by the company constructing the Geelong-Ballarat railway. His next job was as a surveyor for the Lal Lal Waterworks Association to map out the races from Lal Lal to Dolly's Creek and Tea Tree Creek at Morrisons for mining purposes. The races followed the contours of the land as the water ran by gravity but not too quickly. This project lasted for about three years and the race opened in 1863. The main distribution dam at Mount Doran was known as Barker's Dam and this was very close to Richard Connell's allotment.

In 1881 he left Mount Doran and went to New South Wales where his son John T. Connell operated a drilling rig boring for artesian water near Bourke. Richard did some more surveying work near Ivanhoe. Water was taken from a tributary of the Lachlan River overland for 100 miles or more. This is known as the Willandra Billabong.

In 1894 Richard was back in Victoria at Spago Creek where he had the Cosmopolitan Hotel and 80 acres of land. In about 1900 he bought 20 more acres and had a store and Post Office. Here again he planted more long-lived trees consisting of three Sequoia Giganteums, the largest being approximately four feet in diameter and 100 feet high. He also planted an Atlas Cedar and several Cypress.

He is buried at the Morrisons Cemetery.


15-16 February
Buninyong Gold King Festival, with a variety of walking tours on Saturday, leaving from the Town Hall, from 9.00a.m., led by members of our Society. On Sunday our Court House and the Old Library will be open, as well as the Old Court House during the afternoon. After the Grand Procession, there will be a Cemetery Tour at 3.30p.m. The RSL is holding a Military Display in their Hall.

Thursday 20 February
Meeting, 8.00 p.m., Court House History Centre Saturday

1 March
CHHA Quarterly Meeting, Trentham, 9.30a.m. for 10.00a.m.

Thursday 24 April
Buninyong Meeting.' Introducing Buninyong's History', a Panel Presentation with Beth Ritchie, Derick Leather and Anne Beggs Sunter, especially for new residents of Buninyong.

Thursday 19 June
'The Chinese on the Goldfields', with guest speaker Jim Quinn, an expert in Australian-Chinese history and culture.

The photograph below is a new addition to our collection, a postcard of the Gong taken in the early 20th Century, giving an excellent view of the old Brewery. This postcard was donated by George Eason of Buninyong. The Gong looks very Spartan - rather like it is now, after a big clean-up last year, and with very low water levels because of the Drought.

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