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


Sunday, 30 November

Our Annual Excursion will be a walk along the Yarrowee Creek, examining the LINCS program, and thinking about how the Yarrowee Track can be linked through to Buninyong. Meet at the Ballarat Railway Station at 10.00 a.m., for a walk to the Gong. Car pool to return to the starting point for lunch at a Ballarat café. After lunch, we will walk to Yuille's station at Sebastopol. Wear your walking shoes, and bring sunscreen, hat, water and snack.

At our August Meeting, our speaker was Frank Golding, a member of our Society, who spoke about the Ballarat Orphanage, based on his personal experience during the 1940s and early 1950s. Frank and his two brothers had been 'incarcerated' in the Orphanage when their parents were unable to look after them. It was very moving to hear of Frank's experience as a very small child entering the huge, imposing front doors of the Orphanage in Victoria St., Ballarat East. He explained that very few of the children were in fact orphans, and that all suffered from separation from their parents and a lack of love. Frank outlined his difficulties in obtaining access to official files from the Orphanage. He has written the story of his time in the Orphanage, which he hopes to have published. Members were fascinated and moved by Frank's presentation, and he was warmly thanked by Pat Hope on behalf of those present who felt that they had been privileged to hear Frank speak.

At our October Meeting. Neil McCracken was re-elected as President, with Ian Clark as Vice-President, Pat Hope as Treasurer, Virginia Dyson as Minutes Secretary and Public Officer, and Anne Beggs Sunter as Archivist and Newsletter Editor. Ian Clark and Neil McCracken are our representatives to the Central Highlands Historical Association.

On the motion of our Treasurer, it was agreed to raise our membership subscriptions by $5, to cover rising cost of insurance.

Our Guest Speaker was Laurie Moore, who gave a fascinating interpretation of the life and motivation for the bushranging exploits of Andrew George Scott, alias Captain Moonlite. The story has a number of local references - Moonlite robbed the bank at Mount Egerton on 8 May 1869, called at Webb's Forest Home Hotel at Yendon the same night, and ten years later, after serving his time in Pentridge, returned to Egerton to give a public lecture on the evils of the prison system. With his gang of young men, including one from Buninyong, he held up Wantabagery Station near Gundagai in NSW, at the time when the Kelly Gang were gaining publicity. In thanking Laurie, Ian Clark suggested the story of the Church of England preacher-cum-homosexual-cum bushranger would make a great movie!


A new restaurant-café called Anise has opened in the former Whykes Butcher shop in Learmonth St. David and Tina Rees are the operators. David was born in England, with 20 years experience as a chef. Tina was born in Geelong. Their restaurant succeeds Tiggies, operated by the Hayes family following the closure of the butcher shop.

The first Buninyong Farmers' Market was held at De Soza Park on Saturday 15 November, from 10.00 a.m. until 3.00 p.m. The weather was very hot, and numbers were down, but hopefully it will flourish.

Central Highlands Historical Association Family and Local History Expo was held on 2-3rd October 2003, and we had a stall at the fair. Thanks to those members who helped on the roster.

Poynton Family Reunion was held at Buninyong, 8-9th November 2003

We note with sadness the death of two well-known community members, Mrs Jean McNaughton of Buninyong and John McManus of Napoleons.

Ballarat Municipal Strategic Statement and Heritage Study

The draft has finally been adopted by the Ballarat City Council, and forwarded to a panel for comment. We were happy with the statement for Buninyong, but concerned about Mount Helen and how natural heritage will be conserved - for example the green belt between Buninyong and Mount Helen. The Buninyong Ward Residents Group have done a great job under the leadership of Neville Lowe in putting forward the key concerns of Buninyong residents. It is at least reassuring that Council has set aside funds in the next budget for an Outline Development Plan of the Mount Clear-Mount Helen area.

Saving Mt. Helen's last remnant of bushland.

The Buninyong Ward Residents Group is waging a concerted campaign to try to save the last portion of the former Hayden's residential development. This comprises a 16 hectare parcel of bushland with rich biodiversity, home to many bird species, koalas and native plant species. The development company Roadcon (who is developing the Canadian Lakes area) purchased the land a few years ago, and plans an 87-lot development to which it has given the entirely inappropriate name of 'Sanctuary'. If the development goes ahead, the birds, koalas and native plants will lose their sanctuary!

The BWRA has collected 1000 signatures in a petition to the Ballarat City Council to re-zone the land from residential to rural. Mt. Helen resident Graeme Drysdale has been a leading advocate for the bushland.

This was followed by a Public Meeting on 14 October at the Buninyong Town Hall, attended by approximately 150 people, where residents again called on the Ballarat City Council to protect, conserve and enhance bushland.


September-November 2003

We continue to get a steady stream of email enquiries from various parts of Australia, and overseas.

KILDAHL. John and Catherine and their 7 children came to Buninyong in 1855. One of the children ended up in New Zealand.

JONES. George Thomas Jones was a surveyor in Buninyong in 1853, working with district surveyor Dawson. He ended his career as Secretary and Engineer of the Shire of Ballarat and died in 1916 at Learmonth.

CLINCH Thomas and Mary (nee Cole) lived at the Hard Hills in the 1860s.

SATTELL From Peter Sattell, Western Aust, enquiring about SATTELL. (Probably SATTELL(O) of Durham Lead) There had been an earlier query about this name from England.

MILLER, Fleming From Jim Miller, of Isle of Bute, Scotland, in reply to Graeme Miller's request for information, saying he has got the family tree.

BROWNE, Frederick, of Yendon, was a farmer and lay preacher in 1880s

FIELD, Thomas and William. Thomas Field was recorded as a settler on the Leigh in 1847, and Richard Field was a hotelkeeper at Mount Buninyong in 1856.

DUNLOP, John. A query from a descendant of John Dunlop, discoverer of gold at Ballarat and later a butcher in Elaine. Our information was much appreciated by the descendant, who comes from NSW.

BURROW. We had a visit from a descendant of Arthur Charles (Con) Burrow, former Grenadier Guard and film-maker, who was the licensee of the Crown Hotel from 1900 to 1907. He is mentioned in the video Living Ballarat, with a film clip from 1907.

Anyone who may have further information on any of these queries please contact Anne Beggs Sunter on a.beggs-sunter@ballarat.edu.au

History of the Mount Helen area

Mount Helen was a farming area with tracts of bushland until the 1950s, when Buninyong began to develop after a long stagnant period. There had been a small siding on the Buninyong-Ballarat railway line called Green Hill flag station from 6 August 1895, on the rise of the hill known as Mount Helen. Locals identified the area as Green Hill, which was the name of the school and church.

Corbett & Scott established the first real estate office in Buninyong in Warrenheip St. in 1957. In the rate records new entries appeared for homes in Eddy Ave, Moss Ave and along Geelong Road. People were attracted to the area for its pristine natural environment - bushland, koalas, birds and views.

In the 1960s the developer B.E. Hayden purchased a large area of bushland between Mount Helen and Mount Clear, which it called the Helen View Estate. It was the development of this estate that helped bring the name 'Mount Helen' into popular use. By 1968 Hayden's was advertising the first release of land on the estate, with 'a glorious view from every block'. The estate was promoted as overlooking the new Ballarat Institute of Advanced Education (forebear of the present University) which was being built on 260 acres of prime farmland. Local names were given to the area - Nevett, Fisken, Darriwell etc.

Pressure to develop the area north of the township was building. A development strategy for the township of Buninyong was commissioned by the Shire in 1977. This recommended that the ridge lines around the township be guarded from development, and that a green belt remain between Buninyong and Mt. Helen.

Local authorities began to take a more co-ordinated attitude to planning by 1982, when an important Land Conservation Council report was published. This prompted Martin Westbrooke to begin a campaign to reserve 70 hectares of redundant water reserve land for an educational reserve, which became the Union Jack Reserve, formally gazetted in 1986.

The educational facility fuelled development. At first it was residential, with staff members buying land and building houses nearby. Environmental scientist Dr Pat Prevett monitored the local koala population, and warned in 1988 that the population was under threat because of loss of habitat due to continuing residential development.

Then in the 1990s came the push to develop the technology park, with green fields appropriated for developments such as the IBM Centre, the State Data Centre and Green Hill Enterprise Centre. Residents had to fight to try to stop a motel, shops and a caravan park. Currently a new site is being developed on the line of the old Buninyong-Ballarat railway line for the Victorian Ambulance Service. Another piece of natural habitat has gone in the name of 'progress', and little now remains of the railway, apart from a brick culvert over the creek, which is in bad repair.

The problem for the last remnant of bushland at Mt. Helen is that the former Shire of Buninyong zoned it as residential back in the 1960s, and the Ballarat City Council has the area zoned as residential in its planning scheme. Hence the demand to the Council to re-zone the land to rural. The problem is that Council deferred this application from the Buninyong Residents, and the Roadcon development application is likely to come before Council in the near future.

Herald-Sun Tour finale at Buninyong

Colourful lycra, helmets and expensive cycles was the order of the day on Sunday 26 October 2003, when the final stage of the prestigous Sun-Herald Tour took place in and around Buninyong.

The Herald-Sun Tour climaxes in Warrenheip St, 26 October 2003

The event attracted an estimated 10,000 people, who lined Warrenheip and Learmonth Streets for the best view of the professionals in the demanding 10.2 kilometre circuit around the foothills of Mount Buninyong and through the centre of the township.

Families were entertained with a great program of activities in De Soza Park, with sporting activities, face painting, music from the Buninyong Blues Band, and lots of food tents - reminiscent of the Buninyong Gold King Festival..

During the morning, a series of 'fun rides' were held around Buninyong, and I enjoyed cheering on the amateur riders along the Lal Lal Road on Sunday morning in the long ride. All were keen to win the prize of a trip to next year's Tour de France.

With so many visitors in town, local dining establishments and coffee shops had a very busy day, and it was a good chance to catch up with local gossip as we waited for the cyclists to complete another lap of the course.

It was a very successful day, that put Buninyong firmly on the sporting calendar. Let's hope it becomes an annual event.

Julius Lazarus of Buninyong

Derick Leather's indexing of the Buninyong Telegraph has unearthed a fascinating story of a man who lived but a short time in Buninyong, but during that time was the life-and-soul of the township.

The Buninyong Telegraph announced on 2 May 1898 that the newly appointed mining surveyor had purchased the Rev. Hastie's house and land for the sum of £280.

Buninyong's long-serving local mining engineer and surveyor Robert Harvey had died in Buninyong on 16 April, 1898. The Rev. Thomas Hastie, another pioneer, died at Buninyong just four days later, on 20 April 1898. Mrs Hastie must have moved out of the house, for it was very quickly sold to Lazarus.

On 24 February 1899 an advertisement called for tenders for the construction of a tennis court at his residence 'Lanngibanool'. This is an Aboriginal word meaning 'house on the hill', according to our resident expert, Dr. Ian Clark. As this is the first reference to this name, it is unclear whether Hastie had given this name to the property, or Lazarus.

On 17 March 1899 an article in the Telegraph commented on the busy professional life of Mr Lazarus, who in addition to his duties as mining surveyor, was engaged in preparing plans for an extensive system of irrigation bordering upon the plains along the Murray. The following year he also accepted the Honorary post of Borough Engineer. (20 July 1900)

He was also very much involved in community affairs. On 24 February 1899 the Telegraph nominated him the 'popular man of the match' at the cricket, and that he entertained the crowd with his conjuring tricks. He was noted as conductor of the Buninyong Musical Society (16 October 1899). By 13 July 1900 he was President of the Buninyong Horticultural Society, and it was noted that he had resigned as conductor of the Presbyterian Church Choir owing to pressure of business. His musical expertise was shown by a report on 16 March 1900 that he had been asked to act as judge at the Maldon musical competition.

He had a strong military interest, demonstrated by the fact that he arranged for the Army to put on a display of military gym for a patriotic entertainment during the Boer War ( 9 February 1900) and he was appointed Captain of the Rifle Club (20 July 1900).

He is listed in the Buninyong Voters' Roll of 30 September 1900, but left Buninyong soon after, for by 1901 the property was being rented by Mr McDonald, who purchased it shortly after. Further research is needed to find what happened to the energetic Mr Lazarus.

Anne Beggs Sunter,
October 2003.


30 November 2003 Excursion along Yarrowee River
18 December 2003 Our Christmas meeting
19 February 2004 Our February meeting
22 February 2004 Buninyong Gold King Festival
Back To top of page

web stats