BUNINYONG and DISTRICT HISTORICAL SOCIETY Inc.
NEWSLETTER

October 2001 Reg. No. A0030085Y

AT THE FOOT OF LAL LAL FALLS
1901

The Annual General Meeting of the Society will take place on Thursday, 18th October, at 8.00 p.m., in the Court House History Centre. Following the election of office bearers, our Guest Speaker will be Ted Lynes, a past president of the Central Highlands Historical Association, and member of the Woady Yallock Historical Society, whose special interest is military history. Ted will speak about his attempts to record the names of all those from the Ballarat area who have served in wars, beginning with the Boer War. Ted has been very involved in the restoration of Ballarat's Avenue of Honour.
Please bring a plate for supper after the meeting.
Note that annual subscriptions become due at the Annual General Meeting.

The 150th Anniversary of Gold Discovery in Buninyong was celebrated on Sunday 5th August, commencing a series of celebrations in the Ballarat district. Ballarat celebrated the 150th anniversary of the discovery of gold at Poverty Point by Dunlop and Regan on 21 August, With the unveiling of the Gold Monument at a prominent point at Golden Point. This is the first site on the Ballarat Gold Trail to be marked with an interpretative sign. These signs are going up at 14 sites around Ballarat over the next two months. One of the sites will be Buninyong's Imperial Mine, opposite the cemetery. This project has been partly funded by the Victorian Government, as part of its 150th anniversary of gold celebrations.

The City of Ballarat assisted by re-guilding the lettering on the Buninyong 1897 gold monument.

Our Treasurer Pat Hope was one of the leaders of the Great Dividing Trail Association's memorial walk from Ballarat to Castlemaine, tracing the route of the gold diggers. This walk took five days.

Another long-distance walk was undertaken by descendants of James Tipping, who re-enacted the walk their ancestor made from Geelong to Ballarat in 1857. 40 family members met in Geelong on 4 October, and walked about 30 km each day, camping at Maude, Elaine and Brim Brim before reaching Ballarat's Poverty Point on Sunday 7 October.

RUSSELL FAMILY REUNION
On Sunday 16 September, a reunion was held at Holy Trinity, Buninyong, of the descendants of the Rev. Garrett Russell, first minister of the Episcopal Church of England and Ireland (now known as the Anglican Church).Nandina Morris was the organiser of the reunion, and she wrote the family history which was produced for the occasion. She kindly donated a copy of the book to our Society for our records.

Family members gathered in the Sunday School Hall, which is the original building, built in 1857, which served as school and church before the bluestone church was erected in 1862. There were about 100 members present, with one member having flown from Paris for the gathering. Descendants brought many interesting photos, documents, artefacts and stories to share, and all age groups were represented. Our Society assisted in the event: Anne Beggs Sunter spoke to the gathering about the life and times of Rev. Russell in Buninyong; Dawn Whykes brought some of the archives of the church to display, and Derick lent one of his books of photographic copies. The ladies of the Holy Trinity, including Pauline Holloway, catered for the day. Everyone voted it a very rewarding experience.

WEB SITE
Thanks to Liz Lumsdon, our Society now has an excellent web site, with lots of information and photos. Already we are getting orders for publications, and new members, through the site. The address is:
http://home.vicnet.net.au/~buninhis

CENTRAL HIGHLANDS FAMILY AND LOCAL HISTORY EXPO
The last weekend in October is again dominated by the Central Highlands History Expo, at the Aquinas Campus of the Australian Catholic University, Mair At, Ballarat (just up from the hospitals). We will be having a stall on both days (27-28 October), from 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m., and we need lots of volunteers to assist. This is always a great opportunity to sell our publications, and to collect more information from descendants of Buninyong people. It is also a valuable time for seeing how other historical societies operate.
There will be a roster at the AGM.

This year the Public Remrd Office of Victoda is offering a seminar on preserving photos. This is on both days of the expo.

STEIGLITZ 150 YEARS GOLD CELEBRATION
On the same weekend, 27-28 October, Steiglitz will be holding a celebration of gold discovery, as well as a 'Back to Steiglitz 2001'. Information from Mrs F. McFarlane 03 5286 1283.

NEW BOOKS
We have been asked to bring to your notice two new books. Details will be available at the AGM;
Richard Cotter 'No Place for a Colony: Sullivan Bay, Sorrento and the Collins Settlement' ,
Price $28, including postage and handling. (Available from the author, PO Box 135, Blairgowrie, 3942)
Peter Cuffley (editor) 'Send the Boy to Sea: the Memoirs of a Sailor on the Goldfields', by James Montagu Smith.
Five Mile Press, 2001 Price $24.95 (email publishing@fivemile.com.au)

LAL LAL FALLS
One of the most significant heritage sites in our region is the Lal Lal falls, once a favourite attraction, now virtually forgotten.
Thus I was pleased to attend a meeting at the Lal Lal hall to discuss the future of the Lal Lal Public Reserve. This meeting was called by the Moorabool Shire Council, with Councillor Tom Sullivan in the chair. Moves are afoot to prepare a conservation management plan for this public reserve, a long-overdue move.
Other bodies interested in the reserve are the Central Highlands Water Authority and the Department of Natural Resources and Environment.
This reserve has a long cultural history. It is a place of great spiritual significance to the Aboriginal people because the falls were known as a resting place of Bunjil, the great spirit of the Wathaurung people.
White settlers soon discovered the special attraction of the falls, and in 1857, following a campaign waged by the Ballarat Star, it became one of the first public reserves, containing " the beautiful waterfalls which should be preserved for the public."
The reserve became a popular destination for all sorts of recreation - there were race meetings and picnics, and the area became a mecca for artists and photographers. A branch railway line was even built from Lal Lal to the reserve to cater for the huge crowds attending the annual New Year's Day races, which came to an end in 1939.
Later the falls became a popular spot for abseiling until a tragic accident in 1990, when two schoolgirls were killed, brought a ban on such activities and the walking track down to the base of the falls was closed.

Re-opening of the walking track is one of the issues to be considered in the management plan. There are many issues to be considered relating to the history, geology and ecology of the area. Anyone with an interest in contributing to the plan should contact the Moorabool Shire.

Anne Beggs Sunter

Falls of the Lallal [Lal Lal] Creek, 112 feet high, branch of the Moorabool near Buninyong
by Eugene Von Guerard, 1854

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

18 October (Thursday) - Annual General Meeting
27-28 October (Sat-Sun) - CHHA Local and Family History Expo, Aquinas Campus, Mair St Ballarat.
Includes free PRO Seminar on Conserving Photographs.
9 December(Sunday) - Excursion to Geelong and Christmas meeting. (Location of Learmonth's station , junction of Moorabool and Barwon, Buckley's cave, Foster Fyans. With Peter Alsop of the Geelong Historical Society.)

Don't forget to visit the gold exhibitions.
At the School of Mines, above the cafeteria in Lydiard St, an exhibition which includes W. Baragwanath of Durham Lead.
At the Gold Museum, a lovely exhibition relating to Gold in Ballarat and District.
At the Melbourne Museum, a spectacular exhibition of gold in its international context. Costs money, but if you like beautiful things, a must see! Look out especially for the miners' brooches - some wonderful examples of the craft of our goldfields jewellers.

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