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Plans are well in hand for the Heritage Walk. We have decided to produce more than one brochure, each one to have its own theme, and the whole to cover the majority of the 70 stops we have identified. Some of the themes could be ’Floods’ (a great topic in Newstead with some great stories), ’Law & Order’, ’Churches’, ’Government Buildings’, ’Houses with a Story’, ’Social Life’, and all of the other things that come to mind. This way we needn’t have one A3 walk so cluttered and busy that it would be off-putting and we will be able to include some of the anecdotal material we all love.

I am pleased to be able to tell you that when I outlined this idea to Peter Skilbeck wearing his official hat, he told me that the Shire is intending to create a wall of walks brochures in the Castlemaine and Maldon Visitor Information Centres. He says that he will be able to ensure that the Newstead walks will join all of the others from throughout the Shire and that future copies will be the responsibility of the Shire, thus ensuring the continuance of our material, free of charge to the public.

We also thought we would have a launch of the walks, inviting the community, and especially the school students, to join us to trial the walks and to join us in an ’old-fashioned’ picnic, perhaps at the river. But more of that soon.


We have had offers of more computers from members - thank you very much to those concerned. During the winter it is difficult to keep our workers warm but as the better weather approaches it may be possible to find working spots for added equipment. But we will also need added workers! There is plenty of work to be done and it is easy and interesting. Please let us know of anyone we could approach to invite to be part of the team. One member suggested that perhaps the teen-aged members of our community might like to assist during the holidays. We would be very grateful! If you have any ideas at all please phone Liz on 5476 2430.


Recently, in a conversation with Wally Butler about Mingus’ Crossing and the bridge at Park Hill (what else does Liz talk about these days), Liz asked Wally if he had any idea where the Joyces Creek School Register might be - we have been trying to track it down for some time. As a result Wally paid a visit that afternoon with a wonderful pile of material to donate to the Society, and there was the Register. Liz is now busy entering the data to the computer so that it can be accessed for researchers and so that the Register can be put away, protected for future generations.


Just when we thought we were getting on top of the Mount Alexander Mail entries, we received another lovely parcel from Margaret Di Fiore. It is such a joy to receive the material that we just resign ourselves to not finishing quite yet. Thanks Marg! Well done! We also received a very interesting article from Miss Adelaide Mackie, via Rosalie Jacobs on the Dredge. The article tells the story of ’our’ dredges from the beginning and throws light on previously unknown aspects. Thanks to Miss Mackie and to Rosalie. The article will be placed in the Dredges file so have a look at it when you visit. Or if you phone Dawn she will arrange to have a copy made for you at the cost of photocopying.


Our application for the microfilming of the remainder of The Echo, by whatever name it is called has been forwarded for consideration. Our claim was for $6,200, a lot of money, and we wish it ’good sailing’. If we are not successful we will be looking for other avenues of funding, perhaps the philanthropic groups, because Liz has discovered that access to the hard copies of the papers from 1921-1968 will be limited. Apparently several of the bound copies are deemed to be fragile and for ’serious’ research only. Does anyone have any ideas about this’?


The next meeting of the society, on Monday September 18 at 1.30pm at the courthouse, will have John Tully as guest speaker. The last time John was here he spoke about his book ”Djadja Wurrung Language of Central Victoria”. This time the topic will be ”A Difficult Case – An autobiography of a Chinese Miner on the Central Victorian Goldfields by Jong Ah Siug” which has been translated and annotated by Ruth Moore and John Tully. In his preface, John gives credit to Ruth to whom fell the bulk of the work of the translation and the writing of the introduction and who, regrettably, did not live to see the book in print. Jong was arrested in 1867 and charged with wounding two other Chinese men at Bealiba. He was found not guilty on grounds of insanity and was sentenced to be kept confined at the Governor’s pleasure. He was kept in gaol until, after an attack on warders, he was transferred to the lunatic hospital at Yarra Bend and then in Sunbury Asylum where he died in 1900 after 33 years in confinement. It was while he was at Yarra Bend that he wrote his story in an attempt to obtain justice. John says that ”to do so, he had to manufacture a notebook, learn how the roman alphabet and learn several hundred English words and how to spell them”.


Our next excursion is planned for a Saturday. This is because David Bannear has agreed to lead us into the Muckleford forest to see some of the mining sites there. We will meet David on the Blow Mine track just off the Pyrennees Highway at 2pm on Saturday September 9. For those who wish to, we will meet at the courthouse at 1.30pm and the opportunity will then be, to car pool to the Blow mine track. The first sites will be Gardners Gully and Green Gully. This will be a great opportunity to meet David, the author of the book that has been the source of information used on our previous trips!


Last call for those outstanding memberships... last newsletter to the unfinancial!



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