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Work has continued over the Christmas break at the courthouse. The work we have been involved was concerned with the wonderful collection of old books the Society has been bequeathed. It has been necessary to pack them into boxes and to record details such as title, author, publisher, date, ISBN number etc. We have all enjoyed this immensely and feel very disappointed to have finished. It is now time to return to the tasks that were left unattended a couple of months ago.



The theme chosen for Heritage Week in the shire is “150 Years of Local Government” as Mount Alexander Shire is celebrating that milestone this year. Newstead over the years of its local government has been amalgamated with Mount Alexander shire a couple of times before our latest amalgamation. The organising committee is arranging a launch on the first Saturday in May with a re-enactment of the first meeting. Our Society will have the courthouse open during a weekend in Heritage Festival and have a display on local government. Watch out for the shire’s brochure publishing the events.



Our March Market is on Saturday 19th March. There will be two raffles – the usual one at this time before Easter of a decorated cake and Easter eggs, and the second one will be the wonderful embroidered cushion made and donated to us by May Thornbury.

As well all the usual market features, this year is the 100th anniversary of the Rotunda. The building of the rotunda was the cause of great celebrations and it was decided to celebrate the anniversary with the committee of the Rotunda Reserve. They have arranged for a band to come, a display of relevant photos and articles, a short commemoration of the occasion followed by the playing of some old fashioned games.



Our Annual meeting is on 18th April at 7.30 pm at the courthouse.



With the scheme to sewer Newstead, plans are being drawn up for a toilet block combined with a storage area. The Shire met with us last year and it is hoped that they will be included in this year’s council budget. Our neighbour Helen Watters has offered to do them for us and the Society is grateful to Helen for her generosity. Conferences have been held to discuss our requirements and we look forward to the time when all the extraneous items such as paint tins and ladders can be out of our road.



On the front of the small blue book written by Ray Bradfield, is a drawing of the Newstead Hotel. The original is in the Castlemaine Art Gallery and we have arranged to visit the gallery on Monday March 21st at 2 pm. We will carpool from the courthouse so meet there at the usual time of 1.30 if you wish to come. Peter Perry, the director of the Gallery will address us and then there will be an opportunity to see over the Gallery and the Museum downstairs. Castlemaine has a wonderful Gallery and this will be a chance to see over it for free!


  Dated 1855, this is one of the earliest images of Newstead and it is unclear if this is on the site of the Newstead Hotel in Lyons Street or on the original site planned for Newstead on the river flats northwest of the present township.



As well as doing research for people, the Society is fortunate to receive the results of such research in the form of family histories that are connected to our district. One such one was donated to us recently. It is about the Petersen family. If you are interested to read their story or to see how other families go about the task of recording their history, it is our expanding library.



Because of the excursion to the Gallery having to be on the day and time planned for the March meeting, it has been decided to hold the meeting in the morning at 11 am.

So next meeting March 21st at 11 am at the courthouse.



Saturday 19th March  Market and Rotunda anniversary

Monday 21st March 11 am meeting at courthouse

Monday 21st March excursion to Castlemaine Art gallery meet at courthouse at 1.30 to be at the Gallery at 2 pm.

Saturday 7th May launch of Heritage Week in Castlemaine


Dawn Angliss Secretary 54762006

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