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The July meeting was held in the evening. This was the first of what is going to be an arrangement of holding meetings in the afternoon at 1.30 one month and then in the evening at 8 pm in the next month. It was pleasing to see that some members, who had been unable to attend our afternoon meetings, were able to come to the evening one. Next month we will be back to the 1.30 time slot for those members who are not able to come at night.



There is no excursion date set for our intended visit to the Public Records Office yet but it is still our intention to go The dates requested are either Tuesday September 14th or Tuesday August 31st and we intend going by rail. More information as soon as we hear from the PRO.



We received an interesting letter from a newcomer to our area that the National Film Archive now called Screensound, has 2 films about Newstead. The first one made in 1940 by G McGeorge, is a 15-minute film about the gold dredge. The second one is also by Mr McGeorge and is of 5 minutes duration showing a family picnic. ( Mr McGeorge was the manager of the Newstead dredge). Our Society is very interested to obtain copies of them and is in negotiation with Screensound. Decisions need to be made as to which quality of copy to order and whether to get them as a video or as a DVD. It will add to the considerable information the Society already has about the dredges –maps, interviews of former employees, photos, magazine articles and the book written by Mr McGeorge.



This week five members of our Society accepted the invitation of the Carisbrook Historical Society to join them at their annual dinner at Caroline’s restaurant. It is really a very pleasant evening and a great occasion to meet with members of our neighbouring Societies. One feature of the night is that members are invited to have a 5-minute ‘Show and Tell’. The items shown are varied and interesting and ranged this year from an old metal toy wind-up ship modelled on the Titanic to the photographs of Post Offices in the goldfields area that is part of a larger study to be on display soon. Our member Dorothy Clark linked her contribution to the 150th anniversary year of Cobb& Co. Dorothy showed a photo of her father who trained as a wheelwright at Hawkey and Skate in Newstead before moving to Donald and working for Bolden Brothers. One of the wagons he made was for a family member which after its short working life was preserved in a good condition before being sold to a collector of such things. He turned out to be a Mr McNee from “Lambrook”, Fryerstown for whom Dorothy’s son Bruce now works as a mechanic. So the old wagon that was shown in a photo is still in the care of a descendant of the original maker!



Our Society is delighted to have been donated a copy of this book written by Jan Harper. On the occasion of our excursion to the site of the former biscuit factory in Maryborough Road, Sally McPhee from Queensland who was able to join us on the day, had a copy of this publication. We wrote to Jan to ask if we could purchase a copy. It is a continual source of amazement to see the work that dedicated people have put into researching and recording the history of their families and the generosity in giving us copies of their work. It is now in our library and available for members to take home and read.



Our Market days at Rotunda Park have benefited over recent years by the provision of shade to the area around the electric barbeque. On many occasions the sun coming onto the cakes and food has caused concern. So in recent times John Neall has devised a system of awnings with detachable shade cloth to protect our produce. One activity that also needs shade is the area where people sit to have a cup of tea or coffee. It was decided to buy one of the custom-made gazebos for this purpose. This has been done and we are ready to face the heat and flies with added protection!



The theme for this year’s Expo is “1854 - Eureka and all that”. No doubt the Ballarat Historical Societies will have lots to display. We were able to win the prize for best display a few years ago when the theme was Education but since then our efforts have been rather feeble.  If any members have any ideas to help us come up with items for ours, we would be very glad to hear from you!


Meanwhile work goes on at the courthouse on a Monday morning. The new computer and equipment is in demand. Brian Dieckmann has put many indexes onto it and is involved in the task of scanning our 600 or so photographic images. Janet Trudgeon and Di Reid continue to index the “Echo’ and their efforts are put onto our Filemaker system by Beverley Gray and John Neall. Dorothy Clark is filing hard copies of newspaper articles sent to us by Margaret Di Fiore, Cherie Lawton is working at home on oral histories and typing up the taped talks of past guest speakers and Derek Reid has started indexing the rates records. The mammoth task of putting onto Filemaker, Margaret Di Fiore’s newspaper index has been done and is in constant use. Not many weeks go by without a visitor or requests for research.

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