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Thank you to the members who worked to get our courthouse looking so good for Dianne’s visit. The large and very heavy display case was moved out of the workroom to make way for the new reader-printer and eventually placed on the magistrate’s bench. Sounds easy! It involved removing the panelling from the front of the magistrate’s bench, with advice from Steve Walter, and assembling 4 strong men to lift. Those advertisements for Work Cover where the worker’s back collapses took on special meaning! Help was forthcoming in cleaning and setting up the exhibits as well as cleaning the courthouse and toilet, mowing etc. A good crew of members were on hand to accept the cheque from Dianne who, as a member of the Creswick Historical Society was well aware of our needs and had many suggestions and an invitation to visit to Creswick to see their exhibits. The cheque for $3,376 will be used to replace the agricultural drains that are not working, remove the wooden plinths, slope the area adjoining the courthouse and cover with a compacted material. The steep slope will also be reshaped to allow for easier mowing. The date for finishing is February 2002.


The termite treatment has been done in the courthouse and the treatment of the surrounds will be completed in the coming week. As access to areas under the courthouse is only possible in the area of the magistrate’s bench, several trapdoors had to be cut to allow the chemical to be sprayed. However under the watchful eye of our maintenance man, John Neall, this was carried out sympathetically in areas where it would not be too obvious.


It was encouraging to see lots of members turn up to meet with Moira Petersen, secretary of the Trustees. It was also heartening to see the dedication that Moira brings to this position. She showed us the plans and answered our questions before leading us on a tour. The cemetery trust is using money from the former Racecourse trustees to have dangerous and illegible headstones repaired. Moira was also sympathetic to our request to produce a booklet similar to one published by the Buninyong and District Historical Society in association with the Buninyong Cemetery Trust.


At the conclusion of our June meeting, Janet Trudgeon gave a demonstration. It is in use on Mondays as a reader by Di Reid who is helping Janet index copies of the Echo and as a printer when a hard copy of an article is needed. The cost of using it will be Members: 20cents per sheet. Non-members: 50 cents per sheet


The working bee to start this project was held. Several members are involved in writing onto forms, information that is contained in these files. It is then entered into an ”INMAGIC” program on the PC. When it is completed this project will make available at the press of a button, where to find all the relevant information on a particular topic. For example, if a request is made for information on the name McKay, by accessing the files in FILEMAKER (articles in the Mount Alexander Mail and the Echo) and INMAGIC (family history files and catalogued articles), the whereabouts of photos, newspaper articles mentioning the family and its links to the Byron mine would be available As the people already doing this work will tell you, this job is tedious but not difficult and only involves the use of a pen! You do not need computer skills.


Some time ago, Janet Trudgeon was reading the microfilm of the ”Echo” in the year 1910 and noticed several articles about the Harry Lauder mine. Some extracts from them are as follows- 7.9.1910: Jones Bros crushed 17 tons for 51 oz 17 dwt of gold. ”About the best show since the palmy days of the Byron”. Lansell and others motored down from Bendigo on Saturday and on Monday a company was floated. Newstead speculators applied for 11,000 shares but there were only 10,000. On Monday night shares were sought at 2/- but none were available. 28.9.1910: It is queer why the reef at this spot had not been prospected before especially as the creek had washed it bare for about 20 feet. Several residents knew the existence of gold in the stone but none had ever attempted to work it. And it probably would have been allowed to remain in its natural state had not Miss Jones accidentally seen gold shining in the stone as she crossed the creek This induced her brothers to take out a crushing from where the creek formed a ledge. A list of shareholders reads like a list of who’s who of Newstead and the local poet wrote ”But we mean to pawn our trousers And even to the wowsers Are battling for to see who’ll get in first; So the views we take are broader, Pop our beans on Harry Lauder, And we do not care a tinker if we bust.” An excursion is planned for Monday July 2 leaving from the Courthouse at 1.30 to visit the site in Campbelltown. All welcome.


A cup presented to Joan Cameron in 1934 for having the best general knowledge in the YFC by Col. Lansell, has been passed on to the society. We also have a photo of Joan with her pet sheep published in a newspaper at that time.

Next meeting Monday July 16 at 1.30pm in the Courthouse.

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