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This Saturday, March 23rd, is Newstead on Show Day. Our Society is having a display of some of our photos that are appropriate to the theme of ”Transport”. As well, the courthouse will be open between 1– 4pm and we welcome visitors and members to drop in and see our collections and to make enquiries about any person or incident that we may have on file.


Thanks to all those who contributed to our March Market. It is pleasing to report that the proceeds were about the same as other March Markets – at this stage it looks as though we raised $640. The awning that John Neall has constructed and attaches to the barbeque area is a great benefit. We feel it is essential for the Rotunda Reserve to have a power point here and will again request the committee to do so when we send them a donation. Gary Gibson won the raffle and Helen Wheeler won the fruitcake for the stallholders.


The visit to Strangways was very popular. Several cars followed Jim Trudgeon to the first stop that was the site of the former Strangways School. We were fortunate to have one of our members, Irene Cocking, to tell about her time attending No. 1538 when Jim Jones was Head Teacher. From there we went to ”Pleasant Grove”, the home originally built for David Johnson, and his 22 children. Geoff Green, also one of our members, showed us the features of the house and surrounds and impressed us all with his excellent knowledge of his collection. From there it was left to a few of the hardy types to go further up the hill to the site of a Hard Hill, possibly the one we were looking for and then down to the Newstead-Guildford Road, site of the old main street of Strangways. Here, the old parish maps of the area were looked at and it was possible to imagine the thriving town, and the old blacksmith of Thomas Martin. The next excursion is on April 8 leaving from the courthouse at 1.30pm. However the destination was wrong in the last newsletter. This time we will go to Charlotte Plains and next time to Rodborough.


The annual meeting is at the courthouse on April 15th at 8pm. The guest speaker will be Daryl McLeish who has recently published the excellent book, ”In The Beginning There Was Carisbrook”. All executive positions will be declared vacant and if you wish to nominate, please contact the secretary with the details. Visitors to hear Daryl will be most welcome.


The theme for Heritage Week this year is Beyond the Big Smoke, Food and Wine. Mount Alexander Shire is having a display in the Maldon Information Centre, 30th March – 14th April. Our theme is the Butter Factory and a display is currently being put together with photos and information on the Butter Factory as it was and as it is now, housing the Newstead Winery and Oz Candles. As well, one of our members, Knowles Gray, is involved in restoring one of the old factory trucks, an Albion. The factory played a major role in Newstead’s history during the 20th century and continues to do so today in the 21st century,


Janet Trudgeon and Di Reid are busy each Monday, indexing copies of ”The Echo” on microfilm (which is then indexed on to computer along with the data from other sources, such as the ”Mount Alexander Mail” sent to us by Margaret Di Fiore). It is disappointing that although we have all the issues from 1896 when the ”Echo” started to its close in the 1960’s, all copies of the year 1903 are missing. If any one comes across any of these, when lifting floor coverings etc or cleaning out the old shed, I’m sure there would be a reward! Next year Janet will be in trouble when she writes her popular column of 100years ago in our present day paper. By the way, there are now about 16,000 entries indexed on to computer and the members from the other Central Highlands Historical Societies who came to see how our Society used Filemaker to do this, were quite impressed. Well done everyone!



March 23                        Newstead On Show courthouse open 1 – 4pm

April 8                        Excursion to Charlotte Plains leaving courthouse 1 30pm

April 15                        Annual Meeting, election of office bearers, guest speaker 8pm

May 6                        Excursion to Rodborough leaving courthouse 1.30pm


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