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The weather was again kind to us and another successful market has been held. At this stage, the projected profit will be in the vicinity of $650 – 700. The occasion also marked the 100th anniversary of the Rotunda and the children enhanced the scene with their colourful balloons given to them by the members of the Rotunda Park committee or to give them their proper title ‘Newstead Garden Reserve’. Karen Pierce had also made a large yellow banner that the children at school had added to the likeness of the Rotunda with their own remarks and signatures. At least one parent was taken aback by being told of its history!

The winner of the cake for the lucky stallholder was Debra Waters and she was also the winner of the Easter cake and eggs while Zac Lakey won the lovely cushion.



Unfortunately our efforts to find a speaker have not been successful so it was decided to copy the idea of Carisbrook Historical Society at their yearly dinner. That is to invite members and guests to speak for a few minutes about an article, photo or some research they are doing. The Carisbrook night is always great so it is hoped that ours can be also. So think about something that you can do and come to the courthouse on April 18th at 8 pm (note that it will be 8 pm  not 7.30 pm as mentioned in last month’s newsletter).



Peter Perry, the director of the art gallery in Castlemaine was pleasantly surprised, I think, at the number of people assembled last Monday to see the drawing by Alfred Randall of the Newstead Hotel. There are still differing views held as to where exactly the Hotel was – was it on the site in Lyons Street or was it at the original crossing place at Mingus’s crossing! Was that hill in the background really there or was it “poetic” licence? The drawing itself showed more clearly some details than the illustration on the cover of Bradfield’s book and it is probably one of the earliest reminders of our early days.

Peter also told us briefly of some of the art on display including the Buvelot that was brought in wrapped in the Age and the donor asking if they would like to have it and the painting donated by Nellie Melba – it seems the connection there was that her father, Mitchell, owned shares in a mine in the Newstead area. Very interesting and the subject for some more research!

A picnic in the botanical gardens finished a great day.



John Lawton has offered to lead us to the Maldon area to see several sites - the lonely Charlotte’s grave and the aboriginal birthing tree are two intriguing places we shall see. If you wish to come, meet at the courthouse on Monday April 4th at 1.30 to arrange transport.



Nell Ellis has donated a copy of the old school paper dated 1922 stirred some memories and this one has a photo of the Newstead school band. A postcard showing photos of some buildings in the town is not dated but would be pre 1920’s we think. This has come from John Lawton. A visit from a Queensland member, Sally McPhee, has resulted in us being given a copy of the book that Sally has written on the McPhee family – those who were connected with the biscuit factory. Thanks to all those who donate such things to the Society.



Apologies for referring to this in our last newsletter as the Heritage Week – it is indeed Heritage Month. Castlemaine is organising re-enactments and mounting displays. Here in Newstead we have a close association with the Mount Alexander Shire. Not only have we now been amalgamated into The Mount Alexander Shire but it had happened before. The courthouse in Newstead will be open on Saturday and Sunday May 14 and 15 from 2 – 4 pm. There are photos of the councillors from quite early times, permanently displayed on our walls, As well we have the wooden Honour Board showing the list of Shire Presidents from 1915 to1964. We have the two seals that were used on documents and many interesting and sometimes amusing articles about municipal matters that we will work on incorporating into a display.


Mon 4 April         Excursion to Maldon leaving courthouse at 1.30 pm.

 Mon 18 April            Annual Meeting at courthouse at 8 pm.

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