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Our treasurer, Janet Trudgeon has been most impressed with the response to the ‘tear-off’ section of last month’s newsletter. Thank you to those of you who have rejoined and a gentle reminder to those who may have forgotten, that subs are now due.

 Family $35

Single $20

Plus postage $5 if the newsletter is mailed to you.



The visit to see the cemeteries at Guildford and Vaughan was enjoyed very much. Frank Passalaqua met us at Guildford and had information to pass on to us. The first burial was in 1872 of a Swiss man. The gates were built by George Tullo, a local blacksmith and donated by George and Dick Hill in 1930. In 1934 there was a big working bee and the palm tree was planted at this time. Twenty years ago a large gutter was dug to stop water runoff from the hill behind. It was obvious that there has been a dedicated band of workers over the years to keep the cemetery in the fine order that we saw it.

Vaughan, by contrast, seemed to wander on into the bush setting with the headstones of some Chinese to be seen at the far end of the cemetery. The whole setting seemed appropriate for an old mining town that had seen more exciting times. Some of the more modern burials had chosen natural rocks for their headstones.

As usual, there were the touching stories that could be gleaned from reading the details on the headstones.



A visit to the RSL building in Castlemaine is planned for Monday June 6th – an appropriate day as it was pointed out that this the anniversary of the D-Day landings in WW 2. As usual, we will gather at the courthouse in Newstead at 1.30 to be at the RSL building at 2 o’clock.



Our society has been given a superseded computer from the Public Records Office in North Melbourne. All we have to do is make arrangements to pick it up. Is there any member who would be able to help us in this regard? Please ring me (54762006) if you are able to help.



A copy of “Maryborough Gaol” written by Bruce Osborn has been donated by Bruce, a photo of the flying fox across the Loddon from Maureen Heagney, “Gold’n Spa” document of the history of the Hepburn shire written by Norm Darwin and the family tree of the McPhee family tree from Sally McPhee.



In connection with the Shire’s theme of ‘150 Years of local Government’, we have mounted a display in the courthouse of the history of local government in Newstead. We found we had a wealth of material and it was matter of deciding what to leave out rather than scratching around to find enough. Over the years, a Roads Board and then a Shire of Newstead have governed us. In 1915, 2 more ridings were added and we were known as the United Shire of Newstead and Mount Alexander. In 1949, the name was changed back to the Shire of Newstead until amalgamation in 1994 when we became part of the Shire of Mount Alexander.

Among our archives are some wonderful historical documents. One that we have put on display is the original tender and documentation for the building of the levee bank in 1911 after the disastrous floods of 1909.

On display also, are many photos of the council members over the years, accounts of council meetings and a report of the special meeting to decide on building the levee bank. The newspaper accounts of the decision to bring in 2 more ridings in 1915 make interesting reading. There was considerable manoeuvring to see that they wouldn’t be overrun by the Newsteadites and as for deciding on the shire president and the salaries of the 2 shire secretaries…well! Because of the frank and accurate newspaper reports, it is possible to get a clear picture of council doings in early days.

Our volunteers were on duty during the weekend of May 15 and 16 when the courthouse was open. A few (very few) interested visitors came to see the display but it will be there to be seen for some time yet. If you have not yet seen it, please call in. If Monday mornings don’t suit we would be happy to open at another time.



The next meeting will be at 7.30 pm June 20th at the courthouse.


 Our visit to Guildford cemetery in May

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