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Thank you for making our market such a success! We were blessed by good weather and despite our usual concerns about how many traders and buyers would turn up, the results were great. In anticipation of a smaller return, paid advertising was cut down. A final figure has not been arrived at, but we took over $1,000 compared with the usual amount of about $600. Plenty of competent helpers were there and we were given a new batch of ’white elephant’ articles that helped arouse interest and added to our total profit. In thanks for our good fortune, we decided at our last meeting, to give $100 of our profits to the refugees from the Afghanistan crisis. We hope that this meets with your approval. The awning that John Neall had made from shadecloth worked well and John is going to make another section to provide shade to the northern area of the barbeque area that we use. We will also make another request to the Rotunda Park committee for power points to be installed there instead of us having to have leads running from the Rotunda. Winner of the Christmas hamper raffle was Steve Cheers, granddaughter of members John and Patricia Ewing. The two Christmas decorations made and donated by May Thornbury were won by our worthy president Alan Burgess and ”Dot and Arn”! The lucky stall- holder who won the fruitcake was Hailey and family.


This event is run by Central Highlands Historical Association at Ballarat every October. We participated, along with about 30 other groups, and members manned our display on both days. There was steady interest in the information we had to offer and we sold a few of our booklets. In turn, we patronised the other displays. One of the interesting books was the recently published book “In The Beginning There Was Carisbrook” by Daryl McLeish and as a result of seeing it there, we have decided to buy a copy for the society.


Our last excursion, led by Jack Polinelli to the Young Australia mine was great. Several images remain in the minds of those who went, not the least of which was the sight of Brian Dieckmann risking all to get a photo, lying full length on the ground with his head in an adit! There was a lot to see, puddler, shafts, adits, alluvial activity and dam. Then Jack took us to the unnamed area. At least 3 deep shafts showed that there was considerable mining conducted there and we are now on the track of finding out information about it. Derek Reid took the co-ordinates and is following up the trail of research. A reef of rock of spectacular proportions was worth seeing.

Derek has also been speaking to the owner of Charlie’s Hope mine at Welshmans Reef. The owner is willing to show us the workings there, including we hope, the stamper. This will be our finale for the year and we will have Christmas breakup cuppa afterwards. On our way we will also see the site of the rifle range. Bill Pitts has recently pointed this out to us and it is worth sharing. This excursion will be on Monday afternoon December 3rd, leaving from the courthouse at 1.30pm.


The 10 copies of our booklets have all sold so we are in the process of doing another batch of 10 of each. We have some orders already. ”The Thomas Martin Letter” ”Early Days of Newstead” ”The Newstead Cemetery” each priced at $10 and at a discount to members at $5!


The chairs that were bought with money from the Volunteers Grant are in use and greatly appreciated.


We have been approached to host the March meeting in Newstead and look forward to meeting members of the other societies in the Central Highlands Historical Association and sharing our courthouse and collections with them.


Bruce Minty has sent us considerable information on Reverend George Minty and family. George succeeded Reverend Sutherland who was the first minister of the Presbyterian Church in Newstead. George’s wife and child died during his time here so his stay in Newstead was an unhappy one. We have also decided to buy a copy of Dorothy Howard’s latest booklet on the Thompson family. These efforts by people researching their own families add to the picture we get of the early days of our area.


The Monday research morning and opening of the courthouse will continue over the holiday period except for Monday 24 and 31 December. The next meting will be on February 18 2002. The newsletter will go into hibernation until then too! In the meantime we look forward to seeing you on Monday December 3” for our excursion and wind-up afternoon tea.

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