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The working bee held last month saw grass seed planted on the embankment under instruction from the contractor, Bryce Collie. Since then the grass seed has been watered thanks to our good neighbour Bill Pitts, who has allowed us to link hoses up to his taps. (Our block is not connected to the water supply). At the same time the block was cleaned up of old branches, timber was stacked, the floors of the courthouse were vacuumed and mopped and the toilets cleaned in readiness for our party. The reader-printer has needed another cartridge and a reconditioned one has been bought from the company from whom we purchased the machine.


What a great night! The courthouse had been made ready, an open fire and candles were lit and our table, decorated with flowers, held a banquet of goodies. The attendees ranged from the ages of 7 upwards! A former member, Baden McCall brought out some cuckoo clocks that he is restoring to show and members had a fine time chatting and enjoying each other’s company. Our courthouse is a great venue for occasions such as this and deserves to be used for fun as well as the more serious use we put it to.


November 16 is the big day. This is our major fundraising event for the year and some raffle tickets for our Christmas Hamper are included in this newsletter. Our Christmas Hamper is a great prize to win – just ask the lucky people who have won them in the past! Donations to fill the hamper, your help in selling tickets, and for those who can, help manning the stall and providing it with goodies, would be greatly appreciated. The new health regulations mean that we have to plan ahead and submit lists of what we intend to donate in the way of food products so that they can be provided to council ahead of the day. Final arrangements will be made at the October meeting or Giselle Neall will be available to answer your queries on 54762207. Over the years our food handling practices have developed along the right lines and I think that thanks to Giselle we can be proud of the way the selling of food on our stall.


The annual weekend is on October 5-6 at Aquinas Campus Mair Street Ballarat 10am - 4pm cost $5. The theme this year is Education and Trades. Our Society is mounting a display based on the life and times of F W Ellis, headmaster at Newstead 1915 – 33. Several members will man the stall on Saturday and Sunday and take our computer and records to assist the attendees with requests about Newstead This expo is a major function in Ballarat and well attended by those who seek family history information from the local societies.


The weather was not altogether springlike, but it did not deter the 35 people who arrived to join in the excursion to Sandon. We gathered inside the courthouse as Alex Culvenor explained what was planned. In a convoy of cars that probably amazed a few other motorists we followed the leader to Pound Lane where the first stop was the old reservoir now owned by Stewart and Bev Olney. From there we proceeded to White Lodge. This barn was originally the Williamson barn where apples were packed, some being sent to England and earning the impressive framed certificate hanging in the courthouse for the quality of apples sent to the London Exhibition in 1886. Elsie Barkla, daughter of John Williamson, spoke of her memories of the bam including living there while the house next door was being built. Most people were surprised at the thought of fruit trees thriving without irrigation in Sandon. The next stop was the Catholic Church and from there Alex was able to talk of the people and buildings in the surrounding area including Burke’s hotel and the schools. From there we drove to the site of the tornado where two unfortunate people in a car were killed and a strip of countryside took the full force of nature’s fury. Then it was on to Osnaburg where we saw the original wooden shingles hidden under the ceiling, admired the old buildings and their contents and had a cuppa to finish a great day. The Culvenor’s have given us photos, documents and stories of Sandon in a folder and thanks are due to Joan, Alex and Elsie for a grand day!


Our October excursion will be a simple trip along Demo track to see the restoration of the Thornhill Reef roasting kilns. The bush should be at its best and it will be a chance to put up the Parks Victoria sign and have a wander about the extensive area of mining remains there. Gather at the courthouse on Monday afternoon October 7th at 1.30 pm


Vaughan is an area that we haven’t been to for some time and a trip there is planned for November 25th. To round off the year it is planned to have a picnic lunch, to meet with David Avery and some knowledgeable locals and see the sights of lovely historic Vaughan. More details in the next newsletter,


At our last meeting, Phil Butcher approached the Society with an idea for an evening where people talk about life in Newstead in times past. He has suggested themes of gold dredging, Cairn Curran, farming etc and it is thought that the evening could include visual images, interviews, music, food etc. Some of our members have joined a steering committee to investigate the idea further.

Our next meeting is at 1.30 October 21st 2002.


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