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On Monday evening at the courthouse the annual meeting was held. Derek Reid has been installed as president and Derek thanked our past president, Alan Burgess, for his work over several years and presented Alan with a memento in appreciation of his efforts. It is pleasing to note that Alan will continue his efforts for the Society as a member of the committee.

 The election of office bearers was held and the committee for the coming year is as follows-

President                      Derek Reid                   54762274

Vice president              Brian Dieckmann          54752937                   

Secretary                      Dawn Angliss               54762006

Treasurer                      Janet Trudgeon 54762437

Committee                    Di Reid (research)        54762274

                                    John Neall                    54762207

                                    Alan Burgess                54762367

Public Officer               Derek Reid

Delegates to CHHA     Adrian Haas and Gordon Dawe


Subscriptions are now due – single $20, family $35 plus $5 for postage if the newsletter is posted. Contact the secretary if you want it e-mailed. In the absence of advice we will continue in the manner you received it last year.


The evening was enhanced by the guest speaker, Michael Titman who was well known to many in the courthouse, as he had been principal of the Newstead School. Earlier in the year Michael and his wife Cherie had taken a 24-day cruise to the Antarctic on a Russian icebreaker and with the use of modern technology, those present were able to share many of their experiences through a computer program that combined slides and videos of all or any sections of the trip.

The 5,000 nautical mine journey provided highlights such as seeing icebergs 60 kilometres long, realising that the only colours being seen were blue, black and white and being made aware of the way nature is in control when a storm blew up in the Southern ocean which necessitated the sheltering for three days in the icepack to ride it out.

Because permission was given for their group, they were able to enter the historic huts of the early explorers whose efforts spanned the period from 1895 to 1917. Because of the cold and the lack of dust, the huts remain just as they were when they were left with coats hanging on the wall, a penguin lying on the table and strips of whale blubber stacked outside.  Michael quickly summed up their efforts in the following way – Scott was renowned for his meticulous research, Amundsen for his speed and Shackleton for his guts and determination. By contrast is the site at McMurdo Sound where now in summer the USA has up to 1,5000 people who live in conditions the early explorers would hardly believe.

In the end the audience had much to think about – the wonder and grandeur of the present and what the future will hold for Antarctica.




In conjunction with Mount Alexander Shire’s Heritage Festival, the Society has prepared a display on Cairn Curran Reservoir which this year is celebrating (in a dry fashion!) the 50th anniversary of its opening. The courthouse will be open between 2 and 4 pm on Sunday May 7th when we hope we will have lots of visitors to view it and to share their memories and opinions of building the reservoir. Our interest in its history caused us to have an impromptu drive along the old Maryborough road last Monday ending up at Joyces Creek, the place that felt the full impact of Cairn Curran.



A bus load of people connected with the Mechanics’ Institute Society will be calling at the Newstead Mechanics’ Institute on Sunday morning at 12.45 pm during part of a longer excursion. A display of photos will be on view and a copy of a timeline of our Mechanics’ Institute will be handed out. 



There is to be another performance of the “The Thomas Martin Letter”, this time at Dig Cafe in Newstead on Saturday 20th May at 7 pm. The evening will consist of entertainment and a 2- course dinner for $25 and bookings are essential on 54762744. The Thomas Martin letter story is a fascinating one. It is part of our collection and is 27-page letter that was written by Thomas Martin, former blacksmith of Strangways, in response to a request to tell his memories of early Newstead and Strangways. It ranges over many topics and with quirky anecdotes thrown in. In response to a request from the Society, Mark Garner and Steve Walter produced a dramatised version at the courthouse on more than one occasion. It also has been performed at Boots café. This time the performers will be Steve Walter, Gordon Dowell and music by Andy Rigby. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a must!

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