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The date for our annual get- together is Saturday 23rd of September at the courthouse starting at 6.30 pm. To those of you who are unfamiliar with this event, we feel we have a lovely venue that is used for our work but also lends itself to be a place to come and celebrate in a relaxed atmosphere the results of a year’s work and to enjoy each others company with some nice food and drink. Everyone brings a plate of something to share, a drink if you wish while waiting will be an open fire, tea and coffee and some pleasant company. We are delighted when our members from out of Newstead make the effort to join us on that night. Newstead has a motel – “Whispering Gums” 54762533 that is highly recommended.



To get the place spick and span we propose to have a working bee on Monday morning about 10 am on September 11th. The grass will need to be mown, rubbish collected and burned and the inside of the courthouse swept and dusted. Any help will be appreciated.



Details are being finalised for the launch of our book on the Newstead Mechanics Institute. It will be at the Newstead Mechanics’ Institute (strange that!) on Sunday 12th of November at 2 pm. Pam Baragwanath, who has written a book about Mechanics’ Institutes in Victoria has agreed to be the person to launch it. This is the culmination of an exciting project and we are very proud of the book and its author Dr. Adrian Haas. Write the date into your diaries to be there to celebrate on the big day.



Last week we had a visit from Saide Gray, who wanted information concerning a project she is involved with. In the course of talking with members that day, Saide was aware that we could be of help in another direction. She would like to canvas our opinions for her thesis and I quote from Saide’s email to me.

“The long title of my research is the Sociology of Change as enacted by community members, farmers, extensionists (agricultural and ecological) in relation to dryland salinity and sustainable agriculture. The short title is Social Change and sustainable agriculture in North Central Victoria, with a particular interest in Newstead.

My interest in talking to the Historical Society is that I am hoping for an historical perspective on issues members have noticed from their research that appear to have affected significant or less significant social and environmental change in the area. These may be changes in population numbers or sorts of people coming into the area; it may be new government rules about farming or business; there could be a lot of different factors, even some unusual ones, that I am hearing from some people about what has affected their family decisions. So this could be from the history of the area and/or from people’s own family experiences.

My questions are:

  1. What changes have you noticed in the area from your experience and your research?
  2. How have these changes affected people and/or the environment in the past?
  3. How are these changes affecting people and/or the environment now?

Basically we have a group conversation that I record on iPod. The stories are then put together with all other stories I have and analysed for themes about social change.”


Our members were keen to be of help and we have arranged that Saide will come again on Monday 4th September at ‘cuppa’ time (10.30) to have the discussion. Many of our members are ideally suited to be able to offer their opinions on this subject.



Our Society decided that it would be advantageous to have our own copies of microfilms of the Mount Alexander Mails as well as the full set of copies of the Newstead Echo. Enquiries were made and it was discovered that for a purchase price of about $2,750 we could have the copies from when the Mail started to 1903. This will cover the time before the Echo started in 1896 and also cover the year 1903 in which no copies of the Echo have been found. The films have arrived and we are looking for a suitable storage place. Our other films are in a glass-fronted case so if anyone has such an item to offer us we would be pleased to accept.




Monday 4th September 10.30 at courthouse discussion with Saide Gray


Monday 11th September 10am Working Bee – bring rake, mower etc


Sunday 17th September Maryborough Family History Day at Maryborough Resource Centre Theme is “Local Industries Past and Present” 10 am– 4 pm


Monday 18th September 1.30 meeting at courthouse


Saturday 23rd September at courthouse 6.30 pm “Party”


Saturday & Sunday 28 & 29th October Family History Expo at Ballarat “This Sporting Life”


Sunday 12th November Launch of Book 2 pm at Mechanics’ Institute Newstead


Dawn Angliss Secretary 54762006  Derek Reid President 54762274

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