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March is market time again. The date is March 18th and we make the usual appeal for help. The ‘team’ has the routine well in hand but help on the day would be warmly welcomed. Our supply of articles for the white elephant stall is rather low so if there are books, household goods etc at your house that could be cleared, we would be glad to take them. The usual donations of produce, cakes, biscuits, jams, plants etc would also be appreciated.



We were saddened to hear that one of our valued members died last week. Irene Cocking was a great supporter of the Newstead Historical Society. After growing up at Strangways, Irene was a source of information about that area and generous with hospitality on the occasion of our visit there in search of memories of the dredge. As well, Irene had put together the family history of the Cocking family and had donated her research to us. It will be used this month when the Society runs an excursion that we have named the Jobson Trail. At market times, the Society was glad to receive very generous donations of goods to sell. Our sympathies to her husband Bob and her family. We shall miss her.



As mentioned in the previous paragraph the next excursion will be on Monday 27th March meeting at the courthouse at 1.30. We have named it the Jobson Trail and it will consist of readings of articles and history that will cast light on the role that Christopher Jobson and his brother played in the early days of Newstead before moving to Clunes.



Public Records Office will be visiting the courthouse to present the encouragement award the Society won at the Ballarat Family History Expo. We have suggested the occasion of the next meeting as a suitable time – that is Monday 20th March and we are waiting their reply to see if it is a suitable date for them. It would be encouraging if the courthouse had a good attendance on that occasion.



The names that we have had requests for information about are - the Foletti, Knipe and Judkins families. In fact the Foletti and Judkins researchers will be visiting the courthouse on Monday March 6th –Judkins in the morning and Foletti in the afternoon. Please get in touch if you have any information to contribute. (54762006)


The next meeting is at the courthouse at 1.30 on Monday March 20.

Space allows us to include an item from our collection this month. The cairn these days is in good order having recently had the gold lettering renewed although the direction marker on top has gone. It is also worth noting that Major Mitchell receives all the accolades and no mention is ever made of his second in command, Stapylton, who felt very much slighted and was soon after murdered on a subsequent expedition in Queensland.



This photo shows the opening of the Major Mitchell cairn in Newstead Rotunda Park that took place on October 8th 1936, a hundred years after Major Mitchell’s journey. The men in the photo are from left to right – S Hauser Shire Secretary, F W Ellis, B Blinkhorn Shire President, C Daley, G Jenkins, C H Jenkin, H Hansford, C E Long who was a former editor of the Education Department School Paper, C R Long, Col. Field, and C Atkin.


A page from the Victorian Historical Magazine says

“ On Thursday, 8th October, another commemorative cairn on Major Mitchell’s route was unveiled at Newstead, on the Loddon River, where the expedition crossed in going onward to Forest Creek on the return journey to the Murray. The cairn was erected by the Newstead and Mount Alexander Shire Council, in conjunction with the Newstead Progress Association. Situated on a pleasing knoll in the public park, with a verdant background, it is a conspicuous feature from the road near the State School. On a substantial stone base around a core of concrete, the cairn under Mr Hauser’s (Shire Secretary) direction has been skilfully built, rounded water-worn pebbles being firmly set into the facing, producing a pleasing and effective memorial. Messrs. C R Long, H Hansford and C Daley, representing the Historical Memorials Committee and the Society, were met at the station by Messrs F W Ellis, and G Jenkins, of the Progress Association: and welcomed and entertained at dinner by the President, Councillor Blinkhorn and the Council of the Shire. A visit was made to the State School where short addresses were given by the visitors. At 3 pm, before a large gathering, the President Councillor Blinkhorn, introduced the visitors, Messrs. Long, Hansford and Daley and Lieutenant-Colonel Field, who gave addresses dealing with the famous expedition of a century ago, its local connexion, personality of its leader, the results arising from the enterprise and the progress of the memorial movement to mark the Centenary. Votes of thanks to the visitors, and those who had carried out the project so successfully were accorded. After experiencing further hospitality from Messrs Ellis and Jenkins and inspecting the local butter factory, the visitors returned to Melbourne, having participated in a very successful commemoration and spent an enjoyable visit.”

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