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Plans are falling into place for the forthcoming book auction. To remind you, viewing will be

Friday March 2nd from 12 noon – 4 pm

Saturday March 3rd from 10 am – 4 pm

Sunday March 4th from 9 am onwards

And the auction will start at 11 am. On Sunday the Society will sell sandwiches, cakes, slices, tea, coffee etc. Setting up for the auction will start on Tuesday February 27th at 9 am at the courthouse and final clearing up will be on Monday March 5th. During all that time help will be required. Please ring Dawn Angliss 54762006 or email if you are willing to help in any way – by attending on a particular day and time or by dropping in cakes, slices etc.



Our March Market will be on Saturday 17th March at Rotunda Park 8.30 till noon. By now our members are well versed in their tasks. However help from anyone who hasn’t been involved before would be wonderful. Again get in touch with the above contacts or turn up on the day with contributions to sell – cakes, biscuits, jams, produce or goods for the white elephant stall.



There is a constant stream of requests for research and most of them arouse our interest. However there is a couple this month that are of extra interest.

An email has come to the Echo committee and been passed on to us. In short it says that it comes from Roy Brown of Cambuslang, near Glasgow, Scotland with an interest in war graves. He has come across a World War 1 grave in his home town cemetery of a Corporal John Ritchie Wattie, 5th Bn, AIF who died aged 43 in the War Hospital in Cambuslang on 10th February 1919 from an unspecified illness, probably influenza. He was awarded the Military Cross in 1917.

Roy had found the names of his parents and siblings and feels that it might still be possible that some relatives may still be in the Newstead area.

When we first read the message we were not sure that the Newstead mentioned would be our Newstead as there are Newsteads in other states. However a check of our indexes soon confirmed that this John Ritchie Wattie was from our town. He was the eldest of a family of 11 children and his youngest brother who was 20 years younger than him, also enlisted, returning home safely also in 1919.There are reports of several marriages of his siblings so it is probable that this month’s Echo will come up with relatives still in our area.

The second story is rather involved! A reporter called Tony De Bolfo was coming to Newstead for an interview as he is writing a book about men of Italian parentage who played League football. He could remember visiting Newstead about 30 years ago to visit his great uncle Ben and was interested to find the cottage his great-uncle had lived in. Jim Trudgeon and John Butler were able to supply these details, and Tony was taken to see the cottage.

Tony De Bolfo had become interested in his own family’s history as four De Bolfo brothers came here in 1927 in a ship called the Re d’Italia (King of Italy). He traced the stories of 96 of the 110 men who came out on the ship and wrote a book called     “ In Search of Kings”

Glancing through the notes on the De Bolfo family history while waiting for Tony to arrive to view the courthouse, a connection was made with Tony’s great-grandmother who was a Cincotta from Kerang and our neighbour from Newstead Natives, Frances Cincotta from Barham. Tony was asked if he was interested to meet Frances; it was soon accomplished and a phone call established that their great-grandmothers were sisters!

Archival film has been found of the voyage out to Australia of the sister ship (Queen of Italy) that came out the preceding year and visited the same ports. Tony arranges to show the film at various venues accompanied by appropriate Italian music.

There is a distinct possibility that at some future date a showing at Newstead might be arranged!

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