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Hardly correct, as apart from Boxing Day, work on Mondays has continued as usual for most of the regulars. A meeting was held in January but there was little business to discuss and it has been business as usual at the Newstead Courthouse.



However, there has been some exciting news to announce and that is the naming of our valued member, Janet Trudgeon, as Citizen of the Year for Mount Alexander Shire. Janet has been a member of the Newstead & District historical Society since its beginnings in 1986 when she was elected treasurer, a position that she has held ever since. One measure of her efforts is the healthy balance of the Society’s funds. Janet has been much more than that. To most readers of the “ECHO”, Janet is the person who is responsible for the wonderful snippets of news gleaned from copies of the originals “Echo” one hundred years ago. So often they seem to mirror the current dramas and controversies of the present day. This is part of the task that Janet has undertaken at the Society which is to index the copies of the “Echo” that we have on microfilm. As well as the wonderful Margaret Di Fiore Index of the other local papers on file, the Janet Trudgeon Index is very valuable resource.

In so many other walks of life in the community, Janet has also been there volunteering her services. I shall no doubt miss some but I know of her efforts in the Girl Guides, the Uniting Church, the Community Centre, the “Echo” committee, the State School Mothers’ Club and committee and RE teacher, Country Women’s Association and the CFA Auxiliary who cater for the monthly dances and also are there if needed to held in the kitchen when a funeral occurs.

As well as that, Janet is also a person with a great sense of humour and a stock of good common sense that we turn to for guidance. Well done, Janet!



One of our members, Adrian Haas, has been doing research on our Newstead Mechanics’ Institute for a paper that he presented to their seminar last year. There was so much information that Adrian has continued putting it together, but more on that at a later date. The Mechanics’ Institute group are planning a bus tour to visit the Mechanics’ Institutes of the Goldfields and at Adrian’s suggestion, they plan to call in to see the Newstead Mechanics’ Institute, late morning on Sunday April 30th. We will mount a display and be on hand for the occasion.



Over the summer period, we have been given the family history of the James Martin family of Strangways. (It is a coincidence that at the same time there were two blacksmiths at Strangways – James Martin and also Thomas Martin, to whom we are indebted for his wonderful letter reminiscing the old days of Newstead).


There was also a visit by a couple from New Zealand who had connections to the Jobson family – in particular, Joseph Jobson. Joseph was connected to Strangways as well as Newstead and among their interests were partners in a bone mill. Christopher Jobson had an unfortunate accident and lost a leg after it got caught in the wheel of his horse-drawn vehicle. Christopher Jobson was one of those who urged for the establishment of a Mechanics’ Institute in Newstead. After moving from Newstead, he ran a store in Clunes and was Mayor of Clunes for some time. After his death in Melbourne he was buried in the Newstead cemetery where the metal plaque on his headstone has always been famed for its Latin inscription. All this information and more was available at the courthouse, thanks in great part to the research by Irene Cocking, and was passed on to our visitors who were most impress. Also invaluable on the day, was the ‘new’ photocopier. (By the way, the Latin inscription and translation is “Christopher Jobson, Obit XIX November MDCCCXCVII died 19th November 1897 Aetatis LXX Age 70 years)




Recently the 150th anniversary of the Victorian parliament was celebrated. Included on their web site is a list of the women who signed the petition for women’s suffrage. There were 28 signatories from Newstead and thanks to the efforts of our member Rosalie Jacobs (who was pleased to see her ancestor Mary Kyd was one of them), here is the list.

Bonnisoc, A

Buksa, Mary

Christutu, Mary

Colquhoun, F

Cook, H

Cook, M J

Crowe, Sarah

Cusack, J

Dudfield, Margaret

Horton, Mrs

Kyd, Mary

Luke, Ann Mather

McIlwrick, Jessie

McPhee, Elizabeth

McPhee, Margaret

McPhee, Mary Jane

Rowe, E F

Rowe, Jessie

Sainsbury,, Frances H

Sutherland, Margaret

Talaub, Mary


Tonkin, Catherine C

Treverton, L

Tyrie, Annie

Williamson, G

Wilson, Catherine

Wright, Elizabeth S


The next meeting is at 7.30 pm Monday 20th February


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