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$663 was banked after our March Market. This was down on recent results but not our worst effort. The number of stalls was slightly less than usual but it was the general opinion that the fact that school holidays had this year clashed with our date due to the Commonwealth Games, that might have been part of the reason. However the money will be put to good use and the hope is there that maybe the November Market will be a bumper one to make up.



The Annual Meeting will be held at the courthouse on April 24th at 8 pm. (Note that it is not the third Monday as usual because of Easter.) This year we are delighted that Michael Titman has agreed to be our guest speaker. Earlier this year, Michael and Cherie went to the Antarctic and a description of their visit will make for an interesting evening’s entertainment. However they were lucky enough to have an historian on the voyage, which meant that they were allowed to visit the historic huts.

As usual there will be the annual meeting first to receive reports of the year’s activities and election of office-bearers for the coming year.



The Society was pleased to welcome Shauna Hicks and Kerry Harding from Public Records Office to the courthouse on Monday 27th March. The occasion was the presentation of our encouragement award that the Society won at the November Family History Expo in Ballarat. The award was archival material to the value of $100 that in our case was in the form of boxes and acid-free plastic sheaths for our photographic collection. We recognise the generosity in time that such a visit entails. It would be very easy to send the award but for Shauna and Kerry to travel from Melbourne is much appreciated. We were able to show them how our volunteers have been working in preserving the data, images and information and how we will be able to put the material to good use.



Monday was also the occasion of the excursion that we labelled the Jobson Trail. It was heartening to have a car load of visitors from Clunes Historical Society join us at our invitation as Christopher Jobson had moved from Newstead to Clunes where he ran a store in partnership with W T Cocking for some years, and was mayor of Clunes on two occasions.

The several carloads of participants set out for the Newstead cemetery where Christopher and his wife Mary are buried. The headstone is unusual for its Latin inscription.

The next call was to the site of Loddon Grange farm near Strangways. Although the house there had been moved in from Maldon in about the 1920s, the small brick and stone out building was much older. Its use wasn’t obvious but there was much speculation and admiration for its construction.

From there, we returned to the courthouse where a time line of events and a selection of newspaper articles where read out. Christopher had been involved in the establishment of the National school, the Agricultural Society, the Mechanics’ Institute and been a member of the first Road Board. As well as that he had with his brother Joseph, established a bone mill on Loddon Grange Farm, been the manager of the Newstead Flour Mill, run thrashing machines before moving to run the store at Clunes. Subsequently he moved to Queensland to become a sugar planter and then to the Transvaal.

Quite an achievement for one lifetime.

Christopher Jobson, Newstead Pioneer.



The next quarterly meeting of the Central Highlands Historical Association is on Saturday May 6th at 10 am at the Holy Trinity Church Hall, Gisborne Road Bacchus Marsh. The guest speaker will be Pam Baragwanath, author of “If Only The Walls Could Speak – A Social History of Mechanics’ Institutes in Victoria” Visitors would be welcome but for catering purposes, could you ring 54632160 by May 1.



An interesting anecdote has emerged since the last newsletter. Ray Petersen recalls attending the opening and being asked by F W Ellis, Headmaster, to take his cap around for donations!



Requests for information have been received for the Knipe family and along with that, the Connell family. We know that Mr Knipe was the sexton for the Newstead Cemetery and lived in the sexton’s house on the northern boundary. The presence of old shrubs and the remains of tank can still identify the site. If anyone has any information we can put him or her in touch with the researchers who would be very grateful.


The next meeting is the annual meeting – 24th April 2006 at the courthouse at 8 pm.

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