Excitement for Geelong

A Whirr of Many WheelsThis afternoon I was at the Victorian Community History Awards for 2013 … lots and lots of people to catch up with … Weston & Janice Bate and heaps of others.  Just as we were being mustered towards the seats I spotted another familiar face and bounded over to say hi to Rod and Anne Charles.  It must have been fate because there I was sitting beside Rod after all the Category winners and commendations had been announced …

That was when they announced the winner of the Judges’ Special Prize ……. YES !!!  It was our Rod!

Congratulations Rod from all of your mates in Geelong & District – it’s a fantastic award and a really deserving winner.

I confess that there was a bit of cheering and shouting from the back row but all for a good cause!

Now Rod just has to finish Volume 2 and Volume 3.

I know the Public Record Office sent an embargoed Press Release to the Geelong Advertiser – not sure which of our other papers – I hope you guys are all paying attention and follow up on Rod winning this prestigious State award.

Three cheers for Rod !!!

A full list of winners in each category is now available on the PROV web site.

P.S. We have a copy of Rod’s book in our Genealogical Society of Victoria library.

Bush Nursing at Forrest and District

Bush Nursing at Forrest & DistrictA new book has been published by the Forrest & District Historical Society Inc – Bush Nursing at Forrest & District: accidents & recoveries.

It tells the story of the Bush Nursing Association in Forrest, formed in 1914, through to 1940 and includes sawmilling and district accidents & deaths.

The book is available from the Geelong Family History Group – $15.00 plus $4.00 postage.

The index contains 671 entries and has been included in the Geelong & District Database.

United Service Home

United Service Home, DrysdaleMajor-General TULLOCH opened the United Service Home at Drysdale on Wednesday 2 July 1891.  When he arrived in Victoria as commander of the Victorian military forces in 1890, he was appalled to discover that a number of old soldiers and sailors of the Imperial forces were homeless and destitute in Melbourne.  Funds were raised to build the Home which was to be used for two classes of pensioners: those requiring a little financial assistance [sustenance] and those requiring somewhere to live.

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the United Service Home, Eric Hourn published “A Drysdale Romance” featuring “United Services [sic] Home”.

This publication is still available from the Bellarine Historical Society and includes lists of residents and sustenance recipients.  Since this list was compiled, further research has enabled the Society to update some details of names and dates.  A new research project commenced to properly identify these men from the updated alphabetical list.

The first soldier selected was Jeremiah BROWN – one of the first eight residents of the Home.  We certainly didn’t expect to uncover the details that emerged from this research!  The story of Jeremiah appears in the June 2013 issue of Ancestor, the quarterly journal of the Genealogical Society of Victoria.  This edition of Ancestor is on its way to members and subscribing libraries and will shortly be available for purchase through the GSV Online Shop.

Jeremiah BROWNJeremiah may not have been what he said he was, but you just can’t help developing a soft spot for him!  And the old saying “you learn something new every day” was so relevant for Jeremiah BROWN.  The Waterloo Cyclorama in Melbourne was as fascinating as the story of Jeremiah.

What will we find when we research some of the other residents of the United Service Home?  Perhaps one of your ancestors or relatives appears in the list – why not check and see?

Winner of 2011 PMI Short History Prize

Prahran Mechanics' Institute: Short History Prize [2011]The winner of the 2011 Prahran Mechanics’ Institute Victorian History Library Short History Prize was our very own Dr Peter Mansfield.

Most locals involved in family or local history in Geelong & District will know Peter and his involvement with many groups.  He has been convenor of the Geelong & District Historical Association, on the committee of the Geelong Historical Society, guest speaker to many of our societies, and formerly CEO of the Geelong Regional Libraries.  He has researched and written many articles on some of his favourite subjects including Free Libraries and local politicians.

Able, gifted, trustworthy and disloyal: the political fortunes of Henry Bournes Higgins, MLA for Geelong, 1894-1900 is the title of Peter’s winning entry.  Peter has very kindly provided us with a copy for all to enjoy.

Congratulations Peter!

Irish in Geelong and district – INDEX

The Winchelsea girls are amazing!  Di and Joan have finished indexing the 1,700+ pages of the CD publication Irish in Geelong & District.  This has resulted in 33,452 index entries being added to the Geelong & district database.

IMPORTANT: – the CD publication isn’t a list of ALL Irish who came to Geelong & district but a HUGE number of records that may include your ancestors – if not you’ll certainly get an understanding of the wealth of information available in our region.

Details on the publication can be found on our web site.

Day 1 – Victorian Expo

Wow – day 1 of the Victorian Expo (Geelong) was terrific – caught up with heaps of friends, didn’t stop talking ALL day [surprise anyone?] and we launched our new “book” [CD] … Irish in Geelong & District.

What a great day – and there’s still time for anyone to get along to the second day – today – and that’s where I’m heading now.  Hope to see some of you there.

I know I’ll be doing plenty of talking again today – 2 presentations – “Look local: it’s not all on the web” and of course my favourite “Sewerage records” – the one that has everyone laughing and completely gobsmacked by the end at this wonderful resource.  And if anyone has heard this before, you might want to hear it again – some terrific news about Sewerage records – something exciting that happened VERY recently that you might find just a tad interesting!

Irish in Geelong & district – NEW publication

Am I excited?  You bet I am!  Just over a year ago Pam Jennings & I published Scots in Geelong & district to 1860.  The obvious question from people was when are you going to do the Irish one?  Of course we replied – “can’t be done”!

OK – we’ve proved ourselves wrong.  At the Victorian Expo tomorrow we’re launching Irish in Geelong & district.  This publication will ONLY be produced on CD and there will NOT be a print-on-demand version.  Why?  Because there are 1,711 pages!  That doesn’t include an index because the book is in Acrobat (.pdf) format and is fully text searchable.  Also the A-Z section is in surname order for easy browsing.  Mind you, it takes a while to browse 1,700+ pages.  At a later stage the full index will be added to the Geelong & district database.

It isn’t a list of ALL Irish who came to Geelong & district but a HUGE number of records that may include your ancestors – if not you’ll certainly get an understanding of the wealth of information available in our region.

The CD will normally be $30 and details on how to purchase a copy will appear on the Geelong & district web site after the Expo, but for an Expo special it can be purchased at the Victorian Expo on Friday 2nd or Saturday 3rd September for $25.00.  Visit us at the Geelong & District Historical Association stand at the Expo – Table 18 – and make sure you visit all the other Geelong & District Historical Societies and Family History groups in our block of tables 13-24.  We’ve got heaps and heaps of books for sale from our region.

And if you haven’t booked to attend the Expo, don’t worry.  Anyone can come and it will only cost you $5.00 to get in.

It’s now less that 24 hours to the start of the Expo – and I’m sure my to-do-list includes more items than there are minutes before it all starts!

See you there!

From Native Creek to Teesdale 1837-1900

The index of this new book has been added to the Geelong & District Database.

From Native Creek to Teesdale 1837-1900 was written and published by Dianne Hughes.  The index contains 2,360 entries of people, places, organisations and subjects relating to the the town of Teesdale, formerly known as Native Creek.

The book was launched on 2nd April 2011 – copies are available from the Geelong Family History Group.

Farmland, Forest & Surf: Environmental History

New book index added to Geelong & District Database.

Farmland, Forest & Surf: Environmental History, prepared by Dr Carlotta Kellaway (1998), revised & updated by Dr David Rowe (2009) as part of the Surf Coast Shire Heritage Study Stage 2B (2009).  This publication of the Environmental History from the Heritage Study was produced by the Surf Coast Shire (2010).

Introduction: The Surf Coast Shire’s special landscape features and natural beauties have been identified over many decades as factors that have contributed to its popularity both as a holiday and resort place, and a desirable place to live and work.  Although close to Melbourne and to Geelong, Victoria’s second largest town, the Shire (an amalgam of parts of the former Shires of Barrabool, South Barwon and Winchelsea) is notable for its attractive natural features and relatively undeveloped condition.  It includes coastal holiday places along the Great Ocean Road, large areas of national park and forest reserves, and extensive pastoral landscapes.

This publication includes the following chapters: The Natural Environment; Arrival and Settlement; Economic Development in the Shire; Transport and Communications; Towns; Governing the Shire; Holidaying at Surf Coast; Community Life; Housing; and an extensive bibliography.

The Waterholes: a history of Drysdale on the Bellarine

New book index added to Geelong & District Database.

The Waterholes: a history of Drysdale on the Bellarine, written by Lynette Willey and published by the Bellarine Historical Society Inc.  The index contains more than 740 entries of people, places, organisations and subjects relating to the the town of Drysdale and the home of the Shire of Bellarine.

This book was launched at the historic Coriyule homestead – home of the Lady Squatters – in 2011.  Copies are available from the Bellarine Historical Society.

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