A lot happens in a short space of time …

Purple ChipsIt was scary looking at the date of the last blog I posted for Geelong and District – FAR TOO LONG AGO!  But I have some good reasons …

  • There have been TWO Geelong & District Historical Association quarterly meetings (the second was yesterday at Birregurra)
  • I have done SIX presentations to various groups / events (including the Don Grant Memorial Lecture for VAFHO as part of the Family History Feast at the State Library of Victoria).
  • I have moved house (after more than NINE years) AND managed to keep my nine largest bookcases full of books.  For a historian my new home is in the heart of historical Geelong – not the “new” Geelong on Corio Bay but the original old Geelong beside the Barwon River – the area now known as South Geelong – and it’s just beautiful.  I can’t wait for some warmer weather and longer daylight house to explore the area more on foot.
  • And MOST importantly I have a fantastic full-time job (after 22 months of being unemployed).  My position is Administration Coordinator with Bellarine Memories / Kings Funerals.

So what does the picture above have to do with all of this?  A lot actually!

I mentioned that yesterday we had our Geelong & District Historical Association quarterly meeting at Birregurra – a picturesque and historic town at the foot of the Otways.  Our meetings are for representatives of family history societies, local history societies, and museums in our region.  They are great meetings and attendees can take all sorts of useful information and ideas back to the members of their own groups.  The beauty of these meetings – although we sometimes have a set topic for the second hour – is that you just don’t know what comes up in the “around the room” session – some fascinating, useful and informative items.  After our two hour meeting, we continue chatting over lunch – the traditional country “bring a plate” lunch.  That’s when I sampled the PURPLE CHIPS in the picture above.

BirregurraShopsThe potatoes are specially grown by a local and after some enquiries I found out that the Provedore next door sold the chips – of course I had to purchase a packet (two in fact) before heading home – they were really yummy!  In this image, the Provedore and Cafe are on the left right beside the Birregurra Historical Centre on the right.

Although I will be adding HEAPS more information in my post-meeting newsletter, there was another important piece of news that I’ll share with you here.

Another one of our groups has a brand new web site – the Colac & District Historical Society Inc. – an attractive web site with plenty of information – hopefully you’ll all add it to your list of favourites / links.

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Ocean Grove PreSchool

Ocean Grove Preschool logoDid you or someone you know go to the Ocean Grove Preschool?  In September this year they are celebrating their 50th anniversary and they are looking for anyone who attended the preschool in The Avenue.

The Ocean Grove preschool opened in 1965 and they still have an original set of chairs that were hand-made by a local person in the 1960s.  They would love to hear from anyone who attended or who has photos – and of course for you to join in the celebrations.  Visit their web site and make use of their contact form.

Does anyone know the name of the “local person” who made their chairs – I wonder if it was Gil McKeown?

What are your memories of the OG Preschool?  Share them with us!

150 Years – thank you Peter BEGG

Geelong First 150 YearsOn behalf of all local and family history researchers in our region I’d like to say a huge Thank You to Peter BEGG who has retired as a full time journalist at the Geelong Advertiser.  Peter was responsible for the magnificent publication Geelong~The First 150 Years.  The book was the culmination of Peter’s daily column celebrating 150 years of the Geelong Advertiser.

This publication is fully indexed in the Geelong & District database and covers a fantastic range of topics.

There was a great article in today’s Addy by Danny Lannen titled ‘Home is where a journo’s heart is’. [Geelong Advertiser. Saturday 20 February 2016, p. 37.]

There was also a tweet from his peers – fare-welling and thanking Peter for his time at the Addy.

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Now that Peter has so much spare time on his hands, I just hope he can remember and find the source of the photo of Anne Drysdale which appeared in the May 11 column – relating back to 1853.  The Bellarine Historical Society would love to find a copy of that photo for their Coriyule / Anne Drysdale / Caroline Newcomb display later this year!

Thank you Peter and all the best for the future.

Do you enjoy the Antiques Roadshow?

bellhsfIf so, you won’t want to miss this special event at the Bellarine Historical Society!  Come along and bring your bottle(s).

What: Free Bottle Appraisal and Valuations

When: Sunday 14th February, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: Bellarine Historical Society, Old Court House Museum, 11 High Street, Drysdale Vic 3222

Details: Bottle Valuations Event and contact details.

About: Paul and David Bruce, well respected collectors and traders in antique bottles, will appraise and value your bottle(s).

Cost: No charge however a gold coin entry donation would be must appreciated.

The Bellarine Historical Society will also be supporting the 2016 Festival of Glass in Drysdale on Sunday 21st February.

Geelong Advertiser … can’t research without it!

Geelong Advertiser 9 January 1841 p1Just 175 years and 3 days ago the first edition of the Geelong Advertiser was published – November 21, 1840 in fact.  It is Victoria’s OLDEST morning newspaper.  The banner for the Geelong Advertiser includes the words “Fortis est veritas” or THE TRUTH IS STRONG.

Map of Corio from the Geelong Advertiser 9 Jan 1841On Saturday January 9, 1841, a supplement to the (then) standard 4-page issue was this amazing “Map of the Town of Corio (or Geelong) including the Suburbs, the Bay, and the River, 1841 … printed and published for John Pascoe Fawkner by Harrison & Watkins, Corio”.

And what a huge amount of history is in the map and the names associated with it – not least of which is James Harrison a true pioneer of our region.  [Do yourself a favour and actually click on the link to read the Australian Dictionary of Biography entry for this truly amazing man!]

We’re celebrating the 175th birthday of this wonderful paper and as a researcher and historian [local and family], I am so fortunate to be able to search and access the digitised version of the Geelong Advertiser from 1840 to 1926.  Of course researchers are greedy and we want more and more to appear online.  Hopefully funds will become available to continue the digitising.

ANYONE with an ounce of history running through their veins knows how much history exists in our region.  I have given presentations all over Victoria and also in New South Wales, South Australia and the Northern Territory.  Many have been on Geelong and Point Henry (the place of arrival of so many ships bringing immigrants to our shores) but the majority have been on other local and family history subjects.  Without fail the majority of the audience had ancestors who arrived in Geelong / Point Henry.  In June 2011 I gave four presentations to the Genealogical Society of the Northern Territory [GSNT] – almost 100% of the audience had Geelong connections!

Being the LONGEST RUNNING morning newspaper in Victoria AND the newspaper covering not just Geelong but all of the western district of Victoria [and across the border into South Australia] the paper is so important to many researchers.

Did you know that the Geelong Advertiser published lists of people who shipped gold from the gold-fields to the port of Geelong in 1851-54?  We have 6,624 entries in our Geelong & District database for the gold shipments.  In fact our database includes 29,413 entries transcribed from various editions of the Geelong Advertiser on a variety of subjects.

It is full of people and local history – an absolute goldmine for researchers.  If you are researching past 1926, in Victoria the Addy is on microfilm at the State Library of Victoria and the Geelong Heritage Centre.

From all of us … “Happy Birthday to the Geelong Advertiser“!

 

Geelong Library and Heritage Centre confirmed opening

Image processed by CodeCarvings Piczard http://piczard.com

It’s excitement plus in Geelong!  The City of Greater Geelong have just announced the public opening of the new Geelong Library and Heritage Centre … Saturday 21 November 2015.

Colac Cemetery fire

Colac Cemetery hedge fireWhat a horrible sight – the magnificent hedge around Colac Cemetery on fire – I’m amazed how quickly they got onto it and stopped it spreading even further.  They got the bulldozers into action and that probably saved the rest of the hedge.

Geelong Heritage Centre temporary closure

NewGLHCI initially posted this on my Just Love History blog as the impact is a much greater area than Geelong and District.

Mark Beasley has confirmed that they will shut down at 5.00 pm on Wednesday 23rd September 2015.

Also take not of the message about the new library catalogue on the same blog!

If you haven’t seen them before, at this stage these are the new opening hours for the Geelong Heritage Centre when it opens in the new building:

  • Monday closed
  • Tuesday 9am-8pm
  • Wednesday to Friday 9am-5pm
  • Saturday 10am-1pm

Please spread this message far and wide!

Geelong Hospital Nurses – 50 year reunion – Can you help?

Geelong Hospital c1915It is only a week away but a local group is organising a 50 year reunion for nurses from Geelong Hospital.

The group has managed to track down all the past nurses except one – Jo or Josephine CLEARY.  She married Dr R N MATTHEWS who was killed in a car accident in 1972.  They have spoken to some members of the MATTHEWS family who think she may have remarried but are not 100% sure.

CAN YOU HELP?

Please don’t post any personal or contact details here but get in touch with me via the Contact Us form and I will pass the details on to Judy Brown, one of the organisers.

Researching George BUTCHER

BHS1694Sometimes it is so frustrating – a person filled out the Contact form on the Geelong & District [and Bellarine] web site asking if the Bellarine Historical Society had a photo of the Drysdale Blacksmith shop and also where they could get copies of the Ocean Grove Echo for 1967 and 1968.

As you can see by the photo – yes we had a photo – two in fact!  And I was able to tell him where he could find the old copies of the Ocean Grove Echo.

The problem?  He typed his email address incorrectly!  His name is Kevin THOMPSON and obviously researching the BUTCHER family.  If you know Kevin, please ask him to get in touch and make sure his email address is correct.

Unfortunately the “old-fashioned” form didn’t provide an option for automatically collecting the sending email address – I think I’ll have to update the form to link to the more modern ones on this Blog site which DO automatically collect the sending email address.

 

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