RootsWeb alternative for Geelong and District

Red British post boxI know many of you will be frustrated with the technical problems that RootsWeb are having with their Mailing Lists although some of you may just think that Mailing Lists have lost their appeal and aren’t being used any more!  Just like the old fashioned letter box has lost its popularity and falling into decline.

Well, I can assure you that a number of people are missing the assistance they used to get from the Geelong and District Mailing List and the Bellarine Peninsula Mailing List.

I came to the conclusion that you could:

  • read all the complaints and contradictory suggestions on the RootsWeb Listowners Mailing List (for admins of RootsWeb Mailing Lists)
  • get cross
  • join the tirade – unfortunately many of us couldn’t as a HUGE number of email addresses / domains were not getting through to the list so that wasn’t an option for many
  • do nothing
  • do SOMETHING !

I opted for the latter as subscribers from my Mailing Lists were contacting me directly and asking what was happening and what could be done.

I know I could create a new Yahoo Mailing List but I didn’t want to “replace” the existing ones – just offer an alternative until the Mailing Lists were fixed.  The Alternative could continue with a life of its own if users wished (although I intend to post “new messages” to the old list once it recovers).

I know many people are not comfortable with Facebook and I wanted something relatively easy – so I’ve created a pseudo Blog Mailing List.

It’s called the Geelong and District Mailing List and although you can click on that link it’s really easy to remember because you just need to type in:

geelonganddistrictmailinglist.com

and you’ll find it!  Although its called the Geelong and District Mailing List it also caters for the Bellarine Peninsula.

Make sure you read the tabs: About, and Guidelines for some more information but basically:

  • Click on FOLLOW BLOG / FOLLOW THIS MAILING LIST VIA EMAIL
  • Follow the instructions to enter your email address etc.

That means you’ll get an email when a new Message / Post is added.  The email will include a COMMENT button – click on that and you’ll be taken to the Comments area for THAT Message.  Type in your comment.

That’s as hard as it gets!

Now, a brief word of warning – I’ve tested it as much as I can and I’m 99.999% certain that’s how it will work.  I may need to do a little more tweaking as people post messages but it should be good.

A couple of important things / benefits of this pseudo Mailing List:

  • Your email address does NOT appear anywhere on the Blog / Mailing List
  • I can add photos to Posts / Messages

How do you post a message?  Just click on the POST A MESSAGE tab near the top right and fill in the fields.

Initially ALL Messages Posted and Comments on Messages will be held for approval – just to make sure you are legitimate – once someone has been approved to Comment on a Message they will be able to Comment without waiting for another round of approvals.  BUT if anyone thinks this is a way to get in and cause problems, I can suspend / remove you so you don’t annoy our legitimate Mailing List users – the same sort of option the List Admin had on our RootsWeb Mailing Lists.

Posted Messages at this stage will require me to copy and paste to the Mailing List Blog – again making sure things are legitimate.  Once things have started moving, I will invite Posters to become Authors on the Mailing List Blog – ONLY if you’re comfortable to do that.  Becoming an Author will allow you to create your own Mailing List Blog on this site, edit it and add photos however it won’t allow you to edit or change anyone else’s Mailing List Blog.  It means you can post a Message without using the Post a Message form.

Confused?  Don’t worry – you can sit back and read other messages and comments just like you did on the RootsWeb Mailing List and do nothing more.  Then if you feel the urge to get involved you just need to click on the comment button in the email you received with each message.  Remember you do have to click on FOLLOW BLOG / FOLLOW THIS MAILING LIST VIA EMAIL to get the messages as emails from the list.

Let’s give it a try and see how it goes.

If you want to comment to me privately, just you the CONTACT US button in the menu at the top of this blog, or use the POST A MESSAGE button on the Mailing List Blog – both options ONLY come to me and I will get back to you personally to answer your questions.

I hope this all works – it depends on YOU – it’s frustrating not being able to use our normal Geelong and District Mailing List and the Bellarine Peninsula Mailing List, so in the meantime try the new GEELONG AND DISTRICT MAILING LIST.

2016 National Fair in Geelong

2016 National Bottle & Collectables ShowA great opportunity for Geelong locals, all of Victoria and of course all of Australia to participate in the 2016 National Bottle and Collectables Fair.

As well as contacting Dave Smith in 0419 434 306 or on his email – david@belmontscouts.org.au , there are a number of web sites with additional information including site maps:

The National Fair runs from 21 to 23 October, 2016 at the Geelong Show Grounds.

Don’t miss it!

Geelong Heritage Centre – in the beginning …

1961 proposed Sound Shell in NewtownSometimes we’re not very good at recording the history of our societies / organisations.  Consequently, I thought it was about time that I gathered various published references to the beginning of the Geelong Heritage Centre which of course wasn’t called that when it began!

Back on 30 May 1961, the Geelong Advertiser reported on the status of the Geelong Sound Shell – it reappeared in Peter Begg’s ‘Geelong – the first 150 years’ with this image of Newtown Council’s sound shell concept in the Windmill Quarry.

Sound Shell?  What does the Geelong Heritage Centre have to do with a Sound Shell?

We actually need to go back even further … between 1952 and 1954 a fund of £13,606 was raised for the mayor of Geelong’s appeal.  The object of the appeal was “the erection of a permanent feature to mark the centenary of separation [1 July 1851] and the jubilee of Federation [1 January 1901].”

In 1955 the Age reported under the heading ‘Geelong Sound Shell: Ex-Mayor Refuses to Hand Over Fund Papers’, that “Councillor B E Purnell, a former Mayor of Geelong, who is chairman of the Centenary Jubilee Commemoration Fund has refused to vacate the office of chairman and hand over the minutes. “  The committee had been appointed in 1951.

Solicitors Crawcour and Hollyhoke agreed with Cr Purnell and his co-trustees that he, Cr Purnell, was chairman of the of the fund and it was not the Mayor of the Geelong Council who was chairman of the fund.  This article also stated that “the trust funds [were for] the express purpose of providing a sound shell”.  It went on to state that “The only authority was the Attorney-General, with the Crown Law office behind him” and certainly not the local council.

The type of structure was the next item to be questioned – a sound shell seems have emerged as part of the original agreement, however in 1960 the Attorney-General and then Mr Justice Dean of the Supreme Court became involved.  The outcome was the appointment of new trustees.  The new trustees were Cr Bervin Ellis Purnell [former mayor], of Meakin Street, Geelong; Mr John Mackie Kenning, of Church Street, Rosevale via Geelong; Mr Douglas Gordon Munro, of High Street, Belmont; Cr Leonard Myer Jacobs, Prospect Road, Newtown, and Captain William George Harrison, of the Fire Brigade Station, Geelong.

Mr Justice Dean ordered that “the £13,606 in the fund should be held in trust until the citizens of Geelong had decided what form of permanent feature should be erected”.  Consequently, the Town Clerk invited members of the original 1851 Committee, “successors in office, and others including Cr Purnell to a meeting”.  Five of the seven municipalities supported erection of a sound shell and the other two said they would not object.

Of course there was no consensus: The Geelong City Council proposed a site in Eastern Park, above Hearne Parade.  “An agreement between the council and the sound shell trustees, who were holding the money in trust, was finally drawn up in 1965.”

“But when the trustees rejected one of the conditions of the agreement, the Geelong City Council withdrew its offer of the Eastern Park site.”

The Shire of Corio proposed a site at Rippleside Park and the City of Newtown proposed the one at the Windmill quarry.  A new committee was formed and called to vote on three different proposals:

  • A sound shell
  • An historic records centre
  • A new wing at Grace McKellar House

2007 Geelong Historic Records CentreThe Geelong Advertiser said that “the committee which consisted of representatives of the local chamber of commerce, trades hall council, the hospital committee of management, RSL, law association, architects’ institute, and the historical society, as well as the local councils, voted in favour of the historic record centre.”

This however wasn’t the end of it as the Investigator quoting the speech made by Sir Roy Fidge in 1979, at the opening of the Geelong Historical Records Centre, stated that “Eventually the matter was referred to the Supreme Court by the Attorney General and, after two litigation hearings, Mr Justice Lush in September, 1970 ordered that the Jubilee Funds be applied towards the construction of an Historical Records Centre in the form of a first floor addition to the Geelong Regional Library.”

2007 Geelong Historic Records CentreBy this stage the fund had grown to $55,000 which was insufficient for the centre.  Appeals to the State Government resulted in a total of $195,000 with contributions of $120.000 from the government and $20,000 from the City of Geelong.  This wasn’t enough to provide all that was desired however the architect Geoff Drinnan provided a design to match the funds, and the building was constructed by E J Lyons & Sons.

Harry Nunn, Keeper of Public Records was keen for the Public Record Office to be involved in the management and operations of the Centre which would require an amendment of the Supreme Court Order.  Norman Houghton, archivist, was appointed before the official opening and is probably in the best position to document the details and behind the scenes activities.  Joanne McKenzie was the other staff member of the centre – called the Geelong Historical Records Centre.

The Centre began with donations of items from various commercial and private organisations as well as a “substantial set of back issues of the Geelong Advertiser from the Geelong City Council and the Regional Library”.  There were also a number of items included in the archives which came from the Geelong Historical Society or were collected by them for the Centre.  No records centre or archive can function without historical items, and the large contribution by the Geelong Historical Society obviously encouraged other organisations and individuals to contribute to this amazing institution.

In addition to records for the Geelong Archives, the Historical Society donated many reference books for the Reading Room / Library and the Geelong Family History Group also contributed to the library shelves [see below].  I was going to add a few examples of the records provided by the Geelong Historical Society, then I was going to add a few more, then I added a lot!

Some of the records attributed to the Geelong Historical Society include:

  • Band of Hope Union: minutes, accounts, attendance book etc. [1905-2002]
  • Ernest Barnes: manuscript and Novel ‘Tuftowool’ on sheep raising & wool growing. [undated]
  • Barwon Grange residence: correspondence, plans & drawings and miscellaneous records. [1969-1971]
  • Barwon Jaycees: miscellaneous and copious records. [1925-1987]
  • Belcher & Co, Estate Agency: commission sales books, Alfred Belcher cuttings, insurance agents’ premiums books. [1907-1947]
  • Eunice McLeod: manuscripts – life on the Bellarine Peninsula. [1850-1950]
  • Berry Bank Pty Ltd: accounts, correspondence, wages, cash books, estate of HE & J Mack, minutes, diaries etc. [1862-1979]
  • Berry Bank Station: Joseph Mack’s diaries. [1862-1926]
  • W Berthon: Weatherboard Station journals. [1864-1875]
  • Roy & Muriel Birdsey: Gilbert & Sullivan Society scrapbooks, photos, calendars etc. [1830-1981]
  • Herbert A Boardman: personal papers. [1865-1988]
  • S R Boardman, fuel merchant: trading and P&L accounts. [1950-1955]
  • Bow Truss Building: articles, correspondence and reports. [1980-1990s]
  • Richard Bowman: diary of a sea voyage on Shalimar from England. [1854-1855]
  • Bright & Hitchcock: photographic archive and news clippings. [1875-1970]
  • British ex-service Legion of Australia: council minutes & membership items. [1965-1996]
  • J C Brown, engineer: ledgers, photo etc. [1907-1938]
  • Buckland’s Paddock Estate: sale notices book [1888- ]
  • Chilwell Library: Accession Register [1945-1969]
  • Clyde Company Wool Scour: accounts, journals, brand book, greasy wool books, shares, tannery plans, trading and auction books, shipping books, wages books etc. [1882-1970]
  • Cobb & Co agency Meredith & Steiglitz: general ledger [1898-1918]
  • Commercial Bank, Geelong: letters to head office [1905-1909]
  • Allan Cooke collection: correspondence, manuscripts local history [1962-1968]
  • Cooperative Housing Society: annual reports, journals etc. [1944-1971]
  • Corangamite Weights & Measures Union: minute books [1948-1976]
  • Dennys, Lascelles Ltd: accounts, annual wool report, construction of wool store Portland, minutes etc. [1912-1983]
  • Norman Endacott: Maps, reports etc. [1899-2001]
  • Miss D Francis: Belgian Costume
  • Geelong & District Soldiers’ Welfare Committee: miscellaneous records [1940-1945]
  • Geelong & District United Friendly Societies: minutes [1936-1975]
  • Geelong & Western District Ladies Benevolent Association: accounts, annual reports, correspondence, registers, valuations, minutes [1860-1992]
  • Geelong Archaeological Society: minutes, correspondence, membership etc. [1968-1977]
  • Geelong Automatic Telephone Exchange: mementos, books, artefacts and photographs [1912-1914]
  • Geelong Bar Committee: minutes re removal of sand bar – Corio Bay entry [1853-1860]
  • Geelong Bell Ringers’ Club: sundry records [1876-1885]
  • Geelong Bike Plan: records [1977-1981]
  • Geelong Decorating Co: ledgers [1875-1928]
  • Geelong Diary: 1850s auctioneer’s assistant [1856-1857]
  • Geelong Freeway Opposition Group: records, posters, newspaper cuttings [1973- ]
  • Geelong Garden Club: newsletters [1983-1994]
  • Geelong Girls’ Unity Club: minutes, constitution – formerly Geelong Blue Triangle Assoc. [1924-1965]
  • Geelong Historical Society: minutes & financial records [1920-1994]
  • Geelong Housewives’ Social Club: minutes, accounts etc. [1974-1994]
  • Geelong Master Printers’ Association: minutes [1912-1926]
  • Geelong Musical Society: scores, records, correspondence, accounts etc. [1846-1921]
  • Geelong Rowing Association: minutes, accounts, records etc. [1876-1967]
  • Geelong Sacred Harmonic Society: minutes and accounts [1854-1899]
  • Geelong Sea Bathing Company Ltd: capital structure records [1871-1934]
  • Geelong Shakespeare Society: minutes [1905-1908]
  • Geelong Shipping Agents’ Association: minutes [1928-1941]
  • Geelong Transportation Study: scrapbook compiled by P F B Alsop [1970-1973]
  • Geelong Volunteer Rifle Regiment: civil staff minutes [1861-1908]
  • Grovedale Progress Association: minute book [1965-1984]
  • William Harris: papers relating to Standard Oil Co [1922-1960]
  • James Harrison: biographical source notes [1816-1982]
  • Hawkes Brothers Pty Ltd: minutes, journal, ledger, photos, correspondence etc. [1853-1977]
  • W & W Higgins, solicitors: case files – crime, debt, land transactions, will, correspondence etc. [1845-1900]
  • Hirst Family Album [1935-1966]
  • Howard Hitchcock: mayoral newspaper cuttings [1917-1926]
  • Roy Holden collection – newspaper cuttings [1830-1970]
  • A P Hornsey: cutting book [1928-1932]
  • Huddart & Parker: letters, accounts etc. [1850-1880]
  • Institute of Municipal Management: members, constitution, miscellaneous documents etc. [1959-1996]
  • Inverleigh Bridge: flood reports etc. [1962-1980]
  • Joseph Scammel, ship: memorabilia.
  • W G Kendall: shipping books. [1913-1925]
  • Lucy Kerley: railway collection. [1964-1983]
  • Leopold Free Library: minutes, cash, visitors. [1882-1989]
  • Lodge – Manchester Unity IOOF: minutes, rules, membership etc. [1861-1979]
  • Lodge – Phoenix Lodge No 63 IOOF: membership records, minute books, night book, correspondence etc. [1868-1959]
  • Lodge – United Ancient Order of Druids Lodge 208: Corio Lodge minutes, records etc. [1900-1969]
  • Martin Collection: personal artifacts, books etc. [1878-1960]
  • Martin Family mementos: photos, medals, papers. [undated]
  • Peter Martin, architect: drawings and personal items [1946-1960]
  • Stewart McAdam Collection: football records, historical notes – Barrabool Hills etc. [c1840-1996]
  • Robert Norm McDonald Collection: cuttings book, Geelong Cycling Club etc. [1916-1919]
  • Geelong Mechanics’ Institute: Annual Reports, financial statements, correspondence, minutes, reports etc. [1846-1962]
  • Memorials to Geelong citizens: photograph album. [1924- ]
  • Returned Soldiers’ Woollen & Worsted Co-op: various records, members etc. [1932-1974]
  • Murphy, Ashby draper & tailor: accounting papers. [1877-1884]
  • Rhind Family: china (cups, saucers etc.). [c1790+ ]
  • Rix Family collection: books, mementos etc. [undated]
  • Roadknight & Co Estate Agency: Alfred, Frank and Gladys Roadknight private papers, ledgers, journals, Puebla Estate Co records, sales contracts, sales reports, etc. [1853-1970]
  • Sasse Papers; outward letters, photos, biographies etc. [1858-1970]
  • Silver Star Monthly: schoolboy paper. [1935-1936]
  • H L Spendlove: military training notebook. [1916- ]
  • Television introduction: cuttings etc. [1956- ]
  • Gail Thomas collection: plans, receipts etc. [undated]
  • Trait Family, soft drink and cordial makers: mementos. [1885-1963]
  • Try Boys Brigade: annual reports. [1926-1972]
  • Victorian Forage Pressing Co: wages book. [1908-1909]

This list is just some of the records / archives provided by the Geelong Historical Society to begin filling the shelves and archives of the Geelong Historical Records Centre.  They also supplied a huge number of photographs to the new collection.

The Geelong Family History Group also contributed in a very significant way – their volunteers set about indexing many of the items in the collection.  This was in the days of typewriters and carbon paper with copies being put on the shelves of the Geelong Historical Records Centre as well as the Family History Group’s library.  Fortunately the committee of the Geelong Family History Group gave permission for their indexed lists from their own library to be transcribed and added to the Geelong & District Database – an ongoing process with literally hundreds of indexes produced by their members.

 

In 2003 the name of the centre was changed from the Geelong Historical Records Centre to the Geelong Heritage Centre.  The Centre remained in that location until 2013 when their temporary home was on the top floor of the National Wool Museum while the old library and centre was being demolished.  Late in 2015 the magnificent new centre was opened.

2013Demolished

2013 – demolition

NatWoolMuseum

2013-2015 – Temporary home – National Wool Museum

Geelong Library and Heritage Centre Building

November 2015 – Geelong Library & Heritage Centre opened

Sources used for this article:

  • Age, 27 April 1955
  • Age, 16 November 1960
  • Geelong Advertiser, 30 May 1961
  • Peter Begg, Geelong – the first 150 years, Geelong Advertiser, 1990
  • ‘Historic Opening November 16, 1979’, Investigator, journal of the Geelong Historical Society, Vol. 15, No. 1, Issue 58, March 1980
  • GRS Archives Catalogue, Geelong Heritage Centre, April 2014 [PDF files for download]
  • ‘History of the Geelong Heritage Centre’ web site.

Download the full Geelong Series Catalogue [as at April 2014]:

http://www.geelongaustralia.com.au/heritage/about/article/item/8cdb5f30dcfecde.aspx

Demanding? Fresh bread!

BANT's Bakery, cnr Moorabool StreetThe Investigator, the Geelong Historical Society’s magazine, has been published since 1965.  It is always full of great articles, regular features, and wonderful snippets.

A delightful snippet originally published in the Geelong Advertiser, appeared in the September 2014 issue of the Investigator.

Geelong bread carters are finding a considerable percentage of unreasonable housewives who want fresh bread, must have it, and won’t take any other.  The objection would not be so bad if it were not supplemented by absurd reproof and argument directed against the offending carter.  Generally, the men are not working any later through the change in hauling, but they are chaffing under the tongue-wagging of some of their clients.  The remarkable part of it is that the bulk of the offenders are the wives of unionists, who should be glad to see the conditions of fellow-unionists improved.  The system of day baking is on its trial and already it is admitted by sympathizers that it will never be satisfactory till made compulsory by Act of Parliament.

 

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 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.

Reminder – Geelong Heritage Centre closes TOMORROW

New Geelong Library & Heritage CentreTomorrow = Wednesday 23rd September 2015 at 5.00 pm – that’s the last chance you’ll have for a month or two to access the services, library, microform, and archives of the Geelong Heritage Centre.  The next access you’ll have will be in the wonderful new Geelong Library & Heritage Centre in Little Malop Street.

Don’t sit back and think you can email the centre to order copies – it won’t be happening as they have a massive job moving the collection [and items currently stored remotely] into the wonderful new building.

And if there’s something you just must have – why not visit some of the local history and family history societies?  They have wonderful collections – documents, manuscripts, images, oral histories – an absolute treasure trove and you probably have no idea of their extensive collections!

Have a look at these societies – you might be surprised at just how many there are!  And they’re open at different times on different days.  For example – you can visit the Bellarine Historical Society on Sunday 4th October and search their wonderful collection or just browse and absorb the terrific museum collection.

And of course don’t forget the Geelong & District Database – more than 1.63 million entries for people and places in our region.  There may be page references in local books that you can access through your local library or inter-library loan.

And while we’re talking about the library – if you use the new Geelong Library Catalogue you can search through the 2,471 Heritage Centre images online!

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.

Geelong & South Western Rail Heritage Society

Biregurra Railway StationI do love it when groups in our region progress to having a real web and blog site.  We have an addition to this category in the last month.

Obviously they still want to add more to their site but they are well and truly up and running and it’s worth checking them out.  The Geelong Rail Heritage Society web site includes an amazing range of up-coming tours and events.  They also have a great range of books / publications.

Congratulations and keep up the good work.