A WDF Update

It’s been a busy time of late and more time has passed since my last post then I would have liked.

I have two drafts about the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery almost ready to go. They are about the people who lie beneath the broken headstones and monuments in the cemetery.

HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY

One of the posts has a sub-theme and the more I research it, the bigger the story becomes.  Time is freeing up a bit now so I’ll try to get at least one of those out soon. There is also a second Yambuk Cemetery post almost ready to go too.

After going great guns and catching up on the Passing of the Pioneers posts back in June, I’m now four months behind. I’ve decided to miss those months this year rather than try and catch up and instead look towards getting a November Passing of the Pioneers post ready.

If you follow the Western District Families Facebook page, you will know I share a lot of photos. I find many of the photos have a story to tell, so I’ve selected some of the best and I’ll post them here with some extra information. The series will take the title “Take A Photo” and I hope to post fortnightly. There are six posts in draft form at the moment.

There are now five published Wonderful Western District Women posts celebrating seventeen women from the past. Soon they will have their own dedicated tab at the top of WDF. It’s also in draft form (you would not believe how many draft posts I have). A few photos and it’s ready to go.

JANET BLACK (nee NICOL) ONE OF THE WONDERFUL WESTERN DISTRICT WOMEN Border Watch, 5 May 1936, p. 7. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article77987617

Sometimes things happen on the Hamilton’s WW1 side of Western District Families without you knowing. Subscribers don’t get alerted to new pages and all the Hamilton WW1 posts are in that format. My most recent addition was the Christ Church Anglican Church WW1 Honour Board with all the names along with links to those men and women who I’ve have already written profiles for.

SOME OF THE MEN OF HAMILTON’S CHRIST CHURCH ANGLICAN CHURCH WW1 HONOUR BOARD

Meanwhile, more drafts with at least twelve profiles of servicemen and women halfway or closer to completion.

In the case of most of my drafts, the fun bits (research/writing) have been done. What lies ahead for me now is the tedious stage of getting the posts out to you, lots of editing and finishing off. However, as always, I’ll find it’s worth it all at the end.

In other news. Last week I had the pleasure of speaking at the Hamilton History Centre’s monthly meeting. Of course, I spoke about Western District Families but with a Hamilton district slant, sharing some of my favourite local stories from WDF and Hamilton’s WW1.

HAMILTON HISTORY CENTRE

The Hamilton History Centre is located in the former Hamilton Mechanics’ Institute and many of the Hamilton folk I’ve written about for WDF have passed through the doors. Some have even given talks there themselves. I did try and channel William Melville one of Hamilton’s leading citizens from the past who gave a lecture there in 1886 on the topic “Wit and Humour in the 19th century”.  While my oratory skill will never match William’s, I think the stories I told were well received.

HAMILTON HISTORY CENTRE

While on the topic of the Hamilton History Centre I must mention their new website which is fantastic. It gives you a great idea of what is in the collection, as well as a bookshop, and three great videos to watch including one on notable homes and homesteads of the wider district.

You’ll find the website on the following link www.hamiltonhistorycentre.org.au 

Now back to those drafts…

 

Trove Tuesday – An Eagle Tale

This post has been sitting in my drafts for six years so today it’s time to set it free, something I wish happened to the subject of the post.  This is my second Trove Tuesday post about a captive eagle and it’s sad they could no longer soar free over the Western District.  The first post was called The Hungry Eagle and this one could easily have had the same title.

DESERVING OF RECOMPENSE. (1879, April 25). Riverine Herald (Echuca, Vic. : Moama, NSW : 1869 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved August 3, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article115122329

DESERVING OF RECOMPENSE. (1879, April 25). Riverine Herald (Echuca, Vic. : Moama, NSW : 1869 – 1954), p. 3. Retrieved August 3, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article115122329

If only the fledgeling hadn’t popped his head over the side of the nest. Instead of a trip to New South Wales, he could have lived out his life soaring over the rolling hills and valleys around Byaduk.

HARMAN VALLEY, BYADUK

You can read more than 100 previous Trove Tuesday posts on the link – westerndistrictfamilies.com/category/trove-tuesday/

VAFHO Family History Expo Guest Speakers

The VAFHO has announced the guest speakers for the Hamilton Family History Expo on 1 June.  The first talk is at 10.15am with AFL statistician and Geelong Football Club historian Col Hutchinson speaking on researching the footballers in your family. He will also look at some of those from the Hamilton district who have gone on to play VFL/AFL football. You can read more about Col on the link – Col Hutchinson.

THE CASTERTON FOOTBALL CLUB, PREMIERS IN 1927. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/766108

Next, Ancestry’s Jason Reeve will speak about using Ancestry.com for family history with an introduction to Ancestry DNA. You can read more about Jason on the following link – Jason Reeve.

THE ELIJAH FAMILY OF HAMILTON c1919. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/766117

Then after a break for lunch and time to check out the exhibits, Rob Hamilton will talk about Genealogy and Freemasons.  You can read more about Rob on the link – Rob Hamilton.

HAMILTON MASONIC CENTRE, LONSDALE STREET

The day will conclude with the Hamilton History Centre taking us for a “visual stroll” through Hamilton’s history.

GRAY STREET, HAMILTON c1920. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/399049

You can find out more including the times of each talk on the link to the VAHFO website – Hamilton Family History Expo.

I’m counting the days now.  Maybe I’ll see you there.

Belated Birthday

Over the weekend I was suddenly struck by a thought…I had forgotten Western District Families’ 8th Birthday!  It was 12 April but I was so busy writing biographies for Hamilton’s WW1, it completely slipped my mind.  So this is a quick post to thank you for following Western District Families both here and at the WDF Facebook page.  The number of visitors to each continues to grow as each year passes giving me the incentive to reach a double-figures birthday.

A tea party would be a proper way to celebrate WDF’s 8th birthday so this is one of my favourite photos from the past year.  It was the Facebook page cover photo during Women’s History Month in March and is held by the Museums Victoria Collection.  There are no names or a place but that doesn’t matter, it’s a great photo.

Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/769771

VAFHO Family History Expo Exhibitors

VIEW TO CHURCH HILL, HAMILTON

The Victorian Association of Family History Organisations (VAFHO) has released a list of thirty exhibitors for the Hamilton Family History Expo on Saturday 1 June.  The expo is not just for those interested in Hamilton family history and the list of exhibitors is indicative of that.  For example, the Terang & District Family History GroupWest Gippsland Genealogical Society and Bendigo Family History Group will be there among others  There will also be Ancestry Australia, Port Phillip Pioneers and Gould Genealogy and more. You can see a full list at the VAFHO website on the link – Hamilton Family History Expo Exhibitors.

I’m really looking forward to the Expo because it’s in my beautiful historic hometown of Hamilton and the venue is the Chevalier Centre at Monivae College, my old school.  It’s always good to see events on in Hamilton which will bring people to the town to experience what we Hamiltonians past and present love.

HAMILTON BOTANIC GARDENS

 

“NUCLEUS”, A KINETIC SCULPTURE AT THE INTERSECTION OF GRAY & BROWN STREETS.

 

THE HAMILTON HISTORY CENTRE IN THE FORMER MECHANICS INSTITUTE

Hopefully we will finally get some rain in the next month giving visitors to the expo the chance to experience some waterfall action too.

 

Current & Upcoming Events in the Western District

UPDATED 23 March –

We are really spoilt for choice over the coming months because some more history related events have come to light since I published this post on Monday. You’ll find the three new events added below…


Some great history related events are either happening or coming up in the Western District over the next few months.

Running now until 28 April at the Port Fairy Museum and Archives is a travelling exhibition “Submerged” about shipwrecks along the south-west coast and Australia wide.  Port Fairy is a good place to host an exhibition about wrecks with fourteen wrecks recorded within Port Fairy bay alone.  You can find out more at the museum’s Facebook page Port Fairy Museum and Archives or website.

PORT FAIRY MUSEUM & ARCHIVES, GIPPS STREET.

The Glenelg Shire Council Cultural Collection exhibition “Gone But Not Forgotten…The Lost Buildings of Portland” is now on at the Portland Arts Centre until 26 April. The exhibition includes a display of photos and other items on the long-gone buildings of Portland.

An exhibition curated by the Casterton RSL will look at the Centenary of the RSL will begin on 2 April at the Casterton Town Hall foyer.  You can find out more at the shire’s Facebook page Glenelg Shire Council Cultural Collection.

Near Lake Bolac on 28 April will be an unveiling of a plaque at the former Mellier State School. The plaque will remember the 100th anniversary since the school was moved to Norbank Road, Lake Bolac.  You can find out more on the Historic Lake Bolac Facebook page.

On the weekend of 18 & 19 May is the Hamilton Pastoral Museum May rally.  You can see some of the sights…and sounds of the museum in this video from my visit to the October 2018 rally.  Look for further rally information on the museum’s Facebook page Hamilton Pastoral Museum Inc or the museum website.

Also on 18 May, the Warrnambool Family History Group are holding a seminar with four guest speakers each with great topics including Ken Flack, a genealogist and historian from Horsham speaking on taking a different approach to research; Janet McDonald, the President of the Warrnambool and District Historical Society talking about using local records to research land and houses around Warrnambool; Kate Moneypenny from the State Library of Victoria talking about researching family history at the SLV. You can find out more on the groups Facebook page Warrnambool Family History Group or their website.

For those interested in DNA and Family History, the Colac & District Family History Group is hosting a workshop on Friday 31 May from 1pm to 3pm with a representative from Ancestry. This must be a Western District first on such a topic so take the chance to attend. The Colac & District Family History Group are doing some great things. For further updates, check out the group’s Facebook page Colac & District Family History Group and website.  It’s a new website too so definitely take a look.  

The following day, Saturday 1 June is the 2019 VAFHO (Victorian Association of Family History Organisation) Expo at the Chevalier Centre, Monivae College in Hamilton from 10.00am to 4.00pm.  Take the opportunity to hear some of the best family history speakers right here in the Western District. I’ll keep you updated with details including guest speakers as they come to hand or you can check out the VAFHO Facebook page VAFHO – Victorian Association of Family History Organisations or website.

THE VIEW TOWARDS CHURCH HILL, HAMILTON

Best of 2018

Another great year for Western District Families is drawing to a close.  Sixty-six new pioneers joined the Pioneer Obituary Index and we celebrated more Wonderful Western District WomenHamilton’s WW1 continued to grow with new biographies and addition of the Borough of Hamilton WW1 Honour Roll to the Hamilton WW1 Memorials.  You can now read the 411 names on the board and read selected stories of those represented.  The most popular post for the year was When the Earth Moved at Warrnambool about two earthquakes in the town in 1903, one of which is still Victoria’s most damaging quakes.

Over on Facebook, the Western District Families Facebook page now has over 6300 “likes”.  We have looked at various themes over the year including hotels, Back to School, Town & Country and more.  I really appreciate all the contributions by those following the page.  Their comments offering extra information about various towns and families are invaluable.  The video below is a look at the most popular photos I posted to the page over the year.

 

Thank you for visiting Western District Families during 2018. I look forward to sharing more family and local history from the Western District with you in 2019.