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Reg. No. A0034364L P.O. Box 85, Chewton, 3451.



Published on the 1st of each month

Issue 194

April, 2015.

Chewton on the fringe... The Fringe Festival ended on a high note (actually, several high notes!) with a celebration in Chewton. Kicking off with Duncan Graham and his Co-accused playing in the Red Hill’s beer garden, piper Langley Rowbottom and MC Phil Hall then led noisy parade across the Pyrenees Highway down to Forest Creek in the Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park. Chewton school children were kitted out and waiting in the creek bed - and armed with some serous mining implements. A regular gong had the children freeze-frame into the sorts of miners’ poses we see in the early photographs of the Forest Creek goldfields. A spectacular and innovative interpretation of the 1850s! A second gong and work resumed until the next freeze-frame was signalled. The parade then continued upstream along Forest Creek where the entertainment was provided by an old musical instrument - a dulcimer that was introduced and played. Talk about fast hands! Then it was off to the Troll’s bridge where a newly created Monster was hidden in the foliage. After meeting the Monster of Forest Creek, another short walk took everyone to Ottery Cottage where an opulent setting awaited. Food, drinks and entertainment were on tap. Music, songs and poetry presented amongst some spectacular sculptures by Phil Hall. The BBQ prepared by Fuzz from Castlemaine’s Top Shop was an absolute highlight, and Groove Elation played into the evening. How far away is the next fringe? And could it possibly end as well?


She’s back in business... Yes, she’s back. A well-attended launch saw the Chewton Town Hall welcomed back into the community. The afternoon opened with MC Phil Hall passing over to a series of slides that documented the hall’s usages, its closure, its emptying, the internal and external works that were necessary and the works done by the Chewton Domain Society (CDS) since the handback. This was accompanied by an explanatory commentary by Marie Jones. Then it was over to CDS president Helen McGeachin who had the role of thanking everyone involved in the hall’s re-instatement and the organisation of the launch. Helen went on to declare the hall back in business. Phil launched into what is now the unofficial Chewton Anthem – Thirty Shillings a Month. This song won


the Monster Meeting Song Award in 2010 and has been performed countless times at Chewton gatherings since. It’s well-known too, as those joining in the choruses demonstrated. The acoustics of the hall were further demonstrated when Helen McGeachin was joined by Graeme Newell to play somefoot-tapping tunes. It was then time to turn to the launch of the Chewton Community Plan. Rose Darling outlined the background and spoke of the challenges ahead in implementing it. Bendigo West MP Maree Edwards congratulated everyone and said the state government stood ready to listen to communities. Cr. Tony Cordy then launched the plan and the afternoon tea that everyone was waiting for was served. Another milestone in Chewton’s history!

Cleaning up Fryerstown ...and around the Res. Clean Up Australia Day used to be a big day in Chewton when Lisa Sargent lived in town and took on the organisation each year. Now there’s just Golden Point Landcare. Expedition Pass Reservoir and Golden Point Road is a focus for this group each year. It was a pleasant surprise for this group that the area was in pretty good condition, due to most users now taking their rubbish home with them and also due to the regular inspections and clean ups done by Parks Victoria. It was only a meagre collection gathered this year, unlike some of the monster loads gathered in the past. When the Parks Victoria trailer arrived for the pickup the trailer was quickly loaded – so quickly the loaders had time for a photo!

Following the manic wind and rain of the previous evening, the weather cooperated by providing us with perfect conditions on Clean Up Australia Day. Fifteen volunteers fronted up for Fryerstown’s effort. Thirteen of us split into five teams to cover 14 or so kilometres of roadsides, whilst two remained behind to help with logistics and preparing morning tea. All up, 24 large bags of rubbish and recyclables, along with numerous bits and pieces, were hoisted onto the trailer for the return journey. Our thanks go to Council for providing the skip for the non-recyclables and to Clean Up Australia for providing sturdy bags and gloves. Litter on the main roadsides was down, although we were shaking our heads over the illegal dumping of a quantity of bathroom tiles. It was also good to see a tangled mass of barbed wire collected, considering the danger this poses for animals. Chewton Playgroup – not just for the kids! A highlight of the morning was the Chewton Playgroup – not just for the kids! delectable, and very convivial, morning tea hosted by Merryl and Paul Gahan at the Old Babies, toddlers and preschool aged children who go to playgroup can make new friends, have new Babies, toddlers preschool aged childrenphysically, who go tosocially, playgroup can makeand new friends, have new experiences, gainand self-confidence and develop emotionally intellectually. Methodist Church. experiences, gain self-confidence and develop physically, socially, And that’s just some of the benefits for the kids! But what’s in emotionally it for you? and intellectually. Janobai Smith. And that’s just some of the benefits for the kids! But what’s in it for you? Adults stay with their children at playgroup. This gives them the chance to meet other

Adults stay with their children at playgroup. This gives them the chance to meet other people going through similar experiences that can come with caring for young children. You people going through similar experiences that can come with caring for young children. You get to have adult conversations, develop new social networks and friendships, share get to have adult conversations, develop new social networks and friendships, share experiences, interests and ideas. It’s time to spend playing with your child, without the guilt experiences, interests and ideas. It’s time to spend playing with your child, without the guilt of needing to do something else. of needing to do something else.

Come join Primary School. 9.15am to 11am, Come join us usin inthe themulti-purpose multi-purposeroom roomatatChewton Chewton Primary School. 9.15am to 11am, Monday mornings during term, or contact the Chewton Primary School on 5472 2557. Monday mornings during term, or contact the Chewton Primary School on 5472 2557.

Advertising in the Chat? Call 5472 2892 or email


Chewton Community Centre’s future? Chewton Community and Senior Citizens Hall committee is trying to get the old larger church hall back in use again. It is seeking ideas and more people to support the small committee. It has made a plea for people to show interest by coming along to their next meeting on Wed 8th April at 7.30 p.m. Secretary, Valda Casbolt, made that appeal in the March Chewton Chat. As the Chewton Community Centre is a council owned facility managed by a committee, the Chat sought further information from council about the facility. A response from CEO Phil Rowland explains the current situation from a shire-wide perspective... •

There are a number of low cost community buildings in Chewton including: Georg Archer Pavilion at the recreation reserve and Chewton Senior Citizens Centre. There are also facilities in Chewton managed by other community groups such as the Chewton Town Hall and St John’s Church.

Chewton is 4 or 5km from Castlemaine where there are numerous low cost community facilities. Council facilities include: Ray Bradfield Room, Castlemaine Senior Citizens, Town Hall foyer and Town Hall, Phee Broadway Theatre and the Botanical Gardens Tea Room. Others include church halls, guide hall and band room.

In August 2012 council completed a community infrastructure planning study. This found that: o There are currently approximately 130 Council and non-Council facilities available for social well-being purposes across Mount Alexander Shire. o Council-owned community meeting/activity spaces are well dispersed across the Shire, with twelve townships possessing one or more community halls or centres. o Consultations indicated that townships are generally well-serviced in terms of community meeting/activity spaces.

o Users of Council-owned facilities are generally satisfied with the condition of existing facilities, and the extent to which they meet current use. Halls and community centres host a wide range of services and activities such as regular playgroup sessions, committee meetings and social events. o A range of meeting spaces that are owned by other entities are also available in the Shire, particularly those associated with churches and primary schools. Consultation indicated that the owners and/or managers of non-Council owned facilities are generally willing to offer spaces for community use, with a number already doing so. o Community centres in townships outside Castlemaine are used twice per week on average. •

In 2013, Council’s Buildings Officer estimated the cost of minimum repair works to the Chewton Community Centre to be approximately $500,000. Given the low priority of the building in the Building Asset Management Plan, and in comparison to the range of buildings owned and managed by Council, works at this cost are not justified at this time. This amount exceeded Council’s Building works budget for 2013/2014 and amounts identified in the Long Term Financial Plan.

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Award-winning toys timeless ...and local! “A world first!” “A scoop!” “I’m offering you the biggest story in Chewton!” So Max Lesser was saying as he animatedly waved a laminated sheet in Chewton’s Main Street. Intrigued by both the enthusiasm shown and the unexpected greetings I followed Max into the Chewton Post Office. Red Box is the name of the fantastic retail outlet Rob and Susan have in the Post Office. All sorts of treasures are on show – and for sale. But this visit ignored the array and centred on the wooden toys in the corner – just beyond the rack of Chewton Chats. Pointing at these toys, Max then produced the laminated sheet. An old Sun Pictorial page from 1972 – it was old enough to have an ad for Denis Scanlon and 3DB in the corner! But it wasn’t the ad Max was excited about – it was an article next to it. Headed “CYD LIKES OUR TOYS” it read… “AMERICAN actress Cyd Charisse officially opened the 1972 Toy Show at the Southern Cross Hotel yesterday. “I am happy to note the lack of violent toys in the exhibit,” Miss Charisse said. A new award — “Taggie” — was made by the Toys and Games Manufacturers of Australia for the most original and creative stand of the 33 entered. It was given to “Toby Toys,” run by Mr and Mrs Max Lesser. They design and make their own educational wooden working toys. The show, open to toy dealers and traders, closes today.” And standing next to Cyd was a youngish Max Lesser. Max had just won the Taggie and the winning stand featured his newly designed toys – the same as the ones for

sale in the Chewton Post Office. Pointing out the design hasn’t changed since then, Max began calculating the years since. The article about the award win was dated 1972 and as the toys had been in production for a few years at that stage, a figure of over 45 years kept bobbing about. And the same page revealed that 45 years ago shoppers spent more on cigarettes than any other item! Haven’t things changed? And who knows where to find someone called a grocer these days? Sometime after the win and the article, Max passed the design to a colleague who is still producing them for outlets like Red Box. And as we all know, Max hasn’t stood still since then. Photography, ceramics, doubledeckers, Golden Hopes, pegs – and kite-flying. Always kite-flying!

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Real Estate Gossip Well, what a time we have had with the Festival! Dance, theatre, music, and some extraordinary acrobatics. Castlemaine and surrounding towns have been abuzz with festival goers and visitors. And the weather was on its best behaviour for the duration. Expect an influx of new arrivals. Properties for sale around Chewton are listed as follows: Cantwell Real Estate: • 1/72 Steele Street, north facing vacant allotment of approximately 2234sqm. Backing onto state forest but with services available. $220,000.00; • 24 Main Road, historic property on the edge of town, adjoining crown land and right by the walking/cycling track, surprisingly expansive 3 bedroom, for sale at $585,000.00; • 4 Prior Street, 5 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, 2 storey sandstone and weatherboard set amid huge garden, $848,000.00; • 225 Sparks Road, 58 hectares on the edge of the Bushland for sale at $609,000.00. Cassidy Real Estate: • 50 Dinah Road, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, multi living areas home on an acre of land. Indoor pool and spa and entertaining area, extensive shedding and workshops. All this for $390,000.00; • 97 Pyrenees Highway, 2 bedrooms, 2 living areas and plenty of period features. Large allotment of 1500sqm with workshops and room for several cars. For sale at $515,000.00; • 29 Mount View Road, 2 bedroom stone home nestled in 6 acres of the Bushlands, offering views over Chewton itself, $359,000.00. Castlemaine Property Group: • 68 Llewellyn Rd, stone and timber house set atop a hill on approx. 3 acres of bushland. 4 bedrooms, 2 living areas and shady verandahs where you can sit and


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enjoy the views over The Res. Outbuildings and R/W tanks. For sale at $535,000.00; • 77 Pioneers Road, single bedroom log cabin set high in the Bushlands with views over Chewton and onto Castlemaine, $315,000.00. Keogh Real Estate: • 4 Pitman Street, 2 bedroom weatherboard with detached bungalow set on 1200sqm. Plenty of shedding, land to spare and attractive views towards Golden Point. For sale at $345,000.00; • 576 Pyrenees Highway, 2 bedroom weatherboard with character, set on 3½ acres of land with a meandering seasonal creek, plenty of outbuildings, $315,000.00. Waller Realty: • 732 Pyrenees Highway, ultimate family lifestyle with indoor pool and generous family room, 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, set on an elevated 3 acres with expansive views, the exterior is well set for entertaining, $525,000.00. Lynne Williamson.

St. John’s in April Starting with Saturday the 4th of April (the Saturday before Easter Sunday) there will be a service at St. John’s every Saturday at 6 pm. There won’t be any Sunday Services for the foreseeable future. •

Services for April, therefore, are 6 p.m. on the 4th, 11th, 18th and the 25th (ANZAC Day). Everyone is welcome.

Father Des Benfield is in the parish every Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday. He can be contacted through the parish office on 5472 1137 or 0407 569 739.

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...and the comparative housing market Each month in the Chewton Chat, Lynne Williamson details the real estate goings-on in Chewton. And each month there are enough listings to fill that column. And as listings disappear we notice the buildings that have sold or been taken off the market. Last week the Bendigo Addy published an article on house prices through this region. Victoria’s Valuer-General monitors these and publishes 3 monthly reports. The reports on all “suburbs” are available at property-information/property-prices

The latest report has just been released – it’s for the July to September quarter last year. Chewton seems to have done very well with an 18.9% increase from the previous (April to June) quarter. But only two sales were recorded during July and September to get the median price of $352,000 to base this 18.9% increase on. While the Chewton median house price is up, Castlemaine’s is down 6.2% - but it remains just ahead of Chewton’s. This table is from the Addy – they have picked out the local areas from the mammoth list of “suburbs” listed.

Duelling with ditties... The original post on FaceBook was way back on January 31st – look it up! It referred to a poem about a petition posted on the Chewton Post Office noticeboard by The Phantom Poet. Speculation about the identity of the writer swirled around the community and grew so intense it brought to the then number one suspect to the surface and he posted (with his name) some verse in response. The entertainment value was high as chortling in front of the notice-board became a common sight. This led to another post on the same site on February 10th (go on, look it up too!). Things moved quickly from there – the original Phantom Poet revealed his/her identity to the Chewton Chat’s editor and gave permission for the poem to be published on the condition the identity was not revealed. This was agreed on – and the March Chewton Chat published both poems on Page 13 under the heading “arts and satire contribute to local democratic debate”. All fun and all over? No way! An anonymous poem headed “A poem by an uneducated, non-artistic yobbo” has appeared on the noticeboard. Its writer claims it is by a better Phantom Poet

(and “better” is in bold!) . This poem is still there if you feel like dropping by the Chewton Post Office - the noticeboard is in the foyer so is visible after hours too! A handwritten note is penned on the poem too. All fun and over then? No way! That poem has now been answered by the original Phantom Poet! A poetry slam maybe? Warring with words! Opposing with odes! Versus in verse! Disputation in doggerel! All this happening in Chewton and being shared with the community… (the accompanying photo is a couple of years old so be wary of following up any ads on it!)

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CFA Update – April 2015 Easter is nearly upon us and for members of Chewton CFA that means the Good Friday Appeal is fast approaching. Every year on Good Friday members of the brigade volunteer their morning and afternoon to run the streets of Chewton collecting money for the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. Volunteers will be out again on Friday the 3rd of April (Good Friday) between the hours of approximately 9:00am and 12:00pm. Members of the community are reminded to keep an eye out between these hours, especially when on the roads, as collectors will be running up and down the streets knocking on houses. Chewton Fire Brigade would also like to remind those with pets in the area to ensure that they are secured during this time as there will be limited siren use by the brigade. Sirens are used during this time to alert nearby houses of the brigades presence so they can have donations ready. This year the Chewton Fire Brigade is hoping to beat their previous record so please give generously for this amazing cause.

Daylight savings will also end this month on Sunday the 5th of April so don’t forget that when you change your clock to also replace the batteries in all smoke alarms in your house. Only working smoke alarms can help save lives and the previous month has already seen an increase in structure fires in our local area. The brigade was called out to three structure fires over the past month, including a call out to St. Marys Primary School in Castlemaine. Luckily none of the incidents was serious. On Sunday the 22nd of March the brigade also attended an illegal burn off along Fryers Road. Five appliances were called out to the fire which was someone burning off in their back yard. At this time Mount Alexander Shire was still in the Fire Danger Period so everyone needs to remember that you cannot burn off until fire restrictions are lifted, no matter what the weather has been like. When burning off you should also remember to call the Burnoff Notification line on 1800 668 511 so that local brigades are not called out to your house unnecessarily. A special thanks also goes out to Luke Pritchard who fixed the taps at the Chewton Fire station and Tonks for donating the parts, as well as those members who volunteered their time to help out at the opening night of the Castlemaine State Festival. Paige Mounsey, Chewton CFA Communications Officer.

Wesley Hill Community Market

Chewton CFA are looking to start up the Junior Development Program again this year and we will soon be recruiting members. The Junior Brigade is aimed at children between the ages of 11-15.

If your child is interested in joining the junior brigade or you would like more information it is recommended that you attend our information night as follows.

Date/Time: Thursday 30th April, 6:30PM Location: Chewton Fire Station, Mount Street, Chewton If you are unable to attend the information session on this night please come and see us at the Chewton Fire Station any Sunday morning around 10am. For further information please contact Brigade Member Paige Mounsey on 0413 942 331.


Every Saturday 7.30am – 1.00pm An old fashioned Country Market Opposite the Albion Hotel New stallholders always welcome.

Call the Market Manager

0418 117 953

Make a little splash for Chewton Our Pozible Campaign is a fundraising activity to help restore the baby pool at the Chewton pool. It is not widely known that below the platform at the northern end of the main Chewton pool is an actual baby pool. This has been covered over for some years. In recent times there has been something of an explosion of young families with babies moving into the area. So the Chewton Pool committee thought it was time to recommission this third pool. It is seeking grants from various sources to help towards this project, as well as its very active Fund-Raising committee working on some interesting fund-raiser events. It also thought a wider number of people, both pool users and non-users, might like to feel involved and help contribute to the restoration of the baby pool. The Pozible Campaign is one way you can do this. It set a target of two months, and now have only until the 24th of April for pledges to be made. Please help the Chewton Pool reach their target by contributing via where you can monitor the progress of the total as the deadline approaches.

The numbers are in for the swimming season at Chewton Pool. Despite a number of cool days the attendance record was broken with 8,759! Thank you all for your support. Now for a short rest before our offseason projects and fundraising get into full swing. Taken from the Chewton Pool FB page.

A work in the park...

We offer 1 free trial spin class or workout on Monday & Wednesdays at 6.30pm (You may need to book in for spin class, please arrive around 6.15pm)

Park maintenance is never-ending, and was recently kicked along by three tractors in convoy, aerating and fertilizing the soil.

For membership message Maree or Carl on 54705500 or email For Massage contact Libby Mayes 0439 653389

For Muay Thai contact Jim Moran Classes at the old Gaol, For Kids & Adults

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As the term ends our students have been heavily involved in festival activities in the final weeks. One of the highlights has been the opportunity to work with Jan Palethorpe and Phil Hall on the creation of the ‘Monster’ as part of the ‘Fringe Mystery Walk’. It has been a great privilege to work with these Chewton artists who have so generously donated their time and materials to the project. Other exciting news is that we finally have solar panels installed. It seemed like we were so close with the final stages taking longer than expected. Work has also started on the ‘bottle cubby.’ After collecting close to 2000 bottles, the children are now filling these with sand ready for the wall construction. The summer has taken a big toll on the garden this year, however we now have a very dedicated team of parents who have been spending each Wednesday in the garden digging over soil and trying to get some moisture back into very dry beds ready for autumn planting. Our local planting on the nature strip has also had a stressful summer but we are hopeful many of the plants will re-emerge once the autumn rains come. Having spent the term with a history focus, next term’s inquiry is biological science based. The P-1 class will look at growth of plants and animals while the older classes will look more at moulds and other micro-organisms. It will be a great time to make bread, grow mushrooms and encourage lunches to stay in the school bag for a week. The 4-6 class will begin a water watch program using water from our creek. This is part of a Murray-Darling project where we will collaborate with other schools conducting similar research. So it’s business at usual up on the hill again next term with lots of Maths and English but also opportunities to work on local and community projects. Julie Holden.

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How much can be packed into one term at Chewton’s school? Well, there’s the new solar panels (this photo taken by Morgan), there’s Aiden reading with his Chewton Primary alumni Great Auntie Merl and Uncle Les on Older Person’s Day (Aiden and Emma are the sixth generation of Chewton Primary students from their family!), and there’s a Ride to School Day too.

Then there’s a few windy hours spent flying kites down at the Soldiers’ Memorial Park with Max Lesser, the swimming sports to end the swimming program, and then there’s the Fringe Festival - preparing a fridge for Fridgehenge, creating the Monster of Forest Creek and mining avtivies to be simulated in the creek.


Now for Term 2!


Know Your Neighbour Have you met Harry South? I was born at Wangaratta and lived at Whorouly, where my parents ran a tobacco farm. When I was five we moved to Melbourne where I did all my schooling. I then joined the firm of Dalgety’s as a junior in their finance department, and seeking advancement, I undertook a number of positions in Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales, including head office in Sydney and management courses. Along the way I married Marion, known as Maz, and we had three children, a son and two daughters. Eventually I joined the Rural Finance Commission was there for nine years, then back to the stock and station area again, with VPC (Victorian Producers Co-op) for another nine years until they merged with Elders. I then formed my own company and became a mortgage broker, working through choice. I’m just retiring now. Many years ago I commenced involvement with Lord Somers Camp and Power House, a youth organisation where each year a hundred 17 and 18 year old boys and girls from a variety of backgrounds come together in a camp situation and learn how to bond and grow together. I have been their building maintenance officer, cook and head chef and group leader. I was happy to do whatever was needed. It’s a wonderful organisation that has now been going for eighty years and is more popular than ever. How did we end up in Chewton? Some ten years ago Maz developed cancer. Expecting that we had knocked that over, we decided to come up here and get a bit of fresh air. Maz had a sister in Castlemaine and we had friends in Chewton, Maldon and Metcalfe. We came up to visit them one day, looked at a house in Chewton and Maz said, that’s it, so we bought it. That was six years ago. We were very happy here. Unfortunately Maz’s cancer returned and she died two years ago. I decided to stay on here as I’m now ensconced as part of this community. My kids come up and visit me regularly, bringing the grand-kids. I have six grand-daughters and they are a delight. On arriving here I joined the Lions Club in Castlemaine and all too quickly became their treasurer. I’ve been doing that for five years now. They’re a good bunch who do good work, and I enjoy it. My main involvement in Chewton has been through the pool. I joined the Nuggets, the men’s

swimming time at the pool. We get here early and first clean the place up and water the grass etc. I also joined the pool committee. Over the years I’ve lived in several different rural towns, but none as small as Chewton. What I really like about Chewton is the laidback nature of the town. People are happy to meet one another. It’s a very friendly place and that’s something you don’t find everywhere. Having a friendly local hotel is also a change for me. A few of us get over to the general store each day, have coffee and chew the fat. Chris and Brett who run the store are really good news. They do well and they deserve all the support that we can give them. Gloria Meltzer.

The Monster is up for Auction!! When: Thursday April 23rd Where: Chewton Primary School 5:00pm: Musical Entertainment 5:30pm: Auction of the ‘Fringe Monster’ and Children’s drawings of ‘Goats in Cardigans’ BYO drinks and nibbles however this is a Non-Alcohol Venue All Proceeds: The PAHAL trust foundation funding education for 50 children studying in Adarsh Vidya Manir, Raja Park and Jaipur.

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Fryerstown March has been pleasantly warm with some spectacular storms but not a lot of rain. The dry conditions appear to have caused some confusion among the wild life and the gardens and bush are suffering. We are in the midst of the Castlemaine State Festival with lots of events to attend and enjoy. Fryerstown people are much involved, notably Julie Millowick Chair of the Festival Board, Helen Baker General Manager, Ros Bandt in Birdsong, Denise Button and many others exhibiting or working as volunteers. We joined many mutual friends in the Castlemaine Botanical Gardens to farewell Doug Ralph. He was an inspiration to many in different ways and was a thoughtful source of advice and wisdom on our environment and our heritage – he is much missed! George Henry Wathen (1816-1879), who travelled through the Victorian goldfields between 1850 and 1854, continues to interest me. In his book ‘The Golden Colony, or Victoria in 1854’ he provides a sort of first hand audit of the situation in the colony in 1854, including this area. This is a much-abridged version of his summary mostly in his words despite some oddities of Victorian English with my headings and notes: Governance: “Up to the year 1850 Victoria, under the name of Port Phillip, was dependent on the Sydney Government; but in that year, it was erected into an independent colony, under the name of the reigning sovereign, an event celebrated by festivities in the towns and bonfires on the mountaintops, from end to end of the country. It was fortunate that this event preceded the gold discoveries; for all the embarrassments of that period would have been much augmented if the seat of supreme government had been distant 600 miles from Melbourne. As it was, the Lieutenant-Governor of the new colony was thrown on his own resources, and responsible only to the Colonial Minister in London.” Economy: “The money wealth of a community is well set forth by the amount of balances and deposits in the hands of its bankers; and the marvellously rapid strides of the colony in material prosperity, will be manifest from showing the amount of deposits, and the number of depositors, at the time of the gold discovery, and subsequently, up to January 1 1854.” KPT note: In December 1851 there were 6,000 depositors with balances of £823,709. By December 1852 there were 20,000 depositors with £4,880,940!! The wages, too, had risen from 2s per hour


to 15s, a factor of 7! Public Administration: “The social revolution that attended the gold era was soon seen telling lamentably on every department of the Government. Its constables were thieves, and a by-word for scorn at the Mines. At Mount Alexander there was a population of thousands, and yet the duties of the Post-office were there undertaken by a private speculator. The Police at the Diggings, though strong enough to exact the license-fees, were impotent to repress crime. The Gold Escort Service was so inefficiently performed that a Private Escort Company was set on foot, and was soon distinguished for the superior celerity of its operations as compared with those of the Government. Everywhere, in every circle, the Government was the mark of ridicule and invective, from the merchant at Melbourne to the shaggy digger at the Mines; and no wonder, because everyone felt personal inconvenience from an inefficient and ill-ordered public service. At the beginning of 1852 (only a matter of months after gold was discovered) Government became reduced to a state of the most humiliating helplessness. All the inferior officers and servants - clerks, policemen, boatmen, etc. threw up their posts. Their places were either filled up by new and incompetent hands or not supplied at all; and at the very moment when the country was passing through an eventful crisis, the Government was left helpless and paralysed. After this had lasted some months a change for the better commenced; and reforms and ameliorations were gradually applied to every branch of the public service; so that in the year 1854 the administration of the colony was in a higher state of efficiency than before the gold epoch. The acknowledged defects and deficiencies in the public service at this period have been often excused by referring them to the difficulties of the times, the scarcity of labour, the impossibility of finding at a moment’s notice persons to fill the numerous posts that had to be created. To the latter difficulty we can hardly attribute too much weight, seeing that very many of the new functionaries were necessarily strangers just arriving in the colony, untrained to their new duties, and unaccustomed to colonial life. Still, however, it is clear that such palliations and excuses for maladministration cannot be urged beyond a certain limit; and it must not be forgotten that in spite of the difficulties of the times, private establishments were all this time being doubled and quadrupled, and their opera-

tions immensely extended. As to scarcity of labour, there was never a time during the gold mania when labour could not be had by those who would pay the market price for it; and the resources of the Government were practically almost boundless. The Lieutenant Governor was himself distinguished by great mental and personal activity, and devoted himself to his public duties. In the summer he was often at the Government offices at six in the morning. He made frequent visits of inspection to the country districts, and was now at Geelong, now at Ballarat, and then at Mount Alexander, travelling rapidly without state, accompanied by his Aide-de-Camp or Secretary. Had all his officials been as energetic as their chief; he would have escaped much angry animadversion. But he committed two great errors. First, he filled some of the most important posts in the Government with men of the most ordinary capacity mere red tapists and slaves of routine; being, unless greatly belied, more anxious to secure in his coadjutors men of pliant docility than of commanding talents. Mediocrity at the head of a department propagated itself through all the subordinate grades, and hence sluggishness and inefficiency and want of foresight characterised every branch of the public service, and manifested itself in vexations delays and egregious blunders to be rectified by expensive expedients.” Education: “Schools for the upper and middle classes are usually inferior to those of England. On the contrary, schools for the lower ranks, and such as receive aid from the State, are often under much abler superintendence than similar institutions in the old country. It is not difficult to account for this. In a land where everything is exorbitantly dear a private schoolmaster must necessarily possess some capital before he can even provide a house for his pupils. Now there are not a few who joined the general rush to the new gold country possessed of considerable attainments, but having very little cash. Such being thus disabled from opening a school on their own account, after failing at the mines, and tired of a desultory life of disappointment, are glad to take refuge in the mastership of a parochial school, a position which they would probably have scorned at home. Hitherto the State grants in aid of education have been dispensed by two Boards which assisted in maintaining two different classes of schools; viz., one in which children of all creeds meet in the same school, and receive the same instruction; and another in which each school belongs to some one denomination, and

to that exclusively. By a recent Act, however, both of these have been, or are to be, abolished, and the grants are to be made on the principle acted upon by the Committee on Education of the Privy Council in England; viz., that aid be granted to all schools indiscriminately, if placed under the general surveillance and direction of the Government Inspectors. At the end of 1852, there were 115 schools in the colony. The number of scholars was 7,841; viz., 4,322 boys, and 3,519 girls. The number of schools is probably doubled at present, (1854) and that of scholars more than doubled. If the people of Melbourne are not themselves sedulous cultivators of literature and science, they are at least fully alive to the value of such pursuits, and of their importance to the dignity and welfare of the State. They are now laying the foundation of an institution whose influence may ere long be felt throughout the South Pacific. On the 3rd of July last (1854) the foundation stone of the Melbourne University was laid by the new Lieutenant Governor, Sir Charles Hotham. The establishment is to be on a scale commensurate with the opulence of the infant metropolis. The University has been endowed by the Legislative Council with large revenues. There are to be at first four professorships with salaries of £1000 a year each and a residence, - viz., one of the Greek and Latin languages and ancient history, one of natural science, one of mathematics, and one of logic, modern literature, and political economy. A public library has also been established, and £4000 remitted to England for the purchase of books.” KPT note: It amazes me how early they took the step of establishing a University and Public Library - just three years after gold had been discovered! The next Fryerstown film night is on 25th April at 7.30 in the Burke and Wills Hall and the film is ‘The Dam Busters’ (1954) starring Michael Redgrave and Richard Todd. This film is a tribute to Barnes Wallis, the anxious inventor of the bouncing bomb, and Wing Commander Guy Gibson, who led the dangerous bombing raids. The price is $5, tea and coffee included and nice things to nibble if you provide them!! Do come and keep our Film Nights alive! Kay Thorne.

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The Chewton Town Hall a gallery?

The town hall was the stunning setting when its very first exhibition was launched. Recent works to complete the hanging system and feature lighting were well and truly justified – and shown to their best advantage as the hall filled for a preview of what became a Castlemaine State festival highlight. “The Art of Slow” highlighted selected photographs by Brendan McCarthy and Rob Hickman that had graced the pages of Slow Magazine during its ten year life. Images of musicians, artisans, winemakers, brickmakers, coffee makers and even coffee drinkers hung on the walls and many were local. Even Chewton local in some cases! When it came to speech time it was left to Brendan to welcome everyone and explain the exhibition’s background. There certainly is lot more that goes on behind the scenes than is seen on the walls of any exhibition and there were many people and organisations that were identified and thanked. Then it was back to the food and the conversations – and as many of the guests had connections with Slow magazine and/or were colleagues of the Slow

Wow – is it ever!

personnel (it’s hard to say Slow people because they certainly aren’t) there were media connections everywhere. One guest singled out by Brendan was Alex Ellinghausen who travelled from Canberra for this launch. He once worked with the Bendigo Advertiser and actually photographed the 2007 Monster Meeting celebrations in Chewton as part of the Addy’s coverage. And judging by the compliments and conversations during the launch and the exhibition itself, The Art of Slow isn’t going to be the last exhibition for the town hall – a beautifully presented historic setting, a wonderful ambience, great facilities and even a prominent main road location were all commented on by many. Perhaps a 157 year old building is about to take on a new career.

Daylight saving will end in Victoria on Sunday, 5 April 2015, when clocks will go backward one hour at 3:00 am. And don’t forget “Change your clock; change your smoke alarm battery”.


Hair one day, fund-raising the next... It was with a sense of trepidation the invitation to photograph a hair-cut at the Chewton pool was accepted. This was no ordinary hair-cut, having been advertised as Isabel Kelly’s first one since her chemo in 2014. This was Isabel’s initiative to support the Leukaemia Foundation’s World’s Greatest Shave fund-raiser. And Wendy from Corner Cuts was going to do the deed – and follow up with some planned colouring. So a group gathered during the regular Golden Girls’ session and amongst lots of smiles, laughter and compliments the hair came off. Then came the cans of red and blue, and the inevitable trip to the only mirror in the pool complex. And there was even time for some hair colouring for some other heads! Highly successful was the poolside consensus during the group photo that followed.

Five Flags Hotel 155 Main Rd Campbells Creek


* Open 7 days for Lunch and Dinner * Monday to Friday $15.00 lunch menu available *Sunday Roast *Warm cosy fires *Tab and Keno *Drive through bottleshop


Sharing the fruits of one’s labour

Late summer, early autumn – fruit season! Beauty! Well – beauty for people and for animals too. They obviously believe in share and share alike. Sulphur-crested cockatoos and corellas have long delighted in getting into the ripening fruit and scattering it as they seek the seeds. Whether it is an increase in their numbers or a decrease in the areas under orchards (or a combination of both!) is unknown but the cockie attacks are far more consistent and dramatic this season. Everyone with a fruit tree in Chewton has a tale to tell this season.

First the birds come in and sit in the tree tops picking, eating and scattering the fruit. Into the Buerre Bosc pears at the moment – and they are rapidly joined by others as the trees begin to resemble magnolias with their familiar white flowers. Early in the season a gas gun, a bird scaring device that explodes an LPG gas charge, works well. The birds scatter each time, but familiarity breeds contempt and by late in the season it has little effect. And the birds do a great job thinning the crop! Even a short visit by a flock leaves a carpet of fruit on the ground beneath the trees. But there’s also a dearth of food around for the kangaroos – so from evening to early morning there are huge numbers of kangaroos under the trees cleaning up the cocky waste. Some eating off the ground, others picking up the fruit to eat in a more genteel manner.

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Nothing is out of bounds - least of all the kangaroos! Autumn is a desperate time for kangaroos. This autumn is even more desperate than usual. A very dry autumn following seasons that haven’t been conducive to growing the normal food sources means the roos are moving around more at this time. They can be seen in large numbers in paddocks and they are penetrating further into towns and even around houses. They are most visible, though, crossing roads and grazing on roadsides. And this is where they are most vulnerable. Deaths, even multiple deaths, are now common along stretches like Golden Point Road. The photo was of same day deaths about a kilometre apart. Slowing down is a very sensible option - and often a very much cheaper option too. But the desperation for food leads to another observation. For the first time on almost twenty years an almost 2 metre high fence around a veggie garden is proving ineffective. The visitors started intermittently at first and some flashing Christmas lights were employed – but these rapidly became an invitation to party central as more and more visitors explored the greenery (and other colours) available through the dark hours. First it was the carrot feathers, and the red beet leaves. Bean leaves were quickly followed by the beans themselves. The kale didn’t stand a chance! Sweet corn foliage disappeared and when the cobs began maturing they were chomped too. The choices were then expanded – the eggplants and their fruits were an overnight discovery – gone in a flash. Spring onions were tried and celery tasted. Cucumbers had teeth marks in them and whole zucchinis disappeared. And the the turnips were turned to. The nocturnal visitors seemed to have ventured through the range of vegetables with their order of preferences clearly visible. Turnips had to be the end! But no – the parsley went in one overnight feast. Parsley rated lower than turnips?

Little left of the kale above, or of the eggplants below. There was no broccoli or brussel sprouts at this stage so it isn’t possible to rank them in the kangaroo menu at this stage…

11-19 April is Australian Heritage Week and 18 April is World Heritage Day 19

The angst a power blackout can cause... Using an incubator to hatch eggs has some advantages – but there are some downsides too! Hatching guinea fowl eggs takes more time than the 21 days needed for fowls – and when these guinea fowl eggs went in the incubator the possibility of a power failure wasn’t contemplated. So four healthy keets hatched and were transferred to a brooder where a light would keep them company until they were not heat dependent. All good! At that stage… Then came an early March storm and no power. Torch taken out to check the brooder in the shed – nothing else to do but fill a hot water bag from the tap, wrap it in a thick old towel and put it in the brooder under the nonlight. Several hours later, still no power. So off to refill the hottie. In the meantime, there was no sign of life when looking through the glass hatch in the cooled off incubator. Daren’t lift the lid and let what remains of the warmth out – and keep the fingers crossed that the warmed core of the remaining eggs will retain some warmth while the surrounding air cools.

Morning, and things look ominous in the incubator – no sign of life and it looks cold. The thermometer had been removed a couple of days before to facilitate the anticipated hatchings. But things look good in the brooder with all 4 side by side trying to push their heads under the hottie! An amusing sight but presumably not amusing for them. More about life and death really. Somewhere between 9 and 10 that morning the power came back on. The hottie was removed from the brooder and we watched the keets luxuriate under the warm light. Phew. Checked that the red light on the incubator was on – and checked it several times in the next few hours. And mid-afternoon – sounds of cheeping and scrambling on the incubator floor. One more keet! That ndicates hope for the remaining eggs – but only the next day or so will tell. And yes, another the next day! Obviously it was a reminder to not count the chickens before they hatch – or at least not to count the keets in the incubator until they hatch. And it was a reminder of how little these hatchlings are and how they become independent feeders and drinkers within minutes. 6 healthy keets! Incredible!

Homestyle Meals to Go! Due to public demand... Chewton General Store is happy to announce we are now providing...

Homestyle Meals to Go! If you are busy with work, kids or life in general we would like to save your time in the kitchen with our selection of delicious meals. Coffee, Teas, Milk, Newspapers, Magazines, Fresh Bread, Soft Drinks, Groceries, DVDs and more... You name it we’ve probably got it. At your convenience...

Sprout bread now available Wednesdays, Fridays and weekends! Hours 7:30 - 5:30 Mon-Fri 8:00 - 4:00 Sat-Sun’s your store Chewton! 20

Prepared twice a week in the recently re-furbished Chewton Town Hall kitchen, our meals are made using only the best quality fresh ingredients. It’s Chicken Curry or Beef Lasagne to start with but our range will expand as time goes on. Any suggestions are welcome. A nice change from Pizza or Fish’n Chips!

And here in Chewton!

Farewell Doug...

... and Vale Syd

A great gardens gathering saw Doug Ralph farewelled by a wide cross section of the Victorian community – those gathered in Castlemaine’s Botanic Gardens came from a wider area than just Castlemaine, or just from Mount Alexander Shire and even from Central Victoria. From the beginning of proceedings when Jan Wositzky reprised the speech he’d delivered a week earlier at Doug’s funeral, M.C. Bev Geldard presented a succession of speakers. We heard of Doug’s life from so many angles – the roles in forming Friends of the Box Ironbark Forests and Connecting Country, as the arm waving visionary, as a political aspirant and passionate public speaker, as an educator (and at this stage the Mayor raised the ante dramatically by breaking into song!), as a mentor and inspiration, as a brother and family man, as an Apexian in his pre-40 days, as a generous, caring and accommodating friend, as a letter to the paper writer, as a voracious and knowledgeable researcher and promoter of history, as someone who you could always turn to for advice – as the reliable someone who would always be there for you! And, apparently, someone who gave the greatest hugs! A thoroughly deserved send-off to be well and truly remembered…

Another great loss to the Chewton community came during March with the passing of Syd Llewellyn. Syd had seemed so indestructible for most of his life and the story of his bounce back from horrific injuries is recorded in the annals of the town hall’s People and Places collection.

Family and friends gathered in Syd’s woodyard to farewell him, before the familiar old white ute took him to the Chewton Cemetery where he had dug so many graves in the past. A post on the Castlemania FaceBook page began, “Sad to hear of the sudden death of long time Chewton Resident Syd Llewellyn, “ Mr Redgum” as I used to call him, one of life’s real characters who was a living example that if you have a will you can do anything. Thanks for the stories, and taking an interest in my life, you always made me laugh.. You were a good bloke...Rest In Peace Syd.” This post has attracted many comments that are well worth a read - they say it all! Another gap appears in Chewton’s living history.


Barbequing and conversing communally

Hats off to Chewton – or more specifically it was hats on in Chewton because the March community BBQ had a “wear a hat for the Mad March hare” theme. Hats bobbing around the BBQ showed a wide array of styles – and some people who came hatless actually did a re-think on arrival, briefly disappeared and rearrived under cover. Lots of conversations peppered the evening as people either introduced or re-introduced themselves. Sometimes it was the hats that sparked the conversations and sometimes it was not! The PMG helmet brought back memories for some – but not everyone could throw their memory machines back to 1975 so it remained a mystery until Rob explained its meaning. The Post-Master General’s Department once ran all of Australia’s postal and telegraphic services – and apparently some people with very, very long memories (some do still exist!) still call at the Post Office to report phone outages. Pith helmets, floral bonnets, toppers, silver bike helmets and wood-shaving encrusted bush hats were represented around the BBQ, making the judging difficult. In


the end it was the floral bonnet that took off the best female hat and the PMG helmet scored the best male hat (also the best mail hat because of the wearer’s role – truly an ambidextrous prize that one). After judging the awards at all MoBQ’s since the very first, the judge then made a big statement – he is sick of never winning this competition despite his creativity! So Mo resigned on the spot and will be competing with the rank and file from next month. He will continue to organise the themes and provide the prizes – but the judges from here on will be drawn from a hat at each MoBQ. Or should that be a helmet? Possibly a PMG helmet? Will Mo win a prize? If he does, will the prize standards rise still further? And will any prizes containing chocolate still be stored in the boot of a hot car? So many questions and so few answers till the April MoBQ on Saturday the 4th… And yes, it’s Easter Saturday so the theme is, naturally, Easter! What thoughts does that conjure up? We’ll see on the 4th…

Farewell the beauty of She be like the best of rose which is not recalled by name, Cool as ice yet warmed by scent that sets tortured hearts aflame. Distant like the furthest star twinkling late into the night; Somehow lost to morning’s sun yet still held within your sight. Never truer words are spoke than to say nothing at all When passing the master’s brush over pictures on the wall. She’ll be kept for years to come, handed down the lines of time; Lingering from thoughts of youth in that “she had once been mine”. Out of an autumn’s fever she’ll come rambling into view, Unchanged since those days gone by when she did but just pass through. Somewhere in those memories that await the coming spring, Hope has been chained to the soul which suffers for ev’rything. Yesterday is now an age lost upon the grounds that burn, Well before that bridge too far stands the point of no return. Remember her one last time as the light fades o’er the rise; Only Heaven truly knows where it is the beauty lies. Daniel Larson.

P o e t r y C o r n e r

The Unka Bazong The Unka Bazong sings a wonderful song. He sings to the tune of a rubbery thong With rhythm supplied by a Japanese gong. And he sings his strange ditty When shadows grow long Does the Unka Bazong. The Unka Bazong has a terrible pong And that is the reason he warbles his song: So people whose nostrils are not very strong Can get out of the way, When he comes along, Of the Unka Bazong. I could teach you the words of his sonorous song But I’d get them mixed up; and I’d sing the tune wrong. So just hold your nose with the rest of the throng, Who gather at sunset To hear the sad song Of the Unka Bazong. The Unka Bazong sings a wonderful song. Some think it’s too short; critics say it’s too long. He sings on the shore of the Great Billabong And his audience murmurs “It cannot be wrong “To stand in the sand “And enjoy this weird song “As the sun slowly sets “We all feel we belong “As one with the thong “And the gong “And the song “And even the pong “Of the Unka Bazong.”

My Life Now

David Watson

Where has my ‘get-up-and-go’ gone to ‘Cause I don’t have any nowadays. When I think of all I was able to do, Now I’m lazing my life away. I’m not too bad in the weekdays, But my energy soon seeps away. When it comes to the weekends I laze about And I just take it easy all day. I used to enjoy myself walking for hours, And my duties I never would shirk. But now when the roses need pruning, Then somebody else does the work. I know I’m much older now, that’s my excuse, And they tell me that I’ve earned a rest. And I know my old legs now aren’t very much use Though I really do try my best. So now I do just what has to be done, Plus some other things that give me pleasure. I can always find something that I find fun To fill up those hours of leisure. Rae Hawkins March 2015


Ring 5472 3469 Main Road, Chewton CHEWTON GARAGE


Chewton Domain Society A big discussion point was obviously the forthcoming community launch of the town hall. But there was other business to transact too. Correspondence included an airconditioning quotes, several accounts and statements and a letter of complaint about the Chewton Chat. The treasurer’s report showed the CDS bank balance totalling $27,084.63 after all accounts for payment were processed. Several of these accounts were for town hall work done, the website hosting was $211.20 and the annual insurance $3,300. With committed funds removed from the equation, the CDS account came down to $16,247.13 With quotes for skylight replacements and a new rear door, for landscaping/ramp, for air-conditioning, for handrails at the front door, costs of disabled access signage and Post Office window and wall repairs still coming in. Membership was reported as 143 with two new members. It was mentioned that a federal government grant for Heritage Icons is being prepared by Golden Point Landcare, in partnership with Parks Victoria, to sign and upgrade the Forest Creek Track leading to the Monster Meeting. A letter of support is to be provided by the CDS. Rose reported on the progress of the soon to be launched the Chewton Community Plan. It was agreed that the CDS trial the 3rd Monday night for CDS meetings starting at 7.15 p.m..

The meeting closed at 8.38 p.m. with an inspection of the Art of Slow photographic exhibition in the hall. Although this wasn’t part of the CDS minutes it is worth noting that in a post on the Facebook page Scott Hastings wrote in response to the notice of the town hall community launch, “Congratulations to everyone, as someone who worked on this in 2003 I know what a very long journey this has been. The community has given top support to the town hall, post office, and public garden project and as a result it has a great civic center to be justly very proud of. Goodonyas.” High praise and lovely sentiments indeed! The next CDS Management Committee Meeting is on Monday April 21st, 7.15 p.m. in the Chewton Town Hall.

People and Places – what does it mean? Over a number of years a dedicated group has been gathering material related to Chewton’s history and their collection is known as the People and Place Collection. Two dimensional material only has been collected – photos, articles, cuttings etc. Space in the town hall precludes the storage of 3 dimensional materials. The monthly roster of volunteers for April at the town hall is on the next page. It will appear each month. Drop in to the town hall to suss out what they have and what information they can help you with. And do drop by to thank them for the dedication they show in keeping Chewton’s history alive!


Laksa Sundays Mondays Laksa on on Sundays andand Mondays A curry every A curry every dayday

Monk Dish Friday & Saturday Monk Dish on on Friday & Saturday Vegetarian & Gluten free selections Vegetarian & Gluten free selections Duke Street, Castlemaine 146146 Duke Street, Castlemaine Telephone: 54 706 Telephone: 54 706 038038 Host: YourYour Host: OnnOnn Ho Ho


Chewton - 100 years ago... Bendigo Advertiser - Tuesday 13 April 1915 FATALITIES AND ACCIDENTS. SHOOTING ACCIDENT. Phillip Archer, a youth, 17 years old, residing with his parents at Golden Point, Chewton, went out shooting rabbits on Saturday afternoon with a Winchester rifle. He states that he shot at a rabbit, but only lamed it, and in his hurry to re-load his rifle the cartridge exploded, and the bullet entered his chest. He was taken to the hospital where Dr. Hill found that the bullet had passed through one of the lad’s lungs, just missing the heart. To locate the bullet the X-rays will have to be resorted to to-morrow. The wound, though dangerous, is not likely to prove fatal. The patient today had recovered from the shock, and was much improved Glen Harrison.

Golden Point Landcare Meeting 10 a.m. Chewton Town Hall

Land wanted for my little home... Have you subdivided your land? Are you looking for a gentle older, artistically inclined person to reside beside? I am currently searching for a small parcel of land on which to build an attractive, transportable home. Here are my requirements: • size in the range of 600m2 to 300m2 • level rather than sloping • all services available (electricity, gas if possible, water, sewerage) • good access for the crane that will lift the house from the truck onto the foundations • all main electricity poles and wires to be on other side of the road • some greenery/trees would be nice rather than barren • Castlemaine and Chewton township are my preferred areas • $100k - $120k If you’d like to get in touch and talk further, I’d love to hear from you.

Workshop on Forest Creek Track signs.

Judi on 0431 180 105

Jennifer Pryce 0423 900 590

Chewton Senior Cits April dates:



Saturday Sunday Saturday Sunday Saturday Sunday Saturday Sunday

Pl ea sw se ap arr i an do f th ge n’ es yo ts e ui da ur o t. te w s n

April 2015 4 Closed 5 Closed 11 Closed 12 Closed 18 Frank 19 Joan 25 Allan 26 Max

We need friendly people with an appreciation of Chewton’s history, who are prepared to give 3 hours one Saturday or Sunday each month. Please ring Allan Dry 54723385 or Elaine Appleton 54722498 if you would like to be part of the team.

7th Pokie Trip, 8-30 a.m. Castlemaine Market 23rd Lunch 12 noon, then the monthly meeting Sunday 26th Train/coach to Adelaide for a Murray Princess cruise. Return Saturday 2nd. May. pm.


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March FOBIF walk

The monthly walks organised by the Friends of the Box Forest are underway. Led by Geoff Park, twenty-five people walked leisurely around the Rise and Shine Bushland Reserve last Sunday (March 16). The Reserve is 30 minutes drive from Castlemaine, and south of Newstead. Many people had come on this walk to observe birds with the benefit of having photographer and bird expert Geoff Park as leader. There were many birds about so people were not disappointed. Noel Young has supplied us with a bird list which totalled 24 species! A further feature of the walk was Geoff and Frances Cincotta’s identification of trees and shrubs, both indigenous and introduced. The history of the reserve which has included 5 separate clearings for timber and the use of the area as a source of gravel was also discussed. The main focus was, however, birds and this walk had attracted some serious photographers.

Next FOBIF walk On the 19th of April Neville Cooper will lead a 5-6 km walk through the Muckleford Forest. Nev can be con-

Group celebrates 15 years of walking A Castlemaine District Community Health walking group has been meeting at the Botanical Gardens since 1999, making this year their 15th year of walking. Walkers meet every Tuesday and Thursday morning at the Botanical Gardens. In addition to companionship while walking, they also receive support from the Community Health Nurse, Carol Waddington. Carol measures blood pressure, provides health advice, and refers walkers to other services. These health checks have picked up some major life threatening issues over the years, including arrhythmias and severe hypertension. “The group is supported by a team of very skilled and dedicated volunteers, allowing me to concentrate on the health of participants”, says Carol. “Over the last 15 years, some very close friendships have formed yet the walkers are also very welcoming of new people.” Perhaps less known is the Wednesday walking group, who meet at Castlemaine District Community Health for a


This photo of a Striated Pardalote was taken by Geoff Park on our Rise and Shine walk. You can see more of Geoff’s recent bird photos taken in Rise and Shine on his Natural Newstead blog. This bird and photography enthusiast had come up from Melbourne for the walk. Taken from the FOBIF website.

tacted on 0401 319 659. This walk will begin at the Red, White and Blue Mine Poppet Head. Hopefully there will be birds aplenty as we visit Dunn’s Reef and surrounds. brisker one hour walk, and return there for a cuppa. All Castlemaine District Community Health walking groups are only a $1 donation, which pays for the cuppa. Further information about Castlemaine District Community Health exercise groups is available by calling 5479 1000.

Carol Waddington measures blood pressures at the Botanical Gardens Walking Group.

Tracking along Forest Creek The Forest Creek Track is one of our greatest assets – yet remains a mystery to some. Starting in Chewton, you can walk to Castlemaine (or Wesley Hill for the market, or Pennyweight Flat for the history). Or you can walk past the Monster Meeting site and continue on to Expedition Pass Reservoir (or Dunstan’s Flat, or Faraday). So many ors! And there’s extreme ors like the signage shows – divert from the Forest Creek Track onto the Goldfields Track near Manchester Street and Bendigo is only 56 kms! Possibly a train trip back would be warranted after that one though! Forest Creek Track’s usage is increasing – but it could be more. Interested in adding your footprints or bike tracks to it? Other people are already doing that as a matter of routine. It’s off-road and follows the gentle slope of the creek. In Jan 2009 the Chat promoted this too...


Councillor’s Chat With budget deliberations in full swing it’s difficult to find the time to write a half decent piece for the Chat. Councillors are currently spending a lot of time going through the sixty or so pages of the operations budget, looking for possible savings and less important items. Working through sections on Aged and Disability Services (HACC), through Emergency Management, Library Operations, Recreation Services, Environmental Health (septic tanks and commercial kitchens checks etc.), on through service areas such as Infrastructure, Parks and Gardens and Roads and Paths, we eventually reach Statutory and Strategic Planning, Waste Management, IT and Insurance. Did you know that council’s insurance bill for this year is $552,000? Over half a million dollars. Next we’ll look at the proposed capital works budget, agonising over what should go in and what has to be left out. Like insurance costs in the operations budget, are some painfully expensive items in the capital budget that can’t be left out, such as the capping of two old landfill cells. When these cells were filled in days gone by, they were simply covered with a layer of dirt and that was that, or so it was thought at the time. However, rules change, and the EPA as our environmental protector is a very good changer of rules. The old cells now have to be covered with high tech fabric layers overlaid with special clay, to the tune of some two million dollars each. Ouch. Over the past few years I’ve been holding a listening post at the Chewton Store on the first Sunday of the month. This has given people the opportunity to come and talk to me about council-related matters and has been a useful way to sort out some issues, have a chat, and hear some complaints. During February this year all councillors participated in a series of ten listening posts around the Shire, with the aim of gathering information and opin-


Post Office Hill Action Group

Prior to the last meeting of POHAG several interesting documents were received. These have provided POHAG with additional information concerning mining ventures which were conducted here. Technical drawings of the Post Office Hill mine and the lines of specific reefs which cross the area were provided by Clive Willman, and Ken McKimmie has shared with us a copy of a hand-drawn map done by Neil Delmenico. This information will complement the information brochure which is being compiled. Further weed control works have been done by “Bushco”. To help with maintenance, POHAG has been invited to prepare an action plan then meet with the Vocational Services Manager at Loddon Prison to discuss how these resources could be utilized. Development of a network of walking tracks was raised, funding for this is to be investigated. The next meeting of POHAG will be in the ChewtonTown Hall on Sunday, 12th of April at 10:00am.


ions to help with our budget deliberations. Based on the success of these listening posts, councillors have decided to continue them on a monthly basis, on the first Saturday of each month. We’ll alternate between Castlemaine one month and another town on the second month. Details of the listening posts are shown below. They’ll be advertised in the Council column in Tuesday’s Midland Express on the week prior. Consequently I’ve decided to stop holding my monthly Chewton listening posts for the time being, while I support my fellow councillors in our collective endeavours. Anyone wanting help with a council-related issue is always welcome to call me on 0466 004 628 or email We can arrange to meet or sort things via phone or email, depending on which suits you best. Cr. Christine Henderson, Coliban Ward.

22 April is Earth Day Earth Day is a celebration of the environment that we all share. It also acts as a day of conservation awareness.

Catching a train to Cockroach Valley The carpark was full of vehicles and an assortment of unusual trailers. Obviously purpose built or adapted from a conventional shape. The answer was inside. A hall full of trains and train buffs. It was the long weekend and the hall was in Kyneton. During an earlier visit to his model train layout , Kevin Bush had mentioned this gathering that takes place each year on the long weekend in March. He had said it was always impressive - and impressive it was. There was a variety of scale models ranging from the tiny to the bulky, all running on individually designed layouts that were assembled and created imaginatively in the same scale as the trains that ran through, under and over them. And apart from trains, there was an impressive display of meccano-built models. Meccano is obviously still alive and well. And there were model merry-go-rounds and more familiar faces from this area. Cockroach Valley was the name of Kevin’s display and his busy team were in co-ordinated shirts to leave no doubt as to which trains they were operating. Trailers, landscaping, shirts – the lengths the modellers go to in presenting their passion to the world is amazing. And any conversation with them reveals their dreams and plans for expansion – the next time you see this it will be bigger and better they say…

And still in Kyneton The Lost Trades Fair was held at Kyneton Racecourse the same weekend as the trains. Estimates put the crowds at about 15,000 for this fair – there is obviously a lot of interest in the old ways. 85 rare trades were on show with coo-

pers, coachbuilders, black smiths, fletchers, whip plaiters, penny farthing bicycle makers and a chain-mail making armourer demonstrating their skills.

Anzac Day in Chewton, 2015 This is the centenary celebration – it’s 100 years since the landing at Gallipoli. The Chewton commemoration will be on Anzac Day – 25th of April at 8 a.m. at the Memorial Gate to the Chewton Soldiers’ Memorial Park. Contact Max Lesser or Bettie Exon (5472 3892) for details.


Sk8 art installation

A win for Landcare

Maree Edwards came to Castlemaine to meet members of the Landcare movement. The meeting was in Victory Park where few native trees can be found, but a suitable (and impressive) eucalypt was found on the Barker Street side of the park. It was there that Maree passed on the news that the state government was committing $3.2million to ensure the funding of Victoria’s 68 Landcare facilitator positions for another 4 years. Facilitators perform the vital role of building community capacity, assisting communities to deliver local action, facilitate effective participation in Landcare activities and enable groups to become selfsupporting. Through the support of facilitators, more than 2,500 on-ground projects have been undertaken, almost two million native plants planted and more than 400,000 hectares have been revegetated, protected or enhanced. Good news all around! And Maree reminded the group that nominations for the 2015 Victorian Landcare Awards are now open too.

The Skate Art Project is funded by the Victorian State Government through the Community Crime Prevention Unit in partnership with The Mount Alexander Shire Council and XtremeInc Youth Projects, is half way through and is producing some amazing work! Tara Kingston, the lead artist on the project, has been blown away by the incredible artwork and ideas by local young people “I’m really excited to be involved in such an awesome youth arts project. A truly great opportunity for the young people within the community to have a voice and make the skate park their own colourful playground. Throughout the design process, this is of the upmost importance to me, that the youth have ownership - that the artwork is theirs,” Tara said. Over the duration of the ten workshops the group has been covering everything from the initial brainstorming, stencil making, aerosol techniques, pattern making through to the final applied design. The group has decided that the main theme for the skate park mural will be retro video games, the rest will be a surprise.  The installation will be over the Easter holidays on th the 9 and 10th of April 9am-5pm, with a free bbq and music. Members of the community are encouraged to come and have a play, contribute and get colourful. This is a fantastic opportunity to work on a massive canvas which is the skate park and create something beautiful and inviting for the community. To join the Skate Art youth group or to find out more, please contact Sarah Cook on: 0402 087 949 or email: Taken from a Press Release.

Buda Historic Home and Garden A property of national significance.

Home of the noted Gold and Silversmith ERNEST LEVINY and his family from 1863 to 1981, featuring authentic furnishings, arts and crafts collection, significant heritage garden and grounds. Nursery selling drought-hardy plants, many propagated from the garden. Open hours Wed - Sat 12noon to 5pm, Sunday 10am to 5pm. Groups by appointment. 42 Hunter Street, Castlemaine 3450, T/F: (03) 5472 1032 E:


FIELD NATS VISITORS ARE WELCOME AT CLUB MEETINGS AND EXCURSIONS Fri Apr 10th: Meeting: Guest Speakers: Albert and Eleanor Wright on birds Sat Apr 11th: Field trip: To be advised.

A great coffee is as simple as Hey Presto Coffee obsessions, addictions and passions are well catered for at the Maldon Market thanks to a pair of talented baristas trading as Hey Presto Espresso. Nigel Tilbrook and Bec Keirle believe the secret to a good coffee is to source locally roasted beans, ensuring the freshest brew every time. Regular traders at the Maldon Market held on the second Sunday of every month, Nigel and Bec have been brewing coffee using a unique bean sourced from The Old Green Bean in Bendigo. According to Bec, it doesn’t get much fresher than that. “We know our customers will only accept the freshest coffee available and having our supplier located in Bendigo means we can get regular supplies of freshly roasted beans,” she said masterfully creating the perfect latte. “We selected this particular bean for its full body and rich texture and our customers have responded.” With over 5 years’ experience of pulling long and short macs, smooth crema-topped lattes and heart starting espressos, Hey Presto is giving visitors to the Maldon Market more reason to stop and fuel their caffeine obsessions. Their coffee cart (which comes with a story they’d happily share with you) is a regular feature of the market and a popular meeting spot for discerning locals and interested visitors. They have recently started offering their coffee expertise to aficionados in Castlemaine at The Good Table. Along with Hey Presto Espresso will be other artisans and produce growers at the Maldon Market which is held on Fountain Street, Maldon the second Sunday of each month from 9am – 2pm. The Maldon Market is an initiative of the Maldon Neighbourhood Centre. Taken from a Press Release.

Ordinary membership: Single $30, Family $40, Pensioner or student: Single $25, Family $30. Subscription includes postage of the monthly newsletter, Castlemaine Naturalist. General meetings - (second Friday of each month, except January) are held in the Uniting Church (UCA) Hall (enter from Lyttleton St.) at 7.30 pm. Field Trips - (Saturday following the general meeting) leave from the car park opposite Castle Motel, Duke Street at 1.30pm sharp unless stated otherwise. BYO afternoon tea. Outdoor excursions are likely to be cancelled in extreme weather conditions. There are NO excursions on total fire ban days.


Community papers As you enter the Castlemaine library there’s a newspaper reading area to pass through. And in the corner is a stand devoted to localcommunity papers and newsletters. Among the publications there are The Guildford Globe, Harcourt Core, Newstead Echo and the Chewton Chat. A monthly visit to this stand will fill you in on the goings-on around us. A terrific initiative by the staff of the Castlemaine Library!

The Chewton Chat is published by the Chewton Domain Society. A subcommittee of John Ellis (Ed.),Bettie Exon, Gloria Meltzer, Debbie Hall, Phil Hall and Glen Harrison is responsible for the publication. Many volunteers help with production and circulation. It is circulated on the first of each month, necessitating a deadline of about the 22nd of the month before. Material can be left at the Chewton General Store, with any of the sub-committee members, sent by e-mail to or by calling 5472 2892. Contributions of ideas, news items, articles, and letters are always welcome; as are advertisements that help meet monthly production costs. Circulation is via the Chewton General Store, Chewton Pet Supplies, Chewton Post Office, East End Servo, Red Hill Hotel, Castle Automotive Enterprises and Tourist Information Board, as well as the Bold Cafe, Castlemaine Library, Market Building, CHIRP, CIC, Castlemaine Copy Centre, Castlemaine Camera Shop and Castlemaine Office Supplies. Mt. Alexander Hospital Residential receives monthly copies too. Whilst copies are free, there are donation tins at many collection points and donations can be mailed to the CDS address below. Subscriptions for mailed copies can be arranged. Circulation is now 700. A full colour Chewton Chat can also be downloaded each month from - as can earlier issues. The CDS can be contacted through PO Box 85, Chewton, 3451; or the Chewton Town Hall 5470 6131 (when open). The Chewton Chat wishes to advise that the views or remarks expressed in this publication are not necessarily the views of the editor, the management team or the Chewton Domain Society and no endorsement of service is implied by the listing of advertisers, sponsors or contributors.


Barely a thirty has been seen What a month! Just three days of thirty, and hardly a fire to be heard or fought. What a change from our more normal March. I have really enjoyed weather that has been so equable. It has been a most unusual summer. The only complaint has been my poor tomato crop, and I hear that I may not be “Robinson Crusoe”. In temperature terms, the average high temperature this month has been 25.5 degrees celsius. This was 4 degrees lower than the February average, a distinctly lower temperature. The month’s highest temperature was 30 degrees C, some eight degrees lower than February. Instead of eighteen days of 30+ degrees, we had only 3 days at that temperature this month. We did however have 18 days in the mid-twenties, really rather pleasant days. Good outdoors weather apart from those pesky wasps. I heard that the Festival crews had to destroy 20 wasp nests in the Botanical Gardens alone. Hardly surprising, then, that the mode for the month was 25 degrees C, contrasting with 34 degrees C for February. The lower overnight temperature range has produced an average temperature of 12 degrees C, with a similar mode. The lowest was just 6 degrees Celsius, recently experienced only a few days ago. This compares with an overnight average of 15.5 degrees C. last month. As for rain, there has been little enough to talk about in this regard. Just two falls of 5 millimetres this

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month for a tota1 of a mighty ten. The best one can say is that it was consistent; 5 millimetres once a fortnight. Tanks, creeks and dams must be feeling quite dry about it all. Talking as we are about rain, the Bureau of Meteorology is changing the terminology it will use to describe the weather. They intend to make it more easily interpreted. If there is no chance of rain, then they will give a percentage – in this case of 0% to 10%. Slight chance of rain – 10 to 20 % chance of rain. Medium chance of rain will be – 40, 50, or 60% chance of rain. High chance of rain will be 70% or 80% chance of rain. And finally, 90 or 100% chance of rain will be referred to as very high. I am not sure that it is actually going to make that much difference. Whilst 40% might mean it will miss your spot entirely, 60% might result in a local downpour on your washing!! Someone must have done a PhD on the topic recently. More on this next month when I have read more about it all. With a final word, it seems that the Pacific sub sea-surface temperatures have been raised by the recent Tropical Revolving Storms (TRS). Of the eight different El Nino predictive models all are now leading to greater likelihood of El Nino events in 2015. John Leavesley.

Good Friday Service 6 p.m., St. John’s Anglican Church Chewton. MoBQ 6 p.m., Ellery Park (See page 22.) Easter Sunday - and daylight saving ends. Easter Monday Senior Citizens (SC) Pokie Trip 8.30 a.m., Castlemaine Market. Chewton Comm and Senior Cits Hall Committee Mtg. 7.30 p.m., Comm. Centre. Service 6 p.m., St. John’s Anglican Church Chewton. POHAG meeting 10 a.m. Chewton Town Hall. School Term 2 starts MAS Council Meeting 7.30 p.m., MA Civic Centre. Service 6 p.m., St. John’s Anglican Church Chewton. FOBIF Walk in Muckleford Forest (See p. 26.) CDS C/M.Mtg. 7.15 p.m., Chewton Town Hall. SC Lunch 12 noon, followed by monthly meeting. Monster for Auction 5 p.m., Chewton Primary School. (See page 13.) Deadline for Chewton Chat. Anzac Day Ceremony 8.00 a.m. Chewton Soldiers’ Memorial Park gates. Service 6 p.m., St. John’s Anglican Church Chewton. Fryerstown Film Night (The Dam Busters) 7.30 p.m., Burke and Wills Hall. SC Trip to Adelaide for Murray Cruise. Golden Point Landcare Mtg 10 a.m. Chewton Town Hall – Jennifer Pryce 0423 900 590. Anzac Day Public Holiday MAS Council Meeting 7.30 p.m., Maldon Community Centre. Folding Chewton Chat (Thursday) Chewton Town Hall 2.30 p.m. Chewton Junior Fire Brigade Info Night 6.30 p.m., Chewton Fire Station.

Chewton Chat April 2015  

The Fringe Festival ends, the Town Hall is returned to the community, award winning toys, crowd funding for a babies' pool at the Chewton Sw...

Chewton Chat April 2015  

The Fringe Festival ends, the Town Hall is returned to the community, award winning toys, crowd funding for a babies' pool at the Chewton Sw...