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



Published on the 1st of each month

Issue 203

January, 2016.

Pining away… Spectacular pine removal work is continuing in the centre of Chewton, and the piles of mulch are growing in number and size. Logs are stacked, waiting for removal. The landscape surface is slowly being revealed and the views back and forth across the opened up area are now obvious. Some residents are now reporting they have sunshine hitting their properties at times of the day when it didn’t before. Now the question most asked is what is going to happen to that area? And the next question is what’s going to happen to the stumps? A press release from DELWP has been issued about these very points:

A new view for Chewton residents… One and a half hectares of pine trees have been removed from the Castlemaine Diggings National

Heritage Park by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP). DELWP Murray Goldfields District Manager Paul Bates said, ‘There is still a bit of chipping and mulching of trees to be done with this work being completed by the end of week, weather permitting. The wood chips will then be spread across the site to cover the soil and prepare it for revegetation. The larger logs that are unable to be mulched will be taken off site to be processed at a saw mill and turned into timber. The existing tree stumps will also be removed and mulched over the next few days.’ The trees were removed at the request of the community after public consultations with Member for Bendigo West, Maree Edwards MP. Forecasts for the summer show that Central Victoria is at above average risk of bushfire and grassfire and this dryness and risk is already evident in Castlemaine and the surrounds. Fuel reduction works such as tree removal, mulching and track clearing on public land protect communities during the bushfire season. Parks Victoria is working with Chewton Landcare and the broader community regarding revegetation options for the site. Community input into the future of the site will be sought in early 2016. To provide your thoughts on the revegetation, please write to Chewton Landcare, c/o Chewton Post Office, 145 Main Rd, Chewton, 3451. Warning: Like all January Chewton Chats this January Chat was printed before Christmas so some news may be dated by the time of reading.


Chewton Then and Now making a pre-Christmas comeback! Exciting breaking news is that a third edition of Ken McKimmie’s book on Chewton is on the way and the printer has promised that it will arrive before Christmas. If you would like to purchase a copy they will initially be available in Chewton at the Chewton Post Office or from Ken McKimmie on 5472 2809. Copies will also be available in Castlemaine at Stoneman’s Book Room and from the Information Centre (Market Building) in Mostyn Street.


The book won the Local History - Small Publication award in the 2012 Victorian Community History Awards organized by The Royal Victorian Historical Society and The Public Records Office. The book contains 50 separate studies and over 200 images that investigate change over time in the former Mount Alexander Goldfields town of Forest Creek, later known as Chewton. The book would make an ideal gift for someone - a perfect Chewton gift!

Photos are from the Inter-Brigade training at Monks Hill taken by Jo Willen.

CFA Update – January 2016 Firefighters were on high alert during December as a heatwave affected Victoria. Temperatures rose to nearly 40 degrees Celsius between the 17th and 20th of December resulting in high fire danger ratings and total fire bans across the state. Due to the Chat’s early deadline, we can’t report on any incident during this heatwave but we are all hoping for a quiet weekend and Christmas Break. Earlier in the month the Chewton Tanker turned out to an incident along the Metcalfe-Malmsbury Road. Members were called to the fire just after 11pm on the 9th of December and returned just after 2am. At least 10 other brigades also sent crews to the event, all doing a fantastic job at getting the fires under control. Members also attended numerous other calls including a solar panel fire at a home in Chewton as well as a bungalow fire in Harcourt. December also saw Chewton Fire Brigade host the inter-brigade training. Crews from Chewton, Castlemaine,

Campbells Creek, Harcourt and Maldon all came out and went through HAZMAT training at Monks Hill. After the training all the volunteers got to enjoy a BBQ back at the Chewton Fire Station. Junior Brigade Training was also held on the 16th of December with the weather warm enough to play with some water and enjoy a nice cold ice cream at the end. Members of the brigade also received a special request in December from the one and only Santa Claus who needed a lift to visit the children of Chewton ahead of Christmas. The brigade filled the role of the elves on the 19th of December at both the Wesley Hill Market and Chewton Swimming Pool. The brigade had their fingers crossed that the hot weather wouldn’t interfere with this special job. Finally, Chewton CFA would like to Wish Everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. But most importantly, STAY SAFE! Paige Mounsey, Chewton CFA Communications Officer.


Listening Post held in Castlemaine last Friday of the Month 10am to 2pm. Please phone for appointment. 8 Panton Street, Golden Square VIC 3555 P: 5444 4125 @mareeedwardsmp mareeedwardsmp Authorised by M Edwards, 8 Panton Street, Golden Square. This material has been produced by Maree Edwards MP using her Parliament’s Electorate Office & Communications budget.

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! 3

Chewton + bikes = a busy, busy pool!

The signs had been up for weeks. Up and down Golden Point Road and through Chewton. The Great Victorian Bike Ride was arriving from Heathcote! Down Golden Point Road and through Chewton to the campsite at Wesley Hill Oval. If it was hot would the riders be tempted by the Chewton Pool? Signs were posted to announce the pool’s presence beside the route – with some bonus attractions! Well they arrived, and yes, many hit the pool. An unusual number of bikes were parked outside the Chewton Pool. The poolside barbecue was held and pool Manager Jasmine Samson’s smile said it all – the day was a raging success. And after hearing many, many people complain about Mount Alexander Shire not acknowledging the existence of the Chewton Pool in the Shire’s public notices and Council News, it was interesting to see a packed minibus with the Mount Alexander shire logo doing constant shuttle bus runs for the camping cyclists of Wesley Hill – to the Chewton Pool! On Sunday it was off to Bendigo for the cyclists – through Chewton and along Golden Pont Road again. Do you think the cyclists will be so impressed by Chewton they’ll individually seek out Chewton to visit again in the future? Hopefully!

The thousands of cyclists that hit town and camped at Wesley Hill were gone early on Sunday morning. The last leg of the ride was a leisurely trip from Wesley Hill to Bendigo. The early starts saw many groups pass back through Chewton and up Golden Point Road again. Plenty of noise – bike riders conversing always do it with raised voices. Big groups like the Toorak College contingent made their presence well and truly felt – but there were a few solo riders too. Photographers peppered the route and advertised their presence so the best smiles (or grimaces) were on show. And at the abandoned Wesley Hill campsite the packing up began in earnest. An incredible number of support staff worked in the background to move, accommodate, feed and entertain this mobile town of thousands. Three to four thousand riders supported by three to four hundred volunteers – that’s more than half of Castlemaine’s population! A sour note was that six cyclists from Toorak College had their bikes stolen during their Castlemaine stay. Six people will remember this town! Next year the Great Victorian Bike Ride Goldfields are swapped for the Grampians and the Great Ocean Road. Any takers?

Chewton School enjoyed the pool on the school’s last day of 2015


Thinking of the animals Summer warmth and things drying rapidly around us. At this time of year it is worth checking on the other living creatures around us as they adapt to drying conditions. The nesting boxes have come alive and the noise of feeding frenzies attracts attention – the young hanging out (literally) for the parental returns. And occasionally one either leans too far or over-estimates its ability to fly. Fledglings appear on the ground, then seek refuge in nearby foliage. Amazingly, they hide in these spots until they can fly, spending days hidden away while gently calling the returning parents to find them with food. Then there’s the resident blue tongue that patrols the garden, the frog that hides in the watering can (and is too quick to photograph!) and a walk around Expedition Pass Reservoir reveals other lizards – and a number of water-users who ask if you managed to get a shot of the tiger snake that appeared from the nearby cumbungi. Nope, didn’t sight that one. And the kangaroos! Lots of young, and now the hunt for food is becoming a little more serious. There are road casualties as a result. And the usually shy and retiring wallabies have been around for months – and fortunately none have been in vegetable garden for a serious forage as yet! Snakes are an ever present presence in this area. Lots of sightings have been reported already this summer. Some of these, disturbingly, have referred to snakes having to be removed from houses! Although numbers of sightings have been way up this season (8 browns and one tiger by mid-December!) there are no photos of these encounters - they always appear when one is cameraless! Facebook reports have listed two licensed snake-catchers for the Castlemaine area - maybe two phone numbers to keep handy! • TONY WADSWORTH – 0408 368 381 • JASON LAMBIE – 0407 723 239


Water for a drying town Maybe a dry argument coming up... despite the Poverty Gully Race running (see post below). This map and article are from today’s Weekly Times. From Coliban Water’s website the 3 dams holding our water are Upper Coliban 55.7% full (88.6% full at this time last year), Lauriston 66.6% (75.7% last year) and Malmsbury 57.2% (78.3% last year) - the combined capacity for the 3 is 57.2% (78.3% last year). Cairn Curran doesn’t affect our water supply but it is at 23.67% compared to 53.15% at this time last year. So Stage 1 restrictions predicted for autumn 2016!

Wondering if anyone can tell me why the water race/cascade is running and where to? A post on Facebook posed this question in early December. The water race/cascade referred to is part of the Poverty Gully system and is at the top of Specimen Hill along the Fryerstown Road. The question was put to Coliban Water and this answer was given: “The Poverty Gully System is still used to supply 15 rural customers in this area (1 customer in Campbells Creek and the remainder along the Poverty Gully channel). Currently water is being supplied to customers, with the run expected to finish on Sunday 13 December. The next roster period for customers to order on this system is between 30 December 2015 and 13 April 2016. We are yet to make a decision on the future of the Poverty Gully system but have been engaging with customers on the matter in recent times.”

The dry prompts a warning!

No excuse for neglecting horses

Taken from a Press Release. Horse owners across the state are being urged to plan ahead in the face of dry conditions and a potentially severe summer. This warning comes after a Goulburn Valley man was found guilty for a dereliction of care when he failed to supply his horses with enough water to survive a hot period. Victoria’s Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Charles Milne is urging all animal owners to plan ahead now before the availability of on-farm water and fodder deteriorates. “This is a sad case and as often is the situation, there are other issues impacting the running of the property,” Dr Milne said. “We cannot make excuses for animal owners who do not care for their animals properly, even if they are faced with other challenges. As an animal owner it is your responsibility to ensure regular supervision and supply of feed and water, if this is not possible then other arrangements are needed. If you’re struggling to care for


your horses our advice is list or agist, this means put them up for sale or make arrangements for someone else to care them on their property.” The case at Shepparton Court centred around horses being unattended for a number of days and a dam water supply pipe silting up, which led to seven horses dying from a lack of water. Chief Executive Officer of RSPCA Victoria Dr Liz Walker said it is unacceptable for animals to be allowed to starve to death or die of thirst under any circumstance. “Those with a responsibility for the care of any animal must continue to ensure their animals’ welfare during extended periods of extreme weather,” said Dr Walker. “These rules don’t only apply to mainstream farmers, small area and hobby farmers as well as owners of domestic animals have the same responsibilities to put in place management strategies that will provide for the care of animals.”

Know Your Neighbour Have you met Maggie McLeod? Maggie McLeod was born in Chinju in South Korea where her father was a missionary. When she was three the family returned to Australia, ‘just in time to avoid internment by the Japanese.’ Upon finishing her schooling at University High School Maggie studied Science at Melbourne University, obtaining a Ph.D. in Biochemistry. She then worked in this field. She met her husband, Bill, a Psychiatrist, through the Student Christian movement. They had three daughters and one son, and now have seven grand-children. In the 70s they lived in New Zealand where they started to engage in the “Human Potential Movement and the “big questions, Who am I?” Maggie says ‘at this time I was Bill’s research assistant.’ Maggie widened her horizons again becoming interested in New Zealand pottery. On their return to Melbourne, she became a fulltime pottery student, doing a three year course at Prahran TAFE, one of the happiest times in her life. She then equipped her studio and built a kiln went on to work from home as a ceramic artist, and had several shows of her work. She adds that, ‘I still remained very interested in science especially Quantum Mechanics where it seems there is a convergence between the ancient mystical traditions and recent discoveries. Maggie is keen to point out that as far back as the 1980s ‘a friend and I became concerned about environmental issues such as soil degradation, salinity, air pollution. We decided to stop moaning and do something about this.’ She explains that she was doing a seminar called ‘Commitment’. ‘I stood up and declared, I’m going to plant one million trees.’ Many people at this seminar said, ‘we’ll join you.’ And so in 1988 the ‘TreeProject’ was born. The Commission for the Future gave them rooms and office support, and a number of groups joined them in setting up revegetation projects. Their first big planting was in Yarra Bend Park. ‘Seven hundred of us managed to plant 10,000 trees before lunch. This was followed by lots of plantings around Melbourne.’ Maggie comments how nowadays with the ReTree Scheme; which has city people growing for and planting with country people; about two and half million trees have been planted. Maggie also had the privilege of attending the first Climate Change Conference in Cairo and says “ everything that was predicted in 1989 is happening.” How did Maggie and Bill end up in Chewton? Initially they bought 40 acres in Sandon where they built a family home, living there in retirement for a few years. Meanwhile their son Andy lived in Chewton and began building houses there. They came to take a look at their current home, built by their son on a steep hill with magnificent views over the Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park, and decided to buy it, installing a chair lift to assist Bill to get up their internal staircase. ‘We call it Rock House,’ laughs

Maggie, adding ‘it’s mountain goat territory.’ They have been here just over a year. Although she stresses that she is not planning to fall, when she gardens on the steep rocky slope, she admits that ‘the ageing body sometimes has other thoughts. I’m coming up for 79. However, the garden helps keep me fit. It’s my exercise and grounds me both physically and spiritually’ Not one to sit idle, Maggie became involved in the local Chewton Landcare group. ‘We now have a new committee, of which I am the secretary. Three recent working bees have seen a major transformation in the wattle grove and around the stone sculptures. I am very impressed by how friendly and supportive people here are, and at the number of incredibly talented and artistic people who live here, both in Chewton and Castlemaine. This area offers the possibility of community connections in that traditional and spiritual sense, something that seems to be lost in the modern world.’ Gloria Meltzer.

Which neighbours will emerge in 2016?


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The Business(es) of Chewton

The Collectors Cafe I’ve been dropping into Castlemaine’s The Collectors Café for a while now. The coffee’s great, there’s interesting things to browse and Charlie Ross is the proprietor, manager and staff! Over a few short years the Chat has carried photos of Charlie at Chewton School, at the Fryerstown Antique Fair, at Wesley Hill Market and as part of the Chewton Community Planning group. So how did Charlie find himself owning a coffee shop in Barker Street, Castlemaine? Especially as he was (and still is!) a member of the no more coffee shops activism movement! Well, Charlie has been dabbling in collectables since he was very young – a life-long hobby he says. And one day when browsing the Gumtree site for real estate he spotted this opportunity. He can’t recall specifically why he was looking at real estate but guesses it was looking for storage space for his burgeoning collection. An opportunity like the one that appeared was too good to pass up - allowing him to branch out and provide a showcase for his collectables as well as serve great coffees. Apart from regularly trading at fairs, swap-meets and markets, Charlie had been a Saturday morning employee at the Rocket Roast coffee establishment at Wesley Hill. He’s now retired from that he explains. How long has been in this business? Six months he says, adding “By God it went quickly!” Charlie is interested in coins – pre-decimal silver coins especially. And bullion, war memorabilia and small collectables. Whilst he has an interesting collection on display, this is only a small sample of wider interests. He has also established and now manages a buying and selling group on Facebook – with 5,000 members he announces. And not all Australian – from Barker Street and his Chewton roots Charlie reaches into the wider world! And that bike? Something was needed for pick-ups and deliveries and it’s just perfect according to Charlie. A hand crafted bike built from

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:


scratch – another of Tony Russell’s great designs that matches Charlie’s needs. “It’s amazing what the wicker basket can hold, and what can be strapped to the bars.” Why the signage for Rocket Roast coffee? “It’s great coffee – wouldn’t use anything else,” is the immediate response. “Besides, it’s supporting a Chewton business and Chewton people.” With all the doom and gloom about Gen X and Gen Y and the future of humanity, I must say it’s absolutely inspirational to visit The Collectors Café and meet someone with Charlie’s drive and ambition. Perhaps that’s why I keep going back! John Ellis.

The Collectors Cafe 325 Barker street, Castlemaine. 0431 059 600 Open Mon-Fri from 7 am - 3:30 pm and on Saturday from 8am - 2pm.


Fryerstown It has been a very dry few weeks and the bush has dried off very quickly reminding us to be prepared for fire danger and have good plans in place when we face the reality of going or staying. As we have got older I think we must make the decision to go early, despite having put in tanks, pumps and sprinklers on the roof for protection, should it come to that. Meanwhile the galahs and wattle birds seem to be busily dipping themselves in the bird bath and preening their feathers. In compiling his book Celebrating Fryerstown Past and Present, Paul Gahan sought stories and family histories from Fryerstown families, some of which he has passed on to me - to my delight. In family histories, you see so vividly the ways misfortune or economic changes affect families and even after 100 or so years the real feelings of pain are often so clear that you wish you could do something to help. With family histories I prefer to use words of the person who has compiled the history, rather than re-writing or re-phrasing in my words, and following my usual practice, I have done this here with minimal editing. The following was written by William Murley, the great grandson of George and Mary Jane Murley. He writes,“In the gold rush Fryerstown had a large Cornish population, among whom were George Edwin Murley and Mary Jane Murrish who had married in St Just, Cornwall, on 10th October 1868, then migrated the following year. Like the Irish, the Cornish at this time migrated en masse; most were miners and a slump in the mining industry had left them out of work and destitute. They migrated to any part of the world where mining work was to be had: it was said that no matter where you went in the world, if there was a hole to be found, there would be Cousin Jack at the bottom of it (just as Welshmen were known as Taffy, the Cornish were called Cousin Jack). Although the alluvial gold had by now petered out, the deep lead mines in the Bendigo, Ballarat and Castlemaine districts attracted Cornish miners like a magnet. It must have been with hope in their hearts that Mary Jane and George sailed from Plymouth two days before the close of 1869, anticipating a better life for themselves, their baby son, and the children yet to be born (William Henry, my grandfather; Walter Charles; John; and Jane were all born at Fryerstown). Their decision to settle at Fryerstown may have been influenced by the fact that two of Sampson Murrish’s daughters were already living


there. Keziah Murrish and her husband, John Thomas, had migrated first to the predominantly Cornish coppermining town of Burra in South Australia, and thence to Fryerstown; as, too, had Keziah’s sister, Rebecca, and her husband, Henry Tonkin. By the time of George Edwin and Mary Jane’s arrival in 1870, the days of spectacular alluvial nugget finds were over; immigrant miners now sought employment underground in Cornish style mine works. Any hope that they may have entertained of a better life were shattered on 6th July 1880, when George was killed in an accident at the New Era mine in Spring Gully, the deepest of Fryerstown’s quartz mines. George had gone to work as usual at 7 a.m. at the 70 ft level. As his workmate described it: ‘We were shovelling and I heard a sound … I said George I hear something cracking. We looked but could not see anything. In 3 or 4 minutes I heard a crack again and said to the deceased that the cap had gone. I took the candle and we saw the cap was cracked. We had a centre close by and tried to find it underneath. We had not time for down it came and the light was put out. I jumped away and sang out to George are you alright and I got no answer. I scrambled out from the stuff that fell on me and sang out to Errington for a light and I said come quick for George is dead . . . he was 34 years old, was married and had a wife with four children and a native of Cornwall.’ The stone beneath the New Era mine was of poor quality and soft, which meant that huge quantities were excavated, leaving large caverns to be shored and secured. If this was not done properly the work site was an accident waiting to happen – and happen accidents frequently did. Despite the Coroner finding William Hargrave the mine management culpable for the collapse of the shoring and subsequent

fall of earth and rock that killed George – “owing to proper care not being taken in centres considering the nature of the ground” – workers’ compensation was then unknown, and Mary Jane, her youngest child just 11 days old, was left destitute; she did not even have the money for his funeral, and George was buried in a common grave with no headstone. George’s death certificate was issued by the local registrar of births and deaths, a Fryerstown man named William Hargrave. By a quirk of fate, little William Henry Murley, whose age he meticulously entered as 6 years, 3 months, and 20 days at the time of his father George’s death, would later marry William Hargrave’s daughter, Rose. In order to feed and clothe her children Mary Jane was forced to take in washing for the mine manager’s wives and the business people who could afford to pay others to do their work. How else could a widow with four small children earn a living? There were no pensions then. Even so, her children often went hungry or had no more than a dry crust and dripping (my mother remembered her father with tears in his eyes when one of his own children wouldn’t eat their crusts or complained about a meal). Being a washer woman was hard work. To get water to wash the clothes, Mary Jane had to carry it from the water holes made by the mine-puddling machines. As the water was discoloured with clay from the water-holes, she sprinkled it with ashes and charcoal to settle the clay and make the water clearer. Only then could she boil the water and wash the clothes, rubbing, scrubbing and wringing by hand.” As referred to in the story above, William Henry Murley, son of George and Mary Jane grew up and married Rose Hargrave on January 11 1905, Rose being the daughter of William Hargrave who had recorded George Murley’s death. William Hargrave was a remarkable man; born 17th June 1836, the son of Hans Hargrave a coach builder of Market St, Armagh. He arrived in Victoria in March 1855 aged 19 having, as legend puts it, “run away to sea”. He drove the Castlemaine coach, kept a newsagency, and was registrar of births and deaths of the Fryerstown district, registering the births of his children. He also registered the death of his wife, Eliza in 1884 when Rose was 3 years of age, leaving him to raise their 12 children alone. He prepared colconnan – an Irish dish made from potatoes, eggs, and onion – for his family each Saturday and when there were no other green vegetables, he cooked nettles. He died on

Rose Murley’s 80th birthday 21.2.1961. L to R front Elsa, Rose, Edna, Abra. Back row Ross, Lindsay, Jack, Bill. 23rd October 1901 and the Memorial Page inscribed by the District Officers of the Castlemaine District, M.U.I.O.O.F reads ‘He joined the Order in 1862, being initiated in the Loyal Talbot Lodge immediately after the formation of the lodge. In February 1865 he was appointed Secretary to his Lodge, and in February, 1896, he was appointed to the position of Provincial Corresponding Secretary of the Castlemaine District, retaining both positions until his death, with satisfaction to the members of the Lodge and District. He was one of the best of Oddfellows, a brother of strict integrity and honour. He was highly esteemed by his brethren for his uprightness in his dealings, and his name will for ever be revered by all who knew him.’ His portrait in full Abra Murley on her Eightieth birthday in 1987 revisiting regalia is in the Burke Fryerstown in front of the and Wills Mechanics fig tree that grew beside her Institute Hall to this childhood home. day.


Abra Connellan (nee Murley), William Henry and Rose’s eldest daughter, who was born in 1907, has added to the family stories and anecdotes: “Mum (Rose) also attended Fryerstown State School. She would have loved to have gone on to high school but family circumstances meant that she was not able to complete even primary school. I always had a warm affection for Mary Jane, my Grandmother, who had a bitter struggle to make ends meet My Uncle George went to work in the mine very young to try and help his mother rear the young ones. My father (William) left school at ten years of age and was apprenticed to Butcher Jensen of Campbell’s Creek. The Jensen family treated him like a son, he lived with them. Campbell’s Creek was five miles away from Fryerstown. He played football and cricket with C.Creek. He was also a champion bike rider. My mother had his gold medals, won at cricket, football and bike riding. He also played in the Fryerstown Brass Band and he played the big bass. Uncle Ben Hargrave also played in the band. Later on in life he became the Band Master and three of my brothers played brass. The Cornish kept the Brass Band alive, they also loved music, his family was a choir in itself. My Dad sang baritone, my Mum sang alto. I sang soprano, and the younger ones all joined in with their different young trebles and tenor voices. On hot summer nights we would sit out on the front verandah and sing for the pure fun of singing. People passing by would stop and listen to us. In those days only the very wealthy had a piano or violin, the poor working people had mouth organs, and accordions. Some had a small fiddle and played by ear. (Mostly, Irish had fiddles). But all who could sing, did so. There was not even wireless then, let alone radio or TV as children have today. All my life I have loved to sing. I sang my own children to sleep and also sang my grandchildren to sleep.” On Saturday the 29th November we gathered in the Burke and Wills Hall for the last film night to watch ‘The Searchers’ with John Wayne. The ‘Old Film’ nights were started by Chris and Glenda Athey in April 2003 following their move to Fryerstown. The

first night attracted 60 people using projectors borrowed from Kyneton and with the funds raised on that night they were able to buy three 16mm projectors. Since then there have been 10 film nights run every year, barring one or two gaps which means that about 120 old films have been shown in the hall since then. Because of the increasing fragility of the films (and the audience) it has been decided to discontinue the regular film nights. The 41st FRYERSTOWN Antique Fair opens on FRIDAY 22 January and runs thru to SUNDAY 24 January 2016. It is an experience not to be missed! I wish you a happy and fulfilling year in 2016 Kay Thorne. Photos courtesy Tim Todhunter

Wesley Hill Community Market 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


le who e h t g ild turin very ch r u N in e


Sometimes I wonder just how much we can fit into one term. The final week of term has begun to take on a few traditions. We had some yabbying to do down at the creek but this turned into spotting the burrows due to a lack of water. Christmas Carols in the town. A board games afternoon. A fun swim at the pool. Awards and presentations at our family picnic with the final night which also features a sleep over at school. Term four is also a time of reflection on our successes as well as looking at ways we can improve the educational opportunities for our students to live up to our motto of ‘Nurturing the whole child in every child.’ Every few years there is a new curriculum launch and this term saw the beginning of the Victorian Curriculum, our States version of the National Curriculum. There is a long political story behind this, but in short we are all sort of doing the same thing as the rest of the country. No one Australian state really wanted to let go of their own curriculum which led to the long political story! We have until 2017 to implement the changes, however our staff decided to start now with our 2016 plans using the new materials. We have now received our second star from the ResourceSmart Sustainability program in recognition of our work on biodiversity. Jennifer Pryce has been a key player in assisting our school to achieve this goal and we can certainly see many of the changes in our school grounds. We have also now completed the final module from the Kidsmatter program. Staff completed the mental health unit this term and this marks the end of a 2 year program in developing skills and teachings that support our students to be part of a community that welcomes and supports families. With holidays about to start I would like to once again thank the people of Chewton for their support of our school during the year and we look forward to great happenings in 2016. Julie Holden.

Photos: Amara and Marta at the annual teddy bears picnic for new preps, receiving the recycling award at the climate change rally and three shots of the amazing eco-cubby rising in the schoolground.


“Sometimes I wonder just how much we • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

And the rest of us muse on just how much can be fitted into one school year? Try this for starters... Implemented a new grade structure due to increasing numbers. Funding won for a National Science Week project, ‘Pocket Astrophysics for Pocket-sized Towns’. Older students attend a leadership program in Bendigo. School captain badges presented. Work with artists Jan Palethorpe and Phil Hall as part of the Fringe Festival. Solar panels installed. Work started on the bottle-fed eco-cubby. Vegetable garden maintenance is on-going with seasonal plantings. Water Watch program begun, part of the Murray-Darling project. Older Persons Day brings “new recruits” to school. Kite flying with master kite-flyer Max Lesser. Ride to School Day. Swimming sports to end the school’s swimming program. Children’s Trash and Treasure Sale for Chewton Pool. Family Day Care program begun. Selected to trial the “Sporting Schools” module. Invited by the National Gallery of Victoria to our school to attend the Golden Age of China exhibition. Planted a commemorative Anzac pine tree to mark the Battle of the Lone Pine. School leadership put cheer into the dark days with a Winter Solstice Day. Luke and Nathan in the Bendigo regional cross country.

Specialising in Brick, Stone, Granite and Slate


can fit into one term,” • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

wrote Chewton Principal Julie Holden for this Chat.

Fundraising for a 2016 rebound wall begins with events like a street BBQ. Work with POHAG to distribute nesting boxes. Biodiversity work to attain a second ResourceSmart program star (after the energy efficient star earnt in 2014). Annual bush cook out behind the school. Reconciliation Week activities include excursions and Julie McHale visiting. Term 2 and 3 clubs program introduces new activities (including bush-walking!) and new adults. Principal Julie on long-service leave and the school survives! National Tree day celebrated with a huge planting. Cyber safety sessions for children and parents. School Camps at Somers and Swan Hill Pioneer Settlement, and with horses at Boomerang Holiday Ranch. Cluster Days with other small schools. Book week activities of dressing up, theatre, library visit and Stoneman’s Bookroom visited. Science Week dinner with Orsola De Marco - an astrophysicist who spent science week at Chewton School. Several children received awards in the Annual Castlemaine Poetry competition. Shortlisted for the Biodiversity School of the Year at the Sustainability awards in Melbourne. Co-winner of a $100 Voucher from the Enviroshop in the School’s Battery Competition. Again supported the Orphfunds 1DAY appeal where funds are raised to build and equip schools in Africa. Violin learning children present a soiree for parents. Christmas carolling through Chewton. Awards night, sleep-over to end the year. Implementing a new grade structure for 2016 - due to increasing numbers! Any wonder?


Ring 5472 3469 Main Road, Chewton CHEWTON GARAGE


The Monster Meeting... December the 13th. Two days before the actual anniversary of the the great meeting of diggers was the day that was designated for the 2015 celebration. A horse drawn people mover from Sandy Creek Clydesdales was already attracting attention along the Pyrenees Highway, before taking a prime parking spot outside the town hall. Inside the town hall was a display of Monster Meeting material, including memorabilia from past celebrations. The horses and the display provided plenty of entertainment for those arriving early. Noah and Brooke were the powerful horses according to driver Matthew Thompson. Noah, a 5 year old part Clydesdale was the senior partner, and Brooke, a two year old pure Clydie was the other half of the team. Their placid nature was on show as Matthew climbed over them, and as they patiently waited for the numbers to build up. Inside the hall the conversations were animated as the display was browsed. The Monster Meeting CD, the new Monster meeting book and even small versions of the flag were on sale. All the while people arrived, many in outfits that are only seen on special occasions. Norm Harris from the Bendigo Historical Society arrived with a collection of the international flags they own. Inside the hall he was surprised to see a photo of himself in 2004 – holding a flag made famous by Bendigo’s 1853 Red Ribbon Rebellion. It was great to see Doug McCann, our guest speaker from the 2012 celebration, in the hall – and Martin McKenna too! Martin was the winner of the 2010 Monster Meeting Song Award with that special “Thirty Shillings a Month” that has been heard so often around Chewton in the intervening years. And Howard Penberthy arrived in a head turning blue vehicle, apologising for missing recent celebrations. The decision to move to a Sunday was clearly paying dividends. Then Phil Hall, MC for the day, called the gathering together. With flags flying, lone piper Langley Rowbottom led the parade along Chewton’s only (lonely?) footpath to Mount Street, where Max Lesser was keen to assemble a group shot. Some confusion ensued as the horses were negotiated into view-finders and a motorist turned left

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...celebration 2015 across their bows. But eventually, it was smiles all around as the event was recorded - accompanied by the barking of a very local dog attracted by the strange activity. Down Mount Street past the quiet CFA building and the fallen pines to yet another Max-inspired, hastily assembled group shot. Then it was off over a very dry Forest Creek and along its course – a very different picture to the ones preserved from the 1850s. On the Monster Meeting site there was time to catch up with old friends (and some once-a-year acquaintances) before the entertainment began. This is always a highlight of Monster meeting celebrations. Then it began – Phil Hall acknowledging we were meeting on Jaara land, welcoming everyone and turning the stage over to a couple of legends of the entertainment scene who have devoted years to learning and communicating the Monster Meeting message. Danny Spooner and Jan Wositzky have been integral to Monster Meeting celebrations for many, many years and their presence is always infectious. Then it was book launching time. This part of the proceedings is covered by Beverley Bloxham in Chat Art (page 21). Then Martin McKenna took centre stage with that classic of his - “Thirty Shillings a Month”. Accompanied by Danny and Jan and the voices of many on the grass – that song is obviously very well-known and appreciated in Chewton! Jan went on give an explanation of the Monster Meeting project. the new book’s genesis, and an interpretation of its relevance to modern times. He and Danny then brought the entertainment to an end with “Good times a-coming” which was also well known to the enthusiastic audience. A Parks Victoria-provided BBQ, and the opportunity to seek “colour” with gold pans allowed the day to wind down. Another successful one – one that ended with a massive heave-ho to get the dray on the trailer for the trip back to Sandy Creek Clydesdales - to be ready for 2016!


The Christmas version of a MoBQ. December. Community BBQ. People. Conversation. Conversations. Chewton conversations… yep, a busy and fun-filled night. Filled with words. Albert Einstein explained it beautifully when he was reported to have claimed, “As far as the laws of barbecue refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.” And so it is with a MoBQ, which always leaves something to mull over the next morning. And this MoBQ brought many new faces out – just wonderful! Enlightened and extended conversations, free flowing refreshments and weather to die for – definitely no call for a brazier which is just as well because the fire restrictions are well and truly in. And everyone, well, seemingly everyone, arrived with nibbles to share. Bikkies, chips, cheeses, olives – you name it! And the shared salads upped the ante this month too – the Vietnamese salad in particular greeted with much acclaim. When the hotplate got going (“Spare rib anyone?” asked Adam) Mo’s

small chicken pieces were offered around and so many acceptances followed that he was left with just one. But the communality of the BBQ meant that he was offered a sausage by way of recompense. Christmas apparel came under the spotlight. Mike was ajudged the most Christmassy male because he was wearing three garments that were readily identifiable as Yuletidish. Three garments, with only a minimum of jangling. And Linda took out the Mother Christmas award with a colourful Christmas elf outfit, backed up by some percussion instruments. Her prize was a box of truffles – well, it should have been! A box of truffle in reality. Purchasing truffles from an air-conditioned supermarket and then storing them in an un-air-conditioned cupboard in hot weather brought on some unexpected changes. And the ensuing Kris Kringle brought forward a talented water-colourist in our midst. A Kringle of a water colour from an emerging artist was still being talked about some days later. Chewton’s like that. Full of surprises!

First MoBQ in 2016... ...January 2nd


Not a stocking event at all!

Through the night As we talked through the night Watching lights like stars Dance on the black bay I spoke of lost hope. And you listened. Was that love? As we wandered through the night, In perfume warm as friendship, Your fingers sat gentle and uncertain Like doves in my palm. And life changed in a heart’s turning. Was that love? As we danced through the night To music loud as cannons I was lost for words, Blushed and skipped a beat, Stepping on the feet of strangers. Was that love? Was that love? As we laughed through the night, In joy brilliant as opals, Our honeyed bodies melted In a web of unsworn promises. And we were one. David Watson. Are you interested in

PLAYING THE BLUES? You are invited to a monthly Jam Session at Elphinstone This is a non-professional, informal get-together of people who want to make some noise and have some fun!

If you are into blues music and sing or play an instrument you are welcome! For more information:


Chewton Town Hall Are you looking for a place for an afternoon tea, a celebration, an exhibition, a meeting, a conference, a concert, a food preparation space? The Chewton Town Hall offers a beautifully restored space available for a variety of events and uses.

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

Poppi’s song Dressed in my pink pyjamas Flop-eared Rabbit on my head Wide awake with the grown-ups When I ought to be in bed. Grandma gave me bananas Ice cream and honey for tea Now I’m only two and a half Soon I’ll be nearly three. Dressed in my pink pyjamas Bouncing on Annie’s knee Wide awake with the grown-ups In the pub for her birthday tea. Annie’s age has two numbers Which makes her older than me Now I’m only two and a half Soon I’ll be nearly three. Flopsy - the name of my rabbit Is tired and nodding her head. I’m wide awake with the grown-ups, But she ought to be in bed. The Sandman’s dancing his soft-shoe. Dreams gather round me like sheep. Flopsy’s away with the fairies, Feels like I’m falling asl... by David Watson. (Railway Hotel, C’maine, 30 November 2015.)

YOUR TURN NOW? The Chewton Chat welcomes contributions to Poetry Corner each month; just as news, articles, letters, photographs and ideas are welcomed. Email to or leave in the Chat box at the Chewton General Store.

Happy New Year! Services at St. John’s for January

(Because of the age of the building universal access is limited)

There will be a service at St Johns at 6pm each Saturday in January.

To discuss what you might need, what we can offer and the costs of hiring all or part of the hall...

2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th.

contact Bettie on 5472 3892 or

Everyone welcome. 19

Castlemaine Art Gallery launches projects and the 2016 calendar

what’s on? This is our new column where you can advertise what’s happening at your gallery, theatre, or studio: anything arts related can be advertised here. It’s very affordable: up to 50 words for $5. If you would like your arts event listed in the What’s On? column, please send your information in no more than 50 words to by 15th of the month for inclusion in the following edition of The Chewton Chat. Payment for your listing can be made where you buy your copy of the Chewton Chat: please place payment in an envelope along with your details. Anyone placing a paid display ad in The Chewton Chat gets their event listed in What’s on? for free. The Monster Meeting Book by Jan Wositzky and edited by Pat Healy is now available from the Chewton Domain Society (contact Pat 0422 759 661), the Chewton General Store (Main Road Chewton) and the Castlemaine Tourist Information Centre in Mostyn Street. Cost is $20 The Castlemaine Artists Market trades on the first Sunday of each month (excl January) and is based on a strong commitment to things that are individually handmade and objects of beauty or artistic intent made with skill and care. Arts Open Labour Day Weekend 12 - 14 March 2016, and 19 - 20 March 2016. For more information about Arts Open, go to the website: or ring Michelle Day on 0417-825-261.


Jennifer Kalionis, Director of CAGHM, announced the gallery’s program for 2016 which promises to be an exciting year with a wonderful list of exhibitions. The first of the 2016 exhibitions is Ben Quilty: After Afghanistan, an extraordinary touring exhibition from the Australian War Memorial by one of the nation’s most incisive artists. The exhibition itself is the result of the Archibald Prizewinning artist’s three-week tour across Afghanistan in October 2011. Engaged as an Official War Artist, his purpose was to record and interpret the experiences of Australians deployed as part of operations in Afghanistan and in the United Arab Emirates. In fulfilling his brief, Quilty spoke with many Australian servicemen and women, gaining an insight into their experiences whilst serving in the region, and ultimately leaving with an overwhelming need to tell their stories. Ben Quilty: After Afghanistan is on display at Castlemaine Art Gallery from 15 January until 15 April 2016. An Australian War Memorial Touring Exhibition, proudly sponsored by Thales. Castlemaine Art Gallery is the only venue in Victoria for this exhibition. Other exciting events to watch out for in 2016 include: • The Len Fox Painting Award (Entry forms available from CAGHM website from 14 December 2015); • Slipstitch touring exhibition • Sampler exhibition of Contemporary Textiles in collaboration with Buda; • Bill Henson photographic exhibition; • An exhibition about bushrangers by local artist Clayton Tremlett.

Gold miner unveiled Before a crowd of more than 100 people, Chewton’s first life size, realistic sculpture, that of an 1850s gold miner was unveiled in the centre of the Chewton township. Gerald St John, owner of Mo’s Antiques, commissioned local sculptor, Richard Yates to sculpt this miner from local white cedar, with installation at the front of Mo’s Antiques in Chewton’s main street. Fifth generation local resident Athol Dennis was the guest speaker and highlighted the significance of the early pioneers’ achievements and the impact of gold on their lives then and our lives today. He also spoke of the tragedies that took place, the spirit of the people and the magnificent buildings that still stand today. Another local resident, Elaine Appleton, dressed in gold rush era costume said a few words before helping to unveil the sculpture and its accompanying plaque. This sculpture endeavours to bring to life a piece of Chewton’s rich gold history, and a second sculpture has already been commissioned to bring to life another chapter of Chewton’s history. Karen Yates.

Good health and abundance to all for 2016 from everyone at Bold Café.

Mayor launches The Monster Meeting Book On Sunday 13 December, in the very spot that the original Monster Meeting took place in 1851, Mayor of Mt Alexander Shire, Cr Christine Henderson, launched the book of the historical event to a gathered crowd, albeit a somewhat smaller than the crowd of 15,000 miners that must have filled and overflowed that place almost exactly 164 years ago. The event that brought so many anxious and probably angry miners to down tools and gather in that throng was outlined in the posters nailed to trees along the creek where the diggings were taking place: “Fellow Diggers! The intelligence has just arrived of the resolution of the Government to Double the Licence Fee. Will you tamely submit to the imposition or assert your rights as men?” After some rousing ballads sung by Jan Wositzky and Danny Spooner, Cr Henderson took the stage atop a horsedrawn wagon, and read excerpts from the scholarly yet very readable publication written by Jan Wositzky and edited by Pat Healy. The chosen tracts took us back to the times of the outrage and in the absence of our modern conveniences, how was news delivered and how long did it take to get from Melbourne? What kind of man was Governor LaTrobe who had issued the edict to double the licence fees? Why was the licence fee doubled? What was the twist in the story? To find the answer to these questions and much more, you will need to buy the book! The Monster Meeting Book is available from the Chewton Domain Society (contact Pat 0422 759 661), the Chewton General Store (Main Road Chewton), and the Castlemaine Information Centre in Mostyn Street. Cost is $20.

Bold Café reopens on Saturday 2nd January 2016 at 10am

Bold Café serves a variety of delicious, handmade food. Our specialties include A curry every day. Laksa on Sundays and Mondays. Monk Dish on Friday & Saturday. Vegetarian & Gluten free selections Normal Trading Hours FRIDAY SATURDAY SUNDAY MONDAY 10am – 4.00 pm 146 Duke Street, Castlemaine Telephone: 54 706 038 Your Host: Onn Ho


Royal Lady Maggie Fooke is a relative newcomer to Castlemaine. She started visiting regularly four or five years ago, at first staying with friends, often in Chewton. Wanting to have a reason to be here, rather than just buying a house, she bought the lease of the Theatre Royal in 2013. Her intention was to stay in the background, to run the occasional film festival, and to become part of the community. She wanted to work on the Royal garden and to repair the building while enjoying all that the Theatre had to offer. The occasional leisurely glass of wine on Sunday afternoons in the Brickyard, with some friends and music, was her idea of heaven. Well, it didn’t quite work out like that. Several months ago, Maggie found herself running the Royal herself, along with the café and ice-creamery. Without any training or experience in café management or film distribution or music promotion, she has been on a very steep learning curve. Fortunately, she seems to have gathered a remarkable team of friends and colleagues, who are determined to get her through! Recently, the Theatre Royal was named Best Regional Venue at The Age Music Awards 2015. More than 80,000 people voted in the awards, which placed this old and lovable theatre at the top of the list. Maggie says band members often tell her that the Theatre Royal is their favorite place to play. She thinks that is because they feel the 160 years of energy and love and good times embedded in the building’s time-worn bones. Built around 1854, the Royal is the oldest continually operating theatre on the Australian mainland. Of course it has had it’s own share of drama! The original building of rough timber and canvas was constructed to provide live entertainment for the thousands of diggers who swarmed into the district looking for gold. Disaster struck in November

1857, when a fire, completely destroyed the theatre with all its scenery and properties. Fire struck again in 1887, gutting the building but it was rebuilt and by the early 1890s the Theatre Royal was again being advertised in rapturous terms. With the coming of moving pictures in the 1930s, the next owners moved with the times and the venue became the ‘People’s Popular Picture Palace’. The Theatre Royal we see now was remodeled in 1938, in the deco style. It is said to have seated 900. Imagine all those people coming regularly to watch movies. Since 1999 new owners have re-instated the ice cream and juice bar and changed the café several times. The quirky space above what is now the icecream parlour, was Les Thornton’s video shop for many years. These days the Royal hosts national and international touring artists, screens an array of quality films including National Theatre Live and MET Opera screenings, as well as hosting writers events, community fund raisers and private functions. When thousands of Great Victorian Bike Riders came to town, there were so many different things happening at the Royal that she and the staff re-arranged the furniture four times in two days. One Royal day began at 7am and finished at 3am. Whew! This year Maggie moved into Green Gables, a magnificent Federation style house in Hargraves Street, which she runs as an Arts B&B. She has over 10 years’ hospitality experience with her other business, Brooklyn Arts Hotel in Fitzroy, a boutique hotel especially catering for makers, artists and lovers of the arts. But there is more to Maggie, she was trained as an architect and later as horticulturist and landscape architect evidenced in the lovely grounds of Green Gables which now features a beautiful brand new re-shaped front garden with a green patch of lawn carefully watered with recycled water – the envy of many in Chewton and Castlemaine! Caring deeply about community, Maggie is also a filmmaker, designer, occasional academic and public artist.

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She has spent much of her time as a community activist, which she fused with her passion for filmmaking. Her film Mandalay, a feature length documentary (seven years in the making), is about the gentrification of St Kilda, her onetime home. A short animated reflection on the view from her balcony, Pleasure Domes, was the first Australian animation to be invited to the Cannes Film Festival in 1988. Let’s hope we can persuade Maggie to bring her animated works to the big screen at the Theatre Royal soon.

Maggie’s sense of community runs strong in the choices she is making for the Royal. She prefers to source good quality films. This season there will be a Children’s Summer Festival as well as a Holiday Favourites film program for adults and families. She hopes to continue the diverse live music culture of the town, from Blue Light Disco to Archie Roach. You will find her, with that glass of wine, listening to great music in the Brickyard on Sundays. What’s on at the Royal? See the weekly Midland Express inside back page or Beverley Bloxham.

Arts Open 2016 Labour Day Weekend 12 – 14 March 2016, and 19 – 20 March 2016. Visual arts from all corners of the Mount Alexander Shire will throw open their studio doors for the 2016 Arts Open. Over two weekends, members of the public have a unique experience to meet the artists this region is renowned for, witness the spaces in which work is created, gain insights into the creative process and purchase work directly from the artists. Held every two years, 2016 will be the third Arts Open and due to increasing visitor demand and success of the festival, Arts Open 2016 will be extended from one to two weekends. Personal studios as well as a series of group exhibitions of over 90 professional painters, jewellers, sculptors, multi media artists and craftspeople across the townships of Castlemaine, Newstead, Maldon into Chewton and beyond will be open over the 2 weekends. This year, the Castlemaine Art Gallery & Historical Museum is the Arts Open festival headquarters and will present a small exhibition of some of the outstanding work of the region. For more information about Arts Open, go to the website: or ring Michelle Day on 0417-825-261.

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A busy life?

Work - Open

9.00 Mon-Fri 9.30 Sat Rest - Close 5.15 Mon-Fri 12.00 Sat Play - Closed Sunday and P/Holidays

We’d love to see you to put a face to your purchase! Call in and see Andrew, Sue and Linda for that “special” service


Public art The advice from Mount Alexander Shire Council about installing public art is that if someone has a specific proposal they would be best to contact Council’s customer service team. Planning is a complex issue, and if council were to make a general comment about what would apply then sure enough there will be a particular site that has a complexity to it and that could cause unnecessary stress. This response was provided following a request from the Chat for a general guideline that would be useful as general advice for community members.


Margaret’s book bears fruit Another book launch in Chewton! And what an occasion it was. Margaret Winmill we know as a resident of Badger’s Keep and the apple nursery that once operated there. We now know she has family connections to early Australian horticulture, and that she is now a published author. “George and Sarah Suttor: Pioneers of early Australian horticulture” is the story of those who played a significant role in the settlement and growth of Australia, especially in horticulture through the importation and establishment of the first orchards. It traces the passage of George and Sarah Suttor from their native England to their colonial lives in New South Wales. George and Sarah were Margaret’s great, great, great grandparents who, amongst emigration adventures and horticultural achievements, managed to raise nine children to adulthood. It’s a story that includes notable early Australian “history landmarks” like Joseph Banks, Governor Bligh and the Rum Rebellion. Margaret worked with Genis Wylde (Legion Officeworks) to bring this book to fruition (pun intended) and their weekly Wednesday conflabs and dining arrangements were outlined as Genis hosted the


launch. He entertained with many anecdotes, including Margaret’s computer experiences as the story outgrew the ability of her “old box-brownie” to cope. Other speakers were Margaret’s son Peter who elaborated on the book’s evolution and his regular lengthy Saturday conversations from Queensland discussing copy and progress. Daughter Fiona then whetted appetites with selected readings from the publication. It was little wonder the book sales table did a brisk business later! And John Collins, ex-JacarandaWiley, spoke of the valuable expose of early colonial life the book presented and he referred to “gold” discovered with the excellent letter-writing that provided source material for Margaret. He lamented the loss of that skill in modern society. This, of course, set the scene for the author to take the microphone. Showing appreciation of the many people involved in the book’s production, Margaret opened our eyes to just how big the “empire” she created and managed to complete the project was. A wonderful achievement. Afternoon tea, conversations, book signings, hugs, congratulations, photographs and words filled the rest of the afternoon as another memorable town hall function wound down. And Margaret had a lot fewer books to take home than she arrived with! The book is available locally at Legion Officeworks and Stoneman’s Bookroom. John Ellis. Photos l to r: Peter Corke, Fiona Corke, John Collins, Genis mingling, Margaret signing and a full hall!


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Councillor’s Chat

Letter to the editor

Hi all, By the time you read this we will be well into summer and hot dry weather is expected. Hopefully everyone will get a few days off work over Christmas and New Year. It is important to make sure our properties are prepared for fire and family members know what the fire plan is. Looking at the footage of recent fires in SA and WA it hits home how devastating fires can be when the conditions are bad. At Council we have been reviewing the rating strategy and in the new year we will commence work on the next budget. Rate capping will put increased pressure on the budget process and we will need to look at all services with the aim of containing costs. I see rate capping as a positive. Our rates have doubled in real terms over the past ten years and rate capping will force us to look harder at the expenditure side of the budget. Many of you will know Council has decided to go ahead with planning for a new aquatic centre to go on the Castlemaine pool site. If we can attract funding for the project it will provide huge benefits for the community. Council will review its decision if funding is not obtained in three years. For a year round facility operating costs are quite high but the project plan is to include energy efficient systems to minimise the operating cost. Council also plans to look at the planning scheme and how the freeway development has impacted on properties along Harmony Way. We need to get the balance right between good planning, effective land utilisation and protecting the environment. A lot of people want to build their dream house on a few acres in Mount Alexander Shire. Who could blame them for wanting what many of us have? I support the development of small allotments and I am also in favour of allowing houses on medium size blocks (20 acres plus). If we can get houses built on land that may not be viable for farming in the traditional way any longer, it will boost the local economy and allow even more people to enjoy our shire. I do wish everyone a safe and happy new year and all the very best for 2016. Best regards Tony, 0439 742434. Cr. Tony Cordy, Calder Ward.

Dear Sir, Some notes from a dinosaur about our old currency: I recently asked a friend aged 50 what “two bob” meant? He didn’t know! Here are my recollections: • 3D (two cents) was a threepence, thruppence or throopence and was a “tray-bit” • 6D (sixpence or 5 cents) was a “zack” • one shilling (10 cents or 12 pennies) was a “deena” or a “bob” • two bob was the equivalent of our current 20 cents and was the reason we talk about someone being “mad as a two-bob watch”. We had a ten-shilling note (equal to $1.00), a one pound note (20 shillings or $2.00) - called “one quid”, a £5 note (equal to our $10.00 note), and a £10 note (ten pound note equal to our $20.00). There was possibly a £50 note - but if so I can’t remember it (it must have been rare!). One guinea was one pound and one shilling - twenty one shillings then or $2.10 now. “D” as in 6d. comes from the Roman (Latin) “Denarius”. L.S.D. - meant pounds, shillings and pence and filled up our arithmetic books at school! Who remembers when things cost £1/19/11½? That was worth about four dollars). One half penny (½ a cent) was called a “haypenny”. At 71, I still have trouble coping with metric measurements. I will always be 5’ 8” tall, weighing 9½ stone, and sometimes I still measure things like 12 inches and 3 millimetres - silly boy! Norman Corrie. And it’s London to a brick many of us dinosaurs empathise with this. Who remembers what a brick was? A coffee at the Collectors Cafe (see page 8) to browse Charlie’s coins is a nostalgia fix. Made the penny drop for me! James Taylor responded to this post of Norman’s letter on Facebook: • A “brick” was a £10 note, so-called because it was a red colour.

• •


3d was a treybit from the French ‘treis’ meaning three. 6d was also called a tanner. I used to ponder the ‘bit’ part of treybit and came to the conclusion that even way back then we were borrowing from our American cousins who were in the habit of saying things like: “for 2 bits I’d knock your block off” and as they often used to also refer to pennies, bits and penneies were interchanged.

Dumping in (and on!) Chewton A Facebook post from Eartha Kat with several photos attached... rubbish dumping in the bush near Chewton. Walking through the beautiful Bush in Chewton today, we found this dumped in several spots on the track. Who do we report it to? Who would do this? Bloody appalling. The site is just off Morgan Track, behind the water cascades in the race. Three TV sets and an LG dishwasher that had obviously been replaced by another - purchased in November 2014 by the label. And the old dishwasher was stuffed with the plastic wrappings/ties etc.from a new one. The dumper obviously had the means/vehicle to get to the tip but either got lost on the way or chose to dump it in the bush. There was an amnesty on fees for tvs and computer bits at the tip probably about the time this would have been dumped so illiteracy could possibly be added to the dumper’s profile. The site was checked by Parks Victoria, cleaned up, and just a little further along the track several fridges and an air-conditioner were found in a mineshaft. The retrievable ones were removed.

From a newspaper report 20 Dec 1855 Sanitary. — The nuisance inflicted on the public by the deposit of putrid carcases and other obnoxious matter in holes sunk along the line of road approaching Castlemaine from Forest Creek has become intolerable; and unless some remedy be applied for its removal, serious diseases will probably follow during the ensuing summer.

We haven’t come far have we?

Tip hours extended Castlemaine Waste Facility will open two hours earlier from today, with the public able to drop off rubbish, recycling and unwanted items from 8.00am daily. The new opening hours are from 8.00am until 4.00pm seven days per week. “Council has received feedback that the general public would like to be able to access the Castlemaine Waste Facility earlier in the morning,” said Jason Taylor, Director Sustainable Development, Mount Alexander Shire Council. “Opening the facility two hours earlier gives people greater flexibility and allows them to visit before the day gets too hot, while providing enough time for the contractor to complete end of day tasks.” Castlemaine and Maldon waste facilities are both closed on days of Total Fire Ban, which is standard risk management practice across all waste facilities. For information on waste charges and accepted items please visit our Waste and Recycling Services page. Taken from a Press Release.

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Post Office Hill Mine Bill Morris spelt out his experiences on the goldfields in a booklet published by Likely Prospects ( likelyprospects@ ). It is the fourth book in the series “This Golden Life”. Bill was 93 when this was written in 2001 – and this section on his time and work in Chewton is published with the approval of Likely Prospects. This episode in Bill’s life appears to be around the late 1930s/ early 1940s.

Poppet Heads and Post Office Hill I worked for a contractor at Chewton for nearly a year putting up poppet heads around Chewton. We did four of the Wattle Gully Mines. Wattle Gully, South Wattle Gully, Wattle Gully extended and North Wattle Gully, which is where the football oval is now on the corner of the Fryerstown road. We also did the White Horse, Post Office Hill mines near the railway station and Quartz Hill, north of the Garfield Wheel. There was also a big one we put up near Forest Creek on the creek on the Wattle Gully line. The boss, Wattie Delaney built an office where the turnoff from Chewton to Fryerstown is, on the opposite side of the sports ground. It’s a store or shop these days. He had a son who was a bit younger than me and he had another bloke, the foreman, who came from Smythesdale. There were four of us in all. We built two sides of the poppet head on the ground like wall frames for a house then stood them up. They were generally eighty foot high when erected. An engineer from Bendigo did the surveying. His brother was also an engineer and he supervised putting the plant in at the Emperor Mine. Jorgeson was their name. He surveyed the first four holes around the shaft and we would concrete them and then lay out the poles and put in the cross bracing. We would then put a pole in the centre, or near the centre because of the shaft. This pole was much shorter but was concreted into the ground for several feet. A big doubled handled-geared winch was fitted to this pole with pulleys on top. The cable went up from the winch, through the top pulley and down to the frame to be lifted. It was attached to and pulled on the frame a little less than the height of the lifting pole. Everything was measured exactly and we would then lift the side up. Because it would have to go over the vertical to be in the right place, we had other lines on it to let it go past being

straight up and then hold it on the right angle. We would then do this with the other side. When we had that up we would put the top cross pieces on to join the two sides. These all had their holes in them ready to go and it all lined up exactly. The foreman would think nothing of going back to the ground hand over hand down a stay rope. I never did that. We had ladders going up one of the main legs. When the two sides were joined we would put all the fittings up on the top level ready for the wheels then put the deck and the rails up. They were three inches wide the rails around the top and we would all get up and walk around these rails. If you thought you were going to fall you just jumped back to the deck. I got used to heights; it didn’t worry me because when I was young in Blackwood I climbed trees cutting leaves for eucalyptus oil. 350 feet deep and all that remains today...

Post Office Hill Shaft We finished those jobs and there was nothing else at the moment, but he wanted me to stay and work on any more poppet head jobs that came along. The Post Office Hill Mine then started sinking a shaft. I got a job there sinking the shaft to 350 feet. It was the wettest shaft I ever worked in. It didn’t go down far enough at 350 feet, but they ran out of money for that part and didn’t go as far as they wanted to. There was a man named Johnson who was the manager and he told us to get more people as it was going to work three shifts. There was also an old chap working there who lived at Blackwood one time, Jimmy Richardson. So we had to get mates to have enough people to sink the shaft. I got in a brother in law of mine, Cyril Black, who I taught mining to at the Yankee Mine and he worked with Jimmy. I had a mate living over at Castlemaine that I got to work with me. I got another from Bendigo and Jimmy got a mate in and they made the

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third shift. Ted Drummond was working there as well by then and was on our shift on the brace. He looked after the shaft at ground level and had to keep an eye on everything as well. The shaft was twelve foot by four foot and was divided into three compartments and we timbered with two-inch by nine-inch slabs as we sank it down. The middle compartment had a two thousand-gallon bailing tank that was dropped into a cistern above us. The bailing tank had a flapper valve and it would fill up when lowered into the cistern. Then it was lifted to the surface. The water was pumped from the bottom of the shaft by two compressed air pumps that lifted the water into the cistern. These would only pump up a short way so the cistern would have to be lowered every so often. About a 150-foot down we put in a tunnel to the east and water used to pour out of this. That side of the shaft was the lifting side for the mullock. We had a big bucket that we had built over at the foundry at Trentham. We had a very good welder at the mine by the name of Roy Gamble and he welded the handles on, but he thought it wasn’t strong enough. So he tested it but nothing pulled it apart. It was five foot high and nearly as big as the shaft. We would stand on the top and hang on to the cable. This was all right, till you went below the 150-foot level. Then you would get soaking wet from the water pouring out of the drive. Down the bottom it was like working in heavy rain. I had a bit of an accident then. This old chap Jimmy Richards and the brother in law got the idea to pull out one of the timbers just below the drive. They did this because of the water cascading from the drive and down the shaft. With this top timber removed the water then ran down behind the timber instead of shooting out into the shaft like a waterfall. I didn’t know this had been done and they obviously didn’t see anything dangerous in this. I was the first one to go down after this was done. The bucket was swaying around a bit as it always did, with me standing on top hanging onto the cable as it dropped down the shaft. The winch driver was very good and was always paying attention. On the way down the bucket got stuck on the edge of the timber below the one that had been pulled out. I realised straight away that the bucket had jammed somehow and jumped down into the bucket and that was enough to knock it off the timber. It then fell down the shaft for twelve feet with me in it before the slack was taken up. The winch driver knew something had happened when the rope went slack and stopped lowering or I would have dropped further. Well, I reached out to the signal rope and knocked one and was raised back up and told them what happened and said there was a timber missing. They told me what had happened to it and I just told them. “I’m not going any further till that timber goes back in.” I put another timber in myself and made sure it was going to stay there! I didn’t get hurt that time but the next one was worse. I fired out before dinnertime and had an hour for dinner and we both went down to start the clean-up. The water was deep when we got down, as we had to pull the pumps

Remnants of the Post Office Hill Mine infrastructure... out before the firing to avoid damage. We could only fill half a bucket because trying to shovel more meant you had to duck under water. We sent that load up while waiting for the pumps to lower the water from the shaft into the cistern. We had an oil container for the drills and pumps. We used to make it out of a three-inch pipe elbow with a plug in each end and a hook on it. We would hang it inside the bailing bucket. Something happened when the bucket was emptied. The bucket is tipped by attaching a ring to it and tipping it over. When the bucket was stood back up the elbow must have been hanging on the outside and it fell off and straight down the shaft. I was over one side of the shaft but it got me a glancing blow to the left side of the head that knocked my hard hat over the side of my face then it got my shoulder and right down the arm. It knocked me down lying in the water. I called out to my mate who was just up on the platform. He came down and got me out of the water, I couldn’t move my arm. They got me up the top and took me to hospital. I thought my arm was broken. It wasn’t broken but it was bruised black all the way down to the wrist. My elbow has never bent as far as the other ever since so something must have got damaged. I was off for three weeks. I was very lucky it did not get me square on. Eventually we ran out of work here and there were no more poppet heads. Published courtesy Likely Prospects.

It’s here!

So what’s on your agenda? Be careful when you blindly follow the Masses… sometimes the ‘M’ is silent.”


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State Library photos...

*Tab and Keno *Drive through bottleshop

This site at the State Library has an interesting collection of photos that are searchable - like this one from a search for Expedition Pass Reservoir…

Back to 1850s?

Hope it’s not catching!

Back to the gold rush that saw claims pegged all over Chewton and surrounds? It’s 2015 now, and someone is pegging an area in Chewton’s main street! Does someone know something we don’t know? Like the diggers of old it must be someone with golden hopes…

Looks serious, this sign! Hope this isn’t a triple oh situation - but it does sound dramatic. This pic of the Blackwall Arms has just been sent to the Chewton Chat... where’s the doctor when one’s needed???

A fitting tribute When Phil Hall, MC for the Monster Meeting celebration, called the gathering together… it was then that his tribute to the late Doug Ralph became obvious. Doug’s leadership role in the promotion of the Monster Meeting’s importance was acknowledged by a photograph worn on Phil’s hat - Doug at the head of a Monster Meeting celebration yet again!


An historical question that turned hysterical It started with a query on Facebook’s Maine Memories, a query about who found the “Monster Meeting site”. This quickly became a witch hunt as the query became a demand – shouted (in capitals) no less. It seems that in this day of advanced technology and communication we have reverted to shouted demands like we used to, and reverted to a need for an automated immediate response. Remember the old catechism that began with the basic “Who made the world?” And the one line response that excluded any thinking, questioning or logic? God made the world! And, by God, generations of kids had to learn it! As a non-historian looking on from the outside I find this need for an automated response by purported history aficionados interesting to observe. The Monster Meeting site? 15,000 people would occupy a fair piece of land one would think. So are we looking at acreage? Or should the posted question have referred to the Shepherds Hut site which was the location of the large gathering that took place and sometime later became known as The Monster Meeting? The next thought that springs to mind is who actually lost the Shepherds Hut site? It must have been well known in 1851 for 15,000 people to respond to the call, but now we demand answers about who found it. Putting these together we have to assume that in the mists of time, as people left the area and generations died out, the exact location became blurred. But clues existed. A key one was a map in the possession of the late Barbara James. Barbara was not an historian as I found out to my chagrin. Barbara began contributing items of interest, and historic value, to the Chewton Chat in its infancy. In my enthusiasm as editor I introduced her as an historian – only to receive an indignant phone call. She was a researcher she insisted strongly. I learnt, and she remained a researcher in the pages of the Chat. Then shortly before she died Barbara insisted the Chewton Domain Society receive the collection that resulted from her research. Talk about valuable! Gems in it are still being found, and much of it formed the basis of the recent book, “History of Golden Point” by Ken James and Allan Dry. It was during the period of Barbara’s research that she provided the source material for the Geoff Hocking designed map that is still on Chewton’s Tourist Information Board. This map was drawn before computer usage became common – so it was quite some time ago. Barbara indicated on the map a spot 53 called simply “Protest Site”. Interestingly, it is in the same area as the

Shepherds Hut site we celebrate today – east of the junction of Forest and Wattle Creeks but over Golden Point Road on what is now private property. And, interestingly, when Barbara James passed all her research material to the Chewton Domain Society a map came to light. This map used the Shepherds Hut as a landmark. A copy of this map was passed to Glenn Braybrook and the scale on it was used to place the Shepherds Hut’s location. East of the junction of Forest and Wattle Creeks, but not as far east as Barbara’s Protest Site. Note Barbara’s wording – Protest Site, not the Shepherds Hut. Especially important because the Shepherds Hut is one spot, the Protest Site was an area covered by 15,000 people. 15% of a packed MCG or 85% of Mount Alexander Shire’s population! Much bigger than someone’s backyard! And is the junction of the two creeks exactly where it was in 1851? 1850s’ photographs of Forest Creek show scenes of devastation – the creek and its edges central to this devastation. Glenn’s contribution regarding the site’s location was acknowledged by a gathering that was recorded on the front page of a subsequent Chewton Chat. Apparently radio interviews recorded at that time are now in the People and Places collection in the Chewton Town Hall. Enter Ken McKimmie and his fantastic “Chewton Then and Now” book. The chapter on the Monster Meeting site is fascinating. Ken matches the silhouettes of the surrounding hills to the hills in the 1851 cartoon sketched at the Monster Meeting, and makes the point that the meeting crowd “would most likely to have spread to the eastern side of Golden Point Road as well.” Repeating the claim of not being an historian, I find it fascinating to see people need to find one answer (their “truth”) rather than embark on a wonderful journey of discovery. History, I believe, is for everyone – and for everyone to journey through. It does not belong to any one of us. I hope from this response the nonsense behind the original question is recognised as just that. The truth isn’t as cut and dried as some people might hope – and is still evolving. So let’s acknowledge the work of all researchers who add to our knowledge base. Having said that, could I draw your attention to the Wikipedia statement on the Monster Meeting? Google it. Wikipedia is a composite of people’s contributions and interpretations. It’s worth a look – and it changes! So look again every so often… no doubt there will be more discovered and more writings about the Monster Meeting in future - and more claims made! John Ellis.


Chewton - 100 years ago...

ABC changes -

Mount Alexander Mail - Tuesday 11 January 1916

No more breakfasts with Jonathan


Jonathan Ridnell has stepped away from the microphone. December 24th was his last Breakfast Show on 91.1FM. It was followed by an informal morning tea at the ABC Centralvic studios. The daily Talking Towns segment in his Breakfast Show gave communities across the listening area a voice. Many years ago it was Glenn Braybrook who first represented Chewton, along with intermittent appearances by then Chewton postie Max Wilkinson, before it was passed to Lisa Sargent. Since then it has become an opportunity for the Chewton Chat to publicize its pages. At various times both Pat Cubeta and Kay Thorne have represented Fryerstown too. And thinking back - Jonathan came to Chewton to launch our community website back in time when few communities had them, he came to the Theatre Royal to MC the Monster Meeting Song Award final and he came to the Community Newspaper Association of Victoria conference when it was held in the Old Castlemaine Gaol in 2008. Community Newspaper delegates from all over Victoria were astounded (and jealous) to hear of the Talking Towns initiative that was giving voices to communities and community newspapers in Central Victoria! Chewton thanks you for a job well done Jonathan!

A five-roomed weatherboard house in Dinah Flat, Chewton, was totally destroyed by fire on Saturday night. The house was owned by Mr Charles Rosenbrook, of Main Street, Chewton, and was fully furnished, but had not been occupied for some time. The origin of the fire is veiled in mystery, as a neighbor passed the house a little while before the outbreak, and there was not the least sign of smoke or fire. As a vivid streak of lighting flashed, the flames burst out from the house, so it is possible that the house was struck by it. A large number of willing residents gathered, but owing to the high wind, and the hold which the fire had upon the building, nothing could be saved. The building and contents were insured for £150 in the Guardian Fire Office, of which Mr T. Odgers, of Castlemaine is agent. Owing to the vigilance of Constable Gilmour on New Year’s Eve, the usual tricks were not indulged in, and as far as can be ascertained the only damage done was a gig thrown over the creek embankment at Manchester Bridge, a length of fencing thrown down, and a window or two broken. The constable deserves the thanks of the community for preventing the wholesale destruction or removal of property which has been a feature of New Year’s Eve in the past. The Chewton Congregational Sunday School anniversary services were held on Sunday, January 9th. The three services were well attended, and the preacher (Rev. Geo. King, of Maldon) made a good impression on the congregation. The singing of the children was very much enjoyed, in spite of the oppressive weather. Snakes are very plentiful around Chewton, scarcely a day passing without one or more being seen or killed. A fight between a cat belonging to Mrs A. J. Sparks and a snake ended in a dead heat, the cat being found dead on top of the dead snake. It is to be hoped that a fire will not start in the local cemetery, as the grass is very dry and tall, and the damage to tombstones and railings would be very great. It is rumored that the trustees are trying to devise some means of safeguarding the cemetery. Glen Harrison.

2016! It’s here already! What are we going to do about it?




January, 2016 Friday 1 CLOSED Saturday 2 CLOSED Sunday 3 CLOSED Saturday 9 CLOSED Sunday 10 CLOSED Saturday 16 Frank Sunday 17 Elaine Saturday 23 Marion Sunday 24 Irene Saturday 30 Allan Sunday 31 Joan 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.

“In memory of” is a current ABC Open project Maybe of interest is this current project from ABC Open. Friends of the Box-Ironbark Forest have just published a tribute to Doug Ralph there. In Memory Of is an online collection of photos and stories written by family members or friends, published on the ABC. People are invited to write a short story and publish a photo of their loved one who died in 2015 and publish it on the ABC. It runs until 31 January 2016. Share a story of your loved one with In Memory Of. Publish your story and photo on the ABC Find a photo of the person who has died that reminds you of a story from their life. It could be a photograph of a moment you shared together - think about where you were, what you were doing, the smells, the sounds, the words spoken and how that made you feel. Or the photograph might be of a time where you weren’t there but it still brings back memories. Perhaps it reminds you of their funny laugh or their daring adventures. Lives are made up of thousands of little moments. Don’t feel you need to write a list of achievements. Choose one of those moments to write about - it could be your favourite memory or the one that makes you laugh. We may edit your contribution before publishing, to make it suitable for publishing across different mediums. • Publish your story and photo • Write your story in 200 – 300 words. • Have your photo as a jpeg file • Make a free account with ABC Open. Click “Register” in the top right corner at • Go to Projects > In Memory Of (live project URL) to upload your photo and story

and huge interest in the detail of their lives. One of Doug’s most striking qualities was his inclusiveness. He kept his eye on the important issues, and was impatient of efforts to divide this community into ‘old’ and ‘new’ residents. What counted for him was getting things right, not where someone came from. A fifth generation local, he welcomed anyone who had something to offer the community. Doug wasn’t scared of labels. He had a terrific sense of irony, but wasn’t ashamed to put himself on the line: ‘I’m a tree hugger. I’m proud of it.’ He gave as his religion, Bush Baptist. There was no one like him. By Bernard Slattery on behalf of the Friends of the Box-Ironbark Forest, and photo by Bronwyn Silver.

One local story is already posted by Friends the BoxIronbark Forest (Mount Alexander Region)...

Doug Ralph, born 1948 When Doug retired from the Friends of the BoxIronbark Forest committee, he was rightly described by Marie Jones as an “Elder of the environment movement.” Doug was the founding President of the group, formed in the late 1990s by people in the community of Castlemaine interested in working towards highlighting the significance of the Box-Ironbark forests and woodlands. Doug knew this country better than anyone else, and was generous in sharing his knowledge of it: hundreds of people have been introduced to its secrets on the guided walks he ran for many years, or via the contributions he made in innumerable forums. Doug was tireless in his efforts to get better management for our natural heritage, but he was also insatiable in his curiosity about cultural history. Although he was sceptical about the value of gold mining, and relentlessly critical of its destructive effect on the environment, he had enormous sympathy for the miners

And as footnote, “Abbie” commented, “I’d like Doug to be also remembered for his wonderful photos of drops of water in a leaf reflecting the bush etc.”


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Terrific Tarryn...


Feel like a BBQ? The free electric BBQ in the park next to the Chewton Town Hall was designed for community use some years ago and it was delightful to see it being well used over the last few weeks. It is on the land owned and managed by the Chewton Domain Society who pay the power and water costs and it is cleaned regularly as part of the memorandum of understanding that the CDS has with MAS Council. There’s car parking, public toilets and tables and seats ready for you to use - though shade is becoming more of an issue in this weather.

Oopses and explanations from last month... Following the tradition of the big papers, the Chat obviously tries to bury its Oopses down the back somewhere... and there were a few from last month. The first was pointed out by Ian Braybrook who graciously absolved us from blame! We used a quote from the unconfirmed minutes of a Council meeting on page 2 last month. Ian pointed out that the quote should have been attributed to Glenn Braybrook - Ian was not at that meeting! The second was an article on page 34 “From Facebook”. The author’s name was omitted accidentally. The author was integral to the story and she was Jenny Beere. Sorry Jenny! And another? The article last month about Lorna Burton having transferred the People and Places talking tapes of Chewton to CD had a list of names attached when it was submitted. As the item was about the technical transfer, the names were irrelevant to the story so were omitted. Anyone wanting detail on the CDs or tapes should contact Elaine Appleton directly 5472 2498. And lastly we go back to the front page. The town hall logo was changed. Instead of the old image we had a new upgraded one courtesy of Beverley Bloxham - and the embedding process left it looking like a souffle that failed to rise even once! And like that sort of souffle it was overlooked. A better effort this month hopefully. Sorry Beverley!


Hi I am Tarryn Knights. I am 10 years old. I have been playing netball for 5 years. Over the last 5 years I have won 5 medals and 2 trophies. One of my trophies is from my team Red Diamonds in the C.D.N.A 2015 twilight comp for under 11s and my other one is for wining the Best and Fairest in my whole team and it was also the Red Diamonds. I got both of my trophies in 2015. 2 of my medals are from net set go and my other two are from modified netball. I really love playing netball so that is what I do half of the time. Congratulations Tarryn - who is also a regular Chewton Chat volunteer and was photographed with her most recent trophies while she was at the Chewton Town Hall to assist at a big book launch.

Fryerstown Tai Chi - see next page

Calling all artisans & purveyors of curios & collectables An exciting new hub at the northern end of Castlemaine has already become a popular tourist destination and expressions of interest are invited for stall holders and artisans for a further two businesses due to open in 2016. The Castlemaine Vintage Bazaar; a collectors’ nirvana of 1,000 square metres of knick-knackery, bric-a-bracery, second hand curios, retro accoutrement and a soupçon of handmade finery, is set to launch in March 2016.

Bazaar Manager, Jane Goodrich, says “People love digging through an eclectic selection offered by a variety of stallholders. We’re inviting expressions of interest from stallholders who want to be on board, ready to trade, when we have our grand opening in March.” With individual stalls of various sizes, and cabinet options on offer, stallholders can select from month-tomonth or longer term commitment opportunities. Interested stallholders can request an information sheet by phoning Jane on 0437 186 711 or emailing Tours of the site are also available by appointment. Platform No. 5, created by Antun Davcik, is a curated makers’ space for creators who want to showcase and sell their work, and for those who appreciate quality handmade products. With a plan for individual display and market spaces, and an expansive gallery, Platform No. 5 will host a wide variety of fine artisans and will include creative designer items, upcycled furniture, plus retro and vintage treasures collected from the U.S. and Europe. “The makers’ movement and a return to the ‘lost trades’ is rapidly gaining momentum across the globe. We embrace a mindset that encourages people to learn old skills, to create from items that have been discarded, and celebrates enthusiasm and passion to live more sustainably,” Antun explains. Expressions of interest to occupy spaces of various sizes are being invited now. For more information, or to complete an expression of interest, visit www. or phone Antun on 0417 870 767. The Castlemaine Vintage Bazaar and Platform No. 5 are at 1-9 Walker Street, Castlemaine, opposite the Botanic Gardens.

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, Chewton Service Station, 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 Office Supplies and Castlemaine Art Gallery and Museum. 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 some earlier issues. Email subscriptions are also available by contacting The CDS can be contacted through PO Box 85, Chewton, 3451. 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.


It’s Summer - no sweat December is a Chat ‘short month’. To get an issue out before Christmas means getting copy prepared a full week earlier than usual. Bad enough for correspondents, but what about the editor ! A quick look at the Bureau of Meteorology website provides the first good news. El Nino is reported to be at or near its peak. Still some months to go, but the Pacific Ocean sea-surface temperature is reported to be starting to cool. The implications are that come autumn, we may once again see rain about the place. The only benefit is the lack of grass to be seen anywhere. The whole village is virtually bereft of anything but short dead, brown stubble. Even the pine forest has been ‘mown’ flat. I trust the CFA approves. It’s the rain that everyone is talking about. I have recorded just two millimetres since November 25th. All of it arrived courtesy of two electrical storms, a millimetre from each. On both occasions both thunder and lightning outdid the rain. On both occasions too, it felt and looked as if we were going to get a good downpour, but little eventuated. Thirty seconds of thunderous noise on the roof, and it was all over. Being entirely dependent upon storm water, I have reduced my garden activity to just two wicking beds, so I am having a very poor vegetable season. The highest daily rainfall this year occurred on the th 5 November, a mere 20 millimetres. Our mid-year total

for the months of June, July and August did not even make a century at 96 millimetres in my rain gauge. These three months can usually be relied upon for around 200 millimetres. The annual total to date (with twelve days to go), has been a total of 283 mills. This contrasts with a more typical 450 to 500 millimetres annually. Turning to temperatures, the highest temperature I have recoded so far has been 39 degrees Celsius. That occurred during the first week of December, accompanied by a string of similar 30-plus days in that week. Out of the last twenty-one (21) days, thirteen of them have seen 30 degree temperatures. The remaining days were of more than 20 degrees with one exception, when it only made 19 degrees. Overnight temperatures have been equally warm. The average overnight was 12.5 degrees C.,with a mode of 15 degrees C. during which only six nights cooled to less than double digits. Ten nights only fell to ten degrees or more, whilst only four nights dropped to less than ten degrees. So far relatively good sleeping weather, certainly if you go to bed sleepy after the Big Bash. A quick inspection of the data does not point to a dramatic increase in temperatures, just a poor rainfall year. As I cannot average averages, it will take more time than I have to do a full year review. That will be for next month. John Leavesley.

Calendar of Events - a quiet month? Jan 1st Jan 2nd Jan 2nd Jan 9th Jan 15th Jan 16th Jan 22/24th Jan 22/25th Jan 23rd Jan 25th Jan 26th Jan 27th Jan 30th Jan 31st

New Year’s Day. MoBQ (Chewton Community BBQ) 6 p.m., Ellery Park (see p. 18). Service 6 p.m., St John’s Anglican Church Chewton. Service 6 p.m., St John’s Anglican Church Chewton. Chewton Landcare Working bee, 9.30 – 11.30 a.m., Fryers Road. Service 6 p.m., St John’s Anglican Church Chewton. Fryerstown Antique Fair (see p. 12). Newstead Live (details on ). Service 6 p.m., St John’s Anglican Church Chewton. Chewton Chat deadline. Australia Day. School Term 1 starts. Service 6 p.m., St John’s Anglican Church Chewton. Folding February Chewton Chat 2.30 p.m., Chewton Town Hall (Sunday).

t Ne m do wis


Chewton Chat January 2016  

Pine removal continues, "Chewton Then and Now" available again, the Collectors Cafe turns over more than coins, more book launches, a bust A...

Chewton Chat January 2016  

Pine removal continues, "Chewton Then and Now" available again, the Collectors Cafe turns over more than coins, more book launches, a bust A...