Hocking Descendants Society
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2011 and other recent Photo Galleries
News from Cornwall
read the report of the Gorsedh Kernow - Helston 2011
follow this link
link to peruse the list of new Bards in 2011
|December Meeting -
Members gathered for a meal together after which
songs were sung and Beryl Crunow read the book
"Mousehole Cat" written by Antonia Barber and
illustrated by Nicola Bayley.
Based on the legend of Tom Bawcock and the
stargazy pie, it tells of a cat who goes with its
master on a fishing expedition in rough seas.
To see something of the occasion Click Here to view the
- Family History Day
Our Patron, Bill Phillips, acted as
chairman of the day and introduced
various members who shared some
interesting aspects of their family
The speakers were John Hobson, Ted
Curnow, Di Christensen, Viv Martin,
Robin Pryor and Robyn Coates.
Due to technical problems the advertised
speaker, Tren Harvey, hopefully will present his
address next year. At this meeting Robyn
Coates and Bill Phillips presented the material
they had shared with the Ballarat group on October
Robyn Coates detailed the finding of a
grave of a Cornishman in outback SA at Beltana.
Named Edward Commins he had been born in Bodmin in
1844 and died in 1881. Robyn showed and explained
how she had used the internet to discover more of
Edward???s life including when and where he was
born, where he went to school, his marriage, his
appointment as Clerk of Courts at Beltana and his
Bill???s topic was, ???The Almost Forgotten Town of
Timor??? which was located about 11 kilometres from
Maryborough, on the Dunolly Road.
Timor (Tie-more) had several names ??? Chinaman???s
Flat, Cox Town, and Bowenvale, (named after the
Governor who once visited Maryborough).
In the late 1800s, Timor had a population of 27
000 and was a thriving town with churches, hotels,
schools and shops as well as the mines in the
Bill shared information about the various mines
that had operated and included photos of trips
undertaken with the Ballarat Branch of the CAV.
Timor is no more but the local school and cemetery
still bear the name.
David Weatherill, former President of the
GSV, shared some of his passion for cemetery
research at the September meeting of the CAV.
David who has been researching cemeteries for 20
years gave us an insight into the operation of
cemeteries across Victoria, dating from the first
cemetery at Sorrento in 1803.
Cemetery Trustees were appointed from 1864 and
since 1867 a burial register has need to be
maintained by the Trustees. Paupers were given a
free burial (often in a communal grave). Records
were often lost when there were fires at the
Headstones in cemeteries can reveal much about the
people buried there ??? who they were; maybe when
and where they were born; family member details;
how successful they were (by the monuments) and
the date of their death - making them wonderful
resources for family historians.
There are over 9000 burial sites across Victoria
(some of them lone graves) and in excess of 1500
cemeteries managed by Cemetery Trusts. These vary
in size, state of repair, scale of operations and
Some were surprised to hear that there are
probably about 9000 buried at the Old Melbourne
Cemetery site (where the Queen Victoria Market is
located) ??? where there were marked graves with
headstones, the bodies were exhumed and
re-located. There were many illegal burials at the
Old Melbourne Cemetery.
David suggested if we have a missing ancestor who
was an Anglican it might be worth checking the
records at Lambeth Palace Library (London) as
copies of all Church of England records had to be
Dr Charles Fahey, a senior Lecturer form La Trobe
University, gave us an insight into the lives of
Cornish men and their families on the gold
diggings of central Victoria.
In his research Charles had been fortunate to be
able to use primary sources ??? Victorian Birth,
Death and Marriage records as well as the journal
of Richard Pope and the diary of Isaac Dyason ???
both miners; both who detailed their working lives
and their family lives.
Interspersed with his descriptions about Deep Lead
Alluvial Mining, Long Wall Mining and Quartz reef
mining in the areas of Ballarat, Creswick, Clunes,
Mt Alexander, Heathcote and Bendigo were many
statistics and interesting facts.
Many of the Cornish men who came to Victoria in
the 1850s brought their families in contrast to
the Irish who came alone.
It was the desire of most Cornish men to use their
skills to build their own home and they were able
to build their homes on Crown land through Miner???s
Residential leases. Many had brick or stone work
using the skills the miners used underground and
most had gardens.
The life of the Church was very important to them
??? Chapel, Wesleyans, Bible Christians. They
???Little Cornwalls' developed in town as miners???
children married other miners??? children.
Miners constantly changed jobs as the gold
output decreased ??? many shifted from mine to
mine; town to town; some tributed; and others
worked reduced hours to keep their jobs.
The Cornish were not as conservative as thought
by some historians ??? many were involved in the
running of Unions including the development of
accident relief schemes.
Kernow has published a list of new Bards
for 2011 at the Helston Gorsedh,
and to the delight of our association the
following was included.
David Thomas - North Geelong,
Victoria, Australia, for services to
Cornwall in Victoria, Australia."
Above right is a photo of our patron Bill
Phillips, congratulating Neil at the
conclusion of our meeting. He
travels to Cornwall for a ceremony to be
held at Helston on 3rd September.
Hartley May, along with his wife Daisy brought a
collection of memorabilia, (pictured opposite),
from the life Hartley lived in Cornwall working at
the Geevor tin mine. He reminded us that the
majority of workers were above ground but he, like
his father before, him had worked most of the time
underground. He grew up in Pendeen and told
us of his youth, his initiation into a miner's
life, the working shifts and equipment necessary
to perform a day's work. He shared the
memorable events such the part he played in
rescuing a miner deep underground and the safety
systems operating at the time. We got a much
clearer picture of mine workings and life as a
miner than the popular images of steam engines,
beam pumps and poppet heads.
He finished his presentation giving the audience
"lessons" in Cornish vernacular and pronunciation.
The June meeting was our Annual General Meeting
with reports and election of the Committee.
Stephen Amos was awarded a special award for
services to the CAV.
After the AGM, one of our members, Ray Nicholas
introduced many to the number of ships which had
been damaged or wrecked around the Scilly Isles in
his talk, ???Shipwrecks around the Scillies???.
Located about 45 kms off the coast of Cornwall,
the waters around the Scilly Isles are treacherous
with rocks, rough seas, high tides and strong rips
and have seen many ships wrecked with great loss
Throughout Ray???s talk, members heard of a sailor
being hanged for providing ???local??? knowledge to a
ship???s Captain; of the construction of the Bishop
Rock Lighthouse (used for ships sailing from New
York to Great Britain); of the wreck of the SS
Schiller in 1875, reroute from New York to Hamburg
and the passengers trying to locate Bishop Rock
Lighthouse but looking on the wrong side of the
vessel. Supposedly during the wars, the Germans
were told not to attack the Scilly Isles because
of the kindness shown to the survivors of the SS
Schiller; and lastly the wrecking of the Torrey
Canyon, an oil tanker, in 1967 and its
environmental impact including the RAF bombing and
setting it alight. Oil is still found at a depth
of about one metre on some of the beaches.
Ray also read some poems including one about the
wreck of the SS Delaware by Robert Maybee.
It was an informative afternoon and sent some
members to do more research.
The May meeting of the CAV allowed members to
visit churches of the Lizard with one of our
members, Brian Rollason.
Brian was born in Mylor, Cornwall and came to
Australia in 1970. He is a teacher of Latin and
Through his illustrated talk, ???A scenic trail of
churches on the Lizard Peninsula???, members were
able to see churches from Mawgan in Meneage,
Manaccan, St Anthony in Meneage; St Keverne, Ruan
Minor, Grade, Lanwednack (Landewednack), Mullion,
Cury and Gunwalloe.
To view the images that accompanied Brian's talk click
Later in the meeting Neil Thomas, the President,
presented Beth Coote with her second prize in the
recent essay competition. First Prize went
to John Hobson and Third Prize to Janet Woolhouse
and these were awarded on the 16th May.
John Hobson, Beth Coote and Janet Woolhouse
Be sure to read their essays as they are published
in the newsletters
Approximately30 Victorians attended the Kernewek
Lowender this year and a wonderful time was had by
all. Photos are currently being assembled
for display in a gallery on this site so keep a
watchful eye on the gallery pages. To view
the extent of the the programs offered click the
Lowender 9 ??? 15 May 2011
Celebration 16th April 2011
At our April meeting, we celebrated the 25th
anniversary of the CAV in its current form. A
great day was had with the best of Cornish talent
on display. More than 100 members attended.
A variety of items was performed throughout the
Every year, at the April meeting, we pay tribute
to that great Cornish inventor, Richard
Trevithick. Due to time constraints, we were given
only a brief account of his deeds by Lindsay
Chapman, who had on display a working model of
Trevithick???s first locomotive.
The Oakleigh City Band performed two brackets,
which were greatly appreciated by all in
Past President Derek Trewarne introduced our
Patron, Bill Phillips, who had written a book on
the history of the CAV. This was launched by Derek
Patron Bill also had the great pleasure of
presenting an Achievement Award to John Mildren.
Upon receipt of this award, John was almost lost
for words. Bill considered this task as one of the
most pleasurable in his 25 years involvement in
the CAV. Take a look at the image galleries of the
Keep yourself posted about all things Cornish by
bookmarking this page and returning often.
The guest speaker was Chris Coghlan and his
topic, "The Alma Doepel, Tall Ships &
Chris told us of the arrival of Frederik Doepel in
Australia and his timber business in Bellinger
where in 1903 his company built the Alma Doepel
named after his daughter.
It was used to transport timber until its sale in
1916 to Henry Jones IXL to ply between Hobart and
It was requisitioned for service during WW2 and
ended its commercial working life transporting
In 1976 it was towed to from Hobart to Melbourne
and refitted as a Youth Training schooner and that
is how Chris first came to know and love her.
It lost its operating certification in 1999 and
went to Port Maquarie in 2001 and was returned to
Melbourne in 2007. Currently a team of
volunteers are working and raising up to $2
million to restore the vessel to a Youth Training
schooner once again.
Visitors are welcome to the Visitors' Centre at
Shed 2 North Wharf Docklands, Thursdays, Fridays
June Halls' late husband George sailed on the Alma
Doepel and she brought memorabilia to share
As we were on
March 19th 2011
At our February meeting, Rev. Dr Robin Pryor (one
of our members) was our speaker and his topic was
Standing Stones and Holy Wells found throughout
When visiting Cornwall, Robin was fortunate enough
to have had John Nash from the Cornish Ancient
Sites Protection Network in Cornwall as his guide.
Robin shared photos and interesting information
about various Chamber Tombs; Stones, Menhirs and
holed stones; inscribed stones; stone crosses and
Many of the places were familiar to those present
but all went away learning something new about the
history and meaning of these sites.
A full transcript of Robin's presentation along
with the PowerPoint presentation is available at
the CAoV Resource Centre.
View the presentation by clicking
this link Remember to scroll down to the
David Weatherill with long time friend and member
of CAV, Viv Martin (left)
Charles Fahey in front of a photo
of a Cornish miner's cottage,
his wife and family.
Neil Thomas and Bill
Hartley & Daisy May
Stephen Amos with Neil Thomas
Neil and June cutting the cake
Bill Phillips and John Mildren
June Hall and Chris Coghlan