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Hocking Descendants Society

For more information Click Here or contact

Alison Stephen

Kernewek Lowender 2011  and other recent Photo Galleries

News from Cornwall

To read the report of the Gorsedh Kernow - Helston 2011 follow this link

Follow this  link to peruse the list of new Bards in 2011

2010 Speakers

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December Meeting - Christmas
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 Photo Gallery

November Meeting - Family History Day
Fam History

Our Patron, Bill Phillips, acted as chairman of the day and introduced various members who shared some interesting aspects of their family history.

The speakers were John Hobson, Ted Curnow, Di Christensen, Viv Martin, Robin Pryor and Robyn Coates.

October Meeting
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 1st.
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 subsequent death.
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 area.
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.

September Meeting
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 cemeteries.
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 profitability.
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 sent there.

August Meeting

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 enjoyed PSAs.

???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.

The Gorsedh 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.
"Mr. Neil 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.

July Meeting
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.

June Meeting
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 of life.

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.

May Meeting
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 English.

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 this llink.

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.

Essay Competition Winners
John Hobson, Beth Coote and Janet Woolhouse
Be sure to read their essays as they are published in the newsletters

John with Peter Trevorah and Neil
Neil with Beth Coote
Janet and Neil

Kernewek Lowender

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 link below.
Kernewek Lowender 9 ??? 15 May 2011

25th Anniverary 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 afternoon.
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 attendance.
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 Trewarne.
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 occasion.
25th Anniversary Photo Gallery

Keep yourself posted about all things Cornish by bookmarking this page and returning often.

March Meeting
The guest speaker was Chris Coghlan and his topic,  "The Alma Doepel, Tall Ships & Youth Training"
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 Melbourne.
It was requisitioned for service during WW2 and ended its commercial working life transporting limestone.
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 and Saturdays.

June Halls' late husband George sailed on the Alma Doepel and she brought memorabilia to share

As we were on March 19th 2011

February Meeting
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 Cornwall.
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 Holy Wells.
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 on this link Remember to scroll down to the end.

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

Ray Nicholas

Brian Rollason

Neil and June cutting the cake

Bill Phillips and John Mildren

June Hall and Chris Coghlan

Robin Pryor