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December Meeting 2014 - Christmas Lunch
Over 80 members and friends gathered on 13th December to celebrate the achievements of another year within the friendship and activities offered by the CAV.
Before the feasting began, participants chatted and watch episodes of "Coast" as a reminder of the attractions of Cornwall.
Stephen Amos pronounced "Grace" in Cornish and the food was selected and consumed.
After all were satisfied, Beryl Curnow lead us in the singing of well known Christmas Carols.

Members were delighted that the committee had seen fit to present to Gladys Grigg an Honorary Life Membership in recognition of her contribution to the Association.  Gladys has been a member from the formation of the CAV, attending a gathering in Clunes in 1983.  Since then she has contributed to every aspect of the Association and her skills in family history research and library management have been of benefit to us all.

Finally Beryl thanks all who had made the occasion such a success particularly Robyn Coates who convened and organised the luncheon.
The images below provide examples of what we experienced and more can be seen by visiting the gallery.

Bery & Gladys

Click Here to see more images.

Watch the Communion at St Piran's Oratory 23/11/2014

November Meeting - 2014
Bruce Hunter - a Curnow descendant, "A History of One Curnow Family from Cornwall to Geelong
CAV members were richly rewarded at the November meeting when following an introduction by President Beryl Curnow, we were addressed by self-published author Bruce Hunter.
Bruce has been gathering information on his own Curnow family and that of his wife for 25 years and after retirement he was able to devote increased time to his genealogical projects.
Great great grandparents William Edward Curnow and Elizabeth Mary (nee Paynter) migrated from St Ives, Cornwall settling in Geelong in 1852.
As well as Bruce's own efforts in tracing his Curnow ancestors, he acknowledged the generous assistance of Bill Curnow (Florida USA) for the majority of the data about past generations of Curnow's prior to the early 1800s. Bill has amassed a truly astounding database of over 316,000 Curnow descendants worldwide.
Bruce could relate to eight earlier generations of Curnows, Thomas (b 1858) being involved in livestock farming in the Parish of Towednack. Some descendants were later resident in St Ives and their occupations included those of fisherman, baker, tin miner and blacksmith.
Bruce's archives provided many images used to great effect during his address. One ancestor Paul Thomas was a member of the crew of the St Ives's lifeboat (participating in the rescue of 8 lives) and he later acted as relieving Lighthouse Keeper at Godrevy Lighthouse for 30 years. One image shown was of Paul with the whole of the St Ives lifeboat crew in the early 1880s.
Members were impressed with Bruce Hunter's address, the many anecdotes of Curnow family members and the photographs and images supporting his record of their lives. All adding up to a background rich in history and human endeavours.
William went into business as a Blacksmith after settling into Geelong, also constructing a number of road rollers for Municipal Councils. By 1874 his business had expanded to include boat building and later ship building where he constructed a number of substantial yachts. William was granted his Marine Dealer's licence in 1890.
William and Elizabeth Curnow are buried in Geelong Eastern Cemetery not far from Point Henry where they stepped ashore in 1852 after playing  a very significant role in the early Geelong Community
Val Goldsworthy 

Bruce Hunter and Beryl Curnow


Tom Luke presenting Beryl with Bendigo Cemetery Index

Meeting - 2014
The highlight of this afternoon was the presentation by the Cornish Language Group of the Cornish play "Lusowella A Dhe'n Bal" by John Parker of Penzance.
The cast was as follows:
Lusowella: Marjory Barrett; Tas Lusowella: Peter Trevorah; Ydhyow: June Halls; Krampoeth: Dawn Boylan;
Spyrys Da: Peter Trevorah; Kapten an Bal: Stephen Morey; Den rych: Stephen Amos
Here is the cast in action

Congratulations to New Victorian Bards - 2014  Follow this link for the full list
Wendy Benoit -
For her work for Cornwall in Australia
Robert Lloyd  - For his work for Cornwall in Australia
Derek  Trewarne -
For his work for Cornwall in Australia

The 2014 Gorsedh was held at Torpoint on the Western bank of the Tamar River where ferries have been plying between Cornwall and Devon for centuries.

Leanne and Robert


Maureen and Derek

The Setting

The Dancers

The Victorians
August Meeting - 16th July 2014
Five members shared information on World War 1 participants as part of the World War 1 Project.

William Martin, a relative of Gwen Phillips had been the inspiration of the initial research undertaken by Bill Phillips some years ago and being updated and revised.
Bill reminded us of the awful statistics of dead and injured during the War.
We saw photos of cemeteries from the Western Front and images of the Menin Gate, including the name of William Martin and of the nightly ceremony conducted by the members of the Ieper Fire Brigade.

Jill Beard told us of the life of Edith May Menhennet, a nurse, who was born In Kapunda. She began nursing in Adelaide and met the selection criteria of a nurse going to the war - three years' experience, aged between 21 and 45 years and a Natural born British Subject.
The nurses were exposed to contagious diseases - influenza, mumps and dysentery; suffered Gender based prejudice; acted as mother and sister to provide comfort; were important in keeping morale and a great comfort to the severely ill and dying.
Edith was awarded the Royal Red Cross (2nd class) and was mentioned in despatches.

Liz Egan shared information about her great uncle, George Victor Richards, a member of the 10th Battalion from Broken Hill, who was killed at Gallipoli and is buried in the Beach Cemetery. He embarked from Adelaide aboard the Ascanius, on 20th October 1914 and was killed on 18th June 1915 aged 27 years. Liz had been fortunate to find reports of George Richards in the Barrier Miner, the Broken Hill newspaper.

Derek, Jill, Liz & Bill


Derek Trewarne's relative- Frederick Dawson Trewarne - was born in 1899 and had attended Sailor's Gully school where 63 names are recorded on the Honour Roll with 18 deaths. He was part of the 4th reinforcements of the 60th Battalion and left from Port Melbourne on 1st August 1916 aboard the Orsova. He was involved in the Battle of Fromelles and endured one of the coldest winters experienced in Northern France. He saw action at Ieper, Polygon Wood and Villers Bretonneux.
Frederick was awarded the American Distinguished service cross on 29 September 1918. He was a member of the machine gun section and later was assigned to the Grave detachment.

After discharge he joined the police force and was a Champion footballer for the Eaglehawk FC.
Janet Woolhouse moved many to tears when she read the final letter written by her uncle, Captain Bert Curnow, to his mother. He had been a school teacher before enlisting and wrote to his mother from near Albert detailing that he had always tried to live a good and clean life.
Derek concluded the segment with the reading of part of Laurence Binyon's poem , For the Fallen, The Ode.

July Meeting - 19th July 2104
Although it was a chilly day, a good number of CAV Members were in attendance for the Annual General Meeting on Saturday 19th July 2014.
'Hail to the Homeland' was sung energetically before the meeting began.
Retiring President, Robert Gribben delivered a comprehensive report of the Association's activities for the past twelve months and thanked members of the out-going committee for their dedication and hard work and CAV members for their support during his term as President. Robert had greatly enjoyed the monthly activities and also visits to Ballarat, Geelong and Bendigo and to Kernewek Lowender in South Australia.
Treasurer, Rod Phillips presented a detailed report of the Association's finances and the financial statement of receipts and payments was adopted by the members present.
Members voted to increase the fees for the coming year.
Reports of activities from the Ballarat and Geelong Branches were read and mention was made of the long term contributions of John Mildren from Ballarat and Shirley Lindsay from Geelong.
Robert Gribben made a presentation of an Honorary Life membership to Past President Neil Thomas and in response Neil presented on behalf of the CAV a small token of appreciation to Robert for his wonderful leadership and guidance.
As a final activity of his Presidency Robert Gribben conducted the Election of the office bearers and committee for the year 2014/2015.
    President:  Beryl Curnow
    Immediate Past President: Robert Gribben
    Treasurer: Rod Phillips
    Secretary: June Whiffin
    Committee Members: Jill Beard, Kathryn Cowling, Bill Cowling, Petra Cox, Ted Curnow, Moira Drew, Pauline Duncan, Val Goldsworthy, Glen Grigg, Graeme Madden, Lynette Madden, Gwen Phillips, Derek Trewarne.
    Neil Thomas has been nominated as a representative from Geelong.
Robert congratulated all those elected and wished them well for the coming year in their deliberations.

Neil receiving Life membership from Robert

"Master and Apprentice"

Marcus Curnow and Lowenna

Following the AGM, the normal meeting took place with newly elected President, Beryl Curnow welcoming everyone and congratulating those on their appointments. After a short break we re-assembled to learn how to make pasties.
Beryl and Ted's son, Marcus demonstrated his method of making Cornish Pasties with the assistance of his daughter, Lowenna.
He told us of his visits to Bakery shops in Cornwall especially to the Chough Bakery in Padstow and of the secret ingredient added.
We were entertained by his presentation as well as by his skill and by the background photos.
Marcus sang us the Pasty song composed by Howard Curnow, singing the verses in Cornish accent, and we joined in the chorus.
Afterwards we had our pasty afternoon tea, Cornish style in a paper bag. There was sauce for those Aussies who needed it but not for us true Cornish folk.

Thanks very much to our new President and all who arranged and carried out this idea from members.
PS.  Many thanks to the Pastry cook Robert Powell from RnJ Cakes at Frankston for using  our Cornish recipe and so willingly making a batch of real Cornish Pasties for us. Tren's comment was if he wanted to keep making them he could make a fortune!!  Some high praise indeed from one of our own Cornish born which we shall pass on !!

June Meeting - 21st June 2014
Our speaker was Mr Lambis Engelzos A.M. and the subject: The Lost Soldiers of Fromelles.  Lambis is a Greek-born Australian, a retired Arts and Crafts teacher, whose boyhood in Melbourne brought him into contact with a number of Diggers from the First World War, who became 'honorary grandfathers' and sparked his interest in that war. He is co-founder of the active 'Friends of the 15th Brigade', and in particular raised the question of the burial site of a large number of Australian and British soldiers at the conclusion of the battle in July 1916, which is told vividly in the opening chapters of Les Carlyon's monumental story of The Great War.  Fromelles, on the Western Front, was one of the worst engagements in Australian history, lasting a mere 14 hours. Australian casualties amounted to some 5533, and British 1547, with many 'missing'.  There was no gain for this tragic fight, and many believe that the General (Haking) wrongly decided to proceed, against advice. Engelzos and his colleague Tim Whitford (who was to be our speaker but was unable) discovered that these men were buried by the Germans in the days following the battle, and the site remained unmarked - but they also determined by reading documents and examining maps where they believed the burials were.  After much official discouragement and opposition, they were vindicated in 2008, when the pits were opened, and artefacts and remains found exactly where they had claimed.  Since then, many have been identified by DNA samples from grateful Australian relatives. They have now been reburied in a new cemetery near the village. This commitment and success has been the subject of radio and TV documentaries and mentioned in a number of present studies of WW1. Mr Engelzos is soon to return to Fromelles to carry on further investigation. His talk and slides were enthralling, and there were two enquiries from CAV members on which he has been able to throw further light.

Images of Lambis and a "Rising Sun" found.  These images came from a web search

May Meeting - 17th May 2014 -
Dr Joe Flood was the speaker
He is a policy analyst, a writer and a former CSIRO scientist and he told us of his fascination with the origin of the family name and his 2 years of research which he described as the most fascinating work of career.
The Coads began near Liskeard Cornwall around 1300 and by 1700 there were 13 different clans of COAD spread across central Cornwall and into Devon, with no obvious relationship between them.
In the 1850s and 1860s as the tin and copper mines emptied and recession began to grip Cornwall, they spread across the English-speaking world, with unrelated or very distantly related families still living close to each other in places where the Cornish congregated.
Joe told us of the ancient surname and how a network of descendants unravelled the different clans while solving a number of different forensic problems.  By using a combination of online genealogy sources and DNA they reduced the Coades and Coodes to the unrelated ancient families.
He explained his work passes through the various theories of origin of the name CODE, and what is known of the founders of the surname in Devon and Cornwall.  His book gives a global distribution and an almost complete genealogy of the 5000 or so people who have borne the name up until 1911.
Dr Flood encouraged members to avail themselves of DNA testing as a tool for tracing one's own genealogical roots.

Bob Mylius and Joe Flood

Joe Flood surrounded by family and friends

APRIL Meeting - 26th April 2014
In his talk entitled "Where did they go after the Gold Rush", historian and Bard, Professor Richard Snedden, spoke of the journeys of Cornish migrants after their arrival in Melbourne, and of the relevance of the suburb of Brunswick to them. This was often their first stopover on the way to the goldfields of Mt Alexander and a good place to stock up on provisions.
Brunswick ( Phillipstown ) was already well-established having commenced with farming, but quickly becoming industrialized with the discovery of clay fields suitable for brick making and pottery. The Sydney Road fast became a commercial centre with the influx of the increasing population. Early buildings included the Retreat Inn and the Cornish Arms hotel, and the Sydney Rd Methodist church.
Many of the early diggers found employment in the area over the ensuing years, particularly in the quarrying, brick and building industries. And of these many were Cornish or of Cornish descent. Manallack, Cornwell, Truscott, Yendall were just some of the families who brought prosperity to the district.
Richard's talk was supported with an interesting text and early photo handout.

March Meeting - 29th March 2014
This meeting became the culmination of a visit by Maureen Fuller, the Grand Bard of Cornwall, who had visited Australia to attend the Eaglehawk Dahlia and Arts Festival, to visit Ballarat, Bendigo, Canberra and finally address us.
After the usual welcomes, Bill Phillips on behalf of the the Association, presented Joy Menhennet with 2 awards, a Certificate of Excellence and an Honoury Life Membership in recognition of her service to the association and especially the Ballarat Branch of which she has been a member since its inception.

Maureen engaged us, first by greeting us in Cornish then by regaling her life as a Grand Bard.  She began with her desire to be fluent in Cornish, her own Bardship and responsibilities in coordinating the Gorsedh for many years.
Now as Grand Bard she represents the Gorsedh Kernow where ever possible including Wales, Britany and here.
Maureen explained some of the domestic issues she tries to influence including the choice of place/street/subdivisions names using Cornish vocabulary, the relationship with Westminster and the inclusion of the Cornish language into the school curriculum.

Joy receiving one of her awards from Bill
To see and read more of her recent activities take a look at the Gorsedh Kernow UK site by following this link
The meeting concluded with the usual sumptuous afternoon tea.

Eaglehawk Dahlia and Arts Festival
In beautiful autumn weather, Cornish minded people gathered from across the eastern half of Australia for the Dahlia and Arts Festival in Eaglehawk, from 14th -16th March. The CAV had arranged its own activities within the Festival and was delighted that the Grand Bard from Cornwall, Maureen Fuller, was able to be with us.
During the weekend, the MUIOOF Hall had educative displays, including some work from a Primary School in Penzance, and people were on hand to help with research.
On Friday afternoon, a coach tour of Bendigo enabled people to see buildings with a Cornish connection and to learn a little of the history. This had been researched by Leanne and Rob Lloyd and Rob was an entertaining guide. At the Eaglehawk cemetery, following afternoon tea, Bev Hanson, a local historian, gave us a virtual tour of graves belonging to those with Cornish ancestry.
Friday evening was a Meet the Cornish Concert, compered by Derek Trewarne, which included community singing and items by the Cornish Language Group, Tren Harvey, Noel Cathew and Robert Gribben, followed by a delicious supper.
Saturday saw members joining in the procession and witnessing and/or participating in a Bardic Ceremony in the Gardens which was led by the Grand Bard.
In the evening, the St Piran's Dinner was held and the guest speaker, Maureen Fuller, shared with us thoughts about St Piran.
Sunday morning an Ecumenical Church Service, at Eaglehawk Uniting Church, led by Rev. Cynthia Page and Rev. Prof. Robert Gribben, included some uplifting singing and a reflective meditation. A pasty morning tea followed.
An informal dinner, at The Manchester Arms,  finished off a superb weekend.

Eight of the hundreds of photos that can be viewed by following this link

February Meeting- "St Piran Still Speaks"   Presented by Ted and Beryl Curnow             15 Feb 2014.
With St Valentine's Day behind us and St Piran's Day before us our meeting on 15 February focused on the legend of St Piran. Rev Ted Curnow marked the quiet rebirth of interest in Cornish culture over recent years by referring to the re-use of Cornish language, the rebirth of the Gorsedh, the popularity of the flag as a national banner, the commemoration of St Piran's day (5 March), the growing use of the kilt and tartan, and the rebirth of interest in hagiography---the study of the Saints.
Today St Piran, the Saint of tinners it was said stands as an icon of Cornish culture and has been popularised to a place that rivals St Petroc and St Michael who have also laid claim to the title of Patron Saint of Cornwall.
Bits and pieces of myth, legend and history were woven together with pictures of the annual pilgrimage through the Perranporth Towans to the original site of St Piran's Oratory. Having mutated over time, the site was covered over with sand in order to preserve it in1900 and 1980. The site, tucked away in a remote spot in the sand hills, is arguably the earliest remaining site of Christianity in Britian today. Now after 10 years of negotiation it is being re-excavated by the St Piran Trust. There is evidence that points to a sizeable community during the mediaeval period that could have been similar to that of the St Columba Community at Iona.
Ted referred to the miracles attributed to St Piran but behind the scenes our Vice President Beryl worked a little miracle of her own. At the last moment the resident projector suspended from the ceiling failed to function.

Ted and Beryl presenting
Following a desperate phone call to solve the problem our own projector and stand was unearthed. Thankfully the presentation continued without a hitch.
A mediaeval yarn that usually receives more attention than it deserves says St Piran met his end when drunk by falling down a well. Years ago a Rev Whittaker claimed that depending on legend can "denigrate sanctity".  In a strong rebuff he is said to have written, "The stupidity of the drunken tinners has shaped their Saint agreeably with their own practices and transformed that Holy hermit, that venerable Bishop, that Primary Apostle of Ireland into a wretched drunkard like themselves."
Although applying insights from the story of St Piran was not the main purpose of the presentation, in a surprising way it was obvious that St Piran of the past could still speak into the contemporary world of today.

Images of St Pirins Day in Cornwall in 2005