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 images below provide examples of
what we experienced and more can be seen
by visiting the gallery.
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
Bruce Hunter and Beryl Curnow
Tom Luke presenting
Beryl with Bendigo Cemetery Index
October Meeting -
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
Spyrys Da: Peter Trevorah; Kapten an Bal:
Stephen Morey; Den rych: Stephen Amos
Here is the cast in action
to New Victorian Bards - 2014 Follow
this link for the full list Wendy Benoit - For
her work for Cornwall in Australia Robert
For his work for Cornwall in Australia
Derek Trewarne - For
his work for Cornwall in Australia
Gorsedh was held at Torpoint
on the Western bank of the Tamar River
where ferries have been plying between
Cornwall and Devon for centuries.
August Meeting - 16th July
2014 Five members shared information on World
War 1 participants as part of the World War 1
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
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
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
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:
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
Life membership from Robert
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
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
Images of Lambis and a "Rising
Sun" found. These images came from a web
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
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
Dr Flood encouraged members to avail themselves of
DNA testing as a tool for tracing one's own
Bob Mylius and Joe
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
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
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
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
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
The meeting concluded with the usual sumptuous
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
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
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.
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
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
Following a desperate phone call to solve the
problem our own projector and stand was unearthed.
Thankfully the presentation continued without a
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
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.