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12th December 2015
Christmas Luncheon
This year we were fortunate to be permitted to have our Christmas luncheon in the body of the church.  The bigger Chapel venue made it a more relaxing and enjoyable space and very happy day was had by all as it brought a very positive CAV year to a close.
After a sumptuous meal we were able to hear Hartley May read a poem to his wife celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary and sing together many of the favourite Christmas carols accompanied by Brad, the minister of the church.
Thanks were expressed to Robyn Coates who again very ably with helpers, co-ordinated our Christmas lunch.  We also thank the church community for its continuing support through the use of the excellent facilities.

Hartley May with President Beryl

Beryl with Robyn Coates

21st November 2015
The Cornish Language Group
The thespians below presented three plays by John Parker.  "Y'n Boesti" ("In the Cafe"), "Y'n Stevell an Benynes" ("In the Ladies' Room") and "Y'n Kamelot" ("In Camelot")

Marjorie Barrett
Stephen Morey
Jill Beard
Dawn Boylan
Janet Woolhouse
Stephen Amos

The cast of The Cornish Language Group
In performance and posed.

Max Beck - A Different Earth

Max, the consummate raconteur, took us with him as he told us about the life of his forebear, Jane Dunstan, as detailed in his book, "A Different Earth".  Bellow is the synopsis as printed on the back cover.

Max Beck
On the threshold of starvation when the potato blight hits Cornwall, Jane Dunstan decides to rescue her family from desperate poverty and her husband, Richard, from the dreadful conditions in the mines.
She successfully applies for a "free Passage" to migrate to South Australia with their seven children aged from one to twelve.  After suffering appalling living conditions in the cramped steerage quarters of the ship and the challenges of the sea during the three month journey, the family, on arrival in South Australia in 1849, travel 100 miles north of Adelaide by bullock wagon to the Burra copper mines.
At Burra they live in an underground dugout in the banks of the Burra Creek and Richard, with his tree eldest boys work in the mine.  To Jane it's a dramatic time, with flood, a new baby born underground and the tragic loss of her husband and two daughters.
On the discovery of gold in Victoria in 1851, Jan hires a bullock dray and driver to take her remaining six children on a courageous six-week, 550 mile overland trek to the Victorian goldfields.
The story describes the difficulties of locating and traversing the trail, the workings and idiosyncrasies of the bullock team and its drive, Red adapting to living in the bush, obtaining bush tucker and dealing with pests and hazard along the way.
On arriving at the diggings Jane is horrified by what she sees but ultimately remarries and has three more babies, bringing her total issue to eleven.
She eventually has fifty-nine grandchildren.

18th November, Geelong Christmas Dinner 2015
Read all about it and view the photos

October 2015 - Bus Trip to Tarndwarncoort
Tarndwarncoort is a sheep grazing property East of Colac to which members from Melbourne, Geelong and Ballarat travelled for a much anticipated visit.  For more information about the property see http://tarndie.com/
On arrival members were divided into 3 groups, one to learn more about the history and working of the property, another to view some Polwarth sheep and the last to tour the house and garden.  Prior to lunch the groups had rotated through each activity. 
Lunch included home-made Cornish Pasties, scones, jam and cream.

To see the photo gallery of the day follow this link

Here is a sample of photos.   Images captured by Ted Curnow, Robyn Coates, Derek Trewarne and John Morrish

17th October 2015 - Ron Killeen -
The Outer Circle, Melbourne's Forgotten Railway
Another great occasion.  The day began by welcoming visitors who had joined us as part of "Seniors' Week"
Derek Trewarne introduce them to the functions and assets of the Association and time was allocated for members of the Library team to individually assist visitors with research questions.
Here are some photos illustration the day including a full car park and those being assisted.

The Overflowing Car Park
A Working Library
Visitor with Liz Egan
Jean Staunton with Guests

The afternoon speaker, Ron Killeen enthralled us with his presentation and video concerning the failed "Outer Circle Railway" that was constructed in the 1880s but was finally abandoned.
Beth Coote purchasing a DVD from Ron

Ron presenting one of his iconic images

19th September 2015 - Ted Curnow ‘Colonial Pioneers and Parsons – stories of early Cornish Settlers 1850s and 1860s’.
Our September speaker was Rev. Ted Curnow who told us of ‘Colonial Pioneers and Parsons – stories of early Cornish Settlers 1850s and 1860s.
John Wesley’s first visit to Cornwall took place in 1743. The Bible Christian movement started later in 1815 on the Cornish, Devon border.  The 1851 Census shows that 60% of Cornish people were Methodist.
Ted’s narrative told of James Way and James Rowe who were supported by the Bible Christian Missionary Society in emigrating to South Australia in 1850. ‘More than a step of faith -- it was an emotional wrench for the whole (Methodist) movement’. The two brave pioneers started well but the toll of culture shock in a strange world was under-estimated.

Ted. Beryl and Tom Curnow
The Rowe family resided at Burra for a time in a four room ‘subterranean’ house’ (a red clay dugout) along three miles of the Burra Creek.

Distances between chapels were greater than in Cornwall and many circumstances led to the near deaths of Way and Rowe within 18 months of their arrival in Australia. James Way and non-conformist churches opposed the State funding of Churches and advocated voluntary giving. Later Way was to be financially wrecked when miners from Burra headed to the Victorian goldfields. Constant appeals were made to the Missionary Society in England in 1852 and 1853 for more missionaries to save the Methodist Chapels.
A story of faith, physical endurance, tenacious self-belief and commitment to God and one’s fellow man emerged from Ted’s story.                        Val Goldsworthy

15th August 2015
- CAV World War 1 Project
The speakers at the August meeting were the members of the CAV World War 1 Project team – Elizabeth Egan, Jill Beard and Derek Trewarne.   Each gave a short presentation on one aspect of the results of the research.

The project has involved compiling information provided by CAV members on their forebears with Cornish heritage who served in the Australian and auxiliary forces.  Further research has been conducted into several of those included as well as on various subjects relating to war service.

Liz Egan, the project coordinator, spoke about two families – the Simpsons, Arthur Rowe Marcus (ARMS) and Laurence Ezekiel Gordon (LEGS) and their cousin Laurence Gordon, and the O'Brien brothers, Orlando, Assal and Thompson from Tumut, NSW.

Jill Beard broadened our view of war service in her talk about the 16 million animals who participated in WW1. 

Jill, Derek and Elizabeth

Many were on the frontlines with the soldiers, and as many as 9 million are thought to have died.  They included a wide range of animals, and a wide variety of roles they fulfilled, some of which were a surprise to many – the photographs Jill showed were much appreciated.  
Derek Trewarne talked about some of the statistics extracted from the project database including age, occupation, and heights of those represented, and which Battalions most of the soldiers served with and in what capacity.   It was interesting to learn that their average age was 25 years and height 5 feet 7 inches, somewhat dispelling the general belief that most enlisted as 18 year olds and that Cornishmen tended to be shorter than the average! 
Further detail is available in the CAV Library.

18th July 2015
Pasty Luncheon

Members enjoying Pasties from Brown Paper Bags
All the usual formalities were observed before reports were received.
Beryl Curnow presented her President's Report which reflected the highlights of the past 12 months, the challenges for the future and gave thanks to those who made a contribution during the last year.  Beryl also reflected on the contribution of members who died since the last AGM.

Rob Phillips presented the Financial Report which detailed the revenue and expenses and showed a healthy balance hence his recommendation that Annual Subscriptions remain as for 2014-15.  This recommendation was accepted.
June Whiffin read the reports from Geelong and Ballarat which reflected many of the same highlights plus local activities.
The visit to Australia by Maureen Fuller, the Grand Bard,featured frequently in the highlights.

Richard Snedden conducted the election of Office Bearers and Committee Members and these can be seen by clicking here.
This part of the afternoon concluded with the awarding of Certificates of Appreciation to Jean Staunton and Viv Martin
Images by  Derek Trewarne


Bronwen Scott-Branagan - A Story of War

Bronwen, a CAV member, whose mother was Cornish and father Welsh and Cornish, spoke of her father’s family and their involvement in World War I.

While two brothers enlisted at the outbreak of the war, Brownen’s father and a brother were involved in a family business.  That brother, Paul, enlisted after the Gallipoli campaign and at age 26 sadly perished on the Menin Road.

Although Brownen’s father was working nightly as an organist in a silent picture theatre,
he felt he could no longer delay enlisting and joined the Engineers.  His task was to maintain a cannon, take care of the horses and harness them to transport the cannon.  “Make much of your horses” was a standing order.  This Engineer, already proficient with a number of musical instruments, transferred to the Engineers’ Band and played the piccolo. 

With the Great war ending at 11 am on 11th November 1918 (French time), the ‘boys’ returned to Australia, many with haunting memories, many wounded and maimed.  One of Bronwen’s uncles was gassed and was cared for by his young wife until his death.

This is the story of one family’s contribution to fighting for peace in the early 20th century.  Sadly world peace continues to be sought by armed conflict.

Kate Neale - the music the Cornish brought to Australia

Our second speaker was Kate Neale, who was born and who grew up at Porthcothan Bay on Cornwall’s north coast.

Kate studied for a BA in English and Music at Cardiff University, developing an interest in musicology which, broadly speaking, is the study of music in cultural context, ie how individuals, groups, societies and communities understand and utilise music in different ways.

On finalising her BA degree, Kate received a scholarship to complete an MA in musicology.  She focussed her thesis on the Padstow carols; town carollers perform a small repertoire of unusual carols throughout the town on Advent Sunday.  While researching those carols, Kate came across references to carols being performed worldwide in diasporic Cornish communities.
Kate is now a PhD student at Cardiff University’s School of Music while also being co-supervised at the Institute of Cornish Studies at Exeter University.  Her doctoral project involves research of how Cornish migrants world-wide musically articulated identify and community.  It has been shown that these ‘little Cornwalls’ retained many cultural features and practices from home.

Kate Neale

Kate’s project aims to document music past and present in the Cornish diaspora and thus assess its significance. 
We wish Kate well in her studies and look forward to reading her PhD thesis.
Clearly she shall have music wherever she goes!

Afternoon Tea
The afternoon concluded with the the usual hearty food and refreshments along with much chatter and catching up.  Member said their farewells to Viv and Freda Martin as they move to Bendigo later this month.

20th June 2015

Ann Copeland, Family History Librarian at the State Library of Victoria, was guest speaker at the June meeting. 

Ann told members of the wealth of resources on family history at the State Library; there, the Family History and Newspaper Room provides references to material in the online catalogue and research guides.  Further, the La Trobe Australiana Collection has records such as newspapers, manuscripts, pictures and maps. 

Ann Copeland
The Library subscribes to the Findmypast UK and Ireland websites and these are accessible free on library computers.  Ancestry and Family Search sites are also available, as is the British Newspaper Archive.

As well as cemetery, shipping and occupation records, trade directories and Sands and McDougall directories are available.  Ann thoughtfully brought along for distribution to members printed hand-outs which fully inform about the impressive range of facilities for use by genealogists.

Of interest the Library possesses 350 items on mining in Bendigo, digitised Parliamentary papers of the UK House of Commons (1801-2003/4) and the Domesday Book (1086).
Ann’s pleasant and enthusiastic address fully engaged her audience.

 9th May 2015
Kernow Calling - Maureen Fuller, Grand Bard of the Gorsedh, was our guest speaker in May.

The meeting opened with a spirited singing of ‘Hail to the Homeland’.  President Beryl Curnow formally introduced the Grand Bard who greeted members with ‘Good Afternoon to You All’ in Cornish, then in English.

A few things have happened in the last year’, Mrs Fuller said.  On 24 April 2014 the UK Government finally recognised Cornwall as a nation in its own right.  There had never been a formal annexation of Cornwall into England.

From the Audience

Maureen Fuller Speaking

Of interest, Oxford University has determined after extensive study that DNA samples collected from those with four Cornish-descended grandparents are distinct and of ancient origin, ie reaching back to the Ice Age.  This determination applies also to the Welsh.  In the next census in 2021 we’ll be happy to tick the ‘Cornish’ box”, said a smiling Grand Bard. 
The education curriculum set by Westminster does not presently provide for Cornish national history.  There is hope however that changes will be made in future to address this deficit.  

Beryl and Maureen

Beryl and Maureen with Banners
Photos by Derek Trewarne

The 5th Century AD Oratory of St Piran at Perranzabuloe is the oldest Church on the UK mainland.  Now cleared of its sand and rubble shroud once again, the intention is to protect the Oratory by way of permanent roofing and supporting walls.  A restoration fund has been established. 

Members were left in no doubt that Cornish culture and interests are in safe hands.

18th April 2015
The speaker was Robyn Coates and her topic; "The 39th: Ballarat's Adopted Battalion"
Robyn's interest springs from her grandfather's war service followed by her father's service and their participation
in remembering and commemorating those who served.
Robyn explained the history of military training in Australia since the Defence Acts of 1903-4 and later in 1911 with the formation of cadet corps.  She explained what records were available and how they could be accessed.
Her grandfather was Victor Roy Haines and she used his story as an example to show enlistment, training, embarkation, theatres of war, the awarding of a Distinguished Conduct Medal, repatriation, life after service and the commemorating of the 39th's record.
But that was merely the scaffold for sharing 115 slides of objects, facts about the structure of the army, personalities, maps,
places, medical and nursing services, community support from groups across Ballarat and photos taken both during the events or more recently.
Robyn brought with her a collection of artifacts to exhibit and for members to peruse.

A table of Memorabilia

Beryl and Robyn

Keith examining the display

21st March 2015

The main speaker was Robert Gribben who told us the story of the planning and construction of the Isambard Kingdom Brunel's Royal Albert Bridge across the Tamar River at Saltash.
The result was one of the great engineering feats of the world. It is also an extremely beautiful man-made structure and a major tourist attraction.
The river is 1100 feet or 340 metres wide at this point. The length of the bridge is almost twice that. 
Isambard's father was a French engineer, but the family moved to Portsmouth the year Isambard was born.
He adapted an invention his father had used to sink the tunnel under the river Thames in London: a huge diving bell.  See the projected image at the right.
The water was pumped out, and air was pumped in, and up to 40 men could work within.  The first span was lifted into place on 1st September 1857.  The talk was spiced by Robert reading excerpts from material written by eye witnesses at the time.
The completed bridge was opened by HRH Prince Albert on 2 May 1859.

The afternoon concluded with Robyn Coates giving a report on the Ballarat Branch's St Piran's Day Celebration held at the the Mair Street campus of the Ballarat Catholic University on 7th March.
As part of the event, the original mansion built by Cornishman Cyrus Bath Retallack in the 1880s was renamed back to its original name, Carn Brea.
To see a full report of this event follow the link below.

7th March St Piran's Day Celebration Ballarat 2015 Click here to read more

21st February 2015
Derek and Jenny Trewarne were our presenters for the afternoon and they took us on the journey they did last year to Hong Kong, Devon, Cornwall and Spain entitled "A Bardic Experience and More".
There were great pictures of Hong Kong harbour at night and picturesque images of Devon in Autumn but the highlight was undoubtedly Cornwall.

We saw the Tall Ships Festival at Falmouth; Ponsanooth village; Glendurgan Gardens; Durgan village; the Helford River coastal walk; The Eden Project; St Just in Roseland; Lanhydrock gatehouse and stately home; West Looe and the Bardic Circle on the lawn, Thancks Park, Torpoint.
They then travelled on to Launceston before visiting San Sebastian, Basque County, Northern Spain and seeing their grandaughter.

Derek is a wonderful speaker with a sense of humour never far away.  The presentation finished with everyone singing "Cousin Jack".
Here is a sample of the images we saw.

Derek and Jenny