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- Ballarat Branch -

2015 Dates

Saturday 5th December Christmas Function

Annual Bus Trip

See photos from the 2014 Annual Bus Trip

To view images from the 2013 Bus Trip follow this link.

To view images from the 2012 Bus Trip follow this link.

St Piran's Day 2015

To View this years images

 clicking this link

See the 2013 Gallery of Images

To read about and view the photos of the 2011 St Piran's Day events, click the link below

Click here for Report

Previous Reports and Speakers





Ballarat Links

Pioneers of Ballarat

The Welcome Nugget

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More images of Maureen Fuller's visit to Ballarat in May 2013

Images from the 25th Anniversary

The Cake

Nita Receiving her Award

Robert and Award Recipients

Nita and Joy Cutting the Cake

Maureen Fuller - Grand Bard

Images from the April Meeting

Miniature Steam Parade
Trevithick Day 2012

Interior at Lound Church

Helen Helston presenting her Family History segment

John and Sandra Hosking with John Skewes

Cornish Association of Victoria Inc. - Ballarat Branch

President: Wendy Benoit

Administrative Secretary: Miss Lorice Jenkin
email Lorice Jenkin

Treasurer/Membership Secretary: Mr. Ian Jennings 

email Ian Jennings

Librarian: Mrs Wendy Benoit.
email Wendy Benoit

Click here to view the holdings of the branch's extensive Library

Newsletter Editor: Robyn Coates

MEETINGS The Ballarat Branch meets on the first Saturday of every EVEN month at 2.00pm. The venue is the Skipton Street Uniting Church Hall, cnr Skipton & Darling Streets, Ballarat South (opposite Skipton and Drummond St crn).


  • To promote and foster goodwill among Cornish people and people in Victoria
  • To stimulate interest in the history, family history, antiquities, traditions and social conditions of Cornwall.
  • To endeavour to arrange contact between relatives and friends of Cornish people in both Victoria and Cornwall and other Cornish Associations.
  • To further awareness in the Victorian community of the importance of the Cornish emigration in the development of Australia.
  • To assist and to encourage , in conjunction with State organisations, Local Government and the National Trust , the restoration and maintenance of buildings and areas of importance to the Cornish heritage in Australia. 
  • To be a non-political, non-sectarian cultural organization.


Christmas Celebration 2015

Our Chairperson, Wendy Benoit welcomed everyone to the meeting on Saturday 5th December, extending a special  welcome to members from Melbourne, Bendigo and Geelong.
Thirty-three members were present and although it was a very hot day, with plenty of cold drinks and delicious food, a  wonderful time was had by all those who attended.

During the evening, Derek Trewarne, Vice President of the CAV, conveyed to members the good wishes and apologies from the CAV President, Beryl Curnow, who was recovering from surgery.

Derek had the honour of presenting the John Mildren Award, for outstanding contribution to the Cornish Association, to a most deserving recipient in Ian Jennings. An original member, Ian had served the Ballarat Branch in many roles as Treasurer, Membership Secretary and Catering Officer. Well done Ian.
Special Effort Winners:
1st $50 Craig's voucher - Keith Stodden
2nd Two DVDs - Elva Murray
3rd Chocolates - Rob Lloyd

Derek and Ian

Visit to Tardnwarncoort

Twenty-eight Ballarat members travelling by small coach (driven by member Jim Hocking) and in one car, joined members from Geelong and Melbourne in a wonderful day out on Saturday 24th October in the western District. The Dennis family have farmed in this area since 1840 and have been responsible for the development of the Polwarth breed of sheep. It was great to meet with the current owners and tour their lovely home and garden in perfect weather – a warm, sunny day with blue skies and no wind.
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

Robyn Coates -  "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.
Robyn is featured in the photograph below with Licne Stuchbury.  The photos was taken when the first met after each had been

Latest News from Cornwall - New Australian Bards 2015

Lenice Stuchbery and Ballarat/ Melbourne Member Robyn Coates on their appointment as Bards of the Cornish Gorsedh 2015
for their continuing work for Cornwall in Australia. 

The photo was taken in Melbourne when they first met after they had been "Barded".

Well done

Robyn and Lenice together for the first time since July
See this website for the full list of Bards created in 2015 - http://www.gorsethkernow.org.uk/newbards2015.html

Alistair and Trish George combined for a very entertaining afternoon around the topic, The Last of the Smugglers. Alistair read a very descriptive newspaper article about a distant cousin, Henry BoBo George and his involvement in smuggling and free trade. His relative (his great, great uncle’s son) Henry BoBo George (1820 -1898) used to go to the Methodist chapel on a Sunday night then sail out to sea to collect his bounty from the French ships and then hide the bounty.
Alistair told us how Henry’s wife hid the bounty while she sat on the barrel while feeding the baby, hiding the barrel with her dress while the house was being searched.
Trish George read a poem that she had written about Henry BoBo George and also a poem by David Prowse.

June 13th AGM and Presentation by Beryl Curnow, President of the CAV

The Annual Meeting was held on Saturday 13th June and the President of the CAV, Beryl Curnow presided for the Election of Office bearers for 2015-2016.
Chairperson - Wendy Benoit
Deputy Chairperson - Keith Lanyon
Administrative Secretary - Lorice Jenkin
Treasurer - Ian Jennings
Committee Members
Robyn Coates        Bev Hocking
John Hosking         Jill Hunter
Jeff Menhennet      Joy Menhennet
John Mildren          Lenice Stuchbery
Thanks was extended to retiring Office bearers - Joy Menhennet (Chairperson), Lenice Stuchbery (Secretary) and Olive Hailes (Catering) and each was presented with a colourful pot plant.
Lenice Stuchbery was presented with a Special Certificate of Appreciation for her service to the Ballarat Branch as Secretary for the past 19 years.
Annual reports were presented by Joy Menhennet, Ian Jennings and Wendy Benoit.

Beryl, Lorice and Wendy

A Thank- Gift to Lenice

Wendy and retiring President Joy
The President of the CAV, Beryl Curnow gave an entertaining presentation of time spent in Cornwall whilst her husband Ted was working as a Methodist Minister during 2003 to 2005.
Ted was working in the Hayle-St Ives Circuit of the Methodist Church and they lived in both Hayle for 12 months and St Ives for 12 months forming many wonderful and lasting friendships.
Beryl told us of ‘settling in experiences’ of opening a new bank account, queuing on the roads at certain times of the day, trying to decipher the accent whilst talking on the phone and the clunk of the mail being delivered through the front door each day.

Learning the local idioms was also a new experience - very poorly actually meaning that the person was quite unwell.
The roads, lanes and driveways are all very narrow and it was a luxury to have a garage.

Beryl Curnow

Images by Ian Jennings

When driving into their garage, Beryl and Ted had to get out of the car and turn in the side mirrors before completing the parking in the garage.
Festivals were energetically celebrated by the Cornish and each town had its own local Festival.
The Cornish are very proud of their heritage and some wake every day and thank the Lord that I am Cornish!
Harvest Festival was a special time in the churches with local produce and flowers decorating the churches magnificently.
Remembrance Day was always a solemn and sacred occasion.
When invited to someone’s home for a meal, a Cornish pasty was often served. Vegetables such as onions, parsnips and turnips grow well in Cornwall.
Church suppers often were a pasty in a brown paper bag with a cup of white tea!
Beryl and Ted both enjoyed the beauty of Cornwall - the rugged hills and dunes, the amazing farmland and the beautiful beaches and rivers.
The weather at times was a trial with Cornwall experiencing four distinct seasons.
Beryl concluded her talk by saying that her time spent in Cornwall was an unforgettable experience.

Wendy Benoit thanked Beryl for her informative talk and presented her with a copy of “Our Heritage Our Treasure”

April 4th - David Holman

Once more the members of Ballarat were thrilled to welcome David Holman as our guest speaker.
David is the Membership Secretary of the Kernow Gorsedh but also a globe-trotting Military Historian.  His visit to Ballarat was part of his recent trip which included speaking in the USA and Canberra.
He chose as his topic, "Using British medals to help fill out your family tree".
David gave us an outline of the history and use of military awards and how to find records of Gallantry Awards and medals.  He brought and show us examples from his collection.

We learnt for example that Medals were awarded to those serving in the Armed Forces and also to civilians.  The main categories of awards are: Gallantry Awards; Campaign Medals; Miscellaneous Awards 

Gallantry Awards provoked much interest.  All ranks can be awarded a Victoria Cross but all other crosses can only be awarded to officers whereas members of other ranks can be awarded medals.

Below are listed the Gallantry Crosses and Orders:
The Victoria Cross
The Conspicuous Gallantry Cross – After 1993
The George Cross
The Distinguished Service Order
The Distinguished Service Cross – Until 1901 the Conspicuous Service Cross
The Military Cross
Distinguished Flying Cross
Air Force Cross

Below are listed the Gallantry Medals:
The Distinguished Conduct Medal
The Conspicuous Gallantry Medal & The Conspicuous Gallantry Medal (Flying)
The George Medal
The Distinguished Service Medal
The Military Medal
Distinguished Flying Medal
Air Force Medal
The British Empire Medal for Gallantry
The Queen’s Gallantry Medal – Since 1974
The Meritorious Service Medal for Gallantry

Below are 3 slides selected from the 28 David showed

David, Lenice and Joy

Robyn Coates, Anita De Little and Hazel Luke

Joy Menhennet thanks David for his presentation and we all thank those in the kitchen.

St Piran's Day 2015

In keeping with the Ballarat Cornish Association Branch tradition, the biannual celebration of St Piran's day was held on Saturday 7th March, but unlike other similar occasions this one had been years in the making.
To the enormous credit to the members of the Ballarat Branch committee a most important building in the history of Cornish settlement in the town was renamed to its original title of Carn Brea.
The building was built by Cornishman Cyrus Bath Retallack in the 1880s as his home, naming it Carn Brea 2 after a castle in Cornwall.  Since then the mansion has had various names and is currently the home of the Ballarat Catholic University.
Saturday was not only a day to mark the life and work of St Piran but a joyful celebration at the Mair Street university campus where we were shown the plaque and information board to be mounted on the historic building.
Joy Menhennet said the name change meant a lot to the group, as it recognised the contribution the Cornish made to Ballarat's history.
Attendees included the Dean of the campus Dr Joe Fleming, Ballarat mayor John Philips, visitors from Melbourne, Bendigo and Geelong along with members of the Ballarat branch.  In total 35 people witnessed the occasion, toured the mansion and partook of the specially made pasties and saffron cake.
Below is a sample of the images captured during the event by Leanne Lloyd and Arthur & Robyn Coates.
A  full slide show is available by clicking this link.

February 7th 2015

Wendy Benoit
On a very warm February afternoon, Wendy Benoit showed photos of her seven week trip, in 2014, to England, Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland. Blue skies, beautiful green country scenes and colourful gardens were prominent in many of the pictures.
Wendy’s holiday began in London and finished in London but not before spending time in Cornwall where she had her own guide in Elsie Ash.
Penzance, Zennor, Porthleven, Cape Cornwall (where Elsie was a Coast Watch member), St Michael’s Mount, Gulval, Pendeen, St Ives, Lands End and Mousehole were explored with Elsie or by local bus.
Wendy was installed as a Bard of the Cornish Gorsedh at Thanckes Park, Torpoint and enjoyed the activities associated with the Gorsedh.
She then spent two days with the Grand Bard, Maureen Fuller, around Polperro and Fowey as well as at Morwenstow and the legend of Robert Stephen Hawker.
On her return to London, Wendy took the Eurostar to Paris for a day trip.

Lorice Jenkin
Port Isaac (better known as Portwenn to Doc Martin viewers) was the first stop in Cornwall for Lorice Jenkin, having stopped in Devon to view the Dartmoor Ponies in the Dartmoor National Park.
Lorice spoke about and showed photos of Port Isaac, home to Doc Martin; Chysauster Village.  It is a group of courtyard houses, probably built between 100 BC and 3 AD;  Rowena Cade’s Minack Theatre, with the back drop

Lorice, Wendy and Joy
being the sea;  Trebah Garden with its four miles of footpaths leading down to and along the Helford River showed us beautiful beds of hydrangeas, ferns and rhododendrons and even some tropical fish; Tregothnan, famous for its large private botanical garden and arboretum with many varieties of trees and Bosue Vineyard a family run vineyard producing award winning white, rosé and sparkling wines made from Cornish grown grapes.
Bright blue skies dotted with fluffy white clouds and rows of vines growing in chocolate brown soil made very pleasant pictures.  She finished her presentation by showing us some examples of the narrow Cornish streets and roads.

President Joy Menhennet thanked both speakers and presented them with a miniature Ballarat Banner .