John Harrison Esq with an assortment
of medicinal plants and remedies
John Mildren with John Harrison at his previous
Neil Thomas and Jim & Bev Hocking
both of whom joined recently
Maisie Cunningham and Viv Martin
Jeff Menhennet and David Holman
Val D'Angri, Peter Cox and Joy Menhennet
December Meeting -
Once again members gathered and were joined by
visitors from Melbourne and Geelong to celebrated
the year of work and pleasure in the Cornish
tradition. In total, 42 folk enjoyed the
sumptous food, the singing of carols and the
The photos left and below were captured by Joy
Menhennet and a slide show of all the images can
can be viewed by clicking
This took the form of a bus trip to Berringa
for a tour of the area and morning tea at the
Berringa church followed by lunch and a meeting
at the Napoleons and District Historical Society
at the Black Lead Church.
During the bus trip, the Vice President of the
Ballarat Branch, Joy Menhennet, gave us a
wonderfully informed oral history of the
During the afternoon, Les George played the part
of the 19th century American evangelist, Rev
To see a gallery of photos taken during the day
follow this link.
During the meeting the President of the Cornish
Association of Victoria, Robert Gribben,
presented the Secretary, Lenice Stuchbery with 2
awards. Firstly an "Honorary Life
Membership" of the Association followed by the
prestigious "John Mildren Achievement Award" for
outstanding and dedicated service to the Cornish
Association of Victoria Inc.
See images opposite
The August meeting was held in the Vestry of
the Skipton St Uniting Church and we were all
grateful for the warmth.
After a short business meeting, John Mildren, in
the Cornish segment, gave us an insight into the
activities of Pirates around the Cornish coast.
With the Laws being made in London and Cornwall
being a long distance away, many traders thought
that ???piracy??? was fair game and even the so
called ???gentry??? were involved. Pirates operated
around Cornish ports plundering cargo from other
countries. The Barbary pirates, from eastern
Europe, operated with large boats capturing
Cornish fishermen and leaving their families
The Guest Speaker, introduced by President John,
was John Harrison Esquire, Apothecary at
Sovereign Hill, who returned to further our
knowledge of tried and true medicines used on
the Gold Fields.
In early times wise women in villages knew which
hedgerow plants cured common complaints, but
men, supposedly having larger brains,
???took over??? and became apothecaries and doctors.
A weekly ???clean out??? was recommended to promote
good health and gold coated pills were reusable.
Rescuing the gold pill was not a task we
Mr Harrison???s basket held numerous common plants
Many toxic plants e.g. hemlock [carrot weed]
provided pain relief when used in small
One seed of the red flowered castor oil plant,
could be fatal.
Charcoal, from willow roots, was used to make
pencils, to clean teeth and was also a cure for
Smelling Salts were made from Lemon Balm which
also cured hives and stopped bees from swarming.
Wood soot was good for the stomach.
Spiders??? webs were used to hold wounds together.
Sleep pillows were made from lavender [picked at
Christmas] and hops. Lavender oil was not
recommended for sensitive skins.
Vanilla and honey, in warm milk, have a calming
effect if taken when going to bed.
Cloves also are calming but clove oil is toxic
as is camphor.
Sauerkraut has higher vitamin C content than
citrus. Sailors on German ships fared better
than their British counterparts
President John thanked Mr Harrison and gave him
a Ballarat Branch mini banner, in appreciation.
Mr Harrison donated a book about herbal
remedies, which will be a prize at our Christmas
We all moved to the large hall for the
traditional High Tea.
June is AGM month in Ballarat and as well as
conducting business the following members were
appointed to the committee
John Mildren (Pres), Lencie Stuchbury (Sec), Joy
Mennenett (Vice P), Lorice Jenkin ( Asst Sec.),
Marjoy Woo (Trea.), Wendy Benoit (Libr.),
The Guest speaker was the President of the
Victorian Cornish Association, Neil Thomas who had
the honour of Bardship bestowed on him last
year. Neal showed photos and gave commentary
on places visited from WW1 battle fields through
Cornwall and finally to the ceremony during which
he became a Bard.
The Cornish segment at our April meeting was
prepared by Maisie Cunningham and she recalled her
days at a small rural school, in the Wimmera - we
all learned the chorus of Rudyard Kipling???s poem,
A smuggler???s song, mimicking the rhythm of horses
Viv Martin was the guest speaker and gave an
enjoyable talk about his life in Ballarat, as a
school boy from 1942 to 1946. Memories flooded
back of carefree childhood days and Viv???s
photographs stirred many recollections ???Lake
Wendouree with paddle steamers and boats, the
Penny Arcade , Swinging Boats, the Zoo, the Eureka
Stockade, Olde Curiosity Shop and the Shell House
whilst trams provided public transport.
Ration books were needed to purchase meat, tea,
sugar and clothing. Lots of interaction took place
during the talk and there was much chatter after
President John thanked Viv and presented him with
a Ballarat mini banner. The traditional High Tea
was enjoyed by everyone.
Visti by David
A visit from David Holman, from Cornwall, was
enjoyed by nine members at the home of Jeff and
Joy Menhennet on Tuesday 10th April. Lenice
Stuchbery then gave David a short tour of Cornish
connected sites around Ballarat.
David had an iPad which he enjoyed showing us with
its many apps. He thought that iPads, Twitter and
Facebook, and the internet were the new media that
groups need to be considering to recruit new
members to their organisations. Whilst there is
still a place for books and paper, techno savvy
younger people will relate to other modes of
research and we must make every effort to connect
with them via these methods. David also gave us an
entertaining talk on Cornish forenames and
Edward and Tobias Hampton were bothers born at
Gwinear in Cornwall in the early 1800s and are
buried almost side by side in the Burra Cemetery,
having lived differring lives both including
tragedy. For the "Cornish" section of the
meeting, Robyn Coates told their
stories with documents, maps and photos.
Peter Cox, although born in Yorkshire, has
assembled a large collection of books, photos and
memorabilia about Cornwall and these he has
donated to the Ballarat Cornish Association
Branch. With the assistance of Val D'Angri,
he shared, showed and discussed many of the items
in his collection.
The meeting concluded with the usual "High Tea"
which was preceded with 20 minutes of "The Cornish
Invasion of South Australia"
In the second half of our meeting, Joy Menhennet
shared with us some information about Rev.
William James Palamountain, who was born at
Little Bendigo, near Ballarat in 1864. William
Palamountain entered the ministry of the
Methodist Church in 1886, and served in various
circuits He was a noted evangelistic preacher
and the establishment of Epworth Hospital in
1921 was the result of his vision.
Joy read to us an article, ???Memories of Little
Bendigo ??? Some Cornish Personalities???, written
by William Palamountain and printed in the Argus
on 20th May 1933.