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- Ballarat Branch 2012 -

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John Harrison Esq

John Harrison Esq with an assortment
of medicinal plants and remedies

John H

John Mildren with John Harrison at his previous visit

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 - Christmas 2012

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 excellent company.

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 link.


October Meeting

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 Berringa District.

During the afternoon, Les George played the part of the 19th century American evangelist, Rev William Taylor.

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

August Meeting

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 suffering greatly.

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 fancied.
Mr Harrison???s basket held numerous common plants and spices.
Many toxic plants e.g. hemlock [carrot weed] provided pain relief when used in small quantities.
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 flatulence.
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 meeting.

We all moved to the large hall for the traditional High Tea.

June Meeting Report

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.

April Speakers

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 galloping along.
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 it..
President John thanked Viv and presented him with a Ballarat mini banner. The traditional High Tea was enjoyed by everyone.

Visti by David Holman

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 surnames.

February Speakers

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.

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