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21st April 2017 - The Michele Family and "Crying the Neck"
After a welcome and announcements from Derek Trewarne, Neil Thomas and Jill Beard shared information about the South Australian

Neil recalled visiting the ruin of Marble Hill, in the Adelaide Hills which was once the  summer residence of the Governor of South Australia and is now being lovingly restored by Ed Michell and his wife Dr Patricia Bishop.
Marble Hill was destroyed by bushfires in 1955 when the then Governor Sir Robert George and his family were in residence.
Ed Michell is a descendant of George Henry Michell, founder of the Michell wool empire.

Jill told us some of the story of George Henry Michell.
He was born in Phillack in 1832 and married his wife Catherine Donnithorne at Redruth in 1865. George, Catherine and Catherine’s mother arrived in Adelaide in 1866.
The family moved again in 1870 to Undalya, a small town on the
Wakefield River in South Australia's mid-north.   Michell started a business scouring wool, buying the sheepskins from farmers in the surrounding areas.
Eventually Michell moved his business to Hindmarsh in Adelaide so that it could expand. In the late 1960s, the company moved to their current site in Salisbury South.

Neil Thomas then shared some information regarding the Cornish, Crying the Neck Ceremony held at the end of the harvest in farms across Cornwall.   Most people proceeded outside to the grassed area for a re-enactment of the Ceremony with Janet Woolhouse reading the Cornish Words and Derek the translation. There were plenty of enthusiastic, “Hurrahs”




To see a slide show of all the images click Slide Show

18th March 2017 - A Cornish Songline
Prior to welcoming our speaker, Robert Gribben, and at the urging of our President, Derek, we all sang Happy Birthday to the Birthday Boy who had celebrated his birthday a few days before the meeting.

After his introduction, Robert thanked us and told us that his age didn’t end in a 0 or a 5.
Having recently published his second family history, a Cornish Songline, he explained that the title of his talk was about the composition of this book.

There were a number of factors that convinced Robert to publish this new book 25 years after the publication of his first Gribben family history, A Slight Incline. Amongst these was the feedback from family, the advantage of 25 years’ experience of the Gribben Family and an interesting DNA result.

With this second book, Robert also looked at the question, ‘What would make my family look at the book?’ and his answer, he hopes is the setting out of the information he has collected in an easy readable form.

The first family history celebrated what would have been the 125th Wedding Anniversary of Paul and Rosina Gribben, his great, great grandparents who were married at Heathcote Wesleyan Church on 6th December 1866.

The title of the new book is a reference to our ancestors including the original inhabitants of Australia and the use of songs - it was easier to record and remember family history in song form.

Edwin Gribben, aged 24, on the voyage from England aboard the vessel Norfolk in 1869, kept a diary which Robert has annotated and transcribed into the final chapter of his book.

The question of, ‘What’s in a name?’ arose and the surname Gribben/Gribbin appears to originate in St Agnes and is still found in the area today.





Summary by Betty Myers

18th February 2017
Robyn Coates shared information concerning the early history of education in Victoria and more particularly about a Cornish born teacher named William Henry Nicholls.
He was educated in Ballarat, trained as a pupil teacher, and went on to become the headmaster of Mt Pleasant State School in 1864. In 1872, the Victorian Government introduced The Education Act that was to make education in Victoria free, compulsory and secular from 1st January 1873.
A new Department was established - The Education Department – and it consisted of the Secretary who was the Chief Executive Officer, an Inspector General, Inspectors, teachers, and other officials. This Act stated that all teachers were to be paid a fixed salary and remuneration by way of results. All parents were ordered to send their children aged between six and fifteen years to school and that their attendance had to be not less than sixty days per half year. Failure to do so would result in the parents being fined.
William Nicholls was elected the first teacher representative on the Board of Classifiers and held this position for nine years.
The images below show the plan for the original Mt Pleasant Sunday School, the current Mt Pleasant School and William Nichols




December  10th . 12.30 pm     Christmas Lunch

The CAV Christmas function was held as usual on the second Saturday in December and took the form of a ‘sit down’ dinner in the auditorium.
We were indeed fortunate that our landlord, the Oakleigh Baptist Church allowed the Association to use this room as the church hall is not quite big enough to accommodate us all in this format. The meal was delicious and together with some traditional Christmas Carols (including two verses of ‘Silent Night’ in Cornish) and a ‘Cornish Quiz’ it was a most joyous occasion. 
During the afternoon Daisy and Hartley May donated a Celtic Collage Flag one to the CAV.
Special thanks to thank everyone who helped on the day.  Below are images from the afternoon.




November 19th 1.30 pm   ‘Cornish Play’  presented in Cornish  by our keen Cornish Language Group. 
We were entertained at our November Meeting by the Cornish Language Group who presented a humorous play written by Marjorie Barrett (for those of us not fluent in Cornish, there was an English translation on the screen).
We also had the opportunity to join in some singing in Cornish.
All in all, it was a very good meeting and special thanks and congratulations to Marjorie for the time she devoted to writing the play.  Here are two photos of the cast



October  15th   Celebrating  Senior’s Day with a Cornish Theme.
  

“Experiencing Cornish Culture” was the invitation that brought about 12 visitors to our regular Saturday monthly meeting on 15th October for Seniors’ Day. Welcomed at the Library door, they were soon chatting to members about their Cornish family connections and having a quick browse of its resources.  Many of them had family information which they shared, and took advantage of the free two hours’ research offered. It was encouraging to know there are still people looking for their Cornish ancestors.

Our speaker Jill Beard gave a very interesting and at times humorous talk about how newspapers had assisted her with her family research.


Jill Beard
17th September 2016 - Ted Curnow speaking on "Kingdom of Kernow and Evelyn Jones speaking about her walk along the "Saints Way"
Ted Curnow presented an interesting history of the origin of the name Cornwall/Kernow. Aided by a Power Point Presentation, Ted revealed the Irish version (of the origin) that a Celtic tribe, the Kerns, also known as “The Wild Irish’, began arriving on the Cornish Coast at Land’s End and St Just, in the 3rd and 4th Centuries, overcoming the villages of Celtic Cousins. These Kerns expanded their territory to Truro by 500 AD, the area becoming known as the Kingdom of Kernow.
Ted then presented another version - that the native Britons/Celts spoke the Brythonic language with their territory covering Wales, Cornwall and Brittany.
The Cornish Celts were known as the Cornovii, the plural of that word being Kern. The Dumnonii was the name for Devon. The invading Romans combined Devon and Cornwall under the name Dumnonia.

A surviving Cornish tribe called the Aervio (Harvey) living alongside the Kerns, combined against the Anglo-Saxons.  The latter forced the retreat of the kerns to the modern Towednack Parish..
Together with areas of the Fal and Helford Estuaries , the area of Towednack is the third indigenous district of the surviving Curnows.
 To read a full version of Ted's research follow this link

Evelyn Jones led us in an energetic walk along ‘The Saints’ Way’ and also included  a visit to the archaeological dig at St Piran’s Oratory.
Although Evelyn did not see it, she told of St Piran’s Cross , at eight feet high, thought to be the oldest cross in the UK, being a well-established landmark by the time the Oratory was mentioned in the Charter of King Edgar in 905 AD.

Evelyn Jones

Ted Curnow
The old St Piran’s Church was built circa 12th or 13th Century but abandoned to the sand in 1804.

 Along the way from Padstow to Fowey, Evelyn passed many Saints’ Way signposts - not always easily visible. She identified many sites devoted to the memories of ancient saints who passed through the area, namely Saints Fibarrus, Bartholomew, Bryvyh, Sampson, Inunger, Issey and Petroc.
Clearly the Missionary Saints did their work well as Cornwall became a deeply Christian County.
 Evelyn also told of the natural and other obstacles she encountered such as nettles, a roadside bog, innumerable stiles and a short-cut that wasn’t.
The Saints' Way, a pilgrimage of 28 miles, engaged Evelyn for three days. Her memories include a reviving Cornish tea and good hotel dinners.

20th August 2016 - The final presentation by members of the World War One Project

Liz Egan was the first presenter and spoke of the effects of the "Discharged Soldiers' Settlement Act" of 1917 in Victoria.
By 1924 more than 24,000 returned diggers had taken up soldier settlements across Australia.
With the use of slides and a descriptive essay, Liz told of the abundant records at the PROV which reveal individual stories of land allocations and Government loans for stock, machinery and fences.
Despite the hard toil by many soldier-settlers, costs and poor timing of this scheme meant many of them couldn't make a go of it, and became deeply in debt.  Heat, dust storms, lack of water, plagues of mice and ants, loneliness and difficult living conditions had also impacted on the farmers.

Jill Beard preserved the atmosphere by speaking of the role in wartime for song of heroism, of patriotism, of heartache and

Derk, Jill and Liz
loneliness.  There was also a place for songs celebrating the connection with home, such as "Keep the home Fires Burning".
It was important for the ANZACs (as they became known) and for families at home to hear songs telling of bravery by diggers going over the top (from "Our Boys at the Dardanelles 1915") and by the actions of outstanding heroes (think of Private Albert Jacker VC described as the "Symbol of the Spirit of the ANZACs"), the song "He was Only a Private, That's All" celebrated his heroism and bravery.
Australia was not lacking in heroes, the ANZACs won fame for their selfless deeds and the survivors returned home.  Those who fell in foreign fields are eternally remembered and so are some of some of the songs.


Beryl and Derek
Derek Trewarne was the final speaker, and told of school communities dedicated to raising funds for the troops.  The "School Paper", a penny monthly for young students, and the "Education Gazette", a three penny monthly, were World War One publications, whose messages appealed to patriotism and the ideals of keeping seas British and of keeping trade flowing.  Saluting the flag was a daily ceremony.  Parts of school playgrounds were used to grow vegetables. 
Quite a "growing-up" experience for young Australians.


At the close of the meeting, Derek presented a pair of Cornish earrings to Beryl Curnow as a token of our appreciation of her two years as the CAV President

16th July 2016 - AGM
The Annual General Meeting was held on 16th July. A very detailed report of the Association’s activities was presented by Robert Gribben, on behalf of Beryl Curnow. Rod Phillips presented the Treasurer’s report.
Patron, Richard Snedden announced that those who had been nominated for office were duly elected.
President - Derek Trewarne
Past President - Beryl Curnow
Secretary - June Whiffin
Treasurer - Rod Phillips
Committee Members - Jill Beard, Robyn Coates, Val Goldsworthy, Robert Gribben, Evelyn Jones and Neil Thomas (Geelong representative).
Special certificates were awarded to Moira Drew and Petra Cox and a Life Membership to Robert Gribben.
At the conclusion of the AGM, Derek Trewarne showed photos from the Shoalhaven Festival.


18th June 2016 -
Greg Campbell, "Welcome Stranger - Digging Deeper"

Greg told the gathering about the Deason family and the finding of the "Welcome Stranger" gold nugget at Moliagul on 5th February 1869 by John Deason and Richard Oates. The nugget weighed 47.8 KG and worth $9,436.168 at 2016 prices.
He then gave a brief history of the Scilly Isles where it has been determined that the first visitors arrived 10,000 BC with the Celtic culture taking root in 500 BC.
The Godalphin family leased the Isles in 1571, the Spanish attacked in 1580/90 and Oliver Cromwell took them in 1646.
There was great loss of life due to ship wrecks and the first lighthouse was erected in 1707.
Greg generously donated his books "The Isle, Sea-Farers and Emigrants" and "Welcome Stranger and Beyond" to the CAV Library.


The National Celtic Festival at Portarlington - 10th to 13th June
The Geelong Branch had a stall at the National Celtic Festival held at Portarlington over the Queens Birthday long weekend. The festival was well attended with a good number of people engaging in conversation with our members on all things Cornish.
Neil Thomas, Chairman Geelong Branch of the CAV.





To view the photo gallery click here

Shoalhaven Cornish Gathering  27th to 29th May 2016








To view the eight photo galleries of this wonderful week-end follow this link

Five of the Nine New Display Boards Recently Arranged by Val Goldsworthy






21st May 2016 - Gail White speaking about the Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies (AIGS)
Once more President Beryl Curnow welcomed the members, visitors and our guest speaker, Gail White.
After the singing of Trelawny, Hartley May showed us the Celtic Flag he and Daisy received on their 50th Wedding Anniversary

Gail White has been a member of the CAV for many years but she has also dedicated much of her time to the AIGS where she is currently the President.
She divided her presentation into two parts.  Firstly something of her own research into her Family History.  Originally she knew of her German grandparents so she researched the Rachinger family.
Then looking at her other ancestors she discovered that the majority of her forebears had Cornish origins.  The main names being Ham from near Bude, Paynter, Williams and a second family of Paynters from St Buryan near Penzance.  Her research has resulted in one book already published and others to follow.

Gail then told us something of the history, resources and operation of the AIGS.  It was founded in 1973 by Donald Grant and Peter Foard. The Library started in Oakleigh, moved to Hartwell, then a small building in Blackburn and to its current building, owned by the AIGS, in 1994.
It is run by over 120 volunteers with a paid Office Manager who works 26 hours per week.  There are the usual resources – books, magazines, fiche and film and now over 4,000 CDs loaded on the network.  There is a busy website, Education Programs, 10 Interest Groups, One-on-One Tuition, Research & Look-ups, a Sterling Cheque  Service, British India - Christening, Marriage & Burial Certificates, England and Wales BDM Certificates, England & Wales Wills and a Will Transcription  Service.

Gail donated a copy of her book to the CAV Library and brought with her a selection of AIGS publications for members to take away.



Hartley and Daisy May with their Celtic Flag

Evelyn Jones, Gail White and Marjory Barrett

16th April 2016 - Dr Ross McMullin speaking about "Harold "Pompey" Elliot
Beryl welcomed everyone to the meeting and introduced our guest, Dr Ross McMullin.
Ross is a renowned historian and author of 5 acclaimed books including "Pompey Elliot".  This 500 pages plus book tells not only of the man but also the times in which he was so influential.
Ross addressed 3 major topics, the 3 "Cs", Courage, Capacity and Character.  The character referred to both the legendary tales told about him and his personality traits.
For an hour his audience was spellbound by both the material and his story telling.  Ross quoted extensively words uttered by Pompey and words written by his contemporaries, each with his interpretation of the voices used.
For example, Lieutenant Schroder wrote ‘in my estimation no greater soldier or gentleman ever lived.’
To read more of what Dr McMullin has said about Pompey see a Senate parliamentary paper by clicking here.
Robert Gribben thanked Ross on our behalf.

Later in the meeting President Beryl welcomed the new Patron of the CAV, Richard Snedden.  Richard has an extensive list of achievements both academically and in relationship to the CAV, being a past President and speaker.  He responded by promising his continuing support and work for the CAV and its objectives.  See photo of Beryl and Richard at the dinner at Daylesford below.


Beryl Welcoming

Robert and Ross

Ross Presenting

18th-20th March - Daylesford and Hepburn Springs - CORNISH FESTIVAL
Friday night people gathered at the W E Stanbridge Hall for a Meet the Cornish.
This was an informal evening and gave members time to meet and greet new people and catch up with those they hadn’t seen for a while.
Our MC was Beryl Curnow, President of the Cornish Association of Victoria and her welcome and comments throughout the evening included some jokes from Mrs Rosewarne.
Some spirited singing, both accompanied (by Noel Carthew) and a capella, was led by Marcus Curnow.
Marcus encouraged us all to participate in a Shout, similar to singing in a local Cornish pub, and old favourites as well as some new songs were sung.
Supper provided by the church members concluded a very enjoyable evening.


Saturday saw many of the group attend the unveiling of a plaque, commemorating the Cornish Miners, on Cornish Hill in Orford Street Daylesford, at 10.00 am. Terry Bellair, Chair of the Cornish Hill of Management and Pierre Niclas, the Deputy President of Hepburn Shire, gave short addresses and Beryl Curnow gave a comprehensive summary of the history of Cornish Mining in the area and this will be included in the next CAV newsletter.
Members had the opportunity to visit the Daylesford & District Historical Society, located in the very old Technical School building, adjacent to the Tourist Information centre. The CAV had a wonderful display



In the afternoon, there was a Bardic Ceremony at Jubilee Lake Park and members were welcomed by the President of the Hepburn Shire, Neil Newett.



In the evening we assembled at the very grand Grange Bellinzana, in Hepburn Springs, for the St Piran’s Gala Dinner and also to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the CAV.
During the evening it was announced that the new Patron of the Cornish Association was Richard Snedden.
The President of the Daylesford and District Historical Society, Barry Files, was the Guest Speaker and he shared some of his family history.
A sumptuous meal was rounded off with some 30th Anniversary Cake.


Sunday began early with an Ecumenical Church Service at the Uniting Church in Daylesford.
The Minister, Rev. Jenny Hayes warmly welcomed everyone and our CAV past-president, Rev. Prof. Robert Gribben, delivered the homily.
Sunday afternoon saw some members attending the Historical Society and many visiting some of the local attractions including train rides, markets, Chocolate Mill, Convent Gallery, Lavender Farm and various gardens.
In the evening, people gathered at the Old Macaroni Factory in Daylesford. The owners Matt and his mum Maria made us most welcome.
During the evening Maria told us of some of the Lucini family’s story and its settlement in Australia in the 1850s.
All in all, a great weekend.


Five photo Galleries have been created containing almost 250 images.  See Recent Galleries to enjoy the weekend activities

20th February 2016

Louise Wilson & Sally Bell
Louise Wilson, author of “From Buryan to Bondi” (The Dennis Family of West Penwith, Cornwall and some Australian Descendants) was our February meeting speaker.

Mrs Wilson, a former Maths teacher, is a writer research in Australian histories (covering country NSW, Country Victoria, Papua New Guinea and Hong Kong).  Her family research, conducted over a number of years, began with a literate 17th century yeoman Quaker named Sampson Dennis (c. 1635-1719) who moved to Mousehole and worked as a dairyman.

His younger bother George’s descendant, James Dennis, arrived in Sydney in 1847.  He lived at “Currawang” near Goulburn (then maned “Cow Flat).  James became a Pupil Teacher in 1877.  He was an ambitious man, clearly industrious, progressive and determined.  After setbacks, refusing to take “No: for an answer, James was admitted to Teacher Training School in 1880.  He obtained a B.A. 1895, and an M.A. in 1897, and he became an Inspector of Schools in 1902.

Both James’ sons became engineers and life savers; in about 1907 they assisted in rescuing a young boy who later earned fame as Charles Kingsford Smith.  Spencer Dennis worked with the builders of the Sydney Harbour Bridge – a labour of 20 years resulting in its official opening on 19th March 1932.  He supervised the construction of 600/700 bridges in N.S.W.

Beryl and Louise  Wilson
Brother Cleon Dennis (1888-32) joined the fledgling R.A.N. and was sent to Britain where he assisted in installing the engines on the first “H.M.A.S. Sydney” under construction in Portsmouth.  That ship later sank the German warship “Emden” on 9th November 1914 near the Cocos Islands.

In a return to his ancestor Sampson’s occupation, Cleon became a dairyman (c. 1920) but later was appointed the Australian Censor of Motion Pictures.

Val Goldsworthy is grateful for access to Lindsay Chapman’s 2008 review of Louise Wilson’s book which has enabled a check of the hastily scribbled notes.



Sally Bell and Beryl
Sally Bell  was a visitor to our February Meeting. She is a Melbourne girl whose interest in family history took her to Cornwall with her husband some years ago where they now live with their children (well they actually live in Plymouth).  She is a freelance journalist for Cornish publications and was back in Melbourne for a short family visit and really enjoyed linking up with a Cornish connection

Liz Egan and Beryl
here in Victoria and became a member of CAV to keep up her Aussie Cornish Connection.

A Certificate of Appreciation and thanks presented to Liz Egan after retiring from being CAV Newsletter editor over the past six years . Well done Liz.