The Meredith History Interest Group (MHIG) started in 2008. The Meredith History Interest Group preserves, records and exhibits the history of Meredith and District . The MHIG provides the opportunity to locals and visitors an understanding of the town of Meredith and its people, past and present. The MHIG holds records of pioneering families, early industry, businesses, festivals and events and buildings. The MHIG is committed to preserving local history through the development and preservation of a collection of historical documents, artifacts, manuscripts and memorabilia. It is the aim of the MHIG to expand individual and collective knowledge about our unique local heritage, resulting in a greater sense of community and civic pride. From modest beginnings, the organization has grown to a membership of around 100. MHIG is run by an active group of volunteers and welcomes members to our working parties. Volunteer groups contribute to preserving and displaying the history of Meredith through answering research requests, hosting exhibits, educational programs and publications. We maintain a research library of past and current literature on the history of Meredith and District. The MHIG publishes a regular newsletter which contains articles on topics of local interest, historical and heritage matters, research reports and information about exhibitions and events held. The MHIG meets on a regular basis for meetings and events at the Old Shire Hall or the Memorial Hall in Meredith.
Meetings: Committee Meetings: Third Tuesday of the Month 10.30am
General Meetings: At least four meetings per year, March, May, August and December.
Extraordinary Meetings: Date and times at the discretion of the Committee.
Volunteers meet every Thursday to catalogue, research, organize events and welcome visitors.
AGM REPORT by Tony Scott Proceedings commenced as usual with President Marg Cooper extending a warm welcome to the 36 members present. Treasurer Gail Hadley presented her report which showed a healthy bank balance . The largest item of expenditure during the year was the purchase of three new computers and a printer, but these were covered by generous grants through Bannockburn & District Grants. A major item of income was from the sale of books. Gail then advised that with the general increase in costs across the board, the committee believed it was time to raise the annual membership fee which has been at $15 for many years. She moved that the fee be raised to $20 for individuals and $35 for a couple or family. This was put to the vote and passed without dissent. The increase will take effect from next year. Marg then presented her annual report and then Paul Ryan was called to the microphone. To considerable surprise, and delight, of all present, he announced the awards of Life Membership to Marg Cooper and Fay McFarlane, both of whom were founders of the Meredith History Group back in 2008. He then presented each of the recipients with a framed certificate and a handsome medal. It was then time for the election of office bearers for the next year, for which Pat Banks acted as returning officer. Tony Scott wished to stand down from the position of Vice-president, his place being taken by Darren Guthrie, a Steiglitz resident, who has been actively assisting MHIG over the last few years. The committee for 2023 is as follows: President Marg Cooper Vice-president Darren Guthrie Secretary Kerrie Kruger Treasurer Gail Hadley Committee Bev Loveday Committee Alan Caddy Committee Jan McDonald Committee Fay McFarlane Committee Paul Ryan Committee Tony Scott
Life Members was presented to Margaret Cooper and Fay McFarlane for their dedication to MHIG since 2008. Marg has been President 2008- 2023 and Fay, Treasurer / Secretary /committee member from 2008 to 2023. They both worked tirelessly to preserve local history and published many books between them. Long serving committee member Paul Ryan , presented medal and certificate honoring these amazing ladies.
2023 Annual General Meeting President’s Report Marg Cooper
Every year I report that the previous year has been busier than the preceding year...and 2022 was no exception! The 2022 AGM was held on February 27 and featured A Trip Down Memory Lane. This was a film we created that features the scenic but dangerous drive down the 8 km gravel Coopers Road, historical information, interviews and memorable facts. We showed it on two screens, side by side, which was the best option we had at the time but mostly split the road and people speaking, down the middle. For today’s presentation we have a new, full width screen which will be much better. An Open Day was held on May 15 where people were cordially invited to attend to say hello, to find out what we do, to talk about history and to see the old ledgers which we displayed in boxes we had had made that have perplex lids. Scrapbooks donated to MHIG by Coral Van Beusichem were particularly popular viewing as were the scones, jam and cream expertly made and served by Gail. We plan to have another Open Day on May 7 this year and enjoy some more of Gail’s straight out of the oven scones. History Presentation at Graysons Estate. We were invited to research the history of a block of land in Parkinsons Road between Elaine and Morrisons. A booklet was produced about the early history of the property and on May 17 some MHIG members and some people who had previously been associated with the property visited what is now a very flash B & B. We walked the grounds trying to work out where the original buildings had been and then we moved inside where we presented our booklet and were rewarded with a lavish afternoon tea. On July 3 Noeleen Lloyd gave a talk primarily about the orphans of the Irish Famine and the Earl Grey Scheme. Her talk morphed into the Kelly Gang story as she is a great-great-niece of Steve Hart and a relation of the Lloyds. Some of the original women in these Australian families were orphans who came to Australia in the 1850s. Ralph Stavely and Noeleen are researching the police of the northeast of Victoria which includes Alexander Fitzpatrick who left his mark at Meredith before he joined the police force and caused trouble at the Kelly home. Meredith of Yesterday on September 25. This event which we began by calling a Lost Trade Day was the third event funded by a Golden Plains Shire Grant, the previous two being The Pubs and Publicans Book Launch and the Steiglitz Photo display. After some thought we decided that we should focus on Lost Trades of Meredith and after an extraordinary amount of research, mainly by Kerrie, and creation of displays, mainly by Bev, we showcased information about the different traders and their trades. For the children the Bannockburn Men’s Shed made wooden knitting nancys and tops, and walkers were enticed with a free coffee voucher to walk Staughton Street to view the location of former businesses. Lasseter Talk on October 13. Allan Doyle sensibly cancelled his trip to Meredith from Melbourne on this day because of the forecast of heavy rain. We got inches of rain and he would have had trouble getting back to his home! The Launch of the book Steiglitz Thru the Lens on October 30. This much awaited launch took place at the former Scott’s Hotel in Steiglitz to coincide with the Back to Steiglitz event. Thanks to Peter Sharp for allowing us to hold our event in his premises and to Tony for assembling all the photos we had displayed the previous October, with additional research, into such a high quality book. It is even being sold at Collins Book Shop in Ballarat. These were the main events conducted by MHIG during the last twelve months but a lot of other important activities also took place, which I will now report on in no particular order. Outback Magazine Article. It w as a great thrill to be interviewed by the renowned journalist John Dunne, to have our photos taken by a professional photographer and to have Meredith feature in the August 2022 edition of the magazine. Meredith 3333, the Post Office Sign, came back from Tasmania on the ferry with Pat and Derek Dodson who kindly donated it to MHIG. Who Lived in my House? continues to collect and share information about houses and land in Meredith. Two properties that we wereparticularly involved in last year were 42 Staughton Street and 4 Wallace Street. We organized old and new residents to meet over afternoon tea at 42 to share the history of the house and when demolition of buildings at 4 Wallace Street started we were asked what we knew about the property. New Computers and Printer. Bannockburn District Grants through the Bendigo Bank granted us money to buy and set up three new computers with modern programs, to replace our very slow, aging units. The grant also enabled us to obtain a new A3 printer that we can refill with ink rather than buying expensive cartridges. Thankyou to them. Pulse Radio Show. I was interviewed on Pulse Radio by Bernard Ryan in what he identifies as the vomit-green building in Geelong, about MHIG and our productions. Bernard’s show is mainly about books and he is always interested in books that MHIG produce and in the history of Meredith. Your Story—Our Story. The Golden Plains Shire returned three objects that we had lent to them for display in glass cabinets in the new Shire Offices, when they were opened. Clunes Museum contacted us for information about Catherin Kelly (McCrimmon) because they had a cloak that she had owned that they were applying for a grant to have restored. The cloak was made in England before 1900 and photos we saw showed it to be very glamorous. Mystery Items on Facebook weekly. W e managed to present photographs of a mystery item for 52 weeks of 2022. They seemed to create a lot of interest and many people commented correctly or incorrectly about the items. In 2023 the theme is buildings. Some interesting stories have already come to light. We invite you to look at our Facebook page weekly and comment about what you know about the buildings. Or you may know of an historic building. Please let us know. Pumpkin Competition. We grew some giant pumpkins in the sand pit in the backyard. We barrowed them to the judging at the StateSchool and received a prize for the biggest pumpkin — all 54 kg of it, but so horrible inside that only pigs would eat them — but great fun to grow and join the community at the competition. Morbrook Visit. Some of the committeevisited Morbrook at the invitation of Adrian Mohr and his niece Jessica to see the bluestone shearing shed and other buildings that were part of Moranghurk before Soldier Settlement. Springtime & Christmas in Meredith was celebrated with paintings created by talented artist Lou Callow of Ballan that we displayed on the columns at the entrance to the History Centre. I then followed her lead and created a Christmas themed display for the columns. We were awarded first prize for a Community Organization for our Christmas Lights. Our Street Library and Street Nursery continue to flourish and be valuable assets to MHIG (money raising from the plants) and to the town. Thanks to all who supply plants and books and to those who buy and borrow. Christmas Raffle. An exquisite throw or small quilt was donated to MHIG towards the end of 2022. We are not keen on fundraising per se, as we prefer to be involved with history, but decided to raffle the quilt and to add a second prize of a hamper. The raffle was drawn at the Christmas Lunch that was attended by committee and helpers. Denis Peters of Lethbridge won the throw and Leanne Hammond won the hamper. Research Inquiries. MHIG received many inquiries for information during the year, and we undertook a large amount of research and received lots of information. We continue to collect and catalogue and produce and have some interesting projects on the go. Quiz. During lunch each Thursday w e have a quiz. Some people come for lunch so they can compete to answer the questions. Art on the Farm. MHIG w as invited by Steve Duffy to have a presence at Art on the Farm in early March. We were delighted to do so, gave out showbags we put together, displayed boards about the history of Meredith Pubs, sold books and were on hand to talk about MHIG and local history. Recently I read a report from a History Group in which they began by saying, We are plugging along. We are certainly not plugging along! We now have a strong team of people with a range of skills and plenty of enthusiasm. I have mentioned only a few by name in this report but wish to sincerely thank everyone who contributed, in any way, to Meredith History Interest Group in 2022.
Copyright 2023. Meredith History Interest Group Inc . A.B.N 38 230 675 705