Another fortnight brings yet more news from primarily regional (but not exclusively) Australian genealogy, history and heritage groups. This covers  news from any group, society, museum, archive office throughout Australia. Some of the following news articles have been submitted to us, while others have been found from websites, newspapers and other articles.

We love promoting genealogy and history throughout Australia and the smaller groups are just as important as the big state societies. So if you have news, events, need for help or donations, or have a request please advise, we’d love to hear.

Barellan – Return to the ‘Good Old Days’ weekend
Barellan will be bringing back the “good old days” this September when it hosts a weekend of events that will transform the town to yesteryear. Two days of displays and competition for working clydesdales and heavy-horse teams will be the feature of the weekend, to be held September 25 and 26 at the Barellan Showgrounds, and will culminate in a Guinness world record attempt for the largest number of working clydesdales in harness. Other activities taking place over the course of the weekend will include market stalls, hay rides, horseshoe toss, whip-making demonstrations, a camp-oven dinner, a grand parade, a cow milking competition, a butter churning, damper-cooking competition, bush poetry, carriage driving and more. Committee member Laura Curran promised the event would have something for everyone. Read more in The Irrigator online.

Maitland – Coalfields Heritage Group
Alexander Galloway set up his photography studio in Coalfields in 1905. Little girls with ringlets in their hair and ruffles on their dresses; uniformed men on their way to war; and black-faced miners walking the dirt roads home after a day spent in the bowels of the earth were all captured by his photography, and sealed in glass negatives at his photographic studio. Now after 80 years of being stored in boxes under a house, buried in floodwater and mud, these images can again be seen, as the Coalfields Heritage Group has been fortunate enough to have the WWII era glass negatives donated to them thanks to the new owner of the house. You can read more about this story (and see some of the spectacular photos) in the Maitland Mercury online. One example of his photos below.

Wyong – Wyong Family History Group
The Wyong Family History Group have released a new book titled “Central Coast Roll of Honour”. In 400 pages, with 138 photos, this book includes the full names, rank, type of service and date of death (where known) of over 12,000 men and women of the Central Coast who were in the Armed Forces. You can order copies of this from the Wyong FHG, by sending payment to PO Box 247, Wyong, NSW 2259, the cost is $49.00, plus postage $10.00. You can find this book and other titles listed on their website.

Alice Springs – Hartley Street School Celebrates 80 Years
The Hartley Street School in Alice Springs is celebrating its 80th Anniversary with a reunion of former students and teachers on September 24-26. Celebrations include a reception, bus tour, dinner dance and farewell barbecue. For more information contact Mary Blaiklock (08) 8952 1330, 0409 821 330, You can read more about the history of this school here.

Birkdale – Annual Highland Gathering

A grand time was had by the hundreds of people who headed to Judy Holt Park at Birkdale in early August for the annual Highland Gathering. Spectators were treated to an extravaganza of excitement and entertainment. While miniature cattle provided intrigue, battling knights wielding swords, highland dancers, of course the pipe bands, and of course stalls with historical items of Scottish and Celtic design and customs, plus expert advice on genealogical knowledge, for those keen to discover their heritage, saw clusters of interested visitors throughout the day. The full story can be read online at the Bayside Bulletin.

Brinkworth – Brinkworth History Group
The Brinkworth History Group was recently presented with a cheque for $5960 as part of the History SA Community Museums Program Grants. Fred Groom, who accepted the grant on behalf of the group said that the State Government, through History SA, has realised the importance of preserving the heritage of the State and making that history accessible to future generations. You can read the full story in the Flinders News online.

Belair – Gepps Cross Primary School Closing
The Gepps Cross Primary School is closing at the end of the year. A reunion for all past students and staff will be held on Friday, 17 September 1.00pm-6.00pm at the school. For more information contact the school on (08) 8262 3256.

Kadina – Kadina Church of Christ turns 110
On August 15th the members of the Kadina Church of Christ celebrated the Church’s 110th anniversary, by holding a special service to re-dedicate the property and acknowledge the contributions of current and past members.

Kadina – National Trust, Kadina Branch
Members of the Kadina branch of the National Trust are still searching for a plaque erected in memory of the bandsmen aboard the Titanic. Chairperson Jean Hutchings said the plaque disappeared many years ago, but “we do have a photograph to show us where it is on the bandstands”. Measuring 48cm wide by 61cm deep it features the inscription “This stand was erected to the memory of the bandsmen of the ill-fated Titanic by the members of the Kadina town, U.L.U., and the federal bands, 1913”. If anyone has information or photographs of the plaque, please contact the National Trust at Kadina, you can find their contact details on the National Trust website.

Port Broughton – Brush With Our Heritage Art Prize
Artists from across South Australia are invited to enter the Port Broughton ‘Brush With Our Heritage’ art prize in which the first prize is $1000 for a work in any medium reflecting the heritage of Yorke Peninsula. Bob and Marjorie Brown, long-time supporters of the town and community say “we would like to see the history of the region preserved and believe that this art competition is an excellent way to do that, and inspire a new generation to take a closer look at the heritage of Port Broughton and the Yorke Peninsula”. Entires must be submitted by 25 October, with winners being announced in november. For more information or the fill in an Entry Form visit the Palate2Palette website, or send them an email

Edenhope – Edenhope and District Historical Society
I’d like to welcome the Edenhope and District Historical Society to the world of blogging and Facebook.I see they’ve been busy during August setting up these. So now there is no excuse for not keeping up to date with the latest happenings from this Victorian Society – follow their blog, or become a fan on Facebook.

Merbein – New book available
A book about Merbein’s centenary celebrations is generating a lot of buzz in Victoria’s northernmost town. The town of Merbein turned 100 in August 2009 and the milestone was celebrated with events such as a street parade, a photographic competition, sporting events, displays and open days. Now a year later Bernadette Wells, Merbein District Historical Society member, is launching the book of those celebrations … “as it was such a marvellous community event that it had to be recorded somewhere.” The 234 page book, titled “Merbein: Celebrations of a Centenary”. Copies of the book can be bought from Bernadette Wells (03) 5052 2288, visit the Merbein District Historical Society website.

Moonee Ponds – Essendon Historical Society
Two hundred years of local history for $5-00! To celebrate its 40th anniversary the Essendon Historical Society are making all 4 volumes of Annuals of Essendon available at this bargain price. The author Bob Chalmers has recorded in chronological order the events that have occurred in Essendon and district since 1802 to the year 2000, the entire project taking 9 years, and recorded in over 1500 pages. This offer is open until the end of September 2010. To purchase please write to: Essendon Historical Society, 768 Mount Alexander Road, Moonee Ponds, Vic, 3039. Postage on application (03) 9370 4607 or visit the Society’s website.

Shepparton – Shepparton Heritage Centre
2010 marks Shepparton’s 150 year anniversary, of being Gazetted a Township. Members of the Shepparton Heritage Centre are researching a  book detailing Shepparton’s progress over the 150  years.  The book will blend narrative with many historic events, and anecdotal stories.  It will feature many previously unpublished photos, and a selection of the illustrations will form a photographic exhibition. If you able to help out the Heritage Centre with any information or photographs that you don’t mind being published please contact Peter Ford – Heritage Centre Secretary – phone: 03 5821 7717 a/h or visit the Shepparton Heritage Centre website.

Remember to look back at our past Australian History News posts, as each does have events and information that is still relevant.