Campaspe Plains Station

The following article was published in the Axedale Antics, in 2011. The Axedale Antics is Axedale’s community newspaper.

Early Settlers: Campaspe Plains Station

Campaspe Plains Station – Charles Hutton

The township of Axedale was originally part of the Campaspe Plains Station. It is interesting to note that the original spelling is different to that used today.

Charles Hutton took up Campaspie Plains in July, 1838, having overlanded, probably from Sydney, with a large party including eight assigned convicts.

Hutton was born in London in 1808, and joined the East India Company, as a cadet in 1825. He was commissioned an ensign in 1826, when stationed in India. In 1937, Hutton took leave and travelled to New South Wales and participated in an exploratory party looking for suitable pastoral country. Hutton resigned from the East India Company in 1839, while still on leave.

Hutton and his party first settled on the upper reaches of the Wild Duck Creek, which he called Vincent Creek. They stayed here for a few months, then moved further down stream.

The original head station was on the west bank of the Wild Duck Creek, which later became known as Langworner.

In theory, the original Campaspie Plains Station was approximately 400,000 acres of grazing land which comprised of the country later taken up by the Axedale, Barnadown, Muskerry, Mt. Pleasant, Majors Line and Mitchells Creek Stations.

Campaspie Plains Massacre

Due to the drought at the time, the sheep had to be spread out over a vast area, in order to obtain enough feed. An outstation hut was established on the Campaspie, where the Barnadown bridge now stands. This was 18 miles from the main station on Wild Duck Creek. Hutton sent two flocks of sheep, two shepherds, and a hut keeper to the new outstation.

Hugh Bryan, a shepherd, and James Neill, a hut keeper were killed in May 1839, at the Barnadown outstation, by Aborigines, possibly as retribution for the earlier Aboriginal deaths.

Mounted police accompanied by Charles Hutton, killed at least five Aboriginals, in what was later described, after an official investigation, as a deliberately planned illegal reprisal.

The body of James Neill was not found in the initial search. However, in 1878, contractors digging a trench, unearthed the body of a European male, one and half miles from where the outstation was situated. Evidence including brass buttons and a buckle and the location of the body indicated to the authorities that it almost certainly was the body of James Neill.

By January 1840, Hutton sold the station to Daniel Jennings and George Playne, for 10,000 pounds, which included 7000 sheep. Hutton moved to Melbourne and married Margaret Smith in 1842. Their first daughter was born the following year. Hutton continued to be involved with pastoral interests, but never lived on any of those properties.

Pastoral Settlement in Northern Victoria, RANDALL J.O.
Axedale Antics, March 2011

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Murder at Axedale 1894

The Society of One Place Studies have put out the challenge of posting using their 2022 blogging prompts. Following is my post for the January prompt, #oneplaceblacksheep

The Stabbing Affray at Axedale

from: Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918) Tuesday,16 January 1894



At the City Police Court yesterday before Messrs. Keogh, P.M., Faul and Wilson, Js.P;, the young man Ernest Dow. was brought up on four separate charges, viz., unlawfully and maliciously wounding James Crossley; unlawfully and maliciously wounding a horse; furiously driving and larceny of £1. Prisoner pleaded guilty to the last charge. It was decided to hear the charges of unlawfully wounding first, and the following witnesses were called:-

James Crossley, marine dealer, residing in Bernard Street, stated that the prisoner came to him on 8th inst., and asked witness to go with him for some stuff he had collected at Axedale. Witness consented and they started with the horse and cart between 9 and 10. On the road, they called at the South Atlas hotel, and each had a glass of beer there. Prisoner then said they would take a near cut through the bush. They had got about three or four miles when witness dropped his pipe, and was stooping to pick it up when prisoner caught hold of his head with one hand. Witness asked him what he was going to do, and he replied “I’m going to murder you.”

The next thing he felt was the stab in his neck. Prisoner then made another blow at witness but missed, and witness pushed him out of the cart over the wheel. He then got up and started stabbing the horse in the neck. At this time blood’ was running down witness’ back from the wound in his neck, and the horse was also bleeding. Witness asked prisoner what he was doing, and he replied ” I want blood and I’ll have it.” Witness then told him if it was money he wanted he had none, at the same time throwing prisoner a shilling.

There were 16 or 17 wounds on the horse,, besides which prisoner had tried to cut its throat. Witness then being afraid the horse would bleed to death, persuaded prisoner to get into the cart. Witness followed and they drove to the Farmers’ Arms hotel, where they went in and had a drink, for which prisoner, paid. Witness called Mr. Queally and directed his attention to prisoner, who by this time was again stabbing away at, the horse. Everybody seemed frightened to restrain him. Prisoner then jumped into the cart and drove off towards Bendigo and Mr. Queally rode over to Strathfieldsaye for. the’ police. Constable Bowden came, and witness was afterwards taken to the hospital. Witness had never spoken to prisoner before the day of the occurrence. The horse was still alive, Mr. Aked, the veterinary surgeon, at tending it.

John Queally, hotelkeeper in McIvor Road, about five or six miles from Bendigo, deposed that prisoner and the last witness came to the hotel on 8th instant, and the latter asked what could be done to the horse as it had met with an accident. Witness saw the horse, which., was bleeding freely from a gash on tho neck. Prisoner asked for some sticking plaster and witness replied that that would be no good. All the time Crossley did not speak. Prisoner then said they would have drinks and witness noticed that his hands were covered with blood. Prisoner then went to the trough and washed his hands, and after having drinks both got into the cart. They had some words in the cart, and then got out, and prisoner made a lunge at the horse, but witness could not say if he had a knife.

Jane Keast residing in Moran Street, stated that on 8th instant, she was at McIvor Road railway gates, at about 1 o’clock. The prisoner came driving along with a horse and cart, and asked her to hurry up and open the gates, as, the horse was bleeding to death. Witness saw the blood on the horse, and asked prisoner what he had done to it, and he said he had stabbed it, out in the bush.

Elizabeth Spittle, licensee of the South Atlas hotel, stated that at about 11 o’clock on 8th instant, prisoner and Crossley called and had a drink of beer. About an hour later, prisoner came back by himself, and the horse was then bleeding freely from wounds in the neck and chest. Prisoner said that Crossley was in the bush and that the horse was hurt in the bush.

John Aked, veterinary surgeon, stated that on the 8th instant, he went to the livery stable to examine a horse there. He found several punctured wounds on each side of the neck. Two or three of the wounds, on the near side penetrated through the muscles. The knife produced would cause the wound.

Dr. Long, assistant resident surgeon at Bendigo Hospital, stated that Crossley was brought there on the 8th inst. He had a small punctured wound on the back of the neck, about half an inch wide, and one and a quarter inches deep, just over the region of the spine, but it did not reach the spine. The wound was not serious.

Constable Kelly stated that at 1.55 on the 8th inst. he was on duty in Hargreaves street, and arrested the prisoner for furiously driving a horse attached to a spring cart. The horse was bleeding freely from several wounds on the neck. On the way to the watchhouse witness asked prisoner why he treated the horse so, and he replied that he wanted to commit suicide. On searching prisoner, witness found a knife covered with blood and hair. Charges of furiously driving, also of unlawfully and-maliciously wounding a horse were entered against prisoner. Subsequently, from information receivod, witness engaged, a cab and proceeded to the South Atlas hotel, where he found Crossley in company with Constable Bowden. Witness brought Crossley to the watchhouse, where a third charge of unlawfully wounding Crossley was entered against prisoner. Prisoner was slightly under the influence of drink when arrested.

Mounted constable Bowden, stationed at Strathfieldsaye, also gave evidence.

This concluded the evidence on the first two charges, and prisoner, who had nothing to say, was committed for trial at the next sittings of the Supreme Court on 20th February.

The charge of furiously driving was withdrawn and prisoner pleaded guilty to the.lar larceny of £1 from a ladnamed Henry Hemmingson at Kangaroo Creek on 7th instant. Evidence regarding the theft-was given by the complainant, a lad about 15 years of age. Constable W. Riley informed the bench.that prisoner had been before the court on .eight previous occasions, the first, being in May, 1889. Since then, he had been fined for stealing wood and convicted on charges of being drunk while in charge of a dray, insulting behavior, obscene language and other minor offences. Prisoner was then sentenced to two months’ imprisonment with hard labor on the charge of larceny.

“THE STABBING AFFRAY AT AXEDALE.” Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918) 16 January 1894: 3. Web. 4 Jan 2022 <;.

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Happy New Year and Plans for 2022

Wishing for all are for a Happy, Healthy and Safe New Year.
2022 is now here and it’s time to look at what’s ahead for this One Place Study for the coming year. 2021 was a difficult year for most, due to the pandemic, and I know I was very happy to wave it goodbye. Lets hope for better things in 2022

What is a One Place Study?

For those new to this site, you are probably asking the question. What on earth is a One Place Study?

A One Place Study is a designated study of a particular city, town, village or area. There are quite a few One Place Studies being done worldwide, and Axedale is one of them. It is also the first One Place Study to be done in Victoria. Most family historians do a little research on the place where their ancestors settled. But a One Place Study doesn’t focus on any particular family. The focus is on the place.

A One Place Study aims to report on everything that occurs, or has occurred in a place, including geographical, the people living or who lived, in a community, community activites, education, employment, business. Anything that occurs or occurred in a particular area at a particular time can be recorded on a One Place Study. There are many sources for the detailed study of an area. Archives, newspapers, court records, oral information and local knowledge are just a few.

This One Place Study started in 2014. There have been a few stops and starts along the way, mainly due to time constraints. However, it is now going strong, and I intend it to continue to do so for the long term. The Axedale One Place Study is archived in the National Library of Australia, which means that it will be available to researchers in the future when I’m no longer here to be it’s caretaker. It is hoped that this site will be an archive of resources for researchers in the future.

Looking Ahead to 2022

A continuing focus will be on headstones, as I attempt to add all headstones from both the Axedale General Cemetery and the Axedale Catholic Cemetery. Eventually, I would love this to be a place to come to, in order to find your ancestor’s headstone. The headstones are also a great way to learn more about the life of the people living in Axedale at a particular time. For example, headstones show that many people came to Axedale, from County Clare in Ireland, in the 1850s, for the gold rush that was happening in the area.

Birth, marriage and death notices, along with obituaries of locals which were printed in newspapers, will also be published here along with other general news found in the newspapers. Archive centres are a great resource for land records, inquests, wills and much more. You will find more information from these repositories published during 2022.

The Society for One-Place Studies provide blogging prompts during the year that help to give focus and variety to the types of posts published. Other than that, they are just good fun. My reply to the January prompt #OnePlaceBlackSheep will appear very soon.

If you have photos of Axedale and surrounding areas which you would like to have archived, please don’t hesistate to contact me. I am happy to publish them here so they are not lost in the future.

If you have photos of Axedale and surrounding areas which you would like to have archived, please don’t hesistate to contact me. I am happy to publish them here so they are not lost in the future.

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Axedale Community Hall 1995

From: Axedale Antics, December 1995, Edition 92

Axedale Hall 50 Years of Service
As early as the mid 1930s, meetings were held with the view of constructing a new hall that would service the district, and replace the older building then in use.

In the minutes of a meeting held 26 April 1939, it is recorded that a letter was received from Mr. R.B. Brennan, Strathfieldsaye Shire Secretary, stating that the shire council had decided to grant the committee’s request for hall plans and transfer of building site. It was moved by Cr. Mill and seconded by Mr. Lynch that the committee approve of a plan of 60 feet by 40 feet dancing space and Shire Engineer Mr. Flight submit the plans accordingly.

At a meeting held 14 June 1939, Mr. Flight reported to the committee that the estimated cost of the new hall would be 1,141 pounds.

On 19 October 1943, the committee requested the Shire of Strathfieldsye to make application to Minister of Public Works for a grant of 600 pounds on a 2 for 1 basis, and on 27 September 1944, a grant of 600 pounds was received.

On 29 March 1944, Mr. Drake donated to the committer Blocks 6 and 7, High Street, Axedale, on condition that the land would definitely be used for the construction of a new hall. The hall was constructed by builder J.J. Moran and at a meeting on 08 August 1945, Shire Engineer, Mr. S. Power reported a final cost of 1374 pounds, at the same meeting it was moved by Mr. McKenzie and seconded by Cr. Mill the committee issue 5 year debentures, minimum of one pound with an interest rate of 2.5% per annum.

The first recorded event to take place in the new hall was the drawing of the 1945 Melbourne Cup Sweep on 01 November 1945. Sweeps were run to aid funding. Sports days were held at the recreation reserve to also aid funding and these were very popular events and drew large crowds. The new hall was officially opened on 05 December 1945 and to mark the occasion a grand opening ball was held. The first Debutante Ball took place on 28 December 1945.

The younger set was formed on 16 April 1946, with monthly meetings and games nights.

On 28 June 1946, the district welcomed home it’s returned service men and women and unveiled the honour roll.

The hall was a very popular place with dances and halls drawing very large crowds, special buses would run from Bendigo and Heathcote. The old generating plant was removed from service when SEC power became available in the early 1950s.

On 05 July 1967, the Axedale Indoor Bowling Club applied to committee to hold indoor bowls on Saturday nights, and continues to this day.

In recent times, the hall has been upgraded to include a Kindergarten and supper room and kitchen rebuilt.

The hall has served the community well, and will continue to do so. It’s 50th birthday will be marked on New Year’s Eve, with an old time dance, in the style of the 1940s era. Those who made their debut 50 years ago, on 28 December 1945, will be invited guests. Hope to see you there.

Peter R. Dunlop, Chairman
Axedale Hall Committee
Axedale Antics, Decemberr 1995, Edition 92.

Axedale Community Hall | Axedale – Then and Now
Axedale Public Hall
Axedale Community Hall | Axedale – Then and Now

This stone was laid by
on the 30TH DAY OF JUNE 1945


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Axedale Colonial Country Fair 1994

The following article about the Axedale Colonial Country Fair appeared in the community newspaper, Axedale Antics on ??? This annual event was very much looked forward to by the community during the 1990s.

From: The Axedale Antics, October 1994, Edition 79

With only a few weeks to go, the Axedale Colonial Country Fair, being held on Sunday 16 October, is shaping up to be another wonderful day once more. Many of the great attractions from previous years, and some exciting new ones, will be entertaining the public all day.

The Axedale Colonial Fair is colonial AND country, incoporating the old and the new, with interesting and entertaining exhibitions and attractions, rides and relics, dining and dancing., from past to present day. There will be a hot air balloon and helicopter, Cobb & Co coach and camels, merry-go-round and gyrobix, Harley motor bike and hay rides to delight young and old alike.

Aboriginal Corroborees, Irish, Scottish, Dutch and Australian bush dances, and the Eurofest choir will perform, as well as a one act play put on by the Bendigo Community Heralth Centre and some local school children.

The Muddyflats country music band and the Emu Creek bush band will give us some easy listening music and assist the dancers. Chinese Lions will visit and dance and prance for your enjoyment.

The Axedale Colonial Country Fair Town Crier’s competition will be bigger than ever this year, with at least ten town criers showing us how well they can raise their voices.

Rob The Swaggie and Kookie Koala will no doubt have a hard time endeavouring to keep Benjamin B. Bunyip in line as usual.

Listen in delight to the beautiful sound of bygone days that emit from the old Harkness whistles.

Artillery and defence displays, including a leopard tank, will be mingled among the various other displays of vintage cars, restored Holdens and Morris Minors, motor cross bikes and sprint cars, antique machinery, Neighbourhood Watch, Penguin Club of Australia, Bendigo Community Health Centre, and many others.

View the extensive array of collectives belonging to the Golden City Collectors and the delightful doll display. Be amazed at the skills of the chainsaw sculptures. See a real, live blacksmith, and step back in time with the Axedale and Strathfieldsaye History display.

Visit the miniature rail roads, and while there, take the opportunity to talk to someone many miles away in Australia on the Bendigo Amateur Radio equipment.

Out on the arena, watch the Nanneella Tent Peggers, and the Bendigo Polo Cross give you some exhilarating examples of their exciting talents.

Clown around with clowns, meet Billy Bottle and Captain Koala, introduce yourself to the Clydesdale with the old bakers cart, inspect the penny farthing bikes, listen to the buskers, and get Ian Glanville, the characturist, to draw a portrait for you. Have a limerick written especially for you.

While Mum and Dad take advantage of a tour of the Axedale Cemetery, leave the kids at Kids Corner, where they can have their faces painted, play Life Be In It games, and enter the Benjamin BG. Bunyip colouring competition – great prizes.

Bring along your favourite pets and enter them in the Uncles Ben’s Pets ‘n’ Pals Parade – plenty of prizes and novelty sections.

This year, the inaugural Axedale Colonial Country Fair/Bendigo Cycling Club race, will take place with approx 30 senior and 30 junior riders competing.

While you wander through the large array of art & craft stalls, which include pottery and paintings, calico arts and ceramics, wooden toys and tartan weavers, jewellery and folk art, garden accessories and wood turning, hats and teddy bears, novelties and white elephant stalls, – you certainly won’t suffer any hunger pains with the variety of foods and refreshments available. Devonshire teas, pies and hot dogs, hot potatoes and takeaway, BBQ, confectionary, cakes and coffee, ice creams and soft drinks and an alcohol bar.

The Fair will be officially opened at 10am by Commissioner Mr. Les Crofts, and the entertainment will flow all day until 6pm.

At 3pm, many of these wonderful participants will congregate to be involved in the Grande Parade around the oval, and anyone attending the fair in costume is also invited to be involved in this. Prizes are awarded on the day for a variety of categories, eg. costume, stall, display.

The Dragon City Marshalls will be in attendance to assist in ensuring that people of all ages, and from all walks of life may have a hazard free and happy day.

So come visit us at Axedale, at the Colonial Country Fair on Sunday 16th October – we’d love to see you.


Helpers are needed to help in the preparation of the grounds, in setting up on the day, and for manning various positions on the day – if you can help, we’d be very grateful. Also if you have any knowledge on erecting marquees, we sure could use you. Please phone 397316

Also donations of scones and/or cakes for the Devonshire Tea stall will be very gratefully accepted – once again, if you can help, please phone.
Many Thanks, Doreen (Secretary)

If you recognise yourself in the photos, please let me know and I will add your name.

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Axedale Burial: Catherine McGrath 1921 and Mary McGrath 1895



From: The Advocate (Melbourne, Vic. : 1868 – 1954), Thursday 21 July 1921, page 16

Mrs. McGrath, Lyal, wife of Mr. P. McGrath, has passed away at her residence, Happy Valley, and was buried at Axedale. She was 92 years of age. Mrs. McGrath was one of the oldest settlers left in the district, and leaves a husband, three sons and two daughters to mourn their loss. The sons are Michael (Loch, Gippsland), James and Matthew (farmers, Lyal); and the daughters, Mrs. B. Caelli (Redesdale) and Mrs. Smith (West Australia); one son and one daughter deceased.

John Hannan, of Axedale, is Mrs. McGrath’s brotiher. Mrs McGrath was a native of Tipperary, Ireland. She left Ireland on 10th August, 1858, on the ship “Champion of the Sea,” and landed in Melbourne on 2nd November, 1858. The late Mrs. McGrath was married in the year 1869, and has resided at her late residence, Lyal, ever since. Her mother lived until the age of 107, and was a sister of the late William Heffernan, who built the Shamrock. Hotel, Bendigo, in the early fifties. The coffin-bearers were the three sons —Michael, James, and Matthew—and M. Sheedy. Rev. J. Brady, of Bendigo, read the burial service. Amongst those present at the funeral were Crs.Somerville, Hargreaves, Orr, and Doakes, of the Strathfieldsaye Shire.


WHO DIED ON 30th JUNE 1921

**Please note: Punctuation and paragraphs have been added to the above transcription for ease and speed of reading.

MRS. McGRATH. (1921, July 21). Advocate (Melbourne, Vic. : 1868 – 1954), p. 16. Retrieved August 7, 2021, from

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Fire at Axedale – Quarry Hill Hotel 1888

From: Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918), Friday 17 Feb 1888, page 3

(from our correspondent)
Wednesday, 15th february.

The fire which broke out here on Sunday afternoon, and which was referred to, in your issue of Tuesday, still continues to spread, and grave fears are entertained as to the ultimate result of the conflagration. Every effort is being made to stay its progress, and willing hands are continually making efforts in that direction. So far, its ravages are principally confined to Mr. Burns’ 500 acre paddock, situated opposite to Mr. Ingham’s Quarry Hotel.

The whole of the grass fully 450 acres—in this paddock has been consumed, together with two miles of fencing. Before it left Mr. Malone’s farm it consumed 200 acres of grass, and about a mile of fencing. In your report it was stated that Mr. Ingham had lost 200 of grass. Fortunately for that gentleman, that was a mistake,” and so far he has not suffered very much. Today his stack was in great danger, a quarter of a mile of dead wood fence enclosing i,t having taken fire.

Precautions were, however, taken, and the grass in the immediate vicinity of the stack burnt, and it is hoped that this will have the effect of placing it out of danger. The fire is bounded on the southern side by the McIvor Road, and on east by a one chain road. Should the wind rise sufficiently to carry. it over the Mclvor Road, it will be into Mr. Heffernan’s property, in which is high grass, and nothing, to impede its progress, while should it cross the one chain road it will continue its course on towards Toolleen, through a country thickly timbered, and grassed, and also containing a numerous population.

It will thus be seen that things are at crisis, and the only chance is that the fire may burn itself out within the present limits, or that a heavy downfall of rain may put an end to it’s destructive power.

**Please note: Punctuation and paragraphs have been added to the above transcription for ease and speed of reading.

THE FIRE AT AXEDALE. (1888, February 17). Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918), p. 3. Retrieved July 10, 2021, from

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Axedale Census 2016

In Australia, we are having our next census, in just a few days, on 10 August 2021. I’m posting the statistics for the previous census, held on 9 August 2016, so that the results can be compared. I’m positive that the population for Axedale will have increased.

These results are taken from the Australian Bureau of Statistics data.

Campaspe River, Axedale

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An Itinerant And Destitute Shoemaker #Axedale

From: The Herald, Melbourne, Vic (1861-1954) Friday 23 Mary, 1873, page 3

How an Itinerant and Destitute Shoemaker was beneficed and how he showed himself an Ingrate

A strange case was brought before the City Police Court yesterday morning. A respectable resident of Axedale, Mr.Kelly the proprietor of the Raglan Hotel,was charged by a person named M’Namara with stealing some leather from him; but, from the evidence given by the prosecutor himself, it appeared that there was not the slightest foundation for the charge.

‘M’Namara came to Mr. Kelly’s hotel a week ago, and between them it was arranged that M’Namara should occupy an empty house which adjoined Mr.Kelly’s house, he being a shoemaker. M’Namara was in need of the necessary ready cash to lay in a stock of leather to to work on; and Mr. Kelly with great kindness, undertook to obtain a supply for him, but with the condition that he should keep the leather in his possession, and that M’Namara should ask him for it as he wanted it.

This was more than a prudent step on Mr. Kelly’s part, as M’Namara was a perfect stranger to him. Mr. Kelly went into Sandhurst during the early part of this week, and while away from home McNamara obtained the leather from Mrs. Kelly, and took it to his shop, and upon going to bed placed it under his head. When Mr. Kelly came home he was told that M’Namara had received all the leather and taken it away with him, upon which Mr. Kelly proceeded to M’Namara’s room, and took it back again, not caring to trust him too much.

Upon this, Mr. M’Namara, with great coolness, laid information against Mr. Kelly for stealing the leather. Of course, when the case came before Mr. Cogdon, he dismissed it, and commented strongly upon M’Namara’s ingratitude.

It is strange than a magistrate oould be found to issue a warrant against a respectable and well known person,.at the request of a total stranger, whose appearance was certainly not much in favor of his respectability.
– Bendigo Independant

**Please note: Punctuation and paragraphs have been added to the above transcription for ease and speed of reading.

INGRATITUDE. (1873, May 23). The Herald (Melbourne, Vic. : 1861 – 1954), p. 3. Retrieved July 10, 2021, from

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Valedictory Gathering at Axedale 1899

From: Bendigo Advertiser (1855-1918), Monday 19 June 1899, page 3


Quite a large gathering of children and others connected with the Axedale State school assembled on Friday evening in the schoolroom at the invitation of the head teacher (Mr. S. E. Adams) to do honor to Miss Balmer, who is giving up her position as workmistress in the school. Soon after dark, the little ones gathered, and games, mostly of a novel kind, were heartily indulged in by the youngsters. Cake-eating contests and an elephant ride caused much amusement.

At 8 o’clock a capital programme of music etc., was initiated. The State school children, assisted by a few scholars from St. Mary’s Roman Catholic School, with the kind acquiescence, of Miss Kennedy, the teacher, gave a most attractive performance. Every item was rendered with evident enjoyment by the little ones, whose sweet singing and graceful actions reflected the greatest credit on all concerned in their training.

Among the soloists were Daisy Cundill, who sang, “Who’ll be My Valentine,” and had to repeat it by special request. Mary Jones, who gave “Katie Farrell” very acceptably, and Tensie Connell, who sang “Robin Redbreast” with much sweetness. “Sally Horner” was ren dered with notable expression by Daisy Cundill and Eileen Hanson, both very little ones, and the last mentioned little lady sang “I’m Going to write to Papa,” and performed a step dance very gracefully.

Mr. T. Drake gave a very interesting musical interlude with flageolet, bellows, glasses, etc. The children’s choruses were “When the Soldiers beat their drum” and “Four Jolly Smiths” (with anvil accompaniment). A concerted piece, “Railway Trains,” caused a deal of amusement, and the children who took the parts of guard (W. Winzar), porter (L. Allen), obstreperous passengers, etc., deserve special mention. Class recitations, “Which Love Best”‘ and “The Crusader’s Motto,” were effectively rendered, and very amusing action rhymes (written by the head teacher), were given as follows:—”The Girl and the Mud lark,” “Lollipops,” “Washing Day,” “The Birdies’ Song,” “Swing Song,” and Nursery Rhymes re-written. Almost all the items on the programme were given in character. A special treat was the rendition of song’s, dialogues, and instrumental selections on the gramophone, very kindly lent and manipulated by Mr. John Heffernan.

At the conclusion of the part of the programme an enjoyable supper was partaken of, after which Mr. W. S. Cahill (chairman of the Board of Advice), who had kindly consented to take the chair for the evening, referred in appreciatory terms to the good work Miss Balmer had done during the five or six years she had been connected with the school.

Mr. Adams also spoke of his lady assistant in highly complimentary terms, making reference to her scholastic abilities, and amiability. Mr. Cahill then, on behalf of the children, presented her with a very nice gold bracelet, bearing a suitable inscription, loud cheers being given for Miss Balmer.

Cheers were also given for the head teacher, and votes of thanks to Mr. Cahill (on the motion of Mr. Kerr), to Mr. Drake, who lent piano and lamps, to Miss Kennedy, who also gave very kind assistance in several ways, and to the many other ladies and gentlemen who had assisted, brought to a conclusion a most enjoyable evening’s entertainment.

**Please note: Punctuation and paragraphs have been added to the above transcription for ease and speed of reading.

VALEDICTORY GATHERING AT AXEDALE. (1899, June 19). Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918), p. 3. Retrieved July 15, 2021, from

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