Event: Kids In The Park

Recently, a crowd of excited children gathered at the Axedale Community Park for ‘Kids In The Park – Space Day’. Lots of fun was had and energy burnt off on what was the last day of the school holidays.

The event was organised by Sonya Browne on behalf on local community group Axedale Our Town Our Future (AOTOF).

The fun included a jumping castle, arts and crafts, face painting and story time. Children were invited to come dressed in their favourite space costume with prizes for best costumes.

*Thanks to Sonya Browne for photos

Axedale Cemetary

The Axedale Cemetery is situated on 9 acres, on the corner of McIvor Highway and Cemetery Road in a bush setting, surrounded by gum trees. The first unconfirmed burial was George Bywaters in 1865.

The Axedale Cemetery, unusually, is actually, two separate cemeteries side by side. There is the Protestant or public cemetery and alongside it the Roman Catholic Cemetery. This is a private cemetery administered by the Catholic Church of Bendigo. The Catholic cemetery is surrounded by an eye catching bluestone wall.

Axedale Catholic Cemetery entrance

Surrounding bluestone wall

Axedale Public Cemetery

Follow for further posts of obituaries and burials at Axedale Public Cemetery and Axedale Catholic Cemetery

A dastardly act in Axedale 1893

from Bendigo Advertiser Saturday April 1, 1893, page 5

HOW BUSH FIRES ARE CAUSED.

A DASTARDLY ACT.

What is evidently a most despicable and malicious act was perpetrated at Axedale on Wednesday evening, the victim being Mr. N. Ingham, the well-known quarry proprietor and hotel keeper of that place.  On Tuesday after noon an elderly man named Charles Seward, a laborer, arrived by train in Axedale, having been engaged at the Government labor bureau in Melbourne, by Mr. P. J. Cooney, the teacher at the Campaspe East State School, to work for him for 8s per week. On Tuesday evening he camped on the river bank under the bridge at Axedale, and on Wednesday he did some odd jobs for Mr. Ingham, who, however, was dissatisfied with the manner in which the man performed his work.

They had a settlement, and Mr. Ingham told the fellow to move on. Seward asked for a glass of beer, but the request was refused. The man left the hotel muttering vengeance against the landlord. He took his swag and tramped off along the road to Toolleen.

A young man, named Johnson, a woodcarter in the employ of Mr. Minter, was driving a horse and load of wood into Axedale, when he discovered that he had lost a couple of wedges. He walked back along the road and suddenly came on Seward, whom he alleges he saw set fire to a fence in three different places. As soon as Seward saw that he was discovered,he remarked to Johnson, ” You saw me lighting my pipe, didn’t you?” Johnson replied that that excuse was ” too thin, ” as he had seen the man deliberately fire the fence, which belongs to Mr. Ingham.

Seward remarked that if Johnson said a word about the matter he would blow his brain out. He then walked off along the road towards Toolleen. The alarm was raised, and several persons attracted by the smoke hurried to the spot, and by their united efforts subdued the flames, but not before nearly half a mile of fencing and a quantity of grass had been destroyed.

Mounted constable Haydon, who is in charge of the police station at Axedale, was away on duty at the Wild Duck Creek during the day, and on his return home in the evening the matter was reported to him by Mr. Ingham.

The constable at once set off in chase of the offender, and nearing Toolleen, which is about 15 miles distant from Axedale, he noticed a man camping by the roadside. From the description that had been furnished him by Mr. Ingham, the constable arrested the fellow, and on bringing him back to the police station he was fully identified.

He was then locked up on a charge of wilfully and maliciously setting fire to the property. It was a fortunate circumstance that there was not any wind blowing at the time or the adjoining properties of Messrs. Heffernan, Cahill, Brown and others right down to the Clare Inn would probably have been destroyed.

The accused was brought into Bendigo on Thursday by Constable Baydon and, during the afternoon. Mr. J. R. Hoskins, J.P., attended at the Town Hall and remanded the accused, who denied the charge, until Thursday next.

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88966222

 

Pirates in Axedale

On the last Friday of the recent school holidays, excited little pirates converged on Axedale Community Park for the Axedale Community Pirate Party.

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Organiser Sonya Browne said the event which was sponsored by Axedale Our Town Our Future was a huge success. Children had fun on the pirate jumping castle and were even able to walk the plank like a true pirate.

The Axedale Community is well know for their support of local events, and this one was no exception. This was a free event which was an added bonus for families at the end of the school holidays.

Sale of St. Pauls Anglican Church Axedale

The following article was on The Bendigo Advertiser website on 12 July 2017. Could be the start of a huge combined effort by the Axedale community:

A progress association president says it is “now or never” for community action to keep an Axedale church from being sold into private hands.

The St Paul’s Anglican Church congregation last met in 2015 and the Anglican Diocese of Bendigo wants it rezoned and sold.

This Thursday the Axedale Our Town Our Future committee will consider stepping in to rally support to keep it in community hands.

The church was build in 1913. In recent times the congregation had diminished until it consisted of just two families, the diocese’ general manager Naomi Fountain said.

Two years ago the diocese and its Axedale Parish made the decision to stop services at the church, which Mrs Fountain described as “heartbreaking”.

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“We are very much a rural diocese (and) we work very hard in rural parishes to maintain a sense of community and ministry,”  she said.

Mrs Fountain said work had begun to rezone the property for residential use, though plans for a sales date was some time away.

AOTOF president Jennifer Jones said the turnout at a recent public information session showed there was some interest within the community for the church to remain a public institution.

She stressed any action to keep the building open to the public was still in early days, but could involve community groups purchasing it and surrounding land.

It was unclear how much support any plan would have if it was taken to the wider community, though Mrs Fountain said once the property was on the market the diocese would be open to community groups’ interest.

A community purchase would not come without what Ms Jones described as a “huge effort”.

A community committee would most likely be needed to drive fundraisers, grant applications and other work needed to raise money and coordinate any campaign.

Nor were there yet any concrete examples of what the building and grounds would be used for.

“My personal opinion is that it could become a community house or a small community hub,” Ms Jones said.

She said a recent survey had shown a need for space to house the area’s community groups.

“Axedale is growing. There’s lots of young families coming here,” Ms Jones said.

More Axedale Public Hall memories

from Axedale Antics, Issue 146, September 2008

Axedale Public Hall

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“Last month’s article in praise of the Axedale Public Hall inspired a couple of locals to contact the Antics and pass on a few memories. We welcome this feedback and hope that more of you will be inspired to add your own snippets of information to our fund of local knowledge.

Apparently, in it’s hey day, the Axedale Hall had the reputation of having the best dance floor anywhere in the district and people came from far and wide to do the Pride of Erin, the Barn Dance, Maxina, Charmaine, Evening Three Step, Modern Waltz and the Foxtrot, among other old time dances.

The hall custodians prepared the floor by scattering wax flakes or crystals and then ‘bagging’ the floor. Sometimes a box, covered in hessian or carpet was used and often small children helped the operation by riding on the bags or on top of the box, to add a bit of weight. The Dunlop family have been closely associated with the hall and Roy Dunlop was the regular M.C. or Master of Ceremonies. Peter and Kate Dunlop continue this involvement; Peter being the Secretary of the Hall Committee.

Music for the dancing was usually just provided by the piano and drums, and Maisie Evans and Win Byrne were regular pianists with Les Giri on the drums. Power for the dances, balls, and other entertainments was provided by a generator powered by an old Fordson tractor, which on occasions was notoriously difficult to start.  There was a house on the corner of McIvor Highway and Mitchell Street, where the barbecue now stands, and the tractor was kept there, at the ready. Before it’s demolition, the house was the residence of the two Misses Ryan.

Although it is hard for us to imagine life without electricity, it only came to Axedale in December 1955, and country life was beginning to change. Young people were beginning to be known as ‘teenagers’.  Some of them were even getting their own cars at 18 years of age, (although at Bendigo Teachers College in 1955, only 3 out of 200 had a car).

Rock and Roll music became popular. Shock horror, Elvis Presley ousted Johnny Ray (of ‘Crying’ Fame) and Bill Haley and The Comets burst onto the scene in the film “Rock Around The Clock’.

The first drive-in picture theatre opened in 1956 and competed with The Lyric, The Plaza, and The Princess, which were the existing Bendigo picture theatres at that time.

Dances were held at the YMCA and St. Killian’s on Saturday nights, and once a year a grand presentation ball was held in the Bendigo Town Hall, where each student was presented to the Mayor of Bendigo

November 1956 saw the arrival of TV, in time for the Melbourne Olympic Games, and even the liquor licences were changing.  We said goodbye to the ‘6 o’clock swill’ and social life changed.  Young people were mobile, dinner dances became popular, and by the time I returned to this district in 1965, the hall was used infrequently and carried a burden of debt.

Sometimes a new resident comes to a town, views the scene from a new perspective, and decides to make a difference. Such a person was Senior Constable A.E. (Ted) Godkin, who came to Axedale from Nagambie in 1967.

Ted could probably be described as a ‘sportsnut’.  He was a champion lawn bowler and was immediately snapped up as a Pennant player by a top Bendigo club.  He soon observed that Axedale had no sporting facilities at all apart from a sadly neglected public reserve, covered in 10ft high thistles, and a flat area where a couple of granite posts were the only remains of a tennis court.  Then there was this beautiful hall, which stood like a white elephant, rarely used, and almost a liability to the community who still had to finish paying for it.

Having played an indoor version of the game of bowls in earlier days, Ted could envisage a regular competition which would provide recreation for people of all ages and an income stream to the Hall Committee.  He lost no time in borrowing the necessary bowls, mats and measuring equipment, and spread the word around the district.

I’ll never forget the first bowls night.  The Axedale people sat on one side of the hall while the Knowsley people sat on the other, because they didn’t really know each other at all well.   The “Blowinskis” those of us who were new to the district, sat across the front while Ted explained the finer points.

It took off like wildfire.  We managed for a while with borrowed equipment but soon were able to purchase new mats and sets of bias bowls.  Indoor bowls was played two  nights each week, Wednesday and Saturday, and it wasn’t long before Tournaments and Championships were on the agenda.  We were able to fit seven mats in the hall, so it was not uncommon to have more than 100 participants.  With a regular rental income, the Hall Committee soon covered the existing debt and went from strength to strength.

An extremely hard working Hall Committee Ladies Auxiliary ( a plaque in the hall commemorates a lifetime of service by Mon Colvin, 23 years as Secretary) ran an annual casserole luncheon, three debutante balls and formed a Euchre club.

Best of all, we got to know our neighbours and made lasting friendships.  The Axedale Indoor Bowling Club functioned for more than 30 years until the cost of public liability insurance became prohibitive but in future issues we will explain how the sporting facilities we enjoy today sprang from the foundation

**written by Axedale resident, Lorraine Gunn