Children’s Day Axedale 1916

From: Bendigo Independant, Saturday 11 November 1916, page 2

Wednesday, November 15, has been set apart as Children’s Day, and the Sunday schools of the district will take advantage of the public holiday to hold their annual picnics. some schools thought that, considering the present war crisis, it was inadvisable to hold picnics, but the majority considered that it could serve no good purpose by depriving the children of the day they look for annually.

The following is a list of picnics to be held:
RAVENSWOOD. The Forest Street Methodist Sunday School will hold their annual picnic at Ravenswood, on Wednesday next, The train leaves Bendigo at 10.25. The fares are — Adults,. Is 6d; children under 16 Is. Hot water and milk will be provided free. At Ravenswood on Wednesday next the annual picnic of the Wilson Street Sunday School will take place. Fares are— Adults, tram and train, 2s, train only, is 6d; children under 16, is 3d. Hot water and milk will be provided free.
The St. Matthew’s Sunday School, Long Gully, will hold their annual picnic to Ravenswood on Wednesday next. Special trams will leave the Manchester loop Long Gully, at about 9.15 a.m., and a special train will convey picnickers to Ravenswood, leaving at 10 a.m. Hot water will be provided free. The fares are — Adults, 2s; children under 16, is 3d including tram and train.
The Golden Square Methodist Sunday School will also celebrate their annual picnic at Ravenswood on Wednesday next Fares are 1s 6d and 1s. The time table will appear in Monday’s issue.

The annual united picnic of the Forest street. Quarry Hill and Galvin street Congregational Sunday Schools will be held at Axedale on Wednesday next. The committee has made every arrangement possible to provide for the comfort and enjoyment of its patrons and with fine weather a most pleasant day should be spent. The train will leave Bendigo at 9.25 a.m., returning from Axedale at 7 pm., and the fares are, adults 2s, children 1s. Tickets are now obtainable at Bolton Bros., Mitchell street. A plentiful supply of hot water will be available free of charge.
St. John’s Presbyterian Sunday School Picnic will be held at Axedale on Wednesday next. A special train will leave Bendigo at 10.15 a.m., and Axedale on the r turn journey at 7.50 p.m. St. Paul’s Picnic to Axedale will be held on Wednesday next, Children’s Day. The outing promises to be very popular, as besides St. Paul’s, St. John Presb terian. Congregational, All Saints, Holy Trinity and Strickland Road have chosen Axedale for their picnic. Stalls will be conducted in aid of the Red Cross Fund. Tea, hot water and milk will be free. Tickets may be obtained from Mr. J. Leaney, Williamson street, or the Cambridge Press, Market Square. The fares for All Saints’ annual picnic to Axedale on Wednesday next are: — Adults, 2s; children 1s. The time of dparture has not yet been fixed.


CHILDREN’S DAY (1916, November 11). The Bendigo Independent (Vic. : 1891 – 1918), p. 2. Retrieved September 14, 2020, from

©2020 copyright. All rights reserved

The Recent Fight Near Axedale 1890

From: The Bendigo Advertiser, Friday, 13 June 1890, Page 2

” The recent Fight near Axedale.—William Minter, a woodcutter and well-known footballer, and M. O’Neill, a farmer residing at Axedale, both young men, appeared at the City Police Court yesterday, charged with unlawfully assaulting each other. The defendants were the two principals in the fight which occurred at Axedale on a Sunday afternoon recently, and  to which reference was made in these columns at the time. The defendants pleaded guilty,  and after Messrs. Kirby and Tatchell had addressed the bench on their behalf, the presiding magistrate, Mr. Patterson, said that, such conduct could not be tolerated, especially on a Sabbath. The defendants were each fined £10 or in default six weeks’ imprisonment. The fines were at once paid. The courthouse was crowded with a number of young men, friends of the two defendants, who watched the proceedings with considerable interest. Four other young men were charged with aiding and abetting Minter and O’Neill, but the cases were postponed for a week to enable the lawyers engaged in the defence to, if they can obtain authorities, show that it is not sufficient to ensure a conviction that only, the presence of a person at a fight need be proved. Mr. Patterson, yesterday, expresed the opinion that that was all that was accessary.


“THE BENDIGO ADVERTISER” Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918) 13 June 1890: 2. Web. 26 Sep 2020 <;.

punctuation etc

©2020 copyright. All rights reserved

St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Axedale 1869

From: McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser, Friday 23 April, 1869, page 2

This church was opened on Sunday last, by the Rev. J. Nish of Sandhurst, who took his text from Malachi 3rd chapter 8th verse, “Will a man rob God,” from which he preached an excellent and impressive sermon, and was listened to with great attention by a full congregation of earnest worshipers, and no doubt will be long remembered in this district, where the Protestant population have not before had the privilege of worshiping God in a house set apart for his service.

On Tuesday evening, a tea meeting was held in connection with the opening services; after tea, which was served in the Foresters Hall, the people retired to the church, when the meeting was opened with praise and prayer. The Rev. D. Renton, (the pastor of the congregation), then took the chair, and reported the various steps that had been taken towards supplying a want long felt by a portion of the community, viz., that when he first came to the district, in July last, he called a meeting of those favorable towards providing Axedale with a Presbyterian church, at which a committee was formed and subscription lists opened, and after a little exertion they found they were warranted to call for tenders of the comparative cost of a building of blue stone, of brick, and of wood.

When the tenders came they chose blue stone with white brick facings of the windows and door, and they accepted contracts for labor only, the committee themselves undertaking to provide all the materials, which they promptly commenced about the beginning of September, and the foundation stone was laid by the Rev. J. Nish, of Sandhurst, on the 30th of the same month, and here the chairman remarked that but for the energy and zeal put forth by the various members of committee, the building would not now have been what it is, as they freely gave of their means, and spared neither time nor exertion in obtaining the needed funds to carry on and complete the church-a building which would be an ornament to any country district.

The amount at their disposal has been £258 4s. 6d., leaving a debt of £51 1s. 2d., which it was hoped would almost if not altogether be removed by the proceeds of the opening services. The total cost of the building being £309 5s. 8d. This of course does not complete all that is necessary, as a vestry, a stable, and fencing are still required, which no doubt will be had in due time.

Interesting addresses were then delivered by the Rev. J. M. Abernethy, of Eaglehawk, Rev. J. Westacott, (of the United Methodist Free Church) Heathcote, the Revs. G. Taylor, and J. Nish, of Sandhurst; and some sacred music was rendered by Messrs. Adamson, Alsop, and Foyster, of Heathcote.

We have not learned what was realized from the opening services, but from the large attendance on both occasions, it must be something considerable towards reducing the debt. We most heartily congratulate the Protestants of the Axedale district on their new church, which is very finely finished, and certainly one of the neatest country churches we have seen for some time.

Its dimensions are thirty-eight by twenty-one feet, and has seat accommodation for 110 people. It has four stained glass windows on each side and one in the end gable behind the pulpit, which are in beautiful harmony with the other parts of the structure, the pews are all stained and varnished, the pulpit and doors dark oak, the walls of stone color, the roof a delicate blue; the whole reflects great credit on the architect and workmen; and we have no doubt but it will prove a blessing morally, intellectually and spiritually to the district.



ST. ANDREW’S PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, AXEDALE. (1869, April 23). The McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser (Heathcote, Vic. : 1863 – 1918), p. 2. Retrieved September 10, 2020, from

St. Andrew’s Uniting Church, Axedale, 150th Anniversary Celebration Booklet 10 March 2019,

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

©2020 copyright. All rights reserved

Fatal Accident at Derrinal Railway Station

from: The Bendigo Independant, Thursday 1 November 1900, page 4












A man whose name is not definitely known but who is supposed to be an engine driver from Fosterville named Howe, met with a fatal accident at Derrinal, on the Heathcote Line about 10 o’clock on Tuesday night.
It appears from the information to hand that the deceased was riding a horse towards Derrinal from Knowsley. when he lost control of it and it bolted. It entered the station yard at the Derrinal ailway station and passing underneath, a wire which was staying a post, the rider was thrown off. The station mistress and other people who were nearby heard the groans of the man and went to his assistance. He was found to be unconscious, and on his being removed to the Black Swan Hotel which is a mile distant, the poor fellow expired, A messenger was despatched for Dr. Esler,of Heathcote, who on arrival formally pronounced life to be extinct. The matter was reported to the police and an enquiry was to have taken place last evening.

(Punctuation and paragraphs  have been added to the above transcription for ease and speed of reading)

©2020 copyright. All rights reserved

Rousing up the council 1881

from: The Bendigo Advertiser, Saturday 11 June 1881, page 2


(To the Editor of the Bendigo Advertiser.)

Sir,- I crave a small space in your valuable journal for the purpose of describing to you the condition of the Axedale road. I think that it is time something was said or done about this road, Which is in a beastly condition. At every foot a dray or buggy goes, one of the wheels goes into a bog hole, with which the road is actually covered. I really think that it is time the council did something to improve this road. What are the councillors about! Why do the rate payers not wake them up to a sense of their duty? There is plenty of metal lying on the centre of the road, and there is every probability of it laying there for some time to come unless the councillors are roused up. Hoping that some action will be taken in the matter.

I am, etc., RATEPAYER.


The Axedale Incendiarism

from: The Kerang Times and Swan Hill Gazette, 05 Oct 1886, page 5

THE AXEDALE INCENDIARISAM At the Sandhurst police court on Wednesday September, 29th, a young. man, named Robert Elliott was brought up on remand from Drouin, charged with unlawfully and maliciously setting fire to two stacks of corn, the property of Lazarus Bros., and valued at £500, at Axe Creek, on the 21st January last.

Mr. Connelly prosecuted, and Mr. ,Rymer defended the prisoner. who pleaded “Not Guilty.” : Detective A. G. Sainsbury deposed that he conducted the investigation into the firing of the stacks of Messrs. Lazarus Bros.

He visited the scene on the 22nd January, the day after they had been set fire to, and saw two stacks still burning. He saw bootmarks of a man as if he had been running from the stack. The tracks corresponded with a boot produced, which he received from the prisoner, who said he wore it when he set.the stack on fire. The boots corresponded exactly in length and, breadth.

With the assistance of the Government black-trackers, they traced the prints first easterly to the creek, and then in a southerly direction towards Doak’s: After following them 33 chains, they were lost at Doak’s brush fence.

He saw Elliott that day, and spoke to him, also to other men there. Prisoner, to the best of his belief said he knew nothing about it. On the 8th of this month, he went to Drouin with Mr. (unreadable) to conceal himself on the ceiling of the lockup. The ceiling was of logs and some had spaces between them.

Prisoner and a man named Bush were in the cell. Mr. Rymer:” I object to anything being put forward which was said by the prisoner. There was no doubt that a confession was made in writing, and that must be handed in”.The bench overruled the objection.

Witness, proceeding, said with reference to the conversation, he overheard that Bush I asked Elliott ” How is old Lazarus getting, on,” and Elliott replied ” I don’t know; you must not say I ever let you know of the fire. That red-headed Irishman,who was manager for Lazarus is dead.” Bush said ” Is that the overseer that came to Doak’s where they were threshing and said the machine was useless?” Elliott replied ” Yes.” and Bush asked him. if that was the night of the fire. Prisoner. answered “Yes don’t speak too loud” Bush continues, “Did you set fire to all the stacks?”. ” Prisoner replied, ” I only set fire to one, and the other must have caught from it.” Bush said, “I suppose you ran then,’. and prisoner answered, “My —-oath I did.”

Prisoner was heard to say, also that Doak said the fire served Lazarus right. On the following morning,witness saw prisoner, who said he thought he had seen him (witness) before. Witness told him who he was, and he recollected.

After further conversation he told prisoner he had come over about the fire and that he suspected him. He then said he never fired the stacks,and asked him if Bush had told him. Witness replied, “I heard you say so to Bush, when you asked him not to tell”.

Witness showed him where he had been concealed. Prisoner said “Oh, well, it’s no use denying it. I did burn Lazarus’ stacks. I set fire to one of them.” Constable O’Meara, the lockup-keeper, then came to the door, and prisoner continued that he set the stack afire because “the overseer wouldn’t have the old man’s machine or the other cockeys (farmer’s) either”.

He said his father never told him to do it. Prisoner said he had no objection to repeat the statement to some other person. Witness asked him whether he was willing to go to Sandhurst and be tried for the offence. Prisoner replied “I may as well be in gaol. I did it, and must put up with the consequences”.

Prisoner then went with him to the Shire hall next door, and made a statement before :Mr. Startup, J.P. and Mr. Beckwith. Prisoner signed the document (produced), after it had been read over to him.

Witness subsequently swore an information against him. He never induced the prisoner by threats, promises, or anything to make the confession.

Later on that day, witness was at the police station. and prisoner.sent for him. He went to him, and prisoner said ” I suppose you heard me telling Jack Bush that Doak said it was a good job. Well, Doak never said it at all.”  Prisoner gave him as a reason for saying so that he thought Bush would refrain from telling anyone.

To Mr. Rymer: Prisoner was in gaol at Dronin on a charge of false pretences. He put Bush in the lockup as a means of hearing hearing what prisoner said. He was sure that Bush was not put in for being drunk.

There was no charge against Bush, who consented to be locked up. Bush first told witness that prisoner had informed him when at Shelbourne, he had fired the stacks.

There is a reward of £100, which he now thinks Bush will receive. The boots of the man Boyle, who was first arrested on suspicion, were No.8,. and fitted the track. Boyle never made a statement that he had fired the stack.

Samuel and Daniel Lazarus, the owners of the stacks destroyed, William Doak; farmer, Axedale, and Peter Alias, laborer, who saw the prisoner hurrying along the road from Lazarus’ at the time of the fire, gave evidence, and the prisoner was committed to take his trial at .the Assize Court on the 14th October next.

from wikipedia: incendiarism – Dictionary definition and meaning for word incendiarism. (noun) malicious burning to destroy property. Synonyms : arson , fire-raising. the British term for arson is fire-raising –

(Punctuation and paragraphs have been added to the above transcription for ease and speed of reading)


Honouring Axedale Soldiers

from: The Bendigonian, Tuesday 9 March 1915, page 12


Axedale 3rd March

A well-attended meeting was held in Drake’s Hall ,last night to make arrangements for a send off to the three Axedale soldiers at present in camp at Broadmeadows, viz. Messrs. F. Bennett, E. Burke, and F. Millington. Cr. S. Doak presided.

It was decided to hold a social and present each soldier with a gold medal suitably inscribed, on a date to be arranged. Several ladies were present, and they will have charge of the arrangements in connection with the supper.

With Anzac Day coming up, there will be posts about the Axedale Soldiers who lost their lives

Axedale – An inland seaside resort?

Axedale a seaside resortCAMPASPE STORAGE BASIN
(To the Editor of the Advertiser)
Sir, —In deciding to construct a storage basin on the Campaspe at Kimbolton or ??  {unreadable words}, as it is officially known, to supply the off-take weir at Elmore, which is to irrigate some 40,000 acres, south of the Waranga Loddon channel, the Water Commission have not to my idea, fixed on the east site, and I have no hesitation in saying this, for I have known the river some 50 years.
One of the great factors to the success of a storage basin is to have the stored water spread over as little area as possible, so as to check evaporation in summer and seepage all through the year.
This is impossible at the selected site, as no river vallev worth speaking of, exists and the water will be spread over a large area outside the river banks of no great depth.
The site I am in favor of, and one well known to all Bendigonians, is at Axedale, just
below the road bridge, and opposite Ingham’s quarries. Here is a magnificent, river valley, perhaps unequalled in the State for such a purpose, from 250 to 300 yards wide, the banks rising 80 to 100 foot high, while up the stream the valley opening out over the Marydale flat, on one side and the racecourse on the  other, with the high banks still around, forms a basin almost a mile wide, giving a great depth of water over the whole area.
This site also has the advantage that the racecourse and police paddock are Crown lands, costing nothing for resumption, also has an increased watershed of great value.
I know that the railway and road bridges would be submerged, but in these days of
advanced engineering, it would not be impossible to carry the traffic of both over the
barrage wall. Such would mean a deviation of the railway line through Axedale township,
but it would have the advantage of bringing the station, now a mile away, right, into the township, open up the blue stone quarries on each side of the river, and make Axedale a seaside resort,  on account of its direct railway communication to what would
be one of the finest inland lakes in the State.
Again the impounded water could be used for turbines to generate electricity for the
use of the Bendigo mines and other industries, also for electric lighting and traction
for electric railways and buses and many other things of which we are in need and
behind the rest of the world.
Bendigo should look well into this matter, as it concerns them as deeply as the farmer
on the northern plains, and it may mean the very life of the mining industry, where a cheap motive power is very badly needed.
yours etc.

11th August, 1908. FARMER.

(Punctuation and paragraphs have been added to the above transcription for ease and speed of reading)


Axedale Fair 1870




Benson and McLoskey report – The first Axedale Fair was held at The Campaspe on Monday last, and resulted in a greater success than the most sanguine of the promoters could have anticipated.  From an early hour in the morning, cattle, horses, pigs, &c, were to be seen coming at intervals, in all directions, and before 12 o’clock, the stock yarded and penned, numbered from 400-500 head.  The farmers, squatters, and residents from the surrounding districts, assembled in full force and the support and encouragement accorded by the land and proprietors of the Wild Duck Creek, Heathcote,  Coliban, Kimbolton, Miami &c contributed in no small degree to starting the fair on a good footing at the outset. There were buyers present for all classes of stock at good prices, and although in some instances, high reserves stood in the way of business, there were nevertheless, a large number of sales affected by auctiom, to say nothing of the dealings amongst the farmers themselves.  There were about 100 pigs penned bit this was not sufficient to meet demand, as fully One or two hundred more fat pigs could have been placed at very good prices. Dairy cattle brought from 1.5 to 1.8, young calves 6s6d to 20s, stores 1.2 10s to 1.3 6s per head; light, useful horses from 1.5 to 1.9 per head. No sales of heavy draught horses were affected by auction. It is intended in future to hold regular fairs at the Axedale township upon the first Monday in every month; notice of which will be duly advertised. 



Axedale Community Hall


The Axedale Hall is situated in the centre of Axedale, on a large block of land, that includes a childrens playground. To me, it represents the community hub of Axedale.

The Hall was built in 1945, however it seems there was earlier planning for a community centre, as the first minutes for the Hall Committee were recorded on 31 August 1938. Present at this meeting were Councillors Doak & Mill, Messrs Ryan, McKindley, Atlee, Lynch, O’Donogue, Carney, Lienhop, Drake, O’Dwyer & O’Brien. Any meetings that occurred prior to this date are not recorded in the minutes book.

The minutes on 29 April 1944, record that Blocks 6 and 7 Section 5 Town of Axedale, be the site of the proposed Hall and that the committee accept Mr. Drakes offer of a free gift of the land, subject to Mr. Drake’s condition that the land would be definitely used for the erection of the Hall. The offer was accepted and a hearty note of thanks was sent to Mr. Drake for his generous offer.

On 19 October 1943, the Executive Committee wrote to the Strathfieldsaye Shire Council, requesting that an application be made to the Minister of Public Works for a grant of 600 pounds on a basis of £2 for £1 as a post war construction job.

On 8 August 1945, the minutes moved that the committee issue 5 year debentures minimum to be 1 pound interest on the debentures to be at 21/2%.


The Axedale Hall was officially opened on 30 June 1945, by the Hon. J.H. Lienhop MLC, Minister of Public Works for Victoria. Many dignitaries attended and members of the Ladies Committee provided afternoon tea. This information is noted in the minutes of the hall committee. This was just a few weeks before the end of World War 2.

A Roll of Honour to both World Wars was installed proudly and hangs today. The names of locals who served and also those who lost their lives is inscribed.

FullSizeRender(1)The above plaque commemorates the opening of the water scheme in Axedale on 9 April 1964.

On reading the minutes, it becomes obvious that the Hall Committee were hard working and very committed to getting the Axedale Hall built for the community.

Today, the Axedale Hall Committee operates as an incorporated body of volunteers along with a Management Agreement with the City of Greater Bendigo. There are nine people on the Committee including a representative from the Pre-school.

The Axedale Pre-School, which opened in 1992, is in the back part of the hall building. Originally that part of the hall was the supper room.

There have been many events held at the hall in the decades since it opened, such as weddings, engagement parties and funerals. I have been told that there are many residents still living in Axedale, who celebrated their weddings in the hall.

There have also been many official community functions held, such as school concerts, fashion parades, casserole luncheons, and children’s fancy dress parties. There have been 5 Debutante Balls held there over the years. The photos of these deb balls still hang proudly in the hall.

As recently as 2004, indoor bowls was played in the hall on a piece of carpet, which would be rolled out for the occasion.

The CFA used the hall for their meetings, while waiting for their new premises to become available.

Today the hall is regularly used for private functions as well as community events such as Yoga Classes.

The Axedale Hall Committee today, appear to me, to be a very active, vibrant, and hard working group of committed volunteers.  They operate the local market and also support other local events.

The above information was kindly given to me by Ann Mason, Axedale Hall Committee member for about 12 years. Anne lives on a property at Knowsley, about 10k from Axedale. Originally from Bendigo, Ann has been living at Knowsley since 1994 and is very actively involved in the Axedale community.