Axedale Quick Shear

The fourth annual Axedale Quick Shear and Wood Chop Family Fun Day was held on Saturday January 2017  Even though the day was extremely hot, the volunteers were enthusiastic and many local community members and visitors attended.

The shearing and wood chopping was very popular, as always, with participants coming long distances to compete for prize money.

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image: Axedale Quick Shear and Woodchop Committee

The market stalls, selling locally crafted goods were well patronised by eager shoppers. Children’s activities which included face painting, were very well organised, and seemed to be very busy. The ever popular animal farm and jumping castle looked to be extremely well patronised.

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There were many entries in the photography competition, including a large number of entries from students in the schools section.

A new event this year was the Beaut Ute competion, which created much interest.

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The Quick Shear gives the opportunity for local community groups to come together and have fun, and at the same time, raise funds to be used to improve Axedale and it’s ammenities.

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from left: Kathy Sessions, Jennifer Jones, Yvonne Wrigglesworth, Jane Anderson

The organisers should be very proud of this fanastic event that has become a much looked forward to fixture on the Axedale community events calendar.

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More on shearers poisoning 1858

Recently I posted about shearers who were poisoned by their cook, when arsenic was mistaken for flour. Following are the names of three of the shearers who died. As yet I haven’t identified the fourth victim.
John FLETCHER, aged about 23 years;
Robert FREELAND, aged about 44 years;
Edward John MORGAN, 29 years.

Below, is a follow up report of the incident.

from: The Bendigo Advertiser, 16 Jun 1858, page 2transcription:

FATAL MISTAKE WITH ARSENIC.

The late melancholy occurrence at the station of Messrs Cox and Bissett, on the Campaspe, concerning, which it will be seen by a paragraph in another column, that a fourth victim has been added to the sad list, has directed public attention to the fatal results from the careless use of arsenic.

It is, indeed, most extraordinary that nothing has been done by the Legislature, to protect the public from such fatal mistakes, as have occurred in the colony, and especially in the interior, from the similarity of arsenic to flour. The neglect is the more inexcusable, seeing that there is a law in England on the subject, which seems to have been copied in New Zealand.

On this subject the Herald remarks

” A correspondent sends us the following excellent suggestions, upon a subject which has caused much discussion without at present any practical results:- Sir, -The number of cases which have occurred in this colony of death from poison, by using arsenic in mistake for flour, has induced me to trouble you with a few remarks.

I perceive that in New Zealand the law requires that this article immediately upon being imported shall be mixed with soot to render it repulsive to the eye and taste, and distinguish it from flour, while it prevents even its wilful administration in all those cases where neither the color nor taste of pure arsenic would give warning of its presence.

You must be acquainted with the circumstances connected with the cases in which it has been used in mistake, and I need not urge them on you as a means of inducing you to exertions to prevent their recurrence; and would simply suggest that it would be most desirable if all the squatters who hold this article for the use of their stations, and the merchants and others who have it in their possession, would mix sufficient soot with it to render it impossible to be mistaken for flour.

At a future day it may be well to consider the necessity of passing a law on the subject. There can be no expense attending the mixture, and the valuable lives it may save should be a sufficient incentive to take the little trouble there would be in the proprietors ordering it at once to be done on their stations, and in the stores in town.

-Your obedient humble servant, X.'”

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

 

 

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Poisoning near Heathcote 1858

from: Bendigo Advertiser, Friday 11th June, 1858, page 3

HORRIBLE CASE OF POISONING NEAR HEATHCOTE.

One of the most fearful cases of poisoning that it has been our lot to record for some time occurred yesterday, at the station belonging to Messrs. Cox and Bissett, near Heathcote. It appears, from what we have been able to glean of this horrible affair, that the cook on the farm wishing to make some cakes for dinner, and being short of flour, went to a cask of arsenic, kept on the premises, and used, we suppose, for the purpose of cleansing sheep, and took therefrom a portion of the arsenic, supposing it to be flour, using it in the same manner as he would have done had it been so.

Two men who were engaged on the farm partook of those cakes, as well as the cook; and the three men, after suffering fearful torments, died yesterday afternoon. This is another instance, added to the number that have already occurred in the colony, of deaths resulting from poison being allowed on premises without any precaution being taken to prevent ignorant domestics from making use of it for culinary purposes ; and unless some check is put by the Legislature upon the sale and use of poisons of all descriptions we are afraid that it will not be the last.

We understand that an inquest is to be held on the bodies to-day, when we have no doubt that some more particulars connected with this awful affair will be brought to light.

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

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article87981026

Rousing up the council 1881

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

THE AXEDALE ROAD

(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)

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Welcome Home Social for Serviceman 1918

from: The Bendigo Independant, 18 October 1918, page 8

COUNTRY NEWS.

AXEDALE.

A welcome home social and presentation was given to Private Geo. Macumber on Wednesday night in Mr. E. Drake’s hall, which was nicely decorated with flags, flowers, etc. by the local red cross ladies.

Cr. J. Hodge presided over a large gathering. The chairman, in opening the proceedings, proposed the toast of the King which was drunk with musical honors.

The chairman, in a very nice speech, made reference to the way in which the guest of the evening, had served his country. Mr. V. Deane and other speakers, also referred to the guest of the evening.

The chairman presented Private Macumber with a nice gold medal as a token and a small remembrance from the people of Axedale. Private Macumber made a suitable response.

The toast of the guests’ parents was proposed by Cr. J. Hodge, who referred to Private Macumber, and also another brother, at present doing his share at the front. . Mr. Joseph Senior, a friend of the family, responded on their behalf.

The toast of the ladies was proposed by Mr. Deane, who referred to the manner in which they had decorated the room and tables, the good things provided, reflecting great credit on them. Mr. J. Hamilton responded.

A vote of thanks was accorded the secretaries, chairman and performers who contributed items during the evening and helped to make this first welcome home social such a great success.

An enjoyable dance followed. The music for the social and dance was supplied by Mr. J. Dunn, and Mr. J. Brook made a successful M.C.

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

Typhoid At Axedale 1914

from: Bendigo Advertiser, 10 November 1914, page 5

TYPHOID AT AXEDALE

A second report by Dr. Gaffney stated – “I inspected the houses where there had been typhoid fever, and especially the sanitary conditions of those dwellings and outhouses. I find there are two sanitary systems in vogue – one a “pan” system and the other the “pit” system.

In a great number of instances the articles used as ‘pans’ were much too small to be adequate. It must be borne in mind – and this is most important – that not only solid but also liquid excretia must be provided for as as the typhoid baccillus is demonstratable in the urine voided by typhoid patients. Given that the receptacle is adequate for both forms of excreta, the next thing is to consider the disposal of the contents.

Burial at a depth of at least 2 ft is essential and in such a place, that there is no possibility of the infection of water supply. There should be provided in the privvies in this system, some disinfectant solution which should be used regularly. It is also very necessary that these receptacles should be protected from flies, which are a most important factor in the dissemination of typhoid fever.

The pit system is a good one if the precautionary measures mentioned later are carried out conscientiously. But if these precautions be neglected, then the pit system would be an extremely pernicious one.

Carelessness or neglect of the precautions would form each pit into an incubator for the typhoid bacilli and would increase in number and virulence to an enormous extent. The first essential is that there be provided a large amount of lime at hand and that each person use it freely.

The second is the protection from flies, as in the other system.

All water for human consumption must be boiled, and all milk sterilised, and scalded.

All food must be protected by means of wire covers, etc from flies. Cleanliness of person, especially in those who have the handling of food, is of paramount importance.

I am afraid that there is going to be a good deal of typhoid fever this year, and in order to check it,  and prevent it getting a hold on the community, it will be necessary to exert the utmost care in every detail.

With regard to Axedale, the distressing seasonal conditions prevailing are the most important factor in this outbreak, and the small number of typhoid cases during the past couple of summers, has given rise to a certain amount of carelessness on the part of the residents, which must be guarded against this summer”.

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