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Tarnagulla activities

This page is dedicated to posting  Tarnagulla and District history items

which may be of interest to visitors to the Waanyarra site.

2017 Vintage Fair

Out N About 3


Dear Families and Friends of Waanyarra,

I apologise for the long break since the last Newsletter,  but I will try and rectify that in the next couple of months. Unfortunately this email is only going to those who have a current email address registered with me, so if you know of anyone who is interested in Waanyarra who is not on email please pass on a copy and also encourage anyone with an email address to pass it on to me so I can add them to my mailing list.

Meanwhile the Tarnagulla History Group will be holding its 4th Annual History Weekend at Tarnagulla on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th October 2015.

This event is of course part of the Out And About In Tarnagulla weekend which is conducted each year under the auspices of the Shire of Loddon. You can see from the brochure attached that many activities are scheduled, especially on Sunday 4th, and all visitors can be assured of an enjoyable, interesting and fun time.

The historic Victoria Theatre is once again the venue for the history exhibition, and the display has become a very popular focal point for both family historians and those with an interest in Tarnagulla’s past.

We hope that by now you all have the event firmly marked in your diaries, and look forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones over the October weekend. If you would like information about the other events and activities planned for the Out And About weekend, then you can contact Shire of Loddon on 5494 1257 or:

As you know the Tarnagulla History Group (driven with a vengeance by David Gordon) is always on the lookout for anything associated with Tarnagulla and District  history. If you have something you can share, then please bring it along.

Barbara Thompson recently allowed David to scan and upload another large segment of her excellent collection of Davies family images, and these can be seen at: . The Davies were a huge part of Tarnagulla.  John Davies was one of four Welshmen who each had a quarter interest in this fabulously wealthy Prince of Wales claim on the Poverty Reef mining claim. In 1876 William and Emma Davies took over the proprietorship of the Victoria Hotel and Theatre. They proved to be excellent hoteliers, and would successfully operate the hotel for the next 28 years. WM Davies passed away in 1898 and Emma eventually disposed of the business in 1904. Barbara Thomson has indicated she will have her photographic collection at the Tarnagulla History Group Display at the ‘Out and About’ weekend in October, and you will be able to see all the original old images which are in excellent condition considering their age. Of special interest will be a programme of events for a fund-raising concert held at Newbridge Mechanics’ Institute in 1893. This beautiful program has been printed on silk cloth by Thomas Page of the Tarnagulla Courier, and is of real historical importance. Barbara also has a photograph of several of the actors in the concert, two of whom would become her great grandparents – Emma Davies and Thomas Leonard!

Another special feature this year, Mary Balle is coming out from the USA with copies of her new book, From Ireland to Oz. Mary has a special connection with Tarnagulla. She is a great-great niece of one of Tarnagulla’s first hotel-keepers, Kate Kirwan. The Rising Sun Hotel was initially licensed by Kate and her husband in 1854, followed by the Halfway Hotel near the cemetery, and finally the old Maidentown Hotel at Llanelly. Mary has spent a lot of time in the Tarnagulla district over the years in researching her family’s history, and I’m sure her new book will make a very welcome addition to Tarnagulla’s historical records – as well as being a ripping good read. I know you will all make Mary welcome

Also available will be part 3 of David Gordon’s latest Book Tarnagulla’s Golden History, subtitled Progress, Development and the Big Miners – 1869 to 1890. The cost is $27 postage included, and you can email David direct at if you would like to make arrangements to buy a copy. This is the best of David’s books, all of which are a must for old Tarnagulla’ites or those interested in its history and is great reading. Highly recommended.
If you have not recently visited the Tarnagulla website at then you should do so as there is a wealth of new material that has been uncovered. A great deal as a result of the good and tireless work of David Gordon.

Below are a couple of Waanyarra photographs recently added to the Tarnagulla site by David Gordon.

Waanyarra Sports Committee, May 1905. This image was taken at the Waanyarra Sports Ground. Courtesy  David Gordonimage001 

Cycling Clubs at Waanyarra, May 1905. Courtesy  David Gordon


Kind Regards
George Swinburne,
Convenor, Waanyarra Reunion,

Out N About 1

Out N About 2

Tarnagulla Out and About 4 and 5 October 2014_Page_1

Tarnagulla Out and About 4 and 5 October 2014p2_Page_2

Sunday October 6th. 2013

Tarnagulla Out n About 6 October 2013


Tarnagulla & District History Group Flyer 2013

SUNDAY SEPT. 30th. 2012





Good morning again,

Here’s a longer report on the day’s activities.

The weather was great (despite the forecast!), the Victoria Theatre was full of interesting things to look at, and the only question was how many visitors would turn up.

Parking in the main street and surrounds became hard to find from an early hour, and by the time I opened the Theatre doors at 9:30am (half an hour earlier than advertised), visitors started to filter in and, to our great surprise and pleasure, kept coming and coming.

We were less than vigilant in getting people to sign the attendance book, but there are still well over 100 names recorded. I estimate an attendance on the day of more than 250, and many people stayed for hours and hours reading, looking, chatting and so on.

The old Theatre looked great and is of course worth a visit in its own right. We were able to supplement the existing photo collection with quite a bit of additional material, including a selection of the old Reunion photos, which attracted a great deal of interest.

In addition to this, many, many people brought along historic material of their own. Our intention had initially been to scan up as much of this as possible but, as it turned out, we were simply overwhelmed by the volume. (We could have used four scanners going all day, I reckon). My apologies to those people I/we were simply unable to spend more time with in going over their important records, and I hope we can make arrangements with you to do so separately over coming months.

It’s risky to name names because I’m certain to forget someone, but I must thank those that helped with the set-up and bump-out including Phil Spencer (who did a magnificent job with the rolling video display, signage, scanning, etc.), Rod Corrie (who came up from Geelong for the two days), Richard and Trish Shiell for their lovely collection of Aulich/Pallot/Brideson material, George Swinburne (always a solid contributor and also convenor of the Waanyarra reunions) and Cameron Clark who wasn’t able to be there on the day but provided a great deal of support via the website and so on.

We were able to put many, many names to faces on the Reunion Photographs, and a great deal of credit for this is due to Norma Condick and Heather Perry (Win and Les Williams Family) who laboured away for hours with magnifying glasses. The results of their efforts will be posted on the website over coming weeks, so keep an eye out for his.

Peter Williams brought along the family’s entire collection of old photos and there is some great material there which we will need to arrange with Peter to copy and put up on the website. There are some particularly nice old large-format photos of Thomson and Comrie’s Exchange Store, and these certainly need to be preserved.

The Charles Baker (ex-postmaster, among other things) family had some nice pictures and documents as did Coral and Des Akers, Wilma and Dave Evans, Edna Arnold, Keren and Dennis Carnell, and the list goes on and on. If I’ve forgotten you, I apologise. It was a very, very busy day.

I must pass on a vote of thanks to the Victoria Hall Committee, all the Out ‘n About team including Jan King, Jan Sharman and the others, Wendy Sutton and the CFA team for the nicely-cooked sausages and also Robyn Vella of the Shire of Loddon who was so helpful to us. I must also mention Councillor Allen Brownbill and his partner who very kindly helped with the theatre pack-up. Allen is of course very supportive in many ways.

I have several photos of the day’s activities which I’ll post up over coming days.

All the best,

David Gordon.