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Book re-opens on history

(L-R) Richard Biden and David Binks review the newly reprinted book at the recent launch. Photo – Helen Tatchell

By Helen Tatchell

“The importance of Historical Societies
in a community cannot be over emphasised.
They provide a link with the past
by recording history
which in turn becomes
a valuable reference document
for future generations.”
– Cr. Robert Molesworth
Shire President (1989)

The Beatles sang “It was 20-years ago today…”, but for one local historical group it has been 30-years ago today.
It was on 2 June 1989 the original and inaugural ‘A Pictorial History of the Shire of Ballan’ was launched, and on this same day in 2019, the reprinting of said book was also launched.
Members from Ballan Shire Historical Society Inc joined members from Bacchus Marsh, Ballarat, Mt Egerton, Bungaree and Daylesford for an official re-launch at the Ballan Courthouse on Sunday 2 June 2019.
Moorabool Mayor Cr Paul Tatchell and Cr John Keogh also attended.
President Catherine Green said it was a huge effort in compilation and a great way to publicise the Society.
“The book began in 1987 as an idea to document the European settlement in the area and was originally funded by the 1988 Bi-Centennial Authority and matched dollar-for-dollar by the Ballan Shire Council,” she said.
“Thanks must go to three ladies, Jessie Dehnert, Doris Hastie and Janette Williams for their weeks and months of original work.
“The book today complements the original book and the Society is very appreciative of local monetary grants to reprint from Ballan & District Community Bank Branch and Moorabool Wind Farm, as these grants add to the life of local communities.”
The original 200-page book was launched in 1989, along with 200-people, in the Ballan Mechanics Hall by former MLA for Ballarat North Mr Tom Evans who praised it as “one of the best local histories I have read”.
In an extract from ‘The Settler’ (Vol 1 #9 June 1989), the Society said they were delighted to have present among its guests, three descendants of pioneer settlers of the district pictured in the first chapter “1838-1862”.
Mr Evans went on to say at the 1989 launch the book not only gave a picture of the early pioneers of the district and the hardships they endured, but also revealed the contribution that the Shire of Ballan had made to “the development of Victoria through timber, gold and wool production and the valuable resource of water”.
It is a pictorial record of 150-years of European settlement in the area bounded by Korweinguborra, Gordon, Mt Egerton, Morrisons, Beremboke, Mt Wallace, Blackwood and Barry’s Reef.
Copies of the ‘A Pictorial History of the Shire of Ballan’ are available through the Historical Society for $35. Contact Richard on 5368 2544 or email bshs@hotmail.com.au