A new book relating the history and chequered career over time of the well-known hotel beside Murchison’s iconic bridge over the Goulburn River in central Victoria, was launched at the end of April. The Autumn colours of the vine covered pergola in the rear courtyard of the historic hotel now called Thornebridge, provided a picturesque setting for the fifty people that attended the launch, among them members of the Thorne and Gregory families, past owners of the hotel. It was also a privilege to have Don Garden, President of Royal Historical Society of Victoria (RHSV), Charles Sowerwine, Chair of RHSV Heritage Committee and Susan Foley attend the event. After Jenny introduced her new book everyone enjoyed a delightful afternoon tea prepared by the catering team from Murchison & District Historical Society.
Keen history researcher and author of many books about Victoria’s stately homes and mansions, Jenny O’Donnell, has compiled this attractive publication. Jenny writes about the beginnings of the hotel, starting with the Thorne family who built the hotel, it’s subsequent owners, notable patrons, it’s rise to become ‘the Mecca of the Goulburn Valley’, its fall into disrepair, as a derelict, vandalised wreck, to its new life, now a beautifully restored building worthy of its Victorian Heritage Register listing. Through diligent research, Jenny has been able to correctly date the planting of the notably large and magnificent London Plane tree that shades the front of the building which is also listed on Victoria’s Heritage Register. Images of the restoration by the current owners completes a great record of this hotel’s life, fondly known in living memory as Gregory’s Hotel by locals, the building now embarks on a new stage in its life as Thornebridge.
The book, THORNEBRIDGE THE BRIDGE HOTEL at MURCHISON, priced at $20. can be purchased from the Murchison Heritage Centre, 4 Stevenson Street, open Saturday mornings from 10am – 12.30pm or to arrange to have a copy posted, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Day’s Mill and farm complex will be open for the public to enjoy, on Saturday May 11th and Sunday May 12th from 10.30am to 3pm. Entry is free.
There will be market stalls, guided tours, heritage displays and Parks Victoria staff available to answer questions about the recent renovations.
As it is the best preserved example of a 19th Century flour mill in Victoria, it feels like time has stood still when you walk around the complex, seeing the items used in the days when it was a going concern and self sufficient, supplying the needs of the family and also surrounding farms and businesses.
For more information call Parks Victoria 131963. Location map below.
Many people will remember Loel and Bryan Thomson who owned the property, Noorilim south of Murchison for many years and during their time there, faithfully renovated the mansion and grounds.
awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in this year’s Australia Day
Honours in the General Division, for service to community history. Loel founded
and has curated the Costume Collection for more than 30 years, an outstanding
collection of costume that reflects 200 years of social history from 1788,
including jewellery and accessories. Now located in Bulleen, the collection
consists of over 10,000 items and Loel has excellent skills in displaying the costume
with amazing attention to detail. The Costume Collection is a spectacular place
to visit, always varied and full of surprises. Entry fees are donated to
charity and Murchison Community Care has been the beneficiary to these proceeds
for many years.
investiture of the Medal took place on 5th of April at Government
House in Melbourne and was presented by the Honourable Linda Dessau, Governor
A very well-deserved honour for Loel, in recognition of her enormous contribution to history; her efforts in assembling what is a unique private collection and displayed it to a high museum standard rivalling any public exhibition around the world. Her generosity is also outstanding in passing on to charities, entry fees from visitors to the Costume Collection. Loel’s husband Bryan has always been a wonderful supporter of Loel’s work and they are a great team.
While they lived at Noorilim, they were members of the Murchison & District Historical Society and made a fantastic contribution with outstanding fundraising efforts and guidance in settling up our Heritage Centre. This award is a great acknowledgement of Loel’s talents and dedication.
Kay Ball, President, Murchison & District Historical Society.
Probably most 97-year-olds would be tucked up in bed by 8.30pm, but not our engaging Guest Speaker, Mrs. Joan Baumber (nee Berwick).
Joan is a most articulate and intelligent speaker, relating her very early years in Yea, and her schooling at Clarendon College Ballarat where Joan thrived. This set her up for a career as Senior Administrative Assistant to Corporate Managers in Melbourne for nearly 20 years. Her parents by this time had moved to ‘Courtney Park’, Murchison. A bit of successful matchmaking by Joan’s aunts brought her single life as a professional business-woman to a close when she married George Baumber. Joan put on the ‘wellies’ and soon learnt all about farming at Dhurringile. When widowed after 19 years of marriage and with two young children still at school, Joan ran the farm very competently. Her involvement in the community as part of many and varied Community Organisations, usually on the Executive, is a credit to Joan. Her love of music and talent at the keyboard, allowed her to contribute musically and she played the organ a Christ Church Murchison for 50 years! It was a delight to listen to Joan’s story. Anne Finlay thanked Joan for sharing her interesting life with us and presented her with a parcel of local products.
Ball presented her report during the formal part of the Annual Meeting and
related some encouraging statistics. Since 2011, over 35,500 people have
accessed our website. Visitors to Heritage Centre during 2018 numbered 553 and
included 11 groups. Highlights of the
year: visit to Thomson’s Costume Collection in May; launch of the children’s
book, Sam’s Meteorite in October; Art Captured awarded Best Local History Book
in Victorian Community History Awards; co-hosting and catering for book launch
of Noorilim: from wool to wine at
Noorilim. Planning is progressing well for
50th anniversary celebrations of the fall of the Murchison meteorite
to be held in September.
Executive Committee elected for the
coming year: President, Kay Ball; Vice President, Warwick Gregory; Treasurer,
Jeff Huddle; Secretary, Marg Lock; Committee members, John Ball, Janet Clarke,
Warwick Finlay and Gloria Polkinghorne.
Over 50 places of heritage and historical significance are open over two days next month, Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd March. (Mosques and Temple Tour will take place on THURSDAY 21ST MARCH). Entry to all venues is FREE. Booklets are available that detail what is on offer, opening hours (variable) and other information. These can be picked up from libraries, Museums, Neighbourhood Houses and Council Offices and at some commercial businesses. Further information can be obtained via website: http://www.greatershepparton.com.au
There are bus tours, walking tours and independent visiting to venues as well. Tours require booking – 5832 9730.
Places to see around the Murchison area are:
Christ Church Anglican Church – notable stained glass windows
Day’s Mill and Farm complex
Dhurringile Mansion – booking required
Former Moorilim Catholic Church – booking required
Irrigation Tour – booking required
Murchison Cemetery and Ossario, talk and tour 10am 11am 12md
As usual, this well attended and well organised event was a great success, starting at 8am with a free breakfast prepared by our wonderful volunteers from State Emergency Service. The weather was mild with a light breeze, ideal for enjoying the lovely swimming pool setting.
Bec Hance provided music and song
MC Bruce Smith did a sterling job keeping the programme moving, announcing lots of awards to our primary school children for their colouring and essay competitions, introducing dignitaries and our own talented musician Bec Hance who entertained us with guitar and songs.
Our guest speaker was Dhurringile local, Sarah Niglia who has achieved so much, from running her own business to excelling in the teaching profession – an inspiring address encouraging any young person to aim for excellence, to attempt challenges and reap the rewards of striving to be the best they can be, which is incidentally, the motto of Murchison Primary School.
Sarah Niglia was our guest speaker
Murchison Citizen of the Year 2019 was awarded to Shelly McCormick, so well deserved for all the support and hard work Shelly has contributed to our town, from sporting organisations to service clubs and of course in her role as Business Manager at Murchison Primary School where she devotes her skills over and above the call of duty. Shelly is often the first to arrive and last to leave and has a wealth of knowledge that she draws on to respond to many requests from both staff and the wider community.
Murchison Citizen of the Year 2019, Shelly McCormick