NEWSLETTER No. 1 (Jan.-Feb. 1978)

Executive Officers:

Chairman: Mr. W. J. H. Read
Secretary: Mrs. Faye Dobbyn
Committee: Mr. Keith Holden, Mr. Geoffrey Howard, Mr. Lester Stephen, Major Carlyle Stephen


The Inaugural Meeting of the "Port Phillip Pioneers" Group was held in Scots Church Hall on 29th May 1970.

The meeting, which was attended by about 90 people, was convened by Mr. Trevor Hart. It was decided that such a group be formed and that membership would be available to those who could prove they had descended from arrivals in the Port Phillip area between 1835 and 1845.

The first members were announced in June 1971, with our Honorary Secretary, Miss Muriel Runting becoming our first Pioneer Group member.

On 6th September 1975, the qualifying period for membership was extended to include descendants of those arrivals in the Port Phillip District before 1st July 1851, when the District was formally separated from New South Wales and became Victoria.

Miss Runting and Mr. Schumer were amongst the earliest Chairmen of the Group and Mr. Schumer was the first Examiner of Proofs. On his resignation, Mr. Geoffrey Howard took over that task and in 1976 Mr. Bill Read took over as Chairman.

While there were some teething troubles with the new group, these have now been resolved and the Group is working quietly and smoothly towards better co-ordination of the facilities offered to members providing a sustained interest in Genealogical matters, once a member has completed his researches.

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La Trobe Library Visit

A number of members and friends enjoyed a most interesting night at the la Trobe Library late last year.

Particular attention was given to the period we are interested in and we were very fortunate to see books, drawings and items which are not normally on display to the outside public.

All voted it a well worthwhile visit.

Bus Tour of old Melbourne Sites:

About twenty-five members of the Group enjoyed a bus tour of many of the sites of old Melbourne last November.

Commencing at Queen's Wharf, the tour took in most of the western part of Melbourne including old St. James and the Flagstaff Gardens before travelling around the newer parts of Melbourne in the East, where Scots Church, the Independent Church and the Old Melbourne Gaol were visited. Travelling over Princes Bridge to Governor La Trobe Cottage for a brief visit, the tour stopped at the Independence Tree in the Botanical Gardens where a quick cuppa was also enjoyed. As the day was very hot this was much appreciated.

The trip back to Queens Wharf was via Batman Avenue and the Hobson's Bay Station.

Bill Read thanked Keith Holden for the interesting commentary given on the tour.

Did You See?

The Kew Historical Society will re-enact the landing of Surveyor-General Charles Edward Grimes at Dight's Falls on February 3rd, 1803. This will take place on April 22nd, and mark the discovery of Melbourne by the first white, 175 years ago.

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( Michael thought members might be interested in the first newsletter produced by the Port Phillip Pioneers Group,
so the above is the first page for you to take a peep at times gone by. )

( Contributed by Michael Grogan - PPPG Member No. 1332 )

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