It was now Tuesday 28th February 2023, and we would be leaving Stawell and heading to Geelong. Along the way we planned on activating a number of parks for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program and silos for the Silos On The Air (SiOTA) program.
After having breakfast in Stawell, Marija and I travelled to the Rossbridge Wildlife Reserve VKFF-2429
Above:- Map showing the location of Rossbridge. Map c/o Google maps.
The town of Rossbridge was established on the Ararat to coast Road during the 1860s. It was named after Ross’s Bridge at the crossing of the Hopkins River. The bridge was named after John Ross, the selector of the Mount William Plains 20,000-acre pastoral run.
The Hopkins River is a perennial river of the Glenelg Hopkins catchment which rises below Telegraph Hill near Ararat and flows south for 271 km and is joined by twelve tributaries. This includes Mount Emu Creek. The Hopkins River eventually joins its mouth and empties into Bass Strait at Warnambool.
A church, a school and numerous residences had been established at Rossbridge by the 1870s. The Rossbridge Post office opened on the 21st day of November 1873. It closed in March 1962.
Above:- the township of Rossbridge. Image c/o Trove.
On the 9th day of February 1863, a tragedy struck the Rossbridge area when four children died after the shepherd’s hut they were sleeping in caught fire. The children john aged 9, William aged 6, Elizabeth aged 4, and Michael aged 2, were the children of Michael Murphy and Catherine Murphy nee Toland. They were buried on the bank of Hopkins River at what was then Gledefield Station. There is a memorial on private property on the Mortlake-Ararat Road. The actual burial site remained unmarked for many years until a landowner became aware of the death of the children and erected a fence around the site. The Ararat Historical Society subsequently erected a plaque.
The old Rossbridge school and church remain today. The school is a private residence.
The Rossbridge Wildlife Reserve is about 148 acres in size. It is located on the northern side of Grange Road. Its northern boundary abuts the Hopkins River.
Above:- An aerial shot showing the Rossbridge Wildlife Reserve. Map c/o Protected Planet
There is a park sign, but it is in poor condition and could be easily missed. The park is generally grassland with some low-lying trees.
Marija and I found an open gate and a track at the southwestern corner of the park. We drove along the track and set up the 20/40/80m linked dipole. It was an overcast and chilly morning, so we operated from inside the 4WD.
We found band conditions to be very poor, although we both managed to get 10 QSOs to qualify the park for the VKFF program.
Our next stop on Monday 27th February 2023, was the Deep Lead Nature Conservation Reserve (NCR) VKFF-2078, which is located about 8 kilometres northwest of the town of Stawell in western Victoria.
Above:- Map showing the location of the Deep Lead NCR. Map c/o Google maps.
In July 1857, gold was discovered between Deep Lead and Stawell. Within a year of the discovery, mining was located almost the distance between Deep Lead and Stawell. ‘Deep Lead’ described the run of gold gravel which was uncovered at great depth that ran normally north-south. At the time it was one of Victoria’s richest alluvial gold fields.
By 1858 Deep Lead had a population of about 12,000 people and it appeared to be the likely administrative centre for the district, above Stawell. By 1860 the majority of gold had been removed from the area and a community of Chinese gold fossickers remained in the area. The Junction Hotel was run by one of the Chinese miners.
In 1857 the Deep Lead schools were opened. In 1858 Catholic and Presbyterian churches were opened. In 1862 a Common School was built. In 1861 the Pleasant Creek Hospital was opened. By 1878 the railway had reached Deep Lead. Between 1921 to the 1940s a eucalyptus distillery ran at Deep Lead.
Deep Lead was described in the 1903 Australian handbook as follows:
Deep Lead does have some infamy attached to it. It is the story of Robert Francis Burns (b. 1840. d. 1883) who was a convicted murderer and probable serial killer.
On the 17th day of January 1882, a miner came across the headless naked corpse at Deep Lead. Police subsequently determined that the head of the victim had been severed by ‘some sharp instrument’. A few months later in April 1882, the Police identified the victim as being Charles Forbes aka Scotty or Charley, and that he had last been seen in company with Robert Francis Burns.
On the 12th day of April 1882, Burns was arrested by Police at Rupanyup near Stawell. On the 28th day of April 1882, Burns was charged in the Stawell police court with the murder of Charles Forbes on or about the 19th day of December 1991. He appeared in court the following day where there was legal argument that the police had failed to prove that Forbes was dead and that ‘he might turn up at any day to confound the police’.
Leading up to the Burns’ trial, the Police undertook extensive enquiries regarding Charles Forbes, particularly if he was still alive. His details were published in various police and government gazetted throughout Australia and New Zealand.
A police officer from the town of Murtoa, Mounted Constable Mullaney was tasked with visiting various settlements in Victoria with printed notices containing a photograph and description of Forbes. Constable Hilliard who was stationed t Deep Lead was dispatched on various trips as far afield as Hobart and New Zealand to make enquiries to locate Forbes. Detective Forster also carried out enquiries in South Australia and other colonies.
Above:- Article from NSW Govt Gazette, Fri 16 Jun 1882. Image c/o Trove.
Burns’ murder trial was held between the 16th and 18th day of August 1882 in the Central Criminal Court, Melbourne, before Justice Williams. A total of 45 witnesses gave evidence, but the identity of the murder victim was never proved beyond doubt and Burns was acquitted. If today’s DNA technology existed back in 1882, the result would most likely have been very different.
Upon leaving the court, Burns was arrested for another murder, that of Michael Quinlivan. Police commenced enquiries into other deaths which were suspected to be connected to Burns.
Burns was held in the Hamilton gaol on remand. He was described by the warders as volatile and savage. During his last three months imprisoned, he barely slept at night with “his rest being broken by most hideous roars and cries”. The police barracks were just a few hundred metres from the gaol and they were “nightly disturbed by his roaring’.
He was subsequently convicted of the murder of Quinlivan and was sentenced to death. He was held at the Ararat Gaol. A Roman Catholic priest, Father Meade was “in constant attendance on him” and efforts were made to elicit a confession from him. This was to no avail and he was described as being “callously indifferent to all the entreaties”.
Burns was hung at the Ararat Gaol on Tuesday the 25th day of September 1883. It was reported that Burns claimed to the hangman, Elijah Upjohn, that he had murdered a total of eight people – five in Victoria, and three in New South Wales. Burns was alleged to have said: “I have cooked eight, five in Victoria and three in Sydney, and now you are going to cook me”.
Very little remains of Deep Lead today. There is the Deep Lead Hall and a memorial to the early pioneers of the district.
The Deep Lead Nature Conservation Parks consists of two distinct parks, No. 1 and No. 2. The Deep Lead NCR No. 2 has three separate sections. One is located on either side of Deep Lead Road, another on either side of Deap Lead Park Road, and the third on the southern side of Germania Mine Road.
Above:- Map showing the location of Deep Lead No. 2 NCR. Map c/o Protected Planet.
The park provides a habitat for a variety of native birds and mammals, including some endangered species including the Swift parrot and the squirrel glider. The park contains about 350 species of native plants, including several species of rare ground orchids. The park was first established in 1982 when 2,800 acres were set aside. In 2002 a further 1,855 acres were added to the park.
The absolute highlight of this activation was being called by Tom KH9/NL7RR on Wake Island. Yes he called us. We couldn’t believe it. Wake Island is listed as the 33rd most-wanted DXCC entity in the world.
Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-
I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-
I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-
I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-
With a total of 65 QSOs in the log, Marija and I packed up and headed to get a bite to eat and back to our accommodation in Stawell. We had one night in Stawell before heading off for Geelong.
After leaving the Tarranginnie silo (27th February 2023), Marija and I drove a little further to the east to the town of Nhill. Nhill is located in the Wimmera region of Victoria, about 352 kilometres southeast of the city of Adelaide, and 340 kilometres northwest of the city of Melbourne.
Above:- Map showing the location of Nhill. Map c/o Google maps.
The first known Europeans in the area were squatters George Belcher and Dugald Macpherson who arrived in the area in 1844/1845. They located a large swamp and lagoon. They spoke with the local Wotjobaluk aboriginal people who called the area Nyell which is believed to mean mist or spirits over water. Belcher and Macpherson called it Nhill swamp. Macpherson also named his pastoral run as Nhill.
During the 1850s the famous gold escort route between the Victorian goldfields and Adelaide passed within 6 kilometres of the homestead which became a postal receiving and dispatch location.
Above:- George Belcher and Dugald Macpherson. Images c/o Wikipedia.
From around 1875, other settlers arrived in the district and commenced to select their freehold farm selections. Following the town survey, a flour mill and a store were built in 1880. By 1881, the town had a police station, a Wesleyan church and two further hotels. This was followed by the opening of a school in a Bible Christian church, a hospital in 1882, a racing club in 1883, and an agricultural and pastoral society in 1884.
By 1886 the railway had reached Nhill following the introduction of the Victorian ‘Octopus Act’. This was a bill that authorised the construction of 59 new railway lines to connect all of the major towns in Victoria. As a result, there was substantial development in the town. In 1888 the Lowan Shire Hall was built and in 1889 a large flour mill was opened.
Above:- a view of Nhill in 1920 from the top of the Noske flour silo. Image c/o State Library Victoria.
A walk around Nhill will reveal many of the historic buildings.
Nhill is the birthplace of one of Australia’s most admired Lyric Poet, John Shaw Neilson. His cottage in which he was born on the 22nd day of February 1872, can be found in the town. It was originally located on Racecourse Road but was relocated and restored by the Rotary Club of Nhill. In October 1961 the cottage was offered to the Nhill Historical Society and it was dismantled, with each piece being numbered and then moved to safe storage in Nhill. It was then re-erected and opened to the public on the 9th day of April 1972. It can be found at the Nhill Jaypex Public Park on the Western Highway.
Also at the park, you can find an aboriginal scar tree. It was removed from the Western Highway at the Jeparit Road junction. It is believed the bark was removed from the tree trunk in about 1800 for use as a canoe. This was prior to the earliest European exploration of the area by Major Mitchell.
Marija and I decided to do a joint park and silo activation at Nhill. The northern section of the Nhill Swamp Wildlife Reserve VKFF-2412 is within the activation zone for the silo.
The Nhill Swamp Wildlife Reserve is 160 acres in size and is located on the southern side of the Western Highway, just beyond the Jaypex Public Park, and on the eastern side of the Nhill-Harrow Road.
There is an excellent boardwalk that crosses the swamp and a birdhide.
During our visit, there was a lot of water in the swamp, and as a result, there was an abundance of birdlife. I didn’t get to spend as long as I would have liked here, but below you can see some of the bird photographs which I took.
It is believed that the last large corroboree in the Wimmera region of Victoria was in 1866 at the Nhill swamp, when the Lake Hindmarsh, Dimboola, Mortat and Tyatyalla tribes gathered to dance and celebrate at the swamp.
It was probably 1941 before a similar type of “white man” gathering was held at the swamp in the form of the NHILL Scout regatta. Another ritual of sorts was Guy Fawkes night by the Swamp.
During the 1900s the swamp saw a considerable amount of duck shooting during Duck Season. It was not uncommon for 1,000 ducks to be shot in the opening day. As early as the early part of the 1900s attempts were made to have the swamp declared a sanctuary. Opponents stated that ducks required culling as they destroyed farmer’s crops and that ducks would spread disease amongst the congested wildlife as there were too many ducks.
Above:- part of an article from the Weekly Times, Melbourne, Sat 21 Feb 1914. c/o Trove
In 1911 a typhoid outbreak in Nhill was blamed on the Nhill swamp. In March 1911 the Ballarat Star stated:-
“The Nhill Swamp, during the last three or four weeks developed an all-pervading and ominous odour, while the water has taken on the tinge of pale mustard.
As the whole of the filth of the town is carried by the gutters and drains into the Swamp in which the boys and youths bathe, and from which they take sackful’s of yabbies for the family supper, it does not seem illogical to connect the outbreak of typhoid with this unsavoury state of affairs.
Five cases are in the NHILL hospital, but all are doing well. Captain Matsen, B.Sc. a veterinary surgeon, has a culture farm of bacteria taken from the delectable compound which turgidly oozes into the Swamp and he states that the microcosms are the most truculent villains he has seen.”
Above: Article from the Ballarat Star, Wed 15 Mar 1911. Image c/o Trove.
It was at about this time that it was suggested that the Nhill swamp be cleared of trees and made into a common and that ‘a considerable amount of revenue’ could be obtained by having cows paddocked there. It was suggested that ornamental trees could be planted around the swamp to make it ‘an attractive lake.’
Above:- Item from the Nhill Free Press, Tue 20 Oct 1914. Image c/o Trove.
In 1914 the beautification of the swamp was called for. The local Member Parliament for Lowan, James Menzies gave examples of Ballarat’s Lake Wendouree. He stated that with the clearing of timber and some landscape gardening, the swamp could be turned into a spot of beauty.
Above:- part of an article from the Nhill Free Press, Tue 24 Nov 1914. Image c/o Trove.
During 1915 the local Council did in fact clear about 32 large gum and box trees from the swamp. They used a ‘Bunyip Forest Devil’ for the job. It was a machine used for light and heavy timber felling. It pulled down a tree by mechanical leverage, sometimes with a winch.
Above:- A Bunyip Forest Devil in action. Image c/o State Library South Australia.
Prior to the establishment of the Nhill public baths, the Nhill swamp was used as the local swimming hole and featured a diving board. In 1917, a letter to the Editor of the Nhill Free Press, suggested that a ‘proper dressing place’ be erected at the swamp and that ‘a number of young men and women who are good swimmers, volunteer each evening to coach our boys and girls in the art of swimming’.
Local stores including the Goldsworthy & Coles Big Store saw their opportunity and took advantage of the popularity of swimming at Nhill swamp, and commenced advertising bathing costumes.
Above:- A letter to the editor, Nhill Free Press, Tue 16 Jan 1917. Image c/o Trove.
During the mid 1930s a malaria scare occurred at Nhill which was blamed on the swamp. A local doctor urged that the council treat the swamp with crude oil.
Above:- article from The Age, Melbourne, Wed 24 Feb 1937. Image c/o Trove.
The swamp has been the scene of some very interesting cases over the years.
In 1910 the Chronicle reported a ‘horse suicide’ at the swamp, claiming a horse broke through a fence and ‘dashed straight into a swamp close b and was drowned’.
Above:- Article from the Chronicle, Adelaide, Sat 31 Dec 1910. Image c/o Trove.
In 1909 an alligator escaped from a sideshow and was found at the Nhill swamp.
Above:- Article from The Narracoorte Herald, Tue 16 Nov 1909. Image c/o Trove
The swamp has also been home to a motoring gymkhana, and has been the backdrop to a Country Fire Authority film.
Flooding from the swamp has occurred many times over the years. In 1910 it was reported that:
“our so called swamp is now a fine sheet of water, approaching nine miles in circumference, and in parts from 12 to 15 feet deep”.
Above:- Article from The Ballarat Star, Thu 13 Oct 1910. Image c/o Trove
The history of the flour mill and silo at Nhill is interesting, and even more so for me as it involves the Noske family. My grandfather was a Noske and directly related to the Noske family who were involved in the mill and silo at Nhill.
In 1900 Traugott Johann Noske (b. 1866. d. 1948) purchased the Horsham flour mill which had been built in 1873 by John Gillies. In 1903 Traugott formed a partnership with W.A. Gunn and W.H. Nichterlein and they purchased a mill at Warracknabeal. In 1905 that mill was sold and the Wimmera and Lowan mills at Nhill were purchased. He also purchased the Arapiles mill at Natimuk which was destroyed by fire in 1920. The company became Noske Bros in 1909 and in 1919 a Proprietary company.
In 1914 the flour mill at Bordertown in South Australia was purchased. This was sold in 1920 not long after the flour mills at Charlton and Wycheproof had been purchased.
In 1918 Traugott Noske and his brother Ernest Noske arranged to have built a large bulk storage bin built at their Horsham mill. In 1919 they built an even larger one at Nhill. It was designed by James Batson. The silo at Nhill is the largest single-cell concrete grain silo in the Southern Hemisphere. The silo is 100 feet tall with a diameter of 50 feet. It has a capacity of 135,000+ bushels (3,674t) of wheat. The silo cost £7,000 to build which in today’s costs is the equivalent of about $AUD 676,784.49.
Above:- the Noske silo and mill at Nhill. Image c/o Museums Victoria.
In 1925 the flour mill in Murray Bridge was purchased. During the 1920s the Noske brothers had also invested in the Portland Cement Company. In 1927 a new flour mill was built at Charlton.
During the 1930s and the Great Depression, the Noske brothers faced bankruptcy but the business continued to trade. By the 1950s the Noske Company still had mills in Horsham, Nhill, Charlton, and Murray Bridge. The Nhill silo closed in 1958. In 1973 Noske Pty Ltd moved into stock feeding from flour milling, and the Murray Bridge mill closed.
The Nhill Silo Heritage Project seeks to purchase the silo complex on behalf of the Nhill & Districts community.
After leaving Diapur, we drove a short distance along the Nhill-Diapur Road and soon reached the Tarranginnie silo VK-TRE3.
Above:- Map showing the location of Tarranginnie. Map c/o Google maps.
Tarranginne is a rural district about 12 kilometres west of the town of Nhill. It is believed that Tarranginnie is an aboriginal word describing a man with sore feet. European settlement of the Tarranginnie area commenced in the 1870s with wheat-growing areas opened up for farming. In 1870 the Tarranginnie school was opened. By the 1880s there were four schools that carried the name Tarranginnie with a suffix to indicate their direction on the compass. Tarranginnie was located on the railway line from Serviceton to Adelaide which was completed in 1887. By 1890 the town of Tarranginnie was surveyed.
Above:- Department of Crown Lands & Survey document, 1890. Image c.o State Library Victoria.
By 1948 the Tarranginnie schools had closed with students from the area being bussed to Nhill for their schooling.
The Australian pet, John Shaw Neilson, attended the Tarranginnie East School between 1885 – 1886.
Above:- Show Shaw Neilson. Image c/o Wikipedia.
You can find a memorial cairn at Tarranginnie to commemorate the Tarranginnie State School which closed in 1948.
The wheat silos at Tarranginnie were constructed in 1939.
We pulled up right alongside the silo and operated from the 4WD, running the Icom IC-7000, 100 watts, and the Codan 9350 antenna. We found band conditions to be extremely poor.
Above:- the activation zone at the Tarranginnie silo. Image c/o SiOTA website.
Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-
I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-
Feeling very disappointed with band conditions, we left with just 11 stations in the log, and headed into the town of Nhill.
We only had to drive a short distance (27th February 2023) to our next stop, the small town of Diapur. It was here that we intended to activate Jumping Jack Wattle Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2120 and the Diapur silo VK- DPR3.
Above:- Map showing the location of Diapur. Map c/o Google maps.
The town of Diapur sits on the Melbourne-Adelaide railway line and is the halfway point of the journey between the two cities. The town was surveyed in 1886. It was originally known as Diaper (or Diapar) Spring. Siapur is an aboriginal word meaning crabhole or swamp.
Above:- Department of Crown Lands Survey map of Diapur. Image c/o State Library Victoria.
Once a thriving town, it now has a scattering of houses, a hall, and the old hall.
Diapur was the site of a general store built by George Coles, who I mentioned in my previous post regarding Miram. His son, also called George, was the founder of G.J Coles & Co. George Snr lived with his parents in the Wimmera region of Victoria and initially worked in a good mine at Stuart Mill. When his father was injured in a mining accident, George commenced working in his father’s shop/ Following the expansion of the railroad, he took up a job with a wheat agent at Jung. It was not long before he purchased the business. He then moved to Diapur and opened the general store, a blacksmith shop, and a hotel.
During the late 1880s George moved to Geelong. He leased the hotel at Diapur and left brother Jim in charge of the store.
The old Coles store was subsequently moved north to the town of Yanac
Above:- The old Coles store from Diapur. Image c/o Treasures of Nhill Facebook page.
The Diapur silos are located on the Nhill-Diapur Road.
The Jumping Jack Wattle Nature Conservation Reserve is within the silo activation zone, so we decided to do a dual silo & park activation.
Above:- the activation zone at the Diapur silo. Image c/o SiOTA website.
The park sign actually read Diapur Flora Reserve. But the park’s official name is Jumping Jack Wattle Nature Conservation Reserve. It takes its name from Jumping Jack Wattle, a dense, rounded, sprawling and prickly shrub that grows to about 1.5 metres. The seed pods are zigzag shaped and resemble the firecracker known as jumping jack. Hence the name.
The park is located on the northern side of the Diapur-Miram Road, on the western side of the town of Diapur. It is only very small, about 4 acres in size.
Above:- An aerial view of the park showing our operating spot. Image c/o Protected Planet.
After leaving Lillimur, Marija and I drove a little further along the Western Highway and into the town of Kaniva, about 18 km from the South Australia/Victoria State border.
Prior to European settlement in the area, the Kaniva region was home to the Wotjobaluk, Jaadwa, Jadawadjali, Wergaia and Jupagik aboriginal people.
In 1845, a South Australian squatter named Heighway Jones, settled in the Kaniva district and commenced sheep grazing. By 1851 the Tattyara run was gazetted, with the Tattyara homestead located just a few kilometres from the current township of Kaniva. Tattyara was named after the Tyatyalla aboriginal people who inhabited the Kaniva district. On the 1st day of December 1881, the Nudjik Post Office was opened and renamed Kaniva in the following year in 1882. The origin of the name Kaniva is unclear. It has been suggested that it is derived from Kinnivie in Durham, England, or from Cniva who was a 3rd-century Gothic chieftain who commenced the invasion of the Roman empire. Others suggest the name is an aboriginal word.
The Kaniva area contains various rare flora and fauna including the rare Red-tailed black cockatoo. The Shire of West Wimmera prohibits the felling of dead trees as these are used as nesting sites for the cockatoos.
Kaniva is home to the Sheep Art Trail. The concept of the Sheep Art Trail was from a stencil day held in November 2010 where over 100 property stencils were brought in to record the sheep history of the Kaniva district. A Sheep Art committee was formed and an application was made for funding to paint a flock of fibreglass sheep was applied for. The application was unsuccessful. Local businesses and community groups subsequently donated money to allow the project to proceed.
Whilst we were in Kaniva we spotted some toys in a shop window and we couldn’t resist. In we went to buy something for our two beautiful grandchildren.
We left Kaniva and drove a short distance to the town of Miram where we intended to activate the Miram silo for the Silos On The Air (SiOTA) program.
Above:- Map showing the location of Miram. Map c/o google maps.
Miram is located about 10 kilometres northeast of Kaniva. It was named after a locality called mripiram later known as Miram Piram and later shorted to Miram in 1904. It is believed that Miram is an aboriginal word for bough of a tree.
The settlement of the Miram district occurred during the 1870s. In 1884 a school was opened in the district. Following the extension of the railway line from Dimboola to Serviceton, the Miram district flourished with wheat crops being carried by road wagons to Dimboola or South Australia.
In 1888 Miram’s first store was opened by George Coles (b. 1855. d. 1931). He already had a store in the nearby town of Diapur. His son George James Coles (b. 1885. d. 1977) was the founder of G.J. Coles and Company.
Above:- George Coles who opened the Miram store. Image c/o ancestry.com.au
The Coles’ store in Miram operated until it was sold in 1892. In 1903 Phillip Wheaton purchased the store and it was in operation as a store and post office until its closure in 2000. It was not until I got home that I realised the significance of the old building we had seen in this tiny town.
Above:- the old Coles store, Miram. Image c/o Google Street view.
In 1890 an Anglican church was built. In 1914 a public hall was constructed. The Miram school closed in 1952 with students attending the Kaniva Consolidated school. The Miram Anglican and Methodist churches were closed in 1960 and 1964.
Above:- a farmer at work on his farm with a team of horses. Image c/o Weekly Times, Melbourne, Sat 21 Sep 1929, Trove.
The silos at Miram were constructed in 1939 alongside the railway line.
We parked right alongside the silo and operated from the 4WD, running the Icom IC-7000, 100 watts, and the Codan 930 antenna.
Above:- the activation zone at the Miram silo. Image c/o SiOTA website.
After leaving Tintinara, Marija and I continued southeast on the Dukes Highway and we soon crossed the South Australia/Victoria State border. We continued east on the Western Highway, with our next stop being the little town of Lillimur in western Victoria, about 15km from the State border.
Above:- Map showing the location of Lillimur in western Victoria. Map c/o Google maps.
Lillimur takes its name from the Lillymur pastoral station which was established in 1866. It is believed that the name Lillimur was derived from the aboriginal word meaning bone or wattle gum.
Are you ready to be confused? In 1878 a township was reserved at Lillimur South and was first called Lillimur. In 1879, a settlement to the north, with a school opened there in 1879. This was called Kaniva. In 1881 a flour mill was opened further to the east and the name Kaniva was associated with it. This is the town of Kaniva as we know it today. Lillimur became Lillimur South, and the former settlement of Kaniva became the present-day Lillimur.
Prior to the development of current-day Kaniva, Lillimur was a bustling town with several stores, two hotels, a Wesleyan church built in 1881, and a mechanics institute that was built in 1882.
In 1887 the extension of the railway occurred from Dimboola to Serviceton. This resulted in the line running through Kaniva and bypassing Lillimur. As a result, Kaniva became the prominent town in the district. Despite that, Lillimur still had a courthouse, and a number of churches – Presbyterian, Catholic, Methodist, Anglican, and Church of Christ.
Below is a description of Lillimur in 1903 in the Australian handbook.
Above:- Image c/o Victorian Places.
Sadly today not much remains of what was once the thriving town of Lillimur. But, one of the interesting structures in the town which does remain, is the old courthouse and post office. I suspect that the vast majority of people who drive through the town would just view the building as an old abandoned house in a very poor state of disrepair. Not many would know its history.
The old Lillimur Post office and courthouse is a weatherboard building with a brick chimney, that was built in 1887. It operated as a courthouse from 1887 until its closure in 1892. In 1913 it became a Post Office.
Below is a photo of what the building once looked like.
Above:- Photo c/o Lillimur, Victoria Facebook page.
Below is an excellent video of this historic building. It includes some old photographs of what the building once looked like. I find it very sad that it sits in the state if disrepair that it is today.
We headed to the Lillimur silos which are located on the southern edge of the town on K Clarks Road which runs off Station Road. The silo is operated by Graincorp.
We operated from the 4WD for this activation, running the Icom IC-7000, 100 watts, and the Codan 9350 antenna mounted on the rear of the 4WD.
Above:- Map showing the silo activation zone, and our operating spot. Map c/o SiOTA website.
On Monday 27th February 2023, Marija VK5MAZ and I headed off on our way to the Avalon Air Show in Geelong. On day one we planned on travelling to Stawell in western Victoria where we would stay for one night, and then head off to Geelong. The drive from home to Stawell was about 475 km. We planned on activating some silos and parks along the way.
Above:- Map showing our route from home to Stawell in Victoria. Map c/o Google maps.
Our first stop for the day was the little town of Tintinara, about 188 km southeast of the city of Adelaide.
The area around Tintinara was first settled by Europeans during the 1840s, with graziers moving their flocks of sheep into the area. This was followed in about 1860 by the building of Tintinara homestead by brothers Thomas Wilde Boothby (b. 1839. d. 1908) and James Henry Boothby (b. 1841. d. 1920). They were the sons of Chief Justice Benjamin Boothby. They held a 427 square km lease in the Tintinara district. In 1865, William Harding and George Bunn, the new owners of the Tintianara homestead, built a 16-stand shearing shed and accompanying shearers’ quarters on the property. In 1868 the Tintinara Post office was opened.
The town of Tintinara was proclaimed on the 30th day of August 1906. In 1907 the Tintinara School opened with 12 students and Miss Maud Jackson as the teacher.
The origin of the name of Tintinara is unclear. An article entitled ‘Reminiscences of an old colonist’ appeared in The Register, Adelaide, on Tuesday 22nd April 1919. It was the reminiscences of James Henry Boothby. He wrote:
“We had a smart young g blackfellow in our employ, with a name that sounded like ‘Tin Tin. We liked the sound of it, and when choosing a name for the station we put an ‘ara’ at the end of it, and made Tintinara’ of it.
Above:- portion of the article from The Register, Tues 22 April 1919. Image c/o Trove.
There is an aboriginal word tinyara meaning ‘boy’, ‘lad’, or ‘youth’.)
John Philip Gell, Principal of Queens School, Hobart, stated in a lecture on the vocabulary of the Kaurna aboriginal people, that the name derived from tinlinyara, the Aboriginal name for stars in ‘Orion’s Belt’. It is said that it depicts a number of young aboriginal men hunting emus, kangaroos and other native animals on the great celestial plain in the sky.
In the 1915 publication of ‘Names of South Australian Railway Stations’ it states that Tintinara:
“Was the name of a blackfellow who used to loaf about the original Boothby homestead. Mrs. Boothby suggested the name as being a pretty one”.
Tintinara has an excellent visitor centre which is located in the old railway station. It is well worth a visit if you are in the area. The building features a magnificent mural.
There is a good parking area at the Visitor Centre and a small park to stretch your legs, along with toilet facilities.
The Tintinara silos are just down from the visitor centre. They are owned by Viterra Australia.
It was a little noisy at the Visitor Centre so Marija and Drove down a little bit to a spot adjacent to the silos. We ran the Icom IC7000 in the vehicle for this activation, 100 watts, and the Codan 9350 antenna mounted on the rear of the 4WD
Marija made the following QSOs on 40m SSB:-
VK5TRM/p (Newland Head Conservation Park VKFF-0922)
I made the following QSOs on 40m SSB:-
VK5TRM/p (Newland Head Conservation Park VKFF-0922)