"Benayeo" Estate WW1 Soldier Settlement
Apsley, S-W Victoria, Australia
Glenelg & Wannon Region, S-W Victoria, Australia
1848

New Magistrate (Mr. Hugh L. M'LEOD)
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New Magistrate.--Among the recent appointments to the Commission of the Peace in New South Wales appears the name of Hugh Lawrence McLeod, Esq., Benyeo. Mr. McLeod is son of the late Major McLeod of Van Diemen's Land, and is a settler near the boundary line.

Source : "The Courier" (Hobart Town.) Wednesday, 14 June 1848.


1880

PRESENTATION (Mr. & Mrs Hugh L. M'LEOD)
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PRESENTATION.--The other day a very flattering presentation was made to Mr. H. L. M'Leod, of Benyeo station, on the occasion of his leaving the locality. The testimonial took the form of a beautifully illuminated address expressing the regret of those signing it at parting with a gentleman who had resided for 36 years amongst them, and offering to Mr. and Mrs. M'Leod and family their best wishes for their future well-being. There was also presented to Mrs. M'Leod a handsome photographic album containing the portraits of all the subscribers to the testimonial. The presentation was made at a tea meeting held in the Beneyeo schoolhouse, and about fifty ladies and gentlemen were present at the spread. Mr. M'Leod returned thanks in an appropriate manner, and his feelings almost overcame him when he spoke of leaving the home where he had spent so many happy days. Some music from the choir and a few short addresses from some friends, however, speedily restored the cheerfulness of the evening, and the party separated after singing "Auld Lang Syne" in the orthodox Scotch fashion.--"Hamilton Spectator."

Source : "The Border Watch" (Mount Gambier, SA) Saturday, 23rd October 1880.


1919

LAND FOR SOLDIERS.
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In Wednesday's "Argus" there appeared the following letter from the pen of Mr J. D. MacInnes, of Caulfeld, formerly of Horsham :-- "The successful settlement of soldiers on the land is of so much importance that I feel impelled to write directing attention to an area of land eminently suited for such settlement. This comprises about 140,000 acres near the South Australian border, in the Apsley and Edenhope districts. I have no personal interest in the matter, but say emphatically, that this is the class of land wnich should be bought, because of its price and its absolute safety as regards seasons. There is only a limited area of good sound merino sheep country where the best wool can be grown, and while the present phenomenal prices for such wool may not continue long, it is none the less certain that prices will be high for years to come. Oats, too, can be grown successfully, and I have known the land to yield a 30-bushel crop of wheat under favorable conditions. All practical men will agree with me that the breaking-up and manuring of such land will vastly improve its sheep-carrying capacity. From a knowledge of the district, and the belief that owners are actuated by patriotic motives in offering to sub-divide their land, I contend there is no better prospect for a successful soldier settlement in Victoria."

Source : "The Horsham Times" (Vic.) Friday, 30th May 1919.


1919

Soldier Settlement
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TOUR OF WESTERN WIMMERA.
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PROSPECT OF A RAILWAY.
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Wire. (From Our Correspondent.) Edenhope, Thursday.
Mr. Donald Mackinnon, M.L.A., Minister assisting in the work of land settlement, accompanied by Messrs. W. Melver and J. Temple Smith (Lands Purchase and Management Board) and Mr. McDougall, soldiers' representative on the Crown Lands investigation committee, visited Edenhope yesterday, and met about 100 people interested in the question of settling soldiers on the lands of the Western Wimmera. Included in those present were about 50 returned soldiers who are seeking land, as well as a number of members of repatriation and other committees from Apsley, Harrow and other centres.
Mr. Mackinnon addressed the meeting at some length. He said the Government was anxious to settle the soldiers on the land, and it would do all that lay in its powers in that direction. But it was not going to pay exorbitant prices, or put men on land that did not offer every prospect of success. He thought one of the outcomes of the visit to the district might be the construction of a railway, but he did not specify the probable route. If the land were settled satisfactorily, he prophesied that a railway would go on afterwards. He wished it to be distinctly understood, however, that no unsuitable land would be purchased, or excessive values paid for good land.
Messers. McIver and Smith also addressed the gathering, explaining the terms of settlement.
Several questions were put to the speakers and they inferred that some good would result from the investigation. They added they did not intend to make recommendations but those which they thought would be to the advantage of the soldiers, with a decent prospect of success.
The estates inspected included Benayeo, Newlands, Elderslie, Lake Wallace and Kooyonga. To-day the party set out to visit Miga Lake and Clunie (Harrow).

Source : "The Horsham Times" (Vic.) Friday, 22nd August 1919.


1919

RETURNED SOLDIERS' ASSOCIATION.
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At the meeting of the committee of the Horsham branch of the Returned Soldiers' Association on Tuesday evening, the proposal to present an illuminated address to Mr. A. S. Rodgers. M.H.R., who has done so much for the returned soldiers, was further considered, and steps were taken to obtain the address, which will be presented to him at an early date. A telegram from "The Horsham Times" correspondcent at Edenhope was received on Tuesday stating that the Goverment purchase Benayeo with an area of 12.256 acres, and Elderslie, costaining 37,000 acres, for the purpose of soldier settlement, and the meeting expressed satisfaction at the action of the Government in making these purchases.

Source : "The Horsham Times" (Vic.) Friday, 31st October 1919.


1920

BENAYEO AND ELDERSLIE.
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The allotment of Bonayeo and Elderslie estates by the Government surveyors has now been completed. Benayeo has been split up into 11 blocks and Elderslie into 37. The subdivision of Elderslie took place on Wednesday. The president of the Kowree Shire (Cr. W. T. Hoare) has seen that the roads through the estates are to the satisfaction of the residents. The acreage of the blocks varies from 960 to 1600. The residents of Edenhope and Apsley are now anxious to push the Toolondo Edenhope-Apsley extension, and with the settlement of soldiers at Apsley on Benayeo and Elderslie, and the subdivision of Miga Lake, it is only a matter of time before the line will be constructed.

Source : "The Horsham Times" (Vic.) Tuesday, 17th February 1920.


1920

GOVERNMENT.
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DISCHARGED SOLDIERS' SETTLEMENT ACTS.
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SUBDIVISION of
BENAYEO AND ELDERSLIE ESTATES, NEAR APSLEY ; Also,
SINCLAIR'S, PARISH OF YALLAKAR, NEAR EDENHOPE.
Applications are invited by the Closer Settlement Board from Discharged soldiers holding qualification certificates to take up Land for Farm Allotments on these Estates.
THE INQUIRY BOARD to deal with applications will be held at APSLEY on THURSDAY, 8th APRIL, 1920. Applicants who cannot convenienty attend the Board may give their evidence at the Lands Office, Melbourne, on or before 1st April, 1920.
PLANS AND PARTICULARS MAY BE OBTAINED FROM INQUIRY OFFICE, LANDS DEPARTMENT. MELBOURNE.

Source : "The Argus" (Melbourne, Vic.) Monday, 8th March 1920.


1920

BENAYEO AND ELDERSLIE.
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In consequence of the unexpectedly large numbers of inquiries for the Benayeo and Elderslie Estates, it has been decided in addition to holding the Inquiry Board at Apsley on 8th April, to hold an additional board at the Lands Office, Horsham, on Tuesday, 13th April. This has been done to meet the convenience of the large number of applicants residing outside the district in which the estates are located. Applicants will be supplied with the necessary railway voucher to attend the board on application to the Inquiry Office, Lands Department, Melbourne.

Source : "The Horsham Times" (Vic.) Tuesday, 30th March 1920.


1920
Land for Soldiers
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BENAYEO AND ELDERSLIE ESTATES.
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LARGE APPLICATION LIST

Messrs Dick (Chairman), Murray (Lands Officer, Horsham) and Cr. Hoare (President of the Kowree Shire) were the board which sat to hear applications from returned soldiers for Benayeo and Elderslie Estates. One sitting was held at Apsley, and in order to suit the convenience of many men another sitting took place in the Town Hall, Horsham, last Tuesday.
Altogether 527 applications were received for the two properties, 320 being for Benayeo and 207 for Elderslie, while 4 were absent. As will be seen in the addresses on the subjoined list the whole of Victoria was represented and there was one from South Australia. Following are the particulars:--

BENAYEO ESTATE. Recommended
Allot. Parish. Applicant.
1. 2. 12. Tallageira, A. E. Cother, Pascoe Vale.
1. 18 50. Benayeo, A. T. Wilson, Benayeo.
15. Benayeo, F. E. Kealy, Apsley.
18. Benayeo, W. J. C. Bennett, Apsley.
14. 7. Benayeo, E. C. Altmann, Jeparit.
6. 22. Benayeo, F. Bidulph, St. Kilda.
8, 23, Benayeo, S. W. Kilpatrick, Benayeo.
21. 29. Benayeo, John Jack, Malvern.
17. 20. 34A, Benayeo, T. D. G. Munn, Apsley.
19. Benayeo, T. A. S. Pettit, Apsley.
18. Benayeo, W. Norris, Edenhope.

Source : "The Horsham Times" (Vic.) Friday, 16th April 1920.


WW1 Soldier Settlers on "Benayeo" Estate, Apsley : 8th April, 1920
Soldier Settler
Additional Information

ALTMANN, E.C.

Ernest Charles ALTMANN, b. 1889, Wilmington, near Port Augusta, South Australia, son of Carl "Charles" ALTMANN & Adolphine Wilhelmine Charlotte GEBERT. He was a 25 year old farmer of Ellam, near Lake Hindmarsh, western Victoria when he enlisted in the AIF as Tpr 2482, 4th Light Horse Regiment. He embarked May 1916, served in Egypt & Palestine, wounded 1918, RTA in 1918 and discharged from hospital in Melbourne in 1919. He married Alice Louisa "Daisy" CRABTREE at Frances, near Apsley in 1923. Sometime after 1923 this ALTMANN family moved to Toowoomba, Queensland where Ernest died in 1962 and Alice died in 1990.

BENNETT, W. J. C.

William John Cecil "Dick" BENNETT, b. 1893, Apsley, S-W Victoria, son of Joseph BENNETT & Honora Martha Margaret TAYLOR. Served in WW1 as Tpr 1391, 8th light Horse Regiment, AIF, enlisted Melbourne, Victoria Jul 1915, embarked Nov. 1915, served in Middle East, RTA in Jan 1919 and discharged inJun. 1919. William BENNETT married Mary HEFFERNAN 1895-1932, daughter of Patrick HEFFERNAN and Margaret Lucy O'NEIL in April 1920 at Casterton, S-W Victoria. William wass allocated block 18 at "Benayeo" Soldier Settlement Scheme in April 1920 but surrended it in 1921 when it was taken over by William Edward John PETTIT 1886-1963. He died at Naracoorte, SA in 1956 and was buried in the Apsley cemetery.

BIDDULPH, F.

Francis Edmund BIDDULPH, b. 1893, Brunswick, Victoria, son of Francis Thomas BIDDULPH & Charlotte Izola QUINLIVAN. He enlisted in the AIF as WW1 Tpr 1994, 4th Light Horse Regiment, AIF, embarked Jan, 1916, served in Egypt & France as Cpl 1994, 1st Anzac Division Cyclists Corps, AIF, transferred & served on the Somme to Sgt, 1994, 60th Battalion, AIF 1916-17, RTA in 1917 with tuberculosis. He married Vida Alma CHASTON of Apsley, S-W Victoria in 1922 and died at Caulfield, Victoria in 1926.

COTHER, A. E. [M.S.M.]

Albert Edwin "John" COTHER [M.S.M.], b. 1881, Melbourne, Victoria, son of William James COTHER & Emily Leyland EVANS. Station Overseer when he enlisted in the AIF in Jul 1915 as Dvr 2984, 5th Field Company Engineers, AIF. He embarked Nov 1915 from Me;bourne, served in Egypt and France, where as Sgt 2984, 12th Field Company Engineers, AIF, he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal in 1918. He did a Wool Industry course in England before he returned home and was discharged in Dec. 1919. He married Eily Mary COGHLAN in Melbourne before he embarked in Nov. 1915 and was divorced from her in 1930. Later in 1930 he married Mary MULLIN. He died at Naracoorte, SA in 1956 and his 2nd wife died in 1957 and both are buried at Naracoorte.

JACK, John

John JACK, b. ~1883, Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire (Dnb), Scotland, son of John JACK & Jane Cowan SAMSON. He was a single farmer, aged 30y when he enlisted in the AIF at Helena Vale, Western Australia. He enlisted in Oct 1914 as Pte 24590, 16th Battalion, AIF, embarked Dec 1914, wounded twice on Gallipoli, repatriated to Australia in Sep 1915. He returned to duty and re-embarked in Jun 1916 as Dvr 24590, 3rd Division Ammuntion Column, AIF. In France he was transferred to 7th Field Artillery Brigade, AIF and served there until he he reurned and was dischrged in Jul 1919. He married Violet Mary Chomley ROBINSON 1893-1971 in 1920. he died at Edenhope in 1940 and is buried in the Apsley cemetery.

KEALY, F. E.

Francis Edmund Patrick "Frank" KEALY, b. 1880, Apsley, S-W Victoria, son of James Balnaguith KEALY & Emily Jane COOKE. Frank married Annie STEENSON ~1880-1942 in 1904 and they had 5 childrem from 1905-1914. At least one more child was born after the war. In Feb. 1915 Frank was a labourer, married, aged 35y when he enlisted in the AIF as Tpr 1101, 8th Light Horse Regiment, AIF. He embarked in Aug 1915 and served on Gallipoli from Oct. to Dec. 1915. He then served in the Middle East with the same unit until he returned and was discharged in May 1919. he was granted his block on "Benayeo" in 1920 but died there in 1922 leaving a widow and 5 children. His widow Annie died at "Ullswater" Estate near Edenhope in 1942 and they are both buried in the Apsley cemetery.

KILPATRICK, S. W. {M.M.]

Samuel Wilson KILPATRICK {M.M.], b. 1892, Benayeo (near Apsley), S-W Victoria, Australia, son of William Pinckerton KILPATRICK & Margaret Goldie NOBLE. He was a labourer of Benayeo, aged 24y, when enlisted in Jan. 1916 at Adelaide, SA in the AIF as Pte 101, 43rd Battalion, AIF. He embarked in Jun 1916, served in France, was promoted through to Sgt., awarded the MM for bravery in 1917, wounded in 1918, arrived home and was discharged in Adelaide in Mar. 1919. He was married in 1927 to Lucilla WILKS 1894-1942, of Apsley, S-W Victoria. She died in 1942 and Samuel died in 1968, and both are buried in the Apsley cemetery.

MUNN, T. D. G. [C. de G.]

Thornton Douglas Gordon MUNN [C. de G.], b. 1895, Apsley, S-W Victoria, son of James MUNN & Ellen Louisa DOUGLAS. He enlisted in Jul. 1915 in the AIF as Pte 4248, 5th Battalion, AIF, embarked Dec. 1915, served in France from 1916 to 1919 in the 5th, 60th & 59th Battalions, awarded the Belgium Croix de Guerre [C. de G.] in Jan 1919 as Sgt 4248, 59th Battalion, AIF, RTA and discharged in Dec. 1919. He married Miriam Jane McINTOSH of Mansfield, Victoria in 1921. Gordon died at Edenhope in 1976 and Mirian died in 1986 and they are buried in the Apsley cemetery.

NORRIS, W.

Walter NORRIS, b. 1891, Edenhope, S-W Victoria, Australia, son of Sarah NORRIS 1864-1951. He was a single labourer, aged 23y in Sep. 1915 when he enlisted in the AIF as Pte 5254, 14th Battalion, AIF, embarked Mar. 1916, served in Egypt & France 1916-16, RTA and discharged in Melbourne in Nov. 1917. Walter NORRIS died at Edenhope in 1961 and was buried in the Edenhope cemetery.

PETTIT, T. A. S.

Thomas Allan Stewart PETTIT, b. 1895, Tallageira Parish (Apsley-Minimay), S-W Victoria, Australia, son of William PETTIT & Margaret STEWART. He enlisted in the AIF and served as Gnr 22210, 108 Battery, 23rd Howitzer Brigade, AIF, embarked May 1916, served in France 1918-19, RTA with a new wife and was discharged at Adelaide, SA in Oct. 1919. He was married in Mar. 1919 in Bristol, England to Rosina Emily GAGG, and they arrived at Port Adelaide, SA in Sep. 1919. Thomas received his block at "Benayeo" on 1920. By the 1950s Thomas was living at Bordertown, South Australia where Thomas died in 1986. Rosina......?

PETTIT, W. E. J.

William Edward John "Pat" PETTIT, b. 1886, Tallageira Parish (Apsley-Minimay), S-W Victoria, Australia, son of William PETTIT & Margaret STEWART. He was a labourer aged 28y when he enlisted in the AIF in Dec. 1914 and served as Pte 391, 13th Light Horse Regiment, AIF. He embarked from Melbourne, Victoria in May 1915, served on Gallipoli as Pte 391, 1st Anzac Army Corps, AIF, then in France from 1917 to 1919 until he reurned home as Cpl 391, 1st Anzac Army Corps, AIF in Jun 1919. William took over block 18 at "Benayeo" Soldier Settlement Scheme in 1921 after it was surrended by its first occupant, William John Cecil "Dick" BENNETT.

WILSON, A. T.
or
WILSON, A. F. [M.M.]

A... T... WILSON allocated a block at "Benayeo" Estate in April 1920 ("Horsham Times" article above.)
----------unable to identify at this time----------

Appears to be A... F... WILSON, as there was Arthur Frederick WILSON [M.M.], b. 1893 Cavendish, S-W Victoria, son of Joseph William WILSON and Elizabeth Martha RILEY. His brother Harold Riley WILSON 1886-1970, who married Margaret Mary PETTIT in 1906, was employed on and later became the manager of "Benayeo" station. Arthur WILSON was a 23 year old labourer of Cavendish, S-W Victoria when he enlisted as Pte 6362, 8th Battalion, AIF at Hamilton in May 1916. He embarked Sep. 1916, arrived in France Dec. 1916, in 1917 he was gassed and awarded the M.M. for bravery, wounded again in 1918, RTA and discharged at Melbourne, Vic., in Sep 1919.
He married ..........?
He died at Hamilton, S-W Victoria in 1927.



1920

EDENHOPE.
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The State Premier, Mr. Lawson, accompanied by Mr. Donald MacKinnon, the Minister in charge of Soldier Settlement, and Mr. Hugh Campbell (Honorary Minister), paid a visit of inspection to Elderslie and Benayeo, the estates recently acquired for soldier settlement near Apsley on Wednesday last. The party motored from Casterton through Elderslie, Apsley and Benayeo, and returned through Edenhope in the afternoon on their way to catch the night train from Hamilton to Melbourne. The party expressed themselves as being very favorably impressed with the prospects of the soldiers who are fortunate enough to secure blocks out of the 300 odd applicants for them. The great demand for this class of country will render it necessary to secure further estates, to settle the large number of applicants who will necessarily be disappointed: on this occasion.

Source : "The Horsham Times" (Vic.) Tuesday, 20th April 1920.


1920

Clearing Sale at Benayeo Estate.
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HIGH PRICES REALISED.
Messrs. John Fenton & Co., Hamilton, in conjunction with Messrs. Dalgety & Co., under instructions from the executors in the estate of the late Mary Laidlaw, report having conducted a highly successful clearing sale at the Benayeo Estate, Apsley, on Wednesday last, 21st inst., when they submitted to auction the whole of the station sheep, cattle, horses, station plant, furniture and sundries. As the estate has been sold to the Government for soldier settlement, everything was for unreserved sale. There was a very large and representative attendance of buyers from Nhill, Horsham, Narracoorte, Mount Gambier, Casterton, Coleraine, Strathdownie, Condah, Hamilton, and a big muster of local buyers. There were about 7000 merino sheep yarded, and, with the exception of one small lot, were all station bred. They were greatly admired for their breeding and quality, and, considering the season experienced in that district, were in wonderful condition. From the commencement of the sale competition was very animated, and the prices realised were highly satisfactory. The top price for wethers was 28/10. which was paid for the 4 tooth wethers, and the highest price among the ewes was for the 4 tooths, which were purchased by one of the settlers on the estate at 29/. The cattle were shorthorn-Hereford cross, and were much admired, and the competition for the various lines was very keen. The fat cows were sold up to 19 10/ per head, and the cows with calves at foot realised 10 10/. All the horses, extensive farming plant, furniture and sundries were sold at relatively high values. Following are particulars of the various lines of stock sold :--726 4 tooth merino wethers, 28/10 ; 626 2 tooth wethers, 28/3 ; 756 1 year old wethers 22/ ; 782 1 year old ewes, 19/9 ; 743 2 tooth ewes, 27/9 ; 630 4 tooth ewes, 29/ ; 590 6 tooth ewes, 24/6 ; 375 5 year old ewes, 20/ ; 56 stud ewe lambs, 30/ ; 56 stud 2 tooth ewes, 36/ ; 132 rams, 1 year old, to aged, at full market rates ; 5 fat cows, 19 10/ ; 4 fat bullooks, 3 years. 16 ; 7 cows, with calves at foot ; 10 16/. The yearlings and two year olds, mixed sexes, made up to 11.

Source : "The Horsham Times" (Vic.) Tuesday, 27th April 1920.


1921

LAND FOR EX-SOLDIERS.
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An Inquiry Board sat at Goroke on Friday to hear applicants for four blocks in Kooyonga estate, parish of Edenhope. The areas were all grazing and they ranged in extent from 670 to 751 acres, the value of each being about 3120. There were 22 applicants, among them being Major E. T. J. Kerby, who fought Mr. M'Grath for the Ballarat seat in the Federal Parliament.
The board--Mr. J. Dick (chairman), Mr. W. Murray, and Cr. Cranage (President of the Kowree Shire)--recommended the following:--E. F. Narick, 159 Spring-street, Melbourne, allot. 1 ; F. G. Thornton, Jeparit, allot.2 ; F. C. Robertson, Edenhope, allot. 3 ; H. J. Riley, Edenhope, allot. 4.
The board also dealt with allot. 18, in the parish of Benayeo, which was a block that had been surrendered. There were nine applicants for it, and the board recommended W. E. J. Pettit, Apsley.

Source : "The Horsham Times" (Vic.) Tuesday, 15th February 1921.


1923

Benayeo Settlers.
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COMPLAINT ABOUT ROAD.
The Country Roads Board wrote to the Kowree Shire Council at its last meeting, enclosing copy of a letter from Mr. F. B. Biddulph to the Closer Settlement Board. Before taking any action the Country Roads Board would be glad to have an expression of opinion from this council.
Mr. Biddulph's letter was dated the 13th March and was as follows :--"On behalf of the Benayeo settlers, I am taking the liberty of writing you in the hope that you may be able to advise us on the following matter. Some considerable time ago our council managed to get the Country Roads Board to take over a portion of the Apsley to Binnum road. The portion taken over is really the Benanyeo Estate road to Binnunm. When this move was on foot we soldier settlers, at least 8 out of 11, were not consulted on the matter. Now we contend that the correct road should have been the road to Kybybolite. Our main business town is Narracoorte. Moreover, all our railway business is at Kybybolite. There is also a fine store there, whereas at Binnumn there is just the siding and local post office. We are perfectly safe when we say that twice the amoult of wool is carted to Kybybolite, and this year alone 3000 bags of wheat were carted to Kybybolite, whereas the other road would have a hard job to muster 500. Our object is to bring the matter under the notice of the Main Roads Board and request them to at least have a thorough investigation into this matter before they expend money which is going to benefit about half a dozen settlers. We do not wish the Main Roads Board to accept our version ; we are prepared to give evidence in the matter, and I may say that we could find solid support from the Narracoorte Council. If this matter were gone into thoroughly it would comend itself. We thought that perhaps in your official position you may bring this matter under their notice, or could advise us as to the best policy to adopt. We are not looking for trouble in any way, only we wish the Roads Board members to understand that in proceeding with the present road they are not conferring any benefit on the majority of the settlers. We only ask for an impartial enquiry as we feel that now is the time to object, always bearing in mind that our wishes were never consulted nor were our needs considered in the first place. Stress of work has, until now prevented us from taking an active interest in local affairs, and even now we feel that if our object in placing this matter under the notice of the powers that be was not a very worthy one we would not have done so. I once again request that, if you have any influenee with the Country Roads Board, you might be kind enough to use such influence to try and get for us an open enquiry into the matter as soon as possible."
Cr. Stephens said that they were now doing work on the Kybybolite road, which would be a good outlet for seven of the settlers, and they had promised the recent deputation that they would do work on the new road they proposed. The present developmental road would suit quite a number, and he knew there would be stout opposition to the proposal to remove the developmental road to the south as proposed by Mr. Biddulph. Both roads were necessary, as neither one would suit all parties. He moved that the Country Roads Board is informed that the council is not aware of any opposition to the route of the present developmental road. The motion was carried.

Source : "The Horsham Times" (Vic.) Friday, 11th May 1923.


1932

SOLDIER SETTLERS' LEASES
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Cancellation Objected To
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CROWDED MEETING AT EDENHOPE.
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Extraordinary public interest was manifested in a meeting convened at Edenhtope on Saturday, .January, 2, by the President of Kowree Shire Council, Cr. E. P. Kirby, to discuss reccent cancellations of soldier settlers' leases within the shire. A large number of settlers was present from the Elderslie, Mortat, Miga Lake and Koyonga settlements and there was a representstive attendance of leading citizens, within a radius of 40 miles of Edenhope.
In opening the meeting, Cr. Kirby said that at the last meeting of the Kowree Shire Council, telegrams had been authorised to be sent to Parliamentary representatives and the Closer Settlement Board asking that no further cancellations be permitted until the whole question of soldier settlement had been reviewed. The whole matter had aroused intense public feeling, and in response to many requests, he had agreed to convene this meeting in order to permit the matter to be taken up in a public way. Soldier settlers were in a difficult position. With the enormous decline in the value of their products, they were still faced with the boom scale of rent and interest charges and although there was a general realisation that great adjustments would have to be made, the politicians were not acting quickly enough to meet the position.
Mr. J. McDonald read a series of resolutions passed at a meeting at Miga Lake. He said the whole question had now become a national one. It was necessary that the State should be organised to bring about a reorganisation of soldier settlement. To that end they should that day form a district executive that would initiate a State wide movement. Their demands should be conservative and possible of achievement. Acting in complete unison and with the force of public opinion behind them they had a cause that could not be denied. He read a letter from Cr A. F. Carracher and said that the letter reflected the opinion of the better informed public of the West Wimmera.
Mr. Douglas, of Elderslie, in reply to a question, said that a previously formed Settlers' Defence Association had fallen through owing to lack of funds. The action proposed that day was very necessary. Referring to cancellations, he said that the Minister's assurance that no evictions would take place was valueless, because after cancellation the settler was allowed to remain only as an unpaid caretaker without, any rights. The claim that "only those who were impractical holders were having their leases cancelled" looked ridiculous in view of the fact that of 11,000 original settlers only 6,000 remained. Surely the impractical and misfits had been eliminated now. The trouble was that the inspectors who prepare these reports were themselves entirely impractical, and if given a holding themselves would utterly fail.
Mr. B. P. Lavery said the yearly loss on Closer Settlement was now 800,000. This could not continue. It was absolutely necessary that national budgets should be balanced and this could not be done while this loss continued. A write down of capital and arrears was the only solution. Overburdened and disheartened, the settlers were grappling with a hopeless task. There seemed to be an unanimity of opinion among politicians regarding the necessity of a write down. A motion by Mr. Rankin that a soldier settlers' defence league be formed to act in close co-operation with the R.S.S.I.L.A. was agreed to.
It was resolved to appoint an executive committee consisting of Cr. Kirby (President), eight soldier settlers, and four members of the outside public. The following were appointed members of the executive:-- Outside public, Messrs. B. P. Lavery, F. J. Forster, R. Harkness and L. Bull ; soldier settlers, Messrs Rankin, Johnston, Narik, Douglas, Crouch, Bird, J. McDonald, D. Pahl and E. R. McDonald. Mr. J. McDonald was appointed secretary and Mr F. J. Forster treasurer. A motion expressing appreciation of the Kowree Council's action in taking up the matter was agreed to.
On the motion of Messrs. Forster and Narik it was resolved to send telegrams to the Closer Settlement Board, the Minister for Lands, antd the Attorney General protesting against the cancellation and asking for a review with a view to re-allotment.
Messrs. Lavery and Johnstone moved that ithe Shire Secretary be asked to circularise all shires in the State, asking them to convene public meetings throughout their areas and to pass similar resolutions to that of Kowree. The executive will meet on Wednesday night when it is expected that a State wide movement will be initiated to compel an early review of the whole question of soldier settlement.

Source : "The Horsham Times" (Vic.) Friday, 8th January 1932.


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"Mundarra" (Edenhope) WW2 Soldier Settlement

"Elderslie" (Langkoop) WW1 Soldier Settlement

Casterton & District Historical Society

Casterton Pioneer Names

Looking for information on the "Benayeo" scheme, the soldiers and families.

Daryl Povey