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Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc. Ballarat Central, Victoria

The origins of the Ballarat Old Colonists’ Association can be traced back to 1867 when James Oddie instigated a reunion of early gold miners. The group was known initially as the Golden Point Old Pioneers Association and later simply as the Ballarat Pioneers Association. The miners initially met on an ad hoc basis for social purposes and in 1883 meetings were formalised becoming the formal beginning. The name was changed over and finally to its current ‘The Old Colonists’ Association of Ballarat’.

The home of the Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat was constructed in 1887-9 on the site of the barracks and stables of the gold escort in Lydiard Street North. The Association represented the early pioneers in the vicinity, who came in search of gold from the 1850s. It was a benevolent body that aimed to specifically assist indigent miners.

The original objectives of the Association were documented in August 1883 as follows:
"To form a band of brotherhood amongst those whose past experience in commercial and mining pursuits so intimately associate them with the early history of the goldfields; men to whose indomitable energy and perseverance Ballarat and other mining centres of the Colony are so largely indebted for their development and commercial property. Some of whose names are also closely identified with the memorable and sanguinary struggle for Freedom and Constitutional Liberty i 1854 (Eureka). To gather within one fold, those who survived stirring times; to meet occasionally in friendly and social intercourse; to relieve our brethren who are overtaken by sickness or affliction; t provide the shelter of a house for those Pioneers of the Goldfields whom the reverses of fortune have deprived of the means of procuring the comforts of life in their declining years; to assist the widow and succor the orphan; to materially cheer and support each other in our temporary troubles and vicissitudes, as we journey onward to the grave; and lastly, to render a tribute of respect to the memory of a departed brother, by following his remains to their final resting place."

The Old Colonists’ Association (OCA) know captures the spirit of the original objectives and interprets it to suit contemporary needs. It remains as a philanthropic charitable organisation providing accommodation for elderly people. In the 1920s Charles Anderson Grove was established to provide low cost accommodation to the elderly and currently twenty seven homes are available (constructed in stages between 1923 and 1983) with each Independent Living Unit identified by a name plate referencing the benefactor. Accommodation is offered at significantly below market rates. The Association has been providing low cost accommodation to the elderly since the 1920s. A number of further Independent Living Units to be built at Charles Anderson Grove will be constructed in the near future. The OCA Council oversees the running of this facility on a voluntary basis. The OCA is a Public Benevolent Institution with the Australian Tax Office Deductible Gift Recipient Status.

Links

Contact Information

location
16-14 Lydiard (North) Street Ballarat Central Victoria 3350

Contact

Opening Hours

The Old Colonist's Club is open to members. Visits can be arranged by appointment, or during special openings such as Ballarat Heritage Weekend (May)

Entry Fee

N/A

Location

16-14 Lydiard (North) Street Ballarat Central Victoria

Bernadette 30 April 2019 2:03 PM

I have been referred to you to ask about the availability of accommodation.

Clare Gervasoni 30 April 2019 3:34 PM

Hi Bernadette, There are some requirements for entrance to our retirement village. Please direct your enquiry to the Old Colonists' Association, 20 Lydiard Street South Ballarat, or drop into the Old Colonists' Hall and ask the manager for further details.

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222 items with images

222 items with images

Image - Black and White - Alfred Lester

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Black and white portrait on a bearded man - Alfred Lester

Photograph - Colour - Dining under the replica Eureka Flag at the Ballarat Old Colonists' Hall, 2017

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Colour photograph pf a set table, with a replica Eureka Flag on the wall.

Historical information

The Eureka Flag hanging in the Old Colonists' Hall is an exact replica of the Eureka Flag that flew over the Eureka Stockade. It was copied from the original flag that was in the possession of the Art Gallery of Ballarat. Exact measurements were taken from the flag and the replica made by the Ballarat firm George Lemke and Co. It was decided to made the replica because of the fragile condition of the original flag. At the time the original flag was beyond being displayed and it was felt steps should be taken to obtain a copy before it deteriorated further.

Photograph - Colour - Farrer Cottage at the Ballarat Old Colonists' Association Retirement Village, 2018

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Colour photograph of the Farrier Cottage at the Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat retirement village.

Historical information

The Farrer Cottage was built in 1956.

Photograph - Colour - Dining at the Ballarat Old Colonists' Hall, 2017

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Gold License

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Photograph - Colour - The entrance foyer of the Old Colonists' Club, 2015

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Colour photograph of a room with marble plaques on the wall. They relate to the Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat,

Historical information

From the Argus Newspaper of 10 May 1888: "OLD COLONISTS' ASSOCIATION OF BALLARAT. (FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT.) BALLARAT, WEDNESDAY. This association, which was founded in August, 1883, and at first known as the Old Identities' Association, now has a roll of 450 members. The objects of the association are "to aid and assist indigent or suffering old colonists; to raise a fund, by the voluntary subscriptions of the members and the aid of outside donations, for the purpose of relieving members in sickness and old age ; for assisting those in extreme distress, to provide the shelter o a home for old and indigent pioneers of the gold fields, their widows, or anyone connected with the association, and in the event of the death of any member to have his remains decently buried, the association defraying the expenses of the funeral (providing that no funds or property are left by the deceased), and to attend the funeral if so desired by the relatives " The qualifications for member- ship are good character and repute, and residence in the colonies for a quarter of a century. For some time the association had no property except the regular subscriptions, but about a year ago they obtained from the Minister of Lands the grant of a very valuable block of land in Lydiard-street, the Crown grant of which they received last week. This block has a frontage of 66ft to Lydiard street, worth at least £100 a foot. The ground was given to the association as a site for them to build a hall upon, and with so valuable an asset they had no difficulty in borrowing at 7 per cent, enough money to construct a hall. For revenue purposes the ground floor of the building has been made into four shops, and the rental from these, judging from the rentals of shops in the vicinity, will not only pay all the interest on the borrowed money, but over £200 a year towards clearing off the principal. The officers of the association are Messrs J P Murray, president; J W Graham and T. Stoddart, vice presidents; D Fern, treasurer , and J Fraser, secretary. The Old Colonists' Hall is an elegant looking building in Lydiard-street, lying between the newly-opened mining exchange and the Commercial Club house, and a few doors north of the Post office. The style of the facade is classic. The lower portion of the front is constructed of Waurn Ponds stone, forming piers, and the upper portion of brick and cement, the background being tuckpointed. The centre bay is carried by two three quarter columns with Ionic cups, which support a pediment on which is set a cast of the Ballarat coat of arms. The four other bays are supported by pilasters with Corinthian caps mid partly fluted. The entrance is through a spacious circular headed doorway, the keystone of the arch of which bears a sculptured head, in marble, representing that of the president of the Old Colonists' Association here, Mr. John P Murray. An ample vestibule leads to a wide stone staircase which ends at a spacious landing. The landing has a dome over the centre, with cornice and enrichments, and is lighted from above. The walls round the landing are panelled with marble slabs, which are to be appropriately inscribed in the future. On the first door are the rooms appropriated to the association. The principal of these is a hall 44ft x 33ft and 17ft high. This room is well ventilated and lighted from the back of the building with large windows, and the walls are finished with Keene's cement. The other rooms are committee room, 14ft x 16ft; scretary's, 14ft x 17ft 6in; kitchen, bedrooms, bathroom, &c. The front portion of the first floor is arranged so that it may be let for offices, or utilised for club purposes. Suitable provision has been made throughout tor lighting, ventilation, and means of egress. The architect for the edifice is Mr A. G Legge, of this city, and the contractors are Messrs. Whitelaw and Atkinson, Irving and Glover, Reynolds, and J Donaldson. The total cost of the building when completed, which will be in a few weeks, will be about £4,000."

Image - Maryborough Town Hall and Port Office, c1903

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Black and white imahe of the Maryborough Town Hall and Port Office, with horse drawn vehicles in the foreground.

Photograph - Colour - Dining at the Ballarat Old Colonists' Hall, 2017

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Colour photograph of the Eureka Flag behind a set table in the Old Colonists' Hall, Ballarat.

Historical information

The Eureka Flag hanging on the wall is an exact replica of the Southern Cross flag which flew over the Eureka Stockade. It was copied from the original flag held by the Art Gallery of Ballarat. Exact measurements were taken from the flag and the replica was made by George Lemke and Co. The replica was made because the original was in fragile condition. (Ballarat Courier, 16 February 1965)

Image - Ballarat Old Colonists' Association Residence - Barker Home

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Colour photograph of Barker Cottage at The Old Colonists' Assiation of Ballarat Inc retirement village at Charles Anderson Grove, Ballarat.

Historical information

This home was completed in 1938. It was the gift of Mr and Mrs Barker. One of the first objectives of the Association was "to provide the shelter of a hose for those Pioneers of the Goldfields whom the reverses of fortune have deprived of the means of procuring the comforts of life in their declining years." The first home at Charles Anderson Grove was built in 1925. Before that time the Association provided relief for needy pioneers. relief included monthly monetary payments, loads of firewood, medical assistance and distribution of Christmas bosed of groceries to deserving pensioners, and in some cases payment of burial costs. ::a) The dominant purpose of the Association is to give public benevolent relief as a charity, but providing independent living accommodation in our Retirement Village for person in need who are over 65. ::b) To raise funds by membership subscription, commercial and residential rents, donations, gifts and voluntary work, for the purpose of providing direct relief of poverty, distress, misfortune or helplessness. ::c) To maintain the important heritage and ongoing viability of the Old Colonists' Association. (Revised Rules of the Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., 2016)

Photograph - Colour - Old Colonists' Hall, Ballarat, 2011

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Colour photograph of a double storey building in Lydiard Street South known as the Ballarat Old Colonists' Club.

Photograph - Colour - Farrer Cottage, Charles Anderson Grove, Ballarat, 2017

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Historical information

The Farrer Cottage was built in 1956.

Photograph - Colour - William Collard Smith Memorial in the Ballarat Town Hall

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Photograph of a marble memorial to Lieutenant Colonel William Collard Smith M.L.A..

Inscriptions & Markings

In Memoriam Lt.Col. Willia Collard Smith M.L.A. Ballaarat West Member of the Municipal Council of Ballaarat from 1856 until 1892 Chairman 1860-1. Mayor 1874 and 1887 Obiit 20th October 1894

Photograph - Colour - The Naming of the Joe White Cottage at the Old Colonist's Association Retirement Village, Charles Anderson Grove, 2019

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Colour phootgraphs of the ribbon cutting to name a new cottage at the Charles Anderson Grove retirement Village the Joe White Cottage.

Photograph - Colour - Titheridge Cottage, Charles Anderson Grove, Ballarat, 2017

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

The Titheridge home in the Ballarat Old Colonists' Association Retirement Village.

Photograph - Sepia - Aboriginal Woman and Child

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Photograph - Colour - Ballarat Old Colonists' Hall, Lydiard Street South, Ballarat, 2017

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Photographs of the exterior of the Ballarat Old Colonists' Hall. The hall is located at 20 Lydiard Street South, Ballarat, and was built in 1887.

Untitled

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Photograph - Colour - Old Colonists Club Ballarat Past Presidents Board

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Photograph of a timber board with gold writing listing the past presidents of the Old Colonists' Club Ballarat from 1888 to 2015.

Photograph - Colour - Opening of the Ballarat Old Colonists' Association Retirement Village Community Centre, 2017

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Panaromic photograph of the interior of the Charles Anderson Grove Community Centre.

Photograph - Newly Completed cottaged at the Charles Anderson Grove Retirement Village, 2018.

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Colour photographs of newly completed cottages at the Ballarat Old Colonists' Assoication retirement village at Charles Anderson Grove.

Photograph - Colour - Silver Trowel

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Silver trowel used during the laying of a foundation Stone for the Ballarat Old Colonists' Association building in Lydiard Street North, Ballarat.

Historical information

The silver trowel was used for the laying of the foundation stone of the Ballarat Old Colonists' Hall. It was donated to the Old Colonists' Associaiton in 1906.(Abson, Phillip, ''The Old Colonist's Association of Ballarat: A Brief History.'')

Photograph - Colour - Dining at the Ballarat Old Colonists' Hall

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Photograph - Colour - John Brooksbank's Old Identities' medal

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Colour photograph of a sterling silver medal relating to The Old Identities' Association 1851-1854. The medallion, belonging to John Brooksbank, has a drilled hole at the top suggesting it was worn by the owner at some stage in its life.

Historical information

The Old Identities' Association was a forerunner of the Old Colonists' Association Ballarat. John Brooksbank was a very early arrival to Ballarat in September 1851, which was not long after the discovery of gold at Ballarat. J. Brooksbank lost a dog in 1857 "LOST from the Half Way House, Smythe's Creek Road, a black bloodhound and kangaroo dog. Anyone detaining him after this date will be prosecuted. J. BROOKSBANK" (Ballarat Star, 30 December 1857) Another very early identity in Ballarat, James Oddie, advertised the sale of J. Brooksbank's hotel in 1860: "JAMES ODDIE & CO. have received instructions from the Mortgagees, to sell I by auction at their rooms, Dana street, on Thursday, 20th September, at twelve o'clock, All that desirable properly known as the , Halfway House Hotel, Together with all that piece or parcel of ' land situate in the parish of Cardigan and county of Grenville, containing 34 acres 1 rood 26 ½ perches, part of allotment 1, section 6, of said parish, situated on the Ballarat and Smythesdale road, and recently occupied by Mr J. Brooksbank. The property consists of a spacious stone building one story high, strong and substantially built, the internal fittings and arrangements are neat and complete. The house possesses all requisite accommodation for a respectable country hotel. In addition are stockyards, stables &c, all well and securely fenced. Terms at Sale. (Ballarat Star, 20 September 1860) Four years later Brookbank was selling his hotel in Lyons Street Ballarat: "RARE OPPORTUNITY.-FOR SALE the BLACK BULL HOTEL, Lyons street. The proprietor of the above hotel being about entering into another line of business, begs to call the attention of parties looking for a safe and profitable investment, the above having undergone thorough repairs, and is now in good working order and doing a fair share of business. The conditions will, be half cash, balance six, nine, and twelve months. Apply, J. Brooksbank, proprietor, on the premises. (Ballarat Star, 22 October 1864)

Inscriptions & Markings

The medal has been engraved: Arrived "Sep 51 J. Brooksbank

Photograph - Sepia - Aboriginal Men

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Document - Proposition for Membership to the Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Printed form for potential Members of the Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat to fill out. The annual life membership fee was two pounds to shillings, and the annual member fee was 10 shillings per annum. Potential members were asked for the Name, Age, occupation, residence, birthplace, place and the of arrival in Australia, name of ship, date of propositions, proposer and seconder.

Historical information

To qualify for membership of the Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat the potential member had to be 21 years in the Australian Colonies. This suggests the form was printed before the federation of Australian States in 1901.

Photograph - Colour - Descendant of Hugh Brady Visit the Ballarat Old Colonists' Club, 2015

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Descendants of Hugh Brady stand in from of a replica Eureka Flag at the Ballarat Old Colonists' Hall.

Historical information

Hugh Brady was involved with the Ballarat Reform League, and was a member of the Ballarat Old Colonists' Club.

Image - John Alexander McKenzie

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Photographic portrait of John Alexander McKenzie, member of the Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat. He was an enthusiastic sportsman, and was prominent in the Ballarat Imperial Football Club. He was the landlord of the Imperial Hotel.

Photograph - Colour - Clark Cottage, Charles Anderson Grove, Ballarat, 2017

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Photograph - Colour - Entrance Doors to the Ballarat Old Colonists' Hall Doors, 2017

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Colour photorgraph of the entrance Doors to the Ballarat Old Colonists' Hall

Inscriptions & Markings

"Mary Batten President Old Colonists' Club 2002-2003 Presented by the Council to the Old Colonists' Club at the Association's Annual General Meeting 20th November 2003 as a token of respect & in recognition of Mary's contribution as the first lady President of the Old Colonists' Club"

Image - John Robson

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Photographic portrait of John Robson, member of the Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat.

Historical information

John Robson sailed to Australia on the "Arabian, landing at Port Phillip in 1854.