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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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220 items

220 items

Photograph - Black and White - The George Hotel, Ballarat.

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Black and white photograph of the George Hotel in Lydiard Street, taken from the balcony of the Old Colonists' Hall.

Untitled

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

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

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Plan - Old Colonists' Association Proposed New Cottages No. 4, Sheet 5

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Blueline plan of the Old Colonists' Association.

Photograph - Colour - Sculptural portrait over the door to the Ballarat Old Colonists' Club, 2016

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Sculptural portrait over the door to the Ballarat Old Colonists' Club.

Image - John Paul Murray

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Portrait of John Murray, President of the Old Colonists' Association, Ballarat.

Historical information

This portrait was presented by the members on 22 September 1904.

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 - Colour - New Cottages at Ballarat Old Colonists' Association Retirement Village Community Centre Under Construction, 2017

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Colour photographs 15 new units under construction at the Old Colonists' Association Charles Anderson Grove Retirement Village.

Image - The George, Ballarat, c1903

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Black and white image of The George Hotel in Lydiard Street, Ballarat.

Book - Names of Ships by Which Old Colonists Arrived

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Hand written book which starts with minutes from the Kitty's Quartz Mining Company.

Photograph - Colour - Ballarat Old Colonists' Hall Shopfront (Former R.F. Scott), 2017

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Colour photographs of a shopfront associated with the Old Colonist's Hall in Lydiard Street, Ballarat. This shopfront was refurbished in 2017-18 and returned to its original design.

Historical information

The Old Colonists shopfronts underwent refurbishment and restoration in 2017-18.

Image - Ballarat Old Colonists' Association Residence - Unit 1-6 Ascot Street, Ballarat

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Colour photograph of the former Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc homes in Ascot Street, Ballarat.

Historical information

These units were built in 1991. 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)

Document - Old Colonists' Club Ballarat Executive Committee 1968-69

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Typed listing of Old Colonists' Club Ballarat Executive Committee 1968-6 on letterhead of the Old Colonists' Club Ballarat.

Photograph - Colour - Bar at the Ballarat Old Colonists' Club, 2016

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Image - Foyer of the Ballarat Old Colonists' Hall, 2015

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Panoramic photo of the of the Ballarat Old Colonists' Hall, including donor marbles on the wall.

Photograph - Colour - Aerial View of Charles Anderson Grove Retirement Village, Ballarat, 2017

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Drone footage of Charles Anderson Grove Retirement Village off Gillies Street, Ballarat.

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

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Costume - Aboriginal Chest Plate

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Untitled

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Image - John Paul Murray

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Portrait of John Murray

Photograph - Colour - Doctor Blake "Playing" Billiards at the Ballarat Old Colonists' Hall, 2017

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Photograph - Colour - Mary Batten, 2003

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Colour photograph of Mary Batten.

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"

Newsclipping - The Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat, 1888

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Historical information

The Old Colonists' Association Ballarat Inc. is a not for profit charitable organisation providing accommodation for elderly people. It manages a 27 Home retirement village at Charles Anderson Grove Ballarat. Accommodation is offered at significantly below market rates. It has been providing low cost accommodation to the elderly since the 1920s. The Association Council overseas the running of this facility on a voluntary basis.

Inscriptions & Markings

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 of 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; secretary'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 for 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. (The Argus, 10 May 1888)

Image - Ballarat Old Colonists' Association Residence - Crombie Cottage

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

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

Historical information

This cottage was built in 1932. 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 - Interior View of the Ballarat Old Colonists' Hall, 2015

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Photograph - Colour - Old Colonists' Association Cottages at Charles Anderson Grove, Ballarat, 2015

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Ballarat Old Colonists' Association Retirement Home cottages at Charles Anderson Grove.

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

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Historical information

The Guymer Cottage was built in 1956.

Plan - Old Colonists' Association Proposed New Cottages, Perry Park

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Image - Ballarat Old Colonists' Association Residence - Williams Cottage

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

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

Historical information

This home was the first cottage built by the Old Colonists' Association, and was the gift of Mr and Mrs F.J. Williams. It was completed in 1925. From the minute books: "Mr and Mrs F.J. Williams, both natives of Ballarat, offered to build a cottage on the Association's ground at Perry Park [now Charles Anderson Grove] something after a style of the Hassell Homes. That Offer was immediately followed by another from Mr S.W.J. Clark, a member of the Council. Both offers were promptly and gratefully accepted." 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' Club Ballarat (exterior detail), 2011

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central