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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

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

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Blueline plan of the Old Colonists' Association.

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Photographs - Colour - Oyster Shell under the floorboards of the Colonists' Association Shops, 2017

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Colour photograph of an oyster shell under the original bearers in the Old Colonists shop awaiting replacement floorboards. Oysters were a common food on the Ballarat goldfield.

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Photograph - Colour - Old Colonists' Club Ballarat (exterior detail), 2011

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Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

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

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Drone footoge featuring the Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., retirement village at Charles Anderson Grove.

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Photograph - Colour - David Pratt and Andrew Tweedie (President of the Old Colonists' Association, Ballarat ), 1916

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Colour photograph of David Pratt (left) and Andrew Tweedie (President of the Old Colonists' Association, Ballarat )

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Image - Thomas Stoddart

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Image of Thomas Stoddart, member of the Old Colonists' Associtation.

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Image - Walter Cornell

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Image of Walter Cornell, member of the Old Colonists' Associattion.

Historical information

Walter Cornell as a Chemist in Ballarat, and a member of the Old Colonists' Association.

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Passenger Ticket

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

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

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The Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat retirement village at Charles Anderson Grove.

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Image - Thomas Tuke Hollway

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Photographic portrait of Thomas Tuke Hollway, member of the Old Colonists Association of Ballarat. He was also president of the Wendouree Rowing Club.

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

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

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

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Photograph - Andrew Anderson

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Photographic protrait of Andrew Anderson.

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Newsclipping - The Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat, 1888

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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)

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

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

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

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Image - Black and White - Alfred Lester

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Black and white portrait on a bearded man - Alfred Lester

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

no image

Spreadsheet - Ballarat Old Colonists' Association Database (in process), 2019

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Listing of members and roles of people associated with the Ballarat Old Colonists' Association and the Ballarat Old Colonists' Club.

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

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

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Brick cottages at the Ballarat Old Colonists' Association Retirement Village.

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Photograph - Colour - Coat of Arms on the Old Colonists' Hall, Ballarat, 2018

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Colour photograph of the coat of arms on the Ballarat Old Colonists' Hall

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Photograph - Colour - Ballarat Old Colonists' Club World War One Honour Board

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Timber honour boards with names on repoussed copper.

Historical information

This Honour Board was made by the Ballarat Technical Art School, a division of the Ballarat School of Mines.

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Photographs - Colour - Original Window Frame Maker Plaque, 2017

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Colour photograph of the original window makers plaque on an Old Colonist shopfront in Lydiard Street Ballarat.

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Photograph - Sepia - Aboriginal Woman and Child

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Mining License

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Photograph - Colour - Old Colonists' Association shops, Lydiard Street, 2017

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A number of photographs showing 4 shops, and the Old Colonist's Hall entrance on Lydiard Street North, Ballarat.

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

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

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

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Book - Names of Ships by Which Old Colonists Arrived

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kittys quartz mining company
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john laurie
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Hand written book which starts with minutes from the Kitty's Quartz Mining Company.

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Photograph - Colour - Logo of the Ballarat Old Colonists' Club

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Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Image - Andrew Kofaod Michelson

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Photographic portrait of Andrew Michelson, member of the Old Colonists Association of Ballarat.

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Image - John Alexander McKenzie

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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.

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Photograph - Black and White - Charles E. Anderson

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Portrait of Charles Anderson.

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central

Newsclipping - Old Colonists' Asylum (Victorian Government Gazette No. 129, Friday, 16 October 1891)

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One page from the Victorian Government Gazette No. 129, Friday, 16 October 1891, with information on the Old Colonists' Asylum at Mount Clear.

Historical information

The site for an asylum for indigent members of the Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat.

Old Colonists' Association of Ballarat Inc., Ballarat Central