Monday, September 24, 2012

Arthurs Creek 150 Years Celebration

The Weekend of 13 and 14 October 2012 has been set aside to celebrate 150 years of permanent settlement at Arthurs Creek

The selection acts of the 1860s were the result of pressure to unlock the land held by   squatters. The acts encouraged closer settlement and increased agricultural production, by allowing former leaseholders and settlers of limited means to locate themselves on land which they could call their own.

Under the Duffy Land Act 1862, which came into force on 10 September 1862, pastoral leases in the Arthurs Creek district were cancelled and the land surveyed and thrown open for selection. The first selectors took up land at the site of the present township.

A scattered and growing population developed a strong sense of community and sought opportunities for social interaction and self-improvement. An early focus was provided through the local church and school, which was soon followed by the establishment of a Mechanics Institute and Free Library in 1887.

The Weekend also celebrates the Arthurs Creek Mechanics Institute’s 125th birthday and the Arthurs Creek/Strathewen Fire Brigade’s 70th birthday.

Representatives from the various organizations in Arthurs Creek are coming together ‘to celebrate our forefathers, our history, our organisations – our Community, past and present.

The program of events is available on the Arthurs Creek website.

The Mechanics Institute has published a brief history of Arthurs Creek and the Institute by local historian Bruce Draper. The 33 page booklet will be available for $10 at the forthcoming Arthurs Creek 150 Years Celebration.  A copy is to also be placed in the local history collection at Eltham Library.

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