April 7, 2013

150th Anniversary of the Ben Hall Raid, e-newsletter Issue 1

This is the first of a series of e-newsletters to mark the 150th Anniversary of the Ben Hall Raid at Bathurst in 1863. The event saw some far-reaching effects that changed people’s lives and the Government of the day. 

The anniversary will take the form of a weekend festival with numerous activities planned over three days. There will be a full programme of re- enactments, talks, tours, historic bushranging and colonial displays and memorabilia, book launches as well as a special dinner with guest speaker and bushranger historian Mr. Peter Smith with his talk entitled “Heroes to Villains.” 

A sub-committee of the Bathurst District Historical Society has been meeting since May last year to organise this special weekend. This event marks the raid on Bathurst by the Ben Hall Gang and the effect it had not only on Bathurst but the Colony of New South Wales and the police system. The raid took place on the evening of Saturday 3rd October, 1863, sending many residents into a panic as the news was passed around. 

It was during the time in history where bushrangers roamed the country from the 1860s till the 1880s.

Plans for the weekend are well in hand and coming together nicely. There are just some 25 weeks before visitors start arriving in Bathurst so be sure to book or arrange your weekend accommodation if you plan to stay for the weekend. 

The Bathurst Regional Council has granted permission to close Russell Street in front of the historic Bathurst Court House to hold the activities on the Saturday afternoon and has agreed to finance the cost of the closure. The Bathurst District Historical Society and the committee are very appreciative of their assistance. 

Details, locations and information on the dinner, historic displays, talks, tours and other activities over the three days will appear in various issues of this e-newsletter and media as details are confirmed. The re-enactment of the event is currently being organised. 

Please enjoy yourself whilst in Bathurst and be sure to visit some of the many other attractions that historic Bathurst and the district have to offer. 

We hope that some families will use the weekend to incorporate a family reunion, especially on the Sunday. Some may wish to put a plaque on Bathurst’s Pioneer Wall which can be organised through the Bathurst District Historical Society on info@bathursthistory.org.au to arrange for the information and application form. 

I hope you enjoy these monthly e-newsletters and that they will be interesting and beneficial. It will be great to meet people in person and I hope you all have a terrific weekend here in paradise. 

If you wish to receive this e-newsletter direct just email amcrae@lisp.com.au 

Alan McRae, FAIHA, President Bathurst District Historical Society 

To view the full Newsletter click here.

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