Burchett Ballarat Bash January 2014

Bash Background:

Midway through 2012, Amy Katherine Burchett (find her on the Family Tree!) raised with other family members her concerns that she did not know most of her cousins, aunts and uncles and suggested a gathering to fix this.

Mulling over her concerns, it was realised that it had been almost 50 years since the last sizeable congregation of the Burchett family, so a small group of Burchett’s met and began planning!

It was agreed that 'a Bash' was the way to go – a spot to gather, to cast eyes upon long unseen 'rellies'.

It was also thought that such a gathering could re-establish family contacts and begin new familial relationships, it might kindle or renew interest in our family’s historical roots and maybe provide the necessary catalyst to establish an ongoing web-based repository of our genealogy.  


Why Ballarat?

Well, a guy many of us Baby Boomers (and older folks) called Grandpa - aka George Harold Burchett, moved here with his wife Eveline and their four children Clive, Amy, Winston and Wilfred in 1918 from Poowong, in Gippsland. Over the next 10 years, the family prospered. A house-building business flourished, a new family home was built, they also buried their daughter Amy Olive in Ballarat. The Great Depression of 1929 saw George and Evelyn withdrawing back to Poowong, but the boys stayed on – builders, plasterboard manufacturers and one opening a private lending library. 

 Ballarat has the distinction of being one of the coldest winter towns in Victoria – a few facts to help you plan your stay:

·         Average summer maximum temperature   25C but nights can be cool – 15-18C.

·         Most rain falls in the winter - but you never know your luck!…

The city has a population of about 100,000 people, is 100 kilometres west of Melbourne and about 800 metres above sea level. A visit to the regional tourism website - www.visitballarat.com.au provides details of attractions and a range of accommodation.

Getting There:

A 4-6 lane freeway connects from Melbourne and will take between 90 – 120 minutes. Regular hourly trains leave Southern Cross Station, Spencer Street, Melbourne – taking about 70 minutes. There is a taxi rank at Ballarat Station. (Refer  Transport Ballarat-Melbourne )


What's Been Arranged:


Friday 10 January 2014

 1700 hours - Welcoming Drinks and Nibbles at Chris & Catherine Burchett's home at 19 Queen Victoria Street, Newington (Refer Locality Map ) telephone 03 5338 8599 or mobile 0427 420 464

·         issue of Name Badges to all who have registered

·         issue of Burchett Ballarat Bash Welcome Packs


Saturday 11 January 2014

 Morning - Free Time to perhaps stroll around  and view Burchett Bros building projects or visit Amy Olive Burchett's grave in the old cemetery

 1100 hours Brunch - Gourmet picnic by the shores of Lake Wendouree. (Refer Locality Map )

·         While this event will be fully catered, please bring your own drinks and a folding chair or picnic blanket if required

·         the picnic site will be suitably identified by a Burchett Bash banner

·         the picnic site is adjacent to the Botanical Gardens and children's adventure playground

1800 hours - Gala Dinner at the Redan Football Clubroom, corner Eyre and Pleasant Streets (Refer Locality Map)

·         a formal seated dinner with a selection of fine fare (including vegetarian)

·         while limited supply of house beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) will be served, those wishing to consume any special vintage should feel free to bring it along          


Sunday 12 January 2014

 1130 hours - Aussie Barbecue at Gong Gong Reservoir Reserve, Daylesford Road (Refer Locality Map)

·         again this will be fully catered with the proviso that participants bring their own beverages

·         this will provide a final opportunity for participants to meet before going on their separate ways

Participation Costs

While the organisers have made every effort to contain the costs of the Bash, there were some unavoidable ones associated with the use of venues and equipment, catering and printing.  These costs have been set at $110 per Adult and at $20 per Child (4-14years).

·         To facilitate finalisation of arrangements, the organisers are seeking Early Registration Deposits of $20/head by 16 August 2013.

·         Balances will be due by 30 November 2013.

·         The preferred method of payment will be by Electronic Funds Transfer to Account Name: Burchett Bash; BSB: 083 532; Account Number: 94 481 8563

·         So as to clearly identify those who will be attending it is important to include Given Names in the Fund Transfer Description box and Surname in Remitter Name box

Chris Burchett will send an email confirmation of receipt. Balances will be due in late November.


BBB - Photo Archive

We are collating a collection of historical photos from the last 100 years, suitably digitalised for screening at the Bash. What little gems do you have that could be included?

Pictures of family gatherings at Rosebud, Melbourne, Perth, London, Paris, Sofia, Hanoi or in Poowong;

An important part of this presentation will be the inclusion of pictures that stimulate conversations  around the doings of our families – and will resonate with members of other family branches - ie the pictures should have a conversation WITHIN them!

Bash participants who wish to submit relevant family photos should scan and forward them by email to John Burchett  at jmburchett@bigpond.com   If unsure HOW to scan, ask the younger generation or visit a Harvey Norman, Teds or other photo/electronics store near you! 

If your picture is old and or of poor quality it would be preferable for you to re-photograph it and forward the digitalised image direct to John at the above email address.

Please label all photos with date, names and locality. Please also ensure all digital photographs are suitably compressed to no larger than 500KB.

The BBB Photo Archive is now stored at:   

 www.myheritage.com/site- 214574481/burchett  and access to the archive can arranged through John at the above email address.


Some Samples:

Clive, Winston, Wilfred, Molly holding Valerie, Stephanie, Mary holding John, Grandpa George holding Christopher, Helen, Wilma and Diana - Rosebud 1951



George, Eveline and Erna Burchett  - Melbourne 1941


Rosebud Burchetts 1962
(Clive, Winston, Molly, Mary, George, Valerie, Helen, Wilma, John, Diana and Christopher) 

Wilfred, Vessa and Anna


George Burchett gives Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin (first man in space) a boomerang 1962.


BBB - Family Tree Project

The Burchett family's early antecedents back to the 17th Century have been well documented in Sir Ronald East's book: A Family Who's Who volume III - more Australian Pioneers - The Burchetts and Related Families, 1976.  Copies of his early genealogical charts are set out hereunder (click on Thumbnails to open).


Burchetts - 1620-1854

James & Maria Burchett's Family

Caleb & Amy Burchett's Family

However, since 1976 the family has continued to grow but without much coordinated genealogical record-keeping.  As part of the preparation for the Burchett Ballarat Bash in January 2014 we want to take the opportunity to update the family records and produce a new online Family Tree which will be made available to interested Bash participants.

Genealogical  Information Sought:

We are now seeking information about all new marriages, unions, births and deaths. John Burchett (jmburchett@bigpond.com) is coordinating the update so please supply him with details of:



Portrait Snaps Sought:


Small portrait photos will be added to the Family Tree. Please email John suitable digital photos of all those you are detailing above.  Ideally the photos will be:

·       individual files, one per person;

·       with the person’s face clearly shown (no hats, sunglasses please); and

·       less than 350 KB in size


A copy of the up-dated Family Tree can also be viewed at:

 www.myheritage.com/site- 214574481/burchett 


The Bash Takes Place


Family Tree (Banner) of George & Mary Jane Eveline Burchett



 Amy Katherine at Amy Olive Burchett's grave                                    Amy, Judith, Sarah and Benjamin Burchett


Some Bash Attendees



  Christopher and Rainer Burchett address the Bash


                 Bec, Rainer, Sarah and Tom                                                 Kate de Castro, Max & Helen Butler


                     Penny, Stephanie, Christy & Ben                        Caitlin, Penny, Lisa, Max, Natalie & Diana 


                                        Tom and Amy                                                Stephanie & John


 The Bash Quiz

Ben, Maria, Tim, Lilian and Darcy


Quizmaster Christopher with his participants

Winston & Mary Burchett's children

Winston & Mary Burchett's grandchildren

Winston & Mary Burchett's children & spouses, grandchildren & spouses and great grand children


Burchett Ballarat Bash – Quiz & Answers

11 January 2014

A little exercise has been set, to get the juices flowing and I thank those who were able to suggest questions for inclusion. While every effort has been made to ensure correct, defined answers have been sourced, healthy debate might add some spice to our weekend festivities. Under no circumstances will fisticuffs be allowed to settle disputed claims!

Some questions will require sleuthing around Ballarat, some will require vigorous Q&A of the assembled family members, the website .

Completed sheets should be kept at the ready for the Sunday barbeque where all will be revealed and the ‘official’ answers given. The winner will receive the approbation of less successful entrants!

    1. Look closely at the attached photo and identify which child is MISSING? Wilfred
    2. What year was Banksia Holiday Park opened? 1951…………………..
    3. Complete the following quote "Take cover, he’s armed with … ?"

      A typewriter

    4. How many of our Burchett family have had books published?

      (George H; Winston, Mary, Wilfred, Stephanie, George Jnr) 6

    5. What is the maiden name of Kaye Ngoc Welker? Pham
    6. In what street were Winston & Clive’s family living in Rosebud? Melaleuca Avenue
    7. In the current generations Caleb and Amy are cousins. What relationship were the earlier Caleb and Amy? Married.….
    8. What cities do Rainer, London. Peter, Paris George Hanoi and Anna Burchett Sophia each presently live in?
    9. Who saw ‘fairies’ in a Rosebud garden (under childhood conditions and unaffected by hallucinatory substances)? Lisa Montague
    10. Over what period did Mary Jane Evelyn Burchett keep her Household Accounts book?

      April 1932 to July 1945

    11. Who did lasting damage to Helen Butler’s (nee Burchett) front tooth? John Burchett
    12. With what implement was the damage done ? Roller skate
    13. Give month and year that James & Maria Burchett brought their young family to Victoria?

      February 1854.

    14. Name two of the Burchett Family’s most distinguished physical features? Big ears, blue eyes, gap in front teeth
    15. What was Doreen Burchett’s maiden name? Salmon ……………………………………………………….
    16. Which family member was born on 26th January? Daniel Ruskin 26/1/2012 …………………..
    17. Which of the senior Burchett brothers went bald first? Winston..
    18. What was Clive Burchett’s favourite expletive? Jesus Christ Almighty or Bugger.
    19. What was the address of the Geo Burchett’s Ballarat family home? 2 Durham St
    20. What was the name of the Poowong property established by Caleb Burchett? Hazeldene.
    21. What is the name of the annual Ballarat-based debating competition won by both George Harold and Winston Harold Burchett? South Street
    22. Which London paper was Wilfred employed as a War Correspondent? Daily Express
    23. What tree is thought to be the derivation of the name Burchett? Birch Tree .
    24. Who became an accomplished Cellist whilst living in Ballarat? Clive Barrett Burchett.
    25. Who wrote the South Gippsland Suite, for Cello and Piano? …Edwin Burchett.
    26. How many grandchildren did George Harold and Mary Jane Evelyn have? 13
    27. Can you name them, in descending order of birth? Graham, Palma, Rainer, Stephanie, Diana, Wilma, Helen, John, Chris, Val, Peter, George and Anna
    28. How many houses were built by the Burchett Builders in Tennis St, Ballarat? 4
    29. What are the surnames of the two people buried immediately to the left and right of Amy Olive Burchett’s grave? Green and Angwin.
    30. What decade saw George Harold and two of his brothers (Frank and Harry) in the Western Australian goldfields? …1890s.
    31. What is Lyn Barton’s Grandmother’s maiden name? …Hawksford.
    32. What year did the George Burchett family leave Poowong and settle in Ballarat? …1918.
    33. Within our family, whose birthdays are celebrated on Dec 26th & Dec 29th?

      Diana Clarke and Karl Welker

    34. Within our family who is celebrating (or anxious about) their impending 66th birthdays?

      Maria Burchett, John Burchett and Helen Butler

    35. Which of George Harold and Mary Jane Evelyn’s grandchildren were married in 1971?

      Chris (to Gwen McArthur), Val and Charlie Welker and Helen and Max Butler

    36. Which family member had their own TV series? …Stephanie - Stephanie’s Australia
    37. Who is the youngest member of our extended family? …Maya De Castro (14th Aug 2012)
    38. What was Molly Burchett’s maiden name? …Merrifield …………………………………………..
    39. Who was the namesake for the ‘John’ in John Winston Burchett’s name? Mary E Burchett’s father, John Bell
    40. As reported to a grand-daughter, name the film that caused Winston Burchett’s girlfriend to faint? …1930’s King Kong.
    41. In what year was Wilfred Burchett’s Australian Passport reinstated by Whitlam? 1972
    42. Which of George’s sons was the most competent house builder? Clive.
    43. By what means did Wilfred travel into Hiroshima from Tokyo in 1945? …Train
    44. Where in Victoria would you find the streets of Burchett and Bell intersecting? …Penshurst.
    45. Who in their early years was a champion breaststroke swimmer? …Valerie Welker
    46. Who is working as a Television scriptwriter? Holly Alexander

Feel free to interrogate other members of the Bash, to visit specific Ballarat sites and/or to refer to our family website at http://www.myheritage.com/site-214574481/burchett for clues and/or answers to the questions.

The Quizmaster

Friday, 3 January 2014


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