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October 2017

Vale Weston Arthur Bate OAM FRHSV

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Prof Weston Bate enjoying a coffee during the 2016 Australian Amateur Championships at the Metropolitan Golf Club. On display were some Louis Whyte clubs from 1894 put together by Cliff George our Collections Curator

The Royal Historical Society of Victoria (RHSV) and the community History movement in Victoria is saddened by the passing of one its greatest sons, Professor Weston Bate on 31 October.

Weston Bate was born in Surrey Hills Melbourne, son of Mary Olive Akers, a Californian and Ernest Bate an English-born engineer. He attended Surrey Hills primary for three years before moving to Scotch College. He then served in the RAAF and flew Lancaster bomber missions from England.

After the war he enrolled at the University of Melbourne under a serviceman’s tertiary scholarship and was captivated by History under the tutelage of Max Crawford and his few staff. Weston began teaching at Brighton Grammar in 1949, under the headship of Philip Wilson his future father-in-law. taking teacher training classes each afternoon. He began a part time MA in 1950, while teaching. His marriage to life-long partner Janice Wilson in 1955, and their four of six children being born before 1962, delayed the MA. It then became the ground breaking A History of Brighton (1962, 1983).

After fifteen years of teaching at Brighton Grammar and Melbourne Grammar, Weston was appointed to the History Department at the University of Melbourne, where he became a passionate and captivating lecturer. He became Professor of Australian Studies at Deakin University in 1978 before retiring in 1989.

If his History of Brighton set new standards in local history, Lucky City (1978) and his second volume of Ballarat’s history, Life After Gold (1993) set new heights in goldfields community history. This writing assisted the creation of Sovereign Hill, which honours him with the Weston Bate annual lecture. In retirement he wrote histories of Geelong and Melbourne Grammar, of the Metropolitan and Barwon Heads golf clubs (for he was a skilled player into his nineties), a wonderful book on Melbourne laneways and other publications. He also published a chat book of love poems to the Mornington Peninsula, Haphazard Quilt (2006).

Weston Bate served on the Museum Advisory Board in the 1980s. He was a long-serving member of the Royal Historical Society of Victoria and was awarded a fellowship of the Society in 1991. Weston served on the RHSV Council for fifteen years from 1990 and as President of the RHSV from 1991-97 and 2002-05. His greatest gift was to energise all those he met and to inspire historical societies across the state to pursue history with more skill, passion and tenacity.

The RHSV sends its deepest sympathy to his wife Janice Bate, their children James, Rosemary, Tristan, Nicholas, Linden and Christopher, their partners and their families. His last days were spent peacefully at Cabrini Prahran with close friends and his much loved and loving family by his side. A passionate lifeforce finally quelled.

2017 Annual Hickory Day

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16 Oct 2017 – Kingston Heath Golf Club

The Society’s Annual Hickory day was held at Kingston Heath Golf Club October 16 playing for the Frank Shepherd and Burtta Cheney Trophies.

A warm spring afternoon saw 20 players, with many wearing clothes of the era, go out with their hickories for our 9 hole event.

With great weather,the Heath in beautiful condition and quick greens, it was a perfect day for playing hickories.

A most enjoyable day closed with refreshments and snacks as Secretary Kim Hastie and President Graeme Ryan made the presentations.

The Golf Society appreciates and thanked the club for their ongoing support and hospitality with this event

Men’s Winner – David Worley
Women’s Winner – Kim Hastie
Longest Drive – Luke Eipper
Nearest the Pin – Rod Hiscox
Guest winners – Terry Thornton and Ros Nicol

Grant McKay, Neil Walker, Cliff George, Matthew Mollica and Terry Thornton

David Kelso with Andrew Thomson and guests Max Yasuda and Shinji Saga

Frank Shepherd winner David Worley with Graeme Ryan

Burtta Cheney winner Kim Hastie

2017 Historians Forum

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23 Oct 2017 – Riversdale Golf Club

The final historian’s forum for the year was at Riversdale Golf Club.

The four main speaker’s very informative presentations gave us a real insight into the clubs long and proud history.

President Ken Watson spoke about the Murdoch family and their connection with the club. John Boundy talked about the St Johns Wood course -the clubs current location. Ian Rowell gave us an insight into the first 20 years of the Riversdale Cup. This much sort after and prestigious amateur trophy has a wonderful history. John Boundy returned to the lectern to talk about Riversdale 125 the clubs most recent historical publication.

Other presentations of interest were by Cliff George GSA Curator, he spoke about the Victorian Golf Cup, a trophy with an interesting history.

It was quite special to see this beautiful old trophy displayed beside the Riversdale Cup.

Ross Davis spoke about his comprehensive collection of golf ball markers. They were well displayed and drew a lot of interest.

With wonderful views of the course, members and guests had a thoroughly enjoyable day.

See full report >>