History of wireless telegraphy and broadcasting in Australia/Topical/Biographies/William Philip Bechervaise/Notes

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William Philip Bechervaise[edit]

Key article copies[edit]

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1849[edit]

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First reference to the unusual surname Bechervaise in Trove Newspapers, possibly a letter to Bechervaise's brother, later a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy

General Post Office, Sydney, 1st June, 1849. LIST of Ship Letters detained in consequence of the Sea Postage required thereon, not having been paid. . . . Bechervaise Mr., H. M.S. "Excellent," Portsmouth.[1]

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Construction of the Melbourne-Ballarat telegraph line progresses

We are glad to report that the telegraphic line to Ballarat is hastening towards completion, and during the week its course into Geelong has been pegged out. Entering the township by the Ballarat road, the line passes through Church street, turns into Pakington street near the Telegraph road, skirts along Aberdeen street up to its junction with Ryrie street, and then taking straight course to Bellerine street. It is expected that this end of the line will be completed next week and as the length to be put up at the Ballarat end does not exceed ten miles, and the required timber is there very close at hand, we may shortly took for the privilege of speedy communication with the gold-fields of the western district.[2]

Tenders called for the construction of the Ballarat telegraph station where Bechervaise was to spend over three decades

Public Works Office, Melbourne, 3rd November, 1856. Erection of an Electric Telegraph Station at Ballarat. TENDERS will be received until eleven o'clock, on Tuesday, 25th Nov., 1856, for the erection of an Electric Telegraph Station, at Ballarat. Plan and specification may be seen at this office, and at the office of the Resident Warden, at Ballarat. Tenders to be endorsed "Tender for Electric Telegraph Station at Ballarat, and addressed (if by post prepaid) to the Chairman of the Tender Board, Melbourne. The Board will not necessarily accept the lowest or any tender. (Signed) C. PASLEY, Commissioner of Public Works.[3]

First report of the site for the Ballarat telegraph station

ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH — Tenders have been called for the erection of the telegraph station here, we understand that the station will be built on the corner of the camp, opposite the Bank of Australasia, and that we may expect the line to be completed by the middle of next month. We cannot but approve of the choice of the site selected for the station.[4]

The construction of the Melbourne-Ballarat telegraph line nears completion

Local Intelligence. THE ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH.— The telegraph is now completed from Mount Buninyong to Geelong, and the contractor is busily employed forming the posts in the vicinity of Buninyong Township. In less than three weeks, we are informed, the line will be completed in its whole length, and the benefits of telegraphic communication extended to this district.[5]

As previous, further progress

Local Intelligence. ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH.— The posts for the electric telegraph are now laid down along the main road through the whole of its length nearly, and in a few days we may expect to see them erected, and the line of communication completed between Ballarat and Geelong.[6]

1856 12[edit]

The first telegraph messages between Melbourne and Ballarat received 3 Dec 1856 on temporary equipment

THE STAR. THURSDAY, 4TH DECEMBER, 1856. THE ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH. THE first telegraphic communication between Ballarat and Melbourne, and vice versa, took place yesterday afternoon at twenty minutes past three o'clock. At that hour Mr McGowan, the Superintendent of the telegraphic department in this colony, communicated to Mr Childers the pleasing intelligence of the completion of the communication between this and the metropolis. The message being conveyed to Mr Childers, while attending to his duties in the Lower House, was at once communicated by him to the members present, who received it with great applause. A message was also sent at same time to Mr Haines, to which no reply was returned, owing to that gentleman having left his office earlier than usual, in consequence of receiving intelligence by the Marco Polo of the death of his mother. Last evening, about eight o'clock, the representatives of the . . . . Ballarat were invited by Mr. . . . . the Telegraph. There being no office accommodation ready at present, the spot selected was the last post near the Unicorn Hotel on the Township. A wire was carried from the post to a small testing machine placed on a stump at its base, and thence — to secure moisture — carried to the stream adjoining, which runs from Mr Bath's claim. For a considerable time no notice was taken of the repeated attempts of Mr McGowan to obtain a "hearing," and it was hinted that the "Pivot" had become jealous and had cut off the communication. About half-past eight, however, a responsive — click — click — was obtained, and the cause of delay was then stated to have been the transmission of a message to Geelong. Mr Humffray, who was at the Melbourne station, then transmitted the following remarks to Mr McGowan — "The establishment of Electric Telegraph communication between Ballarat and Melbourne is a far more pleasing event to celebrate on the anniversary of the 3rd of December than stockades and massacres.— Yours faithfully — J. B. HUMFFRAY." The following shipping intelligence was then received. ARRIVED AT THE HEADS YESTERDAY (WEDNESDAY). 5.30 a.m., Governor-General, st., from Sydney. Dove, sch., from Western Port. 6.30 a.m., Eagle, sch., from Sydney. 7 a.m., Champion, st., from Portland. 2.50 p.m., Alboni, ship, from New York, 21st August, with 51 passengers, and a general cargo; Flower, McLaren & Co., agents. 3. p.m., Emily Alison, sch., from Hobart Town. 5.35 p.m., Mimmie Dike, three-masted sch., from Wellington, N.Z. 6. p.m., Cairngorm, ship, from Liverpool. Royal Saxon, barque, from Calcutta. SAILED FROM THE HEADS. 7 a.m. Marco Polo, for Hobson's Bay. 3.40. a.m., Queen, st, for Launceston. ARRIVED IN HOBSON'S BAY. 7.30. a.m., Governor General, st, for Sydney. Debsons, sch, from Launceston. 10.55. a.m., Janet Dixon, sch, from Launceston. 12 noon, Marco Polo, from Liverpool. 6 p.m., Maid of the Valley, sch, from Launceston. SAILED FROM HOBSON'S BAY. 6.30. a.m., Time and Truth, barque, for Hong Kong. Queen, st, for Launceston. Mr McGowan (who all this while, was reading the messages merely by sound — the click, click, click, so monotonous and unmeaning to those around, being to him symbols of ideas as clear and as vivid as though uttered by the voice of a practised speaker,) then enquired whether anything important had taken place in the House during the afternoon. In a few minutes the crowd which by this time numbered some fifty or sixty eager and enquiring individuals, was informed that in the Legislative Assembly Mr Goodman presented a petition against the return of David Blair, Esq., M.L.A., for the county of Talbot. The prayer of the petition was that the election be considered null and void. Nothing else worthy of notice had taken place. After a few unimportant or at least private messages had been transmitted by Mr McGowan to the officials in Melbourne, the friendly intercourse was put an end to about nine o'clock. No words of ours can over-estimate the importance of such an event as that which we have new chronicled; the facts speak for themselves. In all the important events that may now agitate the great Australian continent, our pulse will beat time with that of the metropolitan city, though for a year or two we still, so far as mere material intercourse is concerned, will be subject to the delays and difficulties attendant upon travelling in the bush.[7]

Opening of the Melbourne-Ballarat telegraph line but briefly mentioned in the Legislative Assembly

LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY. Wednesday 3rd December. In the Legislative Assembly there was rather a strong muster of members, there being a general impression that the second reading of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill would be brought on. As will be observed, however, it was postponed to Wednesday next. Mr Childers announced that the first line of electric telegraph communication had been completed, and that the Government had that day received by it a message of a very gratifying nature from Ballarat.[8]

McGowan agrees the release of shipping and other news prior to official opening of the Ballarat telegraph station which is much awaited

BY ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH. Through the kindness of Mr McGowan we are enabled to present to our readers Melbourne news up to 4 p.m., on Thursday. ARRIVED AT QUEESCLIFFE. 4th December, 4.45. a.m., Renata, Prussian ship, from Sweden. 10.40. a.m., Oscar I, ship, from Gottenburg. 10.5. am, Imana Brons, barque, from Hamburg. 1.5. p.m. Tasmanian Maid, steamer, under canvas, from Middlesbro', via Cape of Good Hope. 1. 45., p.m., Toroa, schooner, from Warnambool. 2.45., p.m., Caroline, schooner, from Western Port. SAILED FROM THE HEADS. 5., a.m., Sybil, schooner, for King's Island. 7.30., a.m., Douglas, schooner, for Sealers' Cove. India, barque, for Guam. Flying Fish, schooner, for Hobarton. Time and Truth, barque, for Hong Kong. 8.20., a.m., Mercury, brig, for Launceston. 10.20., am., Royal Shepherd, steamer, for Launceston. ARRIVED IN HOBSON'S BAY. Alboni, ship, from New York. Mimmie Dyke, three-masted schooner, from New Zealand. Emily Alison, schooner, from Hobart Town. 6.30., am., Cairngorm, ship, from Liverpool. 11.50., Royal Swan, barque, for Calcutta. 12.15., p.m., Imana Brons, barque, from Hamburg. SAILED. Mercury, brig, for Launceston; Monarch, barque, for Sydney; Royal Shepherd, steamer, for Launceston. 1.45., p.m. H. M.'s steamer, Victoria, for Geelong, with His Excellency, Major-General McArthur on board. Melbourne, 4 p.m. There are no other important news. Melville's case will be re-argued to-morrow before a full court. No clue has yet been obtained of the murderer of Miss Lewis. A strict investigation, however, is going on. The opening of telegraphic communication be-tween Ballarat and Melbourne is a great topic of conversation in Melbourne to day. Many enquiries are hourly made as to when the line will be open to the public. 4.20 p.m. In the Legislative Assembly, Mr Syme gave notice that he would ask the Chief Secretary when the Report of the Mining Commission would be laid on the table of the House.[9]

The telegraph station at Ballarat (soon to be opened) features in an overall report of Ballarat's progress

STILL PROGRESSING.— While Ballarat proudly maintains the position of the metropolitan gold field of Victoria, it gives indications of long continuing to do so, it is no small gratification to find that we are making steady progress in other departments of industry which will go to make this the first among the inland districts in other ways. We have, already two flour mills in a forward state, and a third contemplated at Burrambeet, then we have our newly founded District Road Board, and our Agricultural Society. The Electric Telegraph will soon be in full working order, and it is likely to be laid down to Raglan, on the way to Adelaide, via Port Fairy, Portland, &c., we may take the benefits immediately to be derived from this means of communication, as but a small portion of those to be eventually gained to us. Then we have a foundry, small no doubt, but useful even now, and likely to be more so shortly. We hear too that soap works are about to be established and carried on with spirit. Our Ballarat brewers have made a name for the district even when compared with those of the metropolis. So also have our brick and tile makers. We have a tannery in full operation and likely soon to go far to supply our own market. Bookbinding, &c, can also be done on Ballarat as elegantly as in the metropolis, by skilled workmen, as may be seen in another column. Time would fail us to tell of the thousand and one things which go to prove that we are fast emerging from that semi-barbarous state which has been but too long considered to be inseparable from gold seeking. True we have yet much to do, but a commencement has been made, and that is oftener worse to do than it is to carry on with ordinary perseverance.[10]

Great expansion predicted for the Victorian telegraph network

THE ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH.— Great as the advantages will be of a telegraphic communication between Ballarat and Geelong and Melbourne, its application will not be allowed to rest there. Already the line is marked out between this and Raglan, Fiery Creek, and in a few months it is probable the wires will be carried to that gold field. Thence it is intended to continue the line down the banks of the Hopkins, and across the plains to Warnambool and Belfast, from which place Portland and ultimately Adelaide will be reached, if the South Australians will be liberal enough to meet us at the boundary of the colonies at Mount Gambier. To the northward, it is intended to establish a communication from this place with Castlemaine and Bendigo; the route is not yet decided on, but we presume it will be via Creswick and Jim Crow, or perhaps by way of Daisy Hill and Maryboro'. The cost of these lines will be a mere trifle compared with the advantages that the colony will reap from the speedy communication of intelligence between all parts of the colony. The cost of constructing a line is only about £60 or £70 a mile. Two hundred miles will thus cost no more than the Governor's salary. When the Estimates come before the House, we hope that a sufficient sum will be found placed on them to connect all the gold fields with each other, and with the principal seaports; and should the Government have neglected this important desideratum, we trust that the independent members will endeavor to provide a remedy.[11]

Local intelligence reveals the likely first appointee Mr James Baker as station master at the Ballarat telegraph station

MR. JAMES BAKER.— We are informed that this gentleman has received the appointment of master of the telegraph station about to be opened here, and that he is now in the Melbourne office, acquiring a knowledge of his duties. From Mr Baker's well-known ability and energy, we maybe assured that the appointment will give general satisfaction.[12]

James Baker still in Melbourne learning telegraphy, Editor of the Star notes the value of telegraphy

TELEGRAPH OFFICE.— A temporary office for telegraphic purposes has been opened on the Camp Hill, near the Local Court. Mr Baker has not yet returned from town, where he is acquainting himself with the occult mysteries of this chef d'oeuvre of modern science. We hear he is likely to return in about a week or ten days time. . . . SIGNS OF PROGRESS.— Having occasion to refer to some important documents, which could only be procured in Gelong, we telegraphed for them about 11 o'clock yesterday morning, and through the courtesy of the Criterion Coach Company, a large parcel was delivered to us at half-past seven in the evening. An instance of facility for the dispatch of business which those engaged in it will well know how to appreciate.[13]

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Parliament decides to utilise telegraph stations to implement a system of postal money orders

BY ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH. Melbourne, Friday, 7 p.m. . . . Mr Ebden said the Government was most anxious to establish the system of money orders, and the business would be carried on by employing the telegraph station masters to attend to it, the employment of the telegraph in the matter, would be an additional benefit. The motion was carried with the substitution of 1858 for 1857. (House left sitting.)[14]

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Editorial for the Ballarat Star on the removal of the Ballarat Telegraph Station Master to Portland under a cloud

THE STAR. DAILY ISSUE. MONDAY, 1ST FEBRUARY, 1858. MR BAKER'S REMOVAL. IN another column will be found a report of the special meeting of the Eastern Municipal Council, held on Saturday last, to consider the propriety of memorialising the Government to retain the services of Mr James Baker in the telegraph department here. The announcement of Mr Baker's intended removal to Portland was made known on Friday, and several of his friends conceiving that such a step was injurious to his interests, immediately set themselves to procure an expression of public sympathy in favor of his retention at the Ballarat station. Several of the members and the Chairmen of the Municipal Councils were called upon, and the latter were requested to call special meetings of their councils to consider the matter. This was accordingly done, and the Eastern Council met on Saturday forenoon, at eleven o'clock, and the Western one at seven o'clock in the evening. The latter body refused to entertain the matter at all, and the former, after agreeing to consider it, and after hearing some of the grounds for Mr Baker's removal, thought it better not to remonstrate against the action that had been taken by the Government. It is a matter of regret that, through the rashness of some foolish friends, Mr Baker's management of the Electric Telegraph station here should have been dragged so prominently before the public, and that such fervent panegyrics should have been bestowed on him in a quarter where, above all others, their impropriety, if not untruth, must have been only too well known. The notice taken by the Government of the impropriety of official conduct alleged against Mr Baker is, after all, a very lenient one. It is not stated that the salary of the Portland station will be less than that of Ballarat, and as removal from one locality to another is a practice long established in the Government service, and one which, for various reasons, is often found highly necessary, there was little real cause for dissatisfaction, or even disapproval by Mr Baker or his friends. There was every reason indeed that the change should have been accepted by Mr Baker in quietness if not with thankfulness, as affording him the opportunity of escaping from the toils of designing and unprincipled men, who have been artfully using him for the purpose of furthering their own ends, utterly reckless at the same time of the danger they were leading him to incur, or of the discredit which they were sure ultimately to bring on the establishment with which he is connected. We have no desire to dilate on this matter. In reply to the insinuation which were pretty freely made by some of Mr Baker's friends on Friday and Saturday, as to the motives which have actuated us towards that gentleman, we beg to refer our readers to the report to which we have already alluded. We cannot dismiss the subject however, without drawing attention to some remarks that appeared in our local con-temporary on Saturday last. Reference is there made in very uncomplimentary terms "to some one, a little above Mr Baker officially, and still not so high in the public service as to be directly amenable to the censure of the public." If this has any meaning at all, it is meant for Mr McGowan, the Superintendent of the Electric Telegraph Department, who, the writer wishes his readers to infer, has been acting in this matter out of "mere wantonness or caprice." Those who know that officer need not to be told by us that such a charge is as unjust as it is malicious, and from our knowledge of the facts of the case, we can aver, if error there has been, it has been on the side of a too patient forbearance, and a too lenient over-looking. Had Mr Baker been removed some months ago, he would have escaped the dangers to which, he has fallen a victim. The tenor of our contemporary's article, where, specially referring to the present case, it alludes to the importance of persons through whom telegraphic messages pass being beyond the suspicion of unfaithfulness or imprudence, will perhaps surprise those who are unacquainted with its tactics and its rules of conduct, but no others. As a somewhat significant comment on the attitude thus assumed by our contemporary, we would direct attention to the copy of the telegraphic slip which was furnished it from a source which it designates as being "beyond the suspicion of either unfaithfulness or imprudence." In conclusion we will say that Mr Baker has much reason to regret that the common sense of his ally has fallen so far short of its zeal on his behalf as to lead it, by indiscreet babbling, and by unprincipled praise to draw public attention to shortcomings which in pity would otherwise have never been made prominent, and of which the cause and the memory would have been both removed had Mr Baker been allowed to pass quietly to another district. As the case now stands, we question very much whether Portland or any other township in the colony will submit, without strong remonstrance, to have their "family or their business secrets" entrusted to one who has here proved himself to be so unworthy of his position.[15]

Council debate reveals the reason for Bechervaise's predecessor's removal from Ballarat to Portland telegraph office - breach of confidence

EASTERN MUNICIPAL COUNCIL. A special meeting of this body was held on Saturday last, at 11 a.m. There were present the Chairman, and Councillors Scrase, Wilson, Belford, McCleverty, and Jones. The Chairman stated that he had at the request of two members of the Council, and some parties lately connected with the Local Court, called the present meeting, to consider the propriety of adopting a memorial to the Government on the subject of the removal of Mr Baker, Telegraph Station Master on Ballarat, to Portland. The matter was hardly a Municipal one, but as it had been brought under his notice in such a peculiar way, he had at once issued his summonses. The Town Clerk then read the following petition, being the one brought before the Council by the persons referred to for them to sign:— "To his Excellency Sir Henry Barkly, &c., &c. "The memorial of the Municipal Council of Ballarat East humbly sheweth — "That your memorialists have heard with sincere regret that it is intended to remove to Portland, the Ballarat Telegraph Station Master, Mr James Baker. Your memorialists would therefore beg to remind your Excellency, that when this gentleman was appointed to his present office it was looked upon as a graceful and just recognition by the Government of untiring services for the better regulation of this gold-field. And as Mr Baker, by his attention and fitness to his present duties has maintained the confidence of the people, your memorialists would respectfully urge upon your Excellency to induce the management of the department in which Mr Baker is employed to reconsider and alter their intent. " Your memorialists therefore hope and trust that the people of Ballarat will be per-mitted to retain an officer in whom they have every confidence, and who has given universal satisfaction; and that your Excellency will be pleased to order that Mr Baker shall remain in his present position, and your memorialists will ever pray, &c." Mr Miskelly, who was present, stated that the various members of that Council had been waited upon, and that it was after the circumstances had been somewhat made known that the memorial had been prepared for their signatures. Cr. Belford said he had not been consulted in the matter. It was now with great regret that he rose to oppose the adoption of the memorial in toto. Mr Baker and his friends had acted very unadvisedly in bringing the matter forward so publicly. For reasons which everybody knew, a stationmaster was necessarily made the receptacle of a vast amount of confidence, and it very frequently happened that matters of grave interest were staked in the proper preservation of secrecy. Mr Baker had been removed he believed upon strong suspicions for betraying that confidence, and he asked were the Council prepared to admit the memorial under such circumstances? Though he did not think the Council competent to take the subject into consideration at all he was prepared, in case they did consider it, to bring documentary evidence in proof of his assertion. Cr Belford then read, as apropos to the matter, a paragraph from the Times' leading article of that morning which, speaking in high praise of Mr Baker, added, " we allude to the fact that very much of the use-fulness and value of the telegraph depends upon the esteem in which the station master is held. Messages are constantly being sent which involve business and family secrets, and it is of the very utmost importance that the persons through whom they pass should be beyond the suspicion of either unfaithfulness or imprudence." If the Council were prepared to take the matter up as a public body he was prepared to show that Mr Baker had acted in direct contravention of the sentence in that paragraph. The Chairman stated that the real question was whether they were to consider the case at all. Secrecy in telegraphic messages was a matter so important that he had known men ruined by a betrayal of confidence. Cr McCleverty said the Government could not have acted without some reason, and it would be injudicious in that Council to deal with it. He thought it would be better for Mr Baker were the matter not dealt with publicly. Cr Wilson thought if Mr Baker had done wrong the Government would have discharged Mr Baker. He moved that the memorial be considered. Cr Jones seconded the motion, which was carried Cr Belford said, in rising to propose "That the memorial be not recognised," he would make a short statement. He might say that on the entrance into office of Mr Baker no one had a better feeling towards him than himself and partner, Mr Wanliss, the editor of the Star, though after a little time had elapsed a belief arose that they had reason for suspicion that Mr Baker was not acting properly, which induced them both to be very watchful. He might remind the Council that a large portion of the revenue from the telegraph was derived from the newspapers, and the proprietors were compelled to keep reporters in various parts of the country on high salaries, who communicated all intelligence of importance. Would not the Council think it highly reprehensible in a telegraph clerk, after the proprietors of one paper had incurred such expense, that he should furnish this intelligence to another paper that did not pay for it. The merest accident supplied the proof in the in-stance he would refer to. Some English intelligence arrived on one occasion, and the news was furnished to the Times from Queenscliffe, and to the Star from Melbourne. Mr Wanliss, the editor of the Star, received, among several telegraphic slips enclosed in the same envelop, one which he did not at first understand. Upon closer examination it proved to be a private communication from Mr Baker to the Times, evidently correcting an error in the Times reporter's message from the special information conveyed to the Star, which slip had been inadvertently placed by Mr Baker in the wrong envelop, and had thus reached a destination that was never intended for it. Part of the message sent by the Star correspondent stated that some feelings of alarm were excited by the continued decrease of bullion at the Bank of England. The slip of Mr Baker's read as follows:— "Dated Dec. 17, 1857. "Message for the Times." "I think your reporter has made a mistake in saying 'Bank of France.' I have reason to believe it should be the Bank of England where the bullion is reported as decreasing, &c. "JAMES BAKER." He asked them was it just or proper that those who pay for messages should be so treated, or whether the person who thus acted deserved public sympathy on seeing the trust so glaringly betrayed. Of course, himself and partner had no other course, in self-defence, than to lay the whole circumstances of the case before the Telegraph Department. Certain correspondence ensued, and out of leniency, perhaps, the Government had determined to remove Mr Baker from the place where his friends and former position made him peculiarly open to temptations, which, both he and the Council, he was sure could fully appreciate. Neither he nor his partner had desired to make the case public, till on such an occasion as this their public and private duties rendered such a course compulsory. On the evidence laid before them, as well as on account of other complaints, the Government had ordered Mr Baker's removal; and he now asked the Council, as a public body, was it desirable that Mr Baker should remain? Mr Wanliss (who was present) begged to state, that in the correspondence held with the Government, the proprietors of the Star only asked that the matter should be enquired into. Cr McCleverty seconded Cr Belford's motion. He had come to the Council prepared to sign the memorial, or do anything else which should benefit Mr Baker. The in-formation the Council had received had altered his opinion, and he felt that both in a public and mercantile point of view, such conduct would lead to the direst consequences. During the panic, which was now, he trusted, nearly over, hundreds might have been ruined by the most trifling violation of trust. Cr Scrase did not see but that Mr Baker might have received the information from private sources. The Chairman.— That's the light in which I see it. Is there — Cr McCleverty.— If Mr Baker had received such information, he had no right to make such a use of it. Cr Belford stated that duplicates of every message were preserved, and if this private message had existed, the head of the Telegraph Department would never have taken the course he had. The Chairman said he had known and respected Mr Baker for a long time, and the Local Court had received vast benefits from him. He regretted that he had not been acquainted with these facts before. Cr Wilson had felt so strongly that when Messrs Miskelly and Frazer called upon him he had almost promised his signature, and that was his reason for pressing the subject before the Council. He could not sign now, and after such a breach of faith, he thought the sooner they were rid of the subject the better. Mr Miskelly said he had never intended to impose on Cr Wilson, having himself been in ignorance of the facts brought forward by Cr Belford. He still, however, doubted whether the full offence could be proved. The Chairman then put the motion, which was carried unanimously. The matter then lapsed.[16]

A further editorial by the Ballarat Star leaves Bechervaise's predecessor in a poor light

THE STAR. DAILY ISSUE. WEDNESDAY, 3rd FEBRUARY, 1858. Mr BAKER'S DEFENCE. IF there be any special quality that may be supposed to be antagonistic to that divine afflatus with which some men are said to be inspired, and which gifts them with wisdom superior to their kind, there can be little doubt that a more than ordinary dispensation of it has fallen to the lot of Mr Baker, and his friends and abettors. ln the few remarks which on Monday last we felt bound to make on the conduct of that misguided individual, we treated him with a forbearance which unfortunately has been entirely misunderstood, and which it is now unnecessary in the same degree to repeat. As his case then stood before the public, he seemed to have fallen a victim — as weak-minded men generally do — to the injudicious meddling of his friends, and to the unprincipled and over fervent advocacy of his journalistic aider and abettor. His only safety lay in being let alone. He had committed what even under the most favorable interpretation must be characterised as a very grave indiscretion, in a position where indiscretion may be said to be a misdemeanor against good faith; and the reproof of removal that was administered to him was of a character so kindly and so forbearing, that to us it is a matter of surprise it was not accepted with thankfulness as well as satisfaction. Unfortunately for Mr Baker's official career as well as for his private character, he would not kiss the rod which was held out to him so tenderly and so forgivingly. He surrendered himself to the evil suggestions of his friends, and to the rather overpowering influence of what he considered due to his own self-importance, and the result is such as might have been expected — his resignation of office, and the publication of a very foolish and very rambling letter in the columns of our contemporary, which compels us again to allude to a subject which, in pity to Mr Baker, and out of respect for the character of that department of the public service to which he is attached, we would gladly have let drop. In reply to the principal charge brought against him, of transmitting to our contemporary, intelligence corrected from the report forwarded to us by our Melbourne correspondent, Mr Baker states that when he first read the message to the Times, it occurred to him that the "Bank of France" had by mistake been substituted for the "Bank of England." This is a mistake that would be likely enough to occur to a newspaper correspondent, whose communication on the arrival of English news is the fruit of a hurried and cursory examination of the first newspapers that come to hand; but there is hardly a possibility of its being that of a telegraph transmitting clerk, who reads slowly and carefully from copy lying before him, or of a receiving one, who spells out the words as they are received and noted by the instrument of which he has charge. It is hardly possible that Mr Baker, unless he is more careless and inefficient than we believe he is, could make such a mistake as to read off "France" for "England." The mistake must have lain with our contemporary's correspondent, and it was therefore no business of Mr Baker's to correct it. Nay, more, when he knew that there was a rival journal which had received, or might receive, correct information, his conduct, as stated by himself, and after placing the most favorable construction on it, is totally indefensible. He had no right, by exercising any of the privileges of his position as master of the telegraph station here, to endeavor to furnish our contemporary with information as correct as that which we had received. Such a course is virtually destructive of all competition, and however earnestly Mr Baker, as a private individual, may sympathise with the crotchets of our contemporary, it was indiscreet of him in the extreme, as a public officer sworn to secrecy and to good faith, to furnish it with information to which it was not fairly entitled. We are now reasoning from Mr Baker's own statement of his conduct, and it is thus evident that, let it be viewed as it may, it will not admit of vindication. Till the proper time for publication arrives, the privacy of the news we receive is as important to us, as is that of a strictly private communication on family or business matters to any individual in the community. It would appear that Mr Baker has so surrendered himself to the designs and manouvres of our political opponents as to have brought himself to view the matter in a different light; and when such a divergence from the right path has been once taken, it is rather difficult to say where it may have stopped, and whether family or business details have or have not been also sacrificed to the warmth of family or business friendships. It is possible that the pitiable weakness of mind which has so readily fallen a victim to political passion or animosity may have been gradually succumbing, or have altogether succumbed, to the same insidious and perhaps more dangerous advances of designing business acquaintances on the one hand, or of artful boon companions on the other. We might have dealt much more harshly with Mr Baker in examining this portion of his defence, and still have kept far within the bounds of a fair criticism of the facts as they have been disclosed; but we have no desire to add to the misery of the position into which that gentleman has unfortunately precipitated himself. We will therefore, turn to those other portions of his letter which are, in any way, deserving of reply. He remarks that the mistake of the "Bank of France" was perceived by the Times without his intervention, as his correction was by mistake delivered to us. But this is rather incorrect logic. It is true that Mr Baker's private slip to our contemporary fell into our hands, but it is well known that his intimacy in that quarter has been of the closest kind. The failure in the delivery of a written message, therefore, still leaves the question in an awkward plight, from which all Mr Baker's denials will hardly deliver it. It is one of the characteristics of the defence of Mr Baker, from that first entered upon by his friends to that afterwards madly gone into by himself, that it seems to be marked from first to last by uniformly increasing gradations in folly. When the notice of his removal was first received here on Friday last, any censure it conveyed, was blazoned forth by his political partisans, who would not rest satisfied till the two Municipal Councils, the Chamber of Commerce, and the whole mercantile community generally, should pronounce an opinion on the event. Unwise as was this proceeding, it was exceeded on the following day by our contemporary, which, with an unblushing coolness that under the circumstances, and with the knowledge it possessed of the true state of the case, looked like downright and pointed malice, commented most strongly on the importance of possessing a telegraph master beyond suspicion of either unfaithfulness or imprudence. This was again excelled by the folly of forcing the matter to a discussion before the Eastern Council on Saturday, and after the damaging results of that meeting were made known, of endeavoring to get us to suppress all report of the proceedings. Failing in this, Mr Baker capped the madness of the whole proceedings by madly rushing into print, and provoking further attention to his unfortunate case. He says it was no uncommon practice of his to append a note to our telegraphic messages, "suggestive of such reconsideration of an apparent contradiction or removal of an absurdity as might occur," and, in confirmation of this, he publishes a certificate to that effect from one of his assistants. Mr Baker probably intended this for a telling point in his favor, but it in reality turns to his disadvantage, like all the other steps that have been taken in his defence. Our readers will have observed that repeatedly in our telegraphic messages, we have been compelled to add that a portion of the report was unintelligible, either from the careless reading off of Mr Baker, or the dreadful mangling of the English language by his assistant. On a few occasions, Mr Baker, after thus, by his inefficiency, creating difficulties, endeavored to the best of his ability to remove them, by giving his translation or reading of some words which, though not in the language, yet still found their way into the report with which he furnished us. On one occasion, which by reference to our file, we find to have been the 19th November last, our Melbourne correspondent's report of the Exhibition of the Victoria Industrial Society at St Kilda, stated that among the list of prizes was that of a "Mr James Graham for swine of various kinds." To this report Mr Baker appended a note a stating that this must be a mistake, as no swine were exhibited. Unfortunately for our correctness on that occasion, we took heed of the remark, and altered the porcine monosyllable to "wines," but on the arrival of the Melbourne journals, the following day, we found that our correspondent had been right, and Mr Baker wrong. So much for Mr Baker's friendly assistance in the matter of correction. With an aptitude at catching at straws, which, under the circumstances, is not to be wondered at, Mr Baker quotes the reply of Mr McGowan, the Superintendent of the Electric Telegraph Department, to his tender of resignation, and complacently assumes that it signifies a belief in his total innocence. The reply runs thus:— "I regret, under the circumstances, that, you should have felt called upon to resign your appointment. Your successor will arrive on Wednesday next." We must admire the "Mark Tapley-ism" of the individual who finds in such a missive, matter not only for consolation, but self-gratulation. We should be inclined to infer that the "regret under the circumstances" expressed by Mr McGowan, arose not from any sympathy with Mr Baker, or from any belief in his propriety of conduct, but simply from the knowledge that a "resignation under the circumstances" would imply an acknowledgment of indiscretion on the part of Mr Baker, and thereby reflect discredit on the department to which he has lately belonged. When it is considered that in the Telegraph department above every other, the greatest discretion and propriety are absolutely essential, otherwise the public will not give to it that confidence which is necessary to its success, it will readily be imagined how, "under the circumstances" of Mr Baker's resignation, Mr McGowan so quietly expressed his regret at the resignation, and curtly announced the appointment of a successor. As Mr Baker has without ceremony taken it upon him to publish so favorable a testimony to his merits as the above message discloses, it will be pardonable in us if we publish a portion of the official reply by Mr McGowan to the charge made by us against Mr Baker. It is as follows: "I think I previously informed you that I had laid the whole correspondence before Government. I have now to state that, under the belief that Mr Baker has lost the confidence of at least a portion of your community through his indiscretion, but wishing to show him every reasonable leniency, in the hope that in the future he may be able to recover the position which he would latterly seem to have lost, I have recommended his removal from Ballarat." The above shows exactly the condition in which Mr Baker has placed himself, and a mere allusion to the kindly and considerate manner in which his misconduct is here dealt with, that "he might have a chance of retrieving his position," is the only answer we will give to his absurd charge of malevolence and vindictiveness on our part. It is evident that accusations couched in the spirit of these qualities, would have little weight with the writer of the above, and in trying to screen himself in such an absurd fashion, Mr Baker only betrays the innate weakness of his case. He seems now determined to constitute himself a political martyr, and it is not the first time that the popular cause has been disgraced by such a title being assumed by men after following courses equally crooked. But we have really had too much of this subject. We think our readers will rise from the perusal of it with the feeling that every possible forbearance has been exercised by the Government towards Mr Baker, and we know that on our side the same virtue has not been wanting. For months back it was known to us and many others, that the private room of the telegraph office, in which the messages were received and transmitted, was more like a political club-room, than the sanctum of an establishment through which many of the most important political, commercial and family secrets of the community were daily passing. An undisturbed and unrestricted entree seemed to be granted to certain well-known political and semi-literary characters, whose individuality from recent disclosures may now be pretty closely guessed at. It is better now that these things should be made known that the scandal which they have occasioned may not occur again either here or in any other locality. The department of the Electric Telegraph is too important a one to the community to allow its utility to be destroyed by such ill judged proceedings as those which have been too prevalent here, and we feel satisfied that in making them known, the active and indefatigable superintendent will for the future take such precautions as will effectually preclude the occurrence of all such irregularities either here or elsewhere.[17]

James Baker nominates for the Mining Board and is receives a subtle jibe from the Star

OUR mining readers will do well to remember that Friday, the 5th, is the last day on which nominations for the Mining Board can be sent in for publication. There is not likely to be any lack of candidates, but it behoves those who wish to propose men for public approval at the poll, to see to it that they do not lose the chance by letting the day go by. In proof of there being no probability of a deficiency of candidates, we may mention that already Creswick is in the field, with two men, namely: Messrs Russell and J. Reed, and our correspondent there informs us that a Mr. Jno. Stephens is to be also added to the list. Smythe's has Mr R. H. Lock nominated, and has yet one more to provide. We have heard of a Mr Jones being a likely candidate. Buninyong has at yet but one candidate, Mr McMillan, before the public. Steiglitz and Blackwood have also yet to publish their favorites. Ballarat will have an excellent selection no doubt, if rumor do not lie; for besides Mr R. M. Sarjeant, who is already formally nominated, the Central Committee have decided on recommending for nomination Messrs Frazer and O'Connor, of the late Local Court, and Mr Baker, the late Electric Telegraph station master, and Local Court member at the time of the passing of the first frontage regulations; and in addition to these it is said that there are others who are willing to stand and are likely to be presented. The more the merrier say we, that there may be really a chance of getting the best men the district has to offer. The post of mining board member will be an honorable and important one, and the miners ought to be anxious to select none but able and trusty persons. Our mining prospects for the future require immediate contemplation, for skilful handling of our resources is imperatively necessary in order to the continuance of our prosperity as a gold field. New processes will have to be introduced, and more liberal and enlightened applications of co-operative industry and capital must be the order of the day; and to facilitate and order these things we shall have need of men of intelligence, business habits, and conscientious attention to duty. Nobody can wish to see in the Mining Board, a reproduction of the evils of the old Legislative Local Court, and if the Ballarat men make a wise selection, a good deal will be done toward securing for the new Board an efficiency of power, and a propriety of conduct which will do a great deal towards removing from us the reproach (already cast upon us in some quarters) that we are not ripe for self-government.[18]

Bechervaise assumes office as Master of the Ballarat Telegraph Office, unfortunately a day with the lines down

THE ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH.— We are informed by Mr W. P. Bechervaise, who yesterday assumed office as Master of the Telegraph Station here, that the communication between Melbourne and Geelong is still interrupted, and we are, therefore, unable to give any summary of Parliamentary or Melbourne news.[19]

Bechervaise reports the the Melbourne-Geelong telegraph line has been restored

Local and General News. THE ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH.— We are informed by Mr Bechervaise, the station master, that the communication on the line between Melbourne and Geelong, which was broken on Thursday last, was completed about 2.30 p.m., on Saturday, and messages have been transmitted since then between Ballarat and Melbourne. The temporary stoppage proved a great inconvenience, and the public will be glad to know that the service has been resumed. [20]

Bechervaise announces that the Portland telegraph station placed in service

Local and General News. TELEGRAPH TO PORTLAND.— By a note received from Mr Bechervaise, our Telegraph Station Master, we leam that the Portland station will be placed in communication with Ballarat, and other places on the line, this morning.[21]

Associated with his appointment to telegraph office, Bechervaise gazetted as Collector of Imposts

NEW APPOINTMENTS. The following appointments appear in to-day's Gazette:— Territorial Magistrates, — Adeney, — Dowling, — McArthur; Police Magistrates, Melbourne, — Martin, — Crawford; Clerks of Insolvent Court, Geelong, — Stephen, — Lespinasse; Clerk of County Court and of Court of Mines, Buckland, — Martin; do. do., Korong, — Stobie; do. do. and of Petty Sessions, Blackwood, — Tindell; Clerk of Petty Sessions, Mansfield, W. P. Bechervaise, Collector of Imposts, Ballarat.[22]

1858 03[edit]

Bechervaise's entry in Bradshaw's Guide is wrong

"BRADSHAW'S GUIDE TO VICTORIA." — This publication still pursues its useful career, and the March number exhibits a decided improvement upon the past. We cannot, however, congratulate the publishers, Messrs Fairfax and Co., upon making less misstatements with reference to Ballarat than is customary among Melbourne publications. The following errors could easily have been corrected from the columns of the daily press:— Mr James Oddie, instead of Dr Stewart, is named as Chairman of the Western Council; the members of the abolished Local Court are enumerated; the newspapers are represented to consist only of those papers for which the Argus agent is also agent; none of the local press are named; the Mechanics' Institute is represented as a public body — it does not exist; Mr Turner is stated to be our resident magistrate, and Mr Clissold's name is omitted; Mr Baker, instead of Mr Bechervaise, is set down as Telegraph station master, &c., &c. However, these mistakes are far less in number and extent than those in previous publications; and, considering the enormous amount of statistical information contained in "Bradshaw's Guide," are almost unavoidable. As a general guide to the man of business, the public officer, or the journalist, the publication is almost indispensable; and the Calendar for 212 years well deserves the title of a perpetual almanac, for few of the grandchildren of the now-rising generation of Australians will live to see it ended.[23]

Bechervaise announces that the Melbourne to Belfast (via Ballarat) telegraph line now open for business

BELFAST TELEGRAPH STATION.— We are informed by the Ballarat station master that the line of electric telegraph from Melbourne via Ballarat to Belfast is now complete, and the station at Belfast was opened for public business on Saturday last. The scale of charges can be ascertained at the Ballarat station.[24]

1858 04[edit]

Bechervaise advertises for a servant girl

WANTED, a Servant Girl, 13 to 15 years old. Apply to Mr Bechervaise, Telegraph Station.[25]

Bechervaise advertises for coat left at Telegraph Office

Notice. LEFT at the Electric Telegraph Office, on the evening of the 15th inst., a cloth coat. By giving an accurate description of the same, contents of the pockets, and by paying expense of advertising, the owner may recover the same on application to Mr Bechervaise.[26]

Bechervaise advertises for money left at Telegraph Office

NOTICE.— A certain amount of money was yesterday found in the lobby of the Electric Telegraph Station. By giving satisfactory description of the money in question, and paying expenses of advertising, the owner may recover the same on application to Mr Bechervaise. Electric Telegraph Office, Ballarat, 29th April 1858.[27]

1858 05[edit]

Bechervaise announces the extension of telegraphs to Raglan

EXTENSION OF THE TELEGRAPH.— We are informed by Mr Bechervaise, the station master here, that the Telegraph station at Raglan, Fiery Greek, was opened for business on Saturday last, the 15th inst.[28]

Bechervaise announces reduced opening hours for the telegraph office for the public holiday

A HOLIDAY AT THE TELEGRAPH OFFICE. We are informed by Mr Bechervaise, the station-master at Ballarat, that the Telegraph Office will open to-day only from 8.30 to 10 a.m., and from 5 to 6 p.m., in celebration of the event of the day.[29]

1858 06[edit]
1858 07[edit]

Bechervaise announces that the telegraph is now extended to Wangaratta

TELEGRAPH TO WANGARATTA.— We are informed by Mr Bechervaise, the station-master here, that the Electric Telegraph was yesterday extended to Wangaratta, and that messages can now be transmitted to that township.[30]

Bechervaise announces that the Ballarat-Streatham line & office is now open

THE TELEGRAPH STATION.— The station master here informs us that the line of telegraph is now open between Ballarat and Streatham, and that at the latter place the office is now open for business. The charges can be known on application at the Telegraph station.[31]

Bechervaise a part of history, announcing the commissioning of the Melbourne-Adelaide telegraph line

INTER-COLONIAL TELEGRAPH.— We are informed by W. H. Bechervaise, Esq., station master at Ballarat, that the inter-colonial telegraph between Melbourne and Adelaide was formally opened at four o'clock p.m. on Thursday, by his Excellency Sir Henry Barkly at the Victorian end, and his Excellency Sir Richard Macdonnell at the South Australian end. Messages can now be transmitted from the Ballarat office through which the line passes. We believe that this line, which is 700 miles in length, is the most extensive on this side of the line. We presume that before many months have passed the four principal colonies will be united in this electric chain, and ultimately Western Australia and the new colony of Moreton Bay will be included. Our motto is truly "Advance Australia."[32]

1858 08[edit]

A rare criticism of Bechervaise on telegraph press news delays, but the circumstances were beyond his control

TELEGRAPH MANAGEMENT.— At half-past five yesterday afternoon we received intimation by telegraph, from our Queenscliff correspondent, of the arrival at Port Phillip Heads of the R. M. S. S. Europeae — a summary of English news to follow as early as possible. To make sure of having the intelligence to lay before our readers in this morning's issue, we immediately sent a note to Mr Bechervaise, the station master here, requesting that he would remain in his office later than the usual time of closing, in the event of our report not being received before that time. To this he obligingly replied, "I will be sure to get all the reports, &c., for Ballaarat, if I should have to stop up all night." At one o'clock in the morning no portion of our report been sent down till that hour, we visited the telegraph station and found from the click of the instrument that operations were going on. The reader may judge of our surprise and disappointment, however, when we learned that our report had not yet been taken in hand. The wires were occupied by a message for Adelaide, which was being received at Ballaarat and forwarded hence. Our report was lying the while at the Melbourne station, whether it had arrived from Queenscliffe en route; and when its transmission would be commenced, or whether it would be possible to have it in time for this morning's issue, we could not ascertain. This is rather more than we can stand, or then the public of Ballaarat will submit to, or we are mistaken. Telegraphic communication with South Australia is very desirable, no doubt; but the Victorian telegraph has been constructed for the use of Victorians, and we cannot submit to have our own convenience subordinated to that of the neighboring colony. Thirsting for European news, as the public here is, it was a most aggravating thing to know that the intelligence which would be eagerly looked for in our own columns within a few hours, was being carried past our doors for the benefit of the people of Adelaide.— Ballaarat Times.[33]

1858 09[edit]

Bechervaise announces new more direct telegraph line to Geelong

THE BALLARAT TELEGRAPH.— The following information respecting the line between Ballarat and Geelong has been forwarded to us by Mr Bechervaise, the station master here:— The new wire between Geelong and Ballarat is now complete. Hitherto messages to be transmitted from Ballarat have at times had to wait till other stations on the western line had taken their turn. The instruments for the wire are now on the road. The only stations on new wire are Ballarat, Geelong, Queenscliffe, Williamstown, and Melbourne; consequently the business of this office will be greatly facilitated.[34]

Bechervaise announces that the Ballarat-Geelong telegraph line is now dual and working well

DOUBLE TELEGRAPH WIRE.— Mr Bechervase, the telegraph station master here, informs us that he has now received the instruments for the working of the second wire between this and Geelong, and that the two wires are now working well.[35]

1858 10[edit]

Provision made in the 1859 estimates for the Ballarat Post Office and Telegraph Station

THE ESTIMATES FOR 1859. THE Estimates for the ensuing year are now before us, and we proceed to place before our readers their more prominent features. In the first place comes the anticipated income and expenditure which are stated as follows:— ABSTRACT OF THE ESTIMATED REVENUE OF VICTORIA, FOR THE YEAR 1859. . . . To the Ballarat Post Office is appropriated £2,012 10s; to the Electric Telegraph Station here, £892 10s.[36]

1858 11[edit]

Bechervaise announces the opening of the Melbourne-Sydney telegraph line

OPENING OF THE TELEGRAPH TO SYDNEY.— We learn from the Telegraph Station Master here that the line is now complete, and that messages can be transmitted between Ballarat and Sydney. The opening of the New South Wales line completes the chain of communication between Sydney, New South Wales, and Adelaide in South Australia. The next step in advance will be the junction with Tasmania by means of the Victorian line from Geelong to Cape Otway, and thence by submarine cable across Bass's Straits, which will at once place us in connection with Launceston and Hobart Town. At no distant day we hope to see the line extended from Adelaide to King George's Sound in Western Australia, and from Sydney to Moreton Bay and Port Curtis in Northern Australia, as well as from Albury through the central pastoral country.[37]

Bechervaise announces the extension of the telegraph network to Fiery Creek and Ararat

Local and General News. . . . EXTENSION OF THE TELEGRAPH TO FIERY CREEK AND ARARAT.— We are informed by Mr J. W. (sic) Bechervaise, the station master at Ballarat, that the important towns of Raglan and Ararat are now included in the network of electric telegraphic communication.[38]

1858 12[edit]

Bechervaise announces lightning damage to the Ballarat-Geelong telegraph line, also that Echuca now commenced

EFFECTS OF THE LIGHTNING.— It appears that during the thunderstorm on last Sunday night no fewer than eight of the telegraph posts near the Stony Rises, on the line be-tween here and Geelong, were completely destroyed by the lightning. The communication, however, was not interrupted, and it was only on Wednesday morning that Mr Bechervaise, our Telegraph Master, became informed of the damage to the line. He at once sent off the line inspector, who is now busily employed in erecting new posts. . . . TELEGRAPH TO ECHUCA.— Mr Bechervaise informs us that the Electric Telegraph Station at Echuca was opened to the public on Thursday, and that telegrams can now be transmitted from Ballarat through to that place.[39]

1859[edit]

1859 01[edit]
1859 02[edit]

Bechervaise announces the Ballarat-Melbourne telegraph line is down, Ballarat newspapers deprived of Melbourne news

NO TELEGRAM.— We are unable to furnish our readers this morning with our usual telegram of Melbourne news. The following letter which we received last night will explain the omission:— "Electric Telegraph Office, Ballarat, 11th February, 1559.— Sir,— I do myself the honor to inform you that the communication between this station and Melbourne has been suspended since 4.40 p.m. I have every reason to believe that the frequent heavy squalls of to-day must have blown some of the posts down, and thus have brought the wires into connection with the earth. The lines to Geelong, as well as to the western country, are in good working order. I have the honor to be, Sir, yours obediently, J. W. Bechervaise, Station Master."[40]

1859 03[edit]

Bechervaise announces the opening of the Port Elliot, SA telegraph station

Local and General News. EXTENSION OF TELEGRAPH.— We are informed by Mr Bechervaise, the Telegraph Station Master, that yesterday (2nd instant) the station at Port Elliot, South Australia, was officially opened to the public.[41]

Bechervaise announces the opening of the Avoca telegraph station

EXTENSION OF TELEGRAPH.— We learn from Mr Bechervaise, the Station Master, that on Saturday the 5th instant, the Telegraph Station at Avoca was opened for business to the public; the rate of charge from Ballarat is the same as to Sandhurst, viz.,— first ten words 3s; each additional word 3d; address and signature not included.[42]

1859 04[edit]

Birth notice for Bechervaise's first child Herbert Price Bechervaise

BIRTHS. . . . 14th instant, Mrs Bechervaise of a son. Both doing well.[43]

Housekeeping announcements by Bechervaise

TELEGRAPH OFFICE.— Mr Bechervaise, the Station-master here, informs us that the Telegraph Office will be open to-day (Good Friday), from half-past eight to ten o'clock in the morning, and from five to six o'clock in the afternoon.[44]

Bechervaise announces the opening of a new telegraph office at Maryborough

TELEGRAPH TO MARYBOROUGH.— We are informed by Mr Bechervaise, that an electric telegraph office was yesterday (Tuesday) opened at Maryborough.[45]

1859 05[edit]

Housekeeping announcements by Bechervaise

News and Notes. Mr Bechervaise informs us that the Electric Telegraph office will be open to-day, being the Queen's birthday, from 8.30 a.m. to 10 a.m., and from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.[46]

1859 06[edit]

Extraordinary service provided by the Telegraph Office

News and Notes. Mr Bechervaise informs us that a supplementary mail, per Columbian, will close at Adelaide this day, at 12 o'clock, and that arrangements have been made with the telegraph authorities at Adelaide, by which telegrams from Victoria can be posted up to that time. Our commercial friends will thus have an opportunity of sending a few days later orders or news to their correspondents.[47]

Bechervaise quick to point out that the failure on the Victoria-Adelaide line is due to a break on the SA side

News and Notes. . . . Mr Bechervaise informs us that the communication by electric telegraph between Victoria and Adelaide is broken on the South Australian side. It is supposed that one of the cables between Adelaide and Guichen Bay is broken.[48]

1859 07[edit]

Houskeeping announcements by Bechervaise

News and Notes. We are informed by Mr Bechervaise, the station master, that on ac-count of today's holiday, the Telegraph Office will only be open from 8.30 a.m. to 10 a.m., and from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.[49]

Bechervaise announces Omeo returned to port after laying cable to King Island

News and Notes. . . . Mr Bechervaise, the Telegraph Station-master here, informs us that the steamer Omeo has returned to port for a supply of coals, having successfully laid the submarine telegraph cable from Cape Otway to King's Island.[50]

Bechervaise announces opening of the Creswick telegraph station

News and Notes. . . . Mr Bechervaise informs us that the telegraph station at Creswick will be open to the public today, Mr Walter Burkett, late station master at Mount Gambier, has arrived for the purpose of taking charge at the new station. Messages will be transmitted from this at the same rate as to Raglan.[51]

1859 08[edit]

Bechervaise announces the opening of new telegraph stations at Daylesford and Dunolly

News and Notes. . . . Mr Bechervaise informs us that telegraph stations were yesterday opened at Daylesford and Dunolly.[52]

Bechervaise announces the opening of a new telegraph station at Maldon (Tarrengower)

News and Notes. . . . Mr Bechervaise informs us that a station of the electric telegraph was opened for the public service at Maldon (Tarrengower) on the 23rd inst.[53]

1859 09[edit]

Bechervaise announces the connection of the Victorian telegraph network to that of Tasmania

News and Notes. We are informed by the Telegraph Station Master here that the electric communication with the colony of Tasmania is now complete. The line will be opened for the use of the public this day, the 30th, when telegrams can be despatched from the office. The rate of charge will be the same as between Ballarat and Sydney. Cape Otway is to be considered the Victorian boundary station.[54]

1859 10[edit]
1859 11[edit]

Bechervaise charges a Creswick farmer for damage to the telegraph line

DISTRICT POLICE COURT. Wednesday, 23rd November. (Before the Police Magistrate, and Messrs James Baker and W. C. Smith, J.P.'s.) . . . CAUSE LIST. Telegraph Station Master v May, a farmer near Creswick, for obstructing the communication, and injuring the telegraph on the 15th inst. A certificate was produced from a doctor, and the defendant's wife also stated that he was ill, and the case was postponed until Saturday next. [55]

Previous case resolved as farmer repaired the line himself

Saturday, 26th November. (Before the Police Magistrate and Mr Warden Foster.) . . . CAUSE LIST. . . . Station master Bechervaise v May, injury to telegraph wire and stopping communication. It appeared the defendant had felled a tree, which in its fall broke the telegraph wire, but as he had repaired the injury the case was withdrawn.[56]

1859 12[edit]

The vicinity of the Telegraph Office about to receive a makeover

TO BE SOLD OR LET BY TENDER. THE OLD POST OFFICE RESERVE. To Merchants, Capitalists, Hotelkeepers, and Men of Business generally. J. & T. ODDIE have received instructions from the proprietors to Sell or Lease on very liberal terms, all that desirable Landed Property known as the Old Post Office Reserve, containing Half an Acre, situate in the most central part of the Township of Ballarat, and having a Frontage to Lydiard street (the principal street for business, in which seven Banks are erected, the new Post Office, Treasury, and Telegraph Station) of 132 feet by a depth of 165 feet fronting Mair street, being a Corner Allotment almost adjoining the Bank of Victoria, and nearly opposite the Treasury and Telegraph Office, and about midway between the Markets of the Western and Eastern Municipalities, and the nearest available land to the site fixed on for the Railway Terminus, Lydiard street, being the main thoroughfare from and to every part of the town, as also the principal outlet to the agricultural and mining districts, the traffic to which must pass this property, there being no other outlet, inconsequence of the peculiar formation of the hill upon which the terminus is shortly to be erected; it also commands the whole of the traffic from Soldiers' Hill, owing to Lydiard street being continued northward — an advantage which Armstrong street does not possess. The whole of the allotment may be tendered for, for two years, without the Lessee being required to erect any buildings thereon. If leased for five or ten years according to plan of subdivision the Lessee will be required to erect brick or stone buildings, the plan or plans and specifications of which to be subject to the proprietor's approval. If sold in one lot, or according to plan of subdivision, the price per foot frontage to be mentioned in tender or tenders, and, if approved of, the terms of payment will be one-fourth cash, and the balance by acceptances at 6, 12, 18, and 24 months, bearing 10 per cent. interest subject to the usual conditions of sale. Tenders to be sent in on or before the 14th instant to Messrs J. & T. Oddie, Ballarat; Mr John Noble, Geelong; or, Mr J. N. Wilson, No. 7 Collins street East, Melbourne, where a plan of the ground can be seen, and all further infomation obtained. Tenders to be subject to the Proprietor's approval, and the highest or any of the tenders for purchasing or leasing may not necessarily be accepted. Gentlemen on the Main Road should not lose this opportunity of tendering for some of the best business sites on the township, as they must eventually leave Ballarat East, from its unhealthy position, and the likelihood of business being solely confined to the township when the Railway is completed.[57]

Bechervaise introduces innovations in the operation of the telegraph office

News and Notes. Mr Bechervaise informs us that for the future, immediately on the arrival of the English mail at Adelaide, a flag with the letters R. M. in the centre will be displayed at the masthead of the camp flagstaff, and so soon as the time ball mast is completed the flag on such occasions will be hoisted in the magazine enclosure.[58]

Major fire disaster in Ballarat will have consequences for the local telegraph lines

MAIN ROAD CONFLAGRATION. Twenty-one hotels, stores, and dwellings, a large number of outhouses, and property valued altogether at about £25,500 were destroyed in the Main Road on Sunday morning, in about fifty minutes. This was the fiercest and fastest of all the fires which have made Ballarat notorious — and this month appear especially fatal — and it was also the most destructive in respect of the value of property. Heated to a state of semi-ignition — as all combustible things were by the hot winds that have prevailed for several days — the break-out of a fire was certain to be highly dangerous; but with a hot wind still blowing, and the fire already powerful when discovered, the fearful rapidity of the flames, which licked up house after house in about two minutes' time each on an average, was not so very wonderful. Add to this want of practice with the hydrants and their hose attachments, and still less room is left to wonder at the terrible fire which rushed along the south side of the road yesterday from the London Tavern to Humffray's corner, and left, in the short space of time we have mentioned, nought but a waste of blackened, smouldering ruins, and disstracted groups of houseless, and we fear in some cases, all but ruined men, women, and children. The first alarm of fire was raised at about thirty minutes after seven o'clock, and by fifteen minutes after eight the destruction had been accomplished. When we first saw the scene, at twenty minutes to eight, huge volumes of smoke were rising from the premises of Messrs Wittkowski, tobacconists, by the bridge, on the east side, and the Liverpool Arms Hotel adjoining. Immediately large flakes of flame rushed out in every direction, and it became at once apparent that a large conflagration must ensue. A light breeze was blowing from the northward and in a few seconds the flames leapt across the Yarrowee Creek to the Temperance Hotel and that block was doomed; while with equal rapidity the fire raged away on the other side, house after house igniting on either side of the creek, as if in derision of the distraction of the inmates and the rapidly growing crowd. At the first alarm of fire Councillor Scott ran up to the Sturt street standpipes and told the man in charge to turn on the water, while Mr Barker, the lessee, hastened down also to give the same directions. In the other direction the alarm spread, the fire bell rang, and the ever prompt Fire Brigade, with all their valuable apparatus, were on the spot while yet the flames just leading on eastward from the Liverpool Arms. After a delay of a few minutes the water was turned on, and the Brigade got to work with five streams of water supplied by their own engine and the hydrants along the kerb on north side of the street. Superintendent Winch and Inspector Nicholas, with their force were also as promptly on the spot, and the work of preservation went on as fast as was possible under the circumstances. . . . . [59]

Bechervaise's team busy effecting repairs after the disaster

News and Notes. . . . Mr Bechervaise's aids were busy during the past day in removing the burnt telegraph posts, and re-adjusting those that were loosened by the strains made on them by the hauling and pushing operations accompanying the disaster of last Sunday.[60]

Bechervaise advises repairs on the submarine cable to Tasmania are again complete, but it remains unreliable

News and Notes. . . . Mr Bechervaise informs us that the necessary repairs to the Bass's Straits electric submarine cable having been completed, telegraphic communi-cation was resumed yesterday.[61]

Bechervaise advises that the Bathurst telegraph office is now open

News and Notes. Mr. Bechervaise informs us that the electric telegraph station at Bathurst, New South Wales, was yesterday opened to the public. The telegraph offices throughout the colony will be closed at 6 p.m. on Saturday, the 31st instant; and on Monday, the 2nd January, 1860, the offices will open from 8.30 to 10 a.m., and from 6 to 7 p.m.[62]

1860s[edit]

1860[edit]

1860 01[edit]

Bechervaise announces that Newcastle and Maitland are open for business, and that the Bass Strait cable again functional (but likely not for long)

News and Notes. . . . Mr Bechervaise informs us that communication by electric telegraph is now open to Newcastle and West Maitland, New South Wales, and that the communication with Tasmania is again resumed.[63]

1860 02[edit]
1860 03[edit]

As central Ballarat is populated by more substantial brick and stone structures, the removal of former wooden structures outside the town presents a hazard to overhead telegraph wires

Among our street sights yesterday was the not unfamiliar one of an itinerant house on its journey "westward ho." In this case the building was an ecclesiastical one, late in use by the Wesleyan Methodist Association Congregation on the Plank Road, and yesterday on the way to a new site near the Benevolent Asylum. A dozen oxen dragged the chapel, which was mounted on four wheels, the erratic rotations of which the movers controlled by ropes. The perils of the voyage were not few. After divers little hitches the concern was stuck up by the contractors for the Caledonian Bridge, and the chapel mover served or threatened with a summons for obstruction. That trouble over, the chapel wag dragged on again, but on rounding into Lydiard street, near the Post Office, carried away the telegraph wires, stopped communication with other parts of the colony, and brought out Mr Bechervaise and a posse of police upon the unlucky chapel mover, who had to go to the Camp, and give security to answer for damage. How the voyage ended we know not.[64]

Following on from the previous incident, the offender is fined

EASTERN POLICE COURT. Friday, 9th March. (Before D. Fitzpatrick and W. B. Rodier, Esqrs, J.P.) . . . STREET OBSTRUCTION.— Robert Stone was charged with obstructing the Caledonian Bridge with a cottage, which he was re-moving to the Western Township. The defendant acknowledged the offence, but said it was not wilfully done, and he did all that lay in his power to remedy the obstruction. Constable Gorman bore out the latter part of the statement. The defendant was fined 10s. INJURY TO THE TELEGRAPH WIRES.— Robert Stone, the defendant in the last case, was next charged with injuring the telegraph wires. Mr Bechervaise said he did not go for any punishment more than the expense incurred in repairing the damage, which would amount to £4 13s. The injury to the wires was purely accidental. The Bench made an order for the amount, and in addition imposed a penalty of 1s on the defenddant. The various amounts were paid.[65]

Bechervaise announces a major reduction in charges for telegraph messages between Ballarat and Creswick

News and Notes. . . . Mr Bechervaise informs us that a reduction in the charges of telegraphic messages to Creswick has been adopted. The scale of charge between Ballarat and Creswick, and vice versa, will be one shilling for the first ten words, and one penny each additional word, instead of 2s, and 2d each additional word, as heretofore.[66]

1860 04[edit]

Again, Bechervaise goes the extra mile for his customers

News and Notes. . . . Mr Bechervaise informs us that the mail from Adelaide per R.M.S. Emeu will close today at Adelaide at 2 p.m., and that telegrams for Europe which are to be posted at Adelaide will be received at the Ballarat Telegraph Office up to 1.15 p.m.[67]

1860 05[edit]
1860 06[edit]

Bechervaise still going the extra mile for his customers

News and Notes. . . . Mr Bechervaise, the Telegraph Master here, informs us that the mail for the United Kingdom, &c., per R.M.S.S. Malta, will close at the General Post Office, Adelaide, S.A., this day (Tuesday, 19th June), at 2 p.m., and that telegrams to be posted at Adelaide for despatch by the above named steamer will be received at his office up to 1 p.m.[68]

1860 07[edit]
1860 08[edit]

Bechervaise servicing the community with time ball and mail availability flag

News and Notes. . . . The time ball was hoisted to the mast head near the Powder Magazine yesterday (Wednesday), and Mr Bechervaise informs us that the apparatus is now complete, and the ball will drop this day at one o'clock observatory time. The arrival of the English mail will also in future be notified by hoisting the R. M. flag at the head of the time ball mast instead of at the Camp flag-staff as heretofore. [69]

(With apologies for the racist language) Ah Ching changed with damaging the telegraph wires and fined the cost of the repair

EASTERN POLICE COURT. Tuesday, 21st August. (Before W. H. Foster, Esq., P.M., and B. S. Hassell, Esq., J.P.) . . . INJURING THE TELEGRAPH WIRES.— Ah Ching, a Chinaman, was charged with having injured the telegraph wires. Constable Talbot deposed that on the previous evening he saw the prisoner driving a horse and cart with a whim on it, and when near Roy's corner the top of the whim caught the wires and pulled them down to the ground. Mr Bechervaise stated the damage could be repaired for 15s. The Bench, said as the injury was the result of an accident, they would only fine the prisoner 15s, the amount of the injury; had it been wilfully done they would have imposed a penalty of £5. The fine was paid, and the Mongolian left the Court.[70]

1860 09[edit]
1860 10[edit]

Bechervaise completes alterations to the time signal ball, announces opening of Kiandra telegraph station

News and Notes. . . . The Telegraph Station Master announces that the alterations in the time ball apparatus being now complete, the signals will be given this day. The ball will be mastheaded at 12.50, and drop at 1 p.m. observatory time. We are informed that the Telegraph Station at Kiandra was opened yester-day (Tuesday), the charges for messages being the same as between Ballarat and Sydney.[71]

1860 11[edit]

Bechervaise completes further repairs to the time signal ball

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . The master of the Telegraph Station in-forms us that the repairs to the time-ball apparatus have been completed. The time signal will therefore be given, to-morrow as usual.[72]

1860 12[edit]

1861[edit]

1861 01[edit]

(Apologies for the racist content) Bechervaise drawn into an unusual court case which provides insight into Ballarat justice

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . At the Eastern Police Court yesterday we had another development of a China-man's disregard of the sacred nature of an oath, as well as an insight into some of their doings in connexion with their courts of law. It seems that a Chinese opium dealer, who some time ago had been robbed of a large quantity of opium by one of his dishonest countrymen, cited the culprit before a Chinese tribunal, when, after hearing both sides of the question, the celestial dispensers of justice were unable to come to a decision in the matter, and the defendant appealed to a higher tribunal in connexion with the Joss-house on Ballarat. The prosecutor states that he arrived in town with the delinquent, and that they both slept at the house or hut of a countryman on Golden Point, when the latter got up in the night and stole 30 boxes of opium and other property, valued at £30, and having given information to the police, the accused was arrested in the joss-house on Pennyweight Flat. A third individual, also a Chinaman, deposed that the culprit sold him a portion of the stolen property, which is identified by the owner. The prisoner yesterday had twenty-two witnesses in attendance, most of them from Fiery Creek, and they swore that the prisoner arrived on Ballarat several days before the prosecutor, and that he slept in the Joss-house, and not with the complainant on the night of the robbery, and that the latter did not come to Ballarat until he was telegraphed for by one of the legal authorities of the Chinese Court — to wit, the chapel keeper or clerk of the Court. A copy of the telegram is even produced in Court, attested by Mr Bechervaise, the station-master; and the question having assumed such a form as to puzzle the Bench to ascertain which side was declaring the truth, they agreed to commit the culprit for trial at the Circuit Court, but to admit him to bail. One thing alone is evident in connection with the affair, and that is that there must be a gross amount of perjury on either one side or the other, as the evidence for the defence is directly opposed to that for the prosecution. [73]

1861 02[edit]
1861 03[edit]

Another major fire in Ballarat, Bechervaise protects the precious telegraph poles

TWO MORE FIRES. FIVE HOUSES DESTROYED. About nine o'clock on Sunday night the western fire bell rang out the alarm of fire, and a bright glare of light was visible in the direction of the Nightingale Lead. The cause of the alarm was in a short time ascertained to be a wooden cottage on fire. The western brigade were quickly on the spot, but the tenement was beyond all hopes of rescue, and was burned to the ground. A woman and three children were in at the time, and it has been stated that she was under the influence of liquor, but how the fire originated is a mystery. Everything in the house was destroyed. The Brigade, however, poured water on the flames and saved the adjoining houses from destruction. As the brigade were returning to the engine house a bright glare of light was visible in the direction of the Main road, and in a few seconds the fire bells again rang out the alarm. The Western Brigade proceeded by way of the White Flat to the scene of the conflagration, and on their arrival they found several stores on the Main road opposite the Victoria Hotel in flames. It seems that the fire here broke out in the dwelling of Mrs West, who kept a millinery shop. The servant girl had put the children to bed and from what we could learn set fire to the paper on the walls with a lighted candle she had in her hand. The whole room was instantly in a blaze, and the children were rescued, with much difficulty. A lad, who rescued one of them, was severely burned on the hand. As may be imagined the fire spread with alarming rapidity to the adjoining store of Mr Glenn, which was principally composed of corrugated iron. The Eastern Brigade with commendable alacrity arrived first at the scene, and got their engine into working order and poured a sheet of water on the flames. Mr Harris, who resided next door to Mrs West's, attempted to save some of his property, but the flames spread with such rapidity that his house fell a prey to the flames be-fore he was able to rescue anything of much value. A Chinaman, who occupied a house of Mr Salmon's, was also burned out. Fortunately a gap intervened between the store of Mr West and Mr Cornish's hay and corn store, or else in all probability the latter would have been burned down. To this cause and the exertions of the Eastern Brigade, who poured a sheet of water on the roof which was in flames, may its safety be attributed. The Western Brigade got their engine into play at the rear of the fire, and prevented it from spreading northward. Fortunately the wind blew from the north-east, and the result was that the flames were wafted on towards the sludge channel. Large flakes of fire were carried by the wind across Golden Point, and as the flames shot upwards, the sight was majestically grand. The whole of the township and surrounding ranges were illuminated for a considerable distance. In about half an hour after the fire broke out the brigades appeared to have completely mastered it, and a sensation of relief was experienced by persons resident in the locality. The house formerly occupied by Mr Smith, Photographist, was about being pulled down to prevent the flames spreading up the Main road, and the fence round the garden was partially removed, when it was ascertained that there was no necessity for the destruction of the property. During the time that the fire was raging Mr Bechervaise, the Electric Telegraph Station Master, procured a ladder, and, with a bucket of water, extinguished the fire which had seized on one of the telegraph posts. One of the wires was nearly burned through, but the injury was not of such a nature as to interrupt telegraphic communication with other parts of the colony. Mr West, in whose house the fire broke out, had the whole of his property destroyed, and estimates his loss at £600, Mr Harris, clothier and shoe shop, estimates his loss at £500. The adjoining shop, which belongs to Mr Salmon, and was occupied by a Chinaman, was used as a grocery store, and the damage was estimated here at £300. Mr Glenn estimates his loss at £800. Fortunately he succeeded in saving £44 in cash from the flames. The ironmongery shop of Mr M. Levi had a narrow escape from destruction, and was partly gutted, as was that of Cohen, and Martin, who kept the two adjoining boot and shoe shops. None of the buildings destroyed were insured. The policy of insurance on them had expired some time during the last month, and the insurance. offices refused to renew the policy unless at 12½ per cent. There was a huge concourse of persons at the fire, and the police, under the command of Mr Superintendent Kirk, exerted themselves to keep a space clear for the efforts of the fire brigades, who exerted themselves in an energetic manner, and to whom alone belongs the credit of saving much property, and preventing the fire from spreading. Several private individuals also exerted themselves in a very praiseworthy manner to keep the flames under. The brigades continued to pour water on the flames and debris until 12 o'clock at night. The persons burned out found a refuge at the Red Hill hotel and at the Victoria, and liquor in abundance was served out at both places to the fire brigades. The Chinamen, Mr Levi, and others whose property was injured or destroyed, were burned out at the late calamitous fire on the Main Road, and it has been stated that this is the third time that the celestial has been burned out on Ballarat.[74]

1861 04[edit]

Bechervaise on leave while problems arise at the Ballarat telegraph office

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . Owing to a blunder committed in the telegraph department either here or at some other station, we were made a few days ago to give Melbourne credit for a "terrific storm" to which Warrnambool was properly entitled. Our telegram, despatched from the last named place, reached us dated from Melbourne, and thus led us into the error. We understand that Mr Bechervaise has been away on leave of absence during the last fortnight, so that if the mistake occurred at this station he is not to blame. It was reported yesterday evening that the person left in charge had suddenly taken his departure from Ballarat, but for what reason did not transpire. Of course there were reports of an unpleasant nature cur-rent, but we refrain from repeating them until we have more definite information. The missing person was, we hear, found at Geelong.[75]

Further detail on the previous item, and a very interesting aspect emerges

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . We understand that Gurjot, the person placed in charge of the telegraph office during the absence on leave of Mr Bechervaise, was brought into Ballarat last night in custody, on a charge of embezzling £45 of the Government money, as alluded to in yesterday's Star. The accused is a native of France, and had been placed in charge of the telegraph office by the Government, and strange to say, the powers that be want to make Mr Bechervaise responsible for the amount of the defalcations. The offender was arrested in Geelong, and will be brought up at the police court this day.[76]

The previous story continues to unfold

DISTRICT POLICE COURT. Saturday, 20th April (Before the Police Magistrate and W. C. Smith, Esq., J.P.) . . . THE TELEGRAPH DEFAULTER. Bartholomew Guyot was brought up charged with embezzling Government moneys. Philip Bechervaise deposed that on the 3rd April he obtained 14 days' leave of absence, and left the prisoner in charge of the Telegraph Office, who had been sent from Melbourne for the purpose. Before going he balanced up the cash and handed it over according to authority to the assistant, and the latter in turn handed charge of the office over to Guyot when he arrived. Witness arrived on the 17th April, and expected to see the prisoner, but great was his mortification on being assured that he had not been seen for some time. Ultimately witness received a message from Geelong respecting the prisoner, and in consequence of this he broke open the money drawer in presence of witnesses. The amount of cash taken from the time witness left until the 16th April, was £60 4s 3d. In the drawer there was but fourpence. There was an item of £1 18s 1d due for telegrams to the Ballarat papers, and he found that the total amount of prisoner's defalcations was £42 16s 11d. Cross-examined by prisoner — I did not hear that you were with the line man. It was no part of your duty to go with the line man. The prisoner was remanded for seven days. Mr Bechervaise applied to have the £7 odd found on the prisoner handed over to him, as Government wanted to hold him responsible to make good the defalcations. The Bench declined to make an order at present.[77]

A local newspaper wrongly reports the facts of the case, Bechervaise requests a correction

IN RE BECHERVAISE. Sir.— Your contemporary, the Advertiser, in this morning's issue, gives out that I am in custody on a charge of embezzling £45. I would inform you, Sir, and the public of Castlemaine, that I am still Manager of Electric Telegraph, Ballarat, and not a felon in one of the numerous gaols of her most gracious Majesty. The person who had charge of this station in my absence is the real Simon Pure. If the Editor of the Advertiser will only note the Ballarat Police Court report for Saturday last, his understanding will probably be enlightened in this matter. Will you oblige me by inserting this? I am, Sir, your obedient servant, WILLIAM PHILLIP BECHERVAISE. Ballarat, 23rd April, 1861.[78]

1861 05[edit]

Another court appearance in respect of the Telegraph Defaulter matter

DISTRICT POLICE COURT. Tuesday, 30th April. (Before S. T. Clissold, Esq., P.M., and W. C. Smith, Esq., J.P.) . . . THE TELEGRAPH DEFAULTER.— Bartholomew Guyott was brought up on remand charged with embezzling £42 of the Government money, while placed in temporary charge of the Telegraph Office on Ballarat, during the absence on leave of Mr Bechervaise. Mr Bechervaise now deposed in addition to his former evidence that the prisoner banked £15 while he was in charge of the office. The deficiency was still over £42, but £7 odd was found on prisoner when apprehended. Thomas Lewis deposed that he was senior messenger at the Telegraph Office. He knew the prisoner, and remembered when he arrived on Ballarat, on the 4th of April. The prisoner took charge of the office and books. Witness handed prisoner charge of money to the extent of £7 15s 9d, which he had received previous to the prisoner's arrival. On the 4th he gave him the amount named, and later in the same day he gave the prisoner £5 odd, and on the 5th £3 4s 3d. On the 6th he handed prisoner £4 10s 6d, and on the 8th £4 4s 9d, on the 9th £4 7s, on the 10th £4 7s 5d, on the 11th £4 17s 5d, on the 12th £4 19s 2d, on the 13th £4 3s 5d, on the 15th £5 15s, on the 16th £5 0s 8d. On the 17th Mr Bechervaise returned. The prisoner left the office about 8 o'clock on the morning of the 17th, and before the arrival of Mr Bechervaise. It was the duty of witness to receive cash for messages, enter it in a book and pay it over at night. To the Prisoner — I am not aware of the cause why you left the office on the morning of the 17th. You left the office with a Mr Wilson. Frederick Leopold Marchant, deposed that he was an assistant in the Telegraph Office, and knew the prisoner, who was an assistant operator in the Melbourne Telegraph Office. He arrived from Castlemaine on the 4th April to take the management of the Ballarat office during the absence of Mr Bechervaise on leave. He did take charge of the office from the last witness. Robert Poynder deposed that he was ledger-keeper at the Bank of Australasia. On the 6th April the prisoner paid in £15 8s 11d to the credit of Mr Bechervaise. No other amounts were paid into the bank by prisoner. To the Bench — The accounts of the Telegraph Office were kept at the Bank of Australasia. The depositions of the Sergeant of Police of Geelong, who took the accused into custody, were then read over. The prisoner declined to say anything, and was committed for trial.[79]

1861 06[edit]
1861 07[edit]
1861 08[edit]
1861 09[edit]

Bechervaise announces the opening of the Cape Schanck telegraph office

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . Mr Bechervaise informs us that the electric telegraph station, Cape Schanck, was opened to the public yesterday.[80]

Birth notice for Bechervaise's second child and second son Walter Reed Bechervaise

BIRTH. On Sunday, 8th September, at her residence, the Electric Telegraph Station, Camp, Ballarat, the wife of William Philip Bechervaise, Esq., of a son; both doing well.[81]

Bechervaise announces the imminent opening of the Point Lonsdale telegraph station and look-out station

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . Mr Bechervaise informs us that the electric-telegraph signal and look-out station at Point Lonsdale will be opened to the public during the ensuing week.[82]

Bechervaise institutes another innovation at Ballarat telegraph office

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . Mr Bechervaise informs us that on and after Monday, the 30th instant, the shipping intelligence (intercolonial news excepted) will be transmitted from Port Phillip Heads to Ballarat, three times daily; viz., at 9 a.m., 1 p.m., and 4 p.m.. It will then be posted outside the Electric Telegraph Office, for general reference. Any shipping news required between the abovenamed hours will be chargeable. Only the name and port of vessels will be reported.[83]

1861 10[edit]

Bechervaise providing shipping news (mails) to local papers

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . Mr Bechervaise informs us that the branch mail steamer Balclutha arrived at Adelaide with the English mail for that place on the 8th instant, at 9.20 p.m.[84]

1861 11[edit]

Victorian Government makes changes to system of payments for telegrams, clearly resulting from the Bechervaise Telegraph Defaulter case

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . The Government appears bent on making changes, and we confess that we cannot always discern the advantage which is sup-posed to result from some of them. We have recently been put to some little trouble by one which appears to have no object whatever. It has been the custom of the master of the telegraph station to have a weekly account with the Star, for telegrams received by us. This account was regularly settled every Saturday, and we were saved the inconvenience of having to pay for telegrams at all hours of the night. Recently explicit directions have been received from the Government that the money must be paid for the telegrams on their delivery, thus putting both us and the station master to a great deal of unnecessary trouble. We have heard no reason assigned for this change, nor can we see any. The station master was responsible for the amount of the telegrams under the former arrangement, and therefore the Government would not lose, whilst he saved himself sometime by the plan which has now been in force some five years.[85]

A problem between Melbourne and Ballarat delays vital news of Government debate

NEWS AND NOTES. By telegram from our Melbourne correspondent we learn that the debate on the budget was proceeding at a very late hour last evening, and that it was fully expected the result would be the defeat of the Ministry. We had made arrangements for having a telegraphic message, relative to the progress of the debate, despatched from Melbourne at midnight, but at one o'clock this morning Mr Bechervaise informed us that though he had been in attendance at his office from 11-55 p.m. till 12.57 a.m., no further intelligence had been communicated, nor was Melbourne communicable from Ballarat. The inference is that some accident to the line has temporarily interrupted communication.[86]

Further to previous, the cause of the problem is revealed

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . Mr Bechervaise informs us that an accident, trivial enough in itself, but annoying enough in its consequences, prevented the country districts receiving their midnight telegrams on Wednesday. The operators had left the head office at Melbourne about 8 p.m., so as to afford the attendant an opportunity of putting the place in order. When he had finished, he thoughtlessly left the key inside, and closed the door by the spring bolt, thus rendering entry impossible. When the operator arrived at midnight they were unable to obtain admission, and so our second telegram of Parliamentary proceedings could not be transmitted.[87]

1861 12[edit]

Bechvaise now raising the "R.M." flag from the tower of the Western Fire Brigade

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . Mr Bechervaise, manager of the Electric Telegraph Office, informs us that the arrival of the Royal Mail steamer will be notified by the hoisting of the "R. M." flag on the tower of the engine-house of the Western Fire Brigade, Sturt street.[88]

1862[edit]

1862 01[edit]
1862 02[edit]

Parliament agrees (after debate) compensation to Bechervaise for the £42 he paid to Treasury for the monies stolen by B. A. P. Guyot, but a confusing and interpretive report by the Age

PARLIAMENT OF VICTORIA. LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY. Friday, 14th February, 1862. The Speaker took the chair at half-past four o'clock. . . . SUPPLY. On the motion of Mr HAINES, the House resolved itself into committee of supply. Mr HAINES directed the attention of the House to the supplementary estimates for 1861, and moved that the following items be passed:— Compensation to . . . W. O. [sic] Bechervaise, telegraph manager at Ballaarat, reimbursement of amount embezzled by B. A. P. Guyot, convicted of the offence, £42 16s 11d; . . . In reply to Mr LOADER, Dr MACADAM stated that the compensation proposed to be awarded Mr Bechervaise was for money embezzled during the absence of that gentleman from his office with the leave of the Superintendent of the Telegraph Department, Mr McGowan. At the time this occurred all telegraph clerks were not required to furnish security. Mr Guyot did not; nothing could be recovered from him, and this occurrence had led to security being required in each instance for the future. Mr LOADER stated that Mr Bechervaise had had the option of refunding this amount, or of resigning his situation, and he preferred the former alternative. The money had been paid into the Treasury, and the country had a right to retain it. The leave of absence, too, during which the money was embezzled, was obtained in an irregular manner. Mr HOOD moved that the item be struck out. Dr MACADAM impressed upon the committee the desirability of voting the item if justice was to done. The conduct of the hon. member, Mr Loader, in this matter, had been somewhat harsh and arbitrary. The amendment was then withdrawn, and the gross amount, less the items withdrawn, was voted. [89]

As previous, a clearer report by The Argus

THE VICTORIAN PARLIAMENT. LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY. Friday, Feb. 14. The Speaker took the chair at thirty-three minutes past four. . . . SUPPLY. The House then resolved itself into committee of supply. The additional Supplementary Estimates for 1861 were first taken into consideration. . . . Mr. HAINES then proposed the following votes:— Compensation to . . . W. O. (sic) Bechervaise, telegraph manager at Ballarat, reimbursement of amount embezzled by B. A. P. Guyot, convicted of the offence, £42 16s. 11d.; . . . Mr. ASPINALL asked for an explanation in reference to the item of £42 16s. 11d. "to W. O. Bechervaise, telegraph-manager at Ballarat, reimbursement of amount embezzled by B. A. P. Guyot, convicted of the offence." Dr. MACADAM stated that the embezzlement took place during Mr. Bechervaise's absence on important business, and while Guyot was officiating in his stead. Mr. HOOD moved that the item be struck out. When the hon. member for West Melbourne held the office of Postmaster-General, Mr. Bechervaise was told that he must either pay the money himself, or give up his office, and he paid it willingly. Since then there had been a change of Government, and he now claimed to have the money refunded. Mr. HUMFFRAY.— He did not pay it willingly, but under compulsion. Mr. GILLIES considered it unjust that Mr. Bechervaise should be called upon to refund the money embezzled by another person during his leave of absence. After some remarks by Mr. Loader, Mr. SERVICE thought the question ought to be referred to a select committee. Mr. O'SHANASSY said the late Government intended to refund the money to Mr. Bechervaise, and the present Government were only keeping faith with their predecessors. Mr. HOOD then withdrew his objection. The vote, minus the items relating to Mr. Bell and Mrs. Morphy, was then agreed to.[90]

Hansard should be definitive, and to the extent of the record, it is, but actually a little more information is provided by the newspaper reporters

SUPPLY. The House then resolved itself into committee of supply. The additional Supplementary Estimates for 1861 were first taken in to consideration. The sum of £30 was voted without opposition, as compensation to Matthew Lemon, mail guard, for injuries sustained by him in the execution of his duty. Mr. HAINES then proposed the following votes:- Compensation . . . to W. O. (sic) Bechervaise, telegraph manager at Ballarat, reimbursement of amount embezzled by B. A. P. Guyot, convicted of the offence, £42 16s. lld.; . . . Mr. ASPINALL asked for an explanation in reference to the item of £42 16s. 11d. "to W. O. Bechervaise, telegraph manager at Ballarat, reimbursement of amount embezzled by B. A. P. Guyot. convicted of the offence." Dr. MACADAM stated that the embezzlement took place during Mr. Bechervaise's absence on important business, and while Guyot was officiating in his stead. Mr. HOOD moved that the item be struck out. When the hon. member for West Melbourne held the office of Postmaster-General, Mr. Bechervaise was told that he must either pay the money himself, or give up his office, and he paid it willingly. Since then there had been a change of Government, and he now claimed to have the money refunded. Mr. HUMFFRAY.- He did not pay it willingly, but under compulsion. Mr. GILLIES considered it unjust that Mr. Bechervaise should be called upon to refund the money embezzled by another person during his leave of absence. After some remarks by Mr. LOADER, Mr. SERVICE thought the question ought to be referred to a select committee. Mr.O'SHANASSY said the late Government intended to refund the money to Mr. Bechervaise, and the present Government were only keeping faith with their predecessors. Mr. HOOD then withdrew his objection. The vote, minus the items relating to Mr. Bell and Mrs. Morphy, was then agreed to.[91]

1862 03[edit]

Local lightning storm causes electrical and fire damage to the Ballarat telegraph office

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . The hot weather which we have had so long culminated in a thunder storm yesterday evening. During the day the weather had been extremely close, and shortly after sunset vivid flashes of lightning were seen towards the north, which gradually approached nearer, and grew more dazzling. About half-past ten o'clock rain fell heavily, greatly to the delight of all who had felt the inconveniences of our short water supply, and the peals of thunder were very loud and long-continued. The storm, however, did not last more than half an hour, and the quantity of water that has fallen will do but little to supply our wants. During the storm, the Telegraph-office was set on fire by the lightning, and it was only saved from destruction by the exertions of the station master, assisted by several other persons. It appears that shortly before eleven o'clock whilst Mr Bechervaise was sitting in his private room, he heard repeated electric sparks flashing from the wires, but did not deem it advisable to enter the office. He was suddenly alarmed by a loud knocking at the door, and on rushing outside he found that the lightning had run along the wire and set the window frame, curtains, rollers, &c., in flames. With the assistance of Detective Sincock, Mr Forster, Mr Croak, and several other persons who had observed the fire the flames were extinguished, but not before a good deal of damage had been done. It was found however that the lightning kept running along the wires and re-igniting the charred window frames, so that it was found necessary to cut away all the wires and lightning arresters from the office in order to save it from being burned down. Communication with other places is therefore cut off for the present, but every exertion is being used to reopen it, and it is expected that the wires will be once more in working order by noon, or shortly after, this day.[92]

Bechervaise confirms that the telegraph office is again operational after lightning and fire damage impacted

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . Mr Bechervaise informs us that communication was re-established between Ballarat and all other telegraph stations at eight a.m. on Thursday, the hour of opening the office in Lydiard-street.[93]

1862 04[edit]

Bechervaise finds a new high point for raising his Royal Mail flag

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . On Saturday, the campanile of the new building in connection with Bath's Hotel, was roofed in, and the circumstance was celebrated by hoisting the Union Jack. Mr Bechervaise informs us that the arrival of the Royal Mail steamer from Europe will be notified to the public by the hoisting of the "R. M." flag over the summit of this self-same campanile.[94]

Bechervaise advises that the Royal Mail Ship Madras still not sighted

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . Mr Bechervaise, telegraph master, informs us that at sunset on Wednesday, no signs of the R.M.S. Madras were visible from either Cape Otway or Port Phillip Heads. The weather was described as thick and showery.[95]

1862 05[edit]

A Star reporter publishes an excellent overview of the Victorian Telegraph System, drawing heavily on the 1861 annual report of the General Superintendent of Electric Telegraphs by Samuel Walker McGowan

The Star. DAILY ISSUE. FRIDAY, 2ND MAY, 1862. THE ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH. AMONGST the many things which show the material progress of this colony, there is not one which is more striking than the present condition of telegraphic communication. The mind is the more impressed with the immense advances which have been made during the last few years, when considering this particular example of our progress, because telegraphic communication itself has hardly yet passed out of the category of scientific marvels; and it is the more marvellous when found existing in a country so recently populated, and so distant from the great centres of civilisation. Moreover, to trace the progress of telegraphic communication in Victoria, is, in a great measure, to trace the progress of settlement, for each station is the centre of a populous district, and the number of messages sent during the year may be taken to show the amount of business which has been transacted. In fact, it will be found that the relative importance of the various towns may be judged of very accurately by means of the returns published by the General Superintendent of Electric Telegraphs, and from them we shall be able to award each place its proper rank amongst the cities and towns of Victoria. Moreover, the progress of telegraphic communication is interesting as indicating the activity of intercourse between the various districts, and the extent to which they have relations with each other. And, finally, most persons will be desirous of knowing what is being done in the way of telegraphic communication, because the public is aware that every year a sum of money appears on the Estimates for the payment of salaries, and for the extension of telegraphic lines. What return is obtained for this money is a question interesting to the public, which occupies the position of taxpayer; whilst the loss or profit from the working of the various lines by the Government, may give some useful information as to the desirability of such works being undertaken by the central authority. A report recently published enables us to answer these questions, to show with much accuracy the actual position of the Telegraph Department and the results which have been obtained during the last year. It appears that at the present time there are fifty telegraph stations in Victoria, two of which are "coast lookout stations," and were established on the recommendation of the Defence Commission. These two stations are situate one at Cape Schank and the other at Point Lonsdale, and indeed the whole of the Cape Schanck line may be considered to have been constructed more for defensive purposes than for revenue. The total length of the lines at the present time is 1416 miles, besides which there are 100 miles of "special single wire lines." The total number of messages sent during the year is 184,688, of which 40,818 were "on her Majesty's service." It appears from the report that in April last a regulation was made authorising the imposition of a charge on Government messages at a uniform rate of one shilling on each telegram, and one penny for each additional word over ten. As, however, no money was actually paid on these messages, we presume that the regulation was only made in order that the actual cost of working the telegraph department might be clearly ascertained. The total cash revenue for the year 1861 was £24,361 15s 5d and the total expenditure £32,207 6s 5d, leaving a deficiency of £7845 11s. Against this, however, must be placed the sum of £855 9s 11d due from the Governments of other colonies on account of intercolonial business and £8566 13s 11d the charges against the Government for messages sent on public business. There is, however, an actual deficiency of £6990, because the charges against the Government of Victoria are merely nominal, and that amount we may reckon that we pay for the increased efficiency of the police service, and the more rapid transaction of public business generally. And, on the whole, we think that the people will not complain. The benefits of telegraphic communication are so great, that what is lost in money is gained by the prevention of crime and the saving of time in public business generally. We can, as we have said, by comparing the business done at each station show the comparative importance of each. Thus, the cash revenue received at Melbourne for the year 1861 was £11,704 14s; at Geelong £1309 6s 9d; at Ballarat, £1828 19s; at Sandhurst, £1,363 13s 5d; at Castlemaine, £870 9s; at Creswick, £229 11s 6d; at Clunes, £151 4s 2d; and so on in a decreasing ratio down to Cape Schank, from which place there was the magnificent return of £3 15s 2d. The importance of a station must not, however, in every instance be measured by the revenue, because there are stations of prospective or actual utility from which no revenue whatever is derived. Thus, Cape Otway, Mount Gambier, and Albury, are boundary repeating stations, and merely transmit the messages sent to South Australia and New South Wales, or Tasmania when the cable is in working order, and Point Lonsdale, which is a lookout shipping station, and valuable for defensive purposes. It will surprise most persons to learn that only four or five stations out of the fifty established yield a profit, and yet such is the case. Melbourne, Geelong, Ballarat, Sandhurst, and Castlemaine are the chief amongst the paying stations, whilst there is a long list of places upon which more is spent than is received. The public benefit, however, is held to compensate for the public loss. The works proposed to be executed during 1862 are not of a very extensive nature, and will involve a cost of some £33,000 only. The chief of these works will be the removal of the telegraph lines from the Government roads and the placing of them along the lines of railway, whereby they will be rendered more secure from damage and be available for railway purposes. It is also proposed to extend a second wire between Albury and Mount Gambier, as it has been found that the intercolonial business is frequently so great as to cause a serious interruption in the transmission of the messages from one part of Victoria to another. This work will enable communication to be readily made with Colac and Camperdown, thus affording two rising districts the advantages now enjoyed by so many others. The other works are a line from Ballarat to Smythesdale, a line from Avoca to Redbank, and one from Inglewood to Swan Hill. The report contains the following speculation on the future — "I cherish the hope that the Swan Hill line may eventually be extended still northwards, to the most favorable sections of the available country discovered through the late Burke and Wills expedition; and should the Government of this colony at any future time be empowered to exercise territorial jurisdiction over the portion of country to which I allude, I shall be prepared to submit, I think, a feasible and reasonable proposition for the extension of telegraphic communication to a point on the shores of the Gulf of Carpentaria, without requiring that the cost of the work should be a serious, if indeed any, tax on the general revenue of the colony."[96]

1862 06[edit]

Bechervaise's wife advertises for domestic assistance

WANTED a Nurse Girl,— Apply to Mrs Bechervaise, at the Telegraph Station, Camp, Ballarat.[97]

1862 07[edit]
1862 08[edit]

Bechervaise's Royal Mail flag now homed at Craig's Royal Hotel

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . Mr Bechervaise, of the Electric Telegraph Office, informs us that the arrival of the Royal Mail steamer will be notified to the public as usual, by the hoisting of the R.M. flag on the tower of Craig's Royal Hotel. This arrangement will stand good should the mail be sighted at Cape Otway or Port Phillip Heads during Sunday.[98]

1862 09[edit]
1862 10[edit]

Bechervaise advises of arrangements for last minute despatch of telegrams for overseas mail transmission

NEWS AND NOTES. Mr Bechervaise, manager of the Electric Telegraph, Ballarat, informs us that telegrams for transmission to Adelaide (at which place they can be posted for despatch to the United Kingdom, &c., per R.M.S. Bombay) may be entered at the Electric Telegraph Office, Ballarat, up to 8 p.m. this day, (Saturday).[99]

Bechervaise announces the opening of the Buninyong telegraph station

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . Mr Bechervaise has handed us the following notification:— The Electric Telegraph Office at Buninyong will be opened on Monday, the 27th instant. The rates of charge are as follow:— First 10 words, 1s; each additional word, 1d. It is also stated that date, signature, and address are free of charge.[100]

1862 11[edit]
1862 12[edit]

Mrs Bechervaise again advertising for domestic help

WANTED, general Servant. Reference required. Mrs Bechervaise, Telegraph Station, Camp.[101]

A rare insight into the operations of the Ballarat telegraph office, extensions foreshadowed

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . The Telegraph Office in Ballarat is one of those institutions which gives tolerably reliable evidence as to the importance of the town as compared with others. So much has the business of the office extended, that three or four messengers are continually flying about with "messages," and three operators are engaged in the operating room. The business done both in the number of messages and in the amount of revenue exceeds that of the Geelong office very considerably, the revenue per month in Ballarat being not very much under £200. In order to facilitate the business of the office, some alterations and additions are about to be made in the premises, after which Mr Bechervaise will no doubt be able to fling the lightning about with as great ease as any modern Jupiter of that ilk.[102]

1863[edit]

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Birth notice for Bechervaise's third child and first daughter, Charlotte Alice Bechervaise

BIRTH. On the 11th June, at her residence, the Electric Telegraph Station, Camp, Mrs Wm. P. Bechervaise, of a daughter. Both doing well.[103]

Illustrating the importance and cost of telegraphic communication, the Star blasts the Tribune for failure to acknowledge the source of its telegraphic news

NEWS AND NOTES. "How to obtain telegraphic news cheaply" has been exemplified by our contemporary the Tribune, on the occasion of the arrival of the last two English mails. On the 11th ultimo we published at the usual hour in the morning the news brought by the Northam, which was duly copied from us and published by our contemporary about ten a.m.; but on Monday last, owing to the delay with our message already explained, we were compelled to publish a country edition, which contained only a small portion of the news per Bombay, and by a singular coincidence only that portion appeared in the Tribune, our contemporary not choosing to wait for the town edition. Had the Tribune stated that it had copied the news from us the matter would not have been touched upon, as the acknowledgment would have sufficed; but that not having been done, we think it only right to let the public know to whose enterprise they are indebted; the cost of telegraphic news being no trifle. We state these facts, having a positive knowledge that our contemporary did not receive the news in question by telegraph (although so headed), and it will doubtless be matter of surprise to many that a journal which has always displayed such virtuous indignation at the backslidings and dishonesty of public men, should itself adopt such improper (to speak very mildly) steps to obtain its news.[104]

Bechervaise announces the opening of the telegraph station at Smythesdale

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . Mr Bechervaise, telegraph master, informs us that on Thursday the Electric Telegraph station at Smythesdale was opened to the public. The rates of charges from Ballarat are the same as to Clunes, Creswick, and Beaufort.[105]

Following on from the birth of her third child, Mrs Bechervaise advertises for domestic help

WANTED, good General Servant; reference required. Apply, Mrs Bechervaise, Telegraph Station, Camp.[106]

Bechervaise announces that the Moonambel telegraph station is now open

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . The electric telegraph station master informs us that the electric telegraph station at Moonambel is now open. The rate of charge from Ballarat to Moonambel is equal with rate to Avoca, Ararat, Geelong, Castlemaine, &c.[107]

1863 07[edit]

Bechervaise announces the opening of a branch telegraph station at Ballarat West Railway Station

NEWS AND NOTES. The mail steamer Madras had not been sighted when the Telegraph Office closed yesterday evening. . . . Mr Bechervaise informs us that the branch tele-graph office, at the Ballarat West Railway Station, was opened on Monday. Mr Badge, from the Rail-way Telegraph Office, Geelong, is the officer in charge.[108]

1863 08[edit]

Bechervaise announces the opening of the Kerang Telegraph Office

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . Mr Bechervaise, of the Electric Telegraph Office, Ballarat, requests us to publish, for the information of the public, that on Friday the electric telegraph station at Kerang was opened to the public. The rate of charge is the same as to Swan Hill.[109]

Bechervaise, now in new premises at Lydiard street, announces the opening of the Colac telegraph office

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . Mr Bechervaise, of the Telegraph office, Lydiard street, informs us that the telegraph station at Colac was on Thursday opened to the public.[110]

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1864[edit]

1864 01[edit]

Bechervaise takes a week's leave, relieved by Badge

GOVERNMENT GAZETTE. The following notifications appear in Friday night's Government Gazette:— APPOINTMENTS.— . . . Charles Grattan Badge, to be acting manager of electric telegraph and collector of imposts at Ballarat, from 22nd to 30th December, 1863, both days inclusive, during absence on leave of W. P. Bechervaise.[111]

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Bechervaise invests in a local gold mining company

I, THE undersigned, RICHARD HENRY LOCK, hereby make application to register THE PRE-EMPTIVE RIGHT GOLD MINING COMPANY (Registered), under the provisions of "The Mining Companies Limited Liability Act, 1864," and I do solemnly and sincerely declare that the following statement is, to the best of my belief and knowledge, true in every particular, namely:— 1. The name and style of the company is The Pre-emptive Right Gold Mining Company (Registered). 2. The place of operations is on the Phoenix Lead, Nintingbool, near Smythesdale. 3. The nominal capital of the company is seven thousand five hundred pounds, in one thousand shares of seven pounds ten shillings each. 4. The amount already paid up is nil. 5. The name of the manager is Richard Henry Lock. 6. The office of the company is at the company's works, Nintingbool, near Smythesdale. 7. The names and several residences of the share-holders, and the number of shares held by each at this date, are as follows:— Names. Residences. No. of Shares. . . . Richard Henry Lock .... Nintingbool .... 100; . . . William P. Bechervaise .... Ballarat .... 25; . . . Total 1000; Dated this third day of December, 1864. R. H. LOCK, Manager. Witness — J. HAWKINS, Smythesdale.[112]

1865[edit]

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Birth notice for Bechervaise's 4th child and 3rd son

BIRTHS. . . . BECHERVAISE.— On the 13th inst., at her residence, the Electric Telegraph Station, Ballarat, Mrs. Wm. Philip Bechervaise of a son. Both well.[113]

1865 03[edit]

Mrs Bechervaise advertises for domestic help for her expanded family

WANTED. a good general servant, accustomed to children; apply Telegraph Station, side door.[114]

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1866 01[edit]

Bechervaise has his signature forged

POLICE. CITY COURT. . . . WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 17 (Before Mr. Sturt, P.M., and Mr. Curtain, J.P.) . . . CHARGE OF FORGERY.— William Reginald Buchanan, late accountant of the Telegraph-office, recently committed for trial on the charge of embezzlement, was now brought up, on warrant, charged with forgery. Mr. H. F. Gurner, Crown solicitor, appeared to prosecute. Mr. Quinlan defended the prisoner. Samuel Walker McGowan, superintendent of the Telegraph department, deposed that prisoner had been accountant in the Telegraph-office between eight and nine years. Witness gave an account of prisoner's duties, in similar terms to that contained in his evidence given a week before, when prisoner was before the Court on the charge of embezzlement. He was to deposit in the bank what money or cheques he received on behalf of the department, and to obtain cheques from witness drawn against this account, for the payment of the men. Prisoner would draw the cheques and bring them to witness for signature. The cheque produced was brought to witness in this manner; it was in prisoner's handwriting with witness's signature. He believed that it was originally drawn for £110s., and signed by him as such. It had been altered so that the figure "6" had been placed before the "1" in the pounds place, and the word "sixty" before the word "one," thus making the cheque one for £61 10s. The cheque was dated October 25th. Another cheque, dated October 30th, for £91, was originally drawn for £1; and a third, for £91 3s. 6d., dated November 2nd, was signed by witness as a cheque for £1 3s. 6d. The added figures and words in these cheques were in the handwriting of the prisoner. The cheques for the increased amounts had been charged against witness's account. The voucher on which the cheque for £1, 3s. 6d. was signed was produced. This voucher was presented to witness by prisoner, and it was upon this that the cheque was signed by witness. It was an account from Mr. Stapleton, at Mount Gambier, the amount being £1 3s. 6d. The butt of the cheque drawn against this account was marked "Stapleton, £91 3s. 6d.," in the prisoner's handwriting. The cheque for £1 10s. was signed upon a voucher from H. Collier, manager, Sale. The butt of the cheque was marked "H. Collier, £61 10s." The voucher had been altered since witness signed it to the extent of £5. The alteration was in prisoner's handwriting. The voucher for the third cheque was not produced. George S. Davis, ledger-keeper at the London Chartered Bank, stated Mr. McGowan kept his public account at that bank. The cheques produced were drawn against this account, and had been paid. Could not say to whom. Prisoner often brought cheques against this account, and received the money. James Laurence Stapleton, manager of the Telegraph-office at Mount Gambier, deposed the amount mentioned in one of the vouchers (£1 3s. 6d.) was due to him in September last. He made claim for the amount by the document signed by him attached to the voucher. Had not received the amount. The receipt of the voucher appeared to be signed by the prisoner, as though for witness. John Joseph Barry, messenger to the Telegraph-office, Schnapper Point, deposed that in October last the items of £1 and £2 were due to him from the Telegraph department. He had been paid by the manager at Schnapper Point, who was not present in court. William Croft, clerk in the office of the superintendent of electric telegraphs, deposed to the whole of the handwriting on the cheques produced, with the exception of the signatures, being in the handwriting of the prisoner. The figures on the back of the cheques were in the handwriting of the prisoner. George S. Davis, ledger-keeper at the bank, recalled, deposed that the initials on the back of the cheques were those of the teller, placed on them at the time of payment. The figures and the words "gold," "notes," &c., were in ordinary bank practice written by the person presenting the cheque, to show in what mode he would have the sum paid. This being the case for the prosecution. Mr. Quinlan, on behalf of the prisoner, argued that the charge contained in the information being that prisoner had "forged the names of George S. Caldwell and others to a certain receipt," it had not been proved by the evidence, which related to matters totally different, consequently Mr. Quinlan contended prisoner must be discharged. The Bench considered that it was sufficient for the purpose of a preliminary examination that the offence proved was of the same nature with that charged in the information, although it might not be the individual case there mentioned. They accordingly committed prisoner for trial. Upon another charge prisoner was accused of forging the names of several persons to a salary abstract, for amounts due for extra services in the month of September. The amount of this abstract, £80 11s. 4d., was paid to prisoner in a cheque from the Treasury upon the London Chartered Bank. Several persons, whose names were down in this abstract to claims for amounts of about £4 to £6, proved that they had not received the amounts, and that the signatures to the receipt were not theirs. Prisoner was committed for trial on this charge also. A third charge was then brought forward against prisoner, of forging the signature of William P. Bechervaise, manager of the Telegraph-office, Ballarat, to a receipt for the sum of £8 15s. He was again committed for trial.[115]

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Bechervaise is quick to defend his office over allegation of delaying court matters

NEWS AND NOTES. The Ballarat telegraphic office, it seems, has been unjustly, though of course unwittingly so, accused by his Honor Judge Rogers of arresting his Honor's order in the matter of the appeal Volunteers Company v Grand Junction Company, Smythesdale. It would seem that the Buninyong office or the Smythesdale office must be responsible, as the telegram never came to the Ballarat office at all. Moreover, we are advised that Mr Bechervaise and his assistants, down to the telegrapher's "devil" if there be such an imp in telegraphy, are all quite aware of the value of the forensic abbreviation "ors." We understand that the clerk of the court of mines at Buninyong delivered the telegram at that office at about 11.30 a.m. and it reached Smythesdale at about a quarter to 3 o'clock, or about an hour after a messenger on horseback bearing the order arrived at Happy Valley, some twenty miles further on. Equestrianism, therefore, gained a decisive victory over the lightning in this instance.[116]

1866 07[edit]
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Bechervaise makes a donation to the Ballarat District Hospital

(ADVERTISEMENT.)— BALLARAT DISTRICT HOSPITAL.— The following contributions to the Ballarat District Hospital for the month of October are hereby thankfully acknowledged, viz.:— . . . W. P. Bechervaise, £2 2s;[117]

1866 12[edit]

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Problems with telegraphed English mail news, Bechervaise responds to a tsunami of enquiries about the Prince's health by posting updates outside the telegraph office

NEWS AND NOTES. The branch mail steamer, with the South Australian portion of the January mail from Europe, was sighted off Glenelg at three o'clock on Tuesday morning. Owing to some defect in the telegraphic communication there was great delay in the sending of the usual summary of the news, and we were only able to publish the most important items in our second edition yesterday. A complete summary of the news will be found in another part of this day's issue. . . . Hitherto Mr Bechervaise, telegraph-master, has had office-room and his time inconveniently engrossed by anxious enquirers after the state of the Prince's health. In order to prevent the stoppage of ordinary business thereby occasioned, Mr Bechervaise has resolved to post outside the office, for public inspection, each bulletin as it arrives.[118]

Bechervaise's posting of news of the Prince's health much appreciated

THE BULLETINS. On Sunday, showed that his Royal Highness had passed a good night, sat up to lunch, was in good spirits, little pain, and had received several visitors. Mr Bechervaise, telegraph-master, Ballarat, caused to be posted outside the office the bulletins as received. They were read by a vast number of persons and their favorable intelligence received with suitable gratification, and even enthusiasm.[119]

1868 04[edit]
1868 05[edit]

Bechervaise leads a farewell to Ryall, former police inspector at Ballarat

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . An address and testimonial, of a very handsome and flattering character, were on Thursday evening presented to Inspector Ryall, late of Ballarat, at the George hotel. Mr Ryall's state of health having necessitated his removal to a less arduous position, his many friends were determined that he should not depart without some slight souvenir, and a subscription list having been opened, and a committee appointed, a sum adequate to the purpose was in a short time realised. The presentation consisted of a silver goblet, well filled with sovereigns, and an address, artistically illuminated by Mr Lansley and framed in maple and gold. The goblet bore the following inscription:— "To Edward Bennets Ryall, Esq., from his Ballarat friends __ April, 1868," and was manufactured at the establishment of Mr S----, Lydiard street. The address was as follows. To Ed. B. Ryall, Esq., Inspector of Police. Dear Sir,— We, the undersigned, being desirous of expressing to you our unfeigned regret at your departure from this district, and of showing our admiration of the courteous and assiduous manner in which you have performed the arduous duties of your position to all classes of the community, and of testifying our esteem for you as a public officer and citizen during a residence of four years in Ballarat, beg to present you with the accompanying token of regard from your friends, with every wish for your health and prosperity.— Signed, on behalf of your Ballarat friends,— R. Colvin, W. P. Bechervaise, W. S. Magee, W. T. Pooley, W. Welsh, E. J. Lewis.— Ballarat, 29th April, 1868." At about half-past eight o'clock a large number of those interested having assembled, and Mr Ryall himself, having, at the solicitation of the committee, made arrangements to attend, being present. Mr Colvin was voted to the chair. The usual loyal toasts having been drunk in some capital No. 2, Mr Bechervaise, hon. sec., read the address, which, together with the silver cup and sovereigns, was presented by the chairman to Mr Ryall with some appropriate remarks. Mr Ryall, in replying, said no words of his could express the pleasure he experienced at receiving at the hands of his friends so marked a recognition of their esteem. It was an honor to which, in his most sanguine moments, he could not have aspired, and was, therefore, the more flattering as being least anticipated. A public officer situated as he had been, could hardly hope to give universal satisfaction, considering the peculiar and often very delicate positions in which he found himself placed, but he believed his desire to act with independence and integrity in the discharge of his duties could not be gainsaid, and the best proof that his conduct had not been misconstrued he had demonstrated that evening. Much of the success he had obtained in this respect he felt to be due in some measure to Mr Clissold and Superintendent Hill, who were ever ready to afford him every assistance in their power. He assured his friends he fully appreciated their kindness, and would never cease to remember the many pleasant associations which his connection with Ballarat afforded. Mr Ryall amidst applause, concluded by returning thanks for the kind expressions of respect and esteem his friends had given him that evening. Mr Bechervaise then read the letter of Captain Standish, approving of the wish of Mr Ryall's friends in Ballarat, to present him with a testimonial. A vote of thanks was then passed to the chairman and secretary after which the proceedings terminated.[120]

1868 06[edit]
1868 07[edit]

Telegraph office supplants the newspaper for the most timely news

NEWS AND NOTES. A report was current in Ballarat on Sunday to the effect that the steamer Blackbird, freighted with miners from Victoria for Gympie, had foundered on her way. Much anxiety was caused by the report on the part of relatives and friends of passengers, and as a matter of course, there being no communication by day with Melbourne, either by railway or telegraph, we were unable to satisfy numerous enquiries one way or the other. At night, when the telegraph office was opened, Mr Bechervaise informed us that he had made enquiry at the Melbourne office, and the reply was that no such report was current there. At midnight we received a telegram, stating that up to that time there had been no intelligence of the wreck of any steamer.[121]

1868 08[edit]
1868 09[edit]

Bechervaise makes a small investment in a gold mining operation

MISCELLANEOUS. I, RICHARD FORD, hereby make application to register THE TOWER OF LONDON QUARTZ MINING COMPANY (Registered), under the provisions of the "Mining Companies' Limited Liability Act, 1864," and I do solemnly and sincerely declare that the following statement is, to the best of my belief and knowledge, true in every particular, namely:— 1. The name and style of the company is the Tower of London Quartz Mining Company (Registered). 2. The place of operations is at Magpie Ranges, near Ballarat. 3. The nominal capital of the company is twelve thousand five hundred pounds, in two thousand five hundred shares of five pounds each. 4. The amount already paid up is two thousand five hundred pounds. 5. The name of the manager is Richard Ford. 6. The office of the company is at Lydiard street, Ballarat. 7. The names and several residences of the shareholders and the number of shares held by each at this date, are as follows:— Names and Residences. Number of Shares. Philip Davies, Sebastopol .. .. .. 200; Peter Matthews, Sebastopol .. .. .. 200; Edwin John Brayton, Ballarat .. .. .. 200; James Croyle, Ballarat .. .. .. 200; Archibald Carmichael, Ballarat .. .. .. 200; Edward Morey, Ballarat .. .. .. 200; Joseph Copeland, Ballarat .. .. .. 200; George Millson, Ballarat .. .. .. 33; William Philip Bechervaise, Ballarat .. .. .. 33; John Douglas Partridge, Ballarat .. .. .. 33; William Henry Barnard, Ballarat .. .. .. 99; Hugh Alexander Scott, Ballarat .. .. .. 33; John Thomas Kibble, Ballarat .. .. .. 33; Benjamin Severs, Ballarat .. .. .. 33; John Embling, Sebastopol .. .. .. 33; James Leckie, Sebastopol .. .. .. 33; David Ham, Ballarat .. .. .. 33; George Hathorne, Ballarat .. .. .. 33; Edward Doward, Ballarat .. .. .. 33; Edward Charles Moore, Ballarat .. .. .. 66; Thomas Gray, Sebastopol .. .. .. 66; Richard Ford, Ballarat .. .. .. 236; Frederick James Gomm, Ballarat .. .. .. 250; George Hathorne, Ballarat .. .. .. 20; Total .. .. .. 2500. Dated this 9th day of September, 1868. RICHARD FORD, Manager. Witness to Signature — J. T. Kibble, Clerk to Randall, Mitchell, and Doward, Solicitors, Ballarat.[122]

Bechervaise ill, Louis Septimus Daniel in charge of the Ballarat telegraph office

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . Mr L. S. Daniel, of the Telegraph Department, is in charge of the Ballarat Telegraph office, and will remain so during Mr Bechervaise's illness.[123]

1868 10[edit]

As previous

THE GAZETTE. The Gazette of Friday evening contains the following notifications:— APPOINTMENTS.— . . . . Louis S. Daniel to be acting manager of electric telegraph and collector of imposts at Ballarat, from the 11th September, 1868, vice W. P. Bechervaise, absent on sick leave;[124]

1868 11[edit]

Bechervaise returns to duties after two months sick leave

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . Mr Bechervaise, the manager of the local telegraph office, who has been away on sick leave for two months, recommenced his duties yesterday.[125]

1868 12[edit]

Bechervaise's two oldest children, Herbert and Walter awarded prizes at Ballarat Collegiate and Grammar School

BALLARAT COLLEGIATE AND GRAMMAR SCHOOL. Monday, the 14th December, was the speech-day of the above school, and it was the greatest scholastic demonstration ever seen up to that date in Ballarat, or, perhaps, in all Victoria. Previously our two larger schools had held their annual exhibitions in the hall of the Mechanics' Institute, but this year the venue was changed to the Alfred Hall, and that splendid arena was crammed in body and gallery by an assemblage of all classes and ages, ladies and gentlemen both mustering in great force, so that no fewer than from 2000 to 2500 persons were gathered to witness the display. The hall was well lighted, and the scene was really a brilliant one, whether seen from the stage or the gallery. The proceedings too were so varied, and generally so interesting, that the occasion is one not likely to be soon forgotten by those who were present, and least of all by the boys who took the more prominent parts in the celebration. On entering the hall before the time appointed for the commencement of the proceedings, we found the hall nearly filled, and the audience fast increasing. On each side of the hall on raised seats, were the pupils of the school, on a platform in front of the stage was a table, heaped up with books, the prizes won by the heads of the honor list. Upon this platform were the Ven. Archdeacon Stretch, who presided, the Rev. John Potter, the Principal and Vice-Principal of the school, and Mr T. P. Hill, the elocutionary master. On the stage was a large array of empty chairs, that were subsequently filled by a score or so of boys who took part in the "parliamentary debate," with Mr T. P. Hill, the author of the "debate," as Speaker. The Archdeacon having briefly opened the business, the exhilarating process of prize distribution at once proceeded, and the prize winners of the honor list, as well as the honor list itself, will be found below, as also the Principal's report. The beaming faces of the boys was pleasant sight as they went up and received from the hands of the Archdeacon the prizes awarded to them. Another not less pleasing sight certainly was the merry and hearty congratulations which the heads of the school met at the hands of their schoolmates. This was most marked when Master Buley carried off the big pile of Chambers' Encyclopaedia as his prize, and Master Rayner another large pile as his, these pupils having both passed — the first in all the subjects — the matriculation examination at the Melbourne University. The prizes having all been distributed, the other portion of the programme commenced, and lasted, with a brief interval, for some three hours. The programme was as follows, but though it was eleven o'clock before the proceedings closed, all those parts in programme which we have marked with an asterisk were necessarily omitted. . . . HONOR LIST, 1868. . . . Reading.— Class 1 — aW. Bechervaise, Trench, Dent, H. King. Class II — aH. Bechervaise, W. Reid, R. Taylor, Brooke.[126]

1869[edit]

1869 01[edit]
1869 02[edit]
1869 03[edit]
1869 04[edit]
1869 05[edit]
1869 06[edit]
1869 07[edit]
1869 08[edit]
1869 09[edit]
1869 10[edit]
1869 11[edit]

Hollick relieves Bechervaise while on leave

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . Mr W. H. Hollick, of the Melbourne Telegraph Office, has taken charge of the Ballarat office during the absence on leave of Mr Bechervaise.[127]

Likely Bechervaise on leave in Tasmania

SHIPPING. . . . CLEARED OUT.— . . . Tasmania, s., 285 tons, Wm. D Lyon, for Launceston. Passengers — cabin: Mrs. Spence, Misses Howard (2), Dr. Hooper, Mrs. C. Day, Miss Nickolls, Messrs. Peters (2), C. H. Compton, Rignes, Day, R. Robertson, Steele, R. Irvine, Bechervaise, G. Boon, Franklin, R. B. Finlay, W. Robertson (2), C. C. Dowling, Spearman, Dyson, A. Loane, Harris; and ten in the steerage. Hudson and Watkins, agents.[128]

1869 12[edit]

Bechervaise returns from leave

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . Friday's Government Gazette notifies that W. P. Bechervaise resumed duty as manager of electric telegraph and collector of imposts at Ballarat, on 22nd November.[129]

Bechervaise's boys again win prizes at school

ANNUAL SPEECH DAYS. GRENVILLE COLLEGE SPEECH DAY. The Alfred Hall was crowded on Monday evening, on the occasion of the annual speech-day recitations and examinations in connection with Grenville College. The boys of the school and their teachers occupied the stage, and the hall and gallery were set apart for and used by an audience composed principally of the friends of the boys. The Ven. Archdeacon Stretch was in the chair, and in a few remarks, in which he complimented Mr Victor on what he could turn out in the way of a school, opened the proceedings by calling for the reading of the annual report. Mr Victor, on being called on, read the report containing a statement of the affairs of the school for the past year, which we give in full:— At the close of the present session, according to our wonted practice and in conformity with the usage which obtains in all Collegiate Institutions, we have much pleasure in laying be-fore the parents and friends of the pupils, as well as the general public, a report of the present condition of this establishment and its progress during the year just terminated. Since we submitted our 1ast report we have deemed it expedient to change the name of "Ballarat Collegiate and Gram-mar School" to that of "Grenville College," thereby placing this establishment, as regards its appellation, on an equal basis with those of kindred institutions in the colonies; not that we approve of schools being designated colleges, but in obedience to a prevailing fashion, and that thus the status of this institution may be fully recognised by the public. . . . The following is the honor list:— . . . Spelling and Dictation.— Class 1 — Bechervaise (prize), Ayres, Taylor, F. Class 2 — Robins (prize), Graham, Reid, Branston, Steet. Class 3 — Sullivan (prize), Morrah, Stedman. Class 4 — Ivory (prize), Fly, Caldwell, Williams. Class 5 — Ivory (prize), Markillie, Traill, Hylton. Class 6 — Robson (Prize), Bowman (prize), Williams, Corbett. . . . Reading.— Class 1 — Bechervaise (prize), Ayres, Stedman. Class 2 — Reid (prize), Brown, Taylor, Graham, Foley. Class 3 — Lovitt (prize), Morrah, Stevens, Hambly. Class 4 — Victor, A. (prize), Watson, Roxburgh, Johnson.[130]

1870s[edit]

1870[edit]

1870 01[edit]

Bechervaise's office struggling with increased business resulting from lowered rates

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . The Telegraph-office, now that cheaper rates have come into play, seems to require more assistance. It will be seen from our mining reports that complaints are made of a too tardy delivery of telegrams.[131]

1870 02[edit]

As previous

PARLIAMENTARY INTELLIGENCE. LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY. Wednesday, 16th February. . . . Mr Jones called the attention of the honorable the Commissioner of Trade and Customs to the serious want of accommodation in transmitting telegrams from Ballarat, and asked if steps would be taken to remedy the evil complained of. He urged the appointment of two additional operators and to make use of the railway circuit. The Hon. Mr Cohen read a communication from the master of the telegraph-station at Ballarat, who said no inconvenience had been experienced by him. Mr Jones said possibly no inconvenience had accrued to the station-master, but there had been to to the public. Mr Dyte furnished a case where a message of his on the previous evening took four hours to deliver. The hon. Postmaster promised to enquire into the matter.[132]

1870 03[edit]
1870 04[edit]

Bechervaise's team part of a larger effort to get out a record-sized report, kudos all round

Our readers may be interested to hear that the telegraphic report of Mr. Michie's speech which appeared in The Argus of yesterday was the longest press message ever transmitted in Victoria. It consisted of 7,440 words, and occupied two of the most skilful operators in the public service exactly four hours in the transmission. This is precisely 31 words per minute, a rate of speed quite unprecedented in the experience of the Victorian Telegraph department, and reflecting the highest credit on the gentlemen employed on the work. We may add that the operators expressed themselves in the highest terms with regard to the excellence of the arrangements of the members of our staff who reported the speech, the rapidity and regularity with which the "copy" was supplied to them, having greatly facilitated the expeditious transmission of the report. Our reporters, in their turn, desire to acknowledge the zealous co-operation of Mr. Bechervaise, the station master at Ballarat, whose services were invaluable in forwarding their work.[133]

1870 05[edit]

Bechervaise, now in charge of both post office and telegraph office, announces housekeeping

TUESDAY, 24th May (the Queen's Birthday), being proclaimed a General Holiday, the following arrangements will be observed in the POST OFFICE and TELEGRAPH DEPARTMENT:— Post Office delivery windows to be open from 9 am. to 10 a.m. The first delivery by letter-carrier only to be effected. All Mails to be received and despatched as usual. Telegraph Offices to be open from 8.30 a.m. to 10 a.m., and from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. TUESDAY, 24th May (Queen's Birthday), the TELEGRAPH OFFICES will be opened only from 8.30 to 10 a.m., and from 6 to 7 p.m. W. P. BECHERVAISE, Manager. Ballarat, 21st May, 1870. [134]

1870 06[edit]

Bechervaise announces arrangements for the long gone Separation Day public holiday, again the usage "J. W. Bechervaise" appears

ON FRIDAY, 1st JULY (SEPARATION DAY), Telegraph Offices will be open from 8.30 a.m. till 10 a.m., and from 6 p.m. till 7 p.m. J. W. BECHERVAISE, Manager. [135]

1870 07[edit]

Bechervaise announces new rates for telegrams to Tasmania

TELEGRAPH OFFICE. ON and after the 1st of July next, the ADDRESS and SIGNATURE to each Telegraphic Message forwarded by Submarine Cable to Tasmania will not be sent free if, together, they exceed Ten words in length. Any number of words beyond Ten will be charged for as part of the message to be transmitted. J. W. BECHERVAISE, Manager.[136]

1870 08[edit]

Telegraph office housekeeping

TELEGRAPH OFFICE. ON and after the 1st of July next, the ADDRESS and SIGNATURE to each Tele-graphic Message forwarded by Submarine Cable to Tasmania will not be sent free if, together they exceed Ten words in length. Any number of words beyond Ten will be charged for as part of the message to be transmitted. J. W. BECHERVAISE, Manager.[137]

1870 09[edit]

Delays in arrival of the California mail steamer cause Bechervaise to make special arrangements

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . As some uncertainty appears to exist as to when news may be expected via San Francisco, we may mention that that mail is not due at Sydney till the 18th inst. To prevent the numerous enquiries which are daily made at the telegraph-office re the arrival of the Californian mail steamer (writes Mr Bechervaise), it hereby notified that the arrival of that vessel will be announced by the hoisting of the Union Jack on the tower at Craig’s Royal hotel, and also at the George hotel.[138]

Intense interest in early reports of the 1870 Franco-Prussian War, telegraph office struggling to keep up with demand

NEWS AND NOTES. The Royal Mail steamer Malta was sighted off Queenscliff at ten a.m. on Sunday, and landed her mails at noon. We received our files by special express on Sunday night, and this morning we are enabled to give our readers as complete details of the great war as can be obtained from the latest and best sources. Upon such an important and exciting occasion as this we have thought it necessary to spare no expense and no exertion. Once more our good citizens have been filled with excitement, and the "war news" has proved again how far more powerful a great and universal question of public import is to fix the attention than is any mere matter of local difference. Nothing could exceed the wide spread eagerness of the crowd which lined Sturt street, on Saturday last, and probably upon no previous occasion has the mass of people in front of our office been so great, so eager, or so earnest. No sooner was the flag which announces the arrival of the mail hoisted at the Royal and the George hotels, than men began to pour down the street and up the Main road, and concentrated themselves in front of our office. Before they had been waiting half an hour for news, some of the more eager began to grow impatient, and when a telegraph messenger at length appeared, it was with some difficulty that he edged his way through the crowd — willing as the crowd was to make way for him. At four o’clock in the afternoon we were able to get to press with our first edition, and no sooner was it ready for delivery than a dense mass of men crowded into the Star office, and by a pressure which none could withstand were so tightly wedged together that several uplifted hands broke away part of our office fixtures, and one unwilling hand smashed the globe of a gas-burner. Then, as papers were obtained, small knots of men were seen gathering together outside, while one who had secured the coveted news would be reading aloud, amidst the hum of passing comment on the words which told of "— — — fearful musters, and prepar'd defence." At five o'clock we issued a third edition, and as soon afterwards as possible a fourth and a fifth edition. Long after darkness had set in, all well lighted shop windows were beset by clusters of readers of the Star, many straining their eyes with a pain and intensity which evidenced their interest in the great subject about which they were reading. It is needless to remark that our German fellow colonists were affected by the news in a manner somewhat beyond the intensity of ordinary readers, and they with reasonable exultation, but with good taste, retired to celebrate the success of their countrymen, in draughts which were quaffed within the shade of host Henkel’s bar or in the inner recesses of the rooms of other German hostelries. Frenchmen in the crowd were not numerous, but this we can say, that wherever they were, there was little done or said to hurt their pride, beyond the fact of reading out the news of their great defeats. In the main, however, the feeling was one of gladness that the Prussians had been victorious, and it did not fail to present itself to the observation of the great majority of those who commented on the war, that of the two contending parties Prussia would use her victories to better purpose and with most humanity. It would be noticed that many errors appeared in the telegrams as issued by us on Saturday, but we deemed it better to satisfy the craving for news, with celerity rather than with the nicest accuracy. Today all the discrepancies are cleared up, and some passages which on Saturday might have mystified the reader, are today made plain. The telegraph department here is so absurdly unfitted for a pressure of labor, such as a long message entails upon it, that we cannot but express our thanks to Mr Bechervaise and his staff for so admirably performing a heavy duty with such readiness and ability.[139]

As previous

Yesterday we complained that, in consequence of the Ballarat and Geelong railway being hermetically sealed against traffic on Sunday, the letters and papers by the English mail steamer could not reach Ballarat until half-past ten o'clock on Monday, and that one consequence of this delay would be that the residents of a large number of towns west, southwest, and north of Ballarat would not get their correspondence for twenty-four hours afterwards, or on Tuesday, as the coaches leave every midnight. The justice of our complaint has since been admitted on all sides, and there can be no doubt we shall have much indignation expressed by the unfortunate people up country who are the victims of this delay. On such an occasion a special train should immediately have been put on the line, as was once done between Geelong and Melbourne, and the mail bags sent through for delivery early on Monday morning, instead of being placed under lock and key for some eighteen hours. This is the practice adopted in every part of the globe where civilisation has been extended to, and it is not a little discreditable that this colony should form the only exception to the rule. The delay in despatching the letters, however, was not the only curious feature of last Sunday's proceedings. A resident of Ballarat having a deep interest in the arrival of the mail steamer off the Heads, went to the telegraph office shortly after the Malta was signalled, and endeavored to send a message through to Geelong. Mr Bechervaise very courteously tried to "raise" Geelong, and failing once and twice, tried a third, fourth, and fifth time, but without the slightest result as there was no one in the Geelong office. The same gentleman subsequently tried the railway line with precisely the same effect. Now we can scarcely conceive a greater act of stupidity on the part of the Geelong clerks than to be absent from their offices at such a critical time; and we think it would well become the Government to issue special instructions to the operators at the different telegraph offices to be in attendance at their instruments for an hour or two after the arrival of the mail steamer has been telegraphed off the Heads, supposing she arrives on a Sunday. On any other day they would be there as a matter of course. This concession to the public would be a very slight one to make; but its importance to some people in the colony would often be immense. To hermetically close both the railway line and the telegraph offices when the steamer is landing her mails, seems to us to be the most stupendous piece of folly conceivable. Such a despotic proceeding might be excusable amongst Thakomban's subjects; but here, in Victoria, it is simply contemptible and unjust. [140]

1870 10[edit]

Another mail steamer eagerly awaited

NEWS AND NOTES. We are, by Mr J. W. Bechervaise, manager of the Electric Telegraph-station, Ballarat, requested to state that the arrival of the mail steamer (via California) at Sydney will be notified to the public in the usual manner, by the hoisting of the Union Jack on the towers of Craig's and the George hotels.[141]

The Governor's arrival causes confusion as signalled by the same flags as for the mail steamers

Confusion on Governor's Arrival. We are again this morning without intelligence of the arrival of the Californian mail steamer at Sydney. While on this subject, we may add that a great deal of confusion was caused yesterday afternoon by the hoisting of flags at Craig's and the George hotel in honor of the Governor's visit. Mr Bechervaise had arranged that these flags should be hoisted the moment the arrival of the City of Melbourne was reported from Sydney; and therefore when they appeared yesterday afternoon on their flagstaffs the general impression was that the mail steamers had been signalled. The newspaper offices were put to a great deal of inconvenience by this little matter, and enquiries for extraordinaries lasted all the afternoon. Of course no one is blameable for the flags being hoisted, as the presence of the Governor in Ballarat justified the step taken. The inconvenience called by it is, however, worth mentioning, if only to prevent people at a distance from being led astray by any report which may have reached them similar to that which prevailed in the town all the afternoon. [142]

Proposed solution to previous problem

Hospital Tower. The hospital authorities would confer a boon upon the public in these piping hot times of war, if they would arrange for hoisting a flag on the hospital tower when the California and Suez mails arrive. A flag at the staff on the tower would be visible over nearly the whole city. It is by far the best site in the city for a flag, and we hope the ready courtesy of Mr Bechervaise in such matters will be henceforth utilised by the hospital authorities for the public benefit. [143]

1870 11[edit]

Bechervaise announces that telegraph office at Walhalla is now open

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . Mr Bechervaise, telegraph manager, Ballarat, informs us that the telegraph office at Walhalla was opened for business on Thursday.[144]

Hospital agrees the Ballarat Star proposal to fly flags for its tower upon arrival of the mails

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . We some time ago offered a suggestion to the committee of management of the district hospital for utilising the tower of the building by hoisting flags upon it at the arrival of the mails, so that all the in-habitants of Ballarat may immediately know of events so important in these times of war as the arrivals of instalments of news from Europe. We are now glad to be able to inform the public that the hospital authorities have taken the matter in hand, and that, when the Californian mail arrives, Mr Bechervaise will communicate with the hospital authorities at once, when a union jack will be run up to the top of the mast. A flag, with R.M. in a white field, will be hoisted on the arrival of the Suez mail. The president of the hospital is to procure the flags in time for use when next they are required. The public will be very much benefited by the action taken.[145]

1870 12[edit]

1871[edit]

1871 01[edit]
1871 02[edit]
1871 03[edit]

New telegraph office for Ballarat ready for business

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . The Electric Telegraph Office will be opened for business in the new public buildings on Monday. The entrance to the lobby and receiving window is under the Post-office colonnade near the money-order office. There is no admittance for the public in Lydiard street.[146]

New Ballarat telegraph office ready for commencement

BALLARAT. (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.) FRIDAY, March 10. . . . The new telegraph office, adjoining and forming part of the same range of buildings as the Post-office and Treasury, is just finished, and the wires are all ready laid to be connected with the instruments to-morrow night, when possession of the new premises will be taken by Mr. Bechervaise, the local master. The new office is very neatly fitted up, and has all the most recent improvements for disconnexions and protection against lightning. Arrangements are also made to prevent the messengers knowing the purport of the messages they deliver, as all the messages in future will be given to them in closed envelopes. On Monday morning business will be commenced in the new offices.[147]

Lovely detailed description of the technical workings of the new Ballarat telegraph office

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . The new Electric Telegraph-office in connection with the Post-office, is to be opened today for business. The old telegraph office, has been found far too small, and very inconvenient for some time past and the occupation of the new building will be a source of satisfaction to the officials and to the public. The public room of the new office, is reached from the Post-office colonnade, and in this room is the receiving window through which telegrams are passed to the receiving clerk into the operating room. This is a fine apartment, the dimensions of which we have already given in a description of the new building. In this room the four recording instruments are placed. They are constructed on the American principle, and the message is printed by electricity on a ribbon of paper which passes through the recorder, in cipher characters. Over each recorder is a lightning arrester, which conducts the lightning to the earth and prevents it damaging the instruments, while all communication on any particular line can be immediately cut off by the simple turning of a small catch or "switch." Each of the recording instruments is worked by a small battery, independent of those used in the transmission of messages. In another room are the four batteries, working the four Melbourne wires, the four going to Beaufort, Creswick, Lintons, and Buninyong, and one used by the Railway Department. Each of these batteries consists of thirty cells, or glass jars filled with sulphuric acid and water, into each of which hangs a piece of zinc and platinum. These are connected with the wires. The batteries are taken down and renewed or cleaned once a month. The messengers now have a room to themselves, and the messages are only seen by the despatch clerk, a great improvement on the former system. The portions of the new building to be used for a sub-treasury and land office will be occupied as soon as furniture is procured. [148]

The Ballarat Courier slower to report on the new telegraph office, but even more detailed

THE NEW TELEGRAPH OFFICE. In appropriating the west wing of the Post Office, which has been only recently completed, to the purposes of the Electric Telegraph Office, the Government have evinced a disposition to cede a measure of justice to Ballarat, and to recognise the importance of the local branch of the department. The old Telegraph Office, situated in Lydiard street, had long been found unsuitable. In an architectural point of view it was an eyesore; while, as regarded the public, it was found from the first most inconvenient and totally inadequate for the proper transaction of business. The exterior was unsightly, and the interior incommodious and badly lighted, so that the transfer of the office to the new building cannot but be proportionately gratifying to the officials and the public generally. The lobby or room in which the telegrams intended for despatch are written is situated at the south-west angle of the building, and is entered from the colonnade. This apartment is lofty and well lighted, being about 15 feet square, and fitted up with a ledge of ample extent, so as to afford every accommodation for writing. A large shipping case, composed of polished cedar, occupies the centre of the room. To the right on entering is the receiving window looking into the operators' room. This is a large apartment, the dimensions being about 70 feet in length and 25 in width, lofty, and lighted by three semi-circular topped windows, looking into Lydiard street. The wires are introduced from outside, at the most northerly window, and connected with the instruments, of which there are five, fixed to a long table of highly polished cedar running the greater length of the apartment. The instruments are constructed upon the American or Morse's principle, which combines to an astonishing degree all the requirements of speed and accuracy. The batteries with which they are connected are erected in an anteroom. Here the electrical current is generated by means of glass cells or jars completely insulated. There are forty to each instrument. These cells are filled with sulphuric acid and water, in which is immersed a piece of platinum and zinc. The various cells are arranged on shelves, and are connected by wires with the main wire communicating with the instrument. The process of telegraphing appears extremely simple, but to become a good operator there is required not only considerable intelligence, but a certain amount of natural adaptability. A long ribbon of paper passes through the instrument, and on this are slightly punctured the cypher marks embodying the telegraphic message. The punctures, or rather indentations, are imparted to the surface of the revolving ribbon by a key that is raised and lowered in such a manner as to produce the effect desired. The words are written by a sort of stenography. For instance, a dot preceding a horizontal stroke indicates the letter A; and by varying the number and position of the dots, together with the length of the stroke, an entire alphabet is constructed. This seems complicated, but the reverse is the fact: the operator, if at all expert, being able to forward words at the rate of thirty-five a minute, with almost unerring accuracy. Over each instrument is a lightning arrester, which has the effect of preventing the ingress of lightning and the possible destruction of the machine, the current being turned off in another direction, by simply moving a catch or "switch." When not turned off, the lightning is conducted down a wire, which, descends into the ground. By a similar description of catch, the communication can be opened with or severed from the other telegraph stations. It is intended to erect two additional instruments for the purposes of a special line between Ballarat and Beaufort, and Ballarat and Creswick, some complaints having been made as to the want of sufficient facilities for telegraphing to and from those places and their immediate neighborhood. At the end of the operators room is a small apartment for the use of the messengers, who receive the telegrams enveloped through a small window, thus shutting them off from the interior of the office. This is a considerable improvement upon the system which formerly prevailed. The fittings and furniture of the office are very superior, and have been erected or furnished under the immediate supervision of the telegraph master, Mr Bechervaise, who certainly deserves well of the Government and the public, on the one hand, owing to his long and faithful service, inasmuch as we believe he is one of the oldest civil servants in Ballarat, and on the other, from his uniform courtesy and diligence in the discharge of his onerous and important duties.[149]

1871 04[edit]
1871 05[edit]

The impending completion of a new town high point is another opportunity for Bechervaise's mail announcements

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . At the suggestion of Mr Bechervaise, the arrival of the English mail will be signalled from the town-hall tower as soon is it is finished.[150]

1871 06[edit]
1871 07[edit]
1871 08[edit]
1871 09[edit]

Several telegraph offices now open for business on Sundays

TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION ON SUNDAYS. On and after Sunday, 24th September, telegraphic communication will be available between the following stations:— Melbourne, Geelong, Ballarat, Queenscliff, Castlemaine, Sandhurst, Echuca, Beechworth, Maryborough, Warrnambool, Belfast, and Portland, from 9.30 to 10 p.m. Press messages, or private messages relating to sickness, death, and arrival or departure of friends by land or sea, will be transmitted and received. The Minimum Rate of Charge is — Private messages, 2s 6d, for 28 words or under; Press messages, 2s 6d, for 58 words or under; ordinary rates for every additional word. A box will be fixed at the Telegraph-office door, labelled "Telegram box, to be cleared at 9.30 p.m. Sundays." The fee for messages is to be enclosed with telegram. A distinct address and signature is to be placed on each telegram. Further information on the subject may be obtained on weekdays at any telegraph office in Victoria. WM. P. BECHERVAISE, Manager. Electric Telegraph Office, Ballarat, 21st September, 1871.[151]

1871 10[edit]
1871 11[edit]
1871 12[edit]

Bechervaise and two sons holidaying in Tasmania

SHIPPING INTELLIGENGE. HOBSON'S BAY. . . . CLEARED OUT.— DEC. 8. . . . Tamar, s.s., 308 tons, W. H. Saunders, for Launces-ton. Passengers: cabin — Mr. and Mrs. Turner, Mrs. Wrixon, Mrs. Walker, Mr. and Mrs. Ayre, Mr. and Miss Auld, Mr. and Mrs. A. Scott, Mr. and Mrs. Stephens, Mr. and Mrs. Candy, Messrs. Richards, Bechervaise, Hammond, Goode, Hullingen, G. Danier, Abrahams, Gomm, Lipscombe, Henry G. Scott, jun., Masters Bechervaise (two); and five in the steerage. Hudson and Watkins agents.[152]

1872[edit]

1872 01[edit]

Bechervaise and two sons return from Tasmanian holiday

SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. HOBSON'S BAY. . . . ARRIVED.— Dec. 30. . . . Southern Cross, T.S.N. Co.'s s.s., 342 tons, E. Lucas, from Hobart Town 28th ult. Passengers — saloon: Rev. R. D. P. Harris and Mrs. Harris, Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Paterson, Mr. and Mrs. Lawaon, Mr. and Mrs. Stephens, Mr. and Mrs Chamberlain, Mrs. C. Allison and Miss Allison, Miss Fairley, Miss Dowdell, Miss James, Miss Thomas, Miss Kilburn and Masters Kilburn (2), Capt. Pascoe, R.N.; Messrs. Travers, Walpole, J. Hughston, Mulligan, W. P. Bechervaise, Masters Bechervaise (2), Messrs Bellin; Harris, and 8 in the steerage. Hudson and Watkins, agents.[153]

Bechervaise's son Herbert does well in Competitive Exam

Government Advertisements. Education Office, 4th January, 1872 THE following LIST, showing the result of the COMPETITIVE EXAMINATION for exhibitions, open to pupils in Common Schools, held in December, 1871, is published for general information. The eight boys whose names appear at the head of the list are the successful candidates. No candidates will benefit by the result until a certificate of his age from the registrar of the district be furnished, in case he was born in Victoria; or, in case he was born elsewhere, a statutory declaration as to the place and date of birth his father or guardian. By order of the Board of Education, R. F. KANE, Secretary. Maximum number of marks, 680. No. Name. No. of Marks. No. of School. Name of School. . . . 43. Bechervaise, Herbert 228 424 Mount Pleasant[154]

A former operator for Bechervaise dies in the construction of the Overland Telegraph

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . Mr Kraagen, who recently died for want of water on the line of the overland telegraph from South Australia, was formerly a member of the telegraph staff, under Mr Bechervaise, in Ballarat. He was a good operator, and took so large an interest in telegraph matters that he placed himself under Mr Todd, the able director of telegraphs for South Australia, and, as has been seen, perished in the performance of his duty.[155]

1872 02[edit]

Bechervaise announces the opening of the Emerald Hill telegraph office

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . We are informed by Mr Bechervaise, telegraph master, Ballarat, that telegraphic communication is now established with Emerald Hill.[156]

Benefit for the orphan children of Bechervaise's former staffer

The Late Mr. C. Kraegen.— On Monday evening an entertainment was given by some of our German fellow-colonists at the National Hotel, Pirie-street, for the benefit of the orphan children of the late Mr. C. Kraegen, a Telegraph-master, who died on the overland line while en route for his station. About 300 persons were present at the performance, amongst them many English people. The programme opened with an overture spiritedly played by the Concordia Band. A lady then spoke an appropriate prologue. After this followed a one-act drama by Theodor Korner, entitled "Die Suhne." The dramatis personae who were three in number, went through their parts with eclat, showing that they had thoroughly studied their task. After an interval "Love's Request," sung by an English lady, was so well rendered that an encore was demanded, and in response "Only" was sweetly presented. The "Sleeping Duet" from "Il Trovatore" was effectively given by two German ladies. Then the mirth-provoking "Sneezing Song" was produced by an English amateur, who caused even more amusement by his rendering of "Nobody's Child." A duet from "Figaro" was excellently given, and it was redemanded. The proceedings closed with a side-splitting farce called "Ein gebildeter Hausknecht," in which the performers acquitted themselves very creditably. The affair was decidedly successful throughout, and at the end vociferous calls were given for the stage manager, but he did not appear. [157]

The full report of the circumstances of the passing of Bechervaise's former staffer C. W. J. Kraegen in the S. A. Register

THE OVERLAND TELEGRAPH ROUTE. No. VIII. By Central Australian. The country from the Charlotte Waters north-ward thus far is decidedly better than anything seen yet; but it is unfortunately badly watered in dry seasons, and liable to be very wet in others. The soil is almost all sand, of a saffron colour, and its depth ranges from six inches to as many feet. This sand forms into ridges part of the way, say from 60 miles north of Charlotte Waters, one succeeding another for a distance of about 50 miles. Through this soil the pulling is terribly heavy and the progress correspondingly slow, but there is some compensation for the sandy monotony in the improved appearance of the country. At nearly 100 miles from Charlotte Waters the River Finke is joined by the Hugh, and the road leaves the course of the former for the latter, which it continues to follow and cross repeatedly. At this time of the year both are dry, but it is believed that water can be had in either at any low-lying point by digging a foot or two. Running into these rivers on each side are beautifully well-grassed gullies abounding in shrubs of varied size and description, also with fine sheaoak and stunted pine-trees. These gullies, ending as they generally do at the river bank, seem to lead the traveller in all instances direct from the upland of sand to a verdant forest, for the gums that grow along the banks end the view, forming a charming sylvan picture. The shrubs hereabout flower profusely, and as the various blossoms have a nice scent it is quite a pleasure to travel amongst them. There are violet, orange, pale blue, pink, yellow, purple, lavender, and lilac blossoms at every step, and as they contrast with every variety of green the effect is lovely. Of course we have mulga, myall, and wattle, also what some of the travellers decide on calling native orange; but it is a perfect pomegranate, and although not just now quite ripe, the fruit is well formed, and ought not to be mistakable. At present the fruit is about the size of hen eggs, but quite green; it has the smell of chlorodyne and the usual sweet-bitter taste. The native orange is altogether different from this, which already shows the purple pomegranate pips inside the skin. At a place where the Alice Creek joins the Hugh River were found two holes dug, and whilst camped one night was received the mail from Adelaide with papers of November 25. The bag had been sent on to overtake us from Charlotte Waters. This night there arrived a team from the North going down country, and enquiries were made of the persons with the dray for one of our party who had been lost sight of for over a week, but they had not seen or heard aught of him, nor could we by any means find out where he was; meantime the party pushed ahead, making as good use of the time as possible. When about four or five miles from Rocky Camp, on the Hugh, and almost abreast of Mount Burrell, a horse in one of the teams received a sunstroke, and within an hour was dead. The heat was intense, but in the evening a fine thunderstorm and shower cooled the air a little for a brief period. Two days later it rained again, and the following day more showers fell. These are doing much good in keeping the grass fresh, but I am afraid there was not enough rain to replenish the water in the holes and creeks, which seem to be drying rapidly. At Rocky Camp a snake, which was over five feet in length and had a good-sized rat inside, was killed, and one of the party skinned the reptile, intending to make a belt. The skin was beautifully marked, and this being the time that snakes appear to best advantage, it shines brilliantly in the sun. At Minnie's Creek the company camped in one of the prettiest natural basins ever seen. It is completely surrounded by low grassy hills, the herbage is green, and water is abundant in a fine rocky pool close at hand, whilst all around the blossoming shrubs looked their very best, and glittered like countless diamonds in the setting sun. We camped; it was just after a shower, and the general effect was grand. A Terrible Journey. The relation of an unfortunate and disastrous affair now comes, and it seems best to give the facts as they were told by one of the persons concerned. He said:— On, or about the 2nd of this month, whilst we were all at Charlotte Waters, anxiously awaiting the arrival of drays that were expected daily with battery material, we had to fit up before proceeding. It was decided by Mr. Clarke, who is in charge of the telegraphic operators, that as the 31st was rapidly approaching, and as the operators for Stations Nos. 2, 3, and 4 were respectively 250, 450, and 650 miles or so from their stations, it would be advisable that the three should push on ahead of the main body, and by forced march reach each one his station before January 1, 1872, to be prepared to work should the line be ready. Good horses would be supplied, of course, and fresh ones could be had in exchange to go on from No. 2. He reckoned that at 30 miles a day, and a push on the 8th, after starting, the officers could make Station No. 2 by the evening of the 12th, Station No. 3 on the 20th, and Station No. 4 on the 28th, the start to be made from Charlotte Waters on De-cember 4. We got the route written out, eight days' provisions packed on a horse, three swags on another, and each man mounting his horse said good-by, and in high spirits left. We made the Goyder that night, and camped. This was the first stated stopping-place, and is 30 miles from Charlotte Waters. We had had to thrash one, apparently the better of the pack-horses, to get him to the camp in time. On the 5th we made the first crossing of the Finke after a deal of trouble with that same nag, and it was now made clear that he could not go the stages. We had made about 29 miles, and had to go 33 on the morrow. On the 6th we had trouble all the way, and had to go very slowly, when we ought to have travelled a shade faster; and near sunset we found ourselves at a place where the track went to the left of the line down a gully that evidently went to the creek. We followed this track about five miles, at say barely two miles an hour. The pack-horse absolutely refused to stir, when we removed his pack to a saddle-horse and walked ahead, leaving the useless brute behind. About half a mile further the Hugh was reached at a place where it was per-fectly dry, and we had to go thirsty to bed. In the morning, whilst two packed up and loaded the horses, a third went to find the animal we left behind on the previous night; but the horse had not been too tired to travel off, and was therefore nowhere to be found. As we had no time to hunt up a lazy useless brute, and knew he would be sure to make to the water, where the party coming up behind would find him, we started, and having found a pool up the Hugh about two miles we breakfasted, and rearranged the loading. The solitary pack horse had to carry the load, also the saddle of the other beast, and each of us took his swag on in front. By this means we carried all the things, intending at the first good camp to leave any surplus, such as the extra pack-saddle, &c., for the wagons behind to pick up. About 5 o'clock we arrived at the junction of the Hugh and Alice Creek, and as it was set down in the directions that water could also be got eight miles from this point, it was deter-mined to push on a little further. We camped that night without water, and, making an early start, got to the supply ahead for breakfast. We had ridden only about 20 miles, and were not content with this slow progress. It would have been better had we stayed at the Alice and Hugh altogether. Just after sunrise on December 8 we left the camp, and made for water. Our hearts were as light as the morning was beautiful, and we pushed on steadily; first one and then another singing snatches of this or that song, until it struck us we had certainly gone fully the distance we ought to have travelled, and we began looking about. By this time the sun was very warm. The horses felt it severely, and so did we, especially as we had not yet had break-fast. We examined the track carefully for the leading-off one that was to take us to the water. We hunted for that, followed track after track, and with every every fresh disappointment the desire for what we sought seemed to increase intensely; at the same time it became evident that the horses were getting distressed. The empty pack-saddle was taken off the pack-horse and stuck in a tree with a note attached, and off we went again, but had not gone far when a saddle-horse laid down in the road. This was convincing proof that the horses were becoming knocked up, and every likely place was tried for the only thing that would relieve them and set ourselves up again. Therefore we continued pushing on as well as we could, and oh, joy! came to a tree in a creek on which was read in letters punctured in tin and affixed there the announcement that water was to be had at the junction of that creek and the Hugh, about a mile from that spot; the next water by the road ten miles, or what we took to be such. Off we sped down the creek. What to us was a mile of hot sand and pebbles now — we would have water in a few minutes, and all would be well. We got to the place, looked at the hole, found it dry, dry; went down the Hugh in the hot sand and blazing sun, but gave that up, and returned. We dug with hands, tomahawks, knives — we had no shovel — but still no water could be got, and the terrible disappointment made all now feel the want much more than would have been the case but for being assured by the punctured tin announcement that water was to be had there about; besides, the efforts in the scorching white sand, walking in it to a depth of six inches, digging as far as our arms would reach, perspiring and choking, had thoroughly exhausted two of us to such an extent that we had to lie down and rest. Then the question arose, "what are we to do?" It was getting late; we had certainly now 11 miles to go for water, with a doubt of getting it then, as it also was said to be in the Hugh, and the two of us who worked were now absolutely exhausted. After much debate it was determined to follow up the channel of the Hugh, which took a course a little west of that followed by the road, and try for water at any likely spot. Away, then, through the hot sand, to and fro, first to one place on the east side, then back over a hundred yards of sand to what appeared a certainty on the west, but still upward and still unsuccessful, until the Hugh turned too far westward, and we determined to leave it, cut the track, and follow it to water if we could. Taking an obtuse angle, by about 5 o'clock we struck the telegraph line, and the two who had worked in the sand being now thoroughly "done up" lay on the ground. The proposal was made that as the pack-horse was in need of a spell, the saddle-horse that had succumbed before could now hardly travel, two of us were really knocked up, and as the water could not surely be over five or six miles off at furthest, the third man should take his own and the other comparatively fresh saddle-horse, and with three water-bags proceed at his best speed. There was, it seemed, time to get to the water before dark, and the return was easy either by road or line. Besides, the third member of the party was really fresh, and being the lightest would affect the horses the least. The proposition was "jumped at;" away he went promising to be back soon, and we meantime felt assured that the rest would serve the two tired horses that remained, and enable them to go on after all had a drink. We waited, thirsted, and still waited through many hours of a very close warm night, but still no water came, and as patience had run out when the moon rose we packed up, and leading the horses started on foot after the messenger. It would be impossible briefly to tell all the speculations made and discussed to account for his non-return. He had abandoned us! He had lost his horses! He had lost his way! But, horror of horrors, he had not found water! These with many other surmises arose, and none had any comfort in them for us, who were now almost speechless and helpless for want of a drink. We made little progress; the horses travelled slowly, and we had often to lie down, put our nostrils close to the ground, and thereby obtain a breath of comparatively cool air — a thing we could not get whilst walking. The sun rose red; no doubt the sight was grand — the god of day in all his majesty and by his glorious light obliterating the effect of the pale moon and still paler stars; but we had no eye for the beautiful in nature this morning. We felt rather that the weather prognostications of old people, who tell us that "a red sunrise means a hot day," were likely to be realized to our particular disadvantage; and it was so, for a hotter day it would be almost folly to desire or seek. We got to a creek at last, and this must certainly be the "Rocky Creek" of the written directions it was thought, for we had now certainly come far more than 10 miles from that notice on the tree. How gladly we hailed the creek; how willingly admitted that it was very "rocky," although the largest rock seen would have satisfied a rabid macadamist, and gone clean through a two and a half inch ring; but it was "Rocky Creek" surely. We followed down — how far cannot be said — then left the creek and sought elsewhere, but got no water; and as ever and anon we had to get back to the road in case the messenger with the water should have returned, we wearied ourselves going to and fro, and, although travelling much, did not go far, and so Saturday passed away. On Sunday we could hardly stir. What I had been doing at intervals I cannot say, but I think my dreadful giddiness then and deafness now to be in some way the result of the sufferings then experienced for want of water, and my companion says I talked an awful lot of "bosh." I am sure he did — "gabbled" is the word — unintelligibly, and laughed occasionally, but somehow we managed to try again for water in the creek — it must be there — and so at it we went again on Sunday morning, wearing finger nails off and drawing blood from the fingers until our want of success left but one resource — one horse might be shot, and its blood would help us to make an effort to get on. We shot a horse — the weakest — and having got what we desired from that source, again sought the road and rested. We had a good supply of liquid now — a quart-potful each — and might rest a little before starting, and we did. At last when we had partly emptied our quarts, and had to violently shake what remained before we could make any part of it liquid, we joined our strength and put on the pack-saddle, with some bread, tea, and sugar only, and getting on the top of all, let the horse go. Neither tasted food from Thursday night, the 7th — could not swallow if we had tried — and were too weak to guide the horse, which had only a halter on; therefore he did much as he liked, and as he chose to take us in the way we wanted to go, why, we let him, or rather, he took us. How hot it was! The sun poured down upon us, and I really thought we should never get over the plain!; but we did. We sat and suffered; the poor horse crawled, and doubtless also suffered. He seemed to go at the rate of about half a mile an hour — he could not have gone a mile an hour — but whether one or the other it seemed an eternity before we got to the timber. On we crawled, until on rising a bank we saw the bed of the Hugh once more. The horse pricked up his ears, mended his pace, reached the steep rocky bank, and of a sudden (thank the Lord !) we saw water — a small pool 18 inches by 30, and only a foot deep; but water. Down the steep hill we went, got off the horse's back somehow, and simultaneously man and beast plunged into the blessed liquid to satisfy an appalling thirst that had lasted from 8 o'clock on Friday morning, December 8, until about 2 p.m. on the Sunday following. And now the question what had become of our companion arose. We could not tell, of course, nor could we find strength all at once to try to discover. We rested the balance of that day, eating nothing, but "swigging" water like a couple of dissipated fishes. On Monday, the 11th, we determined that as we could not go forward we would go back and meet the wagons. If our companion had gone out, he would be all right; if he had gone back, it was our duty to follow and help him, and, failing to find him, give the alarm at least. Monday was, however, lost, because we had to manufacture a water-bag; and to do that it was necessary to get at one of the swags in which was some canvas. The swags and packs were therefore brought forward; we then found that we had travelled about four miles the previous day. The bag was made, and filled with water to soak it, and on Tuesday, having first planted our companion's swag and some bread, and posted a proper direction on a place he would be sure to see should he come there, and secured everything carefully, off we went for the Alice and Hugh, a distance of about 34 miles. We led our horse and walked all the way. At the creek we found we had read 16 for 10 miles, and thus misled our selves. We arrived at the Alice that same night about half-past 8 o'clock, very tired indeed. We could not proceed next day. The liquid we had drunk was causing pains; we were stiff after the long walk; also we expected the wagons next night, so we waited Wednesday and Thursday; but feeling better on Friday, packed up, and seeing that the wagons would not come to us, started to go to them. One of us had so injured a foot on Tuesday's journey that it was found necessary to put him on the top of the pack, and in this order off we went for the old depot No. 2, where we arrived in about six hours, after walking through 16 miles of sand, just in time to see some of the other party arriving from the opposite direction. They had found our pack-horse, had heard nothing of our companion, were surprised and distressed at our troubles, and glad to see us so far well. The wagons came up next day, and from Mr. Boucaut we received the greatest kindness. On the following day — the Sunday — we started with the wagons on the way back again, arriving at the Rocky Camp on December 20. The party of operators referred to were:— C. W. J. Kraegen, Station 2; J. F. Mullen, Station 3; R. C. Watson, Station 4. Mr. Kraegen went on for water, and up to our arrival at Rocky Camp nothing had been heard of him. It had been determined to institute a strict search at this camp to pick up the track of the missing man, and it was intended to do all that was possible to ensure finding him. Every one was resolved to do all he could, and every confidence was felt and expressed as to the result being favourable. Meantime, one of the party had been following the telegraph line, because it was known there was a break in it somewhere between Charlotte Waters and Station 2, and as we had just encamped at Rocky Camp the lineman arrived, and reported the Finding of Mr. Kraegen's Body. He had come on it at an angle-post about three miles from our camp, and brought in his belt, found lying at his feet, and on which was his revolver, loaded all round, cartouch-box, and pouch. Arrangements were immediately made, and Messrs. Boucaut, Clarke, Watson, Mueller, Young, who found the body, Loudon, and Holzerland proceeded to the place and identified the body. He left no scrap of writing; had no marks about him; lay on his stomach, resting his head on the left arm, and holding his hat as if shielding his head from the morning sun. His head was to the east, his face to the south, and not the faintest mark of a struggle appeared. He had evidently lain down exhausted, and quietly died for want of water nine or ten days before we saw him. A grave was dug as near the spot as the stony nature of the ground permitted, and he was wrapped in a blanket and interred. Mr. Boucaut read the Church of England burial service over the remains, and caused a rough fence to be erected round the grave, against which bushes were placed to protect our departed companion's last earthly resting-place from the native dogs. An inscription, punctured in tin, to the following effect was attached to a stout board, and fixed in place of a headstone:— "In memory of C. W. J. Kraegen, aged 40, who perished here for want of water, about 12/12/'71. Buried 20/12/'71." The camp was sad that night, and it has been so for many nights since, for Kraegen was a favourite with all. He was a widower, and leaves three children, now at school at Goulbourn, N.S.W. Mr. Boucaut has by unanimous request taken charge of such property as he left here. As a close to this sorrowful affair it may be stated that the two survivors were very weak and ill when they rejoined the wagons. They were, however, as well provided for as it was possible under the circumstances, and went on with the wagons on the 17th, on which day they revisited the Alice, where they camped for the night. Mr. Boucaut did all in his power to render the two as comfortable as could be managed, whilst the attention of Mr. Flint to the wants of the sick men deserves particular recognition. It was intended to have closed this paper at Minnie Creek, where most of it was written; but as no opportunity served to forward it, the document has been brought on to the McClure Springs, where we have halted at a capital watering-place with plenty of good grass. We have been joined since unharnessing by two empty wagons bound south, and by them I forward this, hoping you may get it soon. The drivers of the down teams tell us that there has been much rain up country. The Hugh, they say, was five feet deep just after they crossed, about 10 miles up from here, today, and as the river is almost a hundred yards wide at the place indicated, with a level sandy bed, readers will easily form some idea of the immense body of water there must have come into it from somewhere. It is raining while this is written, and looks very black towards the North, as if a lot of rain was falling on the MacDonnell Ranges. The reports of the completeness of the line all agree that it is now fit to work as far as the end of Section E — a distance by road of about 1,650 miles from Adelaide. The country travelled through after leaving the Minnie is the finest, most picturesque, and pleasant traversed in South Australia. The peculiar construction of the James Ranges, with their many little coves, gulches, grass to the top, pretty trees, shrubs, and flowering plants, is prominently brought under notice by reason of the road going up a narrow defile between the hills, and following it for miles. We crossed the Hugh several times whilst in the ranges, also smaller watercourses, and remarked that their several beds are not so sandy as further down; but the crops of pebbles are very large. Green grass can be had at every step; some of it very tall, some short; but all apparently good fodder. Water, too, is abundant. The principal trees not previously noticed are a kind of poplar which has a very bitter tasted leaf, and whose bark gives forth a strong scent like chlorodyne, and the fig, which is in good bearing, but the fruit is not quite ripe. A flowering plant like a rose grows here, armed with perfect shaped thorns — the flower is a beautiful cloth of gold colour; hollyhocks are numerous, as are the parachylia, convolvuli, native cucumber, and a plant with a pretty white flower. Truly the drive through these valleys is a perfect treat. The road is not difficult, and the soil is a dun-coloured loam with some few pebbles intermixed. When the Alice Springs are reached, where Station 2 is to be built, the mileage will be made out and forwarded, and it will be seen the information published in the Observer last November was correct as regards the distance the operators were to have travelled by the end of the year — to wit, 1,200 miles from Adelaide; but the calculation that this would be the end of Section E has been based on the line measurements, and not on the actual length of road to be travelled, which cannot be less than 1,650 miles from the capital to Attack Creek — the place where Station 4 is to be built. McClure's Springs, Hugh River, December 25, 1871.[158]

Abridged report by the Ballarat Star on the circumstances of the passing of Bechervaise's former staffer Kraegen

THE OVERLAND TELEGRAPH. DEATH OF MR. KRAEGEN FROM THIRST. Some time since we mentioned that Mr Kraegen, who died from thirst on the line of the Overland Telegraph, was formerly in the Ballarat Telegraph-office, under Mr Bechervaise. A correspondent of the S. A. Register, one of the party which nearly succumbed to thirst, gives life-like particulars of the disaster, from which we abridge the following account:— An advance party of three operators — C. W. Kraegen, J. F. Mullen, and R. C. Watson — was despatched from Charlotte Waters on the 8th December to the new station posts in the desert, with written directions as to the watercourses they would find. In the evening, after a hot and exhausting day’s travel, they came, says the writer, to a tree in a creek on which was read in letters punctured in tin and affixed there the announcement that water was to be had at the junction of that creek and the Hugh, about a mile from that spot; the next water by the road ten miles, or what we took to be such. Off we sped down the creek. What to us was a mile of hot sand and pebbles now — we would have water in a few minutes, and all would be well. We got to the place, looked at the hole, found it dry, dry; went down the Hugh in the hot sand and blazing sun, but gave that up, and returned. We dug with hands, tomahawks, knives — we had no shovel — but still no water could be got, and the terrible disappointment made all now feel the want much more than would have been the case, but for being assured by the punctured tin announcement that water was to be had thereabout; besides, the efforts in the scorching white sand, walking in it to a depth of six inches, digging as far as our arms would reach, perspiring and choking, had thoroughly exhausted two of us to such an extent that we had to lie down and rest. Then the question arose, "what are we to do?" After much debate it was determined to follow up the channel of the Hugh, which took a course a little west of that followed by the road, and try for water at any likely spot. The proposal was made that as the pack horse was in need of a spell, the saddle-horse that had succumbed before could now hardly travel, two of us were really knocked up, and as the water could not surely be over five or six miles off at furthest, the third man should take his own and the other comparatively fresh saddle-horse, and with three water bags proceed at his best speed. The proposition was "jumped at;" away he went, promising to be back soon, and we meantime felt assured that the rest would serve the two tired horses that remained, and enable them to go on after all had a drink. We waited, thirsted, and still waited through many hours of a very close, warm night, but still no water came, and as patience had run out when the moon rose we packed up, and leading the horses started on foot after the messenger. It would be impossible briefly to tell all the speculations made and discussed to account for his non-return. He had abandoned us! He had lost his horses! He had lost his way! But, horror of horrors, he had not found water! These with many other surmises arose, and none had any comfort in them for us, who were now almost speechless and helpless for want of a drink. We made little progress; the horses travelled slowly, and we had often to lie down, put our nostrils close to the ground, and thereby obtain a breath of comparatively cool air — a thing we could not get whilst walking. We wearied ourselves going to and fro, and although travelling much, did not go far, and so Saturday passed away. On Sunday we could hardly stir. My companion says I talked an awful lot of "bosh." I am sure he did — "gabbled" is the word — unintelligibly, and laughed occasionally, but somehow we managed to try again for water in the creek — it must be there — and so at it we went again on Sunday morning, wearing finger nails off and drawing blood from the fingers until our want of success left but one resource — one horse might be shot, and its blood would help us to make an effort to get on. We shot a horse — the weakest — and having got what we desired from that source, again sought the road and rested. We had a good supply of liquid now — a quart-potful each — and might rest a little before starting, and we did. How hot it was! The sun poured down upon us, and I really thought we should never get over the plain; but we did. We sat and suffered; the poor horse crawled, and doubtless also suffered. He seemed to go at the rate of about half a mile an hour. On we crawled, until on rising a bank we saw the bed of the Hugh once more. The horse pricked up his ears, mended his pace, reached the steep rocky bank, and of a sudden (thank the Lord!) we saw water — a small pool 18 in. by 30 in., and only a foot deep; but water. Down the steep hill we went, got off the horse's back somehow, and simultaneously man and beast plunged into the blessed liquid to satisfy an appalling thirst that had lasted from eight o’clock on Friday morning 8th December, until about two p.m. on the Sunday following. We rested the balance of that day, eating nothing, but "swigging" water like a couple of dissipated fishes. On Monday, the 11th, we determined that as we could not go forward we would go back and meet the waggons. We led our horse and walked all the way. At the creek we found we had read sixteen for ten miles. We arrived at the Alice after walking through sixteen miles of sand, just in time to see some of the other party arriving from the opposite direction. They had found our pack-horse, but had heard nothing of our companion. One of the search party which was organised came on the body of Mr. Kraegen at an angle-post about three miles from our camp, and brought in his belt, found lying at his feet, and on which was his revolves, loaded all round, cartouch-box, and pouch. He left no scrap of writing; had no marks about him; lay on his stomach, resting his head on the left arm, and holding his hat as if shielding his head from the morning sun. His head was to the east, his face to the south, and not the faintest mark of a struggle appeared. He had evidently lain down exhausted, and quietly died for want of water nine or ten days before we saw him. A grave was dug as near the spot as the stony nature of the ground permitted, and he was wrapped in a blanket and interred. Mr Boucant read the Church of England burial service over the remains, and caused a rough fence to be erected round the grave, against which bushes were placed to protect our departed companion’s last earthly resting-place from the native dogs. An inscription, punctured in tin, to the following effect was attached to a stout board, and fixed in place of a headstone:— "In memory of C. W. J. Kraegen, aged forty, who perished here for want of water about 12 | 12 | ’71. Buried 20 | 12 | ’71."[159]

1872 03[edit]
1872 04[edit]

Bechervaise announces the opening of the telegraph station at Fryerstown

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . Mr Bechervaise, telegraph-master, informs us that on this day telegraphic communication will be opened with Fryerstown, near Castlemaine.[160]

1872 05[edit]
1872 06[edit]

Bechervaise announces a telegraphic connection to Europe, albeit with intermediate horse express

TELEGRAPH TO EUROPE. The following notice has been published by the Superintendent of Electric Telegraphs — South Australia, Adelaide, Port Darwin, and London. Telegraph Despatch of First Messages to Europe. Messages will be received at any South Australian Telegraph Office, for transmission to London and other places in connection with the British and Australian Telegraph Company's Cable, during the ordinary office hours, on Tuesday next, the 25th instant. The Messages will be forwarded from Tennant's Creek by horse express over that portion of the line at present incomplete. (Signed) W. J. Cunningham, pro. Superintendent of Electric Telegraphs, South Australia. Telegraph Messages, for Europe and the East, will be received up to 8 p.m. on the 25th instant, at any telegraph station in Victoria (where full particulars as to charges can be ascertained), for transmission to Adelaide and thence in accordance with the above notice; but this department will not be responsible for any delay that may occur beyond the limits of Victoria. W. Turner. J. W. Bechervaise, Manager Telegraph Station, Ballarat, 24th June, 1872.[161]

1872 07[edit]

Bechervaise reports still no telegram from Europe

NEWS AND NOTES. At ten o'clock on Sunday night, Mr Bechervaise, telegraph-master, informed us that there was up to that time no sign of a telegram having been received from Europe by the Trans-Australian telegraph.[162]

Bechervaise announces commencement of Hawthorn telegraph office

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . We are informed by Mr Bechervaise, telegraph-master, that telegraphic communication was yesterday established with Hawthorn.[163]

Bechervaise again advertising telegrams to Europe via the Overland Telegraph with temporary horse express gap-filler

GENERAL TELEGRAPH NOTICE. Telegraphic Messages for Europe and the East. Telegrams will be received up to 8 p.m. of the 8th instant at any Telegraph Station in Victoria (where full particulars as to charges can be ascertained) for transmission to London and other places, in connection with the British and Australian Telegraph Company’s cable via Adelaide and Port Darwin. The messages will be forwarded from Tennant's Creek per horse express, over that portion of the line at present incomplete. This department will not be responsible for any delay that may arise beyond the limits of Victoria. WM. P. BECHERVAISE, Manager. Electric Telegraph Office, Ballarat, 5th July, 1872.[164]

Proposal for telegraph station masters to act as an employment service

MELBOURNE. 26th July. (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.) A proposal to establish a national labor office under government superintendence was brought before the hon. the Chief Secretary this afternoon by a numerous deputation, introduced by the Hon. Howard Spensley, M.L.A. The attention of the Chief Secretary was called to the success which had attended a similar establishment in San Francisco, and it was suggested that the services of the telegraph station masters throughout the colony might be secured for the purpose of transmitting daily information to a central labor office in Melbourne, so that persons requiring employment might, by payment of a fee of one shilling, be enabled to ascertain where their labor could be made available. It was stated that the expense of the whole machinery need not amount to more than £1400 per annum, while it had been calculated that the income from fees would reach about £2100. After some conversation as to the details of the proposal, Mr Francis expressed the opinion that a properly matured scheme of the kind proposed would be highly useful as "a labor barometer." He concluded his remarks by requesting the deputation to supply him with further particulars respecting the Californian scheme above alluded to, and promised to take the matter into consideration. [165]

1872 08[edit]

Bechervaise announces that telegrams may now be sent overnight for a fee, opening of the Overland Telegraph just a footnote

TELEGRAPH NOTICE. The following Order in Council, dated 19th August, has been approved:— Telegrams may be forwarded from and to any station in Victoria during the night, on special notice being given at any station before 8 p.m. Minimum charge:— Private messages, fifty-eight words or under, five shillings; and one penny each additional word. Press messages, one hundred and eighteen words or under, five shillings; and one halfpenny each additional word. Should messages be tendered after 8 p.m. without special notice, and be transmitted, above rates to be charged. Sunday telegrams are in future to be charged according to above rates. All previous Orders in Council relating to charges on telegrams transmitted after ordinary hours of business are hereby cancelled. Telegraph communication is now established with Port Darwin. The rate of charge is 16s for the first ten words; each additional word 1s 2d; address and signature of telegram exclusive. W. P. BECHERVAISE, Manager.[166]

Bechervaise announces that the Brunswich telegraph office is now open for business

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . We are informed by Mr W. P. Bechervaise, telegraph-master, Ballarat, that on Wednesday telegraphic communication was established with Brunswick. The office at that place is under the charge of Mr Joseph George, postmaster.[167]

1872 09[edit]
1872 10[edit]

Bechervaise announces opening of Chewton telegraph office

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . Mr W. P. Bechervaise, telegraph-master, Ballarat, informs us that telegraphic communication has this day been established with Chewton.[168]

1872 11[edit]

Always the innovator, Bechervaise liaises with Ballarat Turf Club for provision of a dedicated telegraph live to the race course

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . Mr. Clibborn, the active secretary of the Ballarat Turf Club, and Mr Bechervaise, telegraph-master, were on Thursday out at Dowling Forest Course, and all along the line of the proposed telegraph communication between Ballarat and the course. The matter was conclusively settled in favor of the work, and we believe the line will be in operation at the next meeting of the club. This will be an immense advantage to everybody in the least interested in racing affairs. [169]

Bechervaise announces commencement of Brighton telegraph office

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . Mr W. P. Bechervaise, telegraph master, informs us that telegraphic communication was on Wednesday established with Brighton.[170]

1872 12[edit]

Bechervaise announces a temporary telegraph office at the Ballarat Turf Club races (Australian first?)

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . With reference to the Ballarat Turf Club races, Mr W. P. Bechervaise, telegraph master, Ballarat, has forwarded us the following notice for publication:— "The Telegraph-office at the Ballarat racecourse will be opened from noon on Thursday, 5th December, and each day of the meeting, till thirty minutes after the last race has been run. There will be no delivery of telegrams by messenger, but a list will be posted outside the office showing the names of persons for whom telegrams await delivery at the window."[171]

The temporary telegraph office is a great success

BALLARAT TURF CLUB SPRING MEETING. FIRST DAY - THURSDAY, 5TH DECEMBER . . . Everything is so well arranged at the course that it is quite superfluous to speak in terms of praise either of the officials or the police, and at these meetings the public seem to give no trouble to anyone. The course was very well kept by Tommy Wilson, on old Blue-?in, and two very small lads, also in scarlet, acted as assistants. There is now capital accommodation for the Press in the stand, and a room is provided for their use. Other places might well follow the good example set by Ballarat in this respect. The Telegraph-office proved a great success, and Mr Bechervaise and his assistants had quite a rush of business; and there is no doubt that the line will pay. It is a very great convenience, and the Press and the public both appreciate it. Mr J. T. Sleep acted as timekeeper. The first race was The Telegraph Stakes, of 50 sovs. Entrance 1 sov. Half a mile. Handicap. . . . . [172]

As previous

BALLARAT TURF CLUB SPRING MEETING. THIRD DAY, SATURDAY, 7TH DECEMBER. . . . The telegraph station was a very great convenience, and was so well patronised that the club will not have to pay anything under the guaranty they gave. Mr Bechervaise, who was personally in charge, was, as usual, attentive and obliging and his staff got through their work very well. Mr Bechervaise wishes to acknowledge on his own behalf, and on that of his assistants, the courtesy shown by the stewards, and Mr Clibborn, and the obliging things done by Tommy Wilson, the clerk of the course, and to thank the stewards for their hospitality. . . . [173]

Bechervaise announces that Overland Telegraph again interrupted

NEWS AND NOTES. We are informed by Mr Bechervaise, telegraph manager, that the Trans-Australian line is again interrupted between the Peak and Charlotte Waters.[174]

Bechervaise announces that Overland Telegraph again restored

NEWS AND NOTES. Mr W. P. Bechervaise, telegraph manager, informs us that the defect in the Trans-Australian line between the Peake and Charlotte Waters, has now been repaired.[175]

Another house removalist causes grief to Bechervaise's telegraph wires

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . At the City Police-court, on Tuesday, John Lennon, the proprietor of the house-removing machine, was charged by Mr Bechervaise, telegraph station-master, with breaking the telegraph wires on the Ararat route. It appears that McLennon, for some time past has given the telegraph department some trouble by breaking wires when removing large wooden houses, and Mr Bechervaise on this occasion summoned him. Mr Gaunt cautioned the defendant, but said he was liable to be punished for a misdemeanor.[176]

1873[edit]

1873 01[edit]

Summary of temporary telegraph station at Ballarat Race Course

RACING EVENTS. The Ballarat Turf Club Spring Meeting was held on 5th, 6th, and 7th December, under the most favorable auspices. On this occasion a line of telegraph was constructed from the course at Dowling Forest to Ballarat. Mr Bechervaise and his assistants had quite a rush of business, and the Press and the public both appreciated the convenience. Stewards — Messrs A. Kelly, A. Fisken, N. R. Macleod, R. L. Bell, and G. G. Morton. Judge — Mr John Simson. Starter — Mr A. Fisken. Handicapper — Mr E. T. Barnard. Clerk of the course — Mr T. Wilson. Weigher — Mr J. Hinds. [177]

1873 02[edit]
1873 03[edit]
1873 04[edit]

Bechervaise announces that submarine cable between Singapore and Batavia is still interrupted

NEWS AND NOTES. Mr Bechervaise informs us that the submarine cable is still interrupted between Singapore and Batavia.[178]

1873 05[edit]

Bechervaise advises Ballarat Shire Council that telegraph line soon to be extended to Learmonth

BALLARAT SHIRE COUNCIL. Monday, 12th May. Present — The President, and Crs Gilchrist, Baird, Read, Edwards, Mitchell, and Findlay. Correspondence.— . . . . Extension of the Telegraph Wire to Learmonth.— In answer to Cr Read, who had proposed to move in the matter, the president stated that at a recent inter-view with Mr Bechervaise regarding this extension he was informed that the cost of the construction would be placed on the Estimates for the present year, and the work executed in due course. [179]

Bechervaise assists in raising funds for an orphaned neice of a late friend

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . At a meeting of a few of the friends of the late Mr John Cathie, held on Friday evening, the Hon. J. B. Humffray in the chair, it was decided to open subscription lists to raise funds for the funeral expenses, and also to make some provision for the maintenance, education, and future care of Mr Cathie’s orphan niece. Mr Batten was appointed treasurer, and Mr Bechervaise hon. secretary. Both gentlemen will be glad to receive subscriptions, and we will take charge of any that may be left at this office.[180]

Bechervaise announces opening of a new telegraph station at Leigh Road railway station (now Bannockburn)

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . Mr Bechervaise informs us that telegraphic communication has been opened with the Leigh road railway station. [181]

Bechervaise announces opening of Stratford telegraph office

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . Mr Bechervaise informs us that a telegraph office has been opened at Stratford.[182]

Bechervaise attends the Levee at the start of the new Governor's first visit to Ballarat

THE GOVERNORS VISIT. Seldom has a season of pleasure or a public rejoicing in Ballarat been more auspiciously inaugurated than were the proceedings of yesterday on the arrival here of his Excellency Sir George F. Bowen, Governor of the colony of Victoria. To the lieges of Ballarat the day was set apart not only as a holiday for the reception of the Queen's representative, but also as a day of rejoicing in honor of the 54th anniversary of Her Majesty's birth; and, as if to do honor to the occasion, even the elements were propitious, and "Queen's weather" gladdened the hearts of her subjects. A fresh genial breeze made the morning invigorating, but the bright afternoon sun tinged everything with a golden ray that added even more than its some-what faded name to the charms of the "Golden City." During his Excellency's future, and we sincerely hope, long career as Governor of this colony, he will visit many towns, and receive many such addresses of hearty welcome and congratulation as those which were presented to him by our public bodies yesterday. But we doubt whether in any part of these wide dominions, or under even the most favorable circumstances, he will meet with a more genial, hearty, and pleasant reception than that which was awarded him yesterday, on his first visit to the Town and City of Ballarat. . . . THE LEVEE As his Excellency entered the hall the bells were fired nineteen times — the customary number for a Governor. This part of the day's proceedings had been well arranged, and was a much more successful ceremony than most people had expected. The front entrance to the hall was prettily decorated with flowers and ferns, and so also was the staircase leading to the large room, where the presentations were made. The passage leading from the head of the stairs to the reception-room was divided into two and the room itself was divided into compartments by a floral division. The room was laid with a beautiful carpet, and at one end was the dais, sur-mounted by the Royal ensign, while round the room were displayed many bannerets and wreaths, which lent both a gay and brilliant appearance to the scene. Those who were presented entered by one passage, and passing round the division of the room in front of his Excellency, left by the other. At about two the presentations commenced. His Excellency, with his aide-de-camp, passed from the committee-room to the hall, accompanied, at his Excellency's request, by the two mayors, Councillor Lewis, Rev. Mr Henderson (moderator of the Presbyterian Assembly, in the robes of his office), the Hon. J. G. Francis, the Hon. A. Fraser, and Messrs Jones, Clarke, and James, M.L.A. Others who had the right of entry followed — the clergy, the members of the two councils and of shires and borough councils, his Honor Judge Rogers, and a few gentlemen, chiefly those who had attended to present addresses taking precedence. The following was the list of presentations: — . . . Wm. P. Bechervaise . . .[183]

Bechervaise in the Governor's part which tours the local district

THE GOVERNOR'S VISIT. The visit of his Excellency the Governor to Ballarat and the surrounding district would have been incomplete without an inspection of the pastoral, agricultural, and mining area that extends from our north-western boundary to the auriferous leads in the neighborhood of Clunes. This had been seen from the initiation of the movement to entertain his Excellency, and certainly the arrangements made for giving effect to that object were each as reflect the utmost credit upon all parties concerned. The carriages intended to convey the vice-regal party to Clunes were in readiness at Craig's hotel at half-past nine yesterday, and shortly afterwards a start was made. The Chief Secretary was unable to remain in Ballarat, having been telegraphed for from Melbourne the previous evening, and he in consequence left Ballarat by the early train. Amongst those who accompanied his Excellency were the mayor of Ballarat City, and Mrs Claxton; Mr Baird, mayor of the Town of Ballarat; Major Pitt, A.D.C.; Major W. C. Smith, Mr Robert Lewis, Mr Joseph Jones, Mr John James, Mr James McDowall, Mr Reeves (mayor of Geelong), Mr Permewan, Mr Wanliss, Mr Sleep, Mr Caselli, Mr Ivey, Mr Donald Gunn (president of the Ballaratshire Council), Mr Bath, Mr Henderson (assistant traffic manager of the Victorian Railways), Mr Bechervaise, &c., &c. The start was made at half-past nine, Inspector Ryall and a number of mounted troopers bring in attendance as a guard of honor. Lady Bowen was too unwell to accompany the party. The cortege, on leaving Craig's, proceeded up Sturt street, turning off on the north, and taking the detour of the lake on the west side, until the road to Learmonth was reached. The weather was cold and threatening from the first, and as the party advanced the clouds became more dense each moment until, as the ranges were reached, it became evident that rain, and heavy rain, was imminent. Nevertheless the horses pushed on. The houses along the roadside were adorned with bunting, and the scattered rural population put in an appearance in groups as the visitors swept past, cheering lustily and otherwise demonstrating their desire to participate in the general welcome accorded to Her Majesty's representative. Learmonth was reached about eleven o'clock. The available population turned out en masse for the occasion, all attired in holiday garb, and looking as joyous and comfortable as could be wished. About 150 juveniles were assembled near the shire hall, and as the Governor drove up they sang the National Anthem, at the conclusion of which three cheers were given by the large crowd congregated for his Excellency the Governor and the other visitors. The president and members of the shire council were in readiness at the entrance with an address. This was read by Mr Richmond, the secretary, and was as follows:—[184]

1873 06[edit]

The PMG approves Bechervaise teaching telegraphy at the Ballarat Mechanics' Institute

At a meeting of the Mechanics' Institute Committee, held on Tuesday evening (present — Messrs Claxton, president; Embling, Anderson, James, Bade, I. J. Jones, Stansfield, Thompson, Whitelaw, Campbell, and J. P. Marshall), the following letters were received:— From Monsieur Rayroux, offering to take charge of the French class now without a teacher, Signor Matheo having been compelled by ill-health to leave Ballarat. It was resolved to accept Monsieur Rayroux's offer. — From the Postmaster-General, with permission for Mr Bechervaise to take charge of a class for the study of telegraphy. — From the School of Design, asking that the restriction, by which competition for prizes to the amount of £10 offered by the committee was confined to those pupils who are members of the institute, be removed. It was re-solved to adhere to the original terms of competition. [185]

1873 07[edit]

Bechervaise requests school-teachers to caution their pupils about stone throwing at telegraph insulators

By request, we draw the attention of school-teachers in the districts around Ballarat to the wanton destruction, by the boys, of the telegraph insulators, caused by stone-throwing. Mr Bechervaise thinks that a caution administered by the head-teachers to the youths would have the desired effect. The lads in the locality of Mount Rowan have gives the most offence.[186]

Bechervaise announces interruptions in the submarine cables from Hong Kong

We learn from Mr Bechervaise that the great northern cables between Hong Kong, Amoy, Shanghai, and Nagasaki, are interrupted. Telegrams have therefore, for the present, to be posted at Hong Kong.[187]

Annual report of the Ballarat Turf Club favourably notes the establishment of a temporary telegraph office at the racecourse

BALLARAT TURF CLUB. The annual meeting of the members of the above club was held on Monday afternoon, at Craig’s hotel; Mr A. Kelly occupied the chair. The secretary read the following report and balance-sheet:— "At the commencement of the racing year we beg to present you with a financial statement of the receipts and expenditure during our term of office, and we have much pleasure in congratulating you upon the present highly prosperous position of the club. Since the election of the committee a large amount of work has been done, and numerous improvements have been carried out at the racecourse. The saddling paddock has been much enlarged and levelled throughout; the lawn and members’ carriage paddock have been ex-tended; a telegraph-office has been opened under the supervision of Mr Bechervaise, and at the present time everything is in excellent order, and the trees, shrubs, and plants flourishing. A very successful race meeting was held in the spring, and a winter steeplechase meeting on the 17th of this month. The late secretary of the club, Mr Thomas S. Clibborn, having been appointed secretary to the Australian Jockey Club, resigned his position, to the regret of your committee, on the 30th May. At a meeting, held to elect his successor, Mr E. C. Moore was unanimously chosen. . . . [188]

1873 08[edit]
1873 09[edit]
1873 10[edit]
1873 11[edit]
1873 12[edit]

Bechervaise again provides telegraph facilities at Ballarat Turf Club Spring meeting, react quickly to line problems

B.T.C. SPRING MEETING. FIRST DAY.— THURDAY, 4TH DECEMBER. Patron — His Excellency the Governor. Stewards — Messrs A. K. Finlay, R. Le Poer Trench, G. G. Morton, Herbert Power, and Hector Wilson. Judge — Mr John Simson. Starter — Mr A. Fisken. Clerk of the course — Mr T. Wilson. Secretary — Mr E. C. Moore. Thursday was the first day of the Ballarat Turf Club Spring Meeting, which has so far passed off most successfully. Formerly the spring meeting lasted for three days, but the club have thought it advisable to make it only two days, and to add one day to the autumn meeting. By this arrangement the public will be able to witness just as many days' racing at Dowling Forest in the course of the year, and perhaps more conveniently than before. . . . The telegraph office on the course, under the charge of Mr Bechervaise and a staff of assistants, was a great convenience to the public, and the operators must have been kept pretty busy during the day. Not long before the first race started it was discovered that there was something wrong with the line on the Creswick road, by which communication between the race course and Ballarat was interrupted. It was rather fortunate that this was discovered in time, for Mr Bechervaise and those under his direction were only just able, by dint of great exertion, to put everything straight before the line was required.[189]

Bechervaise announces the opening of the Alexandra telegraph office

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . Mr Bechervaise informs us that on and after the 18th instant telegraphic communication will be open with Alexandra.[190]

1874[edit]

1874 01[edit]

Bechervaise again goes the extra mile to get local news out

Mr Bechervaise is always so anxious to accommodate the public, that no person will read the following from the Herald with the least surprise:— "That any news of the cricket match at Ballarat was received in Melbourne on New Year's Day is entirely due to the courtesy displayed by the manager of the Ballarat Telegraph Office. The conductors of this journal had been told at Melbourne that the Ballarat office would be open all day, but no instructions to that effect were received at the latter place. Accordingly, when our representative went to the Ballarat office, he found it closed. On looking up the manager, it was found that all the hands had gone till six o'clock. Mr Bechervaise at once intimated that he would have an operator looked up, and the office opened at half-past three. At three o'clock, the office was opened, and the anxious public placed in possession of news. Had our reporter been a quarter of an hour later, the manager of the Ballarat office would have left his quarters for the day, and the public have been without the news till after six p.m. When a gentleman voluntarily sacrifices his holiday, to suit the public, the act deserves recognition." [191]

1874 02[edit]
1874 03[edit]

The temporary telegraph at the Ballarat Turf Club sees record business for the Grand National

BALLARAT TURF CLUB GRAND NATIONAL MEETING. SECOND DAY.— FRIDAY. Stewards — Messrs A. K. Findlay, R. Le Poer Trench, G. G. Morton, H. Power, A. Wilson. Judge — Mr James Simson. Starter — Mr A. Fisken. Time-keeper — Mr Sleep. Clerk of the Course — Mr Thomas Wilson. The morning of the great day of the Steeplechase Meeting opened very unpropitiously, as a stiff northerly breeze was blowing, raising clouds of dust in all parts of the town, and deterring many from venturing on a trip to the Forest. However, some thousands were bold enough to brave the disagreeables of the road. Nearly every vehicle in Ballarat was pressed into service, and between 5000 and 6000 people had assembled on the course by the time the Grand National was run. . . . Mr Bechervaise was kept very busy, with his assistants, in the telegraph office, more mes-sages being dispatched than at any previous meeting. . . . [192]

Bechervaise assists in raising funds for the widow and children of murdered telegraph station master

With reference to the Barrow's Creek telegraph station murder, we understand that Mr Stapleton, the late station-master, has left a widow and four children very badly provided for. A subscription is being raised on their behalf, and Mr Bechervaise, our local telegraph master, will be happy to receive donations in aid. This is a case well deserving the sympathies of the public. [193]

1874 04[edit]

Bechervaise returns to Melbourne after a stay in Hobart

SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. . . . CLEARED OUT.— April 22. Southern Cross, s.s., 343 tons, E. Lucas, for Melbourne. Passengers — Cabin: Mrs. Ryan, Miss E. Mansfield, Miss Seward, Misses Dean (2), Miss Knowles, Mr. Yates and 3 children, Dr. H. L. and Mrs. Atkinson, Miss J. Carns, Miss Crocker, Mrs. Henry Reed, Miss Jackson, Miss Chamberlain, Mrs. Dowd and child, Dr. MacMillan, Master M. Alexander, Messrs. Chapman, Finlayson, H. Cook, Jordan, Geo. Wilson, W. P. Bechervaise, Cox, J. Brock, C. Hall, E. A. Macpherson, McKillop, and 15 steerage.[194]

As previous

SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. PORT OF MELBOURNE. ARRIVED HOBSON'S BAY. . . . Southern Cross, s.s., 342 tons, E. Lucas, from Hobart Town 22nd instant. Passengers — cabin: Dr. H. L. Atkinson and Mrs Atkinson, Mrs H. Reed, Mrs B. Ryan, Mrs Dowd and child, Miss Seward, Miss Cearin, Miss Coker, Miss Knowles, Misses Deans (two), Miss Jackson, Miss Chamberland, Miss Mansfield; Messrs. Chapman, Finlayson, H. Cook, J. Brock, E. A. McPherson, C. Hall, Jordan, McKillop, G. Wilson, W. P. Bechervaise, McMillan, Cox, Yates and three children, Master W. Alexander; and twenty-two in the steer-age. Hudson, and Watson agents.[195]

1874 05[edit]

Bechervaise loans some Wheatstone equipment for the Fine Arts Exhibition at the Mechanics' Institute

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . The Fine Arts Exhibition at the Mechanics' Institute last night was largely attended, both in the hall and the upper room; the hall more largely, of course, as besides the pictures there were the attractions of a concert, in which Miss Bessie Harrison, Mr Henry Mordaunt, Mr Herbert, and Mr. Williams took part. Comic and sentimental and operatic music were given, and added materially to the pleasantness of the evening. Mr Bechervaise has sent some of Wheatstone's telegraphic apparatus, the use of which he explained in the hall. Upstairs, Mr Bardwell’s automaton photographer, a galvanic apparatus, and a sewing machine worked by water-power, afforded much amusement. [196]

Victorian telegraph station masters, including Bechervaise contribute to the Stapleton Relief Fund

PUBLIC NOTICES. STAPLETON RELIEF FUND. The Committee beg to acknowledge the following Contributions towards the Stapleton Relief Fund:— . . . Total Telegraph Department, £221 1s., less expenses, £2 2s. = £219 19s. Collected in Victoria:— Thomas Green, Castlemaine, £1 1s.; W. P. Bechervaise, Ballarat, £1 1s.; J. Nichol, Daylesford, £1; D. W. Forbes, Echuca, £1; H. W. Bristow, Kyneton, £1; W. Bardwell, Ballarat, £1; W. Blandford, Ballarat, 2s. 6d.; F. H. O'Connell, Dunolly, 10s.; J. H. Kibble, Inglewood, 10s. 6d.; J. T. Harper, Inglewood, 5s.; C. M. Maplestone, Maryborough, £1 1s.; J. Thwaites, Creswick, £1; Thos. Reed, Maldon, 10s.; J. L. Collier, Clunes, £1; James Collis, Talbot, 10s.; G. E. Groves, Kilmore, 10s.; D. W. Bale, Castlemaine, 5s. = £12 6s. Total, £944 6s. 6d.[197]

Bechervaise awaits Government approval to be lecturer at telegraphy classes

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . Numerous enquiries having been made as to the telegraphy class at the School of Mines, we may mention that so soon as the authority of the Government has been obtained for Mr Bechervaise to act as lecturer, a class will be formed, to which ladies will be admitted, subject to compliance with the statutes in respect to nomination.[198]

As previous

It is announced in our advertising columns that a class in telegraphy will be at once formed at the Ballarat School of Mines under the charge of Mr W. P. Bechervaise. Instruction will be given by Mr Bechervaise every Tuesday at seven o'clock in the evening, and on Saturday at two. Students are requested to enrol themselves at once with Mr Barnard, the registrar.[199]

As previous

INGENIO EFFODERE OPES. THE SCHOOL OF MINES, BALLAARAT. A CLASS in TELEGRAPHY, under the direction of Mr W. P. BECHERVAISE, will be FORMED, to meet on Tuesdays at 7 p.m., and on Saturdays at 2 p.m. Students are requested to attend at my office for the purpose of being enrolled. W. HY. BARNARD, Registrar pro tem.[200]

1874 06[edit]

Bechervaise's telegraphy class already has 16 enrolments

This evening a class in telegraphy will be opened at the School of Mines, under Mr Bechervaise. Sixteen students have already entered for instruction.[201]

Detailed report of Bechervaise's telegraphy class at the School of Mines

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . The telegraphic class at the School of Mines, under Mr Bechervaise, met on Tuesday evening, and from the progress the students have already made in their studies since the commencement, it is apparent that the whole class are earnest in what they have commenced. Mr Bechervaise is certainly a most explicit and practical lecturer on telegraphy, and, while verbally explaining the use of the instruments and force of electricity and its uses, practically demonstrates the uses and power and combination in a manner to be understood by all. The lecture on Tuesday evening commenced by a description and demonstration of the voltaic or galvanic current, after which the mode of making the local circuit was made plain, the lecturer impressing upon his pupils the necessity of thoroughly understanding these rudiments before attempting more difficult matters in connection with telegraphy. The connection between the main and local currents was then graphically explained, after which the students were again practised on the telegraphic alphabet, both by sound and sight. At the conclusion of the lecture several of the ladies visited the Telegraph office, when the purpose of the lecture was more practically demonstrated, many of the necessary instruments not having yet been fixed at the school. So far as the class has already advanced, both Mr Bechervaise and his pupils must be complimented upon the progress made after a course of only three lectures, some of the pupils giving ready answers to questions put by the lecturer, while they were under examination. A few visitors attended during the lecture, and appeared to take great interest in the proceedings. [202]

Bechervaise's 20 students in telegraphy class revealed as overwhelmingly female

MISCELLANEA. . . . The School of Mines, thanks to the unflagging energy of Mr Barnard, the registrar, the hearty interest taken in the school by some other of our local men, and the merits and importance of the education given at the school, have made that seminary the first of its kind in these colonies. The newest addition to the curriculum is the study of telegraphy. A class, comprising eighteen ladies and two gentlemen, has been recently formed under the auspices of Mr Bechervaise, the superintendent of the Ballarat Telegraph-office.[203]

School of Mines details officers & staff for the coming financial year, Bechervaise as lecturer in telegraphy, McGowan and Ellery as examiners

Education. INGENIO EFFODERE OPES. THE SCHOOL OF MINES, BALLAARAT. VISITOR: His Excellency the Governor. PRESIDENT: His Honor Sir Redmond Barry. VICE-PRESIDENT: His Honor Judge Rogers. TRUSTEES: His Honor Sir Redmond Barry. Somerville Livingstone Learmonth, Esq. Rivett Henry Bland, Esq. COUNCIL: The President and the Vice-President. *The Hon. Sir Charles Gavan Duffy, M.P. •The Hon. John A. MacPherson, M.P. *The Hon. Duncan Gillies, M.P. *The Hon. William McLellan, M.P. *F. McCoy, Esq., Professor, University of Melbourne. *Vacant. J. M. Bickett, Esq. H. B. Caselli, Esq., J.P. P. Chauncy, Esq., J.P. J. M. Davey, Esq. Joseph Flude, Esq. R. F. Hudson, Esq., M.D. Robert Lewis, Esq., J.P, James McDowall, Esq., J.P. James Oddie, Esq., J.P. B. M. Serjeant, Esq. E. Steinfeld, Esq., J.P. J. F. Usher, Esq., M.D., L.A.H.D. J. Williamson, Esq. The Mayor of the City of Ballaarat; and The Chairman, for the time being, of each of the seven Mining Boards of Victoria. * = Honorary Councillors. ADMINISTRATIVE COUNCIL: The President and the Vice-President. J. M. Bickett, Esq. H. R. Caselli, Esq., J.P. P. Chauncy, Esq., J.P. J. Flude, Esq. R. F. Hudson, Esq., M.D. R. M. Serjeant, Esq. J. F. Usher, Esq., M.D., L.A.H.D. The Chairman of Mining Board, Ballaarat. President of Examiners — His Honor Judge Rogers. Honorary Auditor — Richard Ford, Esq. "To fit the miner by a general review of phenomena observed, and processes used in various localities, to adopt what is most suitable to the particular locality." "— — to form links in the chain of improvements." Warington W. Smyth, M.A., Cambridge. JULY TERM (b. 13th July, e. 19th September), 1874. SUBJECTS and LECTURERS: Mathematics .. .. John Victor, T.C.D. Mining and Land Surveying .. .. Vacant. Mechanics .. .. John Victor, T.C.D. Natural Philosophy .. .. ditto Principles and Practice of Mining .. .. Robert Malachy Serjeant Mechanical Engineering .. .. Andrew Croll Mineralogy .. .. — Geology as applied to Mining .. .. ditto Metallurgy and Assaying .. .. Joseph Flude. Chemistry .. .. Joseph Flude. Telegraphy .. .. Wm. P. Bechervaise. Persons thinking of becoming Pupils are particularly invited to attend The School, and observe the method adopted of imparting instruction. JUNE and NOVEMBER EXAMINATIONS. Subjects. Examiners. Euclid (1st six books) .. .. G. J. Russell, M. A. & John Lynch, Auth. Surv. Algebra to Quadratic Equations .. .. ditto . Logarithms .. .. ditto. Trigonometry .. .. ditto. Description and use of Mathematical Instruments .. .. John Lynch, Auth. Surv. & P. C. Fitzpatrick, C.S. Drawing, including Plans and Sections, and plotting from Field Book .. .. ditto. Mining and Land Surveying .. .. ditto. Levelling .. .. ditto. Calculations of Areas and Quantities .. .. ditto. Principles and Practice of Mining .. .. R. M Serjeant Drawing Plans for and construction of Machinery .. .. John Lewis. Selected Specifications .. .. ditto. Mechanics — Theoretical and Applied with calculation of strength and strain of Materials .. .. ditto. Natural Philosophy, including Heat Hydraulics Hydrostatics — the Steam Engine .. .. ditto. Mineralogy .. .. G. H. F. Ulrich, F.G.S. Geology to Mining .. .. ditto. Metallurgy — Theoretical and Practical .. .. J. Cosmo Newbery, B.Sc. Assaying .. .. ditto. Inorganic Chemistry — Theoretical and Practical .. .. ditto. Telegraphy .. .. R. L. J. Ellery, F. R. S. & Sam. W. McGowan. [204]

1874 07[edit]
1874 08[edit]

Bechervaise raised from fourth to third class in the Civil Service

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . After eighteen years’ service in the Telegraph Department of this colony we are glad to record the fact that Mr Bechervaise has been raised from the fourth to the third-class in the Civil Service. This increase in status is accompanied by increase in pay, and after seventeen years' residence in Ballarat, there are many people who will join us in our congratulations to Mr Bechervaise upon this recognition of his telegraphic skill and general efficiency. [205]

As previous

We are very glad to learn that Mr Bechervaise, our telegraph master, yesterday received notification from head-quarters, that he had been promoted from the fourth to the third class of the Civil Service. This means improved status in the service, and an increased, and annually increasing, salary to that zealous and obliging official. Mr Bechervaise has had charge of the telegraph department of Ballarat for the last seventeen years, and has always given the fullest possible satisfaction to every person having business relationship with it. The promotion in this instance has been well earned, and we are glad that the opportunity is afforded to us of publicly stating this fact. [206]

1874 09[edit]

Postmistress at Gordon, one of Bechervaise's pupils with a view to dual duties as telegraph master

Mr W. Clarke, M.L.A., yesterday presented a petition to the hon. the Postmaster-General, from 300 of the inhabitants of Gordon and Egerton, praying for the establishment of a telegraph office at the former place. At present the telegraph line from Ballarat to Ballan extends in front of the post office at Gordon, and it requires only a few yards of wire to carry the line into the office at Gordon. Mr. Turner stated that the post-mistress at Gordon was now taking lessons in telegraphy from Mr. Bechervaise, in the Ballarat office, and as soon as she was proficient in the art an office would be opened at Gordon. [207]

1874 10[edit]

The temporary telegraph office at the Ballarat Turf Club again does good business

BALLARAT TURF CLUB SPRING MEETING. FIRST DAY.— THURSDAY, 15TH OCTOBER. Stewards — Messrs C. Ayrey, A. Chirnside, H. Eddington, H. Fisher, C. W. Gibson, W. Leonard, G. G. Morton, N. R. Macleod, H. Power, Le Poer Trench, A. Wilson. Judge — Mr H. Fisher. Starter — Mr J. Johnston. Clerk of the Course — Mr T. Wilson. Handicapper — Mr E. T. Barnard. Thursday was the first day of the Ballarat Turf Club Spring Meeting, and may be said to have passed off as successfully as could be desired, the weather being beautifully fine, the running very fair, and the attendance quite up to the average, although not so numerous as has been seen on some occasions on the course. . . . . The telegraph-office was under the charge of Mr Bechervaise, who, with his usual courtesy, assisted by a good staff of assistants, disposed of the messages with the utmost rapidity. The office must have done a good business during the day. [208]

Bechervaise makes a donation to the School of Mines

The School or Mines.— Subscriptions and donations received from 11th September to 15th October, 1871, acknowledged with thanks, were as follow:— Bechervaise, W. P., Ballarat, £1 1s; . . . [209]

Establishment of the Pigoreet telegraph office, subject to the postmaster attending Bechervaise's telegraphy classes

The hon. the Postmaster-General has intimated to Mr W. Clarke, M.L.A., that the telegraph line will be extended to Piggoreet, provided the local postmaster qualifies for the office by attending the telegraph class under Mr Bechervaise at the School of Mines, Ballarat.[210]

1874 11[edit]
1874 12[edit]

Bechervaise again supervising the temporary telegraph office at the Ballarat Turf Club

BALLARAT TURF CLUB MIDSUMMER MEETING. FIRST DAY.— FRIDAY, 4TH DECEMBER. Stewards.— Messrs C. Ayrey, A. Chirnside, H. Ed-dington, Hurtle Fisher, C. W. Gibson, W. Leonard, Geo. G. Morton, N. R. Macleod, H. Power, R. Le Poer Trench, and A. Wilson. Judge — Mr A. Fisken. Handicapper — Mr. E. T. Barnard. Starter — Mr J. Johnson. Clerk of the Course — Mr T. Wilson. The two days midsummer meeting of the Ballarat Turf Club commenced on Friday, at the Dowling Forest racecourse, but it cannot be said that the opening was very auspicious, the attendance of the public being very meagre, although the patrons and members of the club mustered in very fair numbers. The lawn, saddling paddock, and grand-stand did not present any very material change from previous meetings of the club, but there was a marked falling-off in the outside reserve, the attendance there not exceeding 400 persons, a large proportion of whom were intent on business. . . . The telegraph-office on the course was personally superintended by Mr Bechervaise, who was not kept so busy as usual on these occasions.[211]

Bechervaise is presented with a gold locket by his telegraphy class students at the end of term

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . A very interesting affair took place at the close of the instruction given at the class in telegraphy at the School of Mines on Wednesday evening. There were nineteen students present, and Mr Kyran John O'Dee, on behalf of the students in the first class, presented Mr Bechervaise, the manager of the local Electric Telegraph-office, and instructor in the telegraphy classes, with a handsome gold locket, on which was the following inscription:— "A slight token of esteem to W. P. Bechervaise, Esq., from the first class in Telegraphy, Ballarat, 9th December, 1874." In making the presentation Mr O'Dee complimented, his instructor on the admirable manner in which he had imparted to the students the instruction in telegraphy. A feeling response was made by Mr Bechervaise.[212]

1875[edit]

1875 01[edit]
1875 02[edit]
1875 03[edit]

Bechervaise visits Sydney

SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. HOBSON'S BAY. . . . CLEARED OUT.— MARCH 25. . . . You Yangs, s. s., 457 tons, A. Thrussell, for Sydney. Passengers — saloon: Mrs. McLauchlan, Mrs. Dyer and child, Mrs. Murphy, Miss Gorman, Miss Walker, Miss Bishop, Mrs. Davis and four children, Mrs. Coggins, Misses Coggins (two), Mrs. James, Mrs. Danks, Mrs. Wilkinson, Messrs. B. G. Davies, M.L.A., J. D. Langridge, M.L.A., John Martin, H. Walker, John Johnson, Edward Hassel, F. Pearson, Donald McRae, R. James, W. P. Bechervaise, H. Hedderwich, R. E. Lewis, A. B. Solomon, Wm. Powell, John Danks, A. H. McMillan, F. E. Beaver, J. Scott, G. Ford, W. S. Cox, T. T. Cutbush, A. B Joske, S. Hellier, J. Murphy, L. Duval, P. B. Turnbull, James Turnbull, David Young, E. N. Glass, W. H. Gallop, Bavin; and 52 in the steerage. W. H. Smith, agent.[213]

1875 04[edit]

Bechervaise heads back to Melbourne from Sydney

CLEARANCES.— April 1. Wentworth (s.), 650 tons, Captain Paddle, for Melbourne. Passengers — Mrs. Bruce, Miss Bruce, Mrs. C. Jones, Mrs. Walton, Mrs. O'Sullivan, Mrs. Cooper, Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Jamieson, Mrs. J. J. Lade, Messrs. R. Outran, W. McArthur, W. Bruce, C. M. Maxwell, J. E. Beaver, E. Myers, F. Desailly, G. Desailly, Walton, Master Walton, W. P. Bechervaise, O'Sullivan, W. T. Cooper, Gotch, A. C. Heunerbine, E. S. Holland, Majendi, and 18 in the steerage.[214]

Bechervaise arrives back in Melbourne

SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. HOBSON'S BAY. . . . Arrived . . . April 4 . . . Wentworth, s.s., 954 tons, B. Paddle, from Sydney. Passengers — saloon: Mr. and Mrs. William Bruce, Mr. and Mrs. O'Sullivan, Mr. and Mrs. Walton, Mr. and Mrs. W. T. Cooper, Mrs. Chas. Jones, Miss Bruce, Mrs. J. J. Lade, Mrs. Jones, Messrs. W. R. Outram, W. McArthur, C. M. Maxwell, F. E. Beaver, E. Myers, W. P. Bechervaise, E. S. Holland, Gotch, Magendie, Huenerbein, Master Walton; and 11 in the steerage. W. P. White and Co., agents.[215]

Bechervaise listed by School of Mines as Telegraphy lecturer

INGENIO EFFODERE OPES. THE SCHOOL OF MINES, BALLAARAT. VISITOR: His Excellency the Governor. PRESIDENT: The Hon. Sir Redmond Barry. VICE-PRESIDENT: His Honor Judge Rogers. TRUSTEES: The Hon. Sir Redmond Barry. Somerville Livingstone Learmonth, Esq. Rivett Henry Bland, Esq. COUNCIL: The President and the Vice-President. *The Hon. Sir Charles Gavan J. M. Davey: Esq. Duffy. *The Hon. John A. MacPherson, M.L.A. *The Hon. Duncan Gillies, M.L.A. *The Hon. William McLellan, M.L.A. *F. McCoy, Esq., Professor, University of Melbourne. *Rev. John I. Bleasdale, D.D., F.R.S. W. H. Barnard, Esq. J. M. Bickett, Esq. H. R. Caselli, Esq., J.P. P. Chauncy, Esq., J.P. J. M. Davey, Esq. Joseph Flude, Esq. R. F. Hudson, Esq., M.D. Robert Lewis, Esq., J.P. James Oddie, Esq., J.P. R. M. Serjeant, Esq. J. F. Usher, Esq., M.D., L.A.H.D. John Walker, Esq. J. Williamson, Esq. The Mayor of the City of Ballaarat; and The Chairman, for the time being, of each of the seven Mining Boards of Victoria. *Nominations vested in the Crown. ADMINISTRATIVE COUNCIL: The President and the Vice-President J. M. Bickett, Esq. H. R. Caselli, Esq., J.P. P. Chauncy, Esq., J.P. J. Flude, Esq. R. F. Hudson, Esq., M.D., J.P. R. M. Serjeant, Esq. J. F. Usher, Esq., M.D., L.A.H.D. The Chairman of Mining Board, Ballaarat. President of Examiners — His Honor Judge Rogers. Honorary Auditor — Richard Ford, Esq. "To fit the miner by a general review of phenomena observed, and processes used in various localities, to adopt what is most suitable to the particular locality." "— — to form links in the chain of improvements." Warington W. Smyth, M.A., Cambridge. APRIL TERM (b. 12th April, e. 19th June), 1875. SUBJECTS and LECTURERS: Mathematics .. .. John Victor, T.C.D. Mining and Land Surveying .. .. C. Wm. Thomas, Mining and Auth. Surv. Mechanics .. .. John Victor, T.C.D. Natural Philosophy .. .. ditto Principles and Practice of Mining .. .. Robert Malachy Serjeant Mechanical Engineering .. .. Samson Keast Mineralogy .. .. — — Geology as applied to Mining .. .. — — Metallurgy and Assaying .. .. Joseph Flude. Chemistry .. .. Joseph Flude. Telegraphy .. .. Wm. P. Bechervaise. Persons thinking of becoming Pupils are particularly invited to attend The School, and observe the method adopted of imparting instruction. JUNE and NOVEMBER EXAMINATIONS. Subjects. Examiners. Euclid (1st six books) .. .. G. J. Russell, M.A.; John Lynch, Auth. Surv. Algebra to Quadratic Equations .. .. ditto. Logarithms .. .. ditto. Trigonometry .. .. ditto. Description and use of Mathematical Instruments .. .. John Lynch, Auth. Surv.; P. C. Fitzpatrick, C.S. Drawing, including Plans and Sections and plotting from Field Book .. .. ditto. Mining and Land Surveying .. .. ditto. Levelling .. .. ditto. Calculations of Areas and Quantities .. .. ditto. Principles and Practice of Mining .. .. R. M. Serjeant. Drawing Plans, for and construction of Machinery .. .. John Lewis. Selected Specifications .. .. ditto. Mechanics — Theoretical and Applied with calculation of strength and strain of Materials .. .. ditto. Natural Philosophy, including Heat Hydraulics Hydrostatics — the Steam Engine .. .. ditto. Mineralogy .. .. G. H. F. Ulrich, F.G.S. Geology as applied to Mining .. .. ditto. Metallurgy — Theoretical and Practical .. .. J. Cosmo Newbery, B.Sc. Assaying .. .. ditto. Inorganic Chemistry — Theoretical and Practical .. .. ditto. Telegraphy .. .. R. L. J. Ellery, F.R.S.; Sam. W. McGowan. [216]

Bechervaise again makes a donation to the School of Mines

The School of Mines, Ballarat.— Subscriptions received since 11th March to 8th April, 1875, and acknowledged with thanks:— L. Ballhausen, Running Creek, Ovens, £2 2s; James Coghlan, Ballarat, £1 1s; William Fly, Ballarat, 5s; W. L. Gilbert, Cardigan, 10s 6d; London Chartered Bank of Australia, Ballarat, £2 2s; Samuel Steel, Ballarat, £1 1s; Union Bank of Australia, Ballarat, £2 2s; J. F. Usher, M.D., Ballarat; £1 1s; M. P. Whiteside, Ballarat, £1 1s; total, £11 5s 6d. Towards the Pyrites, Fund:— W. P. Bechervaise, £1 1s; J. Flude, £1 1s; Accident Fund, Happy Valley Company, Ovens, £8 13s 9d. Towards the Endowment Fund:— J. Ware, Yallay-Poora, £20; Buninyongshire Council, £5.[217]

1875 05[edit]
1875 06[edit]
1875 07[edit]

Bechervaise again listed as lecturer in Telegraphy for School of Mines

INGENIO EFFODERE OPES. THE SCHOOL OF MINES, BALLAARAT. VISITOR: His Excellency the Governor. PRESIDENT: The Hon. Sir Redmond Barry. VICE-PRESIDENT: His Honor Judge Rogers. TRUSTEES: The Hon. Sir Redmond Barry. Somerville Livingstone Learmonth, Esq. Rivett Henry Bland, Esq. COUNCIL: The President and the Vice-President. *The Hon. Sir Charles Gavan Duffy. *The Hon. John A. MacPherson, M.L.A. *The Hon. Duncan Gillies, M.L.A. *The Hon. William McLellan, M.L.A. *F. McCoy, Esq., Professor, University of Melbourne. *Rev. John I. Bleasdale, D.D., F.R.S. W. H. Barnard, Esq. J. M. Bickett, Esq. H. R. Caselli, Esq., J.P. P. Chauncy, Esq., J.P. J. M. Davey, Esq. Joseph Flude, Esq. R. F. Hudson, Esq., M.D. Robert Lewis, Esq., J.P. James Oddie, Esq., J.P. R. M. Serjeant, Esq. J. F. Usher, Esq., M.D., L.A.H.D. John Walker, Esq. J. Williamson, Esq. The Mayor of the City of Ballaarat; and Chairman, for the time being, of each of the seven Mining Boards of Victoria. *Nominations vested in the Crown. ADMINISTRATIVE COUNCIL: The President and the Vice-President. J. M. Bickett, Esq. H. R. Caselli, Esq., J.P. P. Chauncy, Esq., J.P. J. Flude, Esq. R. F. Hudson, Esq., M.D., J.P. R. M. Serjeant, Esq. J. F. Usher, Esq., M.D., L.A.H.D. The Chairman of Mining Board, Ballaarat. President of Examiners — His Honor Judge Rogers. Honorary Auditor — Richard Ford, Esq. "To fit the miner by a general review of phenomena observed, and processes used in various localities, to adopt what is most suitable to the particular locality." "— — to form links in the chain of improvements." Warington W. Smyth, M.A., Cambridge. JULY TERM (b. 12th July, e. 18th Sept.), 1875. SUBJECTS and LECTURERS: Mathematics .. .. John Victor, T.C.D. Mining and Land Surveying .. .. C. Wm. Thomas, Mining and Auth. Surv. Mechanics .. .. John Victor, T.C.D. Natural Philosophy .. .. ditto. Principles and Practice of Mining .. .. Robert Malachy Serjeant Mechanical Engineering .. .. Samson Keast Mineralogy .. .. — — Geology as applied to Mining .. .. ditto. Metallurgy and Assaying .. .. Joseph Flude, Chemistry .. .. Joseph Flude. Telegraphy .. .. Wm. P. Bechervaise. German .. .. — — Persons thinking of becoming Pupils are particularly invited to attend The School, and observe the method adopted of imparting instruction. JUNE and NOVEMBER EXAMINATIONS. Subjects. Examiners. Euclid (1st six books) .. .. G. J. Russell, M. A & John Lynch, Auth. Surv. Algebra to Quadratic Equations .. .. ditto. Logarithms .. .. ditto. Trigonometry .. .. ditto. Description and use of Mathematical Instruments .. .. John Lynch, Auth. Surv. & P. C. Fitzpatrick, C.S. Drawing, including Plans and Sections, and plotting from Field Book .. .. ditto. Mining and Land Surveying .. .. ditto. Levelling .. .. ditto. Calculations of Areas and Quantities .. .. ditto. Principles and Practice of Mining .. .. R. M. Serjeant. Drawing Plans for and construction of Machinery .. .. John Lewis. Selected Specifications .. .. ditto. Mechanics — Theoretical and Applied with calculation of strength and strain of Materials .. .. — — Natural Philosophy, including Heat Hydraulics Hydrostatics — the Steam Engine .. .. ditto Mineralogy .. .. G. H. F. Ulrich, F.G.S. Geology applied to Mining .. .. ditto. Metallurgy — Theoretical and Practical .. .. J. Cosmo Newbery, B.Sc. Assaying .. .. ditto. Inorganic Chemistry — Theoretical and Practical .. .. ditto. APRIL and OCTOBER EXAMINATIONS. Telegraphy .. .. R. L. J. Ellery, F.R.S. & Sam. W. McGowan. . . . [218]

Bechervaise announces opening of Maffra telegraph office

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . Mr Bechervaise informs us that a telegraph-office has been opened at Maffra, Gippsland. [219]

1875 08[edit]

Bechervaise announces the opening of the Blackwood telegraph office with Miss Louise Hansen in charge

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . Mr Bechervaise informs us that on and after today the Electric Telegraph office at Blackwood will be opened. Miss Louise Hansen is the officer in charge. [220]

1875 09[edit]

Bechervaise announces the opening of the Oakleigh telegraph office

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . Bechervaise informs us that a telegraph-office is now open at Oakleigh.[221]

1875 10[edit]

Bechervaise again listed as lecturer in telegraphy for the final 1875 term at School of Mines

INGENIO EFFODERE OPES. THE SCHOOL OF MINES, BALLAARAT. VISITOR: His Excellency the Governor. PRESIDENT: The Hon. Sir Redmond Barry. VICE-PRESIDENT: His Honor Judge Rogers. TRUSTEES: The Hon. Sir Redmond Barry. Somerville Livingstone Learmonth, Esq. Rivett Henry Bland, Esq. COUNCIL: The President and the Vice-President *The Hon. Sir Charles Gavan Duffy. *The Hon. John A. MacPherson, M.L.A. *The Hon. Duncan Gillies M.L.A. *The Hon. William McLellan, M.L.A. *F. McCoy, Esq., Professor, University of Melbourne. *Rev. John I. Bleasdale, D.D., F.R.S. W. H. Barnard, Esq. J. M. Bickett, Esq. H. R. Caselli, Esq., J.P. P. Chauncy, Esq., J.P. J. M. Davey, Esq. Joseph Flude, Esq. Aug. Hoelscher, Esq. R. F. Hudson, Esq., M.D. Robert Lewis, Esq., J.P James Oddie, Esq., J.P. R. M. Serjeant, Esq. Asr. S.M.B. J. F. Usher, Esq., M.D., L.A.H.D. John Walker, Esq. J. Williamson, Esq. The Mayor of the City of Ballaarat; and The Chairman, for the time being, of each of the seven Mining Boards of Victoria. *Nominations vested in the Crown. ADMINISTRATIVE COUNCIL: The President and the Vice-President. J. M. Bickett, Esq. H. R. Caselli, Esq., J.P. P. Chauncy, Esq., J.P. J. Flude, Esq. R. F. Hudson, Esq., M.D., J.P. R. M. Serjeant, Esq. J. F. Usher, Esq., M.D., L.A.H.D. The Chairman of Mining Board, Ballaarat President of Examinations — His Honor Judge Rogers. Honorary Auditor — Richard Ford, Esq. "To fit the miner by a general review of phenomena observed, and processes used in various localities, to adopt what is most suitable to the particular locality." "— — to form links in the chain of improvements." Warington W. Smyth, M.A., Cambridge. OCTOBER TERM (b. 11th Oct., e. 18th Dec.), 1875. SUBJECTS and LECTURERS: Mathematics .. .. John Victor, T.C.D. Mining and Land Surveying .. .. C. Wm. Thomas, Mining and Auth. Surv. Mechanics .. .. John Victor, T.C.D. Natural Philosophy .. .. ditto. Principles and Practice of Mining .. .. Robert Malachy Serjeant Mechanical Engineering .. .. Samson Keast Mineralogy .. .. — — Geology as applied to Mining .. .. ditto. Metallurgy and Assaying .. .. Joseph Flude. Chemistry .. .. Joseph Flude. Telegraphy .. .. Wm. P. Bechervaise. German .. .. F. J. Thomas, B.A. French .. .. Ado. Rayroux, Univ. Paris Persons thinking of becoming Pupils are particularly invited to attend The School, and observe the method adopted of imparting instruction. JUNE and NOVEMBER EXAMINATIONS. Subjects. Examiners. Euclid (1st six books) .. .. G. J. Russell, M. A & John Lynch, Auth. Surv. Algebra to Quadratic Equations .. .. ditto. Logarithms .. .. ditto. Trigonometry .. .. ditto. Description and use of Mathematical Instruments .. .. John Lynch, Auth. Surv. & P. C. Fitzpatrick, C.S. Drawing, including Plans and Sections, and plotting from Field Book .. .. ditto. Mining and Land Surveying .. .. ditto. Levelling .. .. ditto. Calculations of Areas and Quantities .. .. ditto. Principles and Practice of Mining .. .. R. M. Serjeant. Drawing Plans for and construction of Machinery .. .. John Lewis. Selected Specifications .. .. ditto. Mechanics — Theoretical and Applied with calculation of strength and strain of Materials .. .. — — Natural Philosophy, including Heat Hydraulics Hydrostatics — the Steam Engine .. .. ditto Mineralogy .. .. G.H.F. Ulrich, F.G.S. Geology applied to Mining .. .. ditto. Metallurgy — Theoretical and Practical .. .. J. Cosmo Newbery, B.Sc. Assaying .. .. ditto. Inorganic Chemistry — Theoretical and Practical .. .. ditto. APRIL and OCTOBER EXAMINATIONS. Telegraphy .. .. R. L. J. Ellery, F.R.S. & Sam. W. McGowan.[222]

1875 11[edit]

Bechervaise is promoted to postmaster Ballarat with responsibility also for telegraph office

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . Mr Bechervaise has been appointed postmaster for Ballarat, with charge also of the telegraph station. In the combined departments Mr Bechervaise will have thirty-six permanent officers under him, and in mail times a dozen or so more, so that the responsibilities and labor of the double office will, obviously, be no small burden. But, then, Mr Bechervaise is so experienced a captain already that we have no doubt he will very efficiently discharge his onerous duties. He has in-creased his crew certainly, and a David Blair sort of fellow hints at our elbow that the s-crew will also be increased, so we suppose the advent of so courteous and capable a gentleman as Mr Bechervaise to this new double office will be satisfactory all round.[223]

As previous, from the Argus

BALLARAT. (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.) FRIDAY EVENING. . . . Mr. Bechervaise, for many years superintendent of the telegraphic station here, has been appointed postmaster, in the room of the late Mr. Thacker, deceased, and will continue to fill the double appointment.[224]

As previous, from the Age

NEWS OF THE DAY. . . . The Star states that Mr. Bechervaise has been appointed postmaster for Ballarat, with charge also of the telegraph station. The promotion was made in consequence of the death of Mr. Thacker, the previous post-master.[225]

1875 12[edit]

1876[edit]

1876 01[edit]

Bechervaise again listed as lecturer in telegraphy for first term 1876 at School of Mines

INGENIO EFFODERE OPES. THE SCHOOL OF MINES, BALLAARAT. VISITOR: His Excellency the Governor. PRESIDENT: The Hon. Sir Redmond Barry. VICE-PRESIDENT: His Honor Judge Rogers. TRUSTEES: The Hon. Sir Redmond Barry. Somerville Livingstone Learmonth, Esq. Rivett Henry Bland, Esq. COUNCIL: The President and the Vice-President. *The Hon. Sir Charles Gavan Duffy. *The Hon. John A. MacPherson, M.L.A. *The Hon. Duncan Gillies M.L.A. *The Hon. William McLellan, M.L.A. *F. McCoy, Esq., Professor, University of Melbourne. *Rev. John I. Bleasdale, D.D., F.R.S. W. H. Barnard, Esq. H. R. Caselli, Esq., J.P. P. Chauncy, Esq., J.P. J. M. Davey, Esq. Joseph Flude, Esq. Aug. Hoelscher, Esq. A. Hoelscher, Esq. Robert Lewis, Esq., J.P James Oddie, Esq., J.P. John Osborne, Esq. R. M. Serjeant, Esq. Asr. S.M.B. J. F. Usher, Esq., M.D., L.A.H.D. John Walker, Esq. C. M. Watson, Esq. J. N. Wilson, Esq. The Mayor of the City of Ballaarat; and The Chairman, for the time being, of each of the seven Mining Boards of Victoria. *Nominations vested in the Crown. ADMINISTRATIVE COUNCIL. The President and the Vice-President. W. H. Barnard H. R. Caselli, Esq., J.P. P. Chauncy, Esq., J.P. J. Flude, Esq. A. Hoelscher, Esq. R. M. Serjeant, Esq. Asr. S.M.B. J. F. Usher, Esq., M.D., L.A.H.D. The Chairman of Mining Board, Ballaarat. President of Examinations — His Honor Judge Rogers. Honorary Solicitor — The Hon. H. Cuthbert, M.L.C. Honorary Auditor — Richard Ford, Esq. "To fit the miner by a general review of phenomena observed, and processes used in various localities, to adopt what is most suitable to the particular locality." "— — to form links in the chain of improvements." Warington W. Smyth, M.A., Cambridge. JANUARY TERM (b. 17th Jan., e. 18th March), 1876. SUBJECTS and LECTURERS: Mathematics .. .. John Victor, T.C.D. Mining and Land Surveying .. .. C. Wm. Thomas, Mining and Auth. Surv. Mechanics .. .. John Victor, T.C.D. Natural Philosophy .. .. ditto. Principles and Practice of Mining .. .. Robert Malachy Serjeant Mechanical Engineering .. .. John James. Mineralogy .. .. — — Geology as applied to Mining .. .. ditto. Metallurgy and Assaying .. .. Joseph Flude. Chemistry .. .. Joseph Flude. Telegraphy .. .. Wm. P. Bechervaise. German .. .. F. J. Thomas, B.A. French .. .. Ado. Rayroux, Univ. Paris Persons thinking of becoming Pupils are particularly invited to attend The School, and observe the method adopted of imparting instruction. JUNE and DECEMBER EXAMINATIONS. Subjects. Examiners. Euclid (1st six books) .. .. G. J. Russell, M. A & John Lynch, Auth. Surv. Algebra to Quadratic Equations .. .. ditto. Logarithms .. .. ditto. Trigonometry .. .. ditto. Description and use of Mathematical Instruments .. .. John Lynch, Auth. Surv. & P. C. Fitzpatrick, C.S. Drawing, including Plans and Sections, and plotting from Field Book .. .. ditto. Mining and Land Surveying .. .. ditto. Levelling .. .. ditto. Calculations of Areas and Quantities .. .. ditto. Principles and Practice of Mining .. .. R. M. Serjeant. Drawing Plans for and construction of Machinery .. .. John Lewis. Selected Specifications .. .. ditto. Mechanics — Theoretical and Applied with calculation of strength and strain of Materials .. .. — — Natural Philosophy, including Heat Hydraulics Hydrostatics — the Steam Engine .. .. ditto Mineralogy .. .. G. H. F. Ulrich, F.G.S. Geology applied to Mining .. .. ditto. Metallurgy — Theoretical and Practical .. .. J. Cosmo Newbery, B.Sc. Assaying .. .. ditto. Inorganic Chemistry — Theoretical and Practical .. .. ditto. MARCH and SEPTEMBER EXAMINATIONS. Telegraphy .. .. R. L. J. Ellery, F.R.S. & Sam. W. McGowan. [226]

Bechervaise commences his classes

Seventeen new students have joined the classes at the School of Mines this term. As yet many of the old students have not put in an appearance. Last night the lecturers in attendance were Mr Bechervaise in telegraphy, and Mr Rayroux in French. To-night Mr Flude in chemistry, Mr C. W. Thomas in surveying, and Mr F. J. Thomas in German, will attend.[227]

1876 02[edit]

Myrniong telegraph office opens under a pupil of Bechervaise

A telegraph office has been opened at Myrniong, under the charge of Mr G. M. Simmons, who was taught telegraphy at the School of Mines, Ballarat, by the lecturer, Mr Bechervaise. [228]

1876 03[edit]
1876 04[edit]

Bechervaise supervises and experimental internal telegraph line within the School of Mines

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . The Electric Telegraph Department has consented to a line being laid down to connect the office of the registrar of the School of Mines with the school laboratory, and Mr Bechervaise is now superintending the work.[229]

Bechervaise is again listed as lecturer in telegraphy for April/June term at School of Mines

INGENIO EFFODERE OPES. THE SCHOOL OF MINES, BALLAARAT. VISITOR: His Excellency the Governor. PRESIDENT: The Hon. Sir Wm. Foster Stawell, Kt. VICE-PRESIDENT: His Honor Judge Rogers. TRUSTEES: The Hon. Sir Redmond Barry. Somerville Livingstone Learmonth, Esq. Rivett Henry Bland, Esq. COUNCIL: The President and the Vice-President. *The Hon. Sir Charles Gavan Duffy. *The Hon. John A. MacPherson, M.L.A. *The Hon. Duncan Gillies, M.L.A. *The Hon. William McLellan, M.L.A. *F. McCoy, Esq., Prof. University of Melbourne. *Rev. John I. Bleasdale, D.D., F.G.S. W. H. Barnard, Esq. H. R. Caselli, Esq., J.P. P. Chauncy, Esq., J.P. J. M. Davey, Esq. Joseph Flude, Esq. Aug. Hoelscher, Esq. Robert Lewis, Esq., J.P James Oddie, Esq., J.P. John Osborne, Esq. R. M. Serjeant, Esq. Asr. S.M.B. J. F. Usher, Esq., M.D., L.A.H.D. John Walker, Esq. C. M. Watson, Esq. J. N. Wilson, Esq. The Mayor of the City of Ballaarat; and The Chairman, for the time being, of each of the seven Mining Boardsof Victoria. *Nominations vested in the Crown. ADMINISTRATIVE COUNCIL. The President and the Vice-President. W. H. Barnard, Esq. H. R. Caselli, Esq., J.P. P. Chauncy, Esq., J.P. J. Flude, Esq. A. Hoelscher, Esq. R. M. Serjeant,Esq. Asr. S.M.B. J. F. Usher, Esq., M.D., L.A.H.D. The Chairman of Mining Board, Ballaarat. President of Examinations — His Honor Judge Rogers. Honorary Solicitor — The Hon. H. Cuthbert, M.L.C. Honorary Auditor — Richard Ford, Esq. "To fit the miner by a general review of phenomena observed, and processes used in various localities, to adopt what is most suitable to the particular locality." "— — to form links in the chain of improvements." Warington W. Smyth, M.A., Cambridge. APRIL TERM (b. 17th April, e. 24th June), 1876. SUBJECTS and LECTURERS: Mathematics .. .. John Victor, (T.C.D.), J.P. Mining and Land Surveying .. .. C. Wm. Thomas, Mining and Auth. Surv. Mechanics .. .. John Victor, (T.C.D.), J.P. Natural Philosophy .. .. ditto. Principles and Practice of Mining .. .. Robert Malachy Serjeant Mechanical Engineering .. .. John James. Mineralogy .. .. — — Geology as applied to Mining .. .. ditto. Metallurgy and Assaying .. .. Joseph Flude. Chemistry .. .. Joseph Flude. Telegraphy .. .. Wm. P. Bechervaise. German .. .. F. J. Thomas, B.A. French .. .. Ado. Rayroux, Univ. Paris Persons thinking of becoming Pupils are particularly invited to attend The School, and observe the method adopted of imparting instruction. JUNE and DECEMBER EXAMINATIONS. Subjects. Examiners. Euclid (1st six books) .. .. G. J. Russell, M. A & John Lynch, Auth. Surv. Algebra to Quadratic Equations .. .. ditto. Logarithms .. .. ditto. Trigonometry .. .. ditto. Description and use of Mathematical Instruments .. .. John Lynch, Auth. Surv. & P. C. Fitzpatrick, C.S. Drawing, including Plans and Sections, and plotting from Field Book .. .. ditto. Mining and Land Surveying .. .. ditto. Levelling .. .. ditto. Calculations of Areas and Quantities .. .. ditto. Principles and Practice of Mining .. .. R. M. Serjeant. Drawing Plans for and construction of Machinery .. .. John Lewis. Selected Specifications .. .. ditto. Mechanics — Theoretical and Applied with calculation of strength and strain of Materials .. .. — — Natural Philosophy, including Heat Hydraulics Hydrostatics — the Steam Engine .. .. ditto Mineralogy .. .. G. H. F. Ulrich, F.G.S. Geology applied to Mining .. .. ditto. Assaying, including Metallurgy — Theoretical and Practical .. .. J. Cosmo Newbery, B.Sc. Inorganic Chemistry — Theoretical and Practical .. .. ditto. MARCH and SEPTEMBER EXAMINATIONS. Telegraphy .. .. R. L. J. Ellery, F.R.S. & Sam. W. McGowan. [230]

1876 05[edit]
1876 06[edit]
1876 07[edit]

Bechervaise again listed as telegraphy instructor at School of Mines for third term 1876

INGENIO EFFODERE OPES. THE SCHOOL OF MINES, BALLAARAT. VISITOR: His Excellency the Governor. PRESIDENT: The Hon. Sir Wm. Foster Stawell, Kt. VICE-PRESIDENT: His Honor Judge Rogers. TRUSTEES: The Hon. Sir Redmond Barry. Somerville Livingstone Learmonth, Esq. Rivett Henry Bland, Esq. COUNCIL: The President and the Vice-President. *The Hon. Sir Charles Gavan Duffy. *The Hon. John A. MacPherson, M.L.A. *The Hon. Duncan Gillies, M.L.A. *The Hon. William McLellan, M.L.A. *F. McCoy, Esq., F.G.S., Prof. University of Melbourne. *Rev. John I. Bleasdale, D.D., F.G.S. W. H. Barnard, Esq., F.GS. H. R. Caselli, Esq., J.P. P. Chauncy, Esq., J.P. J. M. Davey, Esq. Joseph Flude, Esq. Aug. Hoelscher, Esq. Robert Lewis, Esq., J.P James Oddie, Esq., J.P. John Osborne, Esq. R. M. Serjeant, Esq. Asr. S.M.B. J. F. Usher, Esq., M.D., L.A.H.D. John Walker, Esq. C. M. Watson, Esq. J. N. Wilson, Esq. The Mayor of the City of Ballaarat; and The Chairman, for the time being, of each of the seven Mining Boards of Victoria. *Nominations vested in the Crown. ADMINISTRATIVE COUNCIL. The President and the Vice-President. W. H. Barnard, Esq. H. R. Caselli, Esq., J.P. P. Chauncy, Esq., J.P. J. Flude, Esq. A. Hoelscher, Esq. R. M. Serjeant,Esq. Asr. S.M.B. J. F. Usher, Esq., M.D., L.A.H.D. The Chairman of Mining Board, Ballaarat. President of Examiners — His Honor Judge Rogers. Honorary Solicitor — The Hon. H. Cuthbert, M.L.C. Honorary Auditor —Richard Ford, Esq. "To fit the miner by a general review of phenomena observed, and processes used in various localities, to adopt what is most suitable to the particular locality." "— — to form links in the chain of improvements." Warington W. Smyth, M.A., Cambridge. JULY TERM (b. 17th July, e. 23rd September), 1876 SUBJECTS and LECTURERS: Mathematics .. .. John Victor, (T.C.D.), J.P. Mining and Land Surveying .. .. Charles Wm. Thomas, Mining and Auth. Surv. Mechanics .. .. John Victor, (T.C.D.), J.P. Natural Philosophy .. .. ditto. Principles and Practice of Mining .. .. R. M. Serjeant, Asr. S.M.B. Mechanical Engineering .. .. — — Mineralogy .. .. — — Geology as applied to Mining .. .. ditto. Metallurgy and Assaying .. .. Joseph Flude. Chemistry .. .. Joseph Flude. Telegraphy .. .. Wm. P. Bechervaise. German .. .. F. J. Thomas, Prin. Bal. Co'. French .. .. Ado. Rayroux, Univ. Paris Persons thinking of becoming Pupils are particularly invited to attend The School, and observe the method adopted of imparting instruction. JUNE and DECEMBER EXAMINATIONS. Subjects. Examiners. Euclid (1st six books) .. .. G. J. Russell, M. A & John Lynch, Auth. Surv. Algebra to Quadratic Equations .. .. ditto. Logarithms .. .. ditto. Trigonometry .. .. ditto. Description and use of Mathematical Instruments .. .. John Lynch, Auth. Surv. & P. C. Fitzpatrick, C.S. Drawing, including Plans and Sections, and plotting from Field Book .. .. ditto. Mining and Land Surveying .. .. ditto. Levelling .. .. ditto. Calculations of Areas and Quantities .. .. ditto. Principles and Practice of Mining .. .. R. M. Serjeant, Asr. S.M.B. Drawing Plans for and construction of Machinery .. .. John Lewis. Selected Specifications .. .. ditto. Mechanics — Theoretical and Applied with calculation of strength and strain of Materials .. .. — — Natural Philosophy, including Heat Hydraulics Hydrostatics — the Steam Engine .. .. ditto Mineralogy .. .. G. H. F. Ulrich, F.G.S. Geology applied to Mining .. .. ditto. Assaying, including Metallurgy — Theoretical and Practical .. .. J. Cosmo Newbery, B.Sc. Inorganic Chemistry — Theoretical and Practical .. .. ditto. MARCH and SEPTEMBER EXAMINATIONS. Telegraphy .. .. R. L. J. Ellery, F.R.S. & Sam. W. McGowan. MARCH, JUNE, SEPTEMBER, and DECEMBER EXAMINATIONS. [231]

Bechervaise announces commencement of new telegraph station at Riddell's Creek

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . Mr Bechervaise informs us that telegraphic communication has been established with Riddell's Creek.[232]

1876 08[edit]
1876 09[edit]
1876 10[edit]

Bechervaise steps in for the mayor of Ballarat to accompany VIPs on tour

Mr Rae, Commissioner of the New South Wales Railways, paid a visit to Ballarat on Saturday. He was accompanied by the Hon. J. Woods, M.L.A. The two gentlemen made a rapid tour of the town, Lake Wendouree, and the Botanic Gardens, under the guidance of Mr Bechervaise, our post and telegraph master. The mayor was prevented from doing the honors of the occasion by having to leave Ballarat by the afternoon train for Melbourne, but his worship and Mr Rae had a short chat on the railway platform before his departure. Mr Rae and Mr Woods returned to Melbourne by the evening train, the former gentleman previously (missing line) that during his rambles through Australia he had not come across a town outside of Melbourne and Sydney that approaches Ballarat for the excellence of its streets, or for the beauty of its buildings.[233]

Bechervaise again makes a donation to the School of Mines

THE SCHOOL OF MINES. The administrative council of the School of Mines met on Thursday evening last, the 12th inst., his Honor Judge Rogers vice-president, being in the chair. The following donations since last meeting were reported as having been received and acknowledged with thanks:— Annual Report Department of Mines, New South Wales, 1875, by the Hon. J. Lucas, M.L.A., Minister of Mines; Prize Essays, 1860, by the Victorian Government; Catalogue, Educational Division, South Kensington Museum, by W. H. Barnard, F.G.S.; artificial coal pressed from Lal Lal lignite, by Allan de Lacy; Right Rev. Dr Thornton, £2 2s; A. A. Mayou, of Queensland, £1 1s, towards the expenses of the school; and Alex. Millan, Elaine, £1, for pyrites works; and W. P. Bechervaise, £1 1s, to the endowment fund. Accounts amounting to £15 11s were passed for payment, . . . [234]

Bechervaise again listed as telegraphy instructor at School of Mines for fourth term 1876

Education. INGENIO EFFODERE OPES. THE SCHOOL OF MINES, BALLAARAT. VISITOR: His Excellency the Governor. PRESIDENT: The Hon. Sir Wm. Foster Stawell, Kt. VICE-PRESIDENT: His Honor Judge Rogers. TRUSTEES: The Hon. Sir Redmond Barry. Somerville Livingstone Learmonth, Esq. Rivett Henry Bland, Esq. COUNCIL: The President and the Vice-President. *The Hon. Sir Charles Gavan Duffy, M.L.A. *The Hon. John A. MacPherson, M.L.A. *The Hon. Duncan Gillies, M.L.A. *The Hon. William McLellan, M.L.A. *F. McCoy, Esq., F.G.S., Prof. University of Melbourne. *Rev. John I. Bleasdale, D.D., F.G.S. W. H. Barnard, Esq., F.G.S. H. R. Caselli, Esq., J.P. P. Chauncy, Esq., J.P. J. M. Davey, Esq. Joseph Flude, Esq. Aug. Hoelscher, Esq. Robert Lewis, Esq., J.P. James Oddie, Esq., J.P. John Osborne, Esq. R. M. Serjeant, Esq. Asr. S.M.B. J. F. Usher, Esq., M.D., L.A.H.D. John Walker, Esq. C. M. Watson, Esq. J. N. Wilson, Esq. The Mayor of the City of Ballaarat; and The Chairman, for the time being, of each of the seven Mining Boards of Victoria. *Nominations vested in the Crown. ADMINISTRATIVE COUNCIL. The President and the Vice-President. W. H. Barnard, Esq., F.G.S. H. R. Caselli, Esq., J.P. P. Chauncy, Esq., J.P. J. Flude, Esq. A. Hoelscher, Esq. R. M. Serjeant, Esq. Asr. S.M.B. J. F. Usher, Esq., M.D., L.A.H.D. The Chairman of Mining Board, Ballaarat. President of Examiners — His Honor Judge Rogers. Honorary Solicitor — The Hon. H. Cuthbert, M.L.C. Honorary Auditor —Richard Ford, Esq. "To fit the miner by a general review of phenomena observed, and processes used in various localities, to adopt what is most suitable to the particular locality." "— — to form links in the chain of improvements." Warington W. Smyth, M.A., Cambridge. OCTOBER TERM (b. 16th October, e. 23rd December), 1876. SUBJECTS and LECTURERS: Mathematics .. .. John Victor, (T.C.D.), J.P. Mining and Land Surveying .. .. Charles Wm. Thomas, Mining and Auth. Surv. Mechanics .. .. John Victor, (T.C.D.), J.P. Natural Philosophy .. .. ditto. Principles and Practice of Mining .. .. R. M. Serjeant, Asr. S.M.B. Mechanical Engineering .. .. — — Mineralogy .. .. — — Geology as applied to Mining .. .. ditto. Metallurgy and Assaying .. .. Joseph Flude. Chemistry .. .. Joseph Flude. Telegraphy .. .. Wm. P. Bechervaise. German .. .. F. J. Thomas, Prin. Bal. Gram. School. French .. .. Ado. Rayroux, Univ. Paris Persons thinking of becoming Pupils are particularly invited to attend The School, and observe the method adopted of imparting instruction. JUNE and DECEMBER EXAMINATIONS. Subjects. Examiners. Euclid (1st six books) .. .. G. J. Russell, M. A & John Lynch, Auth. Surv. Algebra to Quadratic Equations .. .. ditto. Logarithms .. .. ditto. Trigonometry .. .. ditto. Description and use of Mathematical Instruments .. .. John Lynch, Auth. Surv. & P. C. Fitzpatrick, C.S. Drawing, including Plans and Sections, and plotting from Field Book .. .. ditto. Mining and Land Surveying .. .. ditto. Levelling .. .. ditto. Calculations of Areas and Quantities .. .. ditto. Principles and Practice of Mining .. .. R. M. Serjeant, Asr. S.M.B. Drawing Plans for and construction of Machinery .. .. John Lewis. Selected Specifications .. .. ditto. Mechanics — Theoretical and Applied with calculation of strength and strain of Materials .. .. — — Natural Philosophy, including Heat Hydraulics Hydrostatics — the Steam Engine .. .. ditto Mineralogy .. .. G. H. F. Ulrich, F.G.S. Geology applied to Mining .. .. ditto. Assaying, including Metallurgy — Theoretical and Practical .. .. J. Cosmo Newbery, B.Sc. Inorganic Chemistry — Theoretical and Practical .. .. ditto. MARCH and SEPTEMBER EXAMINATIONS. Telegraphy .. .. R. L. J. Ellery, F.R.S. & Sam. W. McGowan. MARCH, JUNE, SEPTEMBER, and DECEMBER EXAMINATIONS. . . . FEES.—Payable in advance. . . . In Telegraphy .. .. 1 1 0 . . . [235]

1876 11[edit]

Reduced attendance at Ballarat Turf Club means reduced turnover at the temporary telegraph station there

BALLLARAT TURF CLUB. SPRING MEETING. FIRST DAY.— FRIDAY, 24TH NOVEMBER. Stewards — Messrs A. Chirnside, R. Le Poer Trench, G. G. Morton, J. Winter, W. Wilson, J. O. Inglis, C. W. Gibson, N. A. Wilson, N. R. Macleod, A. E. Ffrench, C. Ayrey. Judge — J. Simson. Starter — W. Brazenor. Secretary — James Johnston. Clerk of the course — T. Wilson. The Spring Meeting of the club for the season 1876 cannot be termed a great success, and the fact is accounted for in a variety of ways. Our readers are well posted up in all matters relating to the late disadvantageous circumstances under which the club’s committee has for the past few months labored, which, added to not very genial weather, and the fact that times are rather dull in and around Ballarat, will account, in a great measure, for the meagre attendance at Dowling Forest on Friday. There were, perhaps, 800 persons on the ground. The lawn, stand, and saddling paddock were greatly robbed of their usual attractions owing to the thin muster, but the course and the countryside about never looked better as far as nature’s beauties were concerned. . . . Under Mr Bechervaise's management the telegraphic arrangements on the ground were all that could be desired, though the amount of business got through must have been small. [236]

1876 12[edit]

Bechervaise's son Herbert Price Bechervaise passes the Civil Service Examination

THE UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE. . . . CIVIL SERVICE EXAMINATION. At the matriculation examination, held in the October Term, 1876, the following per-sons passed the examination qualifying themselves for admission into the ordinary division of the civil service of Victoria:— . . . Herbert Price Bechervaise, S. S.; . . . [237]

1877[edit]

1877 01[edit]

Bechervaise announces the opening of the telegraph office at Portsea

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . Mr Bechervaise informs us that a telegraph-office has been opened at Portsea.[238]

Bechervaise donates ore specimens to the School of Mines

The administrative council, of the School of Mines met on Thursday evening, 11th instant; Mr A Hoelscher in the chair. Accounts amounting to £73 13s 2d were passed for payment, thereby increasing the bank overdraft, as no portion of the grant-in-aid had been received. The following donations, made since last meeting up to the end of the year 1876, had been acknowledged with thanks:— T. A. Hardy, Ballarat, tridescent quartz, Township Quartz Reef Company; Government Statist, Melbourne, parts VIII. and IX.: Statistical Register of Victoria, 1875; Hon. T. MacDermott, M.L.A., "Diamonds and Precious Stones," Emanuel, 1867; Louis Ballhausen, Running Creek, three specimens argentiferous galena, India; W. P. Bechervaise, three specimens tin ore, and detonating cap for cannon; Smith Tibbets, Coburg, iron ore; Hope claim, Running Creek, £1 1s; J. Flude, £2 2s, pyrites fund. At the meeting of the council which followed, E. S. Harris, of Beechworth, and Professor Tate, A.L.S., F.G.S., of Adelaide, were appointed honorary correspondents of the school. [239]

Bechervaise again listed as telegraphy instructor at School of Mines for first term 1877

INGENIO EFFODERE OPES. THE SCHOOL OF MINES, BALLAARAT. VISITOR: His Excellency the Governor. PRESIDENT: The Hon. Sir Wm. Foster Stawell, Kt. VICE-PRESIDENT: His Honor Judge Rogers. TRUSTEES: The Hon. Sir Redmond Barry. Somerville Livingstone Learmonth, Esq. Rivett Henry Bland, Esq. COUNCIL: The President and the Vice-President. *The Hon. Sir Charles Gavan Duffy, M.L.A. *The Hon. John A. MacPher-son, M.L.A. *The Hon. Duncan Gillies, M.L.A. *The Hon. William McLellan, M.L.A. *F. McCoy, Esq., J.P., F.G.S., Prof. Univ. of Melbourne. *Rev. John I. Bleasdale, D.D., F.G.S. W. H. Barnard, Esq., F.G.S. H. R. Caselli, Esq., J.P. P. Chauncy, Esq., J.P. J. M. Davey, Esq. Joseph Flude, Esq., Aug. Hoelscher, Esq. Robert Lewis, Esq., J.P. James Oddie, Esq., J.P. John Osborne, Esq. R. M. Serjeant, Esq. Asr. S.M.B. J. F. Usher, Esq., M.D., L.A.H.D. John Walker, Esq. C. M. Watson, Esq. J. N. Wilson, Esq. The Mayor of the City of Ballaarat; and The Chairman, for the time being, of each of the seven Mining Boards of Victoria. *Nominations vested in the Crown. ADMINISTRATIVE COUNCIL. The President and the Vice-President. W. H. Barnard, Esq., F.G.S. H. R. Caselli, Esq., J.P. P. Chauncy, Esq., J.P. J. Flude, Esq. A. Hoelscher, Esq. R. M. Serjeant, Esq. Asr. S.M.B. J. F. Usher, Esq., M.D., L.A.H.D. The Chairman of Mining Board, Ballaarat. President of Examiners — His Honor Judge Rogers. Honorary Solicitor — The Hon. H. Cuthbert, M.L.C. Honorary Auditor — Richard Ford, Esq. "To fit the miner by a general review of phenomena observed, and processes used in various localities, to adopt what is most suitable to the particular locality." "— — to form links in the chain of improvements." Warington W. Smyth, M.A., F.R.S., F.G.S. JANUARY TERM (b. 15th January, e. 24th March), 1877. SUBJECTS and LECTURERS: Mathematics .. .. John Victor, (T.C.D.), J.P. Mining and Land Surveying .. .. Charles Wm. Thomas, Mining and Auth. Surv. Vic., and Lic. Surv. N.S.W. Mechanics .. .. John Victor, (T.C.D.), J.P. Natural Philosophy .. .. ditto. Principles and Practice of Mining .. .. R. M. Serjeant, Asr. S.M.B. Mechanical Engineering .. .. — — Mineralogy .. .. — — Geology as applied to Mining .. .. ditto. Metallurgy and Assaying .. .. Joseph Flude. Chemistry .. .. Joseph Flude. Telegraphy .. .. Wm. P. Bechervaise. German .. .. F. J. Thomas, Prin. Bal. Gram. School. French .. .. Ado. Rayroux, Univ. Paris Persons thinking of becoming Pupils are particularly invited to attend The School, and observe the method adopted of imparting instruction. JUNE and DECEMBER EXAMINATIONS. Subjects. Examiners. Euclid (1st six books) .. .. G. J. Russell, M. A & John Lynch, Auth. Surv. Algebra to Quadratic Equations .. .. ditto. Logarithms .. .. ditto. Trigonometry .. .. ditto. Description and use of Mathematical Instruments .. .. John Lynch, Auth. Surv. & P. C. Fitzpatrick, C.S. Drawing, including Plans and Sections, and plotting from Field Book .. .. ditto. Mining and Land Surveying .. .. ditto. Levelling .. .. ditto. Calculations of Areas and Quantities .. .. ditto. Principles and Practice of Mining .. .. R. M. Serjeant, Asr. S.M.B. Drawing Plans for and construction of Machinery .. .. John Lewis. Selected Specifications .. .. ditto. Mechanics — Theoretical and Applied with calculation of strength and strain of Materials .. .. — — Natural Philosophy, including Heat Hydraulics Hydrostatics — the Steam Engine .. .. ditto Mineralogy .. .. G. H. F. Ulrich, F.G.S. Geology applied to Mining .. .. ditto. Assaying, including Metallurgy — Theoretical and Practical .. .. J. Cosmo Newbery, B.Sc. Inorganic Chemistry — Theoretical and Practical .. .. ditto. MARCH and SEPTEMBER EXAMINATIONS. Telegraphy .. .. R. L. J. Ellery, F.R.S. & Sam. W. McGowan. MARCH, JUNE; SEPTEMBER, and DECEMBER. EXAMINATIONS. . . .[240]

1877 02[edit]

Bechervaise's advice sought on best means to link the Ballarat fire stations

At a joint meeting of the officers of the City and Ballarat Fire Brigades, held at the Buck's Head hotel last night, it was resolved that the two captains, Messrs Morris and Williams, be empowered to wait upon Mr Bechervaise, of the Telegraph Department, in order to devise the best means of establishing electric communication be-tween the two brigade stations, and bring up a report on the matter at some future meeting.[241]

1877 03[edit]
1877 04[edit]

Bechervaise again listed as telegraphy instructor at School of Mines for second term 1877

APRIL TERM (b. 16th April, e. 25th June), 1877. SUBJECTS and LECTURERS. . . . Telegraphy .. .. Wm. P. Bechervaise. . . . MARCH and SEPTEMBER EXAMINATIONS. Telegraphy .. .. R. L. J. Ellery, F.R.S. & Sam. W. McGowan. . . .[242]

Bechervaise's former premises being promoted to house a museum

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . The City Council has now a chance of getting an excellent building for the proposed museum, which cannot fail to prove very attractive. Mr Bechervaise, the postmaster and telegraph manager, is about to shift his quarters to the Post-office, and we understand that the Telegraph-office will be vacant. Under these circumstances the City Council would do well to see if the building cannot be got for the museum, as the building is suitable, and the site an excellent one.[243]

As previous

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . Mr Bechervaise informs us that the department wishes to keep the ground at the rear of the old Telegraph-office, and that some use will be found for the building. The City Council is not at all likely to want the ground in question, but the building appears to be available for the proposed museum, if the matter is gone properly about, as it is quite clear the department can do without it, seeing that it has done so for many years.[244]

As previous

A MUSEUM. TO THE EDITOR OF THE STAR. SIR,— Having noted in a recent issue of the Star, in the report of last meeting of the City Council, that no reply to the application of the council for the use of the old Telegraph-office lately occupied by Mr Bechervaise had been received from the Postmaster-General, I wish to enquire through your columns if the members of council are earnest in this matter. Is a museum a desideratum in Ballarat? Is the site suitable, and the building itself adapted to the purpose? For my own part, I reply most readily to each of these questions in the affirmative. The building may easily be made to suit the reception of such specimens of art, &c., as would immediately form the nucleus of what may become in time an important repository of rare objects. Again, the site itself is an excellent one. That it is desirable, moreover, that Ballarat should have among other things its museum, is beyond a question of doubt. I would ask, what are the attractions that draw so many of our inland population during holiday seasons, and as leisure or opportunity affords at other times, to the metropolis? Why, its parks, its gardens, its aquatic amusements, free library, museums, and picture galleries. Paterfamilias and pleasure-seekers in general sweep past our picturesque and hospitable city, beholding nothing, it may be, beyond a few scattered buildings as the iron horse moves onward. Not the faintest suspicion of our possessing aught to recreate the mind or charm and delight the sense of visitors crosses their thoughts. I say, Sir, it is our own fault, as it will also be our sure loss, if we do not by every rational method increase the attractions of town and city. We have advantages second to no other inland city in the colonies for making it the resort of, not our neighbors only to the north and west of Ballarat, but of the people also of more distant places and the metropolis itself. Every little helps, and the newer idea of a museum is indeed a valuable one. I trust the council will not lose sight of the subject, nor use slack energy in following it up. The old Telegraph office is no longer necessary to the department of the Postmaster-General, now that the offices of telegraph manager, and postmaster are combined in one person, and it is therefore not necessary nor expedient that the old building which the citizens desire to have for a laudable object should be withheld with the merely objectless view of possessing it. The citizens through their council have a perfectly legitimate claim upon the Government in this matter, and I trust the opportunity will not be allowed to pass of turning it to good account. Presuming the museum to be an accomplished fact, I know a gentleman who intends to contribute to its primitive collections a few curiosities, as well as some useful hints to the trustees as to classification, &c.— Yours, &c., MUSEUM[245]

1877 05[edit]

Bechervaise again donates to the School of Mines

THE SCHOOL OF MINES. The monthly meeting of the administrative council of the school was held on Thursday evening, the 10th instant, at 8 o'clock; Mr P. Chauncy, J.P., in the chair. A large amount of correspondence was read, after which accounts to the amount of £122 15s 3d were passed for payment. Since last meeting the following donations had been made and acknowledged with thanks:— Copies of papers by proprietors, viz.:— Avoca Mail, 20th and 21th April, and 1st May; Benalla Standard, 24th and 27th April, and 8th May; Colonist, Nelson, N.Z., 10th April; Westport Times, N.Z., 10th April. S. R. Krone's "System and machinery for dry crushing and concentrating ores," with plan accompanying, presented by Major J. T. Sleep; No. 1265, "Journal of Society of Arts," London; "Ventilation of rooms generally," presented by Mr Lecturer, W. P. Bechervaise; [246]

Bechervaise provides detailed explanation as to telegram delivery delay

With reference to the complaint made by a correspondent in our columns the other day as to the delay that occurred in the delivery of a telegraphic message in Ballarat, we have obtained the following satisfactory explanation from Mr Bechervaise: — "The telegram addressed to Mr Arthur, Queen street (any part of which is outside the mile circle marked on the telegraph map), was received from Sandhurst on the 1st May, at 11.36 am.; and as the operators did not know the person, and the cabman would not risk obtaining the money with-out a guarantee, a memo, was sent to the Sandhurst office at 11.52, asking for 1s 6d, the cost of delivery, to be guaranteed. No reply bring received from Sandhurst at 3 p.m., a copy of the telegram was posted to Mr Arthur, so as to catch the afternoon delivery by letter carrier. At 3.20 a reply was received from Sandhurst, stating the cost of delivery was paid there, and the telegram was then delivered and signed for by Mr Arthur at 3.45."[247]

Further on possible museum

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . We have reason to believe that our correspondent "Museum," in his letter published on Wednesday, is mistaken as to the motives which he imputes to Mr Bechervaise relative to the old Telegraph-office quarters. Mr Bechervaise is, we believe, indifferent as to who gets the building when he vacates it, and he may, therefore, perhaps see his way to help the City Council in getting it for so useful a purpose as a museum.[248]

Bechervaise to be approached to extend afternoon delivery of letters

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . At the meeting of the Town Council on Friday evening, reference was made to the desirability of an afternoon delivery of letters over a wider range in Ballarat East than at present. Several councillors spoke on the subject, pointing out the mistaken economy of the postal department, and it was resolved that the mayor and town clerk should take the matter in hand. They will probably communicate first with Mr Bechervaise, and should he not be able to make a change, the Postmaster-General will be asked to do so. The request is certainly a reasonable one, and there should be no difficulty in granting it.[249]

1877 06[edit]
1877 07[edit]

Bechervaise again listed as telegraphy instructor at School of Mines for third term 1877

JULY TERM (b. 16th July, e. 22nd Sept.), 1877. SUBJECTS and LECTURERS. . . . Telegraphy .. .. Wm. P. Bechervaise. . . . MARCH and SEPTEMBER EXAMINATIONS. Telegraphy .. .. R. L. J. Ellery, F.R.S. & Sam. W. McGowan. . . .[250]

1877 08[edit]

Bechervaise leads vote of thanks to a lecturer at the Town Mission Debating Society and is in turn nominated to lecture himself

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . At the meeting of the Town Mission Debating Society on Thursday evening, 9th instant, Mr M. Hosking in the chair, Mr Robert Lorimer delivered a most interesting and instructive lecture upon "Heat." He handled his subject in a masterly manner, his quotations and illustrations were singularly apt, and he was attentively listened to throughout by all present. In proposing a vote of thanks to the lecturer, Mr Bechervaise expressed his regret that the Town Mission-hall had not been filled on the occasion, and he included in his motion a request to Mr Lorimer to re-deliver his lecture when he could make it convenient to do so. The proposition was seconded by Mr M. Hosking, the town missionary, who made a few remarks, as to the pleasure he felt assured all had experienced in hearing Mr Lorimer. The motion was vociferously and unanimously carried. Mr Bechervaise was requested to favor the society with a lecture, which he promised to do at some future time, the subject to be "Electricity, and other hidden forces as applied to modern telegraphy." In complying with this wish he took occasion to point out the advantages obtainable at the School of Mines, advocating its claims and giving some few particulars with reference to the different classes at that admirable institution, concluding by inviting all to visit the school and see for themselves. [251]

1877 09[edit]
1877 10[edit]

Bechervaise's lady telegraphy students awarded certificates

THE SCHOOL OF MINES. The quarterly meeting of the council of the School, was held on 11th inst. Present — His Honor Judge Rogers, vice-president (in the chair), Messrs Flude, Bickett, Hoelscher, Caselli, J.P.; Usher, M.D.; and Barnard. The minutes of the previous meeting were read and confirmed. It was unanimously resolved that Robert Etheridge, jun., F.G.S., be appointed honorary correspondent for Edinburgh. That the reports of the examiners be adopted, and certificates granted as follows:— In telegraphy — Elizabeth Margaret Hamilton Mackintosh, with credit ; John August Louis Luth, with credit; Laura Maria Cook, James Paul Harris, and Richard Hain, jun. That leave of absence for October term be granted to Mr Examiner Lynch, at his request, in consequence of his son intending to present himself for examination in December next, and that Prof. Andrew, M.A., be politely requested to prepare the papers for this examination. Draft bill of incorporation, so far as prepared, laid on the table, the vice-president undertaking to complete it. The meeting then adjourned, after which the usual monthly meeting of the administrative council was held. A large amount of correspondence was read, and accounts to the amount of £64 9s were passed for payment. The following donations, made since last meeting, were acknowledged with thanks:— Issue of following newspapers from proprietors, viz., Ballarat Star, Ballarat Courier, Avoca Mail, and Benalla Standard; catalogue, &c., Messrs Scanlan, jun., and Co., Walsall, England; a quantity of shavings, Mr J. Butterworth, contractor; Thorpe's Inorganic Chemistry Non-Metals, Ed. 1874, Mr T. Newbury; the Engineer, weekly issue of from 1865-1877 (inclusive), with exception of a few numbers missing, Mr W. H. Shaw; box of minerals, Mr P. Mathews; loan of model of self-acting brake for winding engines, Mr. W. McLeish; monthly record of the results of observations in meteorology, terrestrial magnetism, taken at the Melbourne Observatory during May, 1877, Government astronomer; £1 1s from Mr. A. Lewers, J.P., Creswick, and 5s from Mr. F. Ellsworth, Talbot, toward the Government fund; Mr W. P. Bechervaise, £1 1s. It was resolved that the School’s architect be requested to prepare plans and estimates for the east fence. It was reported that since last meeting thirty-one visitors had inspected the School, and eight fresh students had been enrolled. The council then adjourned.[252]

Bechervaise again listed as telegraphy instructor at School of Mines for fourth term 1877

OCTOBER TERM (b. 15th Oct., e. 22nd Dec.), 1877. SUBJECTS and LECTURERS. . . . Telegraphy .. .. Wm. P. Bechervaise. . . . MARCH and SEPTEMBER EXAMINATIONS. Telegraphy .. .. R. L. J. Ellery, F.R.S. & Sam. W. McGowan. . . .[253]

1877 11[edit]

Bechervaise again assists the Ballarat Turf Club with temporary telegraph office

BALLARAT TURF CLUB SPRING MEETING. SECOND DAY.— FRIDAY, 23RD NOVEMBER. The attendance at Dowling Forest on the second day of the races was somewhat better than on the first, and there must have been about 3500 persons on the ground, some 400 of whom went by train to Sulky Gully, and walked thence to the course. His Excellency Sir George Bowen, and the party who were with him on the first day, attended the races on Friday, with the addition of the Hon. J. Woods. The lawn was well filled with ladies, who by reason of the fine weather were able to present themselves in bright summer costume, and the general effect of the sight from the grand stand was very pretty indeed. . . . The arrangements connected with the racing were perfectly carried out by the secretary and stewards, and Mr Bechervaise, who was in charge of the telegraph-office on the ground, and gave the utmost satisfaction to the public, desires to acknowledge the kindness of Mr Johnston and Mr T. Wilson, the clerk of the course, to himself and his staff. . . .[254]

1877 12[edit]

1878[edit]

1878 01[edit]

At the Juvenile Industrial Exhibition, Bechervaise to assist with Kirklands telephone demonstration and his own Morse / Wheatstone telegraph apparatus

THE JUVENILE INDUSTRIAL EXHIBITION. (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.) BALLARAT, SATURDAY EVENING. At the regular meeting of the executive committee of the Juvenile Industrial Exhibition, held last night, the honorary secretary stated that there had been received to date 1,476 applications for space, embracing over 2,000 exhibits and requiring 1,145½ square feet of floor space 2,136ft. of table space, and 7,268ft. of wall space; total, 10,549 square feet; but this did not include the model railway, with its stations, bridges, locomotives, trucks, wagons, &c., nor the traction engine, all of which would be shown in the market-shed separately. Of the exhibitors, 768 were males and 708 females. The contributions to the exhibition are as follow:— Victoria, 1,408 entries; New South Wales, 32; New Zealand, 30; Tasmania, 4; South Australia, 1; and Western Australia, 1. The principal Victorian contributors are:— Ballarat 586; Melbourne, 336; Geelong, 151; Sandhurst, 65; Creswick, 28; Daylesford, 20; Clunes, 14; Castlemaine, 12; and so on to districts with only one entry each. The secretary said the exhibits were beginning to come in well, and applications for space were still being made, and he thought the capacity of the hall would be taxed to its utmost. A gentleman present desired to know if non-competitive exhibits would be still received, because there were some manufacturers who had expressed their wish to show some very interesting articles if they would be permitted, and the committee decided to permit such to be received to date of opening. It was stated that Mr Long, of Ballarat East, had promised to transfer one of his lolly manufacturing machines to the exhibition, with a lad to work it daily, to show how the sweets were made. A master printer had also promised to send one of his printing presses, with a lad to work it daily. With regard to the working of Mr Kirkland's telephone it was stated that Mr Bechervaise, the local telegraph superintendent, had most kindly offered every assistance in his power, and had offered to attend himself occasionally, and to send one of his operators too, if the department did not object. He also recommended the committee to get two of Morse's and two of Wheatstone's instruments to show the working of the telegraph system, which will be done. Among the latest special novelties to be shown are a model flour mill, and a model marine-engine, both to be kept at work daily to show their respective actions. No answers had yet been received from any of the friendly societies, the volunteers, or the fire brigades, on the matter of a procession on the opening day, but Major Sleep having consented to act as marshal on that day, he was appointed to the office. The committee decided to whom cards of invitation should be forwarded for the opening day, and the entrance-fee for that and the following day was fixed at 2s. 6d. each. The secretary said he had written to the city and town councils, requesting them to make some arrangements for the reception and entertainment of His Excellency the Governor on the opening day. The tender of Mr Bruun to provide a band on each evening of the exhibition was accepted.[255]

1878 02[edit]

Bechervaise also getting involved in telephone experiments

Mr Bechervaise intends to make experiments here in a day or two with a telephone apparatus constructed in Melbourne.[256]

Detailed report of the telephone experiments by Bechervaise, Challen, Blandford, James

THE TELEPHONE. Very interesting and successful experiments with the last great revelation of science, the telephone, were made on Sunday at the Ballarat and Melbourne telegraph offices simultaneously. Sunday was selected as the day for experiment, not that the gentlemen operating have not due respect for the fourth commandment, but because on that day only the telegraph lines are not used, and the work of important scientific trial of a great discovery can be carried on without interruption. At the Melbourne office Mr James and a few other gentlemen attended at 11 a.m., the time agreed upon, while Messrs Bechervaise, Challen, Blandford, Macaw, Whitelaw, with a few gentlemen specially invited, and the representatives of the Press, occupied the Ballarat office. Mr P. R. Challen, a clever electrician employed at the Melbourne office, and a member of the Torpedo Corps, is, we are informed, the gentleman, who constructed the first telephones ever seen in Victoria, from some of which results completely satisfactory have been obtained. He obtained his idea of the instrument from the description of Professor Bell’s given by the Scientific American, though he never anticipated obtaining the results detailed by some American papers. Mr. Challen's telephone is constructed thus:— A magnetised steel bar about 6 inches long forms the core; at one end of this, thin silk-covered copper wire, in quantity proportionate to the resistance of the line, is wound; the core is then enclosed in a wooden case; close to and in front of the coil of wire a very thin plate of iron called the diaphragm is fixed, and the upper part of the wooden case forms a kind of bell or sound concentrator. The ends of the copper wire are connected with the telegraph or connecting wire between the two persons who wish to talk, and each person having a telephone, communication is established. The person speaking holds his telephone to his mouth, letting it touch his chin, and speaks into it in a clear, distinct manner. The sound causes the diaphragm to vibrate, and these slight vibrations so affect the magnetised steel bar that by an electromagnetic effect a current of electricity is created in the encircling coil of wire. Flashing along the line of communication to the second telephone, it passes reversely through the coils, and affecting the magnetism of the bar causes the diaphragm to vibrate and produce sounds similar to those shouted into the sending telephone. The sound itself does not travel, but, by an application of that marvellous agent electricity, is reproduced. In 1861 one Reiss, of Frankfort, constructed a telephone which transmitted musical sounds, and anticipations of it seem to have existed for very many years. Professor Bell brought it to its present pitch, and by experiments such as are now being made all over the world, we may hope to reach in earnest that imaginative account given in jest by an American journal, wherein it was stated that a large audience could sit in a room and listen to a concert given in another room 30 miles away, the sound coming by telephone with as much distinctness as though the audience and the singers were only 30 feet apart. Messrs Bechervaise and Challen acted as conductors of the experiments here, and a lively conversation with the Melbourne operators commenced. On placing the telephone to the ear to listen for the answer, the words came in a faint thin tone, but one so exquisitely clear that the very inflexions of the speaker’s voice could be noticed. "Cooey," from its open, vowel sound, could always be heard, but sibilant and guttural sounds did not always come plainly. At times the answers were wonderfully distinct, every word falling on the ear with refreshing clearness. The voice always, however, seemed to be refined, and, as it were, thinned away until the sounds seemed to come from fairy-like creatures seated in the recesses of the telephone. The voice of Mr Bechervaise was recognised by Mr. James, and friendly greetings were exchanged. The Melbourne men said that it rained, and asked to be cheered with a song. They were regaled with "Hold the fort," the strains of which they did not recognise! Whether this was due to the slips of the singers, or to want of knowledge of religious matters on the part of the hearers, remained an open question. The Melbourne operators then sang ‘"God Save the Queen, taking different parts. The melody came through with the utmost distinctness, the tenor voice sounding remarkably clear. The fairy sounds were so attractive that "Encore" was shouted from this end and the peal of laughter that burst from the lips of those who had been singing was plainly audible here, 100 miles from the vocalists. Conversation followed, and everyone had a chance of hearing for himself the replies from Melbourne. At half past 12, after the most successful experiments yet made, an appointment was made for 3 o’clock, and the parties separated. At 3 a large party, including a few ladies, assembled in the Ballarat office, and experiments made again. A flute was played at the Melbourne end, a telephone being placed on it. At this end the sound resembled "horns of Elf-land faintly blowing," every note coming with a purity and distinctness very pleasing. Communication now began to change for the worse, and frequently words and whole sentences of a speech seemed to be arrested, or to only reach the ear in a series of funny crackles. It was stated that heavy rain was falling, and that disturbing electrical influences were prevalent, so that the second sitting was closed early. Mr Challen will, we believe, remain here, and some more experiments may be made tonight. The success attending the operations here is apparent when we state that from Sydney to East Maitland only "Cooey" would travel, and that from Melbourne to Albury, 190 miles, only an occasional word could be communicated. Here ordinary conversation could be heard, though the telephone had to be held closely to the ear. Challen has substituted for a magnetised piece of steel with soft iron core, as Professor Bell uses, a piece of steel without the iron. Mr H. Sutton, who made a very good pair of telephones on Professor Bell's principle, and who used them on Sunday, found them inferior in power to Mr Challen's.[257]

As previous, a slightly different report with some further detail

Writing about the success of the telephone the Ballarat correspondent of the Clunes Guardian gives the following account of an experiment made last Sunday, between Ballarat and Melbourne, with the instrument: — The day was selected as being the only one on which the telegraph wires between Ballarat and Melbourne were open for the purpose of the experiment. The telegraph office was the scene of operations, the instrument used being one made by Mr Challen, of the Melbourne department, after Professor Bell's principle, and the operators were Mr. W. P. Bechervaise, head of the Ballarat department, and Mr Challen. A somewhat large party assembled on the occasion, and Melbourne was spoken with. "What is the weather like with you?" asked Mr Bechervaise through the telephone. Almost at once came the reply, very clear and audible, "Ah! Bechervaise, is that you old fellow?" The Melbourne operator had recognised the voice. Then came the reply. "It's raining here and gloomy; give us a song to cheer us up." Some of the ladies in the Ballarat office then sang "Hold the fort," when "thank you" was answered from Melbourne. The metropolitan operators then gave "God save the Queen," with telling effect; the strains of the grand old anthem reaching Ballarat so clearly as to enable a musical critic present to remark that the tenor in the choral parts was a very good and well trained voice. "Encore! encore!" was sent to Melbourne and was responded to by the singers with a merry peal of laughter, also distinctly heard in the Ballarat office. The experiments, it is stated, will prove more successful than any yet made in the colony. The distance of telegraph wires between the two sets of operators was, as your readers will probably be aware, over 102 miles.[258]

Bechervaise's son Walter Reed Bechervaise part of a team preparing a massive model of the Western Railway Station

It is anticipated that all arrangements for the opening of the Juvenile Industrial Exhibition will be completed by Thursday morning, and, from the progress being made, this seems more than probable. A large number of packages arrived at the Alfred Hall yesterday, including the model of the Western railway station from the employes of the Phoenix Foundry Company. It is the work of three apprentices of the Phoenix Foundry — F. Stevenson, A. Clarke, and W. Bechervaise. The material is wood, the model being on a scale of about 1½ inches to the foot, and is a little over 12 feet by 10 feet in dimensions. The workmanship is excellent, and the model is a very creditable piece of work. The time taken in its construction was about three months.[259]

It would appear that Sutton is the original inventor of what we would now call a telephone handset, Bechervaise in the wings

A NEW TELEPHONE. Some interesting and very successful experiments in telephony were made few evenings ago at Mr H. Sutton's music warehouse in Sturt street, in the presence of Mr Oddie, Mr Bechervaise, the postmaster, Mr Blandford of the Telegraph-office, and several other gentlemen. The instruments experimented with were two of Professor Bell’s portable telephones (made by Mr Sutton), from which splendid results were obtained, and a new form of telephone, described by its inventor, Mr H. Sutton, as a compound telephone, and the general opinion of those who witnessed the experiments is, that in spite of the adverse circumstances under which they took place, this telephone is a great improvement on Professor Bell's. In all the experiments a resistance, equal to 30 miles of ordinary telegraph wire was used in the circuit. It appears whilst experimenting seven months ago with the horseshoe form of permanent magnet, the poles of which were surrounded with convolutions of fine wire and various diaphragms, he found that when subjecting a vibrating diaphragm to the action of both poles of the magnet at the same time, instead of the entire magnetic force being utilised in evolving electricity, that part of the force was neutralised in the diaphragm, which seemed to act in the same way as the keeper of a permanent magnet. He found by presenting only one pole of the same magnet to the diaphragm that a far stronger current was evolved, and knowing the action is reciprocal between each pole of the same magnet, the idea was suggested to place a coil of wire on both ends of a bar magnet. The compound form of telephone is the outcome of these and other experiments. This instrument is different from Bell's portable telephone, in that it consists of a curved magnet, surrounded by coils of wire at both ends. Each coil has a separate diaphragm, the curve of the magnet being so arranged that one diaphragm comes opposite the mouth of the operator, whilst the other diaphragm reaches his ear. The following good results are obtainable from the arrangement:— 1st. That he can both speak and listen at the same moment. 2nd. That it evolves more intensity of sound. 3rd. The timbre of sounds transmitted are reproduced more perfectly. 4th. When used as a transmitting instrument the results obtained from all other telephones of the ordinary form in the same circuit are considerably improved. 5th. The instrument is mounted on an adjustable stand, which leaves both hands of the operator free. In Professor Bell's arrangement two telephones are necessary, one held to the ear, another to the mouth, both hands being thus engaged. Mr Sutton's telephone being compound, opens up a new field for experimental research, and we understand that he is still engaged in experiments which may further improve the application of telephonic science.[260]

Further experiments with Challen's telephones

NEWS AND NOTES. . . . Some fifty or so ladies and gentlemen gathered by invitation at the telegraph-office on Friday evening for the purpose of hearing some telephonic experiments in the shape of communication between the Ballarat and Melbourne offices, but owing to an unusual press of messages on all the lines, the experiments were not successful. Mr Challen, late of Buninyong and now of the the Melbourne office, was here with half a dozen telephones of his own construction, and as only partial communication was possible with Melbourne, Mr Bechervaise and Mr Challen kindly arranged that experiments should be made between an upper and the lower room through 100 miles of coil, and the party having divided, communications were soon established, and several songs were sung and distinctly heard. The pains and politeness of the operating gentlemen merit the thanks of all who were present, and we are pleased to learn that further opportunities will be afforded of testing the uses of the new and wonderful invention, in which lie we know not what immense possibilities and utilities in the future.[261]

Further successful experiments with Challen's telephones

Very successful experiments were made on Saturday and Sunday, in Ballarat, with the telephone. On Saturday evening, at the invitation of Mr J. Oddie, about twenty-two gentlemen sat down to an excellent dinner at Craig's hotel, which was given in connection with a telephonic seance. Mr Bechervaise, chief of the Ballarat Telegraph Office, occupied the chair, and Mr Mayor Gray the vice-chair. After dinner, and the usual toasts, Mr Bechervaise gave a short address on electricity in general, and Mr Challen read a paper also treating of electricity, more particularly in connection with the telephone, and giving a description of the telephone and how it worked. Experiments were then made with the instrument, wires having been brought into the hotel from the main telegraph line, and connection having been established between two rooms In the hotel a good distance apart, very successful results were obtained. Voices were distinguished without difficulty, and the persons named to whom they belonged. Singing was also successfully transmitted. The experiments were kept up until a late hour, when the company separated well satisfied with the outcome of the experiments. On Sunday morning, the telephone was called into requisition between the Ballarat and Melbourne telegraph offices. "Cooeys" were heard very plainly from Melbourne, and singing also. One of the operators in Melbourne, being asked who was speaking, named correctly, first Mr Challen and then Mr Bechervaise. The Sunday morning experiments were altogether very successful. The fact that singing is transmitted much easier and plainer than ordinary speaking points to the conclusion that the best way to carry on a conversation with the telephone is in a high-pitched voice, or by intoning. Further experiments may be looked for at no distant date. [262]

As previous, a more detailed report in the Star, Bechervaise oversights telephone experiments driven by Challen

TELEPHONIC SEANCES. Twenty or thirty gentlemen were invited by Mr James Oddie, the Maecenas of local telephony, to dine at Craig's hotel on Saturday evening, for the purpose of hearing some explanations of and experiments with the telephone. Mr Bechervaise, chief of the Ballarat post and telegraph department, presided, and the Mayor of the City, Mr J. W. Gray, occupied the vice-chair, the company including Mr Challen, the Melbourne telephonist, who has made this branch of science a special study. As is common at Craig’s, the dinner was well served, and when the heavier business of the table was over, Mr Bechervaise explained in a short speech the nature of electro-telegraphy, and Mr Challen then in a longer address detailed the development of telephony, from Professor Bell's experiments with the human ear to the construction of the telephone with it's tiny diaphragm, the representative of the human tympanum. Mr Bechervaise told the company he had learned to put aside the word "current" in connection with electricity, and to use the word "force" instead, but what the force was he did not pretend to say. Mr Challen appeared to regard the force by which sounds were transmitted by the magneto-electric apparatus, by telegraph or telephone, as molecular, not vibratory. He also had some doubts, therefore, whether the coils of wire which were used in telephonic experiments to represent given mileage distances did really so represent the distances expressed. Mr Challen said he had been, he thought, the first in this hemisphere to experiment largely in the construction and use of the telephone, and he complimented Mr Sutton, of Ballarat, on his successes, and hoped that they might be mutually helpful. He expressed his sense of the very great compliment paid him that night, and of the generous hospitality afforded by the host, Mr Oddie. Mr P. Cazaly and Mr J. Robson added vocal and instrumental music to the charms of the evening, and Mr Bechervaise drew visions of private telephonic boxes at telegraph stations, where Brown, Jones, or Robinson, taking his key with him, could go and have a chat with Mrs. Brown, Jones, or Robinson, a few hundreds or thousands of miles distant. Mr Flude, of the School of Mines, had intended to say something bearing upon the science of motion, but the time had grown late, and he contented himself with moving a vote of thanks to Mr Challen for his interesting address and his experiments, to which Mr Challen briefly responded. A vote of thanks was also passed, accompanied by musical honors, to Mr Oddie, for his hospitality and his interest in the new development of applied science, Mr Oddie replying in a few modest words. Then came the experiments. Wires had been placed round the dining-hall, and thence along passages to another room in the hotel, the company divided, each party haying telephones attached to the wires, and thus, through coil distances ranging from 98 to 200 miles, conversations were held and songs sung with entire success. It was stated that Professor Bell had conversed at 1500 miles, and heard a man's breath at 100 miles, a quite credible statement now, for, as Mr Bechervaise remarked, he had had instantaneous replies at 1500 miles by telegraph, and was, for his part, quite ready to believe anything. Mr Challen, with a magnetic coil and a common biscuit-tin in place of the telephone proper, obtained similar results to those obtained with the telephone, thus showing that the transmission of sounds is possible with very rude material. On Sunday morning a number of gentlemen assembled at the Telegraph-office, and took part in some further telephonic experiments, which were arranged by Mr Bechervaise and Mr Challen, whose name has come rather prominently forward lately in connection with the construction of telephones. Four instruments were placed in circuit here, and communication was held with the Melbourne office, where it appeared there were only a few operators at the time. A quartette party here sang several sacred airs, and "Home, sweet home," which the Melbourne man said he heard very distinctly, and he mentioned the names of the airs. As the experiments proceeded it was found that someone else had entered the Melbourne office, the operators in which were prevailed upon to sing, and the first thing that came through distinctly was recognised immediately us "Sunny days," after which the music of "The brother's lullaby" was reproduced in the Ballarat telephones. Between the singing a more or less continuous conversation was kept up, and a solo sang in Melbourne, though it was not recognised by the gentlemen in, the Ballarat office, was heard here very plainly. A musical box was placed in circuit here, and the music from it was heard in Melbourne. The proceedings closed by "God save the Queen" being sung and repeated in Melbourne, every note being heard here distinctly. Mr Bechervaise considered these experiments to be the best yet held in Ballarat, and hopes that at the next seance things will go better still.[263]

Bechervaise's son Walter Reed Bechervaise exhibits at the Juvenile Industrial Exhibition

AUSTRALIAN JUVENILE INDUSTRIAL EXHIBITION. The success of the Australian Juvenile Industrial Exhibition seems to be more pronounced than even its most sanguine supporters anticipated. Up to the close of the exhibition last night 1370 persons had entered the hall, including the representatives of single and family season tickets, and the general opinion that was expressed regarding the display was one of unqualified admiration. The receipts for the day amounted to £70 96 6d, of which £21 was for season tickets. It is not only, amongst the residents of Ballarat that this gratifying view of the exhibition is entertained. Strangers from all parts of the colony keep dropping in, and so great is the enthusiasm that a special apprentices train has been arranged for to leave Sandhurst at half-past seven on Wednesday morning, and Castlemaine at half-past eight o'clock, to arrive in Ballarat about one o'clock, and start on the return journey about five p.m. In the hurry of getting things ready for the opening of the exhibition, there was little classification of the exhibits. This, indeed, could not have been done, for the exhibits then were, and still are, incomplete; but things are beginning now to be put into better order, and we trust that classification will go on steadily. . . . CLASS III.— Building materials, decorations, and models of building — This is an interesting division in connection with the exhibition and when there is a little more order in the way of classification, will no doubt prove very attractive. The railway station model, rather a clever piece of work, has not yet been finished. It is being put together in the machinery yard, having been manufactured by the following apprentices at the Phoenix Foundry, viz.:— F. Stephenson, A. Clark, R. Bodycomb, and Walter Bechervaise. . . .[264]

Another report of the experiments (Ballarat correspondent of Camperdown Chronicle), author waxing poetic

BALLARAT. (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.) BALLARAT, February 23. . . . I was one of a party invited to a telephonic seance at Craig's hotel on Saturday evening, the affair including an elegant banquet at the charges of Mr. James Oddie, a liberal patron of the new discovery, or the new development of old discoveries. Mr. Bechervaise, our post and telegraph master, presided, and the city mayor, Mr. J. W. Gray, was in the vice chair. Mr. Challen, the leading telephonist in Melbourne was present with several telephones, and after dinner the party divided, some remaining in the dining room, and others going to an other room with which, through, divers passages, communication was established by wires, and a circuit of 200 miles, in wire coils, effected. Each room party had telephones, and thus conversation was had, songs were sung, and the 200 miles of distance were practically annihilated. Mr. Bechervaise imagines we shall have our private telephones by-and bye under lock and key at the telegraphic offices, and have quiet chats when we like with our friends in Europe or America. Why not? And if our action may be photographed upon eternal space, and read by the angel, why, too, may there not be in space an etherial-used diaphramic condition of matter by which, with etherial circuits established or establishable, the stars may literally sing and talk together, and the distance of Uranus, multiplied a thousand fold, be but a little stage in the infinite travels of all but instantaneous exchanges of vocal thought? There seems really to be no limit to the imaginable possibilities of telephonic operation in the sense I have indicated. Our operators are bound by their powers of establishing relatively coarse continuity of circuit, be it for a mile or a thousand miles. But what infinite refinements, and extensions, and perfections of communication may there not be in God's great scientific laboratory in limitless ether, by means of which a universe of peopled worlds may be in perpetual social vocal union. Nay, do we not get glimpses through these miracles of realised science of what omniscience and omnipotence may be, and what may be their modes of operation? I do not know how high or wide or long the celestial seat of the gods may be, but I suppose it is u big place, and the telephone and telegraph enable us, nevertheless, to understand wider interpretation to be put on the Roman poet's reference to Jove's dread power which shook all Heaven by a nod. Et tetum mutu tremefeit Olympum? The "fierce light that beats upon the throne" is nothing to this all blabbing faculty of light and sound playing upon the infinite receptivity of recording space. But Solomon's father knew all this I suppose, and he wrote " Whither shall we flee from thy presence?" On Sunday at the telegraph office, very good telephonic interchanges of talk and song were had with Melbourne.[265]

1878 03[edit]

Bechervaise hosts an illustration of electricity by the little know John Palmer

ILLUSTRATIONS OF ELECTRICITY AND THE ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH. On Friday evening Mr John Palmer, who for many years has been a student of the science of electricity, and who was aided by perhaps the finest private collection of electrical instruments in the colony, gave a very interesting illustrative lecture at State-school No. 34, before an audience of scholars and their friends. The large room upstairs had been fitted up with the necessary electrical appliances (including an induction coil containing seven miles of wire, which had been made by Mr Palmer himself), together with diagrams, upon which he lucidly illustrated the science. Mr Bechervaise was voted to the chair, and thought Mr Palmer ought to have given the notice of his illustrative lecture fuller publicity. From his (the chairman's) knowledge of Mr Palmer's acquaintance in telegraphy and telephony, he was sure the audience would have a treat in store. Mr Palmer said he had been for many years a thorough student of electricity and telegraphy; but he did not intend to lecture on the present occasion, but to give practical illustrations of electricity and galvanism in a manner to make the power understood by the youngest intellect, as well as to interest the adult. His desire was to give the young community an idea of the importance of the science of electricity. There was in the city a School of Mines, where tuition was given on the subject, but he was sorry to say that it was not patronised as it should be. He did not want to interfere with their mission, but to give such instruction in the State schools that would lead the young people to pursue the subject with pleasure and profit to themselves, and tend to the advancement of this very important science. Mr Palmer then illustrated the effect of an ordinary battery on the galvanometer, which was the principle of the needle telegraph. He said the system of telegraphic alphabets were now reduced to the needle and Morse recording systems. The illustrator then showed that, by the needle instrument, the two indicators, though miles apart, must act in concert when connected by an electric wire; so that electricity was somewhat simple after all. Mr Palmer then, with the assistance of a small engine, showed that machinery could be driven by electricity, but did not think the latter would supersede steam. Yet it showed that electricity was still an important motive power. The principle of the Morse instrument was then explained, as well as the alphabet, and the method of transmission. Mr Palmer proceeded to illustrate the effect of the electromagnet, by which the magnet, with the two small poles connected, held suspended a handful of nails, as well as an iron plate which might weigh over 20lb. By means of a small coil in connection with the larger, Mr Palmer afterwards showed the principle of current and induced electricity. By means of Geisler tubes, the lecturer gave a very pretty exhibition of induced electricity, explaining that the vacuum tubes through which the blue electric flame passed contained a small portion of atmospheric air or other gas, but not equal to the ordinary pressure. He said that it had been found that different gases gave forth different coloured lights, and showed this by a number of experiments with tubes of various construction, exhibiting the several colors produced by the various gases. Mr Palmer then stated that there was one other use to which current electricity was sometimes applied, but not so often as it should be — that was for blasting in mines. The use of fuse had resulted in many lives being lost, which might be prevented by the use of electricity. By the explosion of a small piece of gun-cotton, and the application of the battery, he showed the simplicity of the method, and the manner in which torpedoes were exploded. Mr Palmer concluded his very interesting and practical illustrations amid applause, and said his intention, on a future occasion, was to give a telephonic seance in the same room, when with twenty instruments he would enable so many persons to hear a conversation carried on, no matter how far apart. For the amusement of the audience, Mr Palmer then exhibited a number of chromotropes of exceptional beauty, which were separately the cause of much admiration, and were heartily applauded. On the motion of Mr Dyte, seconded by Mr Whitehead, a vote of thanks was accorded to Mr Palmer for his interesting and instructive illustrative lecture, both gentlemen expressing an opinion that Mr Palmer should give more publicity to his next entertainment. Mr Palmer replied, and moved a vote of thanks to the chairman for the aid rendered by his presence that evening. The vote was carried by acclamation, and the entertainment closed.[266]

1878 04[edit]

Bechervaise donates to the Ballarat District Hospital

BALLARAT DISTRICT HOSPITAL Incorporated. The following amounts, received from all sources during the month of March, 1878, are hereby grate-fully acknowledged:— £ s. d. . . . W. P. Bechervaise, Sturt street . . . 1 1 0[267]

Bechervaise again supports the Ballarat Turf Club meeting with the temporary telegraph office

BALLARAT TURF CLUB AUTUMN MEETING. Thursday, 11th April. Patron — his Excellency Sir Geo. F. Bowen. President — W. J. Clarke. Stewards — Messrs N. R. Macleod, J. Hardy, A. Chirnside, G. G. Morton, A. Wynne, C. W. Gibson, W. Bailey, Hector Wilson. Judge — J. Simson. Starter — A. M. Greenfield. Handicapper — E. T. Barnard. Secretary —J. Johnston. Splendid racing weather ushered in the Autumn Meeting of the club. The attendance at Dowling Forest was not so large as we expected would have been the case, the "road" difficulties, and the insatiable greed of "cabby," acting as of yore as a considerable handicap to a good muster. By Mr Joseph Thompson's special train, which arrived from Melbourne at 11.25, something under 100 sporting men put in an appearance, the two American and three ordinary carriages being but fairly occupied. At a little after 11 o'clock a general start was made for Dowling Forest, the "road" having the best of matters, or, in fact, matters all to itself, as no railway arrangements were made to the Sulky Gully platform. At the time the first race started there were perhaps some 1200 persons on the ground. The bookmaking fraternity, which seems to grow in number and strength each season, was more than usually well represented, and in the saddling paddock a ceaseless howl was kept up. It was a case of "all cry but little wool," for betting flagged more than we ever remember to have noticed. It was all double event long shots, very little straight out business being transacted. The course arrangements were all that could be wished, and though a little burnt up and devoid of verdure, the course itself looked well. There was only a fair attendance of ladies, so that the lawn was divested of much of the gay appearance so characteristic of the club's spring meetings. The whole surroundings of the meeting were of a pleasant character, which, barring the din created by the metallics, resembled more a private outing than a public gathering. Prompt time was kept, and the rather lengthy card was got through without delay. Mr Bechervaise, with his staff, was at the telegraph-office on the ground, and gave every facility to Press and public having business to transact with his department. . . .[268]

Bechervaise again donates to the School of Mines

THE SCHOOL OF MINES. The monthly meeting of the administrative council of the School was held on Thursday evening the 11th instant. Present — Mr H. R. Caselli, J.P. (in the chair), and Messrs Hoelscher, Usher, M.D., L.A.H.D., Flude, and Barnard. The month’s correspondence was read, and accounts to the amount of £46 11s 6d were passed for payment. The following donations made since last meeting were acknowledged with thanks:— . . . one guinea from W. P. Bechervaise, Ballarat; . . .[269]

1878 05[edit]

A Ballarat Star journalist waxes poetic with a story involving Bechervaise

ZIGZAG PAPERS. "Yes, write as you like, for I do not care what your opinions are, but you must respect the laws of decency and of libel."— Ed. Star. "Right, O wise man. I will be reverent of the laws."—Z. . . . Do you think you could pluck out the heart of the mystery of the post-office? I was coming down the steps of our post-office the other morning, when I saw a man gnashing his teeth, tearing his hair, and making wild pugilistic signs in the direction of Melbourne. I spoke soothingly to him, drew him across to Machefer's wine-shop, bathed his temples with some of the tears sold there, poured red wine down his throat, and then he became calm and explanatory. He said — "I am the correspondent of an up-country newspaper, and am the victim of the inscrutable laws of the post-office. Having to post my letter to catch the 10.45 train for Stawell, and having to go near the railway station, I determined to drop my letter into the box provided at the station that the public may deposit their letters up to the latest minute. I was at the box when the clearing officer arrived with his bag; I dropped my letter into his bag, and he then said he was clearing for Melbourne, not Stawell. Give me back my letter, then, I said, but he told me he dared not do so. It was no longer mine. It was the property of the State in trust for the person to whom it was addressed. The box told me nothing of all this. I rushed to Mr Bechervaise and told him my story. His eyes glistened and danced about me as if he wished to make me feel cheerful, and I went down on my knees and prayed him to take the letter out of the man's bag, and give it to the guard of the next train, that it might reach Stawell in time for the printers. He said he could do a good many things, but not that. He got the law book, and showed me its testimony, which corroborated the story of the man with the bag. The letter was, in fact, consecrate. Its dedication was the only thing the powers could attend to, and the only way out of the difficulty was for me to telegraph to the addressee, and tell him to tell Mr Bechervaise to take the letter and give it to the guard of the next train. By this time my head began to swim, and in an agony of rage and mortification I rushed out into the open air, where, Sir, you found me, and came to me like a good Samaritan." Well, I said, is there no remedy for such embarrassments as this? "Certainly," he replied. "If the Post-office people would say on the box at the station that it is meant only for such and such trains, everybody would know how to avoid such liability to bewilderment and temporary lunacy as that I had to suffer." I called, for one of Machefer's thinnest slices of garlicised sausage, two glasses of champagne with Frothy whirls, White as Cleopatra's melted pearls, and said, "All right, my dear boy, I will see Bechervaise or the Postmaster-General, and try and get half a crown's worth of lettering put on the box." The champagne had roused my unfortunate friend by this time, and he began to talk fast. Machefer, with the sprightly vivacity of his nation, looked upon him and seemed to think him the great G.G., ghost or corpus, or some other person, fresh from the mysteries of Paris, and having himself had some tears, broke out, "Dame! q'est ce que c'est done? Est ce que vous allez faire la betise de croire rencontre ici parmi ces droles d'Angiais la politesse et le bon sens que l'on trouve toujours dans chaque bureau public de la belle France?" This seemed to sober the unfortunate, who growled in reply, "You be — with your gibberish; look to your razor, and don't cut the garlic so coarse." Things now shaped unpleasantly; I drew the post-office victim away, and we parted. Now, Sir, as I do not know how to approach Government officials in these days of "revenge," I made up my mind to compound with my conscience, and content my deluded friend and myself by simply telling you his heart-rending story.[270]

Bechervaise's son Walter Reed Bechervaise wins a bronze medal with his Phoenix Foundry team for their model Railway Station at the Ballarat Juvenile Industrial Exhibition

AUSTRALIAN JUVENILE INDUSTRIAL EXHIBITION BALLARAT, 1878. LIST OF AWARDS. PUBLISHED AS A SUPPLEMENT to "THE BALLARAT STAR," AND "MINER AND AGRICULTURIST." . . . RAILWAY STATION. 14 F. Stephenson, Phœnix Foundry, Ballarat, 18 years; bronze medal A. Clark, do do, 19 years; do Walter Bechervaise, do do, 17 years; do.[271]

Bechervaise teams with Palmer for further telephone experiments with Melbourne

A most successful telephonic seance was held yesterday morning, the Ballarat and Melbourne telegraphic office being in circuit. There were present at the Ballarat office, by the invitation of Mr Bechervaise — The Hon. P. Lalor, Commissioner of Customs; the Rev. Charles Clark, and about fifteen ladies and other gentlemen. The members of the cable conference and a number of the Ministry were invited to the Melbourne office. Mr John Palmer's telephones, twelve in number, were used in Ballarat. The Rev. Charles Clark gave a recitation, which was clearly heard, and the speaker recognised, at the Melbourne office. Mr Clark also recognised the voice of a gentleman singing in Melbourne immediately, and named him. The seance, which lasted for nearly three hours, was most successful throughout, and the results, which speak well for Mr Palmer's telephones, were the most favorable that have yet been obtained between the two offices.[272]

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