Back to Beaufort 1936: Celebrations

The Riponshire Advocate declared the Back to Beaufort Centenary weekend a resounding success. All but one page of the 9 January edition of the newspaper reported the homecoming celebrations and sporting events.

Approximately 200 people visited the town. Some Beaufort residents would have noted that the number was well down on the 1,000 visitors who attended the previous ‘back to’ in 1927. But the Riponshire Advocate was certain that it was quality, not quantity, that was the measure of success.

The consensus of opinion among the visitors was that the whole of the celebrations were really delightful and thoroughly enjoyable, and they were loud in their praises of the excellent work done by the organising committee and its secretary and president.

Riponshire Advocate 9 January 1937

As secretary, Andy Duncan must have felt gratified by the response.

Andy set up a display of old photographs of Beaufort, and also a fine collection of walking sticks made from Mt. Cole forest timber, belonging to local forester Mr Thomas Derham Bailes.

Mr Duncan also displayed a fine inlaid wooden box and tray, made by him while a patient at the Caulfield Military Hospital

Riponshire Advocate 9 January 1937

Andy Duncan’s “fine inlaid wooden box”, made while an inpatient at the Caulfield Military Hospital
Andy’s wooden tray
Back to Beaufort Committee. Riponshire Advocate 9 January 1937
While Andy Duncan received special mention for his work on the Back to Beaufort homecoming, his wife Jane would have to make do with being one of the Committee’s ‘loyal ladies’. Riponshire Advocate 9 January 1937

Andy’s work as honorary secretary had proved his bona fides to his new home town. In the next few years he would be nominated for committee positions at the Beaufort Mechanics’ Institute, the Cemetery Trust and the Thistle Club.


Riponshire Advocate (Beaufort, Vic.: 1874 – 1994) 9 January 1937. State Library of Victoria

1927 ‘”BACK TO BEAUFORT” CELEBRATIONS.’, The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), 16 April, p. 11. [ONLINE] Available at [Accessed 17 July 2016]

Featured Image: Riponshire Advocate front page 26 December 1936. State Library of Victoria

Australia’s tattoo trend goes back to Tasmania’s convict era

ABC Hobart interviews author Simon Barnard about his research into Tasmanian convict tattoos:

Simon Barnard studied the records of 10,180 convicts transported to Van Diemen’s Land between 1823 and 1853.

About 37 per cent of all men and 15 per cent of the women arrived with tattoos.

This made 19th-century Australia perhaps the most heavily tattooed English-speaking country at the time, Mr Barnard said.

Full ABC story here.

My great-great-great grandfather Henry Steward was one of the 37 percent of inked convicts. He arrived in Van Diemen’s Land displaying two of the more common tattoos. His convict description notes “Anchor inside rt arm Crucifix inside left arm”.

Henry Steward was sentenced to 14 years transportation for “stealing a velveteen coat and a pair of trousers” in 1834.



ABC News. 2016. Australia’s tattoo trend goes back to Tasmania’s convict era, author finds – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 1 September 2016]. UK, Prison Hulk Registers and Letter Books, 1802-1849. Home Office: Convict Prison Hulks: Registers and Letter Books; Class: HO9; Piece: 9. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 23 August 2013].

1834 ‘Sessions News.’, Norfolk Chronicle, 5 July. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 23 August 2013].

Featured image: Henry Steward. CON 18/1/21. Description lists of male convicts 01 Jan 1828 – 31 Dec 1853. Archives Office of Tasmania [ONLINE]. Available at: [Accessed 28 Dec 2014]