The following article by Grahame Thom was originally published in the March 2009 edition of our Newsletter, Kilmore Connections
In 1856 the colonial government of Victoria passed two acts to enable District Road Boards to be established in the Colony. The residents of Willowmavin must have decided this was a good idea at a meeting held on 26 July 1856. This was followed by a declaration by the administrator of the Government of Victoria that the Parish of Willowmavin be a District Road Board from 19 August 1856. Also the meeting submitted the following requisition to the Police Magistrate in Kilmore, which appeared in the Examiner on page one on 3 October 1856.
To Samuel De Vignoles, Esq, Police Magistrate, resident in Kilmore in the Colony of Victoria. We the undersigned, landholders and householders of the district proclaimed as “Willowmavin Road District”, request you will convene a meeting of landholders and householders in such Road District, to form a District Road Board for the purpose of superintending, providing for, and completing the construction, repair, and maintenance of roads in such Road District, and for the carrying out the provisions of the Acts of Council 16 Victoria, No 40, and 17 Victoria, No 29. Such meeting to be held at John Griffin’s House, “The Farmers’ Arms Hotel”, on the Sydney Road, within the said district, at the hour of 5 o’clock on Friday the 3rd day of October 1856.
Michael Kennedy, landowner
James Woods, landowner
William M’Kay, landowner
Peter Peace, jun.
James Mooney, farmer
John Dwyer, farmer
Patrick Dwyer, farmer
Pursuant to the above requisition, I do hereby convene a meeting of landholders and householders in such Road District, at the time and place above mentioned.
S De Vignoles RM
Dated this 11th day of September 1856
The following is an extract from the minute book of the Willowmavin Road Board held by the Society regarding this meeting. John Kelly Trainor was elected to chair the meeting. Unfortunately the minutes do not reveal the names of all the people who attended the meeting. However the following motions were all carried unanimously.
- Moved Michael English, seconded James Mooney, that there be nine members of the Board.
- Moved James Mooney, seconded Michael English, that John Kelly Trainor be a member.
- Moved Edward Leahy, seconded John Griffin, that James Mooney be a member.
- Moved Patrick Molony, seconded Thomas Harrington, that James McCoy be a member.
- Moved Patrick Madden, seconded James Mooney, that Michael English be a member.
- Moved Michael English, seconded John Duggan, that Martin Ford be a member.
- Moved John Duggan, seconded Michael Ryan, that Patrick Dwyer be a member.
- Moved Michael Twohy, seconded Thomas Harrington, that Patrick Moloney be a member.
- Moved Moved James Mooney, seconded Edward Leahy, that James Thomas be a member.
- Moved James McCoy, seconded Patrick Madden, that John Griffin be a member.
- Moved James Mooney, seconded Michael English, that the “assessment rate for the current year be one penny per acre pasture and one shilling per acre cultivated, and one shilling in the pound upon yearly valued rental of messages and tenements”.
At the first meeting of the Board held on 9 October 1856, the only business was to elect John Kelly Trainor as Chairman. At the second meeting held on 16 October 1856 the only business was to appoint Thomas J Ryan as Secretary for the first year. At the third meeting held on 23 October 1856 the Board considered two applications for the position of valuator from Edward Rafferty and James Wilson Osborn, but decided to re-advertise. At the fourth meeting held on 27 October 1856, the Board considered the same two applicants and decided to appoint Edward Rafferty. With these decisions made the Board commenced to collect rates and undertake road works in the Parish of Willowmavin.
The editor of the Examiner commented on the establishment of the Road Board on 17 October 1856 “that all success depends upon good management” and called upon “our friends of Bylands and Moranding to do likewise”. The Road Board operated until it became
part of the new Shire of Kilmore in 1875.