2013 & 2012 & 2011
January, February, March, April, May, June,
July,August, September, October, November,
February 2 2013 Club workshop reopens for 2013. See you there!
11/2/2012 HAPPY BIRTHDAY Lorna Lewis! Life member & ex-President,
Lorna, celebrated her 88th Birthday today!
March 17 Club members travelled to Mt Shadwell for a mornings fossicking.
The quarry has had a lot of material removed during the last year and the new
faces looked promising. However we found no faceting grade peridot for our
efforts! Louise (one of our new members) showed us some bombs she
collected a few weeks ago. They were impressive with some large gemmy
pieces which should cut nice stones. As always, it is a lottery as to whether or
not you will find cutters on a given day.
Members returned to Alan Woods home to enjoy a BBQ lunch and examine
Alan’s lovely mineral & gem collection.
March 28 - April 1
Members travelled to Murray Bridge for the Gemboree.
There were a large number of tailgaters at the show and
several of our members had some excellent buys of
mineral specimens and cutting material.
The traders in the main hall had a large range of gems,
minerals, fossils and equipment for sale. Some of the
mineral specimens were very impressive.
As has been the case at previous shows we have visited,
some club members very quickly spent their budgets due
to the great range of minerals available (No names
mentioned Alan & John).
Club member John Honan once again made a good
showing in the faceting competition.
Overall, the weekend went very well for all our club
April 16 Club members (Alan, Kay, Lorna, Diane) travelled to Geelong to
visit life club member Ivy Harper. (Photo left: L to R Lorna, Ivy, Kay, Diane.
It was a great chance to catch up with Ivy and bring her up to date with
what is going on at the club. Ivy is a past President of the club.
April 17 The club hosted a year 8 science class from Emmanual College.
The group was shown how club members produce cabachons and faceted
gems and saw the clubs mineral collection.
April 23 Alan Altmann and Alan Wood visited the Nullawarre Primary
School to show students a range of gems and minerals as part of their
geology program. There were some very enthusiastic students. (Photo
April 29 It is with great regret that the club has to announce the passing of
Lorna Lewis.after a short illness.
Lorna has been a long term member of the club who was always ready to
help new members learn the lapidary art. She provided a cheerful face at
the club rooms and brought along greatly appreciated contributions to our
Lorna was a Life Member of the club. She had served as both Treasurer
and President over a period spanning some eight years.
Lorna had a great collection of gemstone ‘eggs’ she had created over the
years, as well as ‘cabachons’ and faceted gems. She was working at the
clubrooms the day before she fell ill, participating and helping other
members and being her normal cheery self.
It is members such as Lorna who readily contribute their time and
enthusiasm who form the backbone of our clubs. She will be greatly
missed by all who knew her!
Photo L: Lorna Lewis
(left) with club
L: Ivy Harper
R: Two of Lorna’s
8/9 of May.
Members John H.
Alan & Jenny W.
Dianna B. Alan A.
Rosemary K. &
Anthony M. packed
up the gem & mineral
collection of Ivy
Harper . Ivy’s
during the 1960’s and
1970’s. As well as
many mineral and
gem specimens it
also contained a
substantial amount of
including many fine
examples of enamelling work. A large part of the collection will be
displayed at the club rooms.
Club President Kathleen has been in the N.T./W.A. She visited the ‘Top
End’ Gem Club up at Darwin. Kathleen was very impressed by the friendly
and helpful attitude of the club members. She also visited the Argyle
diamond mine in the Kimberley region of W.A. and is the proud owner of
one argyle diamond, albeit a ‘petit’ stone. Kathleen also had some luck
metal detecting and is the proud owner of her first nugget!
The club has gained some two junior members this month, welcome Liam
Regretably the club received news of the death of ex-club member Ivan
Peter New (Photo to right). Ivan died at home in
Lakes Entrance on 19/7/2013, aged 58, Ivan was
well regarded by all members of the club and he will
be greatly missed. Ivan was involved with the
Hamilton ‘Imperials’ F.C., the Collingwood U19’s,
the Woodend F.C. and the Tooleybuc and Portland
F.C.’S. Peter served as a policeman in Melbourne,
Portland, Hamilton, Swan Hill, Halls Gap, Benalla,
Wangaratta, Seymour, Bairnsdale and
In July, Warrnambool Gem Club Members hosted a visit by the mens group
from Terang. They were shown the club’s collection and workshop.
September 10 Club members hosted members of the Terang Ladies
group. A pleasant time was had by all, including some ‘old time’ lapidaries in
the ladies group.
20/9 The club
hosted a visit of year
4 students from St.
Johns P.S. in
each got to make a
pendant or key ring
as part of the visit.
See the photos right.
24/9/13 Photo left: The club
hosted a visit by the Terang
Ladies group. The group was
shown the club’s displays and
workshop where the techniques
in producing cabachons was
explained. This was followed up
with some afternoon tea and
raffles. Both the visitors and club
members had a good time.
to John Honan who
competed in the AFG 2013
competition, in the novice
section. John came 3rd,
obtaining a score of 90.84.
This is John’s best result to
date! Top two photos.
13/10 Members went to
Mortlake to fossick at Mt
Shadwell quarry. New
members Liam, Oliver and
Zanda joined the trip. Alan
Wood was the most
successful fossicker at the
quarry. Other members
found some cabbing
material and specimens.
.Members returned to Alan
& Jenny’s home for a BBQ.
3rd photo: Oliver looking
for peridot. 4th photo:
Liam looking for peridot.
26/10 5th photo:
Fossickers from the
Ballarat & Essendon clubs
came to Mt Shadwell.
Kathleen found her first
facetable piece of peridot!
Among the visitors a
number of pieces of
peridot and some felspar
10/11/13 Members of the
Warrnambool Gem Club
visited the Geelong show
and made quite a few
purchases. It was a good
day out for all concerned.
Several members visited
life member Ivy Harper
who now lives in Geelong.
She was pleased to catch
up with the latest news of
the club’s activities.
6th photo ‘lunchtime’, 7th
Photo Liam & Oliver
looking for bargains.
Ivy is still keen to be
informed as to what is
happening in the lapidary
8th Dec. Club members
had a lovely luncheon for
the end of year breakup.
A special feature of our
January show will be a
large display of Agates
from the Otways.
MOONLIGHT HEADS AGATES AND PETRIFIED WOOD:
HOW OLD ARE THESE ROCKS?
'The pebbles of agate and petrified wood from the Moonlight Head district
probably have different ages and it is not known how old they are as their
sources are not known exactly. Most have probably been eroded out of
pebble layers within the Cretaceous sedimentary rocks of the Otway
district that form the Otway Ranges and coastline.However they are
obviously from older sources, which we don't know much about. It's
possible that some of them might have been brought in to Victoria by
Permian glaciers then recycled through several episodes of erosion,
transport and deposition.
Note: The Permian is a geologic period which extends from 298.9 ± 0.2 to
252.2 ± 0.5 (Million years ago). The Cretaceous is a geologic period from
circa 145 ± 4 to 66 million years ago. So these rocks are very, very
2012 CLUB ACTIVITIES
JANUARY FEBRUARY MARCH APRIL MAY JUNE JULY AUGUST
SEPTEMBER OCTOBER NOVEMBER DECEMBER
January: 2012 WARRNAMBOOL
GEM CLUB SHOW (6-8 of January)
was a great success for the club.
18th & 21st Thanks to Ted M., Kay
K., Lorna L., John H., Alan & Jenni
W., Kathleen B., James H. and Alan
A. for reorganising the meeting area
and the faceting room prior to the
start of the new year for the club.
February Alan Wood showed
members 2 pendants produced
from Mortlake peridot. Set in gold
(argest stone 8 ct), the stones were
found last december. 2 photos top.
On Sunday 4/3/12, members from
the Ballarat & Warrnambool clubs
fossicked at the Mt Shadwell quarry.
Good weather but only a few finds
Photo: Michael K., Alan Wood &
Rosemary K. fossicking.
March On the weekend of the 10 & 11th, 10 club members attended the
Gemkhana in Shepparton. Despite the recent rains the weather was
excellent and the site dry. The showcases were of a high standard and
there was plenty to look at and buy. Some members also had a good look
around the town itself. All up a great weekend away for the group.
See the slide show below!
Alan Altmann has tumbled some agates he collected from Calder in
N.W. Tasmania, in February. The agates are mainly black & white with
some having red bands also. Many have calcite sections/cavities and
show some cracking. They have been transported and eroded over time
and some have cracks. However, many have lovely banding and make
attractive specimens. The agate below left is 100 mm wide with dense
April On Sunday the 15th, 9 club members travelled to Portland to view
the gem & mineral display which is located in the tourist Tram Depot at
Henty oval. The display, which contains part of the lapidary efforts of a
local lapidary/collector has been put on display by the efforts of Cor Melis
and other enthusiasts in the area. It contains a large selection of polished
slabs and spheres and specimens. Most are Australian from famous
localities such as Agate creek and Wyloo station, to name two. There are
also a good number of Mexican agates on display.
May 27 Club members had a great
day out. Starting at Alan Woods gem
& mineral display in Mortlake & an
hours fossicking at Mt Shadwell.
Several members found material
suitable for cabbing. We then
travelled to Burn Brae homestead
near Penshurst for a fantastic lunch
and a good look around the
homestead. Mid afternoon we visited
the Volcano Discovery centre in
Penshurst where members viewed
the displays and had a very
session. Club members then drove
up Mt Rouse to view the lava flows
and geography of the area.
Photos: Top Lunch at Burn Brae!
Middle Penshurst Volcano centre.
Club members at Burn
September Club members are back from fossicking during winter. The
Doris Sizeland display unit has been painted by Kathleen Brockett and now
looks much improved. Thanks must go to Kathleen for the time and effort
she devoted to this improvement to our displays!
Congratulations must also go to Kathleen on the arrival of her new ‘baby’,
a ‘Hall-Xtra’ faceting machine, which she has introduced to club members
over the last few workshops. A vast improvement on the equipment she
had been using up to now.
Alan Wood brought some interesting agate/chalcedony specimens, from
the south island of N.Z., To the club for members to view. These specimens
consist of 2 to 6 layers of agate/chalcedony which fit together like a 3D
jigsaw and can be partly or fully dismantled into individual layers. See the
slide show below!
October The faceting room has been well used with Kathleen B., Dianne
W. and James H. making good progress under the guidance of John H. L
to R: James H. Kathleen B.
November 11th, members travelled by bus to the Geelong Gem Show.
which was held at the community centre in Vines Rd. It was a good trip
down and back. At the show club members had a good look at the display
cases and purchased laps, rough, loupes etc. A good chance for a chat
with fellow lapidarys!
2011 CLUB ACTIVITIES
Use the links below to navigate to the relevant month.
January February March April May June July August September
October November December
January The club installed a flat lap in the club workshop. Thanks must
go to John Honan for his work on this unit.
February 1 The club has just learned of the death of long term club
member Doris Sizeland. Doris has been a member since the club’s
earliest days and has attended club activities until recently. She will be
greatly missed by club members.
March 12 Members went to Ballarat for the Gemkhana. Tailgaters
appeared to be greater in number than last year. Inside the hall the range
of mineral specimens, fossils, gems, findings, equipment and faceting and
cabbing rough was impressive. Club members made many purchases.
John Chivers and Darren Lucas were trading. Overall, a good days outing
for club members.
April The club has purchased two mineral display units with safety glass.
Keith & Janice F. and Ted & Val M. have returned from their fossicking
holidays in Tasi. Sounds like they had good trips all up.
May/June Club President Alan Altmann visited the USA and Canada.
While in Nova Scotia, Canada, I visited the town of Parrsboro on the
shores of the Bay of Fundy. At Parrsboro is a geological museum which is
worth a visit, displaying the geological history of the region, local fossils
and gemstones. At Parrsboro I meet Eldon George, a fossil/mineral
collector. I purchased some local agates from him and then went
fossicking nearby. I could see the quartz seams in the cliffs and agates
embedded in the rock platforms (but I had a geo-pick ). I did pick up 3
agates on the beach. See the slide show below.
In 1984, Eldon found the world’s
smallest dinosaur prints near
Parrsboro (200 million years
prints left by a sparrow sized
dinosaur, Coelophysis. The
photo shows the size of the foot
print compared to an Australian
July Larry Peterson took a short trip to the Harts Range in the N.T. and
collected mineral specimens while there. See the slide show below.
While examining the above specimens, Larry showed me some of the
Agate Creek agates he collected last winter. A selection of these are shown
below. Most of these measure around 50mm or so in length.
September 11 Members spent the morning at the Mt Shadwell quarry.
The peridot was scarce, but Gillian found a nice bomb with gemmy peridot
late in the morning.I Lucy also picked up a nice piece of peridot which
should cut a nice small stone. John Chivers got onto a nice pocket of
Illmenite crystals up to 50 mm long and an Aegirine specimen. Then
members retired to Alan & Jenny Woods home for a BBQ lunch and cuppa.
September 17-18 Some 39 fossickers from the Nunawading, Mount
Gambier, Shepparton, Cheong Park, Warrnambool club etc took part in a
VGCA field trip at Mortlake. Alan Wood led the activities at the quarry
where olivine, peridot, calcite balls, aragonite needles and ilmenite crystals
were found. On Saturday afternoon the group had the opportunity to see
Alan Wood’s collection of minerals and cut gems from the quarry. The ‘out
of town fossickers’ enjoyed the stay at the Mortlake Caravan park and the
meals at the Mount Shadwell Hotel.
September 13 I was able to visit Darren Lucas’s ‘Castlemaine
Crystals’ shop, located at 1 Halford St. in Castlemaine. Darren, a long
term member of the Warrnambool Gem Club, is a fully qualified
Gemologist, Diamond Grader, Registered Gem & Jewellery Valuer and
member of the FGAA.
October The club has been fortunate to receive financial support from the
Warrnambool City Council. The council has provided a grant of $3000 to
assist an upgrade in the lighting in the workshop and to improve our
displays at the clubrooms.
Also, club member Ted Morton obtained a high quality display unit, at no
cost to the club. Well done Ted!
November 13 Members took a bus trip to the Geelong Gem Show. At the
show members caught up with friends from other clubs and made many
purchases of equipment and gem material. Overall a good days outing.
December A number of good finds of gem quality peridot have been
made recently at the Mount Shadwell quarry at Mortlake. Some bombs
containing large gemmy chunks of peridot have been collected by a
number of fossickers including one local
who found a bomb with some large
clean pieces around the 27 carat mark,
which should cut around 10 carat gems!
The photo shows some of the recent