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Ancestors - St. Katherine's Church

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Hidden : 04/14/2010
1.5 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size: small (small)

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Geocache Description:

The second in a series of caches that will bring you to small, sometimes unnoticed cemeteries or burial plots of early settlers.

The history of St. Katherine’s Church and cemetery begins on the Island of St Helena in the Atlantic ocean where Anthony Beale (born 1790) became Paymaster for the East India Company which then controlled the island on behalf of the British Crown. He married Katherine Rose Young, niece of the Governor of St. Helena, and together they went on to produce 17 children, all but the last of whom were born on the island before the family migrated to Australia.

It was to the Island of St. Helena that the British exiled Napoleon after his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo on 15 June 1815.

In 1836 the British Government took over the administration of the island when the East India Company’s charter expired, and Anthony Beale retired to England on a pension of 500 pounds a year. After three years in England he migrated with his family to the Port Phillip District of New South Wales, travelling via Van Dieman’s Land where his son Onesophorous drowned in the Tamar River. A granite tablet in memory of Onesophorous can be seen in the back wall of St. Katherine’s Church.

His first residence was on a three acre allotment purchased for 250 pounds in the suburb of Newtown (now known as Fitzroy). In 1841 he took a pastoral lease of an extensive area on the Plenty River where he built his cottage which he called St. Helena, and which ultimately gave the district its name.

The family appears to have lived quite happily at St. Helena until the death of Anthony’s wife, Katherine Rose, on 5 August 1856. To her memory Anthony erected in his front garden, this beautiful place of worship which he named “The Rose Chapel”. For some two years after her death he used the chapel for long periods of meditation and prayer, much of which he recorded in his diary, now in the State Library of Victoria. After his death on 4 September 1865 the chapel was willed, with three acres of land to the Church of England. It was consecrated St. Katherine’s in 1876 by Bishop Thornton of Ballarat.

Information from Wikinorthia

The Cemetery is the burial site of one of the “Heidelberg School” Artists - Walter Withers. He was one of a group of Australian artists of the late nineteenth century who painted plein-air in the impressionist tradition, originally in the Heidelberg area. These artists were inspired by the beautiful landscapes of the Yarra and the unique light that typifies the Australian bush.

Walter Withers, painter, illustrator and teacher and one of fourteen children, was born on 22 October 1854 at Aston Manor, Warwickshire, England. He arrived in Melbourne on 1 January 1883, and in May 1887 returned to England. He married Fanny Flinn on 11 October 1887, and studied in Paris, before returning to Melbourne on 11 June 1888.

The Cache

It’s a cemetery so I trust you’ll respect the graves and walk on the established paths.

At the start co-ordinates you will need to locate the headstone of perhaps this cemeteries most famous resident - Walter Withers. This information and some simple calculations will lead you on a very short walk to the cache.

A = number of letters of the single word in the line below “WALTER WITHERS”.

The Cache is located at:
S 37° 41.(502 – 3*A) E 145° 07.(691 + 6*A)

The container is small, painted black and hidden in a typical location well away from any graves. BYO pen. Large enough for small swaps and contains a Team stagetree tag as a token FTF prize.

Every man is his own ancestor, and every man is his own heir. He devises his own future, and he inherits his own past.
- Frederick Henry Hedge

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Hcebbgrq fghzc

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)



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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum

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