Aboriginal Well at Beaumaris

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In 2006 a group of secondary students  from Beaumaris uncovered the historic Beaumaris  Aboriginal  Well. This dig paid tribute to the culture of the Boonwurrung people and to the memory of Wally Goodbody an elderly local resident and naturalist who had regularly cleaned out the well for half a century until his death by drowning in a boat accident. Since 1997 when the  colour photos below were taken, the sands have shifted and the well which had been regularly exposed since settlement for 150 years has largely disappeared under sand movements.

The well is about 50 metres north of the Beumaris Yacht club in a flat rock slab that projects from the sand dune cliff towards the sea. The secondary school students dug for an hour to locate the well under sand and then to excavate it. It measured  approximately 55cm wide at the top, 97cm  deep and 10cm wide at the bottom. It was a significant physical effort with groups of students taking turn to dig with their hands. There was a feeling of pride and triumph as the students brought into  the present an ancient artefact famous in both settler and Indigenous history. This is a well that Gellibrand may have used when he crossed overland in the 1836 to join Batman’s party at Melbourne. He was the designer of the Melbourne treaty. The well is one of seven well sites on the foreshore recorded  in the 1950s by Also Massola of Melbourne Museum between Rickets Point and Black Rock. Only one of these sites ie Red Bluff is now easy to locate in my experience.

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Meyer Eidelson

 

Images below:
Beaumaris well image 1958 with my measurements from 2006.
Beaumaris well 1958 with Wally Goodbody
Beaumaris well 1997
Beaumaris well 1997

 

Beaumaris Well 1997

 

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