Breakfast at Fairbank
Breakfast at Fairbank
Enjoy a day outside with the choice of two seating areas.
Fire up the BBQ, or play fetch with your best friend around the fully fenced garden.
So, you got your clothes dirty playing with the dog? Never fear, Fairbank has a fully equipped laundry.
Plenty of places to unwind strolling through the garden.
'Tom' and the Bushrangers
Photo courtesy Maldon Museum & Archives
The Bible Christian Church once stood in Harker Street on the brow of the hill near the Adair Street corner. The Bible Christians also had a small chapel at Walmer. In the 1870s the Harker Street church kept a grey horse named ‘Tom’, who helped the minister get around the district. Tom was known as a very gentle animal and was very popular with the congregation’s children.
On the afternoon of Tuesday 19 August 1879, the Rev William Hicks drove in a buggy drawn by Tom to Walmer to preach at one the chapel’s regular services. After arriving at Walmer Hicks took Tom out of the buggy and put him into a nearby stable with another horse belong to one of his parishioners, David Pinchin. After the service the Rev Hicks returned to the stable and was astounded to find that both his and Pinchin’s horse were gone. When the police were notified, the local constables scoured the surrounding bush for the horses without success.
About six weeks later a robbery took place at Clunes and on Friday 3 October, men matching the description of the offenders were seen passing through Avoca in a hawker’s wagon. Local Constable James Monk set out in pursuit and confronted them near the Avoca racecourse. When Monk dismounted and asked to search their wagon, the driver drew a pistol and shot Monk in the thigh.
Monk returned fire, but his assailant managed to escape into the surrounding bush. The driver’s young companion, mounted on a grey horse, also bolted and rode off towards Maryborough.
The following day an observant policeman in Maryborough recognised the grey horse and its young rider as it passed through the town. He arrested the rider and through the horse’s brands identified it as Tom, the Bible Christian Church horse. The Maryborough police immediately telegraphed the Rev Hicks, asking him to come and identify the horse.
As the next day was Sunday, Hicks could not go to Maryborough. Instead he sent a parishioner, John Symons, who identified old Tom, although the horse had lost a lot of weight. Some members of the Bible Christian congregation criticised Hicks for sending Symons on such a mission on a Sunday, but others agreed with him in immediately responding to the police request for help.
The man who shot Constable Monk was identified as Edward Evans, a 60 year-old self-proclaimed bushranger. He had been transport to Tasmania as a young man and after being released had come to Victoria in 1853 where he organised a gang that robbed miners travelling to and from the goldfields. He served a long sentence in Pentridge before being released in 1877. Despite police efforts, Evans escaped their searches and seems to have made his way north over the Murray into New South Wales.