Cultural & Charitable Foundation

Historic find sparks search for descendants

MEDIA RELEASE                            


The Aspire Cultural and Charitable Foundation is on the hunt for descendants of the signatories embroidered on a heritage quilt in 1895.

The quilt was donated to the Strathdale Quilters in 2003 and features 270 signatures, including some of Victoria’s most prominent figures of the time.

The group has since restored the quilt to its former glory and donated it to the Aspire Cultural and Charitable Foundation who will temporarily display the quilt in the Sacred Heart Cathedral. The Foundation plans to eventually house the quilt in the proposed Faith on the Goldfields Interpretive Centre.

“The quilt was hidden away in the back of a cupboard for many years until the owner, Evelyn Leamon, passed away and her family discovered it,” explained Foundation Chair, Gordon McKern.

Along with the 270 signatures, the quilt features the Maltese Cross with eight points representing loyalty, piety, frankness, bravery, glory and honour, contempt of death, helpfulness towards poor and sick and respect for church. A lily is also embroidered on the quilt representing the Christian sign of rebirth, purity, chastity, virtue and innocence.

“A member of the Strathdale Quilters, Betty Jackman, has written an extensive history on the quilt and the lives of those whose names are embroidered on it. It's a fascinating glimpse into the lives of Bendigo’s founders and is really the story of the goldfields,” said Mr McKern.

Mr McKern said a Facebook page has been established to assist in the search for relatives of the original signatories and is calling for everyone to take a look at the list of signatures to see if they recognise any names.

“We would like to invite as many descendants as possible to the unveiling of the restored quilt in the Scared Heart Cathedral on Thursday 17 October 2013.

“The idea is that the Strathdale Quilters will create a New Generation quilt as a fundraiser for the Aspire Foundation and the proposed Interpretive Centre, with donors names to be incorporated into the quilt,” said Mr McKern.

The list of signatures is available on the Aspire Heritage Signature Quilt 1895 Facebook page and on the Aspire Foundation website

If you or someone you know is a relative of one of the signatories and would like to attend this special event please contact the Aspire Foundation on 03 5441 2544 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Media inquiries: Katrina Strong, Ph: 5445 3600, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Saint Mary MacKillop statue unveiling, Sacred Heart Cathedral Bendigo, 17 October 2014 - Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst