Historic Bible returns to its original family

A HISTORIC Bible with connections to Ballarat has been returned to the descendants of its original owner.

Elizabeth Costello’s mother saved the 1873 Scottish Bible with coloured illustrations and gold paper edging when it was going to be thrown out more than 50 years ago.

Written inside the cover of the Bible was a note that it belonged to one James Long.

Ms Costello began researching Mr Long and discovered he was a former mayor of Ballarat and later a mayor of Portland. 

“He also started Sunshine Biscuits, and through that became known as James ‘Lolly’ Long,” Ms Costello said. 

Mr Long was born in 1830 and died in 1916. He was buried in Ballarat. 

Ms Costello said the Bible was being thrown out when Long’s descendants, closed their jewellery store in Portland in 1957. 

“My mother couldn’t see it thrown out so she took it herself,” Ms Costello said. 

Ms Costello has had the Bible for some years, but said she wanted to give it back to the original family.

“I had a friend in Portland visit History House there, and some of James Long’s descendants had been researching him so they had lots of information on him and were able to put me in contact with his great-granddaughter.”

Ms Costello rang one of the descendants, who had been doing research, and she was delighted to recover the book.

One of Mr Long’s great-grandchildren came to pick up the Bible from Ms Costello’s Melbourne home to take to his sister in Albury.