Friday, March 30, 2012

Residents’ story of wellpower

From the Maitland Mercury report:
The history of Paterson’s underground water wells is set to be unearthed in a new history book detailing days of a life gone by.
Researched and written by Paterson residents Virginia Daniels and Judy Styman, and Marlene Atcheson of Hilldale, the book chronicles the underground storage water wells of early Paterson including a six-metre deep water hole in the grounds of historic Duninald.

Full article by Emma Swain available at Maitland Mercury, 28 Mar, 2012.

International Day for Monuments and Sites.

Australia ICOMOS is organising a symposium to be held in Sydney on Wednesday April 18 to mark the International Day for Monuments and Sites.

Wednesday April 18 is a major celebration for ICOMOS and each year Australia ICOMOS organises activities around Australia to celebrate the diversity of the world's cultural heritage. This year's theme marks the 40th anniversary of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, which was adopted in 1972. The focus will be on World Heritage and Sustainable Development: the Role of Local Communities, which spans not only the involvement of local communities in the nomination, management and conservation of properties, but also their role as participants and economic beneficiaries, and holders of traditional management practices and l knowledge.

The venue for the event, in line with this year's theme, is Hyde Park Barracks, one of 11 Australian Convict Sites that have been inscribed on World Heritage List on 31 July 2010.

When: Wednesday April 18, 3.00pm - 6.30pm
Where: Hype Park Barracks
Admission: $15, $10 (Australia ICOMOS members)
Further information: please email

Women and heritage

All invited to the first Thursday@6 heritage seminar for 2012. In honour of the Australian Women’s History Forum’s 2012 focus on historic Australian women architects and planners (Women with a Plan), the Heritage Branch seminar topic for Heritage Week 2012 is Women and Heritage. Thursday @ 6 heritage talks – Women and Heritage is chaired by the dynamic former director of the NSW Heritage Office, Ros Strong. Four engaging women speakers describe various aspects of women’s involvement with heritage.

When: Thursday April 19, 5.15pm for 6.00pm - 8.00pm
Where: Heritage Branch conference room
Further information:

Lone ranger of local history

From the Maitland Mercury report:
When it comes to war memorials Robert McLardy likes to think outside the square.
During the past eight years the Hunter man has identified at least 800 memorials – including 114 from Maitland – and has offered up his finds to the State Library.
But according to Mr McLardy it is not only a plaque or cenotaph that constitutes a memorial.
“War memorials of all kinds, whether it be a plaque or a tree, are extremely important because our children need to realise what has gone on,” Mr McLardy, of Newcastle, said.

Full article by Emma Swain available at Maitland Mercury, 27 Mar, 2012. 

Happily living life in the ’50s

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Ms Olivia Delaforce, 18, joined about 35,000 people at the Coalfields on the weekend for the ninth annual Kurri Kurri Nostalgia Festival – an event designed to celebrate all things retro.
Features of this year’s festival included the Vegas wedding ceremony, dance competitions and a famous fifties showcase.
Full article by Emma Swain available at Maitland Mercury, 26 Mar, 2012.

Friday, March 23, 2012

New Titles in Trove

Discover more about Australia’s past by browsing the latest digitised newspapers to be added to Trove. These include South Australia’s oldest country newspaper still in publication, Border Watch, Charter Towers’ Northern Miner and Perth’sDaily News, which all commenced in colonial times.

History Council of NSW new web site

The History Council of NSW is pleased to announce we anticipate the launch of our new website at the end of March 2012. The new website will introduce improved features for members, including:
- Easy to use History Week registration system
- Facility to update membership details
- Option to list your news, events, exhibitions and more year round.
More information at the History Council web site.

Griffith Italian Migration Heritage Trail

The Griffith Italian Migration Heritage Trail produced by the Griffith City Council and NSW Migration Heritage Centre, chronicles the history of Griffith’s Italian settlers and focuses on 12 sites that have become an important part of Griffith’s history. The project was initially started to acknowledge the contribution of Griffith’s Italian community to the area since its migration almost a century ago, but cultural services project coordinator Margaret King said it had developed into a comprehensive record of Griffith’s history.

An Italian Migration Heritage Trail brochure is a pictorial guide that chronicles the history of Italian settlers and includes written accounts of the significance of each feature.

Maitland flood mitigation praise

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Maitland has the best flood mitigation scheme in the country, according to a local flood historian, but a national authority says downpours in the state’s south have shown serious holes in federal risk management funding.
Maitland flood historian Peter Bogan who
said that although the Maitland levee and spillways haven’t been tested against a one in 100 year flood they have fared well against one in 20 year floods.

Full article by Elle Watson available at Maitland Mercury, 14 Mar, 2012.

Developments approved at Maitland, Morpeth

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Two separate development applications from different areas, both enshrined in history, were approved at Maitland City Council’s ordinary meeting last night.
The low-cost housing first storey development at 318 High Street, Maitland was unopposed and widely congratulated as a means of rejuvenating the Heritage Mall area.
The three-lot subdivision and staged development of three medium density dwellings at Close Street, Morpeth was also approved despite objections from neighbouring residents.

Full article by Sam Norris available at Maitland Mercury, 14 Mar, 2012.

U. K. National Archives Titanic

Titanic 1912 - 2012

To commemorate the centenary U. K. National Archives e have created a new Titanic page that includes biographical accounts of individuals on board, short videos and podcasts.
You can also search passenger and crew lists from across Titanic, Olympic (Titanic's sister ship) and Carpathia, the ship that rescued the survivors from the lifeboats.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Maitland’s oldest woman stayed young at heart

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Maitland’s oldest resident Blanche Coward has died aged 110.
Mrs Coward lived at Mt Carmel Village, Campbells Hill for 10 years and died in Maitland Hospital on Monday night.
A remarkable person, Mrs Coward never understood her celebrity status for reaching such a grand age, her great-nephew David Buckley said.
Born in England on December 17, 1901, Mrs Coward and her family spent seven weeks travelling to Australia by boat to pre-war Australia in 1914.

Full article by Rebecca Berry available at Maitland Mercury, 01 Mar, 2012.

Society of Australian Genealogists

Activities in March:
  • Wednesday 21 March (10.30am - 11.15am) - National Library of Aus Research Day
    Held at NLA, Parkes Place, Parkes, Canberra. Jenny Higgins (NLA Family History Reference Librarian) will highlight the wonderful resources accessible to the family historian in the NLA before taking you to the Newspaper Room to start your research. Search the online Catalogue to identify the records you wish to consult and pre-order any which are held in offsite storage. Bring your Readers Card (apply online beforehand to avoid delays on the day); also USB &/or Digital Camera to record your finds. Assemble in Library Foyer area at 10.20am. Bookings essential & limited to 30 participants $5 ($10 non-members).
  • Monday 26 March (1.30pm - 3.30pm) - Finding Relatives without searching using MyHeritage
    MyHeritage top of the line technology tools help you find relatives effortlessly. Genealogy Super Search looks in 1,500+ databases at once, Smart Matching can extend your family tree and can reunite you with long lost relatives and Smart Research automatically researches your tree in over 100 genealogy databases. Presenter: Daniel Horowitz, Chief Genealogist of who is visiting Australia as a speaker at the Australasian Congress in Adelaide. Bookings Essential. $20 ($30 non-members).
  • Thursday 29 March (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Getting Started on Your Family History - Members Only
    Are you wondering how to get started, or what questions to ask? This opportunity is especially for new members with no family history research experience. Learn the fundamentals to start you on the road, and where to find and ask for help. Members Only. Bookings Essential and limited to 10. Cost $10.00.
  • HMAS Parramatta ships exhibition

    HMAS Parramatta ships have served Australia since the establishment of the Royal Australian Navy into the present time. This exhibition depicts the four ships that have borne that name, beginning with HMAS Parramatta I, the first ship in the Royal Australian Navy though to the present ship, HMAS Parramatta IV, which currently is on duty overseas. Scale models of three of the ships are in the exhibition, as well as other related memorabilia.

    The sinking of HMAS Parramatta II off Libya in 1941 gives a stark reminder of world conflicts, especially through a graphic story of one of the survivors and his rescuer.

    When: Exhibition to end April 2012, Thursday – Sunday, 11.00am – 4.00pm
    Where: Hambledon Cottage house museum, corner Hassall Street and Gregory Place, Parramatta
    Admission: $4 (Adults), $3 (Concessions) and $2 (Children)
    Further information: or 9654 2224 or 9871 4155

    Museums and Galleries Grant and Funding Booklet

    The 2012 M&G NSW Grants and Funding Booklet is now available for download from the M&G NSW website.

    Each year M&G NSW publishes this resource offering a summary of the diverse range of grants and funding sources available for public museums and galleries in NSW. The booklet details federal, state and local government funding initiatives, as well as opportunities available from independent and philanthropic organisations, foundations, and the various grant programs administered by M&G NSW.

    The document also includes hints and tips on successful grant application writing.

    Download from the Museums & Galleries website.

    Sunday, March 4, 2012

    Bridal fair for Tomago House

    From the Port Stephens Examiner report:
    Tomago House's custodian Lynda Prescott said she was hoping those in the community would donate wedding dresses and photographs to create a past and present gown display.
    The display will make up one section of a bridal fair the national trust listed house is hosting on March 25 to help raise money for ongoing restoration and maintenance work.
    Anyone with items for donation or those wanting to take part in the event can contact Lynda Prescott on 4964 8959 or email

    Full article by Sarah Price available at Port Stephens Examiner, 01 Feb, 2012.

    Maitland Historical Society

    The February 2012 issue of the Bulletin of the Maitland & District Historical Society is now available at the Society's website.
    This issue sees the commencement of a series on "Ghost Signs":

    Partial signs or faint, faded  ‘ghost’ signs on old buildings can be intriguing – what does the sign say? What does the sign mean? To what purposes has this building been put?
    Historical Society members have identified a number of ‘ghost signs’ that will be reproduced in the Bulletin over future issues.
    To launch this series, we are featuring a building at Gillies Street, Rutherford , as well as a High Street building.
    Check the Bulletin for images and to provide feedback on the mysteries.

    End of an era for Mr Maitland, Milton Morris

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    It was an historic day for the Hunter Valley Training Company on Thursday as its founding chairman, Milton Morris AO, handed over the baton and stepped down after being in the position for more than three decades.
    Former managing director of Centennial Coal and current Hunter Valley Training Company director, Bob Cameron, will now take on the role as the company embarks on a new era.
    Full article by Courtney Garnham available at Maitland Mercury, 24 Feb, 2012.

    Volunteer-Initiated Museum Grant Program

    Museums and Galleries NSW  is pleased to announce that the Volunteer-Initiated Museum (VIM) Grant Program is now open for 2012. Applications are now invited for Leg Ups – Skill Development Grants (matched funding up to $500), VIM Small Grants (funding up to $2,000) and VIM Skills Initiatives Grants (funding up to $5,000).  The first round of Small Grants close: Friday 20 April 2012.

    The Guidelines for all VIM Grants can be downloaded from Museums & Galleries NSW’s website.
    Contact: Phoebe Arthur, Sector Development Coordinator on 02 9339 9913, free call 1800 114 311 or to organise an application form.

    Tales of past to be told on Paterson town walk

    From the Maitland Mercury rerport:
    The macabre and brutal murder of a blacksmith whose remains were burnt and his bones pounded between two stones has lurked in Paterson’s history since the 1840s.
    But unlike other stories connected to the area, the killing of Thomas Muldoon on May, 22, 1845, at Martins Creek, has largely been untold.
    Dr Archer will tell the story of Mr Muldoon’s tragic demise during the annual Paterson Historic Town Walk on March 11.

    Full article by Emma Swain available at Maitland Mercury, 21 Feb, 2012.