Thursday, July 26, 2012

Corporal’s last letter taken to new home

From the Maitland Mercury report:
In Sam Robinson’s final letter home to his friends and loved ones, the young soldier made a point of saying goodbye.
Titled Sometime in July and Some Place in France, the letter revealed the true horror of war and an obvious fear for the young Millers Forest man’s life.
On July 23, 1916, Lance Corporal Robinson, aged 26, was wounded then hit by three artillery shells in rapid succession.
Mrs Heather Yates will hand over her tribute to Sam to the Raymond Terrace Historical Society today.

Full article by Emma Swain available at Maitland Mercury, 23 Jul, 2012.

Hard work and a lifetime of dedication to the city rewarded

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Kay Sharp summed up her lifetime of dedication to Maitland yesterday when she received the badge for Freeman of the City.
The mayor of Maitland, Cr Peter Blackmore, made the honour official at the Maitland Regional Art Gallery, where more than 40 friends, family members and dignitaries attended.
Mrs Sharp’s first job was as secretary to the town clerk when she was 16 years old.
From that she co-founded a secretarial training school and was the first general manager of Hunter Valley Training Company.
Full article by Sam Norris available at Maitland Mercury 23 Jul, 2012.

Royal Australian Historical Society

DAY LECTURE: Jane Franklin’s Northwest Passage

Seeking to correct the Victorian sentimentality that lauded her as a heroine, it falls into an alternative Victorian stereotype of the ambitious and vengeful wife. Professor Russell's paper re-examines this Arctic drama to uncover a more complex, gendered story of power, responsibility and honour.
Penny Russell is an Associate Professor in History at the University of Sydney.
Date: Wed 01 Aug
Times: 01:00 pm
More information: RAHS events

Robbery in the name of Thunder

From the Maitland Mercury report:
The origins of the name Captain Thunderbolt are believed to have first been used by Fred Ward during the robbery of Campbell’s toll-bar at the present intersection of the Wollombi Road and the New England Highway at Rutherford.
These were the beginnings of a bushranging career, lasting seven years, during which Captain Thunderbolt became the longest roaming bushranger in 19th century Australian history.
Four significant sites relating to the life and death of infamous bushranger Captain Thunderbolt have been added to the State Heritage Register, Heritage Minister Robyn Parker said.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, 20 Jul, 2012.

Maitland historians pay tribute to our Anzacs

From the Maitland Mercury report:
As a soldier of World War I, Private Read’s name is displayed on the Woodville School of Arts Honour Roll and on panel 30 of the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. Private Read’s story – along with those of many more other young soldiers – are about to be explored and revealed as part of a project linking schoolchildren with the men of World War I.
Maitland military historians John Gillam and Yvonne Fletcher have researched the war experiences of more than 120 soldiers as part of the project, launched this week at Thornton Public School.

Full article by Emma Swain available at Maitland Mercury, 19 Jul, 2012.

Friday, July 20, 2012

National Trust - Grossmann House

Friends of Grossmann House have organised a range of interesting fund-raising activities for the remainder of 2012:
The July & August programme:
July 22 - heritage walk in Mayfield, the "Toorak of Newcastle" with Wayne Campbell
August 3 - inaugral  Quiz Night
August 25 - an evening with the spirits at Grossmann and Brough Houses. The ghostly evening  will commence at 7.00pm and will involve tours and supper
Call Grossmann House for event details: 49336452

National Archives of Australia

From the Canberra Times report:
The National Archives of Australia's Mitchell storage facility has become so decrepit that tape is being used to hold down floor tiles which could contain asbestos.
Federal Parliament's Public Works Committee heard evidence yesterday about plans for a new $92 million preservation facility to take pressure off the existing centre which is so full that it has been forced to stop accepting some classified documents.
Labor Senator Anne Urqhart noted during a visit to the Mitchell storage site that she had noticed at least one vinyl tile which could contain asbestos was being held down by tape and asked what plans were in place to ensure the safety of staff.

Full article by Peter Jean available at Canberra Times, July 10, 2012.

National Family History Week

National Family History Week 27 July to 5 August.
National Family History Week is an initiative of AFFHO (Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations). This popular initiative has received broad support from some of Australia’s leading government and non government organisations. Current sponsors and supporters include:
  • National Archives Australia
During the week events will be conducted across the country that focus on genealogy, family history, heraldry and related subjects including family reunions, seminars, talks, open days, history walks, book launches, film evening and expos. Check your state for details of local events.

Inside History Magazine

Inside History Magazine July-August edition 2012 (issue 11):
  • Ever wondered if your family was on film or radio? We show you how to find out
  • It's the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Milne Bay. Read about it from a pilot who was there
  • Our experts show how to preserve your audio records
  • Read about the influence fashion and photography had on our ancestors' lives
  • Discover who is the dashing gentleman from 1858 gracing our cover
  • Copyright and your genealogy: find out who owns what
  • Plus we reveal your top 10 history books!
And much more – in fact, 76 pages of terrific features, practical information on genealogy, chances to network with other family historians, and book and app reviews. On sale now.

Walka Water Works

From the Maitland Mercury report:Walka Water Works has been a part of Ray Fairweather’s life since the early 1980s but he never expected a section of it would be named after him.
The Maitland councillor was humbled when a park within the recreation area was given his name in a ceremony on the weekend.
“It’s a tremendous place, I still receive letters from people saying how beautiful and relaxing it is,” he said. “I get great enjoyment out of working at Walka and I appreciate this honour very much.”

Full article by Belinda-Jane Davis available at Maitland Mercury, 16 July, 2012.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Find & Connect New South Wales

Find & Connect New South Wales is a website for Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants, and for everyone with an interest in the history of out-of-home 'care' in New South Wales.

This website has been designed to help Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants understand more about their past and about the historical context of child welfare. We hope that this knowledge of the broader context will be helpful to them and to members of their families who are in the process of finding and telling their stories and coming to terms with the past. Furthermore, we hope that the resources made available through Find & Connect will help raise awareness about this area of Australia's history, and play a role in acknowledging past wrongs.
You can use this site to:
Note: there are no personal records or private information published in this site.

Created by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

Hunter Lifestyle Magazine

June-July 2012 Hunter Lifestyle Magazine includes:
  • Bolwarra Cafe - keeping the tradition alive
  • Wonderful walks with wheels - Maitland Riverside Walkway
  • A defining golden moment - Mill Creek Vineyard at Stroud
  • Newcastle's silver anniversary of jazz
  • Gloucester - home of the tucker patch
  • Born to create - artist Julie Squires, sculpting Saint Mary McKillop

Picture Australia with Trove

Trove's Pictures, photos, objects zone owes much of its existence to one of the National Library's first discovery services, Picture Australia.
Picture Australia was originally launched in September 2000 and, at that time, was a unique and ground breaking service, bringing together digitised images from cultural heritage collections around Australia for not only all Australians to see but also the world.
Picture Australia has been absorbed into Trove. Contemporary images were sourced from Flickr via a series of Groups, which ensured individual contributions to Picture Australia were included in the snapshot of Australiana.
Trove will continue to welcome new contributors and new collections of digital images to enrich the discovery experience for everyone.

Nearly Dun

From the Maitland Mercuy report:
A multi-million dollar project to upgrade one of the state’s most historic bridges is on track to be completed and opened to traffic in late October.
The NSW government is funding the upgrade to the structural capacity of Dunmore Bridge to reduce further maintenance costs.
Work on the bridge is progressing well with prefabrication of two of the three timber trusses almost complete. It is expected all three will be finished by the end of the month.
More than $3 million has been allocated for the work, which started last year.
Built in 1899, Dunmore Bridge is an example of an Allan Truss road bridge and is one of only three remaining in the state.
Full article by Emma Swain available at Maitland Mercury, 5 July, 2012.

History Council Annual Lecture

Craving historical tradition, longing for a deeply rooted past, and uncertain of the place of Aboriginal Australia within both its past and present, Australia has long struggled to reconcile its colonial history with an increasingly confident, optimistic and patriotic self image.
The rise of Anzac Day as a focal point of national communion in recent decades has occurred at the same time as fiercely contested public debates over frontier history and the stolen generations.
In this lecture Mark McKenna asks whether the anxiety over Australia’s search for a foundational history has finally come to an end.
When: 8 August 2012 until 8 August 2012, from 6pm
Where: The Mint, 10 Macquarie, Sydney
Cost: $50.00
Concession: $45.00
Contact: Kate Laing
Phone: 92528715

Saturday, July 7, 2012

U.K. National Archives

This summer London will become the first city to officially host the Olympic Games three times.

The U.K. National Archives hold records from the first summer games in Greece, in 1896, right up to archived websites from 2012 - including files from 1908 and 1948 when London previously hosted the games.
1908 was the first year a special stadium was built and the 1948 games were the first to be broadcast on television. Browse the timeline to see what else you can discover about the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic Games.

New online exhibition

The Harry Daly Museum has created an exciting multimedia online exhibition. Have a browse through the history of Working in Sydney’s operating theatres and marvel at the recollections. Look at the photographs, listen to the audio quotes and read about the interesting memories. Moreover, become part of the exhibition and share your memories in the comments section.

This exhibition combines historical quotes and information, audio material and photographs to recollect memories about working in Sydney’s operating theatres, especially from an anaesthetist’s point of view. The project does not intend to showcase a complete picture of all the hospitals in Sydney, nor a complete chronological timeline of developments. Instead, the aim of the exhibition is to present reminiscences from different locations and eras and let them tell the history of anaesthetic practice in Sydney hospitals.

An old slab cottage and a 200th anniversary

From the Maitland Mercury report:
There’s not a lot known about the little slab cottage standing on the side of the road in the tiny hamlet of Woodville.
But as the building falls victim to the passing years, artist Val Anderson has decided to capture its history as a reminder of a time gone by.
Mrs Anderson has sketched the building – known as Pioneer Cottage – as part of the 200th anniversary of the Woodville community. The sketch will be raffled off as part of the celebrations to be held later this year.
“The cottage is lovely, it really is, but it’s really falling down,” Mrs Anderson said.
Thought to have been built in the mid 1870s and situated between the Woodville School of Arts Hall and Iona Public School, the cottage is the original home of bootmaker Peter Pomfrett and his wife.
Mr Pomfrett was also a handyman and undertook jobs for the School of Arts hall.
“Pomfrett was later joined by a Mr Harden whose descendant, Tom ‘Poppa’ Harden, came to live in the cottage in 1903, aged 12 years, and was the last to live in the cottage,” Mrs Anderson wrote in her
history of the cottage.

Article by Emma Swain available at Maitland Mercury, 04 July, 2012.

Look at the architecture

From the Maitland Mercury report:
“Central Maitland is beautiful with its old buildings and river, and this is going to reflect positively on the CBD and Maitland Heritage Mall,” he said.
“It’s an important step because the population is supposed to double by 2030, which isn’t a long time away – it’s only 18 years – and there’s a lot of infrastructure that’s needed in that time.”
Tony Cant Real Estate general manager Mr Peter Hogan said the government’s investment would give potential developers the confidence to invest in the precinct.

Full article by Belinda-Jane Davis available at Maitland Mercury, 04 July, 2012.

Central Maitland

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Central Maitland will be transformed into a hub of city living with 1300 affordable homes and major road upgrades kickstarted with a $11.3 million federal government grant.
The grant is the biggest government spend in central Maitland for more than 30 years and complements the council’s Central Maitland Structure Plan, which aims to create a housing market in the CBD for the first time since before the 1955 flood.
It will put life back into central Maitland; the people who live in these homes will have direct access to the railway as well as shops and services in the CBD.

Full article by Belinda-Jane Davis available at Maitland Mercury, 02 July, 2012.

Society of Australian Genealogists

The Society of Australian Genealogists 80th Anniversary!
We’re turning 80 in August, and to celebrate we have some special events running during the month just for SAG members. Look out for the free all-day seminar we’re running at State Records NSW (Kingswood) on Saturday 4 August, together with a series of free webinars covering the four sessions from that day seminar to help our country, interstate and overseas members take part in our celebrations. There’s special free library access during the month when you bring a guest into the library so August is also going to be a good time to introduce your friends, family and colleagues to family history.

Events in July:
  • Monday 16 July (8.00pm - 9.00pm AEST) - Webinar - Search Engines in Family History
    We’ve all heard of Google, but what about Mocavo? This session will remind us of some of the tricks to using Google for family history searches, as well as exploring a new search engine specifically designed for family historians. Beginner / Intermediate Level. Presenter - Heather Garnsey. Bookings essential and limited to SAG members only. Price $10.00.
  • Saturday 21 July (10.30am - 12.30pm) - County Spotlight - Dorset & Wiltshire
    Highlighting selected online sources and other types of material located in the SAG library for counties Dorset & Wiltshire. Presenters: Philippa Garnsey & Joan Healy. Bookings Essential. $20 ($30 non-members).
  • Wednesday 25 July (8.00pm - 9.00pm AEST) - Webinar - State Records NSW website
    Join us as we explore the NSW State archives online. What's available on the State Records website and how to access it, everything from online indexes of convict and immigration records to digitised images and finding aids. Beginner / Intermediate Level. Presenter: Martyn Killion. Bookings essential and limited to SAG members only. Price $10.00.
  • Friday 27 July (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Researching Hawkesbury Families
    Many families have connections to the historic Hawkesbury. Come along and find out about what resources are available to search people, places and events within the Hawkesbury district, in repositories as well as online. A short photographic presentation of historic images will also be included. Presenters: Michelle Nichols & Jonathan Auld. Bookings Essential. $20 ($30 non-members).
  • Saturday 28 July (10.30am - 12.30pm) - FindMyPast website
    The FindMyPast website is scheduled to change during 2012, bringing together large collections from Australia, United Kingdom and Ireland – as well as ‘worldwide records’ (initially the US 1940 census). Join Kerry Farmer to look at the new website and some of the records – including Australian Government Gazettes, emigration records from the United Kingdom, military records from Australia, New Zealand, UK and Ireland, Irish land and court records – and more. This subscription website is freely available on SAG’s computers at 379 Kent Street. Bookings Essential. $20 ($30 non-members).