Saturday, September 20, 2014

Calling all former students: Maitland High School

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Maitland High School has launched a desperate appeal to former students and staff members to attend this year’s 130th anniversary dinner.
The dinner will be held at the school on Saturday, September 27.
Replies have so far been received from 100 invited guests, but the school had hoped for 200 acceptances.
“This year’s 130th anniversary will be very special because it is being held in our school’s multi-purpose centre for the first time,” Maitland High School Old Boys and Ex-Students Union secretary Peter Newcombe said.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Sept. 17, 2014.

Inside History magazine, September-October 2014 - Maitland City Library

Inside History is available online at Maitland City Library:

Issue 24, our Sep-Oct 2014 edition has features and practical tips to help you trace your family tree and discover the life your ancestor led. In this edition:
  • Discover your family’s story through millinery fashion with our dress historian Jayne Shrimpton
  • We look at the booming industry of DNA testing and hear about readers’ experiences
  • Find out which 50 best genealogy and history blogs made our 3rd Annual Blog Awards
  • Need to know which family history software is best for you? Our practical guide will help
  • Go behind the scenes in Sydney’s latest archaeology digs
  • Plus, want to see your ancestor on the cover of Inside History? Enter our cover competition now!

Lake Macquarie Art Gallery - Convict Stories from the Hunter

A very fine river: convict stories from the Hunter.

In 1797, while searching for a boat seized in Sydney Cove by convict escapees, Lieutenant Shortland sailed into the opening of a river, which he described 'a very fine coal river'. A convict camp called King’s Town was established soon after which became notorious as a place of incarceration. A very fine river… draws on the work of five Hunter-based artists: Sophia Emmett, Ruth Feeney, Carolyn McKay, Tara Standing and Ryan Williams. In each case, the artists not only reflect on this important period of history, but also explore how the past continues to resonate in the present.
A gallery project curated by Rob Cleworth and Nicole Chaffey in consultation with Newcastle Regional Museum and the Aboriginal Reference Group.

Lake Macquarie Art Gallery, 25 July to 19 October.

Coach tragedy a part of our history

From the Maitland Mercury report:
On Monday last the Dungog to Maitland mail coach driver James Brereton left Dungog around 2.30pm and after picking up mail at Seaham, Clarence Town and Glen Oak, arrived at Hinton Post Office, in Paterson Street, about 9pm with 5 passengers and 14 bags of mail.
Soon after the coach left the Post Office the leading reins got caught up in the leading bar and the driver had to alight to fix them.
Then, soon after as the driver pulled to one side to pass a buggy ahead of him, the wheels of the coach struck a culvert near Watson’s store.
The driver was thrown off and the horses bolted down towards the punt, came into the punt yard, onto the punt, straight through the punt and into the river.

Full article (by Peter Bogan) available at Maitland Mercury, Sept. 10, 2014.

The lure of whisky led to jail, and a flogging

From the Maitland Mercury report:
In the early 1880s the NSW Legislative Assembly enacted laws to permit flogging in certain cases of perceived hooliganism.
The Mercury reported on such a case in 1884.  
The report read:
About 10pm on a Sunday evening a number of youths knocked on the door of James Kerr’s Adelphi Hotel claiming to be travellers and asking to be served.
Kerr admitted the group and started to serve the requested drinks at the bar. He then heard someone running through the back and noticed three bottles of whisky missing.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Sept. 9, 2014.

2014 NSW Premier’s History Awards

The 2014 NSW Premier’s History Awards, offering $75,000 in prize money, were announced  on 5 September 2014 at the State Library of NSW, as part of the official launch of NSW History Week.
The prizes, including a special commemorative medallion for Australian Military History, were presented by The Honourable Victory Dominello MP, who said: “As Minister for Veterans Affairs, I’m delighted and honoured to present the NSW Premier’s History Awards in 2014, a year which marks the start of the commemoration of the First World War.”
Minister Troy Grant MP, Minister for the Arts commented: “I’m delighted to see the State Library of NSW and the History Council of NSW working together to promote history; it is relationships such as these that contribute to a strong and resilient arts and cultural sector.”
Australian History Prize ($15,000)
Broken Nation: Australians in the Great War, Joan Beaumont (Allen & Unwin)
Australian Military History Prize (commemorative medallion, a subcategory of Australian History) First Victory, Mike Carlton (Random House Australia)
General History Prize ($15,000)
Encountering the Pacific in the Age of Enlightenment, John Gascoigne (Cambridge University Press)
NSW Community and Regional History Prize ($15,000)
Coast: A History of the New South Wales Edge, Ian Hoskins (NewSouth)
Young People’s History Prize ($15,000)
Australians All, Nadia Wheatley, illustrated by Ken Searle (Allen & Unwin)
Multimedia History Prize ($15,000)
Public Intimacies: The 1974 Royal Commission on Human Relationships, Michelle Arrow, Catherine Freyne and Timothy Nicastri (ABC Radio National Hindsight)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Digger's Vest features in Australian War Memorial exhibition

From the Maitland Mercury report:
An iconic sheepskin vest first worn by Australian soldiers during World War I and recreated in Maitland late last year will take pride of place at an Anzac centenary project.
The Digger’s Vest – worn in the ­bone-chilling winters of Europe – will feature in a poignant exhibit at the Australian War Memorial in November.
Made from sheepskins sourced from Sydney butchers and stitched by the hands of women on the home front, the vests were a gift of community support that saved many lives of those enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force.
Last year – for the first time in almost 100 years – the vest was revived to ­commemorate the centenary of both the Anzac legend and the Australian ­sheepskin clothing industry.
Trademarked as the Digger’s Vest, the article of clothing has been produced at Mortels Sheepskin Factory, Thornton, under the guidance of Maitland war historians John Gillam and Yvonne Fletcher.
Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Sept. 3, 2014.

Roll of Honour name projections - Australian War Memorial

During the centenary period, the names of the 62,000 Australians who gave their lives during the First World War will be projected onto the fa├žade of the Hall of Memory at the Australian War Memorial. The names will be displayed from sunset to sunrise every night, and can be seen from the Memorial's grounds. Each name will be visible for 30 seconds.
If you would like to know when a name will be projected, there is a search function available on our website.

Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School at Tarro celebrates 70 years

From the Maitland Mercury report:
As Helen McCrohon listened intently to the nuns on her first day at Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School 70 years ago, classmate John Prichard was on his bike and out the gate.
He and Ms McCrohon were among the Tarro school’s youngest students when it opened on September 12, 1944. 
“I can remember standing outside the church on the cement and lining up,” Helen, then four years old, said.
Full article available at Maitland Mercury,

WWI army man brought home a bayonet

From the Maitland Mercury report:
With the outbreak of World War I being commemorated in dozens of towns and cities, Dale Challand’s thoughts are of his great-grandfather John Britton Challand – and of a mystery bayonet he was given.
Mr Challand’s great-grandfather was a volunteer from Kurri Kurri who came to Australia from the UK with his brother.
Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Sept. 1, 2014.