Friday, August 29, 2014

Maitland's Great War - Maitland City Library event

It was to be ‘the war that will end war’ as H.G. Wells commented in August 1914. From the heights of hope to the horror of the trenches, the Great War changed the world irrevocably. It separated families and lovers, turned young men into soldiers and young women into nurses, converted friends and neighbours into enemies.
This event will explore the impact of World War One at home, uncovering and examining some of the layers of remembrance, including an insight into ‘Maitland’s Own’ 34th Battalion and extracts from the Maitland Mercury.
6.00pm - 7.00pm
Thursday 11 September
Maitland Gaol
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Look Who's Talking 2014

Annual History Lecture 2014: ‘The Battle Within Ourselves’ – POWs in post-war Australia

History Council of NSW in partnership with Sydney Living Museums
Event Type: Talk / Lecture

When: Tuesday, 9 September 2014 from 06:00 PM to 08:30 PM
Where: The Mint, 10 Macquarie , Sydney
Cost: General $50.00 / Concession $45.00
Contact: Dr Mandy Kretzschmar, 02 9252 8715,,

The current embrace of former prisoners of war (POWs) of the Japanese as veterans who suffered undue hardships in the service of their nation belies a more complicated history. Focusing on the immediate post-war period until the 1970s, Professor Christina Twomey explores in her lecture the rare testimony from ex-POWs about how they experienced life in Australia after their return home. Many applicants to the POW Trust Fund (1952-77) certainly believed that captivity had blighted their chances and disrupted their capacity to find employment, connect properly with other people or to settle down and find happiness in work and family life. Whether imprisonment in war caused their problems, or merely compounded an existing structural disadvantage or personality failing, lay at the heart of the Trustees’ deliberations. The way Trustees chose to find an answer, which drew upon networks of information available from private charity and assumptions about who or what constituted a deserving case, demonstrates the limits of sympathy for damaged and broken men.

Society of Australian Genealogists

Saturday 6 September (1.30pm - 3.30pm) - Writing Discussion Group - September (repeat)
What the Editor Wants! Back by popular demand! - This session is a repeat of the Writing Group session held in March. An experienced newspaper and magazine subeditor will give some tips on the writing styles that make an editor smile. She will share her knowledge of simple writing ideas that can help polish your prose and make it sparkle. Presenter: Sheila Browne. Bookings essential. $8 ($12 non-members).
  • Tuesday 9 September (8.00pm - 9.00pm AEST) - Webinar - Gazettes in NSW Family History
    Once hidden away and hard to access, both the NSW Government and Police Gazettes are now widely available online. Join Heather Garnsey to see what they contain and learn how to use them to your best advantage. Presenter - Heather Garnsey. Bookings essential and limited to SAG members only. Price $10.00.
  • Thursday 11 September (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Writing Discussion Group - September
    Stop Procrastinating! Suffering writer’s block? Organisation is the key. In this seminar, you will hear practical ideas on how to sort through the research material you have amassed and start to write your story. Presenter - Pat Rogerson. Bookings essential. $8 ($12 non-members).
  • Thursday 18 September (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Getting Started on Your Family History - Members Only
    For new members with no family history research experience. Learn the basics of how to start researching, what to do, and where to find and ask for help. Members Only. Bookings Essential and limited to 10. Cost $10.00.
  • Saturday 20 September (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Introduction to Latin in Family History
    Latin is often encountered by family historians in sources such as parish registers, on headstones, in letters and other documentation. Learn some basics of grammar and vocabulary, see some examples of Latin in sources relevant to family history and how to tackle it. No prior Latin knowledge necessary. Bookings Essential. $20 ($30 non-members).
  • Saturday 27 September (10.30am - 12.30pm) - Charting Your Family Tree - Jeremy Palmer
    This hands-on session will introduce methods and guidelines used in the construction of family history charts, or ‘pedigrees’. Learn how to arrange your information and set out a clear and concise chart- a useful skill that all researchers need. Bookings Essential. $20 ($30 non-members).
  • Maitland's bells will toll to remember the beginning of WWI

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    The bells will toll throughout Maitland tomorrow as residents stop to commemorate 100 years since the start of World War I.
    And as Australia’s oldest continually operating public school, Largs  is proud to take part in the communal ceremony.
    “It’s great that a significant part of our historical school [the 175-year-old school bell] has motivated the students to learn about and participate in such an important part of Australian history,” principal Sharon Palmer said

    Greta migrants to tell their stories

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    Writer Alek Schulha intends to publish their experiences in a book – the first time their stories will have been told in their own words.
    Mr Schulha has received backing from John Tucker, of the Ethnic Community Council of Newcastle, who said: “When we receive a chapter or two, we will seek funding to have the book published.”
    This news came yesterday after people learned recently that plans to celebrate the 65th anniversary of Greta Migrant Camp had been abandoned amid claims organisers had no funding and no time.
    Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Aug. 26, 2014.

    For sale: 100 years of history - Verona, Maitland

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    Verona House sits quiet and still today but at points during its 100-year history it has reverberated with the laughter of children, the sounds of piano recitals and neighbourhood chatter through social tennis games. 
    Valentina Maund drove past Verona, built near the boulevard of Regent Street’s grand homes, dozens of times as a child. 
    Maitland architect James Warren Scobie, who was responsible for dozens of Maitland buildings include the Town Hall, designed the grand structure that has retained many of its original features. 
    Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Aug. 21, 2014.

    Thursday, August 21, 2014

    You can help with Maitland grandstand

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    Hunter River Agricultural and Horticultural Association’s Sponsor A Plank Program has raised $3200 since it was launched in June.
    Two beams, two joists and seven planks have been sponsored so far.
    Association spokeswoman Amanda Winney encouraged people to get involved in the initiative to restore the 100-year-old grandstand.
    Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Aug. 18, 2014.

    School project with a special ending: soldier Arnold Worboys

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    A schoolgirl’s project on a World War I Bolwarra soldier reached a solemn conclusion this week when special tribute was paid to Sergeant Arnold Worboys at a Last Post ceremony recorded at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.
    It was a supreme moment for Charlotte Lambert, 17, from Queensland, whose work on Sgt Lambert uncovered the fact that he had been killed in 1917 on March 23 – the same day she celebrates her birthday.
    As the final notes of the Last Post sounded at the Memorial on Saturday, Charlotte stepped proudly forward to lay a wreath near the name of the soldier who had come to play such a big part in her life.
    Then Robert Worboys from Bolwarra, a direct descendant of Sgt Worboys, stepped forward to lay his wreath.
    Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Aug. 18, 2014.

    Putting a face to Maitland WW1 soldier Arnold Worboys

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    The only known photograph of a Maitland soldier killed in World War I was discovered this week and sent to the Australian War Memorial in time for its Last Post Ceremony commemorating his history on Saturday.
    Stunned relatives of Sergeant Arnold Worboys from Bolwarra had believed all photographs of him had been destroyed in the Maitland floods.
    Robert Worboys, from Bolwarra, believes he found the site of his relative’s death – a bomb crater on a sunken road near Villers-Bretonneux on the Somme.
    But he has no known grave.
    Then a schoolgirl in Queensland, Charlotte Lambert, began studying Sgt Worboys’ ­history because Lambert was his middle name.
    And she discovered the date of his death in 1917 – March 23 – was also her birthday.
    Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Aug. 14, 2014.

    Maitland Regional Art Gallery five years on

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    It's been five years since the late, great Margaret Olley took pride of place in Maitland to open the city's new-look art gallery.
    Since then the multi-million dollar design has attracted the works of the country's most prominent artists and become a booming cultural hub for the region.
    "My dream was always for the gallery to be accessible to everybody and that's what we've worked hard to achieve," gallery director Joe Eisenberg said.
    "People coming here don't have to wear a bow tie and a black suit, they can come here wearing thongs and they can come with their prams."
    This weekend the gallery, as it stands today, will celebrate its fifth birthday giving the Mercury a chance to reflect on the facility's artistic offerings since 2009.
    Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Aug. 13, 2014.

    National Family History Month

    Family history and genealogy is one of the most popular hobbies around the world. Family history is the second biggest subject on the web with sites receiving billions of hits per year. There are over 250,000 Australians who are members of family history related organisations so the month has broad appeal across Australia.
    National Family History Month 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 since its introduction in 2006. Originally only a week in August, it was expanded to include the whole month in 2013 to allow greater participation across Australia.
    For genealogy and family history societies, archives, libraries etc, a list of 2013 events is available here for ideas on what to do in 2014. A copy of the 2014 flyer is available here and it can be used to help promote your own events. Please remember to add your event to the NFHM web calendar to ensure everyone knows about your events.

    129 years of military and Parramatta community history street Pageant

    To commemorate the centenary of WW1 and the raising of the 1st Light Horse (AIF) from the ranks of the NSW Lancers, the Museum of the 1st/15th Royal NSW Lancers together with Parramatta City Council is mounting a historical Pageant along Macquarie Street, Parramatta. Drawing extensively on period uniforms, equipment & vehicles from the Museum's heritage listed collection, the Pageant will trace the history of one of Australia's oldest and most decorated Regiments, from its foundation in 1885 as Australia's only Regiment of Lancers, through it's time as a Tank Regiment (you are unlikely to see a 50 ton Main Battle Tank rolling through the centre of any other city in Australia!) to the current Regiment with its Bushmaster vehicles.

    Sat 30 Aug.   1:00–​6:00pm
    NSW Lancers Memorial Museum                                                                

    Thursday, August 14, 2014

    Maitland Grossmann’s 130th anniversary

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    The school hall is prepared and ready for Maitland Grossmann High School’s 130th anniversary. 
    Earlier this year the school tracked down its oldest living former student, 107-year-old Edith McDonald, following a search in the Mercury. 
    Mrs McDonald, who lives in Moree, attended the school in the early 1920s when it was Maitland Girls High School.
    Established in 1884, the girls school was amalgamated with Maitland Boys High School more than 100 years later, in 1987. 
    Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Aug. 11, 2014.

    Richmond Vale Railway Museum

    17th August 2014 Centenary of Coal.

    Richmond Vale Preservation Co-Operative Society Ltd is celebrating Centenary of Coal.Gates open at 9.30 am with first train ride at 10.00 am then starting again at 1.00pm last train 3.00 pm. Gates closing at 4.00pm.Official ceremony 11.30 to 12.30.Demonstration of haulage of non-air coal wagons and other historic rail vehicles.Guided tours of the Richmond Main site and Mining MuseumDisplay by Mines Rescue. Road haulage vehicles and mining machinery.Rides on the miniature railway.Come and help us celebrate100 years since the first train load of coal left Richmond Main and travelled via railway to Minmi and on to Hexham.Entry Fees Apply. No bookings required.For more information check web site or ring 02 4001 0197

    General Sir John Monash's war papers released online

     A collection of private papers from The Australian Corps Commander General Sir John Monash was launched on 25 June by Prime Minister the Hon. Tony Abbott.  Monash was one of Australia’s greatest leaders of the First World War and is considered one of Australia's outstanding commanders.
    The papers, official letters, maps, and personal correspondence that make up this collection, document Monash’s experience of the First World War and cover a range of material, from campaign maps to concert programs.
    The release of Monash’s papers in an online format allows not only Australians but also people from across the world to delve into the life of this significant historical figure. The digitisation of Monash’s wartime papers is part of the Memorial’s Anzac connections project, a centenary initiative that makes First World War private records available online to the Australian public.

    Now and Then: East Maitland Mechanics’ Institute

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    East Maitland Mechanics’ Institute was built in 1859.
    The regular meetings of its members often appeared within the pages of the Mercury. 
    The following report on a lecture on the Blacks of Australia appeared on pages four of the Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser on Thursday, May 16, 1878. 
    “On Friday evening, May 3, a lecture, on the Blacks of Australia, was delivered in the hall of the East Maitland Mechanics’ Institute, by Mr Wilton Hack ; the President, Mr John Ewing, in the chair. 
    Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Aug. 9, 2014.

    Tocal College celebrates golden anniversary

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    The life and times of Tocal College will come into focus next year as part of the establishment’s 50th anniversary.
    From its opening in March 1965 – with 15 male students – the college has grown to become one of Australia’s largest and most diverse agricultural colleges.
    “The college was established by the Presbyterian Church as the CB Alexander Presbyterian Agricultural College,” ­principal Cameron Archer said.
    “Its operation was transferred to the NSW Department of Agriculture in 1970 and it continues to be operated by the NSW government through the Department of Primary Industries.”
    Full article available at Maitland Mercury, Aug. 6, 2014.

    WWI memorabilia wanted in Maitland

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    Military buffs and history enthusiasts in Maitland are being enlisted to help with a giant project to commemorate the 100th year since the nightmare Battle of Passchendaele was fought in World War I.
    Foremost among the ­soldiers who took part in the horrific fighting were the men of the 34th Battalion – known as Maitland’s Own.
    The commemoration will take place at Maitland Regional Art Gallery in October, 2017.
    Full article available at Maitland Mercury,

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

    Maitland, the past 30 years: photos

    During the past three decades Maitland Mercury pictorial editor Cath Bowen has captured the human condition of our city.
    From the pope to politicians, bushfires to bomb scares and strugglers to survivors, Bowen has spent her days photographing the world in which we live.
    In celebration of her 30th anniversary with the Mercury, Bowen has unearthed a collection of pictures taken during that time.
    "This is a small collection of photographs I had at the bottom of my wardrobe and I've dusted them off for you to enjoy," Bowen said.
    Full article available at Maitland Mercury, July 31, 2014.

    Maitland master plan: Memory lane

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    Celebrating Maitland’s history could be a simple stroll down memory lane.
    Maitland City Council has proposed setting up heritage walks around the city as part of its Interpretation Master Plan designed to renew interest in the heart of Maitland.
    Pavement markers on the ground would guide walkers around the city and highlight historical sites.
    The markers would be split into four key themes including the river speaks, heroes and villains, poverty and prosperity and architecture.
    Full article available at Maitland Mercury, July 30, 2014.

    Maitland master plan to include small markers

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    Small markers could be scattered across Maitland to encourage people to engage in the city’s history.
    Possible micro installations were part of Maitland City Council’s Interpretation Master Plan, which seeks to create new attractions to re-ignite interest in central Maitland.
    The installations could be small passages of text, images or clues to the location of another marker.
    They could also engage people on a technical level using QR codes to link people to relevant websites or social media pages when scanned with a smart phone.

    Full article available at Maitland Mercury, July 29, 2014.

    Maitland pillars that talk

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    They might look like simple wooden pillars from a distance but up close they will give people a different view of Maitland’s history.
    Maitland City Council has proposed installing vertical posts at various places around the city that will provide an audio-visual immersion in the region’s history.
    The idea is part of council’s Interpretation Master Plan, which is a collection of bold new ways to reinvigorate central Maitland, with a focus on heritage.
    Full article available at Maitland Mercury, July 28, 2014.

    The Levee to brighten up with bullock team in Maitland

    From the Maitland Mercury report:
    Three bullock statues could be put into The Levee precinct to represent the early days of European settlement in the city, according to council’s heritage officer Clare James.
    “High Street began as a meandering track for bullock teams and formed the spine of the early settlements,” she said.
    “Bullock teams dominated the street until the Great Northern Railway reached Singleton in 1863. 
    “The street was smelly, dirty and dusty.  A sculpture around the concept proposed captures this history in a ­literal way and is intended to be an iconic statement.” 
    Full article available at Maitland Mercury, July 27, 2014.

    Remembering Governor Arthur Phillip

    On 31 August 2014 we celebrate the Bicentenary of the death of Arthur Phillip. Sydney Living Museums is commemorating the life of the first governor of New South Wales with a program of events at the Museum of Sydney on the site of first Government House. The program includes the dedication of the Captain Arthur Phillip RN Memorial, a symposium dedicated to exploring his life and legacy, and a series of daily tours. For more information on the full range of activities and commemorative events see the website, Governor Arthur Phillip.

    History Week 2014 Program Launched

    History Week 6 – 14 September 2014 – The Great War
    It was to be “the war that will end war” as H.G. Wells commented in August 1914. From the heights of hope to the horror of the trenches, the Great War changed the world irrevocably. It separated families and lovers, turned young men into soldiers and young women into nurses, converted friends and neighbours into enemies. The unusual circumstances of warfare intervened with each aspect of life. In which ways did the conduct of war shape, change and inform those fighting and those remaining on the home front? How have historians approached complex topics surrounding it, such as the scale of violence, women’s involvement in war, forced migration? What impact did the Great War have on the cultural memory of those involved – allies and enemies? In the aftermath of 1915 Australians elevated the Gallipoli landing into a foundation story, which claims that the nation was born on this battlefield, but there are more layers of remembrance yet to be uncovered and examined. History Week 2014 will explore the impact of World War One abroad and at home.