Friday, June 30, 2017

Identifying Battlefield Remains : Forensic Anthropology and Archaeology

Identifying Battlefield Remains : Forensic anthropology and archaeology

The Military History Society of NSW Inc. host Dr Denise Donlon, who will illustrate the methods employed by archaeologists and anthropologists to identify battlefield sites and remains.

When: Sat 8 July, 2:00-3:00pm
Where: Anzac Room, Level 2, 99 York Street, Sydney
Cost: Free – Bookings essential. Please RSVP by Wednesday 5 July

New website: WW1 stories from Sydney Living Museums

The stories on this website provide a panoramic view of how World War I was experienced by people associated with the historic houses and places managed by Sydney Living Museums. 
The stories are often poignant and sometimes heartbreaking. Most are of individuals: combatants, pacifists, patriotic fundraisers and anti-war activists. Other, larger, stories speak to broader national narratives relating to ideas of patriotism and expressions of jingoism. Still others touch on the aftermath of war and the memorialisation of those who had enlisted for active service, including those who made the supreme sacrifice.

WW1 stories further information

Woody Udovenko to tell his life’s story at Maitland & District Historical Society

Woody Udovenko to tell his life’s story at the July meeting of the Maitland & District Historical Society
Tuesday 4 July at the Society's Rooms at 3 Cathedral Street, commencing at 5.30pm.
The guest speaker at the Maitland & District Historical Society’s July meeting will be Wolodymyr (Woody) Udovenko of Vacy. His topic will be A Life’s Journey: from War-Torn Europe to the Valley of the Paterson River, with Many Adventures Along the Way
Woody’s life began in war-torn Europe in 1943, his parents forced to labour on behalf of the German war effort after being transported from their home in eastern Ukraine to Lubeck in northern Germany. After the war the thoroughly displaced family (mother, father and three boys) made their way to Naples and eventually boarded the Nelly 2 for the trip to Australia. The ship broke down in the Great Australian Bight and nearly had to be abandoned, but they eventually made it to Melbourne in September 1949. Woody’s father was immediately taken away to work, and the rest of the family was moved around to migrant camps in Greta and Cowra before being re-united with him and taking up permanent residence in Melbourne. Approaching adulthood, Woody developed an interest in photography, and he made it a career which he followed in Europe and the USA for some years before returning to Australia and getting involved in movie photography in Sydney. Late in the 1980s, the family purchased a farm property in Vacy where in something of a nod to Woody’s father (a Cossack) they developed a horse stud. Meanwhile Woody pursued an interest in the history of the local area.
Members of the public are most welcome to attend the talk. The Society asks for a gold-coin donation to cover the cost of light refreshments.
Contact details for the Maitland & District Historical Society are:
          Mobile: 0438 623299

Who shafted Les Darcy? Audio recording and transcript

Researcher Roger Ley revisits the century old cold case concerning Les Darcy and his disappearance. He answers the questions - What made Australian boxing legend Les Darcy stow away to America two days before the 1916 Conscription plebiscite?
What crime led Australian and American newspapers to vilify him mercilessly?
Why did three American state governors ban him from boxing?
Recording date: 24 May 2017
Audio and transcript:

Maitland High Street through the years

From the Maitland Mercury report:
As work continues on stage two of The Levee project in Maitland, take a look back at the ever-changing face of the High Street.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, 28 Jun 2017.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Royal Australian Historical Society - History House project update

On 3 January 2017 the Development Application for the History House Project was approved. This year the focus has been on fundraising efforts, with an additional $375,000 raised so far in 2017.

The next major milestone is to undertake geotechnical investigations in the loading dock at the Phillip Lane Entrance. These tests will be used to validate the detailed structural design plans. Permissions to undertake these tests are currently being submitted to the Office of Environment and Heritage.

The Society would like to thank its members and friends for their ongoing support for this project as we enter the pre-construction phase of our plans. The building extensions will provide increased space to members, visitors and staff, improved disability access, provide for the urgent and necessary replacement of the building’s lift, and include space for digital media initiatives. It will ensure the long-term operational and financial viability of the RAHS so we can continue to deliver our overall constitutional objective – the advancement of education in the field of Australian history.

RAHS History House project further information.

Indigenous Oral Histories Seminar

From community driven and university based projects, to the collecting initiatives of libraries, archives and museums, the oral history work being undertaken with Indigenous communities across Australia is extensive.

Indigenous Oral Histories Seminar
Saturday 29 July 2017
11 am - 12.45 pm (with morning tea from 10.30 am)
History House, 133 Macquarie Street, Sydney

In this seminar, you will hear from Associate Professor Heidi Norman, who has expertise in conducting research about Aboriginal land rights, Dr Dino Hodge, an activist and academic renowned for his explorations of Indigenous Australian queer histories and activist Kirsten Thorpe, who leads the Indigenous Services team at the State Library of NSW.

The session will be chaired by Kate Waters, an experienced professional historian with expertise in ethical approaches to conducting oral history interviews with Aboriginal communities,.
Registration: Members $20 and Non-members $30
For all enquiries please contact Cheryl Ware by email

Click here for more information and to register online

'Stitched up' exhibition - The Newcastle Industrial School 1867-1871

The Lock-Up in partnership with Timeless Textiles presents ‘STITCHED UP’ commemorating 150 years since the Industrial Girls’ School opened in Newcastle.
Exhibition includes 24-renowned international and national textile artists responding to stories associated with the 193 girls who were at The Newcastle Industrial School (1867 and 1871). The girls lived at the former military Barracks at the Newcastle Government Domain, now known as the James Fletcher site on Watt Street.

The exhibition is curated by Anne Kempton, Creative Director of Timeless Textiles and artist Wilma Simmons. In 2016 Anne and Wilma approached Hunter Living Histories about concepts for an exhibition based on women and incarceration, after discussions it was suggested by Dr. Ann Hardy and historian Jane Ison that the Industrial Girls School commemorating 150th years in 2017 would provide a rich historical and artistic interpretation.

‘STITCHED UP’ at The Lock Up – 23 JUNE – 6 AUGUST 2017

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Greta Migrant Camp in photos

From the Maitland Mercury article:
Greta Migrant Camp was the biggest of its kind in Australia, taking in 100,000 refugees escaping war torn Europe after World War II.
June marks the anniversary of the first draft of migrants in 1949. Take a look at the history of the camp in photos.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, 15 Jun 2017.

Australian Historical Association Conference 2017: Draft program available

The Australian Historical Association has released a draft program for its annual conference, held this year at the University of Newcastle from 3 to 7 July 2017.

This year’s theme is ‘Entangled Histories’ in reference to the growing use of ‘entanglements’ as a key theoretical term in the humanities and social sciences. It reflects the increasing move away from narrowly defined ‘national’ histories towards an understanding of history as an interlinked whole, where identities and places are the products of mobilities and connections. The conference theme will explore the ways in which peoples, ideas and goods circulated across the boundaries of empires and nations, and viewing all cultures and societies as connected.

Rare coin fetches $1600 at Maitland auction

From the Maitland Mercury report:
A rare uncirculated coin has fetched $1600 at a Maitland auction, $400 above its reserve price.
Maitland and District Coin Club sales secretary Steve Schumacher said last Monday’s auction attracted about 50 people and resulted in some top sales.
“Most items sold over the reserve with a 1938 Australian Crown bringing $120, an Australian 1946 Penny fetching $55 and a 1954 Florin $50,” Mr Schumacher said.
But the highlight of the auction was the sale of the 1967 Australian Pattern Goose Dollar which had a reserve price of $1200.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, 15 Jun 2017.

Grossmann House and Museum of Clothing - Opera Workshop Tour

Friends of Grossmann House supporters have the opportunity to join with the Museum of Clothing and the Maitland Regional Museum Committee on an
upcoming bus trip to the Opera Workshop Tour in Sydney on June 21.
$80.00 Cost is all inclusive - coach travel, tour fee, morning tea and light lunch
Limited seats
Will advise pickup points but expect a 9am departure.
Ring Sandy Earle at 4988 6454 - to express interest
messages can be left
Seat booked once payment is received

Maitland City Hall of Fame inducts second round of people

From the Maitland Mercury report:
A group of Maitland’s highest achievers in various fields has been honoured with induction into the Maitland City Hall of Fame.
The second round of the awards recognised 19 local heroes, 12 posthumously at a ceremony on Tuesday at Maitland Regional Art Gallery.
The hall of fame is the brain child of Maitland councillor Brian Burke, himself a renowned rugby league halfback who helped lead the Maitland Pumpkin Pickers to four premierships between 1965 and 1973. In 1972 he was named Country Rugby League Player of the Year.
It was a plan he instigated during his first term on council in 1999 and one he helped bring to fruition last year.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, 13 Jun 2017.

Historian Cynthia Hunter has been included on the 2017 Queens Birthday honours list

From the Maitland Mercury report:
When historian Cynthia Hunter started delving into the Lower Hunter’s past in the 1970s, she never imagined she would be made an Member of the Order of Australia.
Her lifelong passion has seen her transform into an author who has written more than 20 books and publications and now she has been included in this year’s Queens Birthday honours list.
“It is nice to be recognised for what I’ve been doing in the field of history,” Mrs Hunter said.
“My research work has provided a platform for others to benefit from, especially if they are doing research themselves.
“I was fortunate enough to do some quite in-depth studies on areas within the Hunter but also further afield too.
“It’s been a lifelong interest and it’s really been nice that the work has been enjoyed by the people who are interested in history.”

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, 12 Jun 2017.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Restored World War I locomotive unveiled at Richmond Vale Railway Museum

From the Maitland Mercury report:
A restored World War I locomotive was unveiled at Richmond Vale Railway Museum on Saturday as part of the museum’s annual Coalfields Steam celebrations.
The locomotive was built in April 1918 and was used in France at end of the Great War, and was later used to link the mines of the Kurri Kurri district with the coal loaders at Hexham.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, 10 Jun 2017.

Isobel Bowden works feature as Brough House exhibition

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Former Maitland Art Gallery, Brough House, will throw its doors open once again for an exhibition, paying tribute to two women who both shared a passion for art and conservation.
Friends of Grossmann House have organised the exhibition of intricate botanical art by Isobel Bowden.
Bowden was a pioneering conservationist who significantly contributed to raising awareness, appreciation and protection of the unique flora of the world heritage listed Blue Mountains National Park. Her works are a touring exhibition from the National Trust and the first to be held in the newly refurbished Cecily Mitchell exhibition space at Brough House.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, 4 Jun 2017.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Flashback Friday - The Hunter in 1972

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Thanks to the Fairfax archives take a look at just a snapshot of life in the Hunter in 1972.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, 2 Jun 2017.

Park in Gillieston Heights named and dedicated to Joseph Maxwell VC

From the Maitland Mercury report:
A park at Gillieston Heights has been named after Victoria Cross recipient Lieutenant Joseph Maxwell, an iconic Maitland man who served in World War I.
A ceremony was held at the Les Circuit recreation area on May 31, which is part of Stockland’s Darcy’s Peak development.
Mayor of Maitland, Cr Peter Blackmore, announced the park’s name after reflecting on the courage and bravery Lieutenant Maxwell showed.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, 31 May 2017.

Three historic Maitland hotels are on the market

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Three of Maitland’s landmark hotels are on the market.
The Family Hotel opposite Maitland Hospital, The Belmore Hotel in High Street and The Caledonian Hotel near Maitland Railway Station are all poised for new ownership.

The Belmore Hotel was passed in at auction in Sydney on Wednesday after some spirited bidding. Selling agents Ray White are currently in negotiations with some parties.
The Family Hotel will be auctioned on June 15 through Sydney firm Manenti Quinlan and Associates and Starr Partners Real Estate Maitland is calling for expressions of interest for The Caledonian Hotel.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, 31 May 2017.

Inside History Magazine - Autumn 2017 edition

In issue 38, the Autumn 2017 edition of Australia’s favourite history and genealogy magazine, you’ll discover:
  • 150+ new family history resources and records online
  • The daring escapades and escapes of a 20th-century WA bushranger
  • The future of genealogy: Shauna Hicks on what’s to come
  • An eccentric Australian artist and the controversial 1944 court case that divided the art world
  • A tale of two convicts: two men convicted for the same crime in 1817 who went on to lead very different lives
  • Unsung Aussie hero Joice NanKivell Loch
  • An eyewitness account and rescue attempt in Pompeii after the fateful eruption — behind the scenes of the ANMM’s latest exhibition
  • Expert photo-dating tips on postcard portraits
  • The legends (and history) of Elizabeth Scott, alleged murderess
  • Australia’s new additions to the UNESCO Memory of the World register, from early records to Dorothea Mackellar’s poetry to Indigenous artworks
  • Around Australia in 11 World Heritage listed convict sites
  • The latest history news, events, book and app reviews, and more. On sale now!

Steamfest 2017 organisers praised for a great show

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Unspent funds totalling more than $20,000, from this year’s Hunter Valley Steamfest will be poured into improvements to the event’s rally ground.
The event attracted 55,000 people over the two days.
Seventy council event volunteers and hundreds of volunteers from a range of community organisations, machinery clubs and associations helped make the festival a huge success councillors were told at this week’s meeting.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, 29 May 2017.

Dark and disturbing at Maitland Gaol - after dark tours 2017

From the Maitland Mercury report:
Welcome to Maitland Gaol which for 150 years - 1848 to 1998 - was one of the state’s toughest maximum security jails. Seriously hard time.

Step inside the two-and- a-half foot thick brown sandstone walls, still lined with razor wire and topped with looped barbed wire. Overlooking that were the watchtowers in each corner and walkways where warders would patrol - for 24 hours a day in those early days, rifles in hand. Eventually video surveillance cameras would be used to help ease their workload.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, 28 May 2017.

Ian Tinkler, Hunter Valley wine industry's newest Living Legend

From the Maitland Mercury report:
The Hunter Valley food and wine industry welcomed its newest Living Legend last night – Ian Tinkler.
Tinkler, clearly moved by the recognition, has been growing grapes and producing premium wines on his Pokolbin family property for more than 35 years.

Full article available at Maitland Mercury, 26 May 2017.