Hobart Town (1804) First Settlers Association Inc

Annual Report for 2016

The President's Annual Report for 2016

for the

Hobart Town (1804) First Settlers Association Inc

Gwen HardstaffWith much pleasure I present the Annual Report of the Hobart Town (1804) First Settlers Association Inc. indicating the completion of another busy and successful year.

Our Patron, the Rt. Hon The Earl of Buckinghamshire (Lord Miles Hobart), unfortunately had to postpone his planned visit to Hobart in January 2016, due to business and family commitments. As a result, the Civic Reception for Lord Hobart which Hobart Lord Mayor Ald. Sue Hickey kindly offered to host, but of course, postponed until Lord Hobart is next able to visit our state.

Sincere thanks to the Lord Mayor and staff for the assistance provided during the past year and for arranging and attending special meetings with committee members concerning our planned projects:-

Statue of Lieutenant-Governor David Collins: Warwick Risby and Beverley Richardson have spent considerable time and energy meeting with representatives from Hobart City Council, TMAG and others to finalise location of proposed statue of Lt.-Gov. David Collins and we are still awaiting final approval for the suggested site. Alastair Douglas has been working on compliance requirements to enable the Association to receive endorsement from ATO for DGR (Deductable Gift Recipient) status to assist with funding the proposed statue; this is such a necessary and important factor to enable the progression of the project. A big thank you to all.

Annual Floral Tribute 2015: Well attended with many favourable comments received – Guest Speaker Doug Chipman (Mayor of City of Clarence), the MILCOLT ‘Royal Marines’ and Hobart Veterans’ Band were all welcome features of the Ceremony.
The Band Music was a draw-card for interested spectators who were in the area and came to join with us for the occasion. It is important that the Floral Tribute should remain a significant event on the Hobart calendar and that we ensure it is widely advertised.

Meetings and Membership: Monthly meetings continue to be held on the 1st Tuesday of each month at St George’s Church Parish rooms in Cromwell St. Membership steadily increased during past year with twelve new members; good attendance numbers have been maintained at Monthly Meetings.

Committee Meetings: Have been held regularly – totalling six during the past year. Committee has agreed that new Moonah Arts Centre is a convenient and suitable venue for these meetings.

Guest Speakers and their topics were:

  • Assoc. Prof. Hamish Maxwell-Stewart: Convict Research.
  • Mary Ramsay: The Town on the Fat Doe River
  • Alan Townsend: Heritage Wallpapers
  • Rosie Severs: Robert Brown – The Botanist
  • Lorraine Dooley: Building on Firm Foundations
  • David G Boon: St George’s Cemetery and Surrounding Area
  • Warwick Risby: Norfolk Island and Wreck of HMS Sirius
  • Paul O’Donnell: Aspects of Art in Van Diemen’s Land
  • Simon Cocker: William Cuffay – ‘Fighter’ for the Workers
  • Malcolm Kays: Rippon Shield – a Master Builder in Hobart

We are fortunate to have persons who are willing to come to meetings as guest-speakers and I know that many, including myself, were fascinated to learn much more about early Hobart, buildings and people in particular, and of wider areas of interest in our state.

David G. Boon’s presentation and information re the Albuera St school pupils work with deciphering details on remaining headstones from the old St George’s burial ground was of particular significance. David was able to encourage his primary school pupils to become interested and involved with reading, researching and learning about early settlers whose headstones were removed from the burial site and relocated to a memorial wall in nearby Buckley’s Rest Reserve. This generation is the future of our Association and we must be mindful and encouraging of their interest in projects of this type.

Outings and Events: We have had a busy year with many interesting and informative excursions. Members and friends enjoy the chance to exchange information and get to know more about common interests when we are able to meet informally.
The trip to various Tasman Peninsula places of interest was highlighted by the family connections of many members to the venues we visited; the day concluded with a ‘meet-and-greet’ with members of the local Historical Society.

In March we visited High Peak at Neika, located on the slopes of Mt. Wellington, and were fortunate to have the opportunity to see the house and the garden as guests of the owners Jim & Annabelle Grant. It was a fascinating day with so much history of Hobart and of Tasmania on display.

May 10th was the culmination of Christina Henri’s Roses from the Heart program, which was a memorial to the 25,566 women transported to Australia between 1788 and 1853. HTFS members have been associated with this event during the past few years and we were well represented by bonnet-clad members among the several hundred people at the gathering in Hunter St.

Warwick & I represented the Association at the Heart Memorial Project Dinner held the previous evening at Henry Jones Art Hotel.

We were fortunate to have a Behind the Scenes tour of the Tasmania Heritage and Archives Office in Hobart to see part of the collections not currently on public display. There were so many items of interest and so much to see.

A visit to TMAG was held in July, where we were part of an informative theatrical journey in time called Settlement Secrets and staged by Colin Dean.

Association Representatives attended the Annual Mariners’ Service at St Georges Church, and the HTFS flag was carried in the procession by a group of Hutchins school.

THRA members invited our group to join with them for a trip to places of interest in and around Bothwell, led by Mary Ramsay; a very informative day with much to appreciate.

Newsletters: Guy McDougall is doing a great job with the layout and production of the quarterly newsletter, and also with additional research and writing of articles. Guy also contributes and oversees content on the Associations’ Facebook page. Stephany and others assist with content and editing of newsletter – congratulations and thanks to all. This has become a feature that is much appreciated by members.

Alastair Douglas OAM continues to maintain HTFS website and Public Officer Michael Seabrook attends to legal compliance and associated functions; these contributions are much appreciated by all.

Among the stated Aims of Association is ‘Having our library resources available to (local and visiting) members’: it is therefore imperative that we continue with efforts to access a suitable site in Hobart CBD to house the Library items and records held.
As members of this active Association, we need to be aware of the large workload of our activities for a small group of workers. It is important that we revisit the sharing of roles, an improved distribution of work and look for ways to streamline processes; the incoming committee members will welcome any ideas that facilitate and improve our current methods.
Sincere appreciation is extended to all who contributed to make this a very successful year for the Association. In particular, our hard working secretary Stephany and vice-president Warwick, for advice and assistance given to me. Treasurer, Mavis and historian Kath have all spent many hours ensuring all records are up-to-date and in order. Margaret Lewis provides the executive with monthly updated membership lists, and of course – Di Vertigan who brings along our delicious morning teas to the meetings………… where do I stop? ………. everyone has been very supportive and helpful in the many ways that assists us to achieve our aims and objectives as a successful organisation.

Thank you one and all.

Gwen Hardstaff

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