Hobart Town (1804) First Settlers Association Inc

Annual Report for 2010

The President's Annual Report for 2010

for the

Hobart Town (1804) First Settlers Association Inc

I have much pleasure in presenting the Annual Report for 2010, during which we celebrated our 36th anniversary with a Special Commemorative event in the Hobart Town Hall on 24th March.

Before providing details of our successful events I am mindful that we were saddened by the passing of two very important and respected members of the association during the year. On 8th January, our President Mrs. Jessie Wagner passed away after a long illness. Later in the year on 4 th November, our founding Chairman Mr Richard Lord died. We were pleased however, that he had attended the Special event in March and cut the Anniversary cake. Both members were dedicated researchers and forthright in the continuation of our association.

His Excellency the Honourable Peter Underwood AC, Governor of Tasmania, and Mrs. Frances Underwood attended the Annual Floral Tribute held at Hunter Street Monument on 20th February. His Excellency gave the address in which he spoke of the difficulties that our first Lieut. Governor David Collins experienced, before placing a floral tribute at the monument. Other dignitaries including The Lord Mayor, Ald. Rob Valentine and dignitaries from local councils, churches and the armed forces, during a day of high temperature.

The highlight of the year was the combined Special Commemorative event of the bi-centenary of the death on 24 th March, 1810, of Lieutenant Governor David Collins held exactly two hundred years to the day, from his death. The reception as mentioned above, was held at Hobart Town Hall and also celebrated the anniversary of our association. We were again honoured with the presence of His Excellency, The Governor, and The Lord Mayor. His Excellency gave a very detailed speech on David Collins while members of SSAA Militaria Collectors stood to attention at the door. A miniature doll funeral procession display was set up providing further interest. The evening concluded with the playing of George Frederick Handel's DEAD MARCH IN SAUL on the Grand Organ by Mr. David Featherstone. Local members and guests were joined by intrastate and interstate visitors for drinks and canapés.

A bus trip to the Redlands property of Peter and Elizabeth Hope at Plenty in the Derwent Valley was undertaken on the significant date of 10.10.2010. A walking tour of the beautiful old garden and out-buildings was enjoyed by all. Several large new ponds and channels were inspected while Peter told us of the property's history dating back to 1819. The day also included inspecting St Paul's Uniting Church in New Norfolk where we enjoyed a delicious lunch. This was followed by a visit to historic Willow Court which has sadly fallen into disrepair, where local historian Tony Nicholson, provided historical information.

Guest speakers at meetings have included a wide range of topics. In February, Joerg Andersch, who was the judge for our Art competition in 2009, told us his life story, and work as art critic at The Mercury. In March, with the approaching commemoration to David Collins, I read to members Chapter 19 from John Currey's book David Collins: A Colonial Life. A slide show of photos taken at the Town Hall reception was shown at the April meeting.

Dr David Leaman in May, spoke about problems in early Hobart Town: Water, Whales, Bad Soil and 'Roos for food. Member, Kaye McPherson's June topic was Ancient Artefacts (World- wide).

Museum consultant Sue Atkinson told of her cataloguing for museum and history groups in July and Brian Rieusset read us his booklet Maria Island Convicts 1825-1832 including slides. The following month Christina Henri detailed her story Roses from the Heart Bonnet Project and donated a CD Voices in the Dark. In September, Leone Scrivener told us about her home, the History of 1 St Canice Avenue, Sandy Bay.

Heritage Tasmania Works Manager, Ian Boersma travelled from Launceston for the October meeting Tasmania's Macquarie heritage- A visual exploration of those places that remain. The November meeting attracted so many members and guests that we needed to avail of garden benches to seat everyone. Peter Fehre's topic that day was The Fehre Family in Tasmania. For the December meeting members brought a plate of Christmas fare to share, and Santa arrived and distributed gifts to the amusement of all!

Other activities have involved the ongoing cataloguing of our small library and we are grateful for Museum Consultant Sue Atkinson's assistance. A number of donations were received during the year including books, pictures and cuttings of interest. Where appropriate they are included in our Scrap Book. All donors have been gratefully acknowledged.

We were pleased to learn of the five significant Tasmanian Convict sites added to UNESCO's World Heritage status and, the Penitentiary Chapel and Criminal Courts declared a Tasmanian Heritage Icon (which some members nominated). However, we do not support two proposed developments and have sent Representations regarding these to the appropriate authorities. Developments we believe are not in the best interests of retaining significant historical sites. One proposed development, (units) at 74 Risdon Road, New Town 'Lauderdale Cottage'; the other an Aboriginal Children's facility on the southern side of Risdon Creek at Risdon Cove near where Lieut. Governor John Bowen landed in 1803.

Our Norfolk Island Pine Tree in the City Rose Garden is one of many nominations the Hobart City Council is considering for the Significant Tree Register. We have been advised it will be several months before a decision is made regarding this.

Membership fees remain at $25 per address. We have approximately 230 financiaI members and a tight budget for which costs for rental of St. George's Hall, Insurance for Public Risk, Newsletters, printing, postage and associated costs must be covered. We did receive some funds from the sale of surplus booklets, including our 'Remembering David Collins' publications.

Sincere thanks are acknowledged to the committee members: Vice President, Beverley Richardson for her helpful and wise suggestions; Stephany Fehre General Secretary, especially arranging guest speakers and updating the scrapbook and with the help of her husband David, for providing a new association signage board which we now place outside our meeting room. Margaret Lewis, as Minutes Secretary and Newsletter compiler, has been an enthusiastic and diligent volunteer; Mavis Richards, our dedicated Treasurer; also Margaret Long, Kaye McPherson and Beth Stott who have assisted in various ways and made helpful suggestions. Our Historian, Kath Lonergan has researched many enquiries, often beyond the call of duty, and I am grateful indeed for her input. Thanks too, to our Public Officer and Ensign custodian, Denis Fletcher; Auditor, David Baulch and John Horton, Webmaster and all members for your continued interest in our association.

The year 2011 will be the year for remembering Governor Lachlan Macquarie and Lady Elizabeth Macquarie's first visit to Van Diemen's Land in 1811, and I wish the incoming committee enjoyment and success in your deliberations.

Warwick Risby


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