Hobart Town (1804) First Settlers Association Inc

Annual Report for 2011

The President's Annual Report for 2011

for the

Hobart Town (1804) First Settlers Association Inc

I have much pleasure in presenting the Annual Report for the year 2011.

We are grateful to Rt. Hon. Earl of Buckinghamshire Miles Hobart-Hampden as our Patron.

Membership: We welcomed seven new members. Financial membership is approximately 250.

Meetings: Eleven General meetings were held during the year at which guest speakers presented a wide variety of topics as follows: In February our member Gwen Hardstaff told of her life living at Waddamana and the Lake District. Gwen is the author of 'Cider Gums and Currawongs'. In March committee member Beth Stott showed slides of the Annual Floral Tribute; in April Alex Green told of Early Land Grants in the Coal River Valley and Broadmarsh area; in May Assoc. Prof. Hamish Maxwell-Stewart gave an interesting overview of his research into Convict Medical Records; in June John Cannon gave a pot-pourri of walking in Tasmania including some Bushranger stories. In July Colin Thomas showed us his collection of Scrimshaw and explained the history of our early Whaling industry. In August Prof. Pam Sharpe detailed her research into her 1832 home' Royston' before inviting us to inspect the nearby property. September was a member's day at which various items on paper were displayed and discussed. In October, Andrea Gerrard gave an interesting talk about the Brownell Department store. In November Dot Evans from Heritage Highway Tourism told of their upcoming MACQ Events before Peter McFie gave an overview of the 'Life and Music of Alexander Laing' and he played recordings of this music. At our December meeting I read from Governor Lachlan Macquarie's Journal written 200 years ago to the day.

We attempt to be all encompassing in our meetings with interesting speakers and opportunities for members to have their say, and plenty of time to chat with friends over a cup of tea.

Eleven Committee meetings were also held during the year.

Annual Floral Tribute 20 th February 2011.

Representatives from the original inhabitants, government, councils, Mission to Seamen, Historical Societies and our members and friends attended the tribute at Hunter Street memorial on an inclement Sunday morning to commemorate our First and Early settlers. Morning tea was later enjoyed at a local cafe.

Launch of Macquarie 2011 Bicentenary: We were grateful to Assoc. Prof. Peter Chapman from School of History & Classics UTAS for his detailed presentation on 'Governor Lachlan Macquarie's Legacy to Van Diemen's Land' at Hobart Town Hall. (See Report Page 6). It was gratifying too, that Honourable William Cox with his personal Colonial connections launched this important event at which about 150 members of the public attended. Organ music from Macquarie's years was played and we set up a display of photographs of the Isle of Mull Mausoleum and a small display of (Deeping) wooden dolls of Gov. Macquarie, Mrs. Macquarie, Capt. Antill, Lieut. Maclaine and others.

MACQ IS BACK- Macquarie 2011 Commemorations: Following our instigation for various history associations and other interested groups to plan events in their area in November and December, approximately 18 successful events were held throughout the state. We are grateful to Peter Cox, Secretary George Town & District Historical Society for taking on Chairmanship and attending many of these events. Following the launch at Hobart Town Hall, events were held at Adventure Bay, Lauderdale, Hobart (St. David's Cathedral & Anglesea Barracks) Sandy Bay, New Norfolk, Mt. Nelson, "Shene" property Pontville, St. Peter's Oatlands, Ross Wool Centre, Launceston City Park, North Esk Farm Tours, Longford, Pateena and Deviot. George Town celebrated their 200 th birthday where school children blew out all the candles on the cake. Commemorations concluded at Low Head on 19 December. Congratulations to all who took part in the planning and attendance at these events.

Excursions: In March we spent an interesting day at Oatlands visiting the many sandstone buildings including Callington Mill, Supreme Court House and Gaoler's residence with local guide Graeme Raphael. In September, we visited 'Markree' the home of the late Henry Baldwin who bequeathed it to Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery. A successful bus trip to historic sites on Bruny Island on 20 November incorporated Macquarie 2011 commemorations and readings from Macquarie's journal.

Other Projects: The family of our long serving Past President Freda Gray has given permission for us to access her many books and papers. This is an ongoing work in progress to sort and catalogue her collection for which we are grateful. Other books and papers donated by members and friends have been added to our Library catalogue.

During the year we purchased Audio Equipment and this was used at the Hobart Town Hall and will be useful at our Annual Floral Tribute and other events.

Our website is currently under reconstruction and when updated will be more user friendly.

Norfolk Island Pine Tree: Hobart City Council has advised our Norfolk Island Pine Tree has not been recommended for listing on the Significant Tree Register. It is however growing well in the City Rose Garden on Council land.

Heritage at Risk: Lauderdale Cottage in New Town and the Lady Franklin Museum in Lenah Valley where insensitive development schemes are proposed continue to receive much publicity. The new Tasmanian Heritage Council announced at the end of the year will need to act to protect these unique buildings together with HCC and other local authorities to benefit future generations.

Thank You All: To St. George's Church for the use of the hall for our meetings.

Committee members have given their diligent support in various ways throughout the year. I would particularly like to thank General Secretary Stephany Fehre who took all the minutes for the MACQ IS BACK meetings which was an incredible effort whilst attending to many other matters including our Scrap Book. Minute secretary Marilla Lowe has provided support with concise minutes, helpful word processing documents and suggestions. Special thanks to Margaret Lewis who compiles and arranges printing and distribution of our Newsletters. Denis Fletcher as Public Officer and ensign custodian has recently needed to relinquish this position for health reasons and our thanks to him for his many years service. We are grateful too, for assistance given by David Baulch as auditor overseeing our balance sheet.

Thank you to all members including Greta Reason our morning tea provider, Alastair Douglas for website help and Janice & Kelvin Daley for extra photographs and SSAA MilColt representation support. To all who have provided positive feedback and other comments I am indeed grateful. For members who endured health problems during the year I trust 2012 will be more positive, comfortable and healthy.

I wish the incoming committee success in your deliberations and events during 2012.

Warwick Risby


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