Hobart Town (1804) First Settlers Association Inc

Annual Report for 2012

The President's Annual Report for 2012

for the

Hobart Town (1804) First Settlers Association Inc

Ladies and Gentlemen it is my privilege to present the Annual Report of Hobart Town (1804) First Settlers Association Inc. for the financial year ending 31 December, 2012. Our association has made steady and worthwhile progress representing the First and Early Settlers of our beautiful city Hobart and surrounding areas. We can only go from strength to strength while members continue to be loyal to our association now in its 38th year.

Our Patron

The Association was very pleased to receive an email at the end of November advising we may now address our Patron: The Rt. Hon The Earl of Buckinghamshire (Lord Miles Hobart) . We keep in touch with our Patron and Lady Buckinghamshire with our quarterly Newsletters and emails.

Meetings and Membership

During the year our monthly meetings were well attended with an average of 25 local members. Eight Executive meetings were held. Membership subscription remains at $25 per household.

We were delighted to welcome 16 new members during the year, several of which found our Website and completed the Application form duly verified by our Historian Kath Lonergan.

We therefore have approximately 230 financial members many residing interstate.

In October a Members Day commemorated the Diamond Jubilee of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II. Various items of Royal memorabilia were produced and reminiscences related. A slide show of the Jubilee Barge Procession on the Thames River was also enjoyed by those present.

Guest Speakers

In February, Mark Risby gave a presentation on Edward Murphy's Signal Flags. Peter West from Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery attended our AGM in March bringing large photos and architectural plans for the redevelopment of TMAG which is currently taking place.

Part time Police Constable Peter Sweetlove in April, showed slides of old tomb stones which he continues to photograph and some history about them and Willow Court in New Norfolk.

Dr. Jane Tolman's topic in May was Life & Death in Old Hobart Town. This included interesting statistics comparing illness from death in Colonial days with today's diseases.

Joyce Purscher and well know tour guide at The Orphan School New Town told in June of the history and stories of some of the people who have lived at or been associated with that precinct.

Craig Joel was our guest in July. He has written a book A Tale of Ambition and Unrealised Hope describing the complex relationships and policies regarding convicts between Governor Sir John Franklin and John Montagu(a nephew of preceding Governor George Arthur). Following the August meeting members visited the Police Museum where Russ Ames, Curator has set up memorabilia relating to Tasmanian police history.

Dr. Leonie Mickleborough entertained us with her research and stories about Sir John Eardley Eardley-Wilmot, Lieutenant Governor of VDL 1843-1846.

Mrs. Vera Taylor from Winton Campbell Town gave a tribute in November to Eliza Forlonge & the Saxon Merino in Tasmania. Eliza sold the flock to the Taylor family in 1835 and the Taylor's continue with the direct line of those original Merino sheep.

At our Christmas meeting we welcomed Ian Duffy from Clarence Pains Historical Society. He has produced a 2013 Calendar with 14 historical photographs superimposed over the recent photos of the same building. He has cleverly lined up the lines of the buildings/background to fit the picture.

Annual Floral Tribute

Our gathering to commemorate the arrival of Lieut. Governor David Collins and his party at Sullivan's Cove on 20 February 1804 was attended by members and friends, visiting tourists and invited representatives from Local Councils, the Armed Forces, Police and Church representatives.

Simple Floral Tributes were placed on the First Settler Monument in memory of our First and Early Settler ancestors, following the singing of Advance Australia Fair.

A copy of my address with details about David Collins and the settlement of Hobart Town were requested by the Deputy Lord Mayor to use when conducting tours by cruise ship visitors at the Hobart Town Hall.


This was upgraded and relaunched in February 2012. Members may visit and the Members section with the use of their password for Library details, photos and events. The website is always a work in progress from where information may be obtained and updated. We are especially grateful to Alastair Douglas OAM for his continued assistance as Webmaster and for his presentation at our June meeting in providing information, progress and statistics on our new website. Through our website, some new members have joined the association.


Four very successful and enjoyable outings were arranged by Beverley Richardson. Three visits were taken by members independently. Firstly, a visit to Cleburne Homestead followed by a visit to the Bowen Monument at Risdon Cove on 14 April. On 7 August the City Police Museum was visited. On 21 August several members took part in a tour of the Queen's Orphan School and St. John's Park precinct with guide Joyce Purtscher. The Alexander Laing Fiddle Trail Bus Tour on 14 October was fully booked and we were entertained by Peter MacFie (guitar & guide), Angus Pike (on fiddle). Thanks too, to Graeme Evans for organising access at the properties: Sorell Gaol/Magistrates House & Council Chambers, Valley Field Farm, Rose and Crown Inn, Green Hills and Nonesuch.

Our Hosts at each of the Historic Properties were duly acknowledged.


During the year four Newsletters were produced. We received both compliments and enquiries from the contributions submitted by members. More members are opting to receive Newsletters via email. They can then see the photos in colour. Margaret Lewis our Typist/Compiler and Stephany Fehre Editor are thanked for their efficient efforts.

Special Projects

In May we took delivery of several boxes of books, papers, newsletters and other items donated by Life Member and Past President Mrs. Freda Gray OAM and her family. Because of the bulk of the contents it was necessary to hire a city storage lockup while sorting could take place. Members Beth Stott, Kath Lonergan, Margaret Long, Beverley Richardson and Guy MacDougall worked tirelessly until sorting was completed and the lockup emptied by end of November reducing rental costs. Their efforts are very much appreciated. We now have about 100 books to be catalogued and added to our library. Regrettably, only a small number of books were borrowed during the year. Members are encouraged to view the Library list on our website and arrange to borrow a book or two for either research and/or interesting reading.

The other most important project is the updating of our Constitution. A draft copy has already been posted to all members and we have been pleased to receive constructive feedback to ensure the amendments will be accepted and (hopefully) passed at the Annual General Meeting. All committee members have contributed to this however; particular thanks are due to Beverley Richardson.

Following a members request to see if we could set up a Tasmanian First Fleet Fellowship Chapter, the executive obtained the necessary requirements from the FFF Sydney from where that organisation is administrated. Because a new Chapter would require additional committee members who could trace their ancestor to a member who sailed on one of the eleven ships in the First Fleet under Arthur Phillip (Governor) to Sydney; we found such a separate historical group's activities would overlap those of our Hobart Town (1804) First Settlers Association and therefore too problematic to proceed. Additionally, none of our members who can trace their ancestor to a Sydney First Fleeter offered to set-up and be part of a new FFF Chapter in Hobart.

We submitted information on our association to be included in a new book Tasmania-Island of Treasures launched by Premier Lara Giddings on 25 th January, 2013.

Our Norfolk Island Pine Tree, although slow growing continues to thrive in the City Rose Garden.


Events concerning the Association and other historical items of interest are dutifully collected and included by Stephany Fehre. We have scrap books going back to the first Newspaper report of 6 th October 1973 proposing the inaugural dinner and the forming of our Association.

We would be grateful to receive any cuttings from intrastate or interstate members, providing name of paper, date, page/column number for inclusion in the scrap book where historical items appear.

Stephany has also kindly written many reports for the Newsletter.

Finances and Audit

An association cannot exist without funds to cover necessary costs. Our Treasurer Mavis Richards keeps a diligent eye on our funds, the major items of which include Printing, Postage, Insurance, Rent, (St. George's Hall & Chairs for Floral Tribute), Internet and miscellaneous costs such as gifts to our guest speakers.

We are grateful too, our Auditor Mr. David Baulch overseas our Balance Sheet. David is a very early member joining in 1980 and can trace his ancestry back to Lieut. Col. David Collins, the founder of Hobart Town.


I would like to thank all members for their continued support during the year. Thank you to our Executive Committee for their various contributions during a busy, yet enjoyable year. Thank you to Minute Secretary, Marilla Lowe who recorded and produced concise Minutes and also arranged attendance of the guest speakers. Kath Lonergan, (Historian) has answered many enquires and verified membership applications and provides a detailed report to members at each meeting.

Beth Stott, Librarian for her organisational and record keeping skills. Thank you to our Public Officer Mike Seabrook, St. George's Church for the use of their parish hall for our meetings and by no means least, Greta Reason who is always one of the first members to arrive for meetings and sets up morning tea provisions so members can enjoy the friendship and social intercourse of our important association following the formal proceedings.

Thank you to members far and wide, who value our Hobart Town and Van Diemen's Land history. Our activities would not be possible without our dedicated members.

To the incoming committee I wish you success in your deliberations and organisation in 2013.

Warwick Risby



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