Hobart Town (1804) First Settlers Association Inc

Annual Report for 2014

The President's Annual Report for 2014

for the

Hobart Town (1804) First Settlers Association Inc

WarwickRisbyLadies and gentlemen, it is my privilege to present the Annual Report of Hobart Town (1804) First Settlers Association for the financial year ending 31 December, 2013.

Firstly I wish to pay tribute to our Past President, Historian and Life member Mrs Freda Gray who sadly passed away on 31 October 2013.

Our Patron: Lord Miles Hobart. The Rt. Hon. The Earl of Buckinghamshire is kept informed of our activities. He will be coming to Australia on a private visit in January, and a report on his visit will be included in our Newsletter.

Meetings and Membership: We have had an average attendance of 25 people and on two occasions we had 32 members. We are grateful to St. George’s Church for the use of their hall for our meetings and for agreeing to install heavy lined curtains. These enable window light into the room to be blocked out, which is a great help seeing slides clearly when guest speakers provide presentations. We had eleven new members join the Association however some elder members have not renewed.

Executive Committee: AGM took place on 5th March. Without any opposition committee members were elected and our updated Constitution was accepted. The Annual Return was lodged with Consumer Affairs.

It is with our committees dedicated commitment that our meetings, activities and events are conducted. Stephany Fehre, although unable to attend on the day, later again took on the busy role of Secretary, arranging guest speakers, contributing to the Newsletter and she keeps our Scrap book up to date. Mavis Richards as Treasurer, looks diligently after finances where our bank balance is strong. Mavis also collects the mail and she arranged the successful visit to Claremont House.
Historian Kath Lonergan confirms new member applications, answers general enquires received via our website and writes Newsletter items. Kath’s reports at our monthly meetings are always informative and detailed. She has recently completed writing a family history book Kindred Connections covering the Dodge and McGuinness Families and kindly donated a copy to our library. Beverley Richardson chaired the meeting during my holidays and also arranged the bus trip to the East Coast and visits to Inverawe Native Gardens and Channel Heritage Centre. Beverley oversaw the implementation changes to our Constitution which was passed at the AGM. Beth Stott has labeled, catalogued, and valued our library books and sold duplicate copies boosting our income. Margaret Long and Charles Hunt also attended most Executive meetings of which there were six. Marilla Lowe as the previous Secretary had arranged some guest speakers.

Behind the scenes Margaret Lewis compiles Newsletter items, arranges printing and mailing while Greta Reason is always industrious with kitchen requirements for morning tea. We are grateful to Alastair Douglas OAM for updating our website as necessary and Guy McDougall for our Face book page which has brought positive remarks and enquiries, and Michael Seabrook our Public Officer.

Each year our Life member and auditor Mr. David Baulch examines our books and we are grateful to him for this ongoing commitment and helpful comments.

Guest Speakers:
February- Dr. Alison Alexander ‘The Ambitions of Jane Franklin, Victorian Lady Adventurer’.

Matt Lindus from Hobart City Council also attended and updated us on Franklin Square Development.

March-Collette McAlpine ‘Female Convict Research Centre’; April- Graeme Broxam ‘Abandoning Norfolk Island’. May- Ray Madden ‘Tasmanian Shipwrecks’, June-Prof. Richard Davis ‘William Smith O’Brien in VDL and World Travels’; July-Ross Latham ‘Work of State Archivist, Tas Archives & Heritage’. August-Bill & Margaret Chestnut ‘Invarawe Native Gardens’; Sep-Nicholas Brodie ‘Researching History of St. Mary’s Cathedral’. Oct-Members brought Mystery Objects; Nov- Andrea Gerrard ‘Soldiers Walk on Queen’s Domain’; Dec-Slide show of Buildings from Gov. Macquarie’s time.
Photos of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Thames Pageant were also shown in the darker room with delight. We also collected and donated $135.00 for The Salvation Army and enjoyed morning tea.

Annual Floral Tribute held 20th February at Hunter Street Monument. I was able to talk about this important event on ABC local radio at 6.50am encouraging the public to attend. A large gathering including local government representatives, the Lord Mayor, other Council representatives, Church members and dignitaries attended. Lieutenant Governor David Collins and his party landing in 1804 were remembered with the laying of Floral Tributes. We also remembered that in September this year it would be 210 years since John Bowen landed at Risdon Cove.

Norfolk Plains Descendants’ Day, Longford, 1-3 March. We were one of a group of 23 tables set up with information and displays hosted by the Northern Midlands Council. Alastair Douglas OAM provided access to our webpage enabling visitors to view First & Early settler names. Beverley Richardson, Mavis Richards and myself manned the site and talked to many interested attendees and handed out information and sold some publications at this popular event.

‘The Risdon Cove (Tasmania) site; birth of a State or site of a massacre; bone of contention or future site of reconciliation’ Prof. Michael Asten, School of Geosciences, (Research) Monash University met with committee members and other interested parties and made a presentation covering all recorded information about this site. We were able to provide information which was incorporated into his paper that has now been accepted for publication by Tasmanian Historical Studies.

In conclusion all members are thanked for acknowledging our history with respect, sensitivity and understanding. Thank you to members who have attended meetings for your participation, questions and suggestions and members who were able to attend the successful excursions. For members afar who are unable to attend I thank you for your positive comments and membership.

In 2014 Hobart Town (1804) First Settlers Association will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the founding of our Association in 1974 and I wish the incoming committee a successful year.

Warwick Risby

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