June 2018 Meeting
The Annual General Meeting of the Society was held in June.
When opening the meeting President Joe Wooding referred to Helen Livsey’s extraordinary service to the Society. She had already been a member for 25 years when made a Life Member in 1991 and has now been with the Society for 52 years holding a variety of roles, notably as Secretary, Research Officer and Public Officer.
Doug Hunter took the Chair and the new executive were duly elected:
President: Greg Ryan
Vice President: Joe Wooding
Secretary: Helen Livsey
Treasurer: Simon Burgess
Minute Secretary: Jill Wooding
Committee: Chris de Vreeze, Marion Taylor, Eric Cossor, Howard Jones. All nominees were duly elected. In addition, Ray Gear and Bruce Pennay were nominated from the floor and their names approved.
The incoming President Greg Ryan welcomed the new members of the Committee and thanked Ron Haberfield for his meticulous mathematics as Treasurer over the last three years and Doug Hunter for his wise counsel at meetings over the last year and serving as President for many years previous. The retiring members Richard Lee and Ralph Simpfendorfer were also thanked for their contributions and hard work on the Committee.
Guest speaker Beverley Halburd spoke about her lifetime involvement with the Girl Guide movement in Australia and abroad. As a seventeen year old Queen’s Guide she was selected to attend the Baden-Powell World Camp in England. This life changing adventure took the girls to places they had only dreamed of, meeting royalty and exploring foreign cities for six months.
Greg closed the meeting with a short tutorial on philatelic history in Australia. A regular overland service between Sydney and Melbourne began in 1838. Also in 1838, the first prepaid “stamped” letter sheets were introduced in Sydney. Prepaid adhesive stamps were introduced in the 1850s.
May 2018 Meeting
The May meeting was well attended with a talk by Roy Thompson on the Reis family in Albury attracting a number of descendants keen to hear about their ancestors. Roy’s presentation was compiled by his niece Tracee Doyle. Arriving in Albury in 1852 the hard working Reis family built up an impressive portfolio of farming land and businesses. Sadly many of the buildings have since been demolished but some remain, the most recognisable being the “Model Store” on the corner of Wilson and Guinea St.
April 2018 Meeting
Dirk Spennemann shared his research on the immigration of young men from the Punjab region of India who came to Australia in the 1890s looking for gainful employment. “What they found was prejudice, fear, bureaucracy and depression, and a fledgling nation that was establishing the infamous White Australia policy.” What they provided was an invaluable service to isolated farming families and rural workers by supplying essential goods when a trip to the local shops was a long days’ journey not a forty minute drive in the car.
March 2018 Meeting
The Society applauded the awarding of Knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau to member Noel Jackling in recognition of his commitment and dedication to the Uiver Collection and the endless hours of research he has spent in discovering new items and information. The medal was presented by the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Her Excellency Erica Schouten.
Tony Brandt spoke on the history of the first one hundred years of the venerable institution, the Albury Club. The Club originated in 1877 as a bolt hole for gentleman in the Albury Club Hotel on the corner of Dean and Elizabeth St until 1883 when they purchased land and built rooms in Kiewa St where the Club still operates.
Gunner Bernard Gowing RAA
A&DHS Occasional Paper No 28 is a 32 page booklet relating to the service of Gunner Bernard Gowing of the Royal Australian Artillery. He was an Albury resident and the first soldier from the Albury community to be killed in action – South Africa 1900.
Cost $10.00 plus postage if required.
Available from the author: Chris McQuellin – phone 02 6021 3697.
February 2018 Meeting
Chris de Vreeze gave an intriguing address on our deep past, pointing to evidence of the separation of Gondwanaland and Australia’s inland sea, citing for example Table Top Mountain, The Rock and the Bunya pine.
His discussion of mountains, hills, rocks, rivers, creeks and valleys and climate patterns narrowed to Aboriginal landscapes and to aboriginal occupation of the land. Chris is a dedicated toponymist and took particular delight in discussing place names and their pronunciation as relics of that occupation. The recurrence of common word prefixes and suffixes indicated a wide spread of different language groups: for example in, for example, Kiewa and Corowa, Bungambrawatha, Moorwatha and Barnawatha; and Talbingo, Talmalmo and Talgarno.
A new book by local historian Howard Jones, explores a time of particular hardship for Chinese men crossing the Murray at Albury-Wodonga in the 19th century.
Hundreds were jailed, fined, taxed and robbed and, as non-whites, were abused by newspapers and politicians.
The publication is part of an Albury & District Historical Society series of academic papers.
It describes the cruelties inflicted on the Chinese by both Victoria and New South Wales at the Murray because it was a colonial border.
However they played a very beneficial role, keeping the whole population of the Border healthy by supplying fresh food and vegetables. They worked in many jobs including cooks, laundrymen, storekeepers and planted tobacco.
‘Unwelcome Strangers’ is available from Dymocks and the Albury LibraryMuseum for $20.
November 2017 Meeting
Those who attended the November meeting had that privilege to meet and hear the personal stories of Joan Fairbridge who worked in signals intelligence during the Second World War. Joan who is 97 years young, recounted how she was selected to be a “traffic analyst” in a position that required the utmost secrecy. Joan worked under Commander Jack Newman, Director of Signals and Communications. This new department, built from scratch, was very successful in cracking Japanese army and air force codes playing a vital role in giving an early warning to the Allies fighting in the Pacific.
Albury City Band – 150 Years Entertaining our Community
A&DHS has published a book to help celebrate and remember 150 years of band music in Albury. Written by Greg Ryan, it chronicles band music from the first record of a local band in 1855 to the present Albury City Band. The history of the band mirrors the history of Albury itself as the band has been present for almost every major event in our city’s past. The book, containing about 130 historic photographs, lists over 800 men and women who have been band members in Albury. It is available for $35 from Albury LibraryMuseum, Dymocks bookstore or directly from ACB.
Albury Pioneer Cemetery Walk 2017
The Albury property database was funded by a community grant of $500 from AlburyCity. The aim of the database is to have available a searchable history of as many buildings in Albury as possible. The housing files collected over many years have been transferred to the database and the next step is to enter housing details from local history books and to add photographs where possible. Photos have been taken of houses listed for demolition from the AlburyCity advertisements for some years.The task is huge and any help would be greatly appreciated. To assist us in data collection, click on the link to download a blank form: Albury historic homes and buildings information form
Albury’s Early Photographic Artists, 1856-1957
Albury historians Howard Jones and Helen Livsey have collaborated to write the latest in Albury & District Historical Society’s series of Society Papers. Julius Rochlitz was the first to bring his photographic equipment to Albury in 1856. Over the next 100 years many others followed to record Albury on film.
This book is available from the Albury LibraryMuseum or from Dymock’s Bookstore for $15.
Amazing People of the Border
Howard Jones’ book, Amazing People of the Border, features 40 stories of local identities based on interviews between 1985 and 2013. If he is to do a follow-up, who would people like to see included? – let him know at his email address: Click here to email Howard.
Copies can be bought at Dymocks Albury, the Albury LibraryMuseum or order copies by contacting Howard at his email address – the price of the book is $20 including postage.
The Commercial Abe Nathan
Richard Lee’s The Commercial Abe Nathan, Albury’s Furniture King tells the story of a successful furniture warehouseman who came from Prahran Victoria to Albury in 1908, continuing a sound business career using the time-payment system. Despite a devastating fire within 2 years of setting up, Abe rebuilt and recovered, expanding to Wagga where his son was manager. Generous and sociable, Abe made his mark in the town, donating to worthy causes, rescuing the Commercial Club from a precarious financial position and investing heavily in rental real estate. As age and illness took its toll, Abe sold to Maples Furniture as they expanded into New South Wales. The book includes details of Maples and Patersons Furniture at either end of Albury’s main street, and Maples Albury managers branching out on their own. When Clarke Rubber Ltd took over Maples in 1979, 70 years of furniture retailing ended on what had been Nathan’s Corner and then Maples’ Corner.
The book is available for $20 from the Albury LibraryMuseum.
The Boer War Letters of Albury’s James Scanlan
A&DHS Society Papers – No 24 The Boer War Letters of Albury’s James Scanlan. Scanlan was a active member of Albury’s H Company Volunteer Infantry in the NSW Military Forces before Federation. In 1899 he was to sell his Townsend Street bicycle shop and enlist in the NSW Infantry. His Infantry Company departed with the first contingent to South Africa in 1899. His letters home tell his war story.
Click here to order a copy $13.50 + p&p
Albury at War 1914-1919 / The Grandfather I Never Met
Two books relating to Albury’s involvement in World War I were released in 2015 to commemorate 100 years since hostilities commenced on the Gallipoli Peninsula. “Albury at War 1914-1919” was written by Douglas Hunter and tells the story of men and women from Albury and surrounds who served in the Great War, and of those at home who maintained and sustained them throughout the five years of conflict. The book draws on research done by members of the Albury & District Historical Society using newspapers held at the LibraryMuseum.
Also “The Grandfather I Never Met,” the story of arguably Albury’s most decorated soldier, Charles George Bishop, written by his granddaughter, Janine Agzarian.
Both books are important contributions to the story of Albury’s involvement in WWI and are available for sale at the LibraryMuseum.
The Uiver Emergency
On October 24 of 2014 it was 80 years since the Uiver emergency saw the people of Albury rallying to the assistance of the Dutch airplane competing in the London to Melbourne air race. You can read Doug Royal’s account of the emergency by clicking on the pdf document The Uiver at Albury
And listen to the ABC Hindsight account at Hindsight/The Uiver Emergency
BBC – Rabbits in the Albury Region
The BBC World Service ‘Witness’ program contacted A&DHS for assistance compiling a program on Australia’s rabbit plague of the late 1940s and early 1950s. Bill McDonald of Mullengandra was contacted and we can now listen to him in the report compiled by BBC reporter Alex Last. Click on the link:
BBC Witness: Australia’s Rabbit Plague, then click on the play icon.