Published here is a short summary of A&DHS meetings over the past twelve months.
More detail of our past meetings can be found by going to Our Bulletin.
July 2021 Meeting
Local dentist and long-time Society member Peter Harper was our guest speaker in July. He spoke about dental practice in Albury with the focus on a practice that has survived in Albury for over 130 years. Charles Pettitt started the practice in 1888.
Our second speaker, Sandra Endrez gave us an entertaining talk on the Warton family, a local pioneering family that she has been researching as part of her family history research.
May 2021 Meeting
Russ Jacob, project manager for the Uiver restoration project, gave us a brief history of the McPherson Robertson Air Race from England to Melbourne in 1934, the story of some of the other competitors in the race, and the aftermath of the race.
He outlined the history of the Uiver Restoration Project’s Douglas DC2 in the US with Eastern Airlines and subsequent service in the RAAF, then the continuing story of the DC2 after WWII and its relocation to Albury. He described the recent history of the restoration and its current progress, including the move to a new hangar and the exciting plans for the future.
April 2021 Meeting
We had a varied program at our April meeting. Guest speaker was Bree Pickering from Murray Art Museum Albury, MAMA. Bree told us a little about herself before telling us about exhibitions at MAMA and priorities in choosing exhibits and exhibitors. We then heard about a proposal for MAMA to privatise which would involve a Board of Directors rather than being under direction from AlburyCity. We then heard from Chris McQuellin with details of the work life of Harold Groch, with Lemke Dairy. Dennis Hickey followed up with ‘My Street’ before Richard Lee had some detail of the impact on the Albury community of the 1919 Spanish Flu pandemic.
March 2021 Meeting
In March we heard a very interesting presentation from A&DHS committee member, Ashley Edwards, outlining her career as an archaeologist in Cyprus, north-east Victoria and southern NSW. Ashley then explained her role as a Senior Heritage Operations Officer with Heritage NSW. We then heard from Howard Jones on high-rise buildings in Albury and from Greg Ryan with some tales from the Placenames Australia newsletter.
February 2021 Meeting
A larger than average attendance at our first meeting for 2021 heard the second part of Geoff Romero’s story of his ancestors. As with the first part of the story in December, Geoff set his gg grandfather’s life against a backdrop of world events at the time. Francisco’s major achievement, completion of the “little gem”, the Smollett Street bridge, was only part of the story.
We also heard an explanation of the Inland Rail Project for movement of freight between Melbourne and Brisbane. Completion of the project will necessitate some significant changes to local rail infrastructure.
December 2020 Meeting
Geoff Romero was our December guest speaker, relating Part I of the story of his ggg and gg grandfathers, both Francisco Romero. This part of the tale relates to what Geoff described as the “dark side” of his ancestry, the first Francisco’s involvement in the slave trade. Geoff will follow up in February with the local side of the story, the second Francisco, builder of the Smollett St bridge.
There were several presenters with interesting items to display and describe in our ‘Show & Tell’ session – from a football jumper worn by Albury’s own Haydn Bunton to WWII camouflage netmaking, a Hume and Hovell Centenary memento, Railway Tennis Club, Mate’s Timber Yard Cricket Club and more.
November 2020 Meeting
Our November meeting fell on Remembrance Day, 102 years since the signing of the Armistice to end World War I. So that was the theme of the meeting, with Chris McQuellin relating the story of Albury man, John Hunter, shot down and then confined to military prison for the remainder of World War II. Doug Hunter continued the theme with an outline of the history of the Light Horse Museum, the 8th /13th Victorian Mounted Rifles Regimental Collection.
October 2020 Meeting
Rail enthusiast Ross Jackson was our guest speaker in October. He spoke about the history and function of an almost forgotten local siding in Albury, Kinloss, located not far south of today’s Thurgoona Drive. Ross went on to relate the emotional story of firstly securing the train then completing “Tim’s Last Train Ride,” the funeral train for Tim Fischer, August 29, 2019.
Fr Peter McLeod Miller then spoke about future options for St Matthew’s Rectory in Kiewa St.
September 2020 Meeting
Gaye Pattison, Chief of Staff at ABC Goulburn Murray, gave as a brief overview of the history of ABC radio in Albury before explaining that it is now much more than a radio station with a multimedia output of radio, TV and digital. She then went on to describe the role of ABC Goulburn Murray during the recent bushfires and the Covid pandemic.
We then heard from Albury Botanic Gardens curator, Jason Kimball. He described his role , what has changed in his time at the Gardens. We then heard about changes that are planned and in particular, the review of their Conservation Management Plan.
August 2020 Meeting
Our first meeting since March due to Covid-19 restrictions was very welcome and good to get back to some sort of normal even though some members were trapped south of the Border, unable to cross.
The meeting got under way with the Annual General Meeting of the Society, chaired by Greg Ryan, in The Elizabeth Room of the Commercial Club. Twenty six members and guests were in attendance and there were fourteen apologies. Minutes of the previous AGM were read and confirmed and the President’s Annual Report received together with the Treasurer’s end of year report. Greg called Society Patron Greg Aplin to the chair where he declared all positions vacant and those duly elected were:
President: Greg Ryan;
Vice President: position not filled;
Secretary: Helen Livsey;
Minute Secretary: Jill Wooding;
Treasurer: Simon Burgess;
Committee: Marion Taylor, Dennis Hickey, Colin McAulay, Ashley Edwards, Ralph Simpfendorfer and Sue Haberfield.
Greg took the chair again and a motion recommending that no change be made to subscription fees was passed.
Following the AGM, our guest speaker, Graham Docksey OAM, JP described changes that have been made to the Albury War Memorial. His talk highlighted the significance of the Memorial to the people of Albury and the work done by Chris McQuellin and RSL members to ensure that wording on memorial plaques at the site are both accurate and complete. He then went on to describe proposals for changes at the War Memorial Bowl and asked us for input into design plans.