Published here is a short summary of A&DHS meetings over the past twelve months. More detail can be found by going to Our Bulletin.
October 2019 Meeting
Dr Penny Vine was our guest speaker, telling us about some of the hurdles faced by newly arrived refugees from African countries and from Bhutan as they adjust to life in Australia. She made the point that they were no longer refugees but locals with a refugee background. Penny highlighted some of the challenges they faced in their home countries before coming to our area before relating some stories of their success in adapting to life in Albury Wodonga.
The meeting then heard from Bruce Pennay, outlining how the Society is preparing for the Centenary of turning the first sod at the Hume Dam. Bruce pointed out that the story of Hume Dam falls conventionally within three frames: stories of a political achievement, an engineering achievement, and an environmental challenge.
September 2019 Meeting
At our September meeting we heard from Chris de Vreeze talking about his arrival in Australia in 1952 as a young boy and Dutch immigrant, coming through the Bonegilla Reception Centre and then growing up in Albury. We had a large number of guests from the local Dutch community and several made their own contribution to the story of the Dutch in our local community. Museum curator Emma Williams then gave us a quick preview of what to expect when the exhibition ‘Albury & Australia’s Dutch Connections’ gets under way at Albury Library Museum on September 28.
The photo is of members of the Dutch community participating in a parade to celebrate 150 years of Lavington in 1957.
August 2019 Meeting
At our August meeting we heard from editor of the Border Mail, Xavier Mardling. Xavier described for us some of the details of the changing landscape of newspaper publishing. The BM was started by the Mott family 115 years ago as The Border Morning Mail and Riverina Times. Over more recent years there have been changes of ownership and the introduction of digital versions of the BM. Xavier was adamant that journalists should report the facts and nothing more.
Greg Ryan gave us details of what can be revealed when we submit a sample for DNA analysis. Greg explained how the process works, describing the various tests available and how they can be interpreted. Greg then told us of some of the details of his own ancestry revealed by the DNA sample that he submitted.
July 2019 Meeting
Our July meeting got underway with a well researched talk by Ray Gear on the attempts to establish a local silk worm industry at ‘Glenmorus’ at the end of Union Rd, Lavington. Ray talked about the ‘ups and downs’ of the venture, before telling us why the enterprise ended in failure.
The meeting then heard from Albury LibraryMuseum Team Leader, Carina Clement. Carina spoke about her role and the many aspects of providing both library and museum facilities within the Albury cultural precinct.
Doug Hunter told us of a school teacher in Fromelles, France, reading in our Bulletin 567 of Albury district soldiers killed in their region during World War I. The teacher engaged Doug’s help to assist his students to complete a project commemorating an Australian soldier.
To round off the evening, Greg Ryan gave a brief summary with photos and a short film to remind members of the Apollo 11 moon landing of 50 years ago. That was followed by members relating their stories of what they were doing as man made that “one giant leap.”
June 2019 Meeting
The Annual General Meeting of the Society chaired by Greg Ryan was held in The Elizabeth Room of the Commercial Club. Twenty five members and two guests were in attendance and there were seven apologies.
Special guest Greg Aplin was congratulated on his 16-year parliamentary career by the chairman on behalf of members. He was then unanimously endorsed as joint Society patron, joining Patricia Gould. Mr Aplin then spoke briefly thanking the Society for the honour, going on to say that “in preparing for our future, we must hold onto our past” and he is looking forward to assisting the Society in our efforts to record our local heritage
Ron Haberfield 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
Publicity Officer: Jill Wooding
Public Officer: Helen Livsey
Committee: Marion Taylor, Howard Jones, Chris de Vreeze, Bruce Pennay
The AGM was then closed and our guest speaker, Charles Stitz, gave us an account of his research into the multi-faceted life and achievements of Albury doctor and historian of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Dr Arthur Andrews.
May 2019 Meeting
Our May meeting got underway with Paul Grover demonstrating a new website that features a great interactive virtual tour of the Bonegilla Migrant Reception Centre. The site will soon be ‘going live’ and will be an important learning tool for history students as well as of great interest to families of immigrants who arrived in Australia through Bonegilla.
That was followed by Howard Jones with a story of working in cafes along Dean St in the 1950s and 60s. Among other stories, we heard of giant cakes and the secret of the floral festival flowers.
April 2019 Meeting
“Historic Roads and Blaze Trees in the Albury Region” – since the 1840s, early colonial surveyors have blazed trees to mark out road and boundary alignments. As a form of living heritage, many blaze trees are now succumbing to the ravages of time. Peter Spooner from Charles Sturt University described his research, where he uses historic maps, field surveys and a citizen science approach, to investigate our oldest roads, and document the abundance and condition of old blaze trees in the Albury region.
David Armstrong, Team Leader of Parks and Recreation with Albury City Council, described his role and some of the projects he has worked on and plans for our city over the next few years.
March 2019 Meeting
Norm Halburd spoke about his appointment in 1978 as the Commonwealth quarantine officer at the newly proclaimed Port of Albury-Wodonga, and also of his earlier roles as a Fruit Fly Block inspector and a horticultural certification officer.
David Christy, Team Leader of Town Planning at Albury City, talked about the complexities of planning for the future of our city. He explained some of the many regulations that are relevant to development applications, especially when the applications relate to properties with heritage value.
February 2019 Meeting
Dr Jennifer Jones from Latrobe University challenged our perception of the CWA in the 1950s and 60s as being a tea and scones organisation rather than one at the forefront of social change. Jennifer talked about attempts of the Country Women’s Association of NSW to model feminine, rural Australian values to Aboriginal and migrant women.
Narelle Vogel, an Arts Officer with Albury City, spoke about projects such as the wood fired oven at Noreuil, community garden development, the Yindyamurra sculpture walk and open air movies. Funding of $1.3m from the NSW Government’s Regional Cultural Fund will upgrade the Albury Botanic Gardens Curators Cottage (built 1909) and the Wonga Wetlands farmhouse into artist in residence facilities and transform the heritage listed Pump House at Water Works into a Maker Space.
December 2018 Meeting
John Henwood, a foundation member of our Society (he joined A&DHS in Nov 1960), introduced his new book “The Days That Are No More: The Sutherlands of Thologolong Station.” John is a grandson of Peter & Ina Sutherland. He described how the land was acquired and developed and using family photographs, we heard the story of members of the large family of his grandparents.
Then a December favourite, “Show & Tell” – we heard of the “Fallon Bell” from Greg Ryan, some reminders of Albury’s wine industry from Vicky Cooper, Joe Wooding had a document signed by Percy Burrows, Simon Burgess had a very interesting story of a watch winder from a Beechworth jeweler and Greg showed us some remnants of the Berlin Wall.
November 2018 Meeting
Helen Newman, an award winning Australian film maker, spoke on her diverse film work in many countries around the world. Her documentaries tell the stories of conflict, poverty, oppression, celebration and survival in war zones, refugee camps and remote indigenous communities. She showed two of her short feature films on the World Wars: ‘Homefront Stories’ and ‘Then He Came Home.’
Danielle McMaster is the Urban & Public Art Officer for Albury and the mastermind behind the fabulous wrapping of the otherwise drab NBN boxes around town. She spoke about many exciting projects in the works including a totem pole/river gauge at Noreuil Park and a wind sculpture in AMP lane.