Published here is a short summary of A&DHS meetings over the past twelve months. Note that due to the coronavirus pandemic, future meetings have been cancelled until further notice. More detail of our past meetings can be found by going to Our Bulletin.
March 2020 Meeting
Former Federal Member of Parliament for Indi, Cathy McGowan, outlined her own personal journey and challenged us to consider what can be done to recognise the displaced indigenous communities of north-east Victoria. In order to do this, we must look at the history of white settlement and how it impacted on the region’s first inhabitants.
February 2020 Meeting
Claire Doolan has an Honours Degree in Archaeology from University of New England in Armidale, with thesis entitled: Rock art research in the North-east Granites of Victoria.
Claire gave us a very informative trip around rock art of various sites. She outlined modern techniques used to enhance the photographs of images – detail is revealed that is not present in our viewing of the original photo. Claire described techniques used to estimate the age of the art and clearly explained the significance of the images. Many of us went away with the urge to do our own exploration of the sites.
December 2019 Meeting
Elected in March 2019 to represent the Albury Electorate in NSW Parliament, Justin Clancy spoke of the Clancy family’s Irish origins and their long association with the Albury District.
Then a December favourite, “Show & Tell” – we heard about a surveyor on the future Hume Dam site, the location of the junction of the Murray and Mitta Mitta Rivers now under the Hume Dam, a notebook/diary kept by an early Bowna/Mullengandra resident, A British Empire Medal recipient, Wilson Cordial labels and more.
November 2019 Meeting
Graeme Hind, who had a long career in water management including at Hume Dam and with Murray Darling Basin Authority, was guest speaker at our November meeting. His talk focused on the function of the Hume Dam within the Murray Darling Basin and on modifications made to the dam in more recent decades.
We also heard from Society member Portia Dilena – Portia is a Research Officer at Charles Sturt University looking at the history of Higher Education in Albury-Wodonga focusing on CSU and its precursor the Riverina College of Advanced Education.
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.