This last twelve months has been one of change for the Bathurst Family History Group Inc. For years our Group has been established in the Bathurst Library where our resources were held and we met for two hours once a week on Tuesdays and held some research afternoons on designated Saturdays throughout the year. The last nine months has seen our group establish a base in rooms attached to the Bathurst Seniors’ Centre in Russell Street. This has meant a totally different focus for our members. We now have a designated research room, a social and meal room and a room for training and holding meetings. While it has been a long road and not without hurdles to overcome we are now established at the centre and can now offer to members two drop in days a week, Mondays and Thursday from 10 am to 1 pm, focus group sessions on Wednesday afternoons from 2 pm to 4 pm and other research days throughout the year. Our research resources in the form of written material and digitally stored material means that our members just do not have 2 hours a week at the library but can access our resources when the centre is open for much longer times than we had before.
To ensure continuity, our research team still attends the library on Tuesdays from 2 pm to 4 pm and will continue to do so while members require this service. At the library there is access to computers and e-readers for newspaper research and other digitally stored material. We thank the Library staff for allowing us to continue this service for our members and visitors.
BFHG Research and Training Centre
Our new centre is established in rooms which we have sublet from Senior Citizens at their centre up Flanagans Lane, 176 Russell Street, Bathurst. This centre is the property of Bathurst Regional Council. These rooms were only used as storage by seniors and it has taken some time to get them into useable condition. There is still a lot of structural work to do but this does not interfere with us operating. There is a back entrance which allows us to access our rooms when others are using the hall. We hope to have a long and happy working relationship with seniors’ members and welcome them to join us in our rooms at any time we are there.
As mentioned we have drop-in days on Mondays and Thursdays, from 10am until 1pm. These days are for members to chat and have a cuppa, use the research room for your personal research, get some help with something you are stuck on in your research or to swap ideas and hints that we can share with each other to make all our research easier. With our social/ meal room we now have a facility that lets members chat, have a laugh, get to know each other and share a love of history. Please come and take advantage of this new service for our members, there are facilities to make a cuppa and have a biscuit or get a book from the research room and read about the rich history of this region. Family members are also welcome to attend with you. We are seeking members who would like to give a few hours of their time for a roster to open up and close up on these days.
At present we are running two focus sessions a month. These are on Wednesday afternoons between 2 pm and 4 pm at the centre. The DNA focus group is on the first Wednesday of the month and all members who wish to learn more about DNA are welcome to attend these sessions. There is also a Writing Your Family History session on the second Wednesdays of the month, again from 2pm to 4pm. Jan Page is running this session and if you are interested either call into the centre or contact Jan.
We hope to add two other focus sessions shortly. These will be on tips and hints on researching using electronic resources such as Ancestry and Trove. As well as using offline programs such as Family Tree Maker. If you are interested in any of these sessions please make contact with either myself or Graeme Hill.
The research centre now has laptops available for members to use, so if you do not have one, or do not wish to carry yours with you, you are free to use the ones at the centre. There is free wi-fi for members and we now have a full Ancestry membership for members to access. Thanks to a grant from Paul Toole , our local State member, we have purchased a Snapscanner to digitise resources and for use by members. There is a printer available to make hard copies at a reasonable rate of 20 cents a copy. This helps to pay for ink and paper.
Throughout the year we have events for members to attend and enjoy themselves. We recently had a Trivia afternoon which was great fun. We also had a successful Autumn Colours Program with talks and tours which were well patronised. We thank all our hard-working members who make these a great success.
We have another Trivia afternoon coming up on 24th August from 2pm to 5pm at the Seniors centre. Please bring a plate to share for afternoon tea and a sense of humour and enjoy yourselves. On 14th September there is a Grave and Grub tour to Blayney Cemetery with lunch after. For more information please check out our website or contact a committee person.
Other events coming up will be a trip via train to Old Government House in Parramatta with free time for shopping. The date will be fixed when the new Bathurst Bullet timetable is announced. We are also planning a Back to the Fifties afternoon, on 12th October, celebrating life in the 1950s in Bathurst, we are looking for things to display from the 1950s so if you have any textiles, interesting items, toys, crockery and kitchenalia that we could display we would be happy for any assistance with this. Another event we are looking at is a trip to the State Archives in Kingswood. We will hire the seniors’ bus for this, to keep the cost down. If you are interested please let us know so this event can be organised. November this year will be our 35th Birthday and we are planning a celebration. We have set 14th December aside for our Christmas party, so please keep this date free.
The last twelve months has been a large change for our group. It is now onwards and upwards for our members and we relish feedback from our members on things we provide and things members would like us to organise. We are here for members so please offer suggestions that you would like us to try and organise. We want our members to enjoy being members of our group.
Our next twelve months is about to start, I would like to thank all our committee members who have given their time to organise events, man the centre and the library and for providing services for our members. All your hard work is much appreciated by myself and our members. Thank you all.