Presidents Report – May


Hello to all our members and their families. Well this is the May report and it is hard to realise that over four months of the year have already gone.

We have a number of events coming up and we are nearing the end of the Autumn Colours Program for our tours and wanders. We appreciate the hard work put in by our members to make these events the great success they are. Thank you all. We are concentrating on providing more events and social outings for our members, we will keep you informed of upcoming events.

One of the biggest “events” for our group has been our move into our “new home”. Please see the article on it. If any member would like more information or wants to visit or contribute with relevant material to our library in any way please just let me know, or would like to give us some feedback, my email is We want to give our members more hours per week than our regular two hours at the Library. We hope to expand over the next few months to cement our group “home” as a great place to research, socialise and learn in. My thanks to all the members who gave their time to assist with the move, clean up and set up our new headquarters. All your efforts are much appreciated. A big thank you.

We also thank our members who contribute stories and articles for our Chimes for each issue. Please look at Lee Steele’s story about the Van Wierst family that completes the story from a recent issue about their stay in our migrant camp. We are always happy to accept articles from members that may be relevant to put in the Chimes so please think about submitting your stories.

Our New Home
The move has been made possible because we received a grant from our local State member, Mr Paul Toole who kindly sought out a $5000.00 grant from the State Government to help us establish our group in the building and to purchase a specialised digitising scanner to continue our preservation of our paper resources. We thank Paul for the grant which has allowed us to move in.

While there is still a lot of work to be done, we have come a long way to make a comfortable, friendly centre for our members. Negotiations are still going on with the members of the Seniors Centre to secure extra space to make a centre that our members can be proud of. So, watch this space!

Now you may ask, where is this research and training centre that we have made our new home?

The centre is at 176 Russell Street, down Flanagan’s Lane. It is in the Bathurst CBD area and was allocated as lots on the 1833 town map. We are only a very short walk to our beautiful Machattie Park and there is plenty of parking on level ground with the building set back on the block and not visible from the street. On the western side is the much-maligned Jordan Creek (a story for a later issue), now a storm water channel. Looking to the east is the rear of the Webb Building in George Street with all its magnificent history and other significant buildings relevant to the early history of Bathurst visible to us, so we are right in our element. We are very grateful to the members of the Seniors Centre for sharing their premises with us. We have negotiated to use the main hall and kitchen for our general meetings which gives us an even larger space for members to enjoy our guest speakers and interesting talks.

The building was built in the 1970s so it has some issues related to its construction but it is owned by Bathurst Regional Council and they have assisted with some repairs. There is no air conditioning but we will purchase good heating and cooling to ensure members are comfortable, We have insulated the research room and we hope to continue this throughout the other rooms that we occupy.

We need members to tell us when they wish us to be open but at present we have “drop-in days” on Mondays and Thursdays between 10am and 1pm so members are welcome to call in, have a cuppa and a chat or get some assistance with a problem they are having or use the research facilities. We hope to be flexible with evening and weekend openings as well.

We will run training sessions at other times on using TROVE more efficiently for research as well as training sessions on researching on-line and using Ancestry for records. A Writers’ Forum is also being organised as well as sessions on DNA and its significance to family research. We are still at the Library between 2pm and 4pm on Tuesdays for electronic research, using the library resources and computers to assist members with their research. We will put out a calendar of training sessions shortly. If you have specific training areas you would like assistance with, please let us know so we can include these or if you have expertise in an area and would like to run some sessions please let us know as well. We have a large screen and projector for use in sessions. If you would like more information please contact me on 0407224154 or email

As the hall is used by other community groups at different times we ask our members to come around the back of the building to use the entrance directly into our area. We are having signs made up to make access easy to follow but until then it is fine to use the front door.

We hope to see you there some time.

Dianne Barnes