President’s Report – August
Bathurst Library Refurbishment
The new Library is very comfortable with new seating, tables and shelving. It is clean, light and airy. We usually have on average twenty members researching on a Tuesday afternoon as well as catering for non-members who are looking for assistance. A place to store some of the Group’s assets has not yet been solved but this is a work in progress for the committee.
This year we have run some short training sessions to inform members of some hints and tips to access information on line. One of these sessions was on searching through Trove by refining searches and making them more manageable. We also had Ms Patou Clerc, Manager, Library Services who showed members how to access the State Library resources by using their Bathurst Library card. We intend running more small training/learning sessions over the next twelve months to help members conquer any research problems they may have in using the internet or our resources.
Once again our Group was heavily involved in the Autumn Colours Program with well patronised talks and tours covering, “My Block Tour”, “Great Western Railway and the Vale Creek”, “A Cemetery Wander” and a “Machattie Park” tour, another great successful program for our Group. Many thanks must go to the Autumn Colours Sub Committee whose hard work made the tours a great success.
Our Group was also involved in the second year of the Heritage Trades Trail which was held in May. We were again in Chifley Home with an exhibition called “Feeding the Family” looking at the history of food production in Bathurst from a woman’s perspective. Many rare examples of kitchenalia through the ages were on display as well as over 70 aprons from all different eras. We had over 625 people attend the event over the weekend of 12th and 13th May. Thanks to every one of our members who helped make this event another success for our group.
This year we held a dedication ceremony for the placement of a headstone on the grave of a small boy who died while in the migrant camp. He was Aadje Van der Klugt and with his family members we held a dedication on 2nd June as well as placing a memorial to all the children who died at the Migrant camp. It was a very moving day. The Consul General of the Netherlands attended as well as the Mayor of Bathurst Graeme Hanger OAM and Councillor Jacqui Rudge. The group received a letter from Mr Paul Toole, State Member for Bathurst congratulating us on the dedication. He also included a copy of the speech he made in State Parliament where he mentioned the group’s efforts in organising the dedication. This letter and speech are available on our website.
Our membership continues to increase. We thank those members renewing their membership and welcome new members to the group. To establish a framework for the group we had developed a Code of Ethics which included covering the issue of privacy. This year we have added a Code of Conduct for members and you will see on the member application form and the renewal form a section that covers this Code of Conduct, it is expected that all members will adhere to this Code. The Bathurst Library also has a Code of Conduct we are obliged to follow while in the Library premises.
Research remains a core function of the group and Tuesday afternoons are well patronised by members and non-members. To assist members we have purchased 3 laptops for use in the Library by the researchers and members. Our website also has a great range of research items for members to use no matter where you are. Please check out the members section of the website by logging in from the home page. If you have any problems please let us know.
Annual General Meeting
We held our Annual General Meeting on 21st July and it was well attended. At this meeting we elected the office bearers and committee for 2018 / 2019. I wish to thank the membership for re-electing myself as President. It is a privilege to serve the membership. I would like to congratulate the members of the group who have been elected to the committee. Chris Stewart has been returned as Vice President; Joy Richens has been elected as Secretary and Mary Fletcher, our Life Member has been elected as Treasurer. Graeme Hill was returned as Member Secretary and Cemetery Co-ordinator. Other committee members returned are Jan Page, Colleen Davis, Marion Pearce, Marie Larnach, Ellen Bennetts, Liane Torr, Brian Fitzpatrick, Ann Huges and our newly elected member Andrew Prior. Welcome everyone; I am looking forward to working with you all. I wish to thank Denise Young who had decided not to stand again as Treasurer for her work over the last twelve months.
New Life Member
At our AGM, the members also unanimously elected Graeme Hill as our new Life Member. Congratulations Graeme well deserved for all your time and hard work on the website, with the cemetery committee and continued commitment to growing the group and meeting members’ needs.
Please check out our website, it is very comprehensive. If you would like to make suggestions for any aspect of the group please let us know. We only exist because of our members.