Chairperson’s Report October 2015
The Richardian Year 2014-2015 has proved a very exciting one for all members of the New South Wales branch of the Richard III Society Publicity concerning the discovery and the reburial has resulted not only in a boost to our membership but also greatly increased interest from many people outside the Society.
Several of our members were able to travel to Leiceister to participate in the celebrations to mark Richard III’s reburial in and around the city. Our Treasurer, Judy Howard, was fortunate enough to be selected to the Compline Service in the Cathedral when Richard’s remains were brought from Bosworth to lie in state. As close to this time as possible on 21st March many of our Sydney Richardians were able to commemorate Richard’s life and his achievements in a beautiful moving service at the Anglican Church of St James at King Street where in August we remember those who died with Richard at the Battle of Bosworth.
Upon their return from the United Kingdom, Dorothea Preis, Judy Howard and David Johnson presented a fascinating review of their time in Leiceister. During the discussion which followed, other members added their contributions which proved very enjoyable.
Particular thanks must go to our members who show such positive support to our hard-working committee but friendship to each other which ensures the smooth and enjoyable running of the Society. Our venue so centrally located at the Sydney Mechanics School of Arts with its proximity to public transport has proved very convenient to most people to access some even coming from as far as Brisbane and Armidale.
Throughout the year, members have been encouraged to learn more about Richard III and the world in which he lived. This has been capably encouraged not only by the very excellent Website presided over by Dorothea Preis but also with an array of wonderful guest speakers all of whom are experts in their particular fields. They have entertained us, inspired us to follow up their talks with research of our own and enriched our knowledge of Richard and his world. All talks have been presented in a well researched and scholarly manner, each subject being lavishly illustrated.
Wendy Schmit the President of the New South Wales Embroiderers Guild brought many beautiful examples of embroidery styles some of which have been practised since Medieval Times.
Almis Simans who has written a number of books about his extensive walks in the English countryside was able to illustrate his talk using contour maps and photos of physical features of the countryside where Richard would have ridden explaining the myths and legends associated with the land.
Maggie Patton, a well known curator from the State Library of New South Wales drew on the wonderful collection of delicately coloured maps held in the library to illustrate the “MappaMundi” how people in the fifteenth century would have perceived the wider world.
Another of our members the former parliamentarian, Chris Puplick, a self-styled medievalist, presented a lecture on the Garter Knights of Richard III
Margaret Rogerson an Associate Professor from Sydney University presented a wonderfully illustrated talk on the Medieval PlayCycle of York even supplying us with notes and references to study further.
We are very proud of the enjoyment our very own authors, Isolde Martyn with her medieval romances and Felicity Pulman who specialises in adult fiction have brought to us and the book reading public.
Some of our members, particularly Kevin Herbert and Julia Redlich contribute to the general community by giving talks about Richardian subjects to groups such as National Seniors, University of the Third Age and various Probus Clubs. Maureen Gray continues to make her delightful white rose jewellery which members enjoy wearing . Sadly, our former committee member Johanna Visser passed away during the year. Several members were able to attend her funneral in the Southern Highlands where Kevin Herbert and Janice Ratter presented eulogies. Our bouquet of splendid white roses was much appreciated by her daughter.
Our hard working committee has earned our sincere gratitude. Rachel Allerton continues as Secretary while Christine Field has taken over as Treasurer from Judy Howard who is now more fully engaged in tertiary studies.
Dorothea Preis has handed over her role as Webmaster to Timothy and Lawrence Osborn. Unfortunately Dorothea’s excellent magazine Chronicles of the White Rose will probably not continue for the time being. We thank Dorothea most sincerely for the very hard work which she has undertaken for the Society for several years and wish her well for her committee work for the Society in England.
Thanks to Lesley McCawley ably assisted by her husband Doug for editing our newsletter Affinity.
Lynne Foley has kindly offered to continue as membership and sales officer.
Jacqueline Turner hands over her chairpersonship to Joan Hansen who also presides over afternoon tea.
We are most grateful to these people who keep our Society running so smoothly contributing their time and effort in such a selfless way and look forward to another worthwhile year.
10 October 2015