The June branch meeting of the NSW Richard III Society was held on Saturday, 9 June 2012, at the Sydney Mechanics’ Institute. Chair Judith Hughes welcomed all attendees and began by summarising the wonderful Ricardian mini-conference that was held recently in Mittagong, with her special thanks to all of those who had worked so hard to make it the success it was.

Judith then reported on the official book launch for University of Melbourne Professor Stephanie Trigg’s Shame and Honor: A Vulgar History of the Order of the Garter, which several branch members had been able to attend the evening before, hosted by the Sydney branch of the Australian Heraldry Society. The distinguished guest speakers had been fascinating and the amply illustrated book appears very worthwhile reading.

The Treasurer’s report presented by Judy was brief but reassuring, as she reported the branch to be solvent, helped along by proceeds from the recent sale of the last remnants of the branch library at the mini-conference.

Dorothea presented the Webmaster’s report, saying that Annette Carson’s article about Edward V was a recent highlight.  She thanked those members who do contribute to the website on a regular basis, but once again reminded members that more items were needed that would be of interest to the many visitors to our popular website.

Julia presented the Secretary’s report, which included the exciting news that the committee may have found a new affordable, attractive and convenient venue in The Rocks for our branch meetings; details are yet to be finalised and will be widely reported when arrangements have been confirmed.

Julia then displayed the lovely table runner with Ricardian colours and insignia, which was a gift to our branch from the Victoria branch at the Mittagong mini-conference.

Julia introduced Yvette Debergue, who is the course leader along with member Isolde Martin, for the University of Sydney Centre for Continuing Education classes focusing on the Plantagenets. She has been able to negotiate with the university administration to offer a 10% discount for Society members who register for the courses. The next all day program is on 30 June 2012 and includes lunch. For more information go to the following link:

Kevin sent his apologies for missing the meeting due to illness. But had he been present he would have reminded us that the Winterfest Medieval Fair is coming up on the weekend of 30 June/1 July in Parramatta. Some members may once again brave the cold weather to make their way there this year, though nothing has been organized yet as a group.

As our scheduled guest speaker unfortunately had to cancel, our branch chair, Judith, came to the rescue with a very interesting presentation about the life and times of Sudeley Castle, the Gloucestershire Castle that was once the home of Katherine Parr, the last wife of King Henry VIII.

The Gatehouse of Sudeley Castle (Photograph taken by Jennifer Luther Thomas; obtained through Wikimedia Commons.)

Dorothea and Lynne also reviewed books they had read recently.  Dorothea spoke about Sumerford’s Autumn by branch member Barbara Gaskell Denvil and Lynne shared her thoughts of the classic The Betrayal of Richard III by V B Lamb with us.

The next meeting will be on Saturday, 11 August 2012, featuring this year’s ‘Scrabble Speakers’, who will be speaking on various medieval topics.

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