The Annual General Meeting of the New South Wales Branch of the Richard III Society was held on Saturday, 11 October 2014, at the Sydney Mechanics Institute.

Opening remarks were made by Chair Judith along with a warm welcome to all the members and visitors present. Thanks were expressed for the work of all the committee members throughout the year.

All of the officers then gave reports for their areas, and then officially stepped down. Margaret conducted the election process for all of the officers of the branch with most returning unopposed to their roles: Judith continues as Chair, Jacqueline as Deputy Chair, Judy as Treasurer, Dorothea as Webmaster, Lynne as Sales Officer, Joan as Tea Lady, Rachel as Secretary, and Leslie & Doug as Editors of the Affinity newsletter.

The program consisted of three ‘Scrabble’ speakers, giving separate presentations on different and very interesting topics.

Maggie told us of her experiences during her recent trip to the UK during which she laid the wreath on behalf of Australian Branches of the Richard III Society during the Bosworth commemoration ceremonies. Afterwards, she informally showed us interesting photos she had taken during the trip.

Dorothea had the letter ‘Y’ and shared her well-illustrated research about the history of the ancient church of St Mary de Castro in Leicester, which has been in existence for more than 900 years. Richard, duke of York, had in 1426 been knighted in this church.

Rachel spoke on the letter ‘R’ for rehabilitation. In an interesting talk entitled “Was Joan of Arc a Witch?” she addressed the charges raised against Joan, her astute responses to them, and the arguments for her defence that could have been made if her trial had been a fairer one, conducted in less prejudicial circumstances.

Our next gathering will be our Christmas meeting scheduled for 13 December 2014, when our guest speaker Wendy Schmid will be discussing medieval embroidery. All of the 2015 speakers will be listed in the next issue of the branch newsletter, Affinity.

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