20
Nov

Richard III Albury 2018 Conference

   Posted by: Julia Redlich   in Branch News, Conventions, News

Albury conference, November 2018

 

A Regular Ricardian Reunion

In 2007 the New South Wales Branch started a biennial one-day conference for members unable to attend Australasian conventions because of distance. Other branches soon joined in and this year met again at the Albury Manor House Hotel with its wonderful medieval style – and a management that knows exactly what is wanted and provides it with bells on!

Arrivals were made special when Queensland member Mark Porter’s two little girls in medieval gowns offered everyone a white rose tied with maroon and blue ribbons, and their brother in “armour” and brandishing a “sword” presented red poppies for Remembrance Day provided by the Robyn Pidcock, Victoria’s tireless craft expert. We wore them proudly for an evening of wining, dining, conversation and enjoyable reunion.

Friday morning we all gathered in a room, with Richard’s banner taking pride of place. A historical quiz, prepared by Kevin Herbert, was handed out for completion during the day. Sadly, Kevin was not present due to the recurrence of a medical condition, but fellow branch members, Marnie and Chris Lo, replaced his presentation with their recent “How to rebury a medieval king”.

In the absence of NSW Branch chairperson, Judith Hughes, the Australasian vice president, New Zealand’s Rob Smith welcomed everyone on her behalf and read a goodwill message from Phil Stone. Then Helen Portus and Denise Rawling, organisers of the event, started proceedings them with a light-hearted history of the Wars of the Roses. LOL!

A variety of presentations by delegates included Queensland’s Peter Stride enlightening us with the natural history of scoliosis – and later in the day made us begin to query a few Royal paternities. Julia Redlich from NSW spoke on medieval mothers and the possible reasons for their rotten reputations. Victoria Branch member Michael Iliffe considered Henry VI who unwittingly sparked the Cousins’ War, and NSW’s Dorothea Preis inspired us with reasons for future trips to the UK to visit Richard III’s mother Cecily, Duchess of York’s home in Berkhamsted. Anne Maslin from Victoria spoke on the rise and fall of John Howard , and Mark Porter sought answers from Rob Smith , Julia Redlich, Sue Walladge (South Australia), Victoria’s Ron and Robyn Pidcock and Louise Carson from Western Australia on why they became Ricardians. The day closed as Helen and Denise brought us up to date with how Richard III is viewed in the digital age.

The Branch sales table had been well patronised and only one item remained (a book about a Tudor, so that’s understandable!). Many raffle tickets had been sold and winners each received one from a covetable selection of prizes.

Many wore medieval costume for a delicious banquet, when the toasts to the Society, Richard III and Absent Friends were proposed by Sue Walladge, Ron Pidcock OAM and Louise Carson. Returning to the conference room the quiz answers were given as a PowerPoint presentation created by webmaster Mike Redstone. And the winner: Gillian Laughton from Victoria.

The conference concluded with a memorable tribute to John Ashdown-Hill MBE that Helen had produced. All Ricardians will miss John for his knowledge, writing, hard work on our behalf and his role in presenting Richard III in such a positive way to the world.

Saturday meant many of the delegates had to return home, but several stayed on for a coach tour that took in local landmarks, a wonderful winery, a delightful lunch and a trip around Albury, a place offering so much. Would it be too much to expect that Ricardians gather there again in the not too distant future?

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 20th, 2018 at 17:21 and is filed under Branch News, Conventions, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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  1. Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire, Part I | Dottie Tales    Dec 04 2018 / 1pm:

    […] parts dealing with Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire. The posts are based on a talk I gave at the recent Ricardian convention at Albury, where members of the Richard III Society from Australia and New Zealand […]

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