Archive for the ‘NSW Branch News’ Category


Season’s Greetings to all our readers

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis Tags: , ,

Wishing all our readers a very merry Christmas

and lots of happiness and peace for the New Year.



Enjoy a carol from King’s College Chapel in Cambridge (click here).

Richard III was a generous benefactor of the building of the chapel, which had been started by Henry VI.  By the end of his reign the first six bays of the Chapel had reached full height and the first five bays, roofed with oak and lead, were in use. [1]  It was the Tudor kings, Henry VII and Henry VIII, who would eventually finish the chapel.


‘History of the Chapel’, King’s College Cambridge.  URL: [last accessed 23 November 2018]


What we admire most about Richard III

   Posted by: Kevin Herbert Tags: ,

Richard III NSW Branch NewsOur last branch meeting took a completely different format.  Instead of all facing and listening to a speaker, we sat around a table and discussed what we admire most about Richard.

Jan, one of the longest serving members of our branch,  began by reminiscing about the origins of the NSW Branch of The Richard III Society.   Apparently in the 1970s a handful of Ricardians met in someone’s home, but as they became more numerous they ventured to a restaurant to share a meal together instead.  As the membership grew so, too, did the need to become more structured and meet in more formal surroundings, which got us to where we are today.

Our discussion showed that we all admire Richard for his loyalty to his friends and family, for his caring nature and thoughtfulness for the people as expressed by Richard’s innovative laws and justice.  Several members remarked that he worked to better the lives of ordinary people, citing several examples, among them especially the exemption of books and printing from taxation to foster learning.  This led to the idea to include a section on Richard’s achievements on our website, but we have to ensure only to include those reforms and innovations which can be easily proved.

Richard III

Illustration:  © Andrew Jamieson,

More individual experiences were also aired.  Kevin was especially impressed by the closeness which seemed to exist between John Neville and Richard, whose mottos, respectively, were:  Loyalty, Honour and Love (John Neville) and Loyalty Binds Me (Richard). Judith commented on what a joy it was to discover medieval history after she had been immersed in Victorian matters previously.  This joy was shared by Win who also spoke of the joy of learning to appreciate medieval history.

Carol shared a special experience with us by thanking Richard and his family for one of her happiest memories in England when she and her husband went to Fotheringhay and enjoyed a perfect day there with a picnic.

She commented on the fact and that his achievements in such a short time were incredible in comparison with other monarchs who reigned for much longer and did comparatively little in the first few years of their reign.

New members Leslie and Doug remarked on how noble a person Richard seemed to be and how wonderful it was to meet up with a group who shared their passion for this great and underrated man.

Everyone felt this discussion was a very worthwhile exercise.  And we were all grateful to him for making his times so interesting to us all – and for bringing us together.



   Posted by: Michael


SAVE THE DATE:  Saturday April 17th, 2021

from 2pm – 4pm.

We have chosen historical fiction novel “Mistress to the Crown” by Isolde Martyn, one of our most treasured and long-standing members of the society and are thrilled to welcome Isolde to be part of our Book Club discussion as well as answering questions on this intriguing novel.

“Mistress to the Crown” introduces readers to Elizabeth Lambard who is best known to history as Jane Shore, mistress of English King Edward IV. The novel follows Elizabeth’s life from the time of her marriage to merchant William Shore as teenager, to the start of her second marriage shortly after the death of King Edward. Told from Elizabeth’s perspective, the novel paints a vivid and authentic portrait of a woman about whom very little is known.

If you would like to participate in this wonderful LIVE Zoom event, please RSVP to Marnie Lo   at:  so we can send you an exclusive Zoom invitation.

To purchase this book for advance reading, it is currently widely available from Booktopia,, Abbey’s Bookstore, The Book Depository & Dymocks for $19.99 or for $8.99 on Kindle. A signed copy for $10 can also be purchased from Isolde directly by emailing:                                     or by calling Isolde on: (02) 9449-7962

We look forward to welcoming you all to this very special event and sharing your impressions         on this very unique & intriguing historical figure.



Biennial Conference: An Update

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis

Helen and Denise, the organisers of the Biennial Conference, would like to share an update regarding this year’s conference in Albury in September.

Dear Ricardian Friends

We hope this finds you and your families all safe and coping with this most challenging situation.

Like many organisers we need to look at the difficult situation the country is facing – the current coronavirus epidemic and consider the safety and advisability of continuing our event.

We wrote this a week ago but as events have been unfolding so quickly, held off to see where the situation might go.

At this stage we still believe we should go ahead hoping we can all get together in September on the other side of this most challenging time.

We propose that we look at the situation on 1 July and make a decision. Information may be clearer by then. Hopefully the epidemic will be either over or receding.

It is good to try and think positively.

Continuing will provide an opportunity to reaffirm our community after this difficult time.

It will also help support our friends at the Manor House in Albury.  Regional businesses, in fact all our local suppliers and businesses, will need support to continue and get going again.  We can try and do our little bit to kick start things for them too.

As organisers we don’t have to make any financial commitments at this time so have flexibility in planning. We do need to know how many would still consider coming along. Please let us know at least if you are still keen to carry on or what you are thinking.

I encourage you to think about coming along. All your payments will be fully refundable.

And also think about presenting some research or information or entertainment!

We are eagerly waiting to hear from you all.

As we are now socially isolating at least there will be time a) to do extra reading and research b) to develop great presentations and, in the future beyond the virus, there will be so much extra socialising to catch up!

Lets travel as hopefully as possible.

Denise and Helen for the Albury 2020 conference team



April branch meeting cancelled

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis

Our April 2020 branch meeting has been cancelled!

In consideration of the coronavirus, our branch committee decided to cancel our April branch meeting (scheduled for 4 April 2020).  Medical experts recommend that we avoid large gatherings of people.  While our meetings do not attract the numbers they are talking about, we nevertheless feel it would be in the best interest of our members and friends not to expose them to the virus, if it can be avoided.  In particular, as many of us come to the meetings by public transport.

We all regret that it affects our much anticipated “book club”, especially as we probably have all read the two books we were going to discuss.  We promise we will re-schedule the “book club” at a later stage.

We hope that our June meeting (scheduled for 30 May 2020) can go ahead as planned. We will keep you informed.

In the meantime, please stay healthy!


The Farewell to Kevin Herbert

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis

We are very grateful to our long-term member Ann Chandler for sharing her thoughts about Kevin Herbert’s funeral with us.

The Farewell to Kevin Herbert

The 5th of March, the day of Kevin’s funeral was a drear day with rain bucketing down in cold sheets……and the skies were grey, perhaps in reflection of our feelings. Inside the church, however, it was a different story. The light was soft and the leadlights glowed. Kevin’s casket was adorned with natives and our white roses were nearby, while Richard looked down from a close screen.

The service was just as Kevin wished and the music was sublime. So many lovely, traditional hymns sung by Jeremy Curtin, Giselle Grape, Gina Marshall and The Fathers Choir. Gerard Herbert, Maria Kelly and I presented the three eulogies. I made sure I was dressed in Richard’s colours, complete with Ricardian badges and a white rose. I also read out Julia’s letter on behalf of our society and Rob Smith’s (New Zealand Branch) letter to Kevin which he received before he passed.

After the beautiful mass, our dear friend was interred with his beloved mother. We all returned to the Belrose Hotel where we mingled and shared our stories and memories of Kevin. The food was fabulous, and Kevin’s family did Him proud! While we ate, drank and remembered, we were treated to a wonderful slideshow, compiled by our fellow Ricardian, Helen Porteus. It was great to see Kevin in his various costumes and familiar gestures. Helen’s husband, Allan, also generously gave a portrait of Kevin, which he had painted, to Kevin’s grateful family. It was a sad day and the end of an era but our dear Kevin was farewelled very well indeed… a true celebration of a life well lived.

The Farewell to Kevin Herbert

Kevin at the Australasian Convention in Sydney, 2013.

I will now include my portion of his eulogy:

I first met Kevin through the Richard The Third Society, almost thirty years ago. We immediately became great friends, bonded by our common interests and he became a most wonderful friend to my family—as he was to all of you. Kevin was always his own man, but he shared his life with extraordinary generosity. He was a tireless worker for our society and was the Social Secretary for many, many years and what a Social Secretary he was! We enjoyed so many great events, organised by Kevin and I know I speak for our society when I say that whenever Kevin was due to give a talk or deliver a speech, we were all excited because he had such a wealth of information and interesting anecdotes, all delivered with Kevin’s customary verve and enthusiasm. He was one of the most learned men I have ever met.

When I first met Kevin, I rather loftily stated, “I walk with the King!” Now other people may have looked over their shoulders with some alarm to check if Elvis was in the building………. but not Kevin. Quick as a flash, he replied, “And so do I!” And now our dear friend truly does walk with the King. He has taken his rightful place, by his side ….. his loyal and liege man. Yours was, indeed, a life well lived, so walk tall dear, dear Kevin.

Ann Chandler


Farewell our dear friend Kevin

   Posted by: Julia Redlich Tags:

All members of the New South Wales Branch of the Richard III Society will be saddened by news of Kevin Herbert’s death after such a long illness.

Kevin was a true Ricardian, always seeking more information about the man and his life and times. He devoured books, consulted maps, museums and libraries. He shared his knowledge and love, and our meetings were a joy for him, as were the conventions and conferences with other Australasian branches where he had so many friends (nearly as many as the costumes he wore to the banquets!).

To meet our travel needs Kevin’s information about train and bus time-tables, routes, and costs was encyclopaedic as was his knowledge of the period’s family trees. There was always something new to learn at the “C and Cs” (coffee and conversation) enjoyed with friends. These meetings with our fondly named “Special K” soon saw us discarding plans for world improvement and indulge in everything Ricardian. As you do.

A great thinker, a great Ricardian, a much-loved friend. That was Special K. How we’ll miss him.

Thank you, Kevin, for all you gave to us. God bless you.

A funeral service will be held on Thursday, 5 March 2020, at 10.30 am at Immaculate Catholic Church, Raglan Street, Manly.

Our April 2020 MeetingJust a short reminder that the next meeting of the NSW Branch of the Richard III Society will be on 4 April 2020, i.e. the FIRST Saturday of the month instead of the second.  The reason is that our venue, the Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts, is closed over the long Easter Weekend.

It will be a Book Club Meeting.  Our first book club meeting took place in June last year and proved a huge success.  We therefore decided to make it an annual feature.

The intention this year is to look more closely at the fascinating women on both sides during Richard’s period.  The committee has approved two books:

  • Philippa Gregory, David Baldwin & Michael Jones, The Women of the Cousins’ War
  • Sarah Gristwood, Blood Sisters

Leslie, who will lead the discussion, assured our members that if they prefer, they can, of course, choose any Ricardian or English History book, fiction or nonfiction, to read instead and share their opinion with us at the meeting.

There still is time to get your reading done and we hope you enjoy our choice as much as we did.

Looking forward to a lively discussion on 4 April 2020!