Archive for the ‘Meetings’ Category


April General Meeting of the NSW Branch

   Posted by: Leslie McCawley

The next general meeting of the NSW Branch of the Richard III Society will be on Saturday, 14 April 2018, at 2pm at the Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts, 280 Pitt St, Sydney NSW 2000.

Our featured speakers for April will be Branch members Helen and Denise. Helen and Denise met in kindergarten and, instantly recognizing a mutual interest in history and fairness, forged a strong crusading bond. Reading Josephine Tey’s novel, Daughter of Time, in primary school fired up their fervour for a king maligned by history, but it was many years before they became aware of an actual group of people who held similar views.

Helen saw an article in the Sydney Morning Herald in the quincentenary year of the battle of Bosworth (1985) that mentioned a UK society with a branch in Sydney.  She has been a member ever since.  Denise has been less reliable but always in touch. Denise has lived for many years around and in Canberra.  Helen was able to attend meetings for some years while she lived in Mosman but with a move to the Southern Highlands found it hard to stay in touch with regular branch activities.

In recent times, they have both been able to attend quite a few Australasian conferences. They also organised a very successful mini-conference in Albury in 2016 and are busy organising another one to take place later this year.   A recent highlight for them was travelling to Leicester for the reinterment in 2015. The name of their talk is: A New Kingdom – Richard III in the Digital Age. It will be based on their presentation at the Perth Australasian Convention of October 2017, with reference to their presentation at the 2016 Albury mini-conference. They will look at various aspects of the King’s reputation in the new age of technology and social media.


Next General Meeting 10 Feb. 2018

   Posted by: Leslie McCawley Tags: , ,

We would like to invite you to our first meeting of the new year, on 10 Feb. 2018 at 2pm at the Sydney Mechanics School of Arts.

Our speaker will be our own Dorothea, who has spoken to us often on many different Ricardian topics. Her chosen topic will be “William & Alice de la Pole’s God’s House at Ewelme”.

The cloister of God’s House at Ewelme

As many of us know, Dorothea came originally from Germany. After living for 5 years in the UK, she came to Australia in 1998. Dorothea joined the Richard III Society in 2004 and has since served in a variety of positions on the committee of the NSW Branch, at present as Membership Secretary. In addition, she is a member of the Bulletin Committee of the Society as a whole.

Dorothea has always been fascinated by things relating to Richard’s time in our world today, be it places or items or even ideas. Another area of interest is the lives of medieval people. Therefore, God’s House was an obvious choice: it is a place you can visit today, it hasn’t changed much since the 15th century and it involves the de la Pole family, who were anything but boring.

Dorothea decided to be a bit like the story of ‘Muhammad and the mountain’, if we can’t pop over to Oxfordshire to the real God’s House, God’s House will have to come here. We look forward to hearing her presentation!


The next meeting of the NSW Branch

   Posted by: Leslie McCawley

meetingThe last general meeting of the year will take place on Saturday, 9 December 2017, at 2:00 PM.

We are very pleased to welcome back long-time member Julia as featured speaker, to bring us her insight on the topic of “Midsummer Murders”, her well-received presentation at the Albury mini-conference last year. Julia has been a passionate presenter about Richard III at civic and educational groups for many years.

Julia was Secretary of the New South Wales Branch for nine years, until she retired to far-flung Fingal Bay in 2013. A repeat offender attending all the conventions of the Australasian Richard III Society Branches since 1997, she has also been dogsbody for two NSW Branch conventions and three mini conferences (four if you count Albury in 2016). Her interest in Richard III started, aged 10 – before the publication of “The Daughter of Time”! – at a performance of Robert Louis Stevenson’s “The Black Arrow” at London’s Old Vic, when she discovered that the history books were wrong. On stage there was no Wicked Uncle. Richard, Duke of Gloucester, was brave, kindly and decisive, rewarding the young hero Dick Sheldon who had saved his life, with a knighthood, and enabling Dick’s marriage with his true love. Instant conversion!

A family and absorbing career finally let her join the NSW Branch in l984 and she was on the committee in various guises before an emergency led to volunteering to be Secretary in 2004. She was presented with the Robert Hamblin Award in 2009, still framed and close to a map of historic York and the portrait of the last Plantagenet king in her study. Although distance and uncooperative timetables stop her from attending meetings in Sydney, interest in Richard is still found on the mid-north coast.  Her talk on “What happened to the Princes?” still holds the attendance record at a local library.  It could be the coffee and biscuits provided, but one group revealed they had missed their bridge club meeting that morning so as to specifically find out more about Richard III. Ricardians of course never stop doing this.

We hope that many of you will be able to join Julia and other members on 9 December, not only to find out more about “Midsummer Murders”, but also to meet up with friends and make new friends, who share your interest.


General Meeting 12 August 2017

   Posted by: Leslie McCawley


We are looking forward to seeing many of you at our next general meeting on 12 August. Our speaker will be HSC student, and Society member, Christopher, who will be presenting his research on Richard III, entitled “The Changing Perceptions of Richard III over Time.”

We will also have a ‘Bring and Buy’ table to pass on Ricardian related books, memorabilia and other interesting items. Please be sure to take home what does not sell, as we have no storage space onsite.

There will also be a Scrabble letter draw by those members willing to prepare and give a presentation on an apt topic at the first meeting of 2018.

As per usual, the meeting will be held at the Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street, CBD, at 2 pm.


Tuesday November 1, 2016, is a significant day for local Ricardians for the conference that  New South Wales Branch organises between biennial Australasian conventions. Longtime members Helen, Denise and Kevin made initial plans that gained ground with other Branches at the convention in New Zealand last year, and they have been the efficient organisers for the event at the Albury Manor House in the city sitting comfortably on the borders of New South Wales and Victoria.

Delegates are travelling from New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and New Zealand on Tuesday to enjoy a Melbourne Cup high tea and an evening of reunion and Ricardian discussion before the next day’s programme of presentations of a great array of subjects of medieval interest with Richard III naturally taking centre stage. There is a challenging quiz, a rewarding raffle and a special sales table to empty pockets – and maybe find gifts for unexpected guests at Christmas time! The day ends with the traditional banquet when delegates are invited to come dressed as a medieval personality if they wish.

Here’s to another welcome reunion of old and new friends and fellow Ricardians.



9 April 2016 Richard III Society – NSW Branch General Meeting
The branch met on Saturday, 9 April 2016, at the Sydney Mechanics Institute on Pitt Street, with a good turnout of regular members. Following some brief welcoming remarks from our Chairperson, our featured speaker, member Judy Howard, presented her talk about the Crusades from the Byzantine perspective.
Following the presentation, Judith requested that members come up with any suggestions for guest speakers for next year’s programs or for members to volunteer to give a presentation themselves. Also, the Executive Committee is in need of assistance as it is running on a skeleton crew. If you can offer some of your time please contact her to discuss. The position of Affinity Editor will also be available at the next AGM in October so please consider contributing some time to helping out the Branch in the coming year.
Scrabble letters were then drawn by those members willing to give a talk in October on a topic starting with the letter they drew. After that the raffle prizes were drawn and we had a lavish afternoon tea provided by Joan. The next meeting will be 11 June 2016, when our guest speaker will be Tony Cunneen on the topic, “How Shakespeare’s Machiavellian View of Richard III has shaped history.”

13 February 2016 Richard III Society – NSW Branch General Meeting
The first branch meeting of the New Year was held on Saturday, 13 February 2016, at the Sydney Mechanics Institute on Pitt Street, with a good turnout of members. Welcoming remarks were offered by our Chairperson, then we stood for a minute of silence in remembrance of the recent passing of our long-time member Robin who was always such a warm and welcoming presence at meetings.
A steering committee of three keen members is beginning to organize a ‘mini-conference’ for 1 – 3 November 2016 to be held in Albury at a medieval themed hotel. They are hoping that members of the Victorian Branch will be able to attend, as well as New South Wales members. If people are interested in getting involved, helping out, or being on the mailing list for further information please contact Kevin directly. Details of the mini-conference will be provided via the branch website and newsletter as they become available.
Our guest speaker was Mr Gerard Windsor, a well-known Sydney author and literary critic. He has published books of poetry, fiction, documentaries, essays and literary criticism. One of his particular interests is Pilgrimage, and he has taken a number of his own pilgrimages to various important medieval sites. Gerard’s topic was “The Middle Ages in Our Australian Consciousness.”
After the presentation, the raffle was drawn and we adjourned for a lovely afternoon tea provided by Joan. It was a good start to the new year.
Leslie McCawley

The 10 October 2015 Annual General Meeting

of the NSW Branch of the Richard III Society

The Annual General Meeting of the NSW Branch of the Richard III Society was held on Saturday, 10 October 2015, at the Sydney Mechanics’ Institute. Chair Judith welcomed all members and visitors. Concern was expressed for members who have been facing illness and injury recently, with the sincere hope for their successful treatment, full recovery, and swift return to our meetings. Kevin was back after a year’s absence, and it was wonderful to see him looking well.

Judith gave a summary of our busy Ricardian year with the excitement of the reinterment ceremonies for Richard III in Leicester, the lineup of excellent speakers we were privileged to hear, the annual service, at St James Anglican Church to commemorate the Battle of Bosworth and remember Richard’s life and reign. Thanks were expressed on behalf of the branch members, for the hard work by the committee members throughout the year; the committee members then officially stepped down. Special thanks and a round of applause went to Dorothea for her 8 years’ service as a very active and dedicated webmaster and publications officer who attracted many international readers to our website.

Carole then facilitated the annual elections for the 2015-2016 committee positions. A number of officers returned unopposed to their roles, including Judith as Chair, Rachel as Secretary, Lynne as Sales Officer, Leslie as Affinity Newsletter Editor, and Joan as the afternoon tea lady. Newly elected committee members included Tim and Lawrence as webmasters, and Christine as Treasurer, with Joan expanding her duties to include Deputy Chair.

Our featured speaker was Mr Christopher Puplick AM, a long-time member of the NSW branch and a keen medievalist. His topic was “The Garter Knights of Richard III”, these being the various men that Richard selected for the honour of being made knights of the garter, that ancient order of chivalry. Hopefully a transcript of this interesting presentation will be posted on the website soon.

After the raffle was drawn, members enjoyed a lovely afternoon tea provided by Joan. The next meeting will be on Saturday, 12 December 2015. Our guest speaker will be Judith Mee, speaking on the topic of “Spoken and written English in Richard III’s time”. There will also be a Bring & Buy table, with proceeds going to the branch. It will be a good opportunity to recycle books and other items of interest. Please be prepared to take home anything that does not sell, however, as there is no provision for storage on site.

Annual General Meeting of the NSW Branch

Saturday 10 October 2015  –  2:00 PM

The NSW Branch Annual General Meeting will be held on Saturday, 10 October 2015, at the Sydney Mechanics Institute. Please plan to attend this meeting, to help elect the new committee for 2015. If you have any items for the agenda or wish to stand for the committee, please contact branch secretary Rachel.

2013 Annual General Meeting of the NSW Branch

Chris Puplick speaking at the 2013 Australasian Convention of the Richard III Society

Our featured speaker will be Mr Christopher Puplick AM, a long-time member of the NSW branch. Chris served as the Liberal Senator for New South Wales in the Commonwealth Parliament from 1978-1981 and 19841990, and was Shadow Minister for the Environment, Arts and Heritage from 1987 to 1990. He also served as the President of the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board and was the State’s first Privacy Commissioner.  In 2001, he was appointed a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia, for contributions to Australian politics and public policy, particularly in relation to human rights and social justice. He is the author of five books and over ninety other publications and broadcasts. His topic will be “The Garter Knights of Richard III”.

Please note:

Membership renewals are due.  If renewing by post please ensure that they are received no later than Friday 9 October, 2015, or made in person at the AGM on Saturday, 10 October, 2015.

Even if you are not renewing your membership for 2016, it is requested that you inform the Secretary or Treasurer in writing, as a courtesy.


Review of 8 August 2015 Meeting of the NSW Branch

   Posted by: Leslie McCawley Tags: , ,

Review of 8 August 2015 Meeting of the NSW BranchThe August branch meeting of the NSW Richard III Society was held on Saturday, 8 August 2015, at the Sydney Mechanics’ Institute. Chair Judith welcomed all members and visitors and introduced Christine who has volunteered to as Treasurer at the AGM in October with the election of new officers. Words of concern were expressed for our several members who have been facing serious illness over the past year and the sincere hope for their successful treatment, full recovery, and swift return to our meetings.

Those present were asked to stand for a minute’s silence to honour our recently deceased long-time active member, Johanna. The Celebration of Life pamphlet from her service at St Thomas Aquinas Church in Bowral was distributed to those who knew her.

Renewal forms for Friends and Members of the NSW Branch of the Richard III Society will be distributed by email soon, along with nomination forms for the upcoming election of new officers at the AGM to be held in October. Judith asks that you please complete and return your membership renewals in a timely manner, that is, before the next meeting. The fees will remain the same as last year, which is good news.

The annual service commemorating the Battle of Bosworth and remembering Richard’s life and reign will be held this year at the very welcoming congregation of St James Anglican Church, 173 King Street, Sydney at 11:00 am on 23 August 2015. Refreshments will follow the service, and members may go to lunch together nearby afterwards. The branch will arrange an appropriate contribution to the Church in gratitude for their hospitality.

There will be a Bring & Buy table at the 12 December meeting, so you have time to start thinking about what you would like to contribute. Prices will be very reasonable, and proceeds will go to the branch coffers. It will be a good opportunity to share books you will not be rereading, or give novelty Ricardian items a new owner. Please be prepared to take home anything that does not sell, however, as there is no provision for storage on site.

Our guest speaker was University of Sydney English Professor Margaret Rogerson who gave an illustrated presentation on her area of particular expertise, being the Medieval Mystery Play Cycles of York and the ways in which Richard III may have been a supporter during his residence. Professor Rogerson is the author of Playing a Part in History: the York Mysteries and many other academic papers on the topic, and kept us deeply engaged.

Member Jean shared with us her recent experience visiting Leicester. She related how welcoming the people were everywhere she went, how pleased they were to have tourists as a result of all the attention on Richard III these past two years. Jean visited Leicester Cathedral, the Visitors’ Centre (including the famous council parking lot where Richard’s body was discovered), and took the 2-hour guided tour walking around to points in the city with any connection to Richard’s life.

After the raffle was drawn, members enjoyed a lovely afternoon tea provided by Joan, including lots of delicious homemade treats that everyone appreciated.

The next meeting will be the AGM on Saturday, 10 October 2015 when the executive committee will be stepping down and their replacements elected.