Archive for the ‘Conventions’ Category



   Posted by: Dorothea Preis

The Biennial Conference in Albury

Back by popular demand!

The highly popular Biennial Conference is on again!  After consultation with other branches, the date has been set for Friday, 11 September 2020.  So pack your bags to join us at the Albury Manor Hotel for a day of fun and interesting talks – not to forget Ricardian fellowship!

The Biennial Conference started out as a one-day event of the NSW Branch to give also its members from further afield the chance to meet up.  However, over time it has grown and is now equally popular with members from all the other branches of the Richard III Society in Australia and New Zealand.  (It is not to be confused with the Australasian Conventions, which also take place every second year, but is a 2-day event. The next one will be in Adelaide, SA, 21-22 Aug. 2021.)

The Biennial Conference will be organised by Helen and Denise, who did outstanding work on the two previous Albury Conferences in 2016 and 2018.  The Albury Manor Hotel offers not only comfortable rooms, but also has a medieval inspired ambience.

We would be happy if you can join us for a Welcome on Thursday, 10 September.  Friday will be a full day of talks with dinner in the evening.  Departure will be on 12 September, but of course you are welcome to take part in a tour with other attendees.

At present this is just to keep you informed so that you can keep the dates free in your diary for 2020.  We will share further details as they become available.



Classic Ricardian Convention

   Posted by: Julia Redlich

As promised, here is a full review of the recent Australasian Convention of the Richard III Society.

The biennial convention for the Australasian Branches of the Richard III Society was hosted in 2019 by the Victoria Branch of the Richard III Society. The venue was the Beau Monde International Hotel in Doncaster East and it was there that delegates convened on Friday, August 9, to enjoy an evening of reuniting with old friends and making new ones. Registration was accompanied by inspection of very desirable gift bags, a choice of drinks and canapes before most enjoyed dinner at the hotel.

Classic Ricardian Convention

Julia telling Shakespeare what he could have done better – quite emphatically!

Saturday began early with a welcome from Victoria Branch chairman Ron and a message from Society chairman Phil Stone. Then began the two-day programme of presentations that included David (Vic) on John Howard, Duke of Norfolk, Dorothea (NSW) on Hertford, its castle and charm and place in history, and Julia (NSW) with her thoughts that Shakespeare could have done better. In this context she mentioned The Final Act of Mr Shakespeare by Robert Winder, which she had reviewed for this website.

We were privileged to see a video of Professor Jane Evans of Leicester analysing the skeleton of Richard III to reveal much about him as a person. Then it was the turn of Dr Jenny Spinks from Melbourne University on renaissance men and books, metalwork and art in 15th century Nuremberg.

Classic Ricardian Convention

JOAS demonstration of medieval arms and armour

This was followed by members of the JOAS (Juvenis of Accendo Sarcalogos) Living History Society from Ballarat, who gave a splendid demonstration of medieval arms and armour – and after some of us tested the weight of some items, even “small” ones such as gloves, understood why war horses had to be so powerfully built.

Classic Ricardian Convention

Testing the weight of some pieces of armour

Anne (Vic) spoke on the medieval story “Ipomedon”, a copy that was found in in Richard III’s possession after his death with his signature and approving comment: tant le desire. Louise (WA) spoke on Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham – “the most untrue person living” and Helen and Denise (NSW and ACT) explained how study of the revised portrait and reconstruction of Richard’s head could give us an idea of how he would have sounded.

Classic Ricardian Convention

Getting ready for the banquet

Saturday evening and it was time for the banquet, with many in medieval costume posing for some cameras and enjoying some mulled wine and canapes. Then the traditional Candle Ceremony took place when representatives of all branches lit a candle on behalf of their members.

Michael and Yvonne (Vic) were responsible for the Subtlety – a massive and superbly iced and decorated confection. Loyal toasts were proposed to The Queen (Ron), King Richard III (Louise) and Friends of the Society (Rob, Australasian Vice President and NZ secretary).

Classic Ricardian Convention

The subtlety

Sunday morning started with a video from Mark (Qld), unable to attend, on his search for Richard III. Robert (Vic) followed with a worthy consideration of Polydore Vergil’s Memoir of Richard III. Rob (Australasian Vice President and NZ secretary) then conducted a business session in which Sue’s offer on behalf of the South Australia Branch to host the 2021 Convention was warmly welcomed.

After morning tea break Mercia spoke on medieval courts and the legal profession of the times, before a final offering from Ron and some of his Victoria branch associates, plus Rob (NZ) explaining how Richard got his hump. Unbelievable! But incredibly amusing.

Then it was wrap-up time: the raffle was drawn for a wide selection of prizes and the quiz answers given before delegates formed a circle of farewells and singing of Auld Lang Syne – until the next time (20-22 August 2021 in Adelaide).


Save the date!

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis Tags:

Over the last weekend, 9 to 11 August 2019, an Australasian Convention took place in Melbourne, as it was hosted by the Victoria Branch of the Richard III Society.  It was a great and enjoyable event.   The Victoria Branch has done an excellent job in organising this for the benefit of all members of the branches of the Richard III Society in Australia and New Zealand.  A full review will follow in due course, so I won’t give away any spoilers.

In two years, the next Australasian Convention will take place in Adelaide over the Bosworth Weekend, 20 to 22 August 2021.  We are very grateful to the South Australia Branch, who will be hosting this important event, for taking on all the work this involves. It would be great if the NSW Branch could show its appreciation by attending in great numbers.  So put the date into your diaries already!  More details will be available at a later stage.

As two years is a long time, there is also the prospect of another one-day conference in Albury in November 2020.  Our experienced Albury Conference Team has agreed to consider organising another of these enjoyable conferences.  Thank you, Helen and Denise!

Don’t miss out on these exciting events.  It’s never too early to start planning.  Therefore –

Save the date!


Richard III Albury 2018 Conference

   Posted by: Julia Redlich Tags: , ,

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?


A Conference of Ricardians

   Posted by: Julia Redlich Tags: , , ,

A Conference of Ricardians

That’s a collective noun referring to those gathering in Albury, NSW, on Thursday, November 8th. Representatives of all Australasian Branches will meet at Albury Manor Hotel then and enjoy an evening of registering and dining, reunions and introductions.

Friday: a programme of presentations that will inform and entertain from familiar as well as new contributors.  There will be raffle tickets to buy for fabulous prizes and a special sales table (Christmas is coming!), a challenging quiz and, in the evening, a Medieval Banquet  (costumes welcome, but not obligatory) .

A Conference of Ricardians

Saturday: for those who don’t have to head homeward, a special Chelbec Tours coach will take delegates on a trip to the famous Bonegilla migrant camp, now a historical precinct, for a tour, a talk and morning tea. Then it’s on to some wineries, with lunch at Rutherglen’s Tuileries Café before heading to the delightful village of Chiltern. A brief tour of Albury ends the tour, to view its imposing public buildings, historic homes and delightful gardens.

Full details including costs will be sent, after the closing date of September 30, to those who have already registered interest in this. If the tour is not for you, Albury’s Botanic Gardens are wonderful, as are local book shops and galleries and, on Sunday, the Kiewa Markets.

If you would like to join the tour, or register for the conference itself, contact  Spaces may be available.


Richard III at Albury 2018

   Posted by: Julia Redlich

Now is the time to come to the party! Registration and payment deposit for the Ricardian conference at Albury on Friday November 9 is due on July 30.

The tireless conference organisers for the NSW Branch, Helen Portus and Denise Rawling, sent full details to all NSW Members and Friends earlier this year, as well as information and registration forms (with costs)  in recent Affinity issues and on our website. Secretaries of the other Australasian Branches of the Richard III Society were also informed and there has been a gratifying response. So act now if you want to enjoy a memorable time with fellow Ricardians.


What you need to know:

Place: Albury Manor Hotel, 593 Young St, Albury, NSW.

Accommodation: phone: 02 6041 1777; email: alburymanorhouse’AT’;

Arrival: Thursday, November 8.  Registration and afternoon tea from 3.30 pm.  Pre-dinner drinks at 6pm; dinner in the restaurant at own cost, followed by evening entertainment.

Conference: Friday, November 9. Many informative presentations; raffle, sales table, and morning and afternoon tea and lunch is provided; a special quiz with results and prizes at the medieval banquet in the evening (costume optional).

NSW Branch Sales table: donations are welcome, but they must be relevant to Richard III and medieval times. This is not a time to de-clutter your home regardless! Any items unsold on Friday must be removed by donor (there’s an opshop nearby).

Saturday, November 10. An excursion involving historic buildings, great wines, morning and afternoon teas and lunch, plus a drive around the Albury/Murray area is being negotiated. Many details, such as costs, are still under way.    If delegates do not have to return home on Saturday and would like to explore the area more fully and are interested in this tour and did not mention this on your registration form, please advise Denise on richardiiialbury2018’AT’ as soon as possible.

When confirmed the details will be sent to all interested delegates and the date by which the cost per person must be paid.

Travel: There is ample car parking at the hotel; the airport is within easy distance, as is the railway station. For information about train travel from Sydney, contact Kevin Herbert (for his details, please contact the Branch Secretary or Publications Manager).


Further queries can be addressed at richardiiialbury2018’AT’


Helen, Denise and helpers Julia, Kevin and Mark

are looking forward to seeing you in Albury.


The Clock Is Ticking

   Posted by: Leslie McCawley

Our next meeting will take place at our regular venue, the Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts, on Saturday, 9 June 2018, at 2 pm.  This meeting will feature popular guest speaker Rob Shipton, an expert on the topic of antique clocks and the science of timekeeping throughout the ages. Rob is a retired lecturer in design at the University of Technology in Sydney.

Prague Astronomical Clock detail

We will also be discussing the details of the upcoming mini-conference being held in Albury in November that have been provided by organisers Helen and Denise. It is time to start making our plans!

Some Sydney-based members are planning to travel together by train timed to arrive for check-in at the Albury Manor Hotel on the afternoon of Thursday 8 November 2018. An evening activity has been planned for those arriving then. The full program starts the next day Friday 9 November 2018 and will include many interesting speakers, am & pm teas, and a banquet dinner (“costume optional”). More detailed information and registration materials can be found here.



Australasian Ricardians’ Convention in Perth

   Posted by: Julia Redlich

Review of the Australasian Ricardians’ Convention in Perth, WA,

October 2017

Sunshine, spring flowers and the Swan River before us augured well for the biennial convention of the Australasian Branches of the Richard III Society in October 2017, this time hosted by the Western Australia Branch at the Intercontinental Hotel on the Water, Ascot.

Australasian Ricardians’ Convention in Perth

The Swan River near the convention venue

The usual suspects from New Zealand, Victoria and New South Wales gathered on Friday 13th – lucky for all of us! – for a meet and greet evening, chatting with new friends and catching up with old ones. And all of us marvelling at the beautifully decorated folders filled with information and goodies presented to all delegates.

Saturday morning meant an early start, some first aid for equipment, and more welcoming words from WA chairman Terry Johnson before Mark Porter from Queensland presented an extract from his memorable four-part programme “The Search for Richard III: One Man’s Journey”. This was followed by a comprehensive survey of Thomas St Leger and his family (Jenny Gee, WA).

After a morning tea break, we learned about the foundation and purpose of William and Alice de la Pole’s God’s House at Ewelme (Dorothea Preis, NSW). The charm and serenity from her photos placed this on many “must see” lists for UK visits. Anne Maslin (Vic) followed with a report on Chancellor Russell’s draft speech to the Parliament that never sat in 1483 before a coronation of a king that never was (Edward V). A copy should probably be essential reading for present and potential politicians! Louise Carson (WA) gave a summary of the Popes during Richard’s lifetime that was enlightening and occasionally alarming. Who could have realised there were so many of them?

A light lunch in the spectacular Watermark restaurant was followed by a slightly re-adjusted programme after a presenter was held up by business commitments. The Loving Brother? was a subject considered by Carole Carson (WA), and we then had a brilliant introduction to Medieval Heraldry to inspire us in identifying all those colours and designs and their significance. The nine Dukes of Gloucester were presented by Julia Redlich (NSW) as mere historical footnotes (with two notable exceptions!) but whose mismarriages and too early deaths brought unexpected changes to history.

Australasian Ricardians’ Convention in Perth

Denise Rawling (NSW) and the banner

Afternoon tea (more delicious scones, jam, cream and pastries) was followed by a skilful presentation by Helen Portus and Denise Rawling (NSW) on “A New Kingdom: Richard and the Digital Age” that showed how recent events have changed the way the public can change their attitude to him. Entertaining and enlightening.

Two hours after this session ended we met for pre-dinner drinks before a banquet that was a splendid affair, the majority of delegates in medieval costume. We were entertained by a lively and seemingly inexhaustible Jester, but naturally, the highlights were the traditional toasts that included Her Majesty the Queen of Australia and New Zealand, The Richard III Society, our patron, HRH Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester and King Richard III.
Our final day began with the results of the two quizzes included in the delegate folders. These had been assessed overnight but only the winners were announced. Many longed to know the answers to know where they failed dismally! Maybe we’ll learn in a future WA newsletter…

Raffle winning tickets were drawn to win the fantastic supply of prizes, and certificates of appreciated handed to the various presenters.

The Victoria Branch then took centre stage with a brilliant performance of The Battle of Towton. Michael Iliffe’s inspired idea (with a little help from his friends) followed the progress of this pivotal battle in the Cousins’ War in modern mode – with switches from newsrooms in media headquarters to reporters on the ground and viewing the progress of the Yorkists through the snow from a helicopter. Maps, photos and music added to the two-part presentation that was warmly applauded.

Australasian Ricardians’ Convention in Perth

The present author (NSW) and Rob Smith, Vice President of the Richard III Society (NZ) at the convention banquet

A suitable follow-up was a final talk on medieval fighting and battlefield medical assistance given by Terry Johnson before he handed over to Australasian Vice President Rob Smith for Business and time to cover continuing financial and relevant matters with the Executive Committee in the UK. He also congratulated the Western Australia Branch of hosting such a memorable few days for us all, and thanked the Victoria Branch for offering to hold the next Convention in 2019.

A last lunch before a few delegates made reluctant farewells while others spent a restful or exploratory afternoon before meeting for an informal dinner in the evening. As always, it had been a memorable time for us all linked by our loyalty to the last Plantagenet king that has made us friends with so many others around the world


All the Albury Action

   Posted by: Julia Redlich

November 1st saw the New South Wales Branch welcoming Ricardians from Victoria, Queensland and South Australia to the conference held between biennial conventions. The Society’s Vice President Rob Smith from New Zealand also found time to join us. The Manor House Hotel in Albury was a great venue – all those beams and white roses everywhere made us feel quite at home. However, as Queenslander Peter Stride commented at the start of his presentation “Mock Tudor is not a style; it’s an order!”

The first evening saw registration, dinner and reunion with old friends and making new ones, plus a viewing of a cleverly abridged version of The Trial of Richard III. A prompt start on Wednesday introduced a series of great presentations such as the oft-ignored battle of Ferrybridge, and a look at the town of Gloucester in Richard’s day. We were introduced to Dr Hobbys, “the promiscuous king’s promiscuous doctor”, followed by a colourful talk about Jacquetta of Luxemburg – and her husbands! After lunch the portrayal of Richard III by Sir Thomas More and Shakespeare were discussed and we learned some historical deaths were not always what might have been recorded. Then a trip to London and a great guide to where everyone we’ve read about in Richard’s time lived. The final presentation was on what went on behind the scenes in Leicester in March 2015. King Power was obviously at work …

The day wound up with the raffle draw and final session at the sales table before preparing for the banquet with Kevin’s challenging quiz and toasts to absent friends, to Richard III and the Richard III Society.

Conclusion: more please! Some of us find it hard to meet up with our good Ricardian friends in distant parts only once every two years.


Convention of the Australasian Branches in New Zealand

   Posted by: Julia Redlich

Friday, 23rd October saw a grand number of Ricardians arrive at the Angus Inn in Lower Hutt for our biennial convention. The evening found us in the Inn’s Tatler Room, having the pleasure of greeting old friends and making new ones. New Zealand’s chair, Deirdre Drysdale, and Secretary/Australasian Vice President Rob Smith welcomed us with a rundown of proceedings and read a message from Dr Phil Stone wishing us a successful and rewarding gathering. A highlight of the evening was, of course, the traditional candle ceremony when representatives of each Branch lit a candle representing our members and for Richard. Then delicious nibbles (a feast in themselves) and wines and great conversations were enjoyed.

Saturday morning, we arrived promptly at 9am in the Woburn Room for two days of splendid programming organised by Annette Parry, covering a wealth of topics to keep everyone considering and sometimes rethinking for a long time to come.

Tony Dodgson (from Yorkshire) took us on The Road to Middleham, an imaginative interpretation of what might have been Richard’s life. This was followed by Margaret Manning’s account of Richard’s head – and her recent meeting in Scotland with Dr Caroline Wilkinson whose incredible skills had created the new image of King Richard that now seems so familiar to us all. Comments afterwards revealed our pleasure in his assured and untroubled appearance – and the fact that he wasn’t a blond!

Memories of Leicester came from several of those fortunate enough to be in the city for the re-interment. The overwhelming feeling was the warmth of Leicester, its people, the hospitality, the volunteers and the genuine interest in Richard III from the thousands of visitors, not just the Society members. Denise Rawling particularly remembered the Bishop of Leicester, fully robed, walking among the lengthy queues early each morning, happy to talk to everyone.

White roses were of course everywhere, but Denise also mentioned that there had been some ardent Tudor supporters placing red roses where they weren’t wanted and how they had been quickly hidden. Victoria’s Michael Iliffe spoke about meeting our Patron, HRH the Duke of Gloucester, whose interest in Richard III and Australian Branches led to an interest in Australian cricket and the Ashes …

Following this, Julia Redlich said “Let Us Tell Stories”, with a look at medieval prose and poetry ranging from Chaucer and the Pastons, to Julian of Norwich and Mallory. This included some delightful input from other Branches’ members as well as our own Maureen Gray, whose lovely reading of “I Sing of a Maiden” was one of the poems by the ubiquitous Anon. The finale was the rousing ballad “Bring Us Good Ale” in which all delegates joined in the chorus. And of course, an excellent buffet lunch followed!

Before the afternoon events there was a chance to buy raffle tickets for the covetable array of prize options, as well as swoop on the display of Maureen’s delightful White Rose jewellery that she had brought. New South Wales members will not be surprised to know how rapidly they were all sold. A white rose necklace was presented to Deirdre on behalf of the NSW Branch.

First talk after lunch was from Kaye Bachelor who intrigued us about her experiences of taking part in an archaeological dig, although not the one in the car park. She told of the slow process of removing top soil, bad weather, detailing and identifying the finds and the poignancy of uncovering human remains, always treated with respect. The gradual connection of items, so painstaking until the final picture, be it of a pottery jar or a king’s skull is revealed. The worth of sound research seemed familiar.

A complete change of subject followed with the Victoria Branch’s “An Interview with Henry VII”, another of Michael Iliffe’s clever interpretations of history, following his “Battle of Towton” and “An Interview with Richard III” at previous conventions. We were royally entertained by seeing Henry’s sneaky ways of avoiding the truth and the manipulative skills of his followers. Then we were taken on a trip of places with history with great illustrations: Emma Holmes told us of the Isle of Man and its connection with the Stanley family, and Pam Killalea spoke of the stories behind Belvoir Castle and Haddon Hall.

Time to go back to the future when Jane Orwin-Higgs, whose Ricardian short stories are familiar to many of us, chose to talk about Richard III Online. How different the world has become since the founding of The Society of the White Rose that later became The Richard III Society. Richard is now a man of the 21st century where he is talked about worldwide – and not just the man in Shakespeare’s play, although there are still plenty of objections from the traditionalists. But we contact each other by email, via Facebook, Twitter and through our websites – and books about Richard III and his life and times are available at the click of a mouse. There are pros and cons with all the new formats we use, but with this virtual world King Richard, as it has been said, is boldly going where no king has gone before.

Last item on Saturday’s programme was from NSW’s Helen Portus and Denise Rawling with a presentation titled Controversy. A wealth of illustrations showed how the world, since the discovery in the Leicester car park, has taken a fresh look at the last Plantagenet king. We saw how the media regarded him – the good and bad reports, the absurd ads that featured him and golden oldies that made us smile. There were messages from Philippa Langley and John Ashdown-Hill, comments from Phil Stone and Michael Ibsen, plus a rundown on the impact the discovery of Richard’s skeleton had made on Leicester, the attention, involvement AND the income. And, of course, the awards and recognition for Philippa and John, and Leicester University. Then came a dvd of journey from the university via Bosworth to Leicester and the crowds who were there to acknowledge King Richard passing by and finally the reinterment. Could any of us see it too many times?

With the promise of a continuation of this presentation on Sunday, the business end of the day ended. By 7 o’clock though we were all gathered together again in the Tatler Room, most in sumptuous medieval costumes and enjoying some bubbly before heading back to the Woburn Room that had been transformed for the banquet. Toasts were proposed and drunk to Her Majesty the Queen of Australia and Queen of New Zealand, to King Richard III and to the Richard III Society. A splendid feast for us followed, and conversation flowed throughout the evening when all delegates realised the reward of friendship with our fellow Ricardians.

Sunday morning saw us eager for the final day’s programme. Annette Parry took us on a tour of Wakefield, with many illustrations from her recent visit there. We viewed the battlefield, the positions taken by Richard of York and Margaret of Anjou’s armies, the tower where Richard of York’s papercrowned head was hung. Later we were taken to Fotheringay to visit the church and the remains of the castle to which his youngest son Richard, now Duke of Gloucester, escorted the bodies of his father and brother, Edmund of Rutland for dignified burial.

Hazel Hadju from Victoria took the stand next, her subject was Bosworth: The Birth of Tudors. She particularly wanted to recommend this book by Yorkshire MP Christopher Skidmore, which takes a fresh look at Bosworth and further exploration of the role of Catherine de Valois, Henry V’s widow, and Somerset, the man who may have been the father of Edmund Tudor. An excellent bibliography was included, and Hazel is looking forward to the publication by Wiedenfeld and Nicolson of Skidmore’s next book The Lives of Richard III.

Consideration of Margaret Beaufort followed and Victoria’s Gillian Laughton picked up on the implication of the Tudors’ parentage. Margaret’s marriages were many, wed so very young to Edmund Tudor to whom she bore her only child, Henry. After Edmund’s early death, she was married to Henry Stafford, the second son of the Duke of Buckingham. Another Lancastrian you might imagine, but in fact, he fought for the Yorkists, although recognising her ambition for her son. Their marriage ended with his death, and her final marriage was to the then Yorkist supporter, Thomas Stanley.

Denise and Helen took up the tale of the reinterment and some inconvenient truths, such as the lack of mentioning the contribution of Philippa, John and the Society on university websites (thankfully adjusted). It was as John Ashdown-Hill commented like “the Wars of the Roses Part Two”. There were countless abusive and hurtful comments about the Society online and the unfortunate clash with the newly minted Plantagenet Alliance that wanted its way regarding the site for reinterment, and then the lengthy, expensive inquiry and final judgement that the first decision was the right one. Even the undertakers, the Leicester firm of E. C. Gilbert responsible for the basic reinterment arrangements, had been refused the loan of a special carriage by the Royal Household and the Military, hence the simple and effective carriage with its growing tributes of white roses that were more effective than all the regal trappings that might have been.

Then we had the privilege of meeting many of the unsung heroes introduced by Helen and Denise. They included Fraser and Jenny Gilbert, Richard Buckley and the chaplain from the University of Leicester, the pallbearers from the army, the horse handlers, the volunteers and the little Brownie who laid the crown, designed and donated by John, on the coffin. At Bosworth Field, we met Becky, the falconer presenting a display there; in Leicester those staffing the tea-carts to refresh those in the massive queues. And, maybe the most moving, we were taken to Swaledale in Richard’s Yorkshire to see the selection the stone for his tomb.

This was the final presentation of the convention in a year that has meant so much to all Ricardians, one in which the world is coming to realise that we are not myth-makers but have a genuine cause to research the life and times of Richard III.

And our work in this will not stop. The necessary business end of the convention was conducted by Rob Smith, unanimously re-elected as the Australasian Vice President. He spoke of the important meeting that he, Dorothea from NSW, and representatives from the USA and Canada had with the Executive earlier in the year. The subject of proxy votes would be seriously considered for the USA, Canada and the Australasian branches, and the momentum of the Society’s work meant the acceptance of online communication, the use of social media such as Facebook, Twitter and the ever-developing number of programs created for instant information and connection. It is vital for all individual branches and groups to accept this. It is the way the world lives now, totally embraced by the new generation who will carry on the work of the Society for us in years to come.

The Australasian Branches will meet again in 2017, the convention being in the safe hands of the Western Australia Branch. The convention ended with the raffle draw and results of the two quizzes – the revised History by the Stars from Julia and a challenging one based on the Dukes of York in history from Lorraine McArthur. And so to lunch and laughter before rather reluctant farewells and thanks to the New Zealand Branch for a truly memorable time.   Loyaulte me lie