Posts Tagged ‘NSW Branch’


Annual General Meeting of the NSW Branch

   Posted by: Judith Hughes    in Branch News, Meetings, News

Last Saturday, 13 October 2018, the NSW Branch of the Richard III Society held its Annual General Meeting.  After the official part was concluded, Marnie and Christopher entertained us with an interesting talk on Richard III’s re-interment.

Annual General Meeting of the NSW Branch

Marnie and Christopher

Here is the Annual Report, which our Chairperson, Judith Hughes, delivered to the AGM.

Chairperson’s Report to the Annual General Meeting 2018

As Chairperson of the New South Wales Branch of the Richard III Society, it is my privilege to present the annual report for the 2017-2018 Ricardian Year.

Our enthusiastic membership continues to increase, enjoying the erudite and well researched talks and the friendly social contact at our Society meetings.

We continue to meet at the Sydney Mechanics School of Arts at 280 Pitt Street, which has proved a convenient venue for our Ricardians in spite of Sydney’s present shambolic transport conditions.

Particular thanks to our wonderful committee, who keep our society running so efficiently. Rhonda as secretary and Judy as treasurer have facilitated so much great work throughout the year.

Leslie continues to publicise our activities through the Affinity newsletter, while Lynne, our vice-chairperson, has proved willing to step up to lead as well as to collect meeting fees. Joan continues to prepare delicious afternoon teas and to donate special raffle prizes, while Rachel has selected our book raffle prizes. Dorothea is our membership secretary and liaises with the English headquarters.

Very special gratitude must be extended to Laurence, who has run our website, and to Mike who will take over from Laurence as he retires. Mike supplies the sound system, which so greatly enhances the enjoyment of listening to our guest speakers.

Welcome to the committee to Marnie, who is so helpful and enthusiastic.

Once again we have contributed to the Bosworth wreath in the UK, while in Sydney we have been welcomed as usual to the Anglican Church of Australia, St James King Street, to commemorate Richard III and those who were lost at the Battle of Bosworth Field. Afterwards members met for lunch at the Vanto Restaurant in the Queen Victoria Building.

In November, we are looking forward to attending our Ricardian Conference which will, once again, be held at Albury. By meeting near the state border, it allows members, who cannot because of distance attend our bi-monthly meetings, to join us. The conference has been organised by Denise and Helen, Julia and Kevin to whom we are truly grateful.

For activities throughout the year, we have been delighted to rely on some very well-motivated speakers to share their research in most interesting talks and activities. Denise and Helen presented an amusing talk about Richard earlier in the year.

Our own Robert Hamblin awardee, Julia, talked to us about “Midsomer Murders”. She believes that many high-profile murders historically took place in the months between April and September She had researched the background of these murders. An example was the killing of the Scottish king Duncan by Macbeth as recorded by William Shakespeare as for the revenge killing of Lady Macbeth’s uncle years before.

Dorothea provided us with a beautifully illustrated talk about the Ewelme Alms Houses of the de la Pole family, which are still in use today.

Guest-speaker Rob Shipton told us about clocks throughout the ages.

Kevin constructed a quiz which explored Richard’s family. Each section highlighted a part of Richard’s life and served as a review of Richard’s life, a lively discussion ensuing.

At this October meeting, Chris and Marnie will discuss research into a recently discovered manuscript which elucidates the mystery of Richard’s burial, while Lynne Foley will present the talk “Christmas Rites and Customs” at our December meeting.

During the year we have been able to assist and encourage several Higher School Certificate students to research their History extension about Richard III. We wish them good luck for their HSC and look forward to greeting them at our meetings in the new year.

Thanks to all our members for their support. We look forward to seeing you all next year.

(We thank Jennie for the above photo of our speakers.)

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A Conference of Ricardians

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

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.

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Next General Meeting 10 Feb. 2018

   Posted by: Leslie McCawley    in Meetings

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!

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The 2015 Annual General Meeting of the NSW Branch

   Posted by: Leslie McCawley    in Branch News, Meetings, News

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.

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2015 Annual General Meeting of the NSW Branch

   Posted by: Leslie McCawley    in Branch News, Meetings, News

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.

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Review of 8 August 2015 Meeting of the NSW Branch

   Posted by: Leslie McCawley    in Branch News, Meetings, News

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.

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Bosworth Service

   Posted by: Judith Hughes    in Branch News, News

Members of the New South Wales Branch of the Richard III Society ad their friends are invited to share in remembering Richard’s life and to commemorate the Battle of Bosworth

at the Anglican Church of St James

at 173 King Street, Sydney

at 11 am

on Sunday, 23rd August 2015

Refreshments will follow the service

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Our Next Meeting – 8 August 2015

   Posted by: Leslie McCawley    in Branch News, Meetings, News

Our Next Meeting – Medieval plays of York

Next Meeting

On 8 August 2015, our guest speaker will be Associate Professor Margaret Rogerson, who is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney. She has written many academic papers and articles about early English drama, with particular focus on the York and Coventry plays. Her topic will be the Medieval plays of York.  Margaret is the editor of  The York Mystery Plays: Performance in the City.

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New Committee Officers Needed

   Posted by: Leslie McCawley    in Branch News, News

New Committee Officers Needed: Secretary, Treasurer, and Webmaster

New Committee Officers NeededOur Secretary Rachel, Treasurer Judy and Webmaster Dorothea have all advised us that they will not be standing for another term on the branch Executive Committee. At the next AGM coming up in October 2015, all of these roles will need to be filled by other members.

Each of these roles is necessary for the ongoing administration of our Branch, and we are asking for nominations to fill these roles. All officers need to attend meetings of the Executive Committee which are held every second month before the General Meetings. The Secretary and Treasurer need to be full Society members. If you can serve Richard III in one of these important roles, please contact Chairperson Judith.



Vale Johanna Mary Visser

   Posted by: Kevin Herbert    in Branch News, News

Johanna was a long-time member of the committee of the NSW Branch of the Richard III Society from the first day she joined in the mid-1990s. She and I connected straight away at that first meeting held at the Don Bank Museum, North Sydney. At this meeting Sue Habgood, who had moved to Coffs Harbour, gave notice that she could no longer continue in the role of editor of the Affinity newsletter, so we had find a replacement.

When no-one else stepped up, Johanna offered to “do the deed” as she put it, and indeed continued, as well as producing the first edition of our journal The Chronicles of the White Rose in 2007. Those who wrote articles for Affinity knew Johanna would carefully edit them using her skills and extensive research, resulting in some very professional final features. She used to say editing my copy was not easy as I tended to deliver a tome not only about a character but his or her family and friends that might cover two years’worth of Affinities. She said it was as well I didn’t decide to cover Noah and the Ark as I’d probably include the life stories of each animal on board as well as Noah and his family. The message got through and I learned not to go off in tangents.

One article I researched on the Percy family (the Earls and Dukes of Northumberland) held so much information that Johanna printed it in three consecutive issues even with her clever editing. Then to my dismay a book called The Kings of the North by Alan Rose was published covering all my work in detail. Johanna encouragingly said, “No harm done – you did it first and it didn’t take a book to cover it!”

Her people skills were many. When a former member, keeper of the archives, had to withdraw through illness and had kept all the articles in question, Johanna tactfully approached her, found a willing helper, and before long all the files were in great order – and stored in many containers in the garage of my home. Her positive can-do approach was encouraging. She had a strong sense of justice, could state her case clearly, but was able to concede opposing and superior points of views and agree to differ. But she was no doormat.

Our Branch had taken part in the annual Brit Fest held at Blacktown Showground, promoting the Society and its cause, provoking a lot of interest. Accepting the invitation for the second year Julia and Johanna galvanised us into a great production, with a roster for manning the stall. Carol, Christena, Elaine, Reg Herbert were among those handing out brochures, answering questions, giving children blue, white and murrey balloons inscribed with Richard’s motto. Screens provided Ricardian information and stalls held goodies provided by the needles and ovens of Johanna and Julia, and Tom and Julie Potts handed out small glasses of mead or malmsey that they had provided. Julia had found a large map of Medieval England, and visiting Poms were invited to place a flag with their name on it near the place from which they had come. The winner would go home with a beautiful basket of food and wine if their home was nearest the place we had deemed most relevant to our cause.

The success of the day was marred when both Johanna and Julia who had arrived at 7am to set up had soldiered on throughout the excessive heat in a huge and open venue unshaded by trees, collapsed from heat exhaustion. Organisers couldn’t help or find a St John’s Ambulance officer on duty but, thanks to Christena, they slowly revived, although it was a close thing and we decided not to repeat the experience until there was better support provided- and maybe a more suitable venue.

In 2005 it was our Branch’s turn to host the biennial Australasian Branches Ricardian convention. Unforeseen circumstances led to a small committee preparing the event – Nancy, Carol, Julia and myself, but Johanna played a great role in finding the venue at the Women’s College at Sydney University, a delightful nearby restaurant “The Peasant’s Feast” for an opening night dinner, and – thanks to her professional work in the tourism business – a reasonably priced motel nearby for overseas and interstate guests not staying at the university. And for those who stayed on after the conference she drew up a great list of things to do in Sydney.

Johanna finally reduced her contribution to the Branch when she moved to her dream home in Bowral, with its beautiful conservatory and gardens (worthy of many magazine pages) which of course she shared with her beloved dogs. Her wonderful dinner parties given in her various homes in Sydney continued there – I’ll never know how she and Julie organised a surprise 60th birthday party for me, but her magic must have done it.

Her talents were many and creative, especially the beautiful dolls she made and dressed so superbly. My plans to attend the Sydney convention banquet as Richard’s cousin Cardinal Thomas Bourchier, Archbishop of Canterbury, meant my costume was in the hands of Julie and Johanna. However the best-laid plans … Julie fell ill, Johanna fell and broke her arm and could no longer attend the conference. But my cousin Kay, visiting from Tasmania, completed Johanna’s work. I appeared as the Archbishop – and what happened when after, the banquet, we made a visit to Star Casino is another story!

Her work away from Sydney, life in the Southern Highlands and, sadly, her later illness prevented her attendance at many of the Branch meetings and events. She visited our day-long conferences held in Bundanoon and Mittagong, and was a welcome delegate to the recent 2013 Ricardian Convention in Sydney. Julia recalls her joy in learning that she had won the raffle prize of the Looking for Richard mug from Leicester University. Her interest would never fade.

Vale Johanna. You will be sorely missed by those of us who were lucky enough to be blessed with your friendship, warmth and example.