Posts Tagged ‘NSW Branch’


The 2015 Annual General Meeting of the NSW Branch

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




Vale Johanna Visser

   Posted by: Judith Hughes    in News, NSW Branch News

Members will be saddened to learn of Johanna’s death after a long illness. Our sincere sympathy goes to Johanna’s daughter, Abbie.

Johanna will best be remembered for her friendship and her enthusiastic organisational skills in various executive positions on the Richard III committee. Her love of research into the Medieval age enhanced her position as editor of “Affinity” over a number of years

The Society’s Australasian Conference at the Women’s College, Sydney University owed much of its success to Johanna’s overall planning and great attention to detail. Her creativity was appreciated by members especially in constructing period costumes and dainty artefacts.

Johanna’s funeral will take place on Tuesday 14th July 2015.


Memories of Reinterment Week in Leicester

The June branch meeting of the NSW Richard III Society was held on Saturday, 13 June 2015, at the Sydney Mechanics’ Institute. Chair Judith welcomed all members and visitors; several new members were introduced. The meeting was cut short to make time for the presentations, but one important piece of business was a letter read aloud thanking the branch for our donation to the Leicester Cathedral Richard III fund. Read the rest of this entry »

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NSW Branch General Meeting on 13 June 2015

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

meetingThere has been a change in the scheduled speakers for the June General Meeting, with Chris Puplick now to be featured in October.

The speakers for June will be three of our branch members, Dorothea, Judy and David, who were fortunate enough to be able to attend the many ceremonies and commemorations in Leicester with the reinterment of Richard III in March this year. Each has a lot to share and will be able to show images and tell about their moving experiences.

It will be wonderful to hear their stories.

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