December 2011 General Meeting

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

Our last branch meeting of the year was held on 10 December 2011. The Sydney Mechanics’ Institute meeting room was once again filled with members and guests, as well as friends like Jenny Savage visiting from overseas, but sadly with a number of regulars missing, as well, who had given their apologies. They were missed!

Introductory remarks were made by our branch president Judith Hughes, who welcomed us to this celebratory gathering. Her words were followed by the treasurer’s, secretary’s and webmaster’s reports. Our finances are healthy, and the website has many visitors. However, the branch library holdings pose a problem, especially as they are not being utilised by members; a discussion was held about the future of the library. A number of ideas were mooted such as donating books to the Medieval Studies Department of one of the local universities, or to the Mitchell Library. People were happy to have the fiction sold at the upcoming conference in Mittagong, or elsewhere, to add to the branch’s coffers.

We also welcomed Rosemary Burgess’ personal impressions of the Society AGM in the UK, which she had attended.  Judith Hughes and Jacqui Turner told us about the Old Vic production of Shakespeare’s Richard III with Kevin Spacey, which is currently showing in Sydney.

Our full program for the day was delightful and varied, and had obviously required much imagination, work, and rehearsal by our committee, as well as the hard work of several participants from the audience.

First there was a presentation by Julia Redlich about the importance of astrology in Ricardian times, surprisingly joined and assisted in a theatrical vignette by Isolde Martyn as Henry Tudor sharing his intended policies if he were ever king. One example was equality for women, so that they too could lose their heads if they crossed him.

After which there was a Star Signs Quiz, requiring players to match the astrological character description with the right Ricardian personage offered as a multiple choice. With infamously strong characters like Henry VII, Elizabeth Woodville, and Margaret Beaufort, it was a fascinating challenge to try to match them up with the hints. It was actually quite hard but pleasurable work, with most members managing to answer at least some of them correctly, even if by sheer luck, and receiving prizes of chocolates. At the end, it appeared that everyone was munching happily, whether or not they had guessed correctly.

Isolde Martyn (in full medieval male garb), Jenny Savage, and Julia Redlich then presented several Christmas standards rewritten as Ricardian themed parodies, being Henry Tudor’s Christmas List (sung to the tune of the Twelve Days of Christmas) and We Three Kings, with the audience invited to join in on the choruses.

Raffles were drawn then, with many people going home happy with their lovely winnings, along with purchases from the Bring and Buy table which had been laden with the usual appealing fare. Afternoon tea was then provided by the Committee, who always takes such good care of us. It was a lovely ending to another excellent year of programs!

The first meeting of the New Year will be on a different time-table than usual, so please take note: the first Saturday of the month, being 4 February 2012, with an invited guest speaker discussing Medieval Architecture.

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This entry was posted on Sunday, December 11th, 2011 at 11:08 and is filed under Meetings, News, NSW Branch News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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  1. Richard III Society of NSW » Blog Archive » The First Day of Christmas (Tudor Style)    Dec 25 2011 / 2pm:

    […] our December General Meeting one of the highlights were familiar Christmas carols with new – Ricardian – texts.  […]

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