Review of the February General Meeting

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

meetingThe first branch meeting of the new year was convened on Saturday, 8 February 2014, back at the Sydney Mechanics School of Arts building on Pitt Street, after a year of meeting at a venue in the Rocks. There was a very good turnout of members, including a young visitor interested in learning more about Richard for their HSC studies.

Welcoming remarks were offered by our Chairperson, Judith, followed by very brief remarks from the Treasurer, Secretary, and Sales Officer each reporting that all was well in their particular area of responsibility. The Webmaster advised that the branch website had been upgraded and was now working better than ever.

Bruce MacCarthyOur guest speaker was the former Member for Strathfield, Mr Bruce MacCarthy, with an in-depth review of the Angevins and Plantagenets, including the dramas between cousins Stephen and Matilda, the marriage of powerful Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry II, two of whose sons – Richard and John – both became Kings. He explained that his interest in the Plantagenet dynasty had begun when he was only 5 years old, when his father obtained a copy of his family tree. It had originally been prepared as evidence in an application to the House of Lords for a vacant peerage, sadly unsuccessful. At the top of this family tree he had seen the name of a king – King Edward III. He told us that the claim was not proven, as there was an area of doubt in the late 1600’s; but the idea of having a King as an ancestor had fascinated him. He and his wife paid a visit several years ago to Fontevraud Abbey in France’s Loire Valley, where King Henry II, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and (parts of) King Richard the Lionheart are buried, and he was able to tell us a great deal about the beauty of this place and how much it meant to him. The text of his talk is on our website.

After the excellent presentation, the raffle was drawn with prizes including many fine books kindly donated to the branch by Kevin from his personal Ricardian collection. We then had a lovely afternoon tea augmented with food generously shared by the Australian Chinese Women’s Association, which was meeting in the next room. There was ample time for chatting, and catching up, and it was a good start to another exciting year for Ricardians.

The 12 April 2014 meeting will feature the Dean and CEO of the Sydney College of Divinity and formerly University of Sydney’s Senior Lecturer in Middle English Studies, Dr Diane Speed, on the topic of ‘Medieval storytelling and illustrations’. It is sure to be a wonderful talk, and we hope you will be able to join us.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 12th, 2014 at 9:04 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.

2 Trackbacks/Pings

  1. Richard III Society of NSW » Blog Archive » The Angevin Kings and Queens    Feb 12 2014 / 11am:

    […] is the first part of the talk Bruce MacCarthy gave at the general meeting of the New South Wales Branch on 8 February […]

  2. Richard III Society of NSW » Blog Archive » L’Abbeye Royale de Fontevraud    Feb 13 2014 / 9am:

    […] is the second part of the talk Bruce MacCarthy gave at the general meeting of the New South Wales Branch on 8 February […]

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