Australasian Convention 9 – 11 October 2009 in Perth, WA

   Posted by: Carol Gerrard   in


The Venue:  Trinity College and Convention Centre

Five members of the New South Wales Branch, including our Friend, Babs Creamer, recently had the pleasure of attending this excellent Convention.  On the Friday evening all the participants gathered in the rooms of the Trinity Conference Centre, Crawley to enjoy finger food, drinks and conversation.  A candle was lit for each of the Society’s Branches and our Australasian Vice-President, Rob Smith, from New Zealand delivered messages of greeting from Society Chairman, Phil Stone, and others who couldn’t join us in the flesh.

The delightful surprise of the evening was the awarding of The Robert Hamblin Award 2009 to our Branch Secretary, Julia Redlich.  This Award was instituted in memory of former Chairman, Robert Hamblin, as a means of recognising work done by members of the Society that is of particular merit and beyond what is expected.  Chairman Phil Stone wrote that in this the fiftieth year since the founding of the Society’s first Branch in Australia, in Melbourne, it is especially appropriate that this year’s award is granted to an Australian and is even more appropriate that the recipient should be Julia Redlich.  Julia has had an interest in Richard III since her school days and for nearly twenty years has been a stalwart of the New South Wales Branch.  As well as actively promoting the cause of King Richard in Australia by giving talks to all sorts of outside groups, Julia has held a range of posts within the Branch including in more recent years, the pivotal office of Secretary.

Saturday brought a packed day of interesting talks including a fascinating account of “Richard: What’s in a Name” by our Branch Social Secretary, Kevin Herbert, and an illustrated address on “Medieval Pottery” by our Treasurer/Webmaster, Dorothea Preis.  Other talks covered “Ricardian Sources”, “The Bastard of Fauconberg”, a “Medieval Miscellany”, “The Percys of Northumberland” and “The Cinque Ports”.  The five members of our Branch plus Rob Smith and Betty Fleet from New Zealand and a Western Australian friend of Kevin’s presented “Remembering Richard” by playwright Kevin Herbert and the New Zealanders did a wonderful reading of two of the York Mystery Plays.


“Remembering Richard”

In the late afternoon we had a productive discussion about ways and means to attract new members and ways of holding our members.

Saturday evening saw participants treated to a truly magnificent Medieval Banquet.  The kitchen of the Trinity Conference Centre produced such delicacies as Hedgehogs, Mushroom Tarts, Date and Custard Tart, Cheese and Onion Tart, Syllabub and Almond Shortbread.  These and other dishes were served in the First, Second and Third Removes together with Plantagenet wines.  Most of the diners were resplendent in colourful medieval costume.


The Medieval Banquet

On the Sunday morning, we had a business meeting at which a number of matters were agreed to.  These included the unanimous confirmation of Rob Smith as Australasian Vice-President of the Richard III Society, the decision to hold the next Convention in Melbourne and a suggestion that the websites of the Australian Branches and the New Zealand Branch combine into one website.

Our Branch was thanked for providing support to the Queensland members who were left without a Branch when theirs folded.


Medieval Crafts and Games:  Leather Workshop

The business session was followed by the learning some medieval crafts and games which were a lot of fun and produced much hilarity.  After this we had a grand lunch, thanked the Western Australian Branch for their organisation and hospitality and said our sad good byes.

by Carol Gerrard (NSW)