NSW Mini-Convention 11 – 13 April 2008 in Bundanoon

   Posted by: Llieda Wild   in

Our mini conference held on the weekend of April 11 – 13 in the Southern Highlands was an outstanding success, thanks to all the hard work and organisation by Julia Redlich, ably aided and abetted by Kevin Herbert and Dorothea Preis.

A good crowd of Ricardians, some Members and Friends, other Interested Parties, travelled from all points of the NSW compass.  It was lovely to meet Robyn and Sarah Goldfinch who had travelled down from Singleton after researching our website.  Sarah is specialising in Richard III for her HSC this year and I am sure that she now has plenty of material to complete her studies, Kevin saw to that!

We all gathered in the comfortable Olde Worlde lounge of the Bundanoon Hotel and, after the welcome delivered by Nancy Sparrowhawk, we were treated to a viewing of a marvellously produced DVD of Middleham Castle*, as it is today and how it might have looked when Richard and Anne lived there.

The break for morning tea (yummy scones with jam and cream!) gave us the chance to buy raffle tickets and find bargains at the Bring and Buy table. Then we heard some great talks given by Dorothea Preis on Medieval Gardens, Kevin Herbert on The Rise and Rise of the Nifty Nevilles and Carol Gerrard on Medieval Soldiery.  Excellent speakers with interesting subjects as always, with well-chosen illustrations.

After lunch there was a lively discussion on Recommended Ricardian Reading, with several book reviews from Gillian Laughton, Babs Creamer (who sent her best wishes from the UK), Dorothea Preis, Denise Rawlings and Johanna Visser.  Then we heard a talk on Royal Bastards delivered by Julia Redlich, always an entertaining topic as there are so many of them – including the portrait of the final one using the strictly Australian meaning of the word!

Afternoon tea followed, then the raffle draw.  There were some lovely prizes including the cover of special Ricardian stamps from a limited edition.  Several members had their eyes on it, and Lynne Foley was the lucky winner there.  Johanna walked away with some Battle of Bosworth wine, and the bottle of port, donated by Julia after she won the Heraldry Australia raffle in January, landed in Carol’s care.

A Meet the Press session followed, moderated by Carol Gerrard with Ann Chandler as Princess Elizabeth of York in the “hot seat” facing a gruelling inquiry from the panel of Margaret Beaufort (Judith Hughes) The Duke of Norfolk (Kevin Herbert) Princess Cecily (Christena Dawson), Elizabeth Woodville (Margaret Shaw), Bishop Stillington (David Chandler) and Prince Richard, Duke of York (Dorothea Preis).

Finally we had the results of the quiz that had been handed out at the beginning of the day (those who have been trumped by Kevin in days of yore will be relieved to know that as a contributor to the questions he wasn’t allowed to enter!).  And the winner, with an almost perfect score was David Chandler. Gillian and Carol were runners up, and Johanna and Judith won achievement awards.

The conference ended around 5pm with the Conclusion delivered by Nancy and a heartfelt thank you to Julia, followed by much applause.

Sadly, a few members had to journey home that evening due to prior commitments, but those who stayed on (some dressed in their Medieval finery which caused plenty of comment from other diners and barflies) had dinner at the hotel, followed by a game of pool or catching up with their favourite TV programs in the TV room.

On the Sunday morning more members departed for home, but a few hearty souls took advantage of the offered bus trip to lovely Fitzroy Falls (sadly rather shrouded in mist at the time) and shopping at Berrima, followed by a barbecue at Helen Portus and Allan Byrne’s tranquil property (and B&B)  “Meriba” at Bundanoon. Highly recommended for a weekend far from the madding crowd!

We were treated to an excellent lunch on the lovely wrap-around veranda, then it was back to the Bundanoon Hotel to pack our bags for home.

What a magnificent weekend!

(*This DVD was kindly loaned to us for the conference by Gillian Laughton.   For information on how to obtain a copy for yourself visit Loyalty Binds Me.)

by Llieda Wild (NSW)