President’s 2018 Report

I am happy to report that Kogarah Historical Society has had another very successful year. We currently have 127 people on our membership list. Regular monthly meetings are held at Kogarah School of Arts, Bowns Road, Kogarah on the second Thursday of the month at 2 pm. Attendance is usually between 30 and 35. Meetings commence with a speaker followed by afternoon tea and a short business meeting.

It takes a large team of people to make these meetings a success, those who arrive early to set up the room, those who cater and serve the afternoon tea. Fred and Beverley Scott are welcomers, collect the money and sell books. Garry Darby sets up the sound system, screen and visual equipment. In all we have a team of 22 people coming together to make the meetings a success.

Our Speakers are engaged by our secretary, Gill Whan. This year we have heard from Anne Field, Beverley Earnshaw, Rodger Robertson, Chris Minns, Gillian Lewis, Graham Wilcox, Anne McLeod, Carolyn Little and Fiona Starr.

Carss Cottage Museum Carss Cottage continues to be the society’s showpiece. This year the museum received 920 visitors. The museum is staffed by volunteers and open on Sunday afternoons from 1-5 pm in summer and 1-4 pm in winter and is open by appointment for school groups and tour parties. The school groups are particularly labour intensive and we appreciate our volunteers who come along to help. Bookings for museum visits are taken by Wendy Agzarian. We were sorry to lose the services of Warren and Irene Selmon from our Sunday museum roster but an appeal to members and an advertisement in the Leader produced several valued volunteers. We received a grant to buy a number of new display cabinets for the museum and currently have them on order

Mondays at the Museum is held five times a year. It begins with morning tea in the courtyard where the Council has installed two large shade umbrellas, after which patrons go into the museum or sit outside, weather permitting, to hear a speaker. They can later browse the collection. Adele Ryan is the convenor of this event. Thank you, Adele. This year’s speakers at Mondays at the Museum have been John Johnson, Jim Powell & Jenny Donoghue, Wendy Cornish, Colin Beacroft and Bruce Watts. The St.George Concert Band plays outside the museum on the second Sunday of the months in summer. We do not open on Public Holidays or Mothers’ Day.

In June, 2017 the Society, at the suggestion of Garry Darby, launched its inaugural Local History Prize. Three prizes each of $500 are offered for essays on any aspect of the history of Kogarah and surrounding areas including environmental heritage, built heritage, events and personalities. Entries close on March 8th and we eagerly await the result.

The bi-monthly newsletters are edited by Gill Whan. They are printed by Cliff Lewis Print, and Mavis Ward folds and despatches them. We have a diversity of contributors and would like to receive more articles from members. This year the contributors to our newsletter have been, Rodger Robertson, Gill Whan, Betty Goodger, Robert McGarn, Adele Ryan, Frank Young, Yvonne Hawkins, Mavis Ward, Wendy Skelsey and Beverley Earnshaw. The Society’s past newsletters have been scanned by Roger Robertson, and are now available on line. Fred Scott is responsible for our Website. We also have a FaceBook page.

We received a grant for the digitization of our photographic collection. Five hundred photographs were chosen to form the vanguard of our collection. We have many more images which will be processed as finance becomes available.

Three of our members received Community Awards. Garry Darby was presented for his services to the community, initiative and dedication to the history of the area. Cath Sullivan served 16 years as the Society’s Honorary Treasurer and also served 15 years as a volunteer for St.George Community Services. Gilda Tilia has been a long standing supporter of Mondays at the Museum and during this time she has baked over 2000 scones for the function.

I wish to thank those volunteers who contribute so much towards the running of the society: Gill Whan our secretary, treasurer Cath Sullivan, Betty Goodger who looks after the museum library and files and answers enquiries, Adele Ryan looks after advertising. Helen Darby gathers Society News. We greatly appreciate the volunteer service of all those people who open the museum on Sundays. We are grateful to Mavis Ward for organizing a very successful Christmas Party at Mortdale RSL.

We invite and encourage more members to come forward to assist in running the society and new ideas and suggestions are always welcome.

David Shaw has once again been our honorary auditor and his help is appreciated.

I thank all the members for their support during the year and especially for their loyalty in attendance, for without the members there could not be a society.

I look forward to Kogarah Historical Society growing in strength and reputation during the coming years. The text of this report will be published in our next newsletter.

Beverley Earnshaw

President 2017/2018

President’s 2017 Report

The Society has come to the end of another successful year with stable membership and good attendance at meetings, including visitors.

We are saddened by the deaths of two of our long time members, Heather Joynes and Lawrie Corry, also the loss of Daphne Kingston who, due to deteriorating health, has moved to New Zealand to live with her daughter. They are all missed.

On a brighter note, we congratulate Beverley Earnshaw on the award of an OAM in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2016 and Gill Whan on being presented with the St George Individual Volunteer Achievement Award. Well done.

For our monthly meetings at the Kogarah School of Arts and at ‘Mondays at the Museum’, all the speakers are organised by Gill Whan. This takes a good deal of effort on Gill’s part, for which we are very appreciative.

The courtyard of the Museum is the venue for ‘Mondays’, held five times each year in March, May, July, September and November. It is hosted by Adele Ryan and is always very popular, with the attendees being mostly regular supporters – 123 attended the last year’s functions. One attraction is the home-cooked scones, the handiwork of Gilda Tillia who has been providing this treat for many years. Gilda certainly deserves a gold star for getting up at 5 am to do this. In fact, the scones have become part of the reputation of ‘Mondays’.

The Museum in Carss Park, which is open on Sunday afternoons, attracts a good deal of attention but, unfortunately, has to compete with the picnic attractions in the park. Despite this, we have had a constant flow of visitors numbering 235 adults and 66 children. Free admission on Australia Day attracted 87 adults and 48 children. In addition, we have had a number of visits by school children and other groups who hear the story of William Carss and the history of the cottage.

During the year we conducted two general outings, to the Sydney Heritage Fleet Seven Islands Cruise and a tour of the ABC Studio in Sydney. Both these outings were well received and enjoyed by those who attended. Hopefully, there will be more such outings in the future. Our Christmas lunch celebration was also a happy event for fifty people at Bexley RSL.

A popular feature of the Society is the production of the bi-monthly Newsletter, edited by Gill who devotes considerable time and talent to this. Feedback from members indicates that the Newsletter is very well received. However, contributions of articles of interest, or news items, would always be gratefully accepted.

We have a very good team of volunteers who keep the wheels of the Society turning. The hardest worker is Gill Whan. In addition to her secretarial duties, Gill never hesitates to accept responsibility for anything else requiring attention.

To keep the Society’s finances so efficiently in order, we are fortunate to have our long time Treasurer, Cath Sullivan, who has held this position for sixteen years. Also David Shaw who annually audits our accounts.

A valued group is the Committee which holds regular meetings and has the responsibility to guide the members’ activities, make plans and generally organise the Society’s affairs. The Committee’s thanks go to Beverley Earnshaw, Gill Whan and Pat Young who generously provide their homes and refreshments to accommodate our meetings.

There are many other volunteers – those who staff the Museum on Sundays and on occasions when group visits are arranged – those who assist at the ‘Mondays’ – those who perform chores before, or at, the meetings – those who prepare and serve afternoon tea – those who assist with changing displays in the Museum and those who willingly help when called on from time to time for general support. We thank all these volunteers — without them we wouldn’t have such a society functioning so well.

We acknowledge all the members who have contributed so much, with special thanks to Gill for her outstanding efforts. I also want to emphasise the Society’s need for more volunteers to assist to lighten the load in general and to provide a reserve list which can be called on when necessary.

Finally, my thanks to everybody for your support during the past year and I wish the Society a happy and successful future.

Mavis Ward
9 March 2017