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

President’s 2016 Report

I am happy to report that Kogarah Historical Society now has a membership of 116. 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. We are grateful to a team of willing workers who arrive early to make our meetings flow smoothly. David Martin sets up the chairs and the afternoon tea things. Glynn Pulling also helps. Fred and Beverley Scott welcome members and visitors, collect money and sell the society’s publications. Garry Darby sets up the electronic equipment. Our secretary, Gill Whan, checks prior to meetings to ensure all helpers are coming. Gill also arranges our program of speakers and Adele Ryan attends to publicity. It takes a strong team to run a society and at the moment we are in need of people to organize afternoon tea.

Our Speakers for the year were Dr David Stephens, Edmund Capon, Merv Rosen, Stewart Reed, Beverley Earnshaw, Rodger Robertson, Gail Davis and Prof. Douglas Newton.

Carss Cottage Museum The cottage continues to be the society’s showpiece. This year the museum received 767 visitors which included tour parties and school groups. 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 groups. School groups in particular are labour intensive.

Mondays at the Museum is held five times a year. It begins with morning tea in the courtyard, after which patrons go into the museum or sit in the courtyard, 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 Laurel & Bob Horton, Angela Thomas, Judith Carrick, Kevin Skelsey, and Winsome Allen.

There is always room for more helpers on the Museum Roster on Sunday afternoons. Most come bi-monthly, four attend once a month and we have vacancies both on the permanent roster and as back up when somebody is ill or away. The work is pleasant. 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.

The bi-monthly newsletters have been typeset by Gill Whan and sometimes by Beverley Earnshaw. 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, Paul Brownlow, Beryl Butters, David Martin, Janette Hollebone, Roger Robertson, Betty Goodger, Gill Whan, Beverley Earnshaw, Pat Morand, Rod Fielder, Mary Salmon and Andrew Papworth.

Enquiries from the Public were answered by Betty Goodger.

We deeply regret the passing of two of our members during the year, Bob Whan, husband of our secretary and Lorna McClelland.

To celebrate the Sesquicentenary of Carss Cottage we had two very successful social events. The first, on September 12th, was a Garden Party at Karuah, the historic house in English Street, Kogarah, owned by Dr Terry and Mrs Suzanne O’Connor. We thank them both for their hospitality in opening their lovely home and garden to our members.

On October 31st we celebrated the 150th Anniversary of Carss Cottage and the life of William Carss with a festival run in conjunction the Scottish Australian Heritage Council. On this occasion our Secretary, Gill Whan, carried an enormous workload to bring the event together. Proceedings started with the St.George-Sutherland Pipe Band leading a procession to the grave of William Carss where there was a speech by Malcolm Buchanan, President of the SAHC and the laying of a wreath by Jan Magrath. There were stalls run by the SAHC, The Little Scottish Shoppe, the Botany Bay Family History Society and a bookstall by Garry Darby. Afternoon tea was prepared by the Georges River Lioness Club, and artistic contributions were made by sculptor, Takis Kozokos, and painter, Don Kibble.

A commemorative plaque was attached to the exterior of the building. This was organized by Gill Whan and unveiled by Mayor, Stephen Agius.

On June 17 a group of Society Members with Lawrie Corry and two of his children, assisted by staff from Kogarah Council, gathered to plant a tree on the Elizabeth Corry reserve on the corner of Wyee Street and Wharf Road, Kogarah Bay. The tree was donated by Lawrie Corry having been propagated from a seed brought from Lone Pine at Gallipoli. The location is significant as it is near Sydney’s second War Service Homes Estate built to accommodate veterans returning from World War 1.

Other events were a trip to Berrima on May 28th and a very successful Christmas Party at Bexley RSL organized by Mavis Ward.

We were very sorry to lose the services of Janette Hollebone who had a stroke on June 14, 2015. Janette was a true leader. She was always first to arrive at meetings and last to leave. She served on the Museum Roster and helped with tour groups. She was on the committee, was our Public Officer and helped with answering enquiries. Her duties were so many and varied that it took 4 people to replace her when she became ill.

Adele Ryan looks after Mondays at the Museum and also our advertising. Carol Tier looks after gifts for the speakers, We regret that Lawrie Corry has had to resign from the committee due to ill health. Marjorie Pritchard keeps the museum beautifully clean and neat. 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 of the committee for their support during the year and especially I thank the Society’s members for their loyalty and 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 2015/2016