Saturday, August 6, 2022

August 2022 General Meeting - Saturday 20th August

    

Guest Speaker:
David Rosenberg


Join us in Gordon Library Meeting Room 1, at 2 pm on Saturday 20th August 2022, when David Rosenberg presents...
“Pine Gap: The Inside Story of the NSA in Australia”

Our August guest speaker is author and US spy, David Rosenberg.

In 1966, Australia and the US signed a treaty that allowed the establishment of a jointly-run satellite tracking station, just south of Alice Springs. For more than fifty years it has operated in a shroud of secrecy, and been the target of much public and political controversy.

The intelligence collection mission at Pine Gap, and the partnership between Australia and the United States, has made Pine Gap the most important satellite ground site in the Intelligence Community.

David Rosenberg – a US high-tech spy who worked at Pine Gap for 18 years – was the first to speak out to give an insider’s account of what happens behind those locked gates in the middle of the Australian desert. When he left in 2008, he was the United States government’s longest serving technical liaison officer in Australia.

In his book, and in his presentation, David details his career with an American intelligence agency during a tumultuous period in history that covered the terms of three American Presidents, four Australian Prime Ministers, the end of the Cold War, a peace treaty between Israel and Jordan, two wars in Iraq and genocide in Rwanda, as well as the ‘War Against Terror’ and the emergence of North Korea as a nuclear-armed nation.

Join us in person on Saturday 20th August for this top secret presentation!

As always, please keep an eye on our website in case of any last-minute changes.

The venue is Gordon Library Meeting Room No. 1, in the Old Gordon Public School, which adjoins the Gordon Library, 799 Pacific Highway, Gordon (corner Pacific Highway and Park Avenue).

It’s just a 5-minute walk from Gordon Station.

For a map and parking information, see our Contact page.

Saturday, July 2, 2022

July 2022 General Meeting - Saturday 16th July

   

Guest Speaker:
Ian Thompson


Join us in Gordon Library Meeting Room 1, at 2 pm on Saturday 16th July 2022, when Ian Thompson presents...
“More Iconic Australian Inventions”

Every day, throughout the world, over a billion people rely heavily on Australian inventions. Every time they drive a car, fly, eat or communicate, there’s a good chance it’s due to Aussies!

We all know some of the great and iconic inventions by Australians – the Victa lawnmower, the Hills Hoist, the wine cask bladder, Vegemite... but our guest speaker, Ian Thompson, knows a whole lot more!

Ian will take us through the people and science behind some more iconic inventions and innovations, from colonial to contemporary times – so if you missed Ian’s first talk, catch up with this one – there’s so much more than the Hills Hoist and the Victa!

About Ian Thompson

After graduating in Chemistry in 1969, Ian worked in Sydney as an Industrial Research Chemist for over 20 years, concentrating on developing products to control insect pests that affect crops, farm animals and pets.

For the past 25 years, and before retirement in 2008, Ian then worked as a Research Scientist in the area of Urban Entomology, developing products for controlling insect pests and other critters that invade the home - in particular, those that can carry disease, such as mosquitoes, cockroaches, houseflies and the like.

During the past 10 years of this research Ian became involved in the drafting of patents for urban pest control - and he now has six to his name!

Ian regularly presents to Sydney U3A, Probus and other volunteer organisations. His leisure interests include photography and bushwalking.

As always, please keep an eye on our website in case of any last-minute changes.

The venue is Gordon Library Meeting Room No. 1, in the Old Gordon Public School, which adjoins the Gordon Library, 799 Pacific Highway, Gordon (corner Pacific Highway and Park Avenue).

It’s just a 5-minute walk from Gordon Station.

For a map and parking information, see our Contact page.

Saturday, June 4, 2022

June 2022 General Meeting - Saturday 18th June

  

Guest Speaker:
Dr Reinhard Ronnebeck

Dr Reinhard Ronnebeck at the van Gogh Museum

Join us in Gordon Library Meeting Room 1, at 2 pm on Saturday 18th June 2022, when Dr Reinhard Ronnebeck presents...
“Grace Cossington Smith - a Ku-Ring-Gai local”

Reinhard’s talk will explore the life and work of Grace Cossington Smith (1892-1984) – a quiet pioneer of modernism who practised her art in Turramurra.

Many of her scenes give a glimpse of the ordinary suburban home of her time: still lives, doorways and window sills. She also painted important events, such as the World Wars and the arrival of the Prince of Wales in Sydney, which show a broader view of what was happening in Australia and the world at the time.

Her paintings of the area around Turramurra show the development of the northern suburbs, and her paintings of the Sydney Harbour Bridge as it was being built are some of the best painted at the turn of the century.

About Dr Reinhard Ronnebeck

Reinhard was born, grew up and went to school in Berlin. His tertiary education took place in the USA and he holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology. Before his retirement he was head of the Department of Psychology at Royal North Shore Hospital, and Principal Clinical Psychologist with the NSW Department of Health. His book on child psychology, 7000 Days, was published by the ABC.

As part of his tertiary education, Reinhard completed several courses in art history, and this has remained a life-long interest. He has made numerous presentations on a variety of artists to the University of the Third Age (U3A) and at the Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts (SMSA).

As always, please keep an eye on our website in case of any last-minute changes.

The venue is Gordon Library Meeting Room No. 1, in the Old Gordon Public School, which adjoins the Gordon Library, 799 Pacific Highway, Gordon (corner Pacific Highway and Park Avenue).

It’s just a 5-minute walk from Gordon Station.

For a map and parking information, see our Contact page.

Saturday, May 7, 2022

May 2022 General Meeting - Saturday 21st May

 

Guest Speaker:
Margaret Cameron-Ash


Join us in Gordon Library Meeting Room 1, at 2 pm on Saturday 21st May 2022, when Margaret Cameron-Ash presents “Lying for the Admiralty”

Our guest speaker will be Margaret Cameron-Ash, lawyer and former visiting fellow of the University of NSW. Margaret worked and lectured in law in both Sydney and England, after which she embarked on research which included early Australian history, cartography and stories about James Cook.

Margaret examined lots of Cook’s original journals, charts and other information with forensic detail and has produced the book, Lying for the Admiralty, which is richly illustrated with many landscapes, ships, maps and charts. This highly successful book is now in its second printing.

Through meticulous research, Margaret set out to explain how Cook could have overlooked such obvious features as Bass Strait and the entrance to Port Jackson. Her conclusion: he didn’t miss them - he hid them!

Never have Cook’s journals and charts been subjected to such unbiased, forensic examination. His discoveries had to remain secret until Britain could afford to send an occupation force to fortify the place and keep out the French - hence the publication of Cook’s censored journal and charts.

From the Foreword by John Howard: "The author mounts a strong circumstantial case that Cook both discovered Bass Strait and actually gazed upon Sydney Harbour. Her proposition is that Cook and some of his party walked overland from Botany Bay to the Harbour... She argues that deliberate obfuscation and distortion were tools of trade for the British Admiralty... Such was the colonial rivalry of the time that paranoia about Admiralty leaks were an incentive for deliberate inaccuracies to be included in formal reports of voyages and exploration."

As always, please keep an eye on our website in case of any last-minute changes.

The venue is Gordon Library Meeting Room No. 1, in the Old Gordon Public School, which adjoins the Gordon Library, 799 Pacific Highway, Gordon (corner Pacific Highway and Park Avenue).

It’s just a 5-minute walk from Gordon Station.

For a map and parking information, see our Contact page.

Friday, March 25, 2022

April 2022 General Meeting - Saturday 9th April

Please note: our General Meeting for April is being held on 9th April, which is one week earlier than usual, so that it doesn't coincide with Easter Saturday.

Guest Speaker:
John Ramsland, OAM, FACE


Join us in Gordon Library Meeting Room 1, at 2 pm on Saturday 9th April 2022, when John Ramsland presents “Exciting, Adventurous and Heart-Rending – Rayner Hoff’s Memorial Masterpieces as a Sculptor”

Our guest speaker will be John Ramsland, OAM, FACE, Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Newcastle.

As one of the most significant artists in early post-World War I Australia, Hoff translated his sculptural forms into the egalitarian values of Australians – as a neo-heroic race that rivalled the Ancient Greeks!

Authorities agree that Hoff’s innovative work on the Hyde Park Anzac Memorial was his crowning glory. He captured war’s grim, gritty reality in a vast complex visual essay on the entire war. His group sculpture, 'Sacrifice', at the Memorial’s heart, is the greatest achievement of his entire career.

Hoff was one of the rare memorial sculptors to convey a duality of meaning of the relationship of male-female; masculine-feminine; timelessness and modern-ancient; sacred-profane; and past-present-future elements. He expressed both the sacrifice and horror of war on the youthful manhood and womanhood of the nation.

About John Ramsland
John was born in Manly in 1942 and educated at Manly Boys High School, Bathurst Teachers College, and the Universities of New England, Sydney and Newcastle. He is the author of many historical books, book chapters, journal articles, conference papers and press features. In 2003, he became Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Newcastle after serving there as Dean of the Faculty of Education, and later, Dean of the Faculty of Arts.

Book Launch
Immediately following John Ramsland’s presentation, military historian and battlefield war guide, David Wilson, will launch John’s latest book, 'Rendezvous With Death – Anzac Stories of the Great War' (Brolga, 2021) on behalf of Ku-ring-gai Historical Society.

Rendezvous With Death has been described as “an elegantly crafted anthology of epic heroism”. The book’s 564 pages hold many moving stories of men and women caught up in the tragedy of World War I. Each chapter deals with the life of historical figures – known and unknown, celebrated or forgotten – with the final chapter, “Remembrance of Things Past”, being on the life and work of George Rayner Hoff.

Copies will be available for signing at the special price of $20 – cash only, please, as we do not have credit card facilities.

As always, please keep an eye on our website in case of any last-minute changes.

The venue is Gordon Library Meeting Room No. 1, in the Old Gordon Public School, which adjoins the Gordon Library, 799 Pacific Highway, Gordon (corner Pacific Highway and Park Avenue).

It’s just a 5-minute walk from Gordon Station.

For a map and parking information, see our Contact page.

Monday, March 21, 2022

April 2022 Family History Group Meeting - Saturday 2nd April


Guest Speaker:
Patrick Dodd


Join us in Gordon Library Meeting Room 1 at 2 pm on Saturday 2nd April 2022 when Patrick Dodd presents 'The Dreadnought Boys'

Patrick Dodd will speak on 'The Dreadnought Boys' – a fascinating and also horrifying story of child and youth migration to Australia.

There were numerous schemes to bring out children and young people to Australia starting in mid-Victorian times. The Dreadnought Scheme was a program designed to promote and assist the migration of British youths willing to become farm workers in Australia. Funds which had been raised by public subscription for the purchase of a battleship were diverted to establish the scheme, when the Commonwealth instead decided to build an Australian Navy.

On arrival in Australia, the teenage boys were assigned to a state government farm for three months of agricultural training, after which the boys could be sent to work on any farm in the state.

Ku-ring-gai Historical Society member Patrick Dodd will speak about these schemes and the experiences of his late father-in-law, David Hogg, who was a Dreadnought Boy; as well as his own experiences as a ‘Ten Pound Pom’. It’s bound to stimulate plenty of discussion!

PLEASE NOTE: The election of the Family History Group Committee will also be held at this meeting. The nomination form has been distributed to members at the same time as the March Newsletter.

As always, please keep an eye on our website in case of any last-minute changes.

The venue is Gordon Library Meeting Room No. 1, in the Old Gordon Public School, which adjoins the Gordon Library, 799 Pacific Highway, Gordon (corner Pacific Highway and Park Avenue).

It’s just a 5-minute walk from Gordon Station.

For a map and parking information, see our Contact page.

Sunday, March 6, 2022

March 2022 General Meeting

    

Guest Speaker:
David Wilkins, OAM


Join us in Gordon Library Meeting Room 1, at 2 pm on Saturday 19th March 2022 when David Wilkins, OAM presents "The Three Vietnam Wars from 1946 to 1975"

Military historian and Ku-ring-gai Historical Society member David Wilkins will discuss the causes and impact – and the controversies – of the “American War”; as well as the colonial war that preceded it, and the one that followed.

He will discuss whether the US strategy in the second war was appropriate or misguided; the fall of Saigon; whether or not it should be regarded as an American defeat; plus the impact of ‘public relations as a principle of war’.

David graduated from the Royal Military College, Duntroon, in 1963 and his career in the Australian Regular Army spanned 26 years.

In 1969-70, as a Captain, he saw active service for 14 months with the 5th Infantry Battalion in the Vietnam War.

Upon his return from active service, David embarked upon a new career direction in Law.

He is now fully retired with interests in history and writing, and was involved in the coordination, writing and editing of the four volumes of Ku-ring-gai Historical Society’s celebrated series Rallying The Troops: a World War I Commemoration.

It was for his involvement in Rallying The Troops that in 2019 David was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia “for service to community history”.

PLEASE NOTE: This meeting will also be our deferred AGM in which we will pass the Minutes of the 2019 AGM; review and endorse the financial statements for the years 2019-20 and 2020-21; appoint the auditor; and receive the President’s Report. The election of Committee members will take place at our usual AGM in the second half of this year.


As always, please keep an eye on our Events page in case of any last-minute changes.

The venue is Gordon Library Meeting Room No. 1, in the Old Gordon Public School, which adjoins the Gordon Library, 799 Pacific Highway, Gordon (corner Pacific Highway and Park Avenue).

It’s just a 5-minute walk from Gordon Station.

For a map and parking information, see our Contact page.