Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Trove Tuesday - Our Home

Our Society is housed in former classrooms of the Old Gordon Public School.

A search on Trove returns several historic photographs of this beautiful sandstone building however due to copyright restrictions these cannot be published on our website. Curious readers may view the images here:

Among the many articles found on Trove about the school was this report, the full text of which is copied below this partial image:

1897 'GORDON PUBLIC SCHOOL.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 18 June, p. 3, viewed 19 November, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article14115605
Yesterday Gordon was en fete, the occasion beingthe official opening of tho new wing of the Publicschool by the Minister for Education The approachto the school was hung with flags, and the decora«tions were of a lavish description
The Hon. Jacob Garrard, ML A, accompaniedby Mr J C Maynard, Under-Secretary for PublicInstruction, arrived shortly before 2 o' clock and wasreceived by Messrs P F Richardson (chairman),Mc Keown, S King, M'lntosh, Mrs Cornwall, andMiss Mc Keown, members of the School Board, andthe headmaster, Mr H L Fry Amongst otherspresent were Mr G Howarth M L A , and the Rev.Raymond King. The Minister was requested to turnthe key of the additions, after which the childrenfiled in under tho direction of the assistant teachers.
Mr Jacob Garrard said he wished to confine hisremarks to the progress of tho Gordon School, andthe system under which they were educated. He  stated he had recently laid on the table of the Housethe report of the department for the past year. Itshowod that in the colony there were no less than2574 schools, giving instruction to 221,603 scholars.
To distribute this instruction there were 4442 teachers.Accommodation was provided for 239,354 scholars.The population of tho colony was 1,287,755, ofwhich number 79 per cent of the children of schoolage received their education at the Public schools.The increase en accommodation since 1881 amountedto 140,633. The cost of educating this army ofstudents for last year was £651 307. The sum wasa large one, but not larger than the country waswilling to pay: the money was well invested, and
would enable the children to receive such instructionas would fit them to take their place in the busyworld. He then referred to the growth and historyof Gordon School. The denominational WesleyanSchool at Lane Cove was in 1871 converted into aPublic school. The enrolment was then 54, withan average attendance of 38. 7 This school con-  tinued to be held in tho old Wesleyan chapel until1877. In March 1876, a site fronting Lane CoveRoad was acquired at a cost of £30, but portion ofthis ground was subsequently resumed by the Rail-way Department in 1888: but the Instruction De-partment secured an additional area for £318, anda further area was conveyed by Mr Mc Intosh in1891. The name of the school was in 1885 changedfrom Lane Cove to Gordon. In 1877 Messrs Eatonand Sons' tender for new school buildings and resi-dence was accepted for the sum of £1957,which were completed and opened in Augustof that year. The school afforded accommodationfor 98 pupils. In 1888 further  additions were made at a cost of £207. The roomjust opened measured 34ft. 6in. by 24ft., and is con-structed of stone, and covered with slates, so as tomatch the old building. It is of modern design,giving plenty of light and ventilation and 124ft ofcubic space for each child. It gives accommodationfor 100 pupils. With the old building there was
now accommodation for 220 children. The enrolment
of the school for last March quarter was 205,  with an average attendance of 143, under the direc-tion of an efficient staff of teachers. The total
cost of land and buildings amounted to £3351. Heretened to the extra week's holiday the scholarswould enjoy on account of the Queen s Jubilee, and  drow their attention to the numerous blessings en-joyed under the glorious reign of our beloved sove-reign, whom they should always remember as a    noble woman. He exhorted them to never forget tolove their God, their country, and their Queen, andto honour their fellow-men. He had much pleasurein declaring the building open. (Cheers )  
The children then sang " Advance, Australia
Fair "
Mr Geo. Howarth, M L A , also spoke, and re-ferred to a custom in tho schools of the United Statesof America w Inch ho would like to see introducedinto our Public schools, und that was the saluting ofthe national flag at a certain hour each day.
The pupils here sang " Australia's Sunny Clime."after which Mr P F Richardson thanked theMinister for his attendance and interesting address,and asked the company to accord a vote of thanks tohim by acclamation.
Mr Garrard briefiy returned thanks, and theMinisterial party returned to the city.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

General Meeting, Christmas Meeting

It's our last General Meeting for the year, so come along this Saturday, November 16, and share some Christmas cheer with fellow members and friends of KHS.

Raconteur Bob Davis returns as our guest speaker, this time with entertaining facts and folklore in his talk Old Characters of the Hawkesbury.

The meeting starts at 2pm in the Gordon Library Meeting room.

Please bring a small plate to share for Christmas afternoon tea after the speaker.
Visitors are all welcome.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Trove Tuesday - PLC Service

The following report about an Armistice Day Service at PLC, Pymble was published on 12 November 1929.

1929 'OTHER SERVICES.', The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), 12 November, p. 12, viewed 9 November, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16601133

Monday, November 11, 2013

Technology Special Interest Group Meeting - This Week

Our next meeting is on Thursday 14th November, this week, at 1:30pm. All members are welcome to join us in the Society Rooms.

  • We are a Collaborative Group
  • There is no such thing as a silly question
  • No-one takes centre stage
  • Don’t hide your light under a bushel

Our planned agenda (but we may stray) is :

1. Recap of last meeting

2. Main topic: Apps, Free software

3. New resources/sites
  • KHS on Twitter
  • Google + Hangouts on Air
  • What have you found?
4.Questions for Discussion

5.Topic and date for next meeting.

The blog post with notes from our October session is at http://kuringgaihs.blogspot.com.au/2013/10/technology-sig-10-october-2013-notes.html.

If you have a great piece of free software that you use please be ready to tell us about it. Please come along with your questions.

Jill Ball jillballau@gmail.com

Remembrance Day - Some local lads

It is almost the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month and many of us in Ku-ring-gai Historical Society have more soldiers to remember than we did last year - because of working on our WWI biographies project.

Here are some more local lads we have not been able to identify, but who deserve to be remembered by their full names.

Can you help us identify them and their links to the area?

on the Killara Hall War Memorial at the Marian Street Theatre

on the Wahroonga War Memorial

on the Turramurra Park Gates Memorial

on the Warrawee Public School Memorial

on both the Killara Uniting Church Memorial and 
the St Johns Church, Turramurra Memorial

If you have any information on these soldiers, please leave a comment on the blog or email us at khs@khs.org.au


Friday, November 8, 2013

A Night to Remember

NSW Premier, Barry O'Farrell, with local MPs, Ku-ring-gai Mayor, Jennifer Anderson and members of the Society Executive at the dinner last night.
150 members and guests gathered last night at Roseville Golf Club to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of our Society.

Thanks to the Dinner sub-committee, chaired by Don Nicholson, for organising such a splendid event.

In the coming days we will be sharing, here on this blog, some of the many photos taken at the event.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

We're Celebrating Today

Members and Friends of the Ku-Ring-gai Historical Society will gather this evening to celebrate out 50th Anniversary

Among the guests will be Life Members of the Society, Local Parliamentarians, the Mayor of Ku-ring-gai, Councillors and Council Staff members.

Please stop by the Society Rooms to see member Jocelyn's new display that details the history of our Society.

New Display

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Society is mentioned in Hansard

Hansard which is the official record of the proceedings of The Parliament of New South Wales is an excellent resource for local and family history research. The Hansard Records for New South Wales are available to search online. 

This extract from NSW Legislative Assembly Hansard and Papers Thursday 31 October 2013 is of a speech given by The Member for Davidson, Jonathan O'Dea

Mr JONATHAN O'DEA (Davidson) [6.46 p.m.], by leave: Dr Harriet Biffin is not a household name, but thanks to the Ku-ring-gai Historical Society she will never be forgotten. Dr Biffin is just one of the thousands of colourful characters brought to life by the Ku-Ring-Gai Historical Society, which celebrates its fiftieth birthday in one week's time. Dr Biffin practised in Lindfield from 1904 to 1928 and was notorious for doing house calls in a dogcart, wearing a straw boater and a suit, while exercising her flair for the Greek language. One can only imagine the impact she would have had on Ku-ring-gai's rather conservative establishment: a woman dressed as a man offering medical advice peppered with Greek.

Dr Biffin also joined with Dr Lucy Bullett to found the NSW Association of Registered Women Doctors. The pair then went on to open the New Hospital for Women and Children in Surry Hills, which became the Rachel Forster Hospital for Women and Children in Redfern in 1921, a bastion of women's health. She was not only a great contributor to women's health but also a wonderful personality in Ku-ring-gai's rich and colourful history. That history has been tirelessly documented by the volunteers and members of the Ku-ring-gai Historical Society.

On 7 November the society turns 50. I am looking forward to joining its members and volunteers on the night for an anniversary celebration dinner at Roseville Golf Club. The Ku-ring-gai Historical Society was formed in 1963 when Ku-ring-gai Council cast a wide net to find a team of local residents willing and experienced enough to document their municipality's history. It was the remarkable foresight of Mayor George Nicol that brought together representatives from business, schools and service clubs, genealogists and members from the Royal Australian Historical Society to collate Ku-ring-gai's history.

Councillor Nicol was elected first president and Sir John Northcott, a former New South Wales Governor, was the first patron of the society. One of the society's first decisions was to invite each newly elected mayor of Ku-ring-gai to be patron of the society, a tradition that is still in force today. Archibald and Nancy Gray, both prominent genealogists, were among the first members. It is because of these dedicated founding members, with their enormous wealth of experience and passion for the past, that the Ku-ring-gai Historical Society has catapulted from strength to strength, offering maps, heritage listings, water board sketches, land titles, an enormous database on local people and places and more than 10,000 local photos.

Today it boasts more than 600 members and 90 volunteers and it is housed in the old Gordon Public School, adjacent to the Gordon library. Volunteers offer their expertise in research to the public every day except Wednesdays and Sunday, when the database is built. Queries from the public range from questions about the origin of their street name or Aboriginal art they glimpsed in the bush. A local resident may be curious about Ku-ring-gai's famous sphinx, the 110-year-old former Killara post office, or how a gentleman with the name of Eccleston du Faur was responsible for creating Ku-ring-gai's much-loved national park.

These days, computers make the job of research so much easier. In the early days of the society its volunteers often travelled to the Mitchell Library in the city to research information. One of the most popular meetings hosted by the society occurs on the first Saturday of every month when the family history group meets. Help is on hand to newcomers who want to explore their family tree but have no idea where to start. The society has also produced publications about Ku-ring-gai's colourful history, including Focus on Ku-ring-gaiWomen of Ku-ring-gai and its annual research publication The Historian, which combines local history, built heritage and family histories.

At the moment society volunteers are scouring local honour boards and war memorials to assist them in writing a World War I compendium which will list and provide the history of all Ku-ring-gai residents who served during the Great War, including nurses and ancillary staff. The society has inspired thousands of local residents to connect with each other and their pasts. It is a marvellous interest, in particular, for retirees, with their research assisting the whole community to understand a little more about what has shaped Ku-ring-gai. It has been a fabulous and productive 50 years for the society. I hope the next 50 years of recording and documenting the times we live in now prove just as fruitful.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Remembrance Week - Our local WWI soldiers

Remembrance Day (11 November) marks the anniversary of the Armistice that ended the First World War. Each year Australians observe one minute silence at 11 am on 11 November, in memory of those who died or suffered in all wars and armed conflicts.

As next Monday is Remembrance Day we thought, this week, we'd post some of the names of our local lads who went to WWI.

We are currently undertaking a large project to identify and write biographies of all those on WWI memorials in Ku-ring-gai.
We are having some trouble identifying some of the names and wondered if any of our readers could help.

Remembered on the Roseville Honour Roll (above):
PT Chamberlain
SW Connell
AC Fenton

On the Pymble & St Ives War Roll of Honour (below):
W Collins
J Cook
   De Latour (no initial given here)
RH Edwards (also on the Gordon Public School and St Ives Park memorials)
HC Fraser

Although many of our lads have strong links to the area - born, lived, schooled, parents, etc, some of the links to Ku-ring-gai we have identified have been quite tenuous: 
Sometimes they never lived here but :
- their parents moved here during the war or 
- they worked here, or 
- their next of kin lived here, or
- they went to school here.
Others were born here but moved away before the war.

If you can help with any of these names, please comment on the blog, or email us at khs@khs.org.au

They all deserve to be remembered - by their full names.