Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Gordon Mar

Gordon Mar our first guest speaker for 2014 delivered an 
enthralling talk at our January General Meeting. Gordon delivered his talk in the Ku-ring-gai Library Meeting Room that had been his First Class classroom when he was a student at Gordon Public Room over sixty years ago.

Gordon Mar at KHS

Gordon described himself as an ABC (Australian Born Chinese) as his parents migrated to this country around 1920. In his broad ranging talk "One Small Step out of the Village - The Australian-Chinese story through the eyes of one family" Gordon told of of the history of Chinese people in Australia who first arrived in the 1840s from the Canton region. He described the living conditions and prejudices they have endured and reminded us that Chinese are a hardworking, peaceful and loyal people whose culture has strong family relationships,  the Chinese  value education. Coming to Australia for these people was like taking "a giant leap to another planet".

We learnt that there are presently 700, 000 ethnic Chinese in Australia and 300, 000 in Sydney many of whom are more recent arrivals than the Mar family.

Gordon's family were merchants who ran a successful business, Wing, Sang & Company in Sydney's Haymarket for over 50 years. As in many Chinese families 

Sign from Powerhouse Museum Collection
the Mar children gained tertiary qualifications and entered various professions. Gordon, who was an accountant, took over the family firm but sold it in 1984.

During his talk that was illustrated with photographs from his collection Gordon explained various traditions from Confucianism to bound feet. His talk that was at times serious was laced with humour and jokes.

It was an excellent start to the year for our educational program at KHS.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Connect with your Convict Ancestors in our Rooms.

The Society received this notification from Find My Past.  This resource is available to members at no cost in our rooms.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Ku-ring-gai carryall

It's nearly a year since our bags were launched. Have you purchased one yet?

The Bags are Unboxed
These attractive bags are made of sturdy cream material with black trim and a generous gusset will easily transport half a dozen books and assorted pararpernalia; they can even double as a supermarket shopping bag. They have a small secure inside pocket with a velcro closer to store your mobile phone or small change.

The bags are available from the Society Rooms for only $10 each.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Did you get a new gadget for Christmas?

Our Technology Special Interest Group will meet tomorrow, Thursday 16 January at 1:30 pm in the Society Rooms. Please come along with your tech questions or problems. 

Our agendas are fluid and guided by the interests of those who attend. At our last meeting we had planned to speak about setting up a free email account but as we had a dozen enthusiastic souls  who wanted to learn more about scanning with the Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner we spent the best part of our session on that task.

All members are invited to join us. Please be ready to share news of any new resources you have found or gadgets you have acquired.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Trove Tuesday - A Thriving District

In 1912 the Sydney Evening News reported on the Ku-ring-gai area. Reproduced below is the first paragraph of the article which can be read in full here

If you have time it would assist other readers if you could help correct the electronically translated text for this article which has not been translated accurately due to the poor quality of the original. Humans who understand context and are familiar with places and names do this job far better than a machine.

1912 'KURING-GAI.', Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), 24 December, p. 3, viewed 14 January, 2014,

Sunday, January 12, 2014

One Small Step out of the Village

Gordon Mar will be our first guest speaker in 2014. Gordon's topic for our January General Meeting is One Small Step out of the Village - The Australian-Chinese story through the eyes of one family.

Guests are welcome to join our members for the meeting followed by afternoon tea next Saturday, 18th January at 2:00 pm in the Ku-ring-gai Library Meeting Rooms, The Old Gordon Public School (adjacent to the Gordon Library) 799 Pacific Highway, Gordon.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Historical Photos on Flickr

Many museums, libraries and institutions share their collections of photographs on Flickr. These collections may be searched by keyword. Some of the photos are available for free download whilst others are subject to copyright restrictions. It is important to establish the copyright status of each image before using it.

Collections of relevance to New South Wales include:

The Australian Museum

Australian National Maritime Museum,

Powerhouse Museum,  

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A New Year's Day Wedding at St Mary's Cathedral

It was reported in Brisbane that Ronald Seery and Mary Isaac from Ku-ring-gai were married in 1941.

1941 'WEDDINGS.', The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Qld. : 1933 - 1954), 6 January, p. 9, viewed 27 December, 2013,