Thursday, June 26, 2014

Seeking photos

This plea appeared in the latest issue of our newsletter. Perhaps you can help.


Can you help us find a photograph of the Oratory of the Sisters of Mercy at Mt St Bernard School at  Pymble?

Perhaps a photo of a small tabernacle made from a cedar press for the Sisters of Mercy? If you have any other photos of the school your help would be appreciated. Your reply should be to the Society at for the attention of Bruce Robinson, Research Team.

Sunday, June 22, 2014


Following is a copy of an article written by Kathie Reith for the May2013 edition of the Society newsletter.

Tintern – an enduring reminder of an early Roseville family and their sad loss in WWI.

Remarkably, because is it not protected by heritage listing, Tintern still stands, at 205 Pacific Highway Lindfield, one of the very few original houses along the highway in Roseville/Lindfield. Built about 1903, it is a single storey, Federation Queen Anne style house, and for many years was home to Walter Shaw, his wife Frances Geraldine nee Archbold and their three children.

Enid, their youngest daughter wrote: ‘My grandfather [Richard Archbold] divided his land from Eton Road to Clanville Road between his daughters and when I was about six my parents built a home on the corner of Eton Road and … Pacific Highway. The house was named “Tintern” after the famous abbey...’

Enid was born in 1896, Mabel in 1895 and Ernest in 1892. Ernest studied accountancy. Mabel attended Ravenswood, then helped look after their mother. Enid went to Lindfield College, on the corner of Lindfield and Russell Avenues, and later took up nursing. When WWI broke out, Enid and her friends joined the Roseville Voluntary Aid Detachment.

Ernest enlisted in March 1916, his attestation papers signed on ANZAC Day 1916. At the time he was working as a clerk with the AMP Society in Tamworth. He joined the 33rd Battalion, formed in early 1916 in Armidale. The 33rd later became part of the 9th Brigade, 3rd Australian Division.

Shaw left Sydney on HMAT Anchises on 24 August 1916 and by the end of November he was in France. The 33rd’s first major encounter was the battle of Messines that began on 7 June 1917. Shaw was killed on 23 July when a shell exploded in the trench he and three others were occupying. Buried close to where he fell, he was re-interred in Bethleem Farm West Military Cemetery. Enid wrote: ‘Many of the
young men of our circle did not return.’

Despite the tragedy of losing their only brother, the two sisters had happy memories of their childhood. Most of their relatives lived nearby and they ‘were never without playmates and friends’. After their parents’ deaths, Walter in 1923 and Frances in 1935, the two sisters remained in Tintern for over sixty years. Enid left for a time, serving during WWII with the 102nd AG Hospital in Brisbane. At some stage the house was converted into two flats. In the last years of her life Mabel was cared for at Milton Nursing Home. Enid
moved to Archbold House, built in Trafalgar Avenue on the site of their Uncle Jim’s old home.

Information on the family was taken from WD Archbold’s history The Archbolds of Roseville; WWI notes from the personnel file of EA Shaw, the history of the 33rd Battalion and the unit diaries.

Friday, June 20, 2014

RAHS Webinars

Your blogger recently participated in the first RAHS webinar and found it a worthwhile learning experience.

We have received this notification from the Society about the next webinar to be held next week.:

Dear Affiliated Society,
We hope that you will be able to join us for our next webinar at 7pm next Wednesday 25 June. I will be presenting ‘Making History - an introduction to iMovie and documentary filmmaking’. This webinar will provide a cursory understanding of the capabilities of Apple's video editing software and what is involved in producing a short documentary film. 

Secure your place in this webinar by emailing and leave a phone number so we can call you, or call (02) 9247 8001. The cost is $10.00 RAHS Members/$12.00 Non-Members. Payment is required to register.

For more information on RAHS Webinars see: hope you will be able to join us and please feel free to circulate this email to those you feel may be interested.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Technology Special Interest Group this Thursday

Having returned from my travels I look forward to catching up with fellow members at our next Technology SIG Meeting on Thursday 19 June at 1:30pm in the Society Rooms.

Please come along with your technology news and questions for discussion.

I had great success finding resources last week at The National Archives in Kew and would like to show you how and what I found about some of my ancestors by using the Discovery online catalogue.

Prior to going away I participated in the Royal Australian Historical Society's first webinar which was a worthwhile learning experience. I will spend some time talking about webinars for historians and family historians.

Jill Ball

Early Explorations Beyond The Nepean

On Sat. 21 June at 2pm  at the Society's General Meeting our newest Life Member, Dr Doug Milne will speak on Early exploration beyond the Nepean. 

In his illustrated lecture Dr. Doug Milne will examine the explorations of John Wilson in 1798 and Lt. Francis Barrallier in 1802, and their significance to the new colony. HIs extensive research suggests that a hundred years of speculation as to where Barrallier went may have led us up the wrong creek.

 Members and guests are all welcome to join us for this event that will be followed by afternoon tea at Gordon Library Meeting Rooms, 799  Pacific Highway,  Gordon.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

William Cox Historical Festival

This year the William Cox Festival celebrates the bicentenary of one of the most important achievements in our early colonial history - the building of the road across the Blue Mountains, which opened up inland New South Wales to European settlement.

Details of this event to e held on July 20, 1914 can be found here:

Thursday, June 12, 2014

June Talks at SMSA

This email received by The Society details events to be held in June at The Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts.

Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts (SMSA) has some authors talks coming up in June that I believe would be of interest to you and your members.
·       On 17 June, Meredith Burgmann talks about the secret ASIO files kept on her and the other prominent Australians who have contributed to her new book, Dirty Secrets.
·       Then on 30 June, Peter Barton reveals that Australia’s worst military disaster, the Battle of Fromelles in 1916, did not unfold the way we have been told for so long.
Please feel free to come along to the talks and to forward this email to other people who might be interested.   The talk is FREE and we're are a friendly bunch. Thanks
Tuesday 17 June, 12:30pm – 1:30pm
Venue: Mitchell Theatre,
SMSA (Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts)
280 Pitt Street, Sydney NSW 2000
Meredith Burgmann talks about the moving, funny and sometimes chilling stories of herself and other leading Australians — including Mark Aarons, Phillip Adams, Nadia Wheatley, Michael Kirby, Peter Cundall, Gary Foley and Anne Summers — who were under surveillance by ASIO.
Free & Open to the Public
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Monday 30 June, 12:30 – 1:30pm
Venue: Tom Keneally Centre, SMSA (Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts), 280 Pitt Street, Sydney NSW 2000
The Battle of Fromelles in July 1916 was the worst military disaster in Australian history. The battle raged for 14 hours, resulting in over 5500 Australian casualties. Many of the bodies lay undiscovered for many decades. The story has always appeared simple: the British military leadership claimed that the British and Australian troops lacked courage and that spies told the Germans about the Allies’ strategy.Peter Barton, acclaimed historian and documentary film-maker, has spent a decade researching the battle. His groundbreaking research reveals that Fromelles did not, in fact, unfold the way we have for so long been led to believe.
FREE – Bookings are essential
BOOK on 02 9262 7300 OR
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Kind regards,

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Spreading the Word

The Society recently received this email in which we were asked to "Spread the Word" about this project and an associated event that  is planned for our area.

We are a not for profit group that presents restored silent classics usually with live music.
   With the assistance of the National Film and Sound Archive and the wondrous talents of Dr. Paul Paviour OAM we are proud to present the restored Australian classic silent, The Sentimental Bloke (1919).  This acclaimed film was made  in Sydney  by Australia's pre-eminent filmmakers, Raymond Longford and Lottie Lyell,  and was  based on the poetry of C J Dennis.
On Saturday at 3pm June 21 the film will be presented at the Tryon Road Lindfield Uniting Church (Cnr Nelson and Tryon Roads). There is plenty of parking and Lindfield Station is close by.
Tickets are $25/ $20 concession online and are available at the door with cash sales only.
 Would you kindly help us spread the word.
Best wishes
Ronnie and Sharon

Phone: 0419 267 318

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Conference in Mittagong

The Society has been notified of the 2014 RAHS Conference in its recent newsletter. An excerpt from the newsletter follows:

2014 RAHS State History Conference - Moving History
History is about the past,  It has all happened and can't be changed.  It is immovable. WRONG!  History is about change over time and is always moving as we respond to new information that changes our understanding of the past.  Each generation asks new questions of the past. In history, we see how people adapted to change as they moved geographically and socially within and beyond their communities.  We are emotionally moved by their fears, struggles and achievements. Our societies also have to move forward finding different ways to further their objectives.
So, come to Mittagong and be moved by         Australian history.                                                         Railway station Mittagong [Source Wikimedia Commons]
Saturday 25 - Sunday 26 October 2014, Mittagong RSL
More information to follow in upcoming eNewsletters and our website here.