Saturday, August 23, 2014

Conference Reminder

The Society received this reminder email from the organisers of the NSW & ACT AFHS Conference 2014. A great learnng and social opportunity for the family historians in our midst.

The Society will be having a table at the exhibition associated with the conference.

Hello All,

Don't forget that you can still register for the conference,  from the website until 31 August:

You can book using either the secure trybooking service or download the form and send in completed with a cheque or do an EFT.

The cost for the standard registration will be $160.

The conference dinner (on Sat night 13/9) is a separate booking for $45.

You can also book separately for the Lambis Englezos talk (on sun 14/9 at 10.30 am) thru the website, until 14/9, for $10. If you have full or sun registration the Lambis talk is incl and you do not need to pay the extra $10. This talk is certain to be well worth listening to as Lambis will talk about the undiscovered burial site of Fromelles. If you have friends interested in this topic please recommend this talk to them.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Praise for our book: Rallying the Troops

Dr Brendan Nelson, Director of the Australian War Memorial launched our book on July 26 and we have had some great feedback since then.

Here are some of the comments (in no particular order):

Your Volume 1 is superb and a wonderful testament to the men and women whom it records and those who wrote it. You have given these locals from those days a form of immortality by making their stories accessible and coherent.
(Anzac commemoration committee member)

Lots to look at & so many familiar names. ... Many thanks to all the researchers, the volumes will be a valuable resource for many years!

I received my book and was delighted and I have barely put it down. ...You are all to be congratulated indeed on the work and time you have all achieved and I am so proud to have been a small part, what a wonderful book and keepsake for my family. 
(Descendant and Contributor)

Just to let you know your wonderful book is now catalogued and in our Library. What a beautifully produced volume it is - and what an effort it has been for you and your editorial group. You must be exhausted, but elated. … Only people who have been involved in publications like this can fully appreciate what has gone before. I do hope more of those in your Society can now be inspired to lend a hand. ... Congratulations on a job well done!
(a regional Family History Society)

I was amongst the amazing number of guests at your book launch on Saturday. You must be very happy and justifiably proud of Rallying the troops.
(Local schoolteacher)

Yesterday I received my copy of Rallying the Troops … It is an amazing tour de force by you and your colleagues. Great, Great, Great work!
(local author / historian)

Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to take part in this worthwhile project.

Heartiest congratulations on a ‘Job very well done’ - the launch was very well done with wonderful speeches by Dr Nelson and our Mayor.  The book is a masterstroke and will be very much appreciated by many.
(KHS member)

Congratulations on this significant achievement to you and the rest of the team.
(local community group leader)

A very impressive book indeed.

We both think it is stunning! A magnificent tribute to all those who served in the War. Hats off and medals all round for you and your team. You must all be thrilled at how well it has turned out.
(Contributor, UK)

A very important source for all Ku-ring-gai history.
(KHS member)

If you'd like to buy a copy, please go to our website and follow the links to place an order.
We have a special introductory price of $40 for purchases before August 31, 2014.

Trove Tuesday - Kuring-gai Mayor defends Regalia

In the news 60 years ago.

1954 'Kuring-gai Mayor Defends Regalia.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 17 August, p. 5, viewed 13 August, 2014,

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Elections at Annual General Meeting Today

The election for Office Bearers of the Society was held at the Annual General Meeting this afternoon.

The results are as follows:

President: Graham Lewis

Vice-Presidents: Jo Harris and Jenny Joyce

Treasurer: TBA

Secretary: TBA

Committee Members: Ann Barry, Neil Falconer, Morrison Hammond, Margaret Holland, Yvette Reeve.

After the results of the election were announced new President, Graham Lewis, thanked the Returning Officer, Beverley Dunstan, for her work in organising the election and the outgoing Committee Members for their contributions to the Society.

Tom Keneally Anniversary Lecture 2014

The Society has received notice of this event to be held next week. Full details can be found on the SMSA website:

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Technology Special Interest Group Meeting - Tomorrow.

At our next meeting on Thursday 14 August at 1.30 pm we will look at free software programs for historians and genealogists – from email to word processing to genealogy software.

If you have some favourite programs please tell us about them, or if you would like to add to your software collection for little outlay then you should find something to interest you.

For enquiries please email

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

THE UNEXPECTED WAR - Talk by historian Michael McKernan

One hundred years ago this month newspaper headlines were reporting on the political crisis surrounding the new nation’s first-ever double dissolution. A political assassination in the far-away Balkans in late June seemed barely worthy of mention.

The Prime Minister, Joseph Cook, and the leader of the Labour Opposition, Andrew Fisher, were busy preparing for a federal election. Neither they, nor other Australian politicians could foresee the terrible consequences of the diplomatic failures that were unfolding in Europe.

When Great Britain declared war on Germany on 4 August, Australia, like the rest of the Empire, was also at war. The news was greeted with nationalistic fervour by crowds in the streets of Australia’s major cities.

Australia’s reaction to news of the outbreak of hostilities is the subject of a talk to the Ku-ring-gai Historical Society this Saturday, 16 August, by eminent historian DR MICHAEL McKERNAN.  Michael is a former Deputy-Director of the Australian War Memorial, a radio commentator and author of many books charting the effects of war on Australian society.

Within a week of the outbreak of war, both of Australia’s political leaders having pledged immediate and unconditional support, recruitment was underway with a force of 20 000 men promised for the defence of the empire.

Thousands of young men enthusiastically rushed to enlist with, perhaps, little understanding of what was involved, and no foreboding that this conflict
would drag on for more than four years and cost millions of lives.

The first shot fired by Allied forces came from an artillery battery at Pt. Phillip heads to prevent the departure of the Norddeutscher Lloyd cargo ship SS Pfalz just after midnight on 5 August, 1914.

On 18 August a Naval and Military Expeditionary Force left Sydney to capture wireless stations used by the German East Asia Cruiser Squadron and which represented an urgent threat to merchant shipping. During the first fighting at Rabaul in German New Guinea four Australians were killed.

Among the casualties was Capt. Brian Pockley, a twenty-four year old medical doctor of Wahroonga and one of the more than 1300 men and women with links to the Ku-ring-gai municipality who served in what would become known as the Great War.

Ku-ring-gai Historical Society is commemorating the service of these men and women by researching and writing their stories to ensure that they will not be forgotten. Volume 1 of Rallying the Troops, containing the war stories of those beginning with names A to F, was recently launched by Dr Brendan Nelson, Director of the AWM.

Copies are now available from the Society ( or 9499 4568)

Members of the public are cordially invited to attend the 16 August talk by Dr McKernan. It will be held in the Meeting Room, old Gordon Public School building adjacent to the Library, corner of the Pacific Highway and Park Avenue, Gordon. The meeting starts at 2pm and will be preceded by the AGM. Afternoon tea will be served.