President’s Report – June 2024

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Two exciting WHS events took place in March, beginning with the Yan Yean bus tour with Ross Mugavin as presenter. Twenty seven attendees enjoying an informative and social day, touring various historical locations in the Yan Yean area, and stopping for lunch at the Caretaker’s Cottage at Yan Yean Reservoir. If you missed out on coming along, Ross’s presentation is available on the WHS YouTube channel, accessed through the WHS website.

Also in March, WHS joined forces at an event organised by the Friends of Toorourrong to celebrate 170 years since the turning of the first sod for the Yan Yean Reservoir by Governor La Trobe. It was an extremely successful day, with a re-enactment of the arrival of Governor La Trobe in a horse-drawn carriage, and many participants in period costume. WHS manned a display of photos and documents, and collected valuable information from attendees.

The WHS general meeting in May was held at the Arthur’s Creek Hall, with two informative and inspiring guest speakers. Peter Nankervis spoke about the history of Mechanics Institutes, which began in the Colony of Victoria in 1839. Julie Nankervis spoke about documenting your family history. Julie’s advice was to “think big, but start small” when considering your approach to beginning a family history project. We enjoyed our time at the Arthur’s Creek Hall, and appreciated the invitation to hold our meeting there.

Behind the scenes, the Team Leaders have been working hard to keep the website up to date, post daily on Facebook, answer research enquiries, write policies such as the Collection Policy and the Code of Conduct, write grant applications, and plan for upcoming events. Thanks to the Whittlesea Bowls Club, a grant of $1000 will be used to buy promotional materials for use at WHS events. Articles by members have been published in the Whittlesea Review, the Town Crier and this newsletter. If you have an idea for an interesting article, please feel free to submit it to our Publications Team Leader, Karen Wilson.

Some exciting events are being planned in the near future. On the 16th of June, WHS will host ‘My Kitchen Table Talk’ at the old Wollert church at Carome Homestead in Mernda. In July, a trip is planned to the Royal Historical Society of Victoria for a training day. In August, our general meeting will be held at Ziebell’s Farmhouse, with our member speaker being Rob Wuchatsch, a former President of WHS. In September, WHS is planning a ‘behind the scenes’ trip to the State Library of Victoria, thanks to our WHS member Daniel Giddens. All details of these events will be available on the WHS website.

Our fundraising has been very successful, with a day at the Tram Café in April earning us $500, and a grant from the Whittlesea Bowls Club providing $1000. We need more volunteers in order to maintain our fundraising. Meanwhile, we look forward to welcoming you to WHS events, and for any feedback and suggestions. Keep your eyes on the website and the Facebook page for up to date information.