News From History Cottage : Monthly Meeting 2024

What a wonderful start to the Society’s 2024 year with 90 members and friends in attendance at the February meeting.

Using an event in Pennant Hills in 1906 lawyer Rod Best presented an outstanding talk that contrasted past and present social attitudes to sections of our population, in that case to the Chinese.

In the light of present tensions between different groups within our population, his talk was a timely reminder of the benefits of our multicultural country.

The Society archives are the custodian of a great deal of family and local history.  It was therefore a privilege to be given a collection containing photos, certificates and a small diary.  This last mentioned opens with the words:

“Left Northern Ireland Tuesday 13th November 1894”

After recounting the day’s events for the journey, it ends with the lines:

“December 31st 1894 entered Sydney Harbour at 7.00 o’clock in the morning and cast anchor at half past 7. Charlie came on board at eight. Commenced work in Galston on 1st January 1895”.

What a priceless record this little book is of the voyage of a young man starting a new life in a strange country.  His family name is now quite familiar in our community.

A collection of deeds, for land that forms part of the original George Hall 600 acres grant of 1819, has been kindly lent by the current owners. When copied these will be added to the large collection of maps and land records that is available for approved research. Enquiries to 96531365.

It is through the interest, generosity and concern for local history that members of our community can assist in understanding and preserving the unique community in which we live.

Our guest speaker for March will be local identity and published researcher, Trevor Knight.  He will tell of his visit to Germany and Switzerland and the solving of a long unanswered family mystery.

Next month’s meeting, at 2.00pm on the 10th March in the Uniting Church, School Road, Galston.  Booking is not required and all are welcome. Entry is free with a gold coin for afternoon tea.  Enquiries 96531365