2018 has been another great year for the Windsor and District Historical Society and I thank you very much for the honour of being your President for the past four years now.
Our very first meeting of the new committee was held at the historic home Conon House in Lutwyche. Hosted by the Slaughter family. We also had some extra guests such as Member for Brisbane, Trevor Evans MP and Beres McCalllum OAM.
After a Christmas break, the Chambers reopened from 14 January 2018.
Our first General Meeting of the year was held in February and featured Beres McCallum talking about her soon to released latest book “Lots about Lutwyche” . This new book was duly released in March and now brings a total of five books on specific suburbs in our District. Let alone the other books Beres has either contributed to or written, in particular “Windsor Awakens” which was published more than ten years ago. We once again thank Beres so much for all her continual hard work on producing these magnificent publications which are still available to buy.
Then it is on to our biggest event of the year which is our ANZAC Day Ceremony in Windsor War Memorial Park. Another large crowd attended once again this year. Both Gem Cowlishaw and Rosalie Raciti put in a lot of work into this. I must thank Rosalie for being Marshall on the day once again.
I thank Trevor Evans and Andrew Wines for being our speakers this year. I also thank Wilston Scouts for their involvement again this year. This year they helped us even more by setting up Canopies and transporting chairs from our storage at the Grange Bowls and Community Club, which we thank also. They then packed them all up and took them back too.
The Flag boxes painted by the Murri School looked magnificent on the day. I would like to thank the Rotary Club of Brisbane Inner North for their Sausage Sizzle which helped attract many people across the road to visit the Society. 75% of their money raised went to the Charity “Mates for Mates” with the other portion being donated to the Society.
Also, I thank all our other helpers on the day, particularly all those who baked ANZAC biscuits and provided drinks on the day.
Only a week later, we found ourselves at the Lanham May Fair promoting the Society and selling our books. I thank the hard work provided by Robert and Jan Price in organising and setting this up. Before that they had also been promoting the Society and ANZAC Day at Lutwyche Shopping centre.
Our second General meeting of the year featured Rob Price showing us a 1988 film made by the Grange Progress Association which was a “Bicentennial of the Windsor Wilston Grange District. It was a film made by Queensland College of Art students along with George Burne. He then showed us footage of the Trams that travelled along Lutwyche Road to Grange. Rob has digitised these films for our archives.
Our third General Meeting of the year featured former Lord Mayor Sallyanne Atkinson, who we found to be a very delightful speaker. She spoke in particular, about her admiration for the newly merged Greater Brisbane Council’s first Lord Mayor and a former Mayor of Windsor, William Jolly. She kindly donated her book to the Society, “No job for a Woman”. She also spoke about the challenges of being Brisbane’s first lady Lord Mayor and gave suggestions why there have not been any more since. Although, since then we have had female Premiers and Governors. We thank Sallyanne very much for coming along to present to us.
Then just last weekend, we held our special Remembrance Day – 100th Anniversary of the Armistice. The event went well and yes it would have been nice to have had more people attend, but this is not one of our regular events. I thank Tim Nicholls for being the main speaker, once again Rosalie for being the Marshall, Chaplain Watch for help set up and also marshal the event. We had last minute help from the Wilston Rovers and Venturers to also assist with the flag raising. Thank you to Alan Webster for the eulogy to the Unknown soldier. Brisbane Inner North Rotary were once again there to contribute a Sausage Sizzle and raise money for “Mates for Mates”.
It is rare for us to put on two Commemorations of the Great War in one year, but it was important for us to mark the occasion due to the contribution of many local citizens to the war effort.
We receive many donations to the society, in particular we thank Alison Courtice for her donation of Books such as “Brisbane’s Centenary 1823 to 1923”.
One of the grants received this year was to update ourselves on how to market to the next generation of citizens in the area using modern techniques such as Social Media. Kate Wilson of Cinc Social Media has been training us in how to more effectively tap into the media younger people are accessing to keep themselves informed.
We now have 480 followers on our Facebook page and it is up to us all to keep them engaged with lots of snippets of information and brief stories to make the Society more appealing and increase participation and more involvement from our local community. We now have an Instagram Account and a Twitter Account also.
We also revamped our website to make it more engaging and easier to navigate. There are a few things we still want to improve or add to it. Our website is connecting us globally and we want it to develop into an even better site.
We also decided to modernise our Logo into a more simplified but recognisable representation of the society. We have two types, a colour version and one great for black and white production. Once again Kate Wilson assisted us with this process and I was particularly pleased that the whole committee came to agreement about the preferred one to use.
We plan to look at creating reasonably priced merchandise such as Polo tops, Mugs, Bags and other souvenirs that we can not only sell but help promote the Society locally.We also continue to promote our organisation by continuing to sell our magnificent books on the Windsor, Wilston, Wooloowin, Grange and Lutwyche suburbs.
My role continues to be made easy by having a great committee around me. Unfortunately, we had two committee members that were not able to attend any meetings this year and their contributions were sorely missed. We made do with a core of five, which I did have to ask a great deal more from.
However, it has been the continuation of an executive committee made so much easier for me having such a great Secretary and such a reliable and efficient Treasurer,Rob Price. Thank you so much for being Secretary once again this year. He is a dedicated enthusiastic “hands on” volunteer who keeps the Society operating well. Rob, once again thank you so much for everything you do.
Our Treasurer, Gem Cowlishaw keeps our Finances in order but goes above and beyond in so many other ways. She always has her eye out for the various grants on offer that may suit some of our projects and ideas.
Without Rob and Gem’s support, I do not believe I could do the job of President.
Our Vice-President, Rosalie Raciti is an important committee member. She drives our biggest event of the year our ANZAC Day Commemoration. She is also the Master of Ceremonies on the day making sure we follow the order of service on the morning. We thank you, Rosalie, for your contribution and continual dedication to the Society.
I have also appreciated the skills and knowledge given to us by our newest committee member, Mark Ellem. Mark is very knowledgeable on the IT area and also regularly volunteers on a Sunday afternoon. He already has a great deal of knowledge of our local history.
You will notice things like this big screen and glass cabinet that were organised by Mark and Rob. It has enabled us to become more interactive and we are constantly screening many of our photos and video footage within our collection.
We must thank all the volunteers who help us out each week, particularly here with the Chambers open every Sunday and Monday afternoons. But they do much more, such as collecting, sorting, collating, scanning, recording the information we receive. They set up displays and assist people wanting to find out information.
In particular, I once again thank David Teague who also does a lot of this work and continues to produce our magnificent quarterly newsletters.
Jenny Roemermann is another great volunteer who is also continuing to help us out in a big way. Thanks Jenny.
Our membership has declined this year which is disappointing, but we have revamped our membership brochure and we have a campaign going on to suggest joining. Also, we are about to expand this and encourage buying a friend a membership as an excellent Christmas present. David’s newsletters are alone worth the membership fees paid! We are doing this through Social Media but why not also encourage your friends to join and help support their local Historical Society. Don’t forget books make excellent presents too.
Going forward, our Society is only limited by the number of hours our members are able to contribute. We do need more volunteers. If you are able to help us out in any possible way, we on the management committee will be more than grateful.
We maintain the mission to collect, preserve and provide the information about our local area of the Windsor area and its original Districts. We continue to value your membership and contribution in keeping this organisation going. It can only get better.
My own goals continue to be promoting the Windsor and District Historical Society as much as possible in the local community but at the lowest possible cost.
This was my fourth year as your President of the Windsor and Districts Historical Society. It once again has been an honour and I look forward to continuing this again for 2019.
18th November 2018