President’s Report 11th Feb, 2013

The Society has enjoyed another productive and eventful year marked by some significant events.

Early in the year Ethel made the suggestion to award Maurice and Doff Hallam Life Membership to recognise their outstanding contribution to the Society. This was duly done with unanimous support and Maurice and Doff were moved and delighted by the gesture.

We then got on with the business of preparing for our big exhibition in May – showcasing the inventiveness and resourcefulness of local people from early days until modern times. Our weekend exhibition titled “Inventions and Innovations” was extremely well attended and although it was a lot of hard work for society members, especially the indefatigable Secretary, Lys Ford, we all agreed it was well worth it, especially as it generated a lot of interest from locals and at least an hour of interviews on ABC local radio. We even offered good prizes for local inventors to invent something!

Not long after that, we had our annual Quiz Night – one of the best attended on the Peninsula – and a fundraiser for TPHS. As usual, it was very competitive, lots of fun and at times quite rowdy! Our quizmaster, Rob Rolfe, certainly had his hands full keeping us in check.

We also had a number of significant donations made to the Society – some books and records from the Koonya hospital, audio tapes from the PAVE audio project, “Beyond the Term”, a beautiful old gramophone, glass negatives, school books and more.

This resulted in several more working bees by the Collections committee – though there is still so much to be done to catalogue everything!

With so much going on, there wasn’t time to publish another Chronicle – although there is always onging work collecting stories ready for the next one. We will be sure to see Chronicle 16 published in the year ahead, there is just so much material already!

Of course, another truly successful event for the Society was the Port Arthur Memories Revisited project – originally conceived I think, by the PAHS Advisory Board. This was a tremendous collaborative peninsula project and was right in our target market – being the stories of settler familes who played a big part in Port Arthur history following convict times. Several of the committee as usual worked very hard on this project an we were rewarded with a very enjoyable weekend at the Port, and hopefully some pleasant memories for those who used to live and work there.

2013 is shaping up to be another busy year with a Chronicle definitely on the way, another exhibition to be staged at Laurie Tatnell’s museum at Taranna, competitions, quiz night, perhaps another bus trip as well as all the other loose ends to tie up.

The Society will update digital recording equipment to to facilitate the collection of more oral histories – these can be kept in digital audio form as well as being transcribed for use in future Chronicles as before.

It certainly has been a pleasure as well as a challenge to be part of such an indefatigable and dynamic Historical Society.

Well done and great team work!

Keith O’Hara