IMGP8304Fellowship of First Fleeters
Southern Highlands Chapter
Annual Report – August 2015

Committee 2014-2015

President & Membership Officer – Pamela Cormick [# 1894 – John Gowen]
Vice President – Trish Scott-Wandmaker [#7604 – John Small & Mary Parker]
Secretary / Minutes/Newsletter Editor/Record Keeper – Wendy Selman [# 6558 – Edward Risby]
Treasurer – John Kirkby [#7137 – John Nicholls]
Librarian – Glenda Miskelly [#7643 – Olivia Gascoigne/Nathanial Lucas /James Squire]
IT – Paul Miskelly [#7643.1]
Attendance Officer – Carol Schillert [#7358 – Nathaniel Lucas & Olivia Gascoigne]
Members – Helen Anderson[#1264.1 – Frederick Meredith]
Rod Davis [#6139 – Thomas Chipp & Jane Langley]
Faye Smith [# 7130 – Ann Martin]- passed away 1st December,2014
Patricia Robinson [# 6079 – James Wright] from March,2015
Webmaster – Robert Herbert [#4351 – John Herbert & Deborah Ellam] from May,2015

President’s Annual Report

It is with pleasure I present my Annual Report of our Chapter. Since our last Annual General Meeting we have been fortunate to have many interesting guest speakers at our Chapter Meetings.

General Meetings held since the last AGM are as follows:

Following our AGM we did not have an invited guest speaker, instead we had a “show and share” among our members. Those who participated were:  Glenda Miskelly (who spoke to us about the ceremony at Westminster Abbey in acknowledgement of the bicentenary of Admiral Arthur Phillip’s death), Howard Lewis, Susan Lambert, Ron Baird, Rob Herbert, Rod Davis and Wendy Selman.
8th October, 2014 with guest speaker, Robert Griffin. His topic was Colonial Architect, Edmund Blacket.
10th December, 2014 which was our 10th Anniversary Celebratory Luncheon held at the Mittagong R.S.L. Our guest speaker was the President of the Fellowship of First Fleeters, Ian Palmer. Ian reminisced about the beginning and early days of the Fellowship.
11th February, 2015 when we had a bit of a departure from a historical topic. Our guest speaker was Russell Oates from Barnes Driving School who spoke about refresher courses for the older driver.
8th April, 2015 when our guest speaker, once again, one of our chapter members, Glenda Miskelly, who spoke about her great grandfather’s participation in WWI at the Battle of Beersheba.
10th June, 2015 when our guest speaker was Dr. Christine Wright, who spoke on the subject; “Waterloo Veterans in Australia”.

Our Committee Meetings were held at the homes of several Committee members in September, November, February, March, May and July.

Activities this year other than meetings included:

Theatre Party to see presentation of “Importance of Being Earnest” on 8th November, 2015.
A Grave Look at Sutton Forest – a guided tour of All Saints Anglican Church and cemetery with local historian, Linda Emery on 19th November, 2015.
Australia Day Luncheon at Pullman Hotel, Sydney on 24th January, 2015.
It is noted that five couples from our Chapter travelled to Norfolk Island in March 2015 to join in celebrations of 225 years since the sinking of the “Sirius”.
Anzac Day. This year Neville Usher and I attended the Anzac Day Service in Moss Vale and laid a wreath at the cenotaph. This year was the centenary of the landing at Gallipoli. It is noted that $150 was collected at two of our meetings and forwarded to the R.S.L. for processing through the Australian Forces Overseas Fund for care package items for those serving overseas.
Gadding about in Goulburn on the 20th May, 2015. Included tour of Cathedral and bell tower, Woodlawn Bioreactor, Lake Bathurst and WWII RAAF Fuel Stores.
Chapter Exhibition of First Fleet memorabilia in Foyer Gallery of Wingecarribee Council Chambers from 4th – 29th May, 2015.

At this time I would like to acknowledge and thank our Committee who give freely of their time and expertise. Since our last AGM we have acquired two more Committee members – Patricia Robinson, our past President and Robert Herbert our Webmaster. Rob has generously taken on the task of designing, developing and managing a website for our Chapter. Our website is http//fffsouthernhighland,org.au

Special acknowledgements and thanks go to :

• Our guest speakers throughout the year.
• To all members who help out at our meetings and events.
• John & Rosemary Kirkby for the many hours they spent planning our Goulburn Outing in May including a trial day in the area.
• Selman Jowett, Solicitors, who sponsor our newsletter.
• The Southern Highland News and Post, 2ST, The Goulburn Post; and,
• The businesses of the Southern Highlands who display flyers of our upcoming meetings.

The Chapter Membership has consolidated – presently we have 61 on our attendance book list – 56 full members & associates and 5 friends.
We welcomed two new members this year:
Christine Roberts #8465 ~ FF William Roberts(Scarborough).
Josephine Meincke # 8489~ FFs Nathaniel Lucas (Scarborough) & Olivia Gascoigne(Lady Penrhyn).
One member transferred to the Hawkesbury- Nepean Chapter and sadly three members passed away.
We received $425 from the Fellowship as our 2014/2015 subsidy from membership contributions. We had 59 financial members at that point.
Our membership, mailing & contact data base lists reveal some 64 First Fleeters who have descendants in the Southern Highlands. This information is now posted on our website.

In reviewing chapter attendance for 2014-2015 we found that in rounded figures the; average chapter meeting attendance was 39 (up from 36.5 in previous year); and the average member attendance was 28 while average guest attendance was 11.

MonthNumber of membersNumber of GuestsTotal
August - 2014 - AGM28129
October32638
December,
10th Anniversary Lunch
3510
Official Guests 9
54
February 2015181331
April26935
June271643
Official Opening May Exhibition at Civic Centre Moss Vale109
5 apologies
24 inabilities
19
Goulburn Tour164
8 apologies
20

We continue to meet at the Mittagong Community Centre where we have a sign with our contact phone number on the exterior wall of the Centre. In addition to our own library cupboard & noticeboard in the hall we have an allocated cupboard in the kitchen annex. Morning Tea is donated by the Committee who take it in turns to manage the catering for each meeting.The Committee meets 6 times a year in the alternate months to Chapter Meetings. We have held our Annual Luncheon at the Mittagong RSL since 2010 and will do so again this December.Wendy Selman & John Kirkby continue to represent the Chapter on the Management Committee of the Mittagong Community Centre.

Formal Chapter Records are continuing to be maintained by our Secretary including Minutes & Meeting Records; Correspondence; Mailing Lists; Petty Cash Records; Newsletters; Chapter Events; Property & Assets Records including our Library Accession Register; a Chapter Memorial Book,Archives and Photo Albums documenting our activities. The requirements of the Board of Directors of the Fellowship Of First Fleeters are being met.

The major Chapter initiative for 2014-15 was the exciting establishment of our most attractive Chapter Website ( fffsouthernhighlands.org.au) by the newest member of our Committee, Rob Herbert, our volunteer webmaster. We are most appreciative of Rob’s enthusiasm, efforts & impressive skills in establishing the website in record time with an amazingly low budget.

We continue to produce The 1788 Chronicle , our Chapter Newsletter in January, March, May, July, September & November. Approximately 75 Newsletters are sent out to financial members of FFF, to the FFF Board, local historical & family history groups and our local libraries. Our newsletter is also emailed to all Chapters. Potential members of the Fellowship are sent notices of meetings. The Notice of the 2015 AGM was mailed with the July Newsletter. Our mailing list is reviewed annually following the AGM and the payment of subsidies. The cost of printing the 1788 Chronicle is continuing to be sponsored by Selman Jowett Solicitors, Mittagong. Mailing costs are presently covered by the Fellowship Membership Subsidies however the Committee is exploring other options such as emailing or posting The 1788 Chronicle on our Website with a password to gain access to the publication. A decision as to whether or not any changes will occur is yet to be made.

Publicity is shared by Committee & Chapter Members with the Secretary. Meeting Flyers are distributed throughout the Southern Highlands and Goulburn. E-mails are also sent to like minded groups and the local papers in the Highlands & Goulburn and information is given to 2ST. Meeting Notices are also posted on the Wingecarrabee Shire’s e-mail network Arts Info. Our supporters are sent messages of thanks each December. A volunteer for the position of Publicity Officer would be welcomed as would an editor for the 1788 Chronicle.

The Library is now valued at $950 and the collection is still housed in our cupboard in the Mittagong Community Centre. We are grateful for the numerous additions to our library this year, some by donation and others purchased by our Chapter. Due to limited space, our collection will ideally be limited to the life & times of the First & Second Fleeters up to and including the era of Governor Lachlan Macquarie. In addition to the Chapter’s Library, privately owned books remain available for borrowing. Donations of books are always welcome. In addition to the Chapter’s library, Rod Davis has provided a list of the books pertaining to First Fleet matters that reside in his comprehensive, personal library. He is willing to lend these books to members upon request and they will be available for borrowing directly from Rod. A list of these books is kept at the library table. We thank Rod Davis for his generosity in making these books available to our members and we also thank Glenda Miskelly for maintaining the collection.

Finally, I wish to acknowledge the sad passing during the year of three of our members:

Faye Smith 7130, a Committee member and foundation member of our Chapter who died on 4th December, 201;
Helen Foley, Friend 72, who died on 26th December,2014 after a long illness; and
Ron Tuckwell, Friend 30 who passed away on 14th August, 2014.
They are sadly missed.

I now submit my Annual Report for the year 2014 – 2015.

Signed: ________________________________ 12th August,2015
Pamela Cormick, President