BOB Leister was returned for his 14th year as president of the Gunnedah and District Historical Society at the recent annual general meeting.
Mr Leister will be assisted in his role by vice-presidents Kay Wilson and John Flannery.
Other committee members elected include Alan Barker (treasurer/public officer), Shirley Coote (assistant), Marie Hobson (secretary/publicity officer), Kathy Mayoh (assistant), Shirley Coote, Esther Underwood, Judy Muggleton (recorders), Col Rosewell, Marie Hobson, John Flannery (photo recorders). Patrons: Brian Gregson, Dot Buchanan, Gwyn Jaeger.
In his annual report, Mr Leister outlined another busy year for the organisation which operates out of the unique Water Tower Museum.
The society welcomed a number of visiting coaches during the year and the displays received high acclaim.
The Vietnam Veteran’s display is a work in progress but continues to create interest in the community and beyond. The recent acquisition of a new set of service medals entitled to the late Phil Barwick have added more interest. Vietnam veterans who would like to contribute are invited to call in to the museum during opening hours or make contact via the Facebook page.
Sales of Ron McLean’s latest book, The Final Curtain, far exceeded the expectations of many and a second order was placed before Christmas. This was not delivered until late January and the society thanks everyone who ordered books for their patience. The orders have all been filled and there are limited copies left at Gunnedah Newsagency, Second Edition Book Shop and the museum. The society is grateful to these local businesses for their support and to those who made financial contributions towards the printing.
Members have also expressed appreciation to graphic designer Alyssa Barwick for her work on the book, which went far beyond the call of duty, and for setting up the Facebook page which has proved a winner for marketing.
Congratulations go to member Ron McLean, former editor of the Namoi Valley Independent, who was honoured on Australia Day with the Gunnedah Shire’s Australia Day cultural award.
Increasing inquiries about copies of Gunnedah’s 2006 Sesquicentenary book The Way We Were, which is now out of print, has prompted the society to revisit the idea of a fresh print, with the addition of the past 14 years. The society will look into the possibility of creating a 2020 version to be available before Christmas next year.
The society still has copies of In The Line of Fire available at the museum for $25. Written by Ron McLean, this book traces the service of hundreds of men and women who served from this district in WW1 and was printed to mark the centenary of the end of hostilities in “the war to end all wars”.
The society is always on the lookout for new members to help preserve the town’s history and inquiries can be made with any of the committee members or by calling in to the museum during opening hours (10am to 2pm on Saturdays or from 10am on Monday mornings, when volunteers are working). Increased membership would mean that the museum could open on more days of the week.
The next meeting will be held at the museum on Monday, March 18, at 10am.