President’s Report to 2018 AGM of Avoca & District Historical Society Inc.

President’s Report to 2018 AGM of Avoca & District Historical Society Inc.

Edition 289 of “Pyrenees Pioneers”, the ADHS Inc Newsletter, contained a summary of most of our activities during the year, and I see no necessity to repeat that information. I can report that the “Digitisation Fund” now stands at $2,100 of which approximately $1,000 is committed to the 1869 Avoca Mail being uploaded to Trove. Hopefully this will happen before the end of 2018? This leaves approximately $1,100 which we can use as part payment for the “Scanpro” equipment previously mentioned, to replace the almost useless microfilm reader/printer and enable us to utilise the $6,000 we have tied up in microfilm of early newspapers, rate books, etc. To succeed in obtaining grants from various sources to defray most of the cost of the Scanpro, we need to demonstrate that we can fund a significant proportion from our own resources. It would be great if a few of our members could see their way clear to donate $500 each in the next few months.

A dozen or so members of Avoca U3A have been participating in a local history course conducted by myself since early October, and to date 3 of them have become members of ADHS Inc. The first three two-hour sessions were conducted at the Avoca Courthouse; last week’s session was an excursion to Percydale, including Daly’s Cottage; next week will be a tour of Avoca Cemetery, and the following week an excursion to Amphitheatre guided by Mary Dridan.

We welcome to the ranks of the ADHS Inc Committee Dr. Ron Southern, whose qualifications are in History and Archaeology. Several years ago Ron purchased the late Bob Robinson’s property in Vinoca Road, and has been busily renovating it and tidying up the extensive garden. I am delighted to say that Ron has developed a keen interest in the history of Percydale, and volunteered for the job of Curator at Daly’s Cottage. Readers of our Financial Statement in the penultimate edition of the newsletter will have noticed that during the past year we spent almost $2,000 on repairs to that historic edifice.
Thanks to all of the volunteers who have kept the ship afloat during the year; they know who they are!

The Courthouse will be closed from mid-December to the end of January, as has been the case in recent years. The last open day for 2018 will be 12th December, and the first for 2019 will be 6th February.

Tony O’Shea
2nd November, 2018.