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Tag: History

I really like history, learning about it, and documenting what I know.

Lex Watson's Book Collection for Sale
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Behind Bars

It’s thirty years since the decriminalisation of consensual male sex in New South Wales, and “some of the leading figures responsible for that change have all died in a six month period”, we were told by Murray Maclachlan at the Australian Homosexual History Conference held at Sydney’s University of Technology. He was referring to former politicians, Gough Whitlam, Neville Wran […]

Then and now
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Darlinghurst History Walk

I spent the early part of the day teaching at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School. As part of the lecture I gave, I repeated the mantra, “there are no boring stories, only boring story-tellers” which I’ve heard many times from radio consultant, Valerie Geller. She’s absolutely right. Just about any story can be interesting, so long as there’s […]

Celebrations for the 200th Anniversary of Appin
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Appin Bi-Centenary

“I have a connection to the pub across the road” I told the woman who was looking after things at St Bede’s Catholic Church in Appin today. “Two of my ancestors ran the pub back in the 1840s”, I told her, referring to William Rixon and Ann Hoare. “There was a close connection between the church and the pub” she […]

Ten green bottles
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Colonial Wine Tasting

Talk about four seasons in one day. What began as a fine sunny day in Sydney, had, by mid-afternoon turned into something cold and wet. Cold and wet enough to drag out the possibly fake “North Face” rain jacket I bought in Beijing a few months ago. As the rain tumbled down, I could think of nothing better than an […]

Fresh fruit and veg at Paddy's Markets
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Chinatown Tour

“These will bring passion and romance into your life”, the bloke behind the counter said to me as I handed over my planned purchase. “That was the general idea”, I told him and we smiled at each other. It was towards the end of an “Historical and Cultural Tour” of Chinatown, co-inciding with Chinese New Year Celebrations in Sydney. I […]

Unmarked grave for Joan Kathleen O'Brien, East Lismore Cemetery
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More History

I went in search today of details about the still-born child my mum and dad had back in 1953. As with many things in my family, it wasn’t something that was talked about. Indeed, when I mentioned it to one of my older sisters, and showed her the record from the online historical indexes of the NSW Registry of Births, […]

Elizabeth Hore and Ann Phibbs photo from 1865`
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Granny was a Hoare

Sometimes you can forget how beautiful Sydney is at this time of the year. That is, until you take a walk along the coastline near Bondi, Bronte and Tamarama. The sandstone cliffs, the blue-green colour of the water, and the gentleness of the walk are both relaxing and hypnotic. The walk wasn’t overly busy, though, as most people were down […]

West Dapto Catholic Cemetery
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West Dapto Catholic Cemetery

I went in search today of the grave of two of my ancestors – John Hoare and Elizabeth Love – who are buried in the West Dapto Catholic Cemetery, near Wollongong. “Search” is probably not the right word to use since I had a guide, someone who’d been there before, Terry Hore, who also maintains a strong interest in genealogy. […]

Centennial Park, Sydney
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Wimbo Park and Centennial Park

Although it’s a little cold, wet and windy outside right now, it was a really beautiful day in Sydney. And so I set out mid-afternoon for what I’d planned as a brief walk to the nearby coffee shop to read the paper and have a bite to eat. Somehow that brief walk morphed into an almost three hour stroll which […]

The Sydney Morning Herald Monday 16 April 1928, page 12
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Family History

I didn’t go to the pub tonight, as is my usual routine. And I won’t be going for the next couple of weeks either, since Swedish class has swapped to Wednesday night for the next few weeks. Instead, I stayed home and did some family history research. There was a terrific documentary on television tonight about the female convicts brought […]

Fall Of The Berlin Wall
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Berlin Wall Anniversary

It’s the twentieth anniversary today of the fall of the Berlin Wall. I doubt there’ll be television specials except perhaps on the ABC or SBS, but I note there is a Beck’s Beer advertising campaign appearing on bus shelters around Sydney. I’m not sure why, but I’ve always felt a bit of an affinity with Germany. I guess it has […]

The house in which Kate Leigh was living when she died, located on Devonshire Street, Surry Hills near The Shakespeare and Mohr Fish
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Walk On The Wild Side

I spent most of the afternoon on a walking tour called, “Slurry Hills and Razorhurst”, presented by Mark Dunn President of the History Council and organised by 702 ABC Sydney. Although I’ve been on a number of local history walks before, this was probably the most interesting and illuminating one I’ve ever been on. The tour started on the steps […]

Historic Australian Newspapers, 1803 to 1954
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Family History Research Day

Today, as part of my ongoing family history research, I found a great website featuring Historic Australian Newspapers, 1803 to 1954. I don’t know how long it’s been around for, but gosh it’s fantastic, as it contains a searchable database of newspaper articles you would otherwise need to visit the State Library to see. For me, today, it’s meant that […]

Irish Famine Memorial in Sydney : the names of some of the young women who came to Australia as Assisted Immigrants are engraved in a large glass plate.
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Irish Famine Walk

I’ve just spent a few hours walking around in the company of historian, Richard Reid. Richard, who works at the National Museum in Canberra is noted for his interest in the history of the Irish in Australia. In particular, his interest in the many young women who came to Australia during or immediately after the Great Famine of the late […]

Prague Spring Anniversary
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Prague Spring Anniversary

It’s forty years today since the Soviet tanks arrived in Prague to “take control”, amidst student unrest. The uprising was supressed, many people were killed, and the Russian troops shot at the National Museum, believing it was the home to the Czech radio station which had been broadcasting anti-Russian programming. Forty years later, there was a tank outside the National […]

Sir Thomas Mitchell Reserve, The Ponds, Sydney
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The Ponds

Today, my interest in genealogy took me to Dundas Valley near Eastwood. In particular, I wanted to find out more about the land granted to my GGGGG-grandparents, John and Martha Love, who came to Australia in 1791. John Love, who was a member of the NSW Corps, was granted 30 acres of land at “The Ponds” (February 20, 1794) and […]


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