April 2, 2015

Bathurst District Historical Society - Member's Newsletter, April-June 2015

This newsletter covers the period of Bathurst’s major celebrations during May. It is an important time to reflect on the pioneers of Bathurst and district and their struggles, frustrations, achievements and aspirations since 1815. How tough was it in those founding years of the township of Bathurst from its resurveying in 1833 and the commencement of selling blocks of land in the town.

Plans for ‘The Bathurst 200 Theo Barker Memorial Lecture’ to take place on Friday evening on 14th August, are well underway with Associate Professor Grace Karskens, University of New South Wales, Sydney, being the guest speaker. The lecture is to be held on the Bathurst campus of the University commencing at 6pm. CSU have graciously agreed to include the lecture in their Exploration Series of public lectures for 2015. The title of her talk is – ‘Life on Australia’s first frontier’.

What was it like to make a life in the early farming districts of Australia's first frontier? How did people learn about the new country, how did they make new families and communities, how did they remake old cultures? And what happened to them? In this talk Associate Professor Grace Karskens will present some of the findings from her current research on the people and environments of Castlereagh and the Nepean River in the early colonial period.

Grace is the author of a number of histories on early colonial NSW, especially dealing with early Sydney and The Rocks. Her best known book is probably “The Colony A History of Early Sydney” (2009), which won the Prime Minister’s Literary Award in 2010 for non-fiction. She is also the author of the first detailed study of Cox's Road (1988).

Last month a group from Bathurst and I attended the Australian Pioneers Proclamation Lunch at Sydney's Union University & Schools Club. The Reverend Andrew Sempell, Rector, St James Church, King Street, and former Dean of Bathurst said grace.

The Club’s President Robert Bishop and the Pioneer’s John Lanser gave us a fine welcome. Australasian Pioneers’ Club President Christopher White and the Convenor John Lanser organised the event. 

Dr Robin McLachlan was introduced by John Lanser, Convenor, who then delivered his talk – “A DELIGHTFUL SPOT” - THE PROCLAMATION OF BATHURST IN 1815 – AND BEYOND. The vote of thanks was given by Professor Emeritus David Carment, A.M., 

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