Annual Report for 2002
The President's Annual Report for 2002
Hobart Town (1804) First Settlers Association Inc
I have much pleasure in presenting the Annual Report for the year 2002.
The interest in the Association has been very strong throughout the year, with a growing interest in the history of Hobart and the surrounding areas, as the Bicentenary draws near. There has been keen interest in recording the social history by members of long standing, not only by individuals, family groups as well. This has led to other family members joining the Association, as the Bicentenary draws near. Our membership is now over 200, and increasing steadily. In 1992 the Sesquicentenary of Hobart, there were only 58 members, and we had little knowledge who to invite to our 'Picnic in the Park'. Richard Lord suggested we should start to look for those we would want to invite to the Bicentenary. Eleven of those twelve years have gone past, and we can now say we know very well who to invite. Many interstate and overseas members intend to be in Hobart for the Bicentenary.
Attendance at both morning and evening meetings has been very consistent, between twenty and twenty-five members, with a wide range of speakers contributing to these. The December meeting was again followed by a Christmas Luncheon, making a very enjoyable ending to a very successful year. The invitation to attend a barbeque later in the month, from Fay and Bill Griffiths, was also very well received, and allowed time for a social gathering of members and friends. The development of strong friendships has been very interesting, some of them through family ties, others through common interest, especially to an area. The dependency of 'communities', brought to the fore, for today, as it was in the earliest years of settlement here.
The Association is unique in many ways, for there must be few cities and nearby municipalities who know who the families were who settled the areas. The fact that 90% of the members are outside of Hobart makes the organisation of the Association difficult, and reliant on the 10% of local members. The contact with interstate and overseas members is not only important but again builds up friendships, and an understanding of how far the families have gone, and the contributions made to other communities. Email the latest way of keeping in touch. My sincere thanks to all members of the Committee, especially the Secretary, Treasurer and Vice President, for their support and commitment.
As it has been since the founding of the Association, the Floral Tribute was not only the most important event for the year, also the most public. Again most successful, though the day in 2002, was very warm indeed, with high humidity. Over a number of years now, effort has been made to have representatives of as many community groups as possible. The response to this has been excellent. It is hard to realise that the original twelve years has almost passed, and the next Floral Tribute will acknowledge the Bicentenary.
The year 2002 has been a year of making certain the plans are in place for the Bicentenary. It has been gratifying to note that the work undertaken over the last eleven years has been so worthwhile, and little change has been made to the original suggestions. The delay in receiving permission to go ahead with the placing of the names on the Memorial perhaps the only concern. Permission has now been received, however the time to raise the funds required has been very severely reduced. Grants from both the State Government and the Hobart City Council are becoming available, but there is no certainty of receiving help.
Bookings for the Bicentenary Dinner are coming in very strongly, and there is no doubt that there will be few spare places, if any. Contributions to the book, as suggested by the Lord Mayor and Heritage Officer, are also coming in very well, and there seems no doubt that this publication will be a very worthwhile project for the Bicentenary. It will give the descendants of those who came in the earliest years an opportunity to tell their stories.
In all respects, 2002 was a most successful year, and it is hard to imagine that the Bicentenary is so close.
Freda Gray OAM
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