The biennial Convention of all the Australasian Branches was held at the International on the Water Hotel, Ascot, Perth, Western Australia over the weekend of 13th to 15th October 2017.
The Conventions allow Ricardians from “Down Under” to gather and enjoy fellowship and scholarship in convivial surroundings. Commencing with Registration on the Friday evening, 35 Ricardians joined together over drinks and finger food and renewed old friendships .Saturday comprised the presentation of several papers on a Ricardian theme sadly hampered at times by the lack of adequate audio/visual equipment, none the less speakers’ topics were interesting and varied and included a humorous report on the Twitter exchanges between Richard and his followers over the past year. The highlight of the Convention, the MEDIEVAL BANQUET followed that evening. The Banquet,a colourful affair, saw participants dressed in full costume enjoying top quality food and wine. Diners were entertained by a professional Jester in full costume who ensured the proceedings flowed smoothly and in good humour.
Further papers were presented on the Sunday morning together with a formal business session when participants had the opportunity to discuss Society developments as reported by Society Vice President, Rob Smith. Announcing the award of the 2017 “Robert Hamblin” Awards to Margaret Collings of South Australia and NZ Branch founder and long time Editor, Margaret Manning; Rob reported that the Society Executive had been faced with two outstanding nominations, and having been unable to decide between the nominees, had decided to make two awards this year. The Meeting received the news with loud acclaim. at the recognition of two Australasian recipients selected from the entire Society membership, world wide.
As the proceedings neared conclusion, the WA Branch organisers were thanked for their efforts in ensuring a most enjoyable get together and before the Convention closed for lunch it was announced that the next Convention in 2019 will be held in Melbourne.
The Branch has a new venue for the Hutt meetings. Deirdre Drysdale has introduced us to “the Sanctuary”, 88, Richmond Street, Off Udy Street, Petone.
Access and limited car parking is down the driveway at the side of the property. Deirdre and the search team report the facility is ideal, cost effective and we don’t have to share!
The 2015 Convention held at the Angus Inn, Lower Hutt on Labour Weekend was an undoubted success. 44 delegates, 22 from Australia, gathered at the Angus on Friday night for registration prior to the official welcome and opening by Chair, Deirdre Drysdale. Branch Secretary, Rob Smith, read messages from the Society Chairman, Phil Stone together with others from far a field. Deirdre presided over the traditional candle lighting ceremony before those present settled in to socialise well into the evening.
Saturday comprised a full day of interesting presentations on a variety of topics interspersed with more light-hearted skits and readings. The evening glittered with Ricardians gathering for bubbles and nibbles prior to the traditional Medieval Banquet
Sunday morning continued the presentations before Rob Smith, as a Society Vice President, conducted the customary business session. Lunch then followed before the Chair farewelled everyone but not before Victoria Branch Chairman, Michael Iliffe, offered the thanks of all assembled to the organisers for what was he described as one of the most enjoyable and successful conventions yet held.
The next Convention will be held on 13th to 15th October 2017 in Perth. Start saving!
A year has passed since we re-interred Richard with dignity and honour. Those fortunate to attend will never forget such a once in a life time experience.
But the work of the Society goes on, the usual knockers still seem blind to the obvious and we must continue to refute those who seek to besmirch Richard’s reputation.
LAST MEETINGS.3rd June
The June meeting featured a tribute to the late John Ashdown-Hill. John a renowned historian,researcher and Ricardian John, the author of several historical research papers and biographies, came to the fore in 2012 when, along with fellow Ricardian, Philippa Langley, identified Richard’s burial site in the now famed Car Park! Recognition was also given to his role 10 years ago as Branch and Group Liaison Officer when he was a staunch advocate for the Branches and rank and file membership.
The meeting enjoyed three “Scrabble Talk” presentations .letter A on the alleged murders by Richard, Y a paper on Henry Yevele, a 14th Century architect and builder and finally S the history of side-saddle riding through the ages. An unexpected but entertaining topic!
Kapiti Group 1st July in Waikanae, will feature discussion on the role of historical fiction and the Branch Meeting in Petone on 5th August will feature a talk on Eleanor of Aquitaine.
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