City of Sydney Historical Association
COSHA
 
Past Events

  NOVEMBER 2017 OCTOBER 2017
  SATURDAY 11th November SATURDAY 14th October

 

"What Sydney might have been: the city that could have been....." "Law and Order in Sydney 1788-1800" and Annual General Meeting
 
 

There were many dreams in early colonial Sydney for a world standard city and many ambitious plans were made by the Governors and architects of the time, only to be dashed by interference from the old Country and the representatives who arrived out here. Ken Hall spoke about the buildings roads and other structures that might have been.  

 

Held in the Treasury Rooms at Sydney Town Hall, Historian Cathy Dunn reviewed some of the cases brought before the Court and Magistrate's Bench in Sydney, their outcomes and punishments. Matters include theft, drinking, rape, escape and debts. Colonial sentences consisted of lashes, executions, transportations to Norfolk Island and others.
     
SEPTEMBER 2017 AUGUST 2017 JULY 2017
SATURDAY 9th September SATURDAY 12th August SATURDAY 8th July
JOHN MACARTHUR - "Visionary or Villain" SYDNEY CEMETERIES - A Field Guide ST PHILIPS - CHURCH HILL 3 York Street

 

 

Macarthur is remembered by most people for laying the foundations of the great Australian wool industry. In fact he spent so much time away from home fighting Governors and facing a court martial in England, his practical achievements owe a very great deal to the persistence and loyalty of his wife and sons. He was a complex character. Some saw him as scheming and devious with disdain for any official who dared to thwart his ambitions. Others saw him as a brilliant publicist and organiser who did much to focus and promote attention to the potential of the colony. Patrick Dodd is a volunteer guide at the State library of NSW, the Australian Maritime Museum and HM Bark Endeavour.

It might seem like a strange thing to do but City of Sydney Historian Dr Lisa Murray compares a visit to a cemetery to visiting a sculpture park or museum and encourages everyone to visit cemetaries like they visit their local park. Lisa talked about her new book and told us some of the strange and interesting stories of many of Sydney's cemeteries and the people buried there. The ultimate handbook - from crowded inner-city plots to spacious burial grounds in semi-rural spots. Cemeteries are not simply places for the dead - they are designed for the living.

 

COSHA members had a conducted tour of one of Sydney’s earliest churches, the original church was built by orders of the colony's first chaplain, the Reverend Richard Johnson, using convict labour in June 1793. The wattle and daub construction church was later burnt down by convicts in 1798. The current church is the second church building on Church Hill, and was designed by Edmund Blacket. It was built 1848-56. The Church contains interesting objects from the First Fleet onwards.

     
JUNE 2017 MAY 2017 APRIL 2017
SATURDAY 10th June SATURDAY 13th MAY THURSDAY 20th APRIL
"TALL TALES - STRANGER THAN FICTION" Interpreting the Great Strike at Eveleigh Workshops in 1917

BOOK LAUNCH: THE CONVICT LOTTERY by Peter Edwards

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phillip Black, Beryl Davis and Robert Hutchinson with their strange and probably true stories.

There was Q & A session after the speakers presented which was both entertaining and provoking.

Eveleigh Railway Workshops was a centre for one of Australia’s largest industrial conflicts in the early 20th century. Known as the Great Strike it is a great example of the voice of the people making sure that their voice is heard. The Great Strike began on 2nd August 1917 when the employees at Eveleigh and Randwick Tram Workshops downed tools in protest against new working conditions imposed during a time of war.
Laila Ellmoos told us about these troubled times and how these stories are being retold in photographs and other media at a special centenary exhibition at Carriageworks during July and August.

Peter Edwards is a member of Royal Australian Historical Society (RAHS) and also one of the earliest members of City of Sydney Historical Association. He was a committee member for several years, only resigning when he needed more time to finish his book. After many years of research, Peter Edwards has completed his book, The Convict Lottery.

The books has been reviewed by Christine Yeats, Senior Vice President of RAHS and a book note has been published in the March edition of the History magazine.

     
APRIL 2017 MARCH 2017 FEBRUARY 2017
SATURDAY 8th APRIL   SATURDAY 11th FEBRUARY
Frank Hurley: The Man Who Made History A Very Rude Awakening RUSSELL WORKMAN: IMAGES OF SYDNEY: 1960's.
Sydney photographer Frank Hurley captured the first images of Antarctic heroes, World Wars, phenomenal landscapes and mysterious natives in far away jungles, seizing the imagination of all who saw them.
His granddaughter Toni Hurley will tell us about the man regarded as a fearless explorer, master story-teller and creator of some of the most enduring and extraordinary images of the twentieth century.

This year will mark the 75th anniversary of  the Japanese midget submarine raid on Sydney.  Three midget submarines crept into Sydney Harbour on 31 May 1942, determined to sink the American cruiser USS Chicago. However they didn’t get very far. This is a true but farcical story of what happened to the submarines, and worse, how we –the Australians and Americans- handled the situation.

It is the most amazing narrative of our closest brush with invasion .

Presented by Peter Grose, who is a former journalist, literary agent and publisher and has written several acclaimed books. 

Russell Workman is a professional photographer who worked at both the Nicholson Museum and the Department of Archaeology at the University for many years specialising in the photography of artefacts. He has taught TAFE courses but today he concentrates on heritage photography projects. This will be a brand new exhibition of Sydney heritage photography.
     
JANUARY 2017 DECEMBER 2016 NOVEMBER 2016
SATURDAY 14 JANUARY SATURDAY 10 DECEMBER 201 SATURDAY 12 NOVEMBER 2016
Hitler’s lost Spy Governor Phillip: Sailor Mercenary, Governor Spy HILARY BELL: THE HISTORY OF SYDNEY IN VERSE:
THE MARVELLOUS FUNAMBULIST OF MIDDLE HARBOUR AND OTHER SYDNEY FIRSTS

This is the remarkable story of the Swiss born Nazi spy, Annette Wagner who arrived in Sydney in March 1938 and departed Australia in February 1940.
Less than 4 months after arriving in Australia in 1938, she acquired espionage’s greatest communication asset — broadcasting her own programs on public radio to nationwide audiences — a secure channel for transmitting coded messages.
Overlooked in the National Archives for nearly seventy years, the story of the broadcasting spy may now be told. 
This is not just an academic study. Greg Clancy’s uncle knew Wagner and flew her to Newcastle, unaware she was taking aerial photographs of the city’s its steel works during the flight. 

 

 

 

Presented by Michael Pembroke - writer, naturalist and judge of the Supreme Court of NSW

Having selected Botany Bay as the replacement for their former North American colonies and as the place to transport prisoners from Britain’s overcrowded gaols, they adopted a new enlightened attitude which would see New South Wales offer their convict population the opportunity to redeem themselves and become model settlers in a new land. In choosing Arthur Phillip to help plan and implement this new policy, history shows us that the British Government chose the right man.

Not only did he successfully lead the biggest and longest fleet transporting convicts through largely uncharted waters ever attempted to that time, but he did so with minimal loss of life due to his policies and practices to protect all concerned from the diseases normally endemic on long sea voyages.

This is a beautifully crafted and entertaining history of unexpected ‘firsts’ that have happened in Sydney. From the first use of ether by a dental surgeon, to Quong Tart’s first tea rooms, the book explores a number of people, places and events that have shaped our city today.

Written in witty short rhymes, we also learnt about the first pistol duel in 1788, the first cemetery in 1792 and the first traffic light in 1933. Towards the end there is a ‘second helpings’ section which elaborates more information on the stories explored in the book.

Hilary Bell is an Australian writer of stage, fiction, radio, screen, and theatre. Bell is a graduate of NIDA, the Australian Film Television and Radio School, and the Juilliard Playwrights’ Studio. She writes in many different areas including stage, fiction, radio, screen, and theatre.

OCTOBER 2016 SEPTEMBER 2016 AUGUST 2016
SATURDAY October 8th SATURDAY 10th September SATURDAY 13th August
COSHA ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

‘MINDING HER OWN BUSINESS: COLONIAL BUSINESSWOMEN IN SYDNEY

A talk by Dr Catherine Bishop, Research Officer, Dean's Unit - School of Humanities & Comm Arts at the University of Western Sydney.

THE WRECKS OF HOMEBUSH BAY

‘ CHASING THE FOX: SLY-GROG IN 1930S ERSKINEVILLE & ALEXANDRIA.

A TALK BY CITY OF SYDNEY HISTORIAN DR LISA MURRAY

 

 

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The razor gangs of Surry Hills and their female figureheads – Kate Leigh and Tilley Devine – have gained notoriety in 21st century popular culture as the epitome of Sydney’s organised crime. But local crims in Erskineville and Alexandria were equally notorious and violent. City Historian Lisa Murray shared some of her latest research on gambling, sly-grog and crime in the suburbs of Erskineville and Alexandria, drawing up the City’s oral history collection.

 

 

 

 

 

There are few memorials to colonial businesswomen, but if you know where to look you can find many traces of their presence as you wander the streets of Sydney. From milliners anddressmakers to ironmongers and booksellers; from publicans and boarding-house keepers to butchers and taxidermists; from school teachers to ginger-beer manufacturers: these women have been hidden in the historical record but were visible to their contemporaries.
Catherine Bishop brought the stories of these entrepreneurial women to life, with fascinating details of their successes and failures, their determination and wilfulness, their achievements, their tragedies and the occasional juicy scandal. Until now we have imagined colonial women indoors as wives, and mothers, domestic servants or prostitutes.Her book sets them firmly out in the open.

Most Sydneysiders have no idea we have our very own ship’s graveyard in Homebush Bay. They were all abandoned at the end of their useful lives mostly in the 1970s and now adorn the landscape at what is now Wentworth Point. These wrecks are also a photographer’s dream come true. As well as the old ships there, many items of maritime structures still are clinging on the shoreline.

COSHA Committee Member Betty Candy heard about these wrecks and, with a camera, decided to investigate.

 

     
JULY 2016 JUNE 2016 MAY 2016
SATURDAY 9th JULY SATURDAY 11th JUNE SATURDAY 14th MAY
GUIDED TOUR OF ROYAL BOTANICAL GARDENS

DICK WHITAKER TALKED ABOUT

“GREAT SYDNEY STORMS OF THE PAST”

COSHA’S CONTRIBUTION TO THE NATIONAL TRUST HERITAGE FESTIVAL
“ LAWRENCE HARGRAVE: FATHER OF INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT”

 

To celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Botanical Gardens COSHA arranged a guided tour for members and friends.
The Botanic Gardens were founded on this site by Governor Macquarie in 1816 as part of the Governor's Domain. Australia's long history of collection and study of plants began with the appointment of the first Colonial Botanist, Charles Fraser, in 1817. The Botanic Gardens is thus the oldest scientific institution in Australia and from the earliest days, has played a major role in the acclimatisation of plants from other regions

Hail Storm Rose Bay 1942

One of televisions well known weathermen and enthusiastic historians Dick Whitaker wasable to draw on records of how the Sydney weather can become violent.

Major storms are not new to the east coast of Australia and the location of Sydney has placed it in the path of many of these displays of the destructive power of nature.

From 1893, Lawrence Hargrave began investigations that led him to his second great invention of the box kite construction that lifted him from the beach at Stanwell Park, attached to the ground by piano wire. Much of the progress that led to manned flying machines can be traced to that event.
Michael Adams from the Lawrence Hargrave Society at Stanwell Park told his story
     
APRIL 2016 MARCH 2016 FEBRUARY 2016
SATURDAY 9th APRIL SATURDAY 12th MARCH SATURDAY 6th FEBRUARY
‘The GOVERNOR'S TRAVELS’ ‘The Refloating of the Endeavour from the Barrier Reef’ ‘The Anzac Brand, Battlefield innovations and the Engineers War’

 

 

 
Governor Lachlan Macquarie was a major sponsor of exploration of the colony. After Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson's successful crossing of the Blue Mountains he ordered the establishment of Bathurst, Australia's first inland city. As the colony opened its horizons, Macquarie toured many of the new settlements with his wife Elizabeth.
Our speaker, Patrick Dodd has five decades of experience in education, training, public relations and tourism. Patrick is now busier than ever as a Volunteer Guide at the Australian National Maritime Museum on HM Bark Endeavour and a Volunteer Guide at the State Library of NSW.

HMS Endeavour of the coast of New Holland, by Samuel Atkins c.1794
Far from help in 1770 and with the potential to destroy Cook’s and Banks’ voyage of discovery, the refloating and repair of the bark Endeavour was not only superb piece of seamanship but also a most significant event for the history of the settlement Australia by the British.
Drawing on the ship’s log, Cook’s journal and accounts from officers and scientists on board as well as the observations of modern historians, Researcher Carolyn Davey revealed the remarkable skill and courage the crew showed as they refloated their ship off the sharp coral.

 
     
JANUARY 2016    
SATURDAY 9th JANUARY    
Retired Police Inspector Don Eyb spoke about a Sydney favourite
‘ The Police Horses of Sydney’ .
   
   
The Police Horses of Sydney, little known to be the oldest continuous Mounted Police Unit in the world- their history, preparation and duties .They used to be on every busy city corner and today are still seen about a myriad of duties, usually at busy events when the crowds are most dense. They were also privileged to appear at the Queens Diamond Jubilee in 2012 with horse from her Household cavalry