Vice President’s Report 2020

Presented at AGM 28 May 2020

I would like to open our meeting by acknowledging and paying respect to the Tasmanian Aboriginal Community as the traditional and original owners, and continuing custodians of this land on which we gather today and acknowledge the Elders – past and present.

Welcome to the 2020 AGM of the Evandale History Society.  When we met for Xmas lunch in December 2019, none of us would have guessed how much the world and our day to day lives would  change over the space of a couple of months.    But here we are today,  limited to ten members with social distancing in place – but I am pleased to say the History Society continues its important work in preserving, recording and making known to a wide audience the history of our village.

Last year was a sad year for the Society with the passing of Teecie Cruse and Carlene Daly, two very strong supporters of the Society over many years.  Since the last AGM,  a number of our members have been quite unwell.  In particular our thoughts and best wishes are with our president, Steve Baldock,  Lois Wotherspoon, Neil Louis and John Lewis and their families.

Even though our ANZAC Day service was cancelled this year due to Government restrictions due to the pandemic, I would like to thank those on the sub-committee  for their planning work in the lead up to ANZAC Day. I also wish to acknowledge and thank Stephanie Dean for cleaning the memorials and for her son Malcolm for repairing the wreath rail around the main cenotaph.  I know the cancellation of this year’s service was a disappointment to many – I sense the 2021 Service will however be very well supported.

I am pleased to report a number of  new initiatives got underway during the last 12 months.

Barry completed a number of significant research activities and with the editorial assistance of Tony produced a number of informative articles.  In examining how best to promulgate the articles it was decided we should have our own web-site.  I am pleased to say the web-site is up and running and has attracted quite favourable comment.   The website now contains 24 articles (mostly written by Barry) which are available for the wider community to read.  

Significant research was also undertaken during the last 12 months on Tasmania’s contribution to the Boer War by Adrian.  In November 2019, Tony  successfully launched his latest book and  kindly donated a copy to the Society.  Much private research was undertaken by Stephanie and of course our family history researches Lyn and Jenny worked hard throughout the year responding to requests from members of the public about their Evandale forebears.

We also saw the new glass roof in the Community Centre foyer completed towards the end of last year, utilising a grant from the Tasmanian Community Fund  as well as a contribution form the Society.  A big thank you to Laurie for his work on seeking the grant of funds and also to John Lewis for his help with the project.

During the previous 12 months we also saw the continuing threat of a large-scale, potentially inappropriate land development (Ridgeside Lane) on our doorstep. This project if approved has significant potential to adversely impact on the village’s heritage values.  The Society has not taken an active role in this important, but potentially divisive, matter, although some individual members have.  We cannot rely on the NMC to act to protect the heritage value of the village, at least in respect of this project and we will therefore need to keep a close eye on this issue during the next 12 months.

In closing I would like to thank the Committee for their hard work, especially our President Steve, Treasurer Laurie and Secretary Lyn.  

We look forward to the next 12 months being less traumatic so we can once again get back to the business of discovery, recording and promulgating the history of Evandale.

Bob Strachan

Vice President