Like last year, 2021-2022 was influenced by the threat of Covid and actual illnesses suffered by members. Meeting attendance was therefore somewhat reduced over the year. It also meant that planning activities such as site visits were put on hold.
During this year, several of our members experienced and some are still experiencing significant health issues. Our thoughts go out to these people, and we all hope that they have better times ahead.
I would like to take some time to thank all our members for their ongoing efforts to record, report, and maintain the history of the greater Evandale area. In particular, I want to thank those members with designated roles within the Society for their ongoing efforts.
Laurie, our Treasurer, like he has for many years, worked hard for the Society and it was not just doing the books. He does so many things for the Society.
Lyn and Jenny undertook numerous family history research projects arising from client enquiries. Lyn, as ever, was a powerhouse but I want to single out Jenny who took on a greater role while Lyn was caring for Neil. Apart from adding to the knowledge of the those requesting the information, these efforts also added to our history records.
I would like to thank Ana, Lea, Sue and Rod for their work on the Society’s collection of information and artefacts. Many of our documents have been scanned thus further enhancing the security and longevity of our collection.
Bob’s work as Secretary is much appreciated. A lot of work goes into doing the minutes and meeting agenda, but he also maintains our web site and organises ANZAC Day.
I should also put on record all the fabulous and tireless research carried out by Stephanie. She is always bringing interesting information and knowledge to our meetings.
ANZAC Day Services
The ANZAC Day Memorial Services were organised again this year by Vice President and Secretary Bob and a small group of helpers. They were well attended, solemn and moving. This year, the dawn service included a bagpiper playing a lament while the names of the fallen from Evandale since the Boer War were read out.
Both the Dawn and 11:00am services noted that 2022 marked the 100th anniversary of the unveiling of Evandale’s Memorial to the fallen from World War 1.
The people of Evandale are rightly proud of how their Village pays tribute to those that sacrificed for the Nation.
Boer War Names for Memorial
Kim undertook research into district men and women who had enlisted for the Boer War. There are about 20 names of soldiers who were born in the Evandale district, lived in Evandale at the time of their enlistment or had a significant link to the town. The Society will consult the community before finalising a roll and then have a Roll of Honour board made for the Memorial Hall – something that might be funded by a grant from the Federal Government.
Work commenced on a replacement memorial at the Kennedy Murray Vault in Pioneer Park. Laurie obtained a quote for a stone plinth and a plaque and put in a concrete pad to hold them. We will soon place the order for the plinth and plaque which will be paid for with Murray Trust funds.
Musical Instruments that belonged to an Evandale Band where loaned to Lake Leather for display in the shop.
Books donated by the former occupants of Clairville were sitting in the storeroom. Chris had researched their value and Sally had consulted a book dealer. But in the end, the books were given to the new owners of Clairville – they simply returned home; much to the delight of the new owners who provided a $50 donation.
2022 Evandale Calendar
The Community and Information centre produced a calendar featuring historic photos of Evandale that were provided by the Evandale History Society. Finding suitable photos was undertaken by volunteers, Anna and Lea and words about the history displayed in the photos were provided by Stephanie and myself. The Community and Information Centre report that the calendar was very successful.
Evandale History Phone Application
Initial conversations with Northern Midlands Council revealed that a similar GPS activated App for Ross and Richmond cost $70K. I have started writing stories and determining places within the Village which could be possible App activation sites. Work is continuing and we may be able to do a possibly cheaper alternative using QR codes.
A Murray Medal was again presented to a pupil from Evandale School by the Society.
Following the NMC’s decision that members of the Society would not be considered Council volunteers and therefore not covered by Council’s insurance, the Society joined the Royal Victorian History Society and was able to take up a significantly discounted insurance policy through that organisation.
100 Anniversary of the RAAF – display at Evandale
Neil and Lyn coordinated with artist Barry Smith to have his display of WWII aircraft sculptures exhibited in Evandale.
Culture, Heritage and Arts Regional Tourism (CHART) program
The Society was successful in obtaining a grant for $3300 to buy a new scanner/printer, computer and software to aid in the digitisation of the Society’s paper records.
Thomas Fall Photo
The Society purchased a photo of prominent early Evandale resident, Thomas Fall on Ebay for £32 pounds.
Kennedy Murray family reunion
A family reunion was held in Longford and Evandale for descendants of Kennedy Murray Snr in April. Stephanie and I aided this event. Between us, we spoke at Longford and conducted tours of the churches, history rooms, the Kennedy Murray vault site (Anglican Church) and Fallgrove.
You Tube History Videos
Maria and I donated a TV and Chromecast device to allow You Tube videos about Tasmanian History to be viewed after meetings.
Talk to Primary School
Laurie gave talks to Evandale Primary School about military medals. He took the (replica) Murray medals to the school to enhance their learning experience.
‘The Evandale March’ is a piece of music that the Evandale School was seeking. Laurie was on the job, but it was Kim who located a copy of the sheet music on-line. The ‘Evandale March’ is by Alex Lithgow and arranged for Brass Band by Joe Cook. We look forward to it being played, perhaps in a future ANZAC Day Service.
There were many other interesting matters that members researched or discussed. This report should not be too long so my apologies if I have missed somethings that should have been reported.
In closing, I would like to report that members of the Society have voted to award to new Life Memberships to Lyn and Neil. Lyn for her work on the committee, her research and countless other things over many years. Likewise, her husband Neil has been a tireless worker for the Society and his efforts on military history and particular, the 7th Elementary Flight Training School at Western Junction and the event to commemorate this school are very well regarded.