The New South Wales FHS held its 2014 AGM on 24 March at the headquarters of the Royal Australian Historical Society, History House, in Macquarie Street, Sydney, electing a strong new committee, appointing the previous Chairman, Clive Lucas, as Chairman Emeritus and conferring Life Membership on the long-serving former Treasurer, Alan Perry.
I reported that it had been a challenging year for the Society in NSW. I thanked the Victorian FHS for undertaking to produce the Society’s newsletter and congratulated them on a very impressive first edition.
I said the NSW Society had found solutions for some but not all of its problems and had a major task ahead in continuing to rebuild. Thanking all members for their contributions, I added that I looked forward to their continued support for the Society.
The AGM was followed by a lecture on the furniture of Dumfries House by Mike and Penny Williams.
Mike and Penny recently visited Scotland and a highlight of their trip was a visit to Dumfries House in Ayrshire, which contains the original 18th century furniture made specifically for the house.
When the contents were slated for auction in 2007, a massive campaign to save the house and contents was mounted in the UK. Still short of the target by some millions of pounds, the campaign seemed doomed until Prince Charles, at the last moment, loaned the outstanding amount from his trust fund.
The house and contents has undergone painstaking renovation and is now open to the public for guided tours.
The lecture included a brief history of the house and slides of much of the breathtaking furniture by Chippendale and the leading Scottish furniture makers of the day. One of four Chippendale chairs from the gallery is pictured above.
I was re-elected as Chairman, Dr Zeny Edwards was elected as Vice-Chairman and Jane Vernon re-elected as Membership Secretary.
Other committee members are: Ronan Sulich, Ann Toy, Robert Griffin, Peter Towson and Ian Stephenson.