A day in my life at the Society of Australian Genealogists

I spent most of the day today at the Society of Australian Genealogists at Richmond Villa in Kent Street Sydney. Here is my day:

10:25 am Arrived a little early, not too early, for a seminar. The seminar was given by Angela Phippen on demolished houses on the Parramatta River (or within view of it). Angela was the previous librarian at SAG and gave an excellent, well-researched talk. As always. She works for Ryde Council now, and we miss her.

11:30 am Morning tea – spoke to Ralph, the archivist, about transport to his house for 6 archive boxes of material that had been donated to SAG but is not really suitable for a genealogy society. Ralph had found a home for it and needed a lift. He lives near me and I had the car so I said yes.

Also saw Alison, IT Committee member and legendary Primary Records Indexing Project Manager, but didn’t get a chance to talk to her. Talked to a couple of members.

12:30 Lunch. Ate the sandwiches I brought from home (unusually well organised today) and watered the poor suffering climbing plants in the sandstone planter boxes on the verandah of Richmond Villa. The poor things are struggling to make the heritage building look authentic.

1:10 pm Loaded Ralph’s boxes into the car. 

1:15 pm Julie the Member Services Officer had been trying to talk to me all morning about a couple of issues, especially:

  1. The description of the seminar I’m going to give on Facebook for family historians so she can put it in the activities list for the next issue of Descent, the Society’s journal
  2. The possibility of a New Zealand Research Group and a member who wants to give a lecture but needs some support.

1:35 pm Afternoon seminar on English and Welsh Probate. I was late. Sorry Jeremy. Wrote a description for my seminar on Facebook for family historians.

2:40 pm Afternoon tea (late). Indulged myself with two chocolate biscuits and typed out my Facebook seminar description for Julie. Discussed various topics with Julie about the education program with Julie. 

3:10 pm or so Tried to unobtrusively sneak back into the seminar room for the rest of Jeremy’s Wills talk. Counted the participants – full house.

3:30 pm Collected Ralph and drove him home. Ralph is a treasure, he pointed out places of historical interest all the way home. Roads surveyed in the early 1809; river crossings; land that used to belong to early landholders; land that used to belong to ancestors of Council members; areas where current staff and Council members live. 

4:10 pm or so Delivered Ralph to his house and got a grand tour. Ralph collects bits of historical metal – tools, convict apparatus, books, kitchenware, antique beads (the beads don’t take up so much room as the other stuff). He is a natural historian. Scraped the car on his driveway.

Today was a rare day in that I didn’t do anything to the computers or visit the research library, which is a few blocks further up Kent Street. Perhaps I’ll describe one of those days another time.