Kindly note that our Research Room will be closed from 2:00 pm on Friday 9 December; re-opening at 10:00 am on Tuesday 10 January. We wish all our members a peaceful, healthy and relaxing holiday season!

For the latest information about upcoming meetings and guest speakers, stay tuned to this page and our monthly newsletters!

General Meetings

Our General Meetings are held on the third Saturday of the month (January – November) commencing at 2 pm.

After each meeting we present our Speakers Program, with an informative guest speaker each month. Non-members are most welcome to join us.

Please see our Speakers Program below for more information on upcoming talks.

Family History Group Meetings

Please note that our Family History Group meetings are currently in recess.

Monochrome photo of timber getters, courtesy New South Wales Forestry Commission
Timber Getters, courtesy NSW Forestry Commission

Our meeting venue is Gordon Library Meeting Room No. 1, in the Old Gordon Public School, which adjoins the Gordon Library, 799 Pacific Highway, Gordon (corner Pacific Highway and Park Avenue). It’s just a 5-minute walk from Gordon Station. For a map and parking information, see our Contact page.

Upcoming Meetings & Speakers Program

Our General Meetings are held on the third Saturday of the month (January – November) commencing at 2 pm.

Saturday 21st January 2023 General Meeting
Jeff FitzGerald: Enjoying the Past through the Prism of Postcards

Our guest speaker will be Jeff FitzGerald, Vice-President of the New South Wales Postcard Collectors Society.

Jeff has been collecting historic postcards since 1982, when quite by chance he stumbled across a bundle in an antique shop in Tokyo. His extensive collection reveals our social history, consisting of ‘postcard moments in time’ depicting a wide range of aspects such as socialising, working, recreation, rural life and industry; as well as depictions of Aboriginal people and what this tells us about mainstream Australia of the time. They also contain the work of noted artists who illustrated postcards in the early 1900s, including May Gibbs, Norman Lindsay, Ida Rentoul Outhwaite and more.

Saturday 18th February 2023 General Meeting
Em. Prof. John Ramsland: Peter Finch – Australia’s Player King

Our guest speaker will be John Ramsland, OAM, FACE, Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Newcastle.

John’s latest research examines the actor’s troubled formative years at Mosman and Greenwich Point, followed by his rapid rise to fame in radio drama, on stage and in feature films, and his later career as an international star.

About John Ramsland
John was born in Manly in 1942 and educated at Manly Boys High School, Bathurst Teachers College, and the Universities of New England, Sydney and Newcastle. He is the author of many historical books, book chapters, journal articles, conference papers and press features. In 2003, he became Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Newcastle after serving there as Dean of the Faculty of Education, and later, Dean of the Faculty of Arts.

John’s latest book is Rendezvous With Death – Anzac Stories of the Great War.

Saturday 18th March 2023 General Meeting
Members’ Forum

This month will be our Members’ Forum – stay tuned for the sujet du mois

Saturday 15th April 2023 General Meeting
Denis Smith: The Mighty Sunderland Flying Boats – in War and Peace

Our guest speaker will be Denis Smith, OAM, former President of Lane Cove Historical Society.

Destined for Australia, but loaned back at the outbreak of war, they would seek and destroy U-boats in the Atlantic before a lengthy peacetime career based at Rose Bay.

In 1939, 10 Squadron went to England to collect nine brand new Sunderlands to fly them back to Australia. War broke out just as they arrived in England, so Australia loaned all nine Sunderlands and their crews to RAF Coastal Command. Denis will show actual film footage of the crew arriving in England, flying Sunderlands and sinking U-boats.

In peace time, flying boats operated from Rose Bay. A trans-Tasman service began in April 1940 which, at its peak, saw a fleet of four Sandringhams making the seven hour crossing to Auckland. Services to Lord Howe Island, Fiji and Tahiti were introduced using Sandringhams, Hythes, Solents, Sunderlands and Catalinas.

The final commercial flight from Rose Bay – an Ansett service to Lord Howe Island – left on 10th September 1974, closing a brief but important chapter in Australia’s aviation history. The site of the Rose Bay flying boat terminal is today used by a company offering joy rides in a float plane.

Saturday 20th May 2023 General Meeting
Prof. Paul Ashton: Sydney’s Planning History

Our guest speaker will be distinguished academic and public historian, Prof. Paul Ashton, author of The Accidental City: Planning Sydney since 1788.

Paul will take us from “go to woe” through more than two centuries, characterised by opportunistic development and largely failed attempts at holistic planning.

Saturday 17th June 2023 General Meeting
Dick Whitaker: The Story of Surry Hills

Our guest speaker will be KHS member, author and renowned meteorologist, Dick Whitaker.

Always a popular guest speaker, Dick returns with a tale of the changing fortunes of this early inner suburb – from colonial farms and country estates to rapid overdevelopment, followed by a lengthy slump to slum status, and then a return to desirability over the past 50 years.

About Dick Whitaker
After graduating from Monash University in Science in 1968, Dick was conscripted and served two years in the Army, ending his military career as an infantry junior officer with 5th Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment.

He joined the Bureau of Meteorology soon after and began a public service career that would last some thirty-one years. Dick left the Bureau in 2002, but never lost the “weather bug” and came out of retirement to begin his own meteorological consultancy business. He was Chief Meteorologist with Sky News Weather up until 2016 and appeared regularly on radio and television.

Dick is very interested in history and meteorological education, particularly through television, radio, and books, and has been author, co-author and consultant editor of seventeen books about the weather, including publications for Time-Life and Reader’s Digest. His latest book is From Gods to Gigabytes – A Brief History of Weather Forecasting.

Dick is an experienced lecturer and has delivered numerous presentations on history and the weather to such groups as Probus, Rotary, Libraries, U3A, bushfire brigades, historical societies, schools and business groups.

Saturday 15th July 2023 General Meeting
Phillip Simpson: Historical Guide to New South Wales

Our guest speaker will be Killara resident and retired public servant, Phillip Simpson.

Phillip has spent 31 years compiling the history of the state’s almost 10,000 settlements outside Sydney. Hear how Phillip tackled this daunting part-time undertaking, and see the impressive result.

Saturday 19th August 2023 General Meeting
Warren Fahey, OAM: Dead and Buried – Sydney’s Earliest Burial Grounds

Our guest speaker will be Warren Fahey, local legend, author and social historian.

Warren will discuss the curious history of Sydney’s three earliest cemeteries and delve into the stories of some of the famous and the infamous interred there.

Saturday 16th September 2023 General Meeting
Dr Ian Hoskins: Australia and the Pacific

Our guest speaker will be Dr Ian Hoskins, North Sydney Council Historian and an award-winning author.

In his most recent book, Ian examines a timely subject: our place in the Pacific and our relations with the myriad Pacific island nations, as well as those with larger players.

Saturday 21st October 2023 General Meeting
Dr Judith Godden: Lucy Osburn – Controversial Nursing Founder

Our guest speaker will be Dr Judith Godden, professional historian and Secretary of Ku-ring-gai Historical Society.

Judith will talk about the subject of her first book. Arriving in 1868, Lucy Osburn spent 16 tumultuous years at Sydney Hospital. Learn why she is celebrated as the founder of modern Australian nursing, although Florence Nightingale effectively disowned her.

Saturday 18th November 2023 – 60th Anniversary Dinner

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