Monday, 30 May 2011

New in the RHSV Bookshop

There are quite a few new titles in the RHSV bookshop, and Sport and Racing in Colonial Melbourne, by Gillian Hibbins, is the latest. It was published in 2007, and reviewed by our then future President of the RHSV, Dr Andrew Lemon, in the Victorian Historical Journal Vol 80 (1), June 2009.

Dr Lemon said that, "As a way of understanding the subtleties and complexity of Melbourne life in this period, and the legacy of these years for the city's later character, this multi-layered book deserves to be placed in high company indeed - with, for example, Paul de Serville's Pounds and Pedigrees, and Geoffrey Serle's The Rush to be Rich. It is totally different from these in approach and style, but as astute in its observations, as thoroughly researched, thought-provoking and rewarding."

The book is available for $59.95, plus post and packaging.

For the full list of available titles, see:

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Awards of Merit presented at farewell

Align CenterPhoto: John Rose.
Two members of the RHSV were presented with Awards of Merit by RHSV President, Dr Andrew Lemon, at a small luncheon held in their honour at the RHSV headquarters yesterday. On the left is Vicki Court, who was both a staff member and volunteer at the RHSV, and on the right is David Oldfield. Both were recognised for their meritorious service to the RHSV. Vicki is retiring from her position at the RHSV, but will continue working part-time as a librarian, and David and his wife have had a tree-change. We give them our best wishes and thanks for their dedicated work over a long period.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Fellowships and Awards of Merit announced at the AGM

Last night at the RHSV Annual General Meeting, RHSV President Dr Andrew Lemon, FRHSV announced the appointment of two new Fellows of the RHSV. Dr Lemon (right) is pictured here with one of the new Fellows, Richard Barnden, on the left.

Allan Willingham was the other appointee.

Fellows of the RHSV have given 'conspicuous service to the Association or one or more of its Member Societies, and to history'.

In addition to the two Fellows, seven Awards of Merit were given in recognition of 'meritorious service to a Member Society of the RHSV or the RHSV. The service should be exceptional and go beyond the routine holding of office'.

Congratulations to the following people who were given an Award of Merit:

Vicki Court, RHSV
Wesley Callandar, RHSV
Di Foster, Malvern HS
David Oldfield, RHSV
Michael Moore, RHSV
Diana Phoenix, RHSV
Wemyss Struss, Stratford HS

Lists of previous Fellows of the RHSV, and of persons who received an Award of Merit can be found in a link on the the top of this page of the RHSV website here.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

New in the RHSV Bookshop

New in the RHSV Bookshop this week: The Nelson's Sixty-Fours by Dr Bob Marmion and Marilyn Townsend.

An intriguing tale. How a Bendigo archaeological dig recovered an important part of early Victoria’s naval heritage.

Available for $20 plus $6.00 postage.

Water Dreamers

When: Tuesday 10 May 5.15pm tea/coffee; 5.45pm – 6.45pm lecture.

Where: Royal Historical Society of Victoria, 239 A’Beckett Street, Melbourne

Cost: $5.50 non members; free for members

Bookings: t: (03) 9326 9288 e:

Victorians are invited to join writer, university lecturer and broadcaster, Dr Michael Cathcart, as he explores water and its role in how we live and think in Australia.

To be held on Tuesday 10 May at 5.45pm, Dr Cathcart’s talk, “The Water Dreamers”, will concentrate of the dreams of the irrigators and engineers who rose to prominence at the end of the nineteenth-century.

“These irrigators and engineers rejected the melancholy cast of Australian nationalism and advocated a vision of Australia which was optimistic, expansionist and placed its faith in the transformative power of hydro engineering,” said Dr Cathcart.

“This vision was conveyed in the extraordinary books known to scholars as ‘The Lemurian novels’.

“Closely modelled on “King Solomon’ Mines” and “She”, these books told stories about lost civilisations which had survived in the deserts of Australia – thanks to brilliant and ancient hydro-engineering.

“By imagining an irrigated past for the continent, the stories demonstrated the possibility for an even more glorious irrigated future.

“Today, the political and environmental crisis in the Murray Darling Basin turns a spotlight on the role of hydro-engineering.

“The heroic dreams of the Victorian engineers still have their champions, but as we try to develop a productive relationship between engineering and environment, we need to find new paradigms.

“One such paradigm is to treat water as a commercial commodity.

“In our discussion I will argue that this market approach is more likely to compound our problems than to rectify them.”

Dr Michael Cathcart is well-known to historians for his abridgement of Manning Clark’s A History of Australia. He is better known in rural Australia as the host of Bush Telegraph on ABC Radio National. In 2010, his book The Water Dreamers won the Colin Roderick Prize for best Australian book and was short-listed for the Prime Minister’s Prize. Michael is currently working on 3-part documentary series for ABC TV called Australia on Trial.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Available in RHSV Bookshop

The Riddle of Father Hackett is not only an engrossing account of an interesting life, but also a history of the times in which the subject lived, both in Ireland and Australia. It is a book that will grip all those who have Irish connections and, further, all those who are interested in the history of the Australian Catholic. National Library of Australia, 2010

"Brenda Niall, one of Australia's best biographers, has written a highly readable and surprising life of William Hackett (1878–1954), the Jesuit priest who was pressured out of Ireland to Australia in 1922 for his involvement with republican armed forces during the Civil War". (Val Noone, Eureka Street)

See the rest of the review here.

Available for $39.95 plus $7.50 postage.