A Feast to whet your appetite.

Yes, I know I should have been doing school work or possibly something for the family history group, but yesterday I took leave of my responsibilities (but not my senses) and took myself to the Family History Feast at the State Library of Victoria.

Congratulations to the State Library of Victoria, the Public Record Office Victoria, the National Archives of Australia Victorian Office and the Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages – it was a great day!

I was terribly impressed with the black cotton carry bag from the National Archives and the 2 gb usb drive from the Public Record Office with the day’s presentations loaded onto it so we didn’t have to take notes.  We also got a nice little ruler bookmark from VAFHO (Victorian Association of Family History Organisations) and a ruler/magnifying screen from the National Archives, all very handy items indeed, plus a few other bits and pieces.

The day was dedicated to the memory of Don Grant and heartfelt and moving tributes were given by Shane Carmody (State Library of Vic), Patricia Eade (AIGS) and Jenny Harkness, President of VAFHO which were accompanied by a slideshow of various moments in Don Grant’s life, it was a fitting tribute to such a genealogical identity. Don’s wife and daughter were present and must have been very proud indeed.

The speakers were excellent, Hazel Edwards spoke about Writing a non boring family history and then we were given a demonstration of the Early Church Records DVD from VicHeritage. Just like the Victorian Marine Index, the Early Church Records will have the certificate images on the database to view. We will just have to get this DVD as soon as it’s released, hopefully, that will be this year. During the last item on the agenda before lunch we got an insight into Koorie records in Victoria and although I don’t think I’ve got any aboriginal heritage to discover, it was an interesting presentation, none the less.

After lunch we delved into some genealogical gems in the State Library’s collection with Katie Flack who did a wonderful job in opening up our eyes to things we might not be looking at but should be and then the final item on the agenda was the Don Grant Lecture, given by Dr Andrew Lemon, President of the Royal Historical Society of Victoria. I was worried that it might be boring, but it was both entertaining and enlightening and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

It was a shame to see quite a few empty seats when the event was supposed to be booked out. The Village Roadshow Theatrette has just been refurbished and looks tremendous. I am looking forward to next year – pehaps we should think of organising an Away Day for next year’s Family History Feast.


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