Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Genealogy notes 24-26 July 2011 Not Just Ned & Tobruk 1941

We've done a lot of driving over the last few days - after the Unlock the Past history and genealogy expo in Mount Gambier we drove back to Melbourne on the Sunday for a quick change of clothes etc. I managed to finish my review of the expo and then on the Monday we drove up to Canberra. Why a visit to Canberra?

Well this is the last week of the Not Just Ned: A True History of the Irish in Australia exhibition and I have been wanting to see it but we just haven't been able to get to Canberra. Also on at the moment is the Rats of Tobruk 1941 exhibition at the Australian War Memorial, another Canberra exhibition we wanted to see.

We are both nursing head colds from Mount Gambier, so after an early night we were keen to get to the exhibitions but the day started badly. I discovered that somehow I had chipped my front tooth and despite my partner telling me no one would notice, we both knew they would. Fixing it will have to wait until we return to Melbourne.

Our second bit of bad news was a phone call telling us our beloved pet had died unexpectedly in the night and despite wanting to rush home, we knew that would not change anything. So after much tears, we went to the Irish exhibition late morning although I didn't phone my friends at the Museum as I felt I just couldn't talk to anyone at present. We will make another longer visit to Canberra and catch up with friends then.

Anyway the Not Just Ned exhibition at the National Museum of Australia is really spectacular and it is amazing to see what they have brought together for the exhibition which takes at least two hours to walk around. At the end there is a room where you can look at books and computers to trace your own Irish ancestry. Members of the Heraldry & Genealogy Society of Canberra volunteer there on Friday afternoons. I bought the catalogue so I could read more at leisure. Finally there are very useful Irish family history tips on the NMA website.

After that we drove over to the Australian War Memorial and visited the Rats of Tobruk 1941 exhibition, another very worth while exhibition. My uncle was at Tobruk and my partner's father was too so there was a personal interest for both of us. After that we toured the WW2 area of the AWM and managed to also see the light and sound show Striking in the Dark, based around the bombing of Berlin. There are excellent family history resources on the AWM's website and I couldn't resist temptation in the AWM Shop buying Peter Fitzsimon's book Tobruk.

Having seen both exhibitions I now have a list of things I want to follow up on my own Irish and military ancestors - genealogy really is a never ending story!

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