Thursday, 18 April 2013

Genealogy notes 14-19 April 2013 Immigration anniversaries

This post on Diary is coming live from Maryborough Queensland where I am currently staying onsite at the Ulysses AGM 2013. Regular readers will know that Max is the motorbike enthusiast not me but while he is out riding, I can usually be found doing genealogy! This is my first full time AGM mainly because it was also an opportunity to visit the area where my Norwegian gg grandparents lived when they first arrived in Queensland.

While chatting to my long time friend Kay at the Maryborough Family Heritage Research Institute, she reminded me that 2013 is the 140th anniversary of the arrival of the Humboldt into Maryborough carrying my Norwegian ancestors Anders and Aase Gunderson. Sadly their two children died on the voyage out and we can only imagine their grief and their confusion arriving in Queensland, a land very different from where they came from in Norway.

The Humboldt wasn't the only ship arriving in 1873 and to celebrate their 140th anniversaries plus the 150th anniversaries of the ships arriving in Maryborough in 1863, the Institute is organising a cruise on the catamaran Spirit of Hervey Bay (normally does whale watching tours during Jul-Nov) down the Mary River followed by dinner at the Hervey Bay Boat Club at Urangan and a bus trip back to Maryborough! It's on Saturday 1 June and we simply couldn't resist this commemorative event so we have booked two seats and will travel back up this way in late May. Descendants from the various ships are being encouraged to send in family trees for display on the day so I need to get onto that when I get back home next week. Anyone interested should contact the Institute.

The weather has been absolutely perfect here and we visited the Maryborough Heritage Markets on Thursday and witnessed the discharge of the cannon at 1pm (a regular event). Only this time there were hundreds if not thousands of Ulysses members also checking out the markets and Maryborough's various heritage sites. There was even a competition for the best themed Ulysses shop front window which were good to see and most places were offering discounts to members as well.

Max even made it into the local Fraser Coast Chronicle after he test rode one of the latest Honda Gold Wing motorbikes. He was so excited we bought 3 copies of the paper and ordered the photo from the newspaper! It will look good in his family history.

There are almost 4000 Ulysses members at the AGM so that's a fair bit of money they are contributing to the local economy at shops, accommodation, petrol stations, hotels and where ever else one spends money. When we went down to Hervey Bay for the afternoon, the Esplanade was simply swarming with motorbikes exploring the Bay. The Maryborough Show Grounds is an excellent venue with lots of casual dining places, a temporary restaurant Bayfusion serving excellent meals, an internet kiosk, and even an IGA.

There are a huge number of traders selling all sorts of motorbike stuff but there are also fishing, massage, soaps, clothing and other trade stalls. Most attendees are in tents but there are also quite a few caravans, motorhomes and other RV vehicles. Others are staying off site at motels and other accommodation venues. The AGM dinner has seating for 1200 also on site in a temporary pavilion and the Piazza also seats about 1200 for more informal dining and happy hour.

I'd like to see a genealogy conference organised like that!

I came up here thinking I would get lots of research done but I've spent more time sight seeing and talking to people. I did manage to send off my next installment on Irish Loves Ones Downunder to Irish Lives Remembered and I've been working on my 2013 Trans Tasman ANZAC day blog challenge by Kintalk (held every year). This year it will be on my father's three uncles John, Robert and Denis Patrick Finn who all went to WW1.

Kay also lent me Bryan Sykes The Seven Daughters of Eve (the astonishing story that reveals how each of us can trace our genetic ancestors) but I don't think I will get that finished before we leave. I'll have to bring it back when we come up again for the immigration anniversaries.

Needless to say I haven't had much opportunity to do anything more with National Family History Month 2013 but hopefully people are starting to think about how they can get their local society, library or archive more involved now that it is over the whole month of August.

Next week is also shaping up to be a busy one but at least I will be home with the computer set up all the time! I know it doesn't take that much time to get the laptop out and set up the modem but when it's a beautiful day like today, the temptation is to be out and about. Or even have a quick Nana nap (these late nights are a bit taxing)! Till next time.

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