AGM YEAR 2018

REPORT FOR THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2018

 

INTRODUCTION

Your 2017 Committee has worked diligently and with great effect during 2017 and, as a consequence, the Old Fairbridgians Association Inc. (OFA) has had a memorable 12 months, with many projects progressing to completion and others progressing satisfactorily as resources become available. A special mention at this point in time for Julia Lynne, who joined the Committee for the first time last year; unfortunately Julia travelled to the Eastern States for Xmas last year to visit her family and whilst there, Julia had a family member take sick and decided to remain in the Eastern States. Fortunately however, Julia has continued to provide support and is currently undertaking the collation of roll call documentation in readiness for transfer to an electronic data base.

What a great group of volunteers we have such as, Brian Collopy (Son of Fairbridge Girl Ms Joan Spackman); Gaye Pommersbach (Niece of Fairbridge girl Margaret Henderson); Beverley Robson (Daughter of Fairbridge Boy James Blake); Jan Coleman (Daughter of Mary Sletcher); Jeanette Schimmel (niece of Margaret Bain Paterson) all of whom have been providing valuable support with many of the labour intensive projects throughout 2017.

We extend our thanks to these volunteers and all for your support of this wonderful fraternity.

OFA CORE BUSINESS

Reminding the membership of our core business as defined last year (2017)

1.       AGM

2.       Membership

3.       Newsletter

4.       Memorandum of Understanding

5.       Founders Day and Kingsley Fairbridge Family Cemetery

6.       Commemorative Service

7.       Memorial Wall and Plaques

8.       Fairbridge Cemetery

9.       Recovery of Personal Files /Papers held in Western Australia

10.   Museum

11.   Recovery of Personal Files/Papers held in the UK see following item for explanation. This item added in 2017.

RECOVERY OF PERSONAL FILES/PAPERS HELD IN THE UK

The addition of item number 11 is an exciting development, and Richard Hinch made this possible whilst on holidays in the UK during 2017.  The following (provided by Richard) is an account of how this was brought about and a brief description of the process.

Following his giving evidence in July 2017 to the UK Inquiry regarding the abuse of children sent to Kingsley Fairbridge Farm School Pinjarra, our Vice President, Richard Hinch was asked to read through the evidence of the Group Chief Executive of the Princes Trust given two days prior, as the Trust is now the legal owner of the archives of the Fairbridge Society UK which amalgamated with the Princes Trust in 2010. On reading through the evidence Richard noted that the Group Chief Executive had stated in her evidence that the Trust would assist any Fairbridge Farm School, Pinjarra, “child migrant” who is having problems obtaining “copies” of their Personal file.

Following a discussion with the Committee, Richard developed a procedure and subsequently wrote to the Group Chief Executive of the Princes Trust in September 2017. This procedure was agreed upon by the Princes Trust and as a consequence the Old Fairbridgians Association Inc. will, on behalf of child migrants sent to Kingsley Fairbridge Farm School Pinjarra, request the Princes Trust seek out any personal files that exist, have them copied and forwarded direct to the applicant.

To date, since contacting the Trust in September 2017, the Old Fairbridgians Association Inc. has assisted 51 Fairbridge Kids to access and receive copies of their personal file/s. from the UK. The recovery process is predicted to take up to 12 weeks, and is subject to a rigid verification process to ensure documents recovered are only made available to the child migrant or family of the child migrant.

Applications to be forwarded by email to fairbridgewa@gmail.com or PO Box 173, Pinjarra 6208, Western Australia in the first instance to start the process. Please provide a contact telephone/mobile number and secure postal address with your request

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING – POSTAL VOTING and POSITION NOMINATIONS

For the 2018 Elections the 2017 Committee engaged a Returning Officer, a copy of the report provide by the Returning Officer is attached separately.

MEMBERSHIP

2017 has been a year where we have experienced a plethora of Fairbridge Kids passing away, it seems that never a month passes by without notification of another funeral. However, on a brighter note, 2017 has also been a year where the OFA has experienced an influx of “Fairbridge Kids” returning to enjoy the friendship and memories with those kids they spent their childhood at Kingsley Fairbridge Farm School, Pinjarra. All being well, seeking out Fairbridge Kids and their families will remain an important function of future OFA Committees.

OFA BADGE

During 2017, and at the request of numerous members, and after considerable research which included making contact with the original manufacturers of the badge back in the 1960’s. Financial members of the OFA are eligible to purchase a badge. Current cost of the badge is $15.00 + PH, please make your request by email/post to the Committee.

FOUNDERS DAY

Another large attendance celebrated Founders Day, with the traditional church service, casual walk to our Founders Grave, and a light lunch served in the Clubhouse. Attendance, traditionally is variable, however in 2017 there appeared to be a larger than usual number of attendees, with many attending from intrastate and interstate.

Highlight of the service, a solo performance by Ms Bridie King (Grand-daughter of George Gordon; George passed away earlier in the year), leading the singing of “We are One”; thank you Bridie.

Immediately following the Founders Day Service, Alan Deverell, accompanied by members of the Collins Family, Old Fairbridgians; Craig Boyd (Department of Veterans Affairs) and David Russell (CEO Fairbridge WA) unveiled the new Honour Roll.

COMMEMORATIVE SERVICE

The Commemorative Colonnade was an innovative project brought about the “Collins Brothers” Ted and Syd. The brothers arrived at Fairbridge, Pinjarra in 1934, and left Fairbridge during the war years. Both families are strong supporters of Fairbridge and regularly attend this event.

2017 saw an increase in the numbers attending and veteran numbers were on the increase which was very much appreciated, again the highlight of the service, the placement of red poppies amongst the “Anzac” roses during the reading of the roll of honour, a very emotional time, but well received.

With Department of Veteran Affairs providing a significant funding grant, the Memorial Plaque on the Commemorative Colonnade was updated, however the timing did not align to the Commemorative Service and as a consequence the new Honour Roll being dedicated during a ceremony on Founders Day, as reported earlier in this report,

MEMORIAL WALL PLAQUES

As reported in the 2016 Annual Report, there were 77 positions vacant for plaques on the memorial wall.  During 2017 there have been ordered/placed another 17 plaques, leaving only 60 vacancies. More important, during 2017 it has been possible to place plaques for a family who had reserved a location and paid for in the early 2000’s. The money for this process has been placed in a reserved cost centre, and is managed by the Treasurer.

FAIRBRIDGE MUSEUM

Allan Deverell, supported by his wife Pamela and family have worked tirelessly in the Museum, in particular the Military Sector. Significant achievements have also been made in the mode of operation of the Fairbridge Museum, of particular interest and importance, a complete review of the displays allowing the story of Kingsley Fairbridge Farm School, Pinjarra to be interpreted.

Asset Register – Museum Data Sheets

After discovery of the “Museum Data Sheets” it is proposed to have pertinent information transferred to an electronic format, essentially for the purpose of “insurance” and protection of these valuable records. The introduction of this mode of storage will allow for the development of a data base providing an efficient recovery system.

Fairbridge Kids – Military Service

The Nominal Roll, of all those children who served in Australia and Great Britain, both in war and peace. With many of those children paying the ultimate price. This is a project that will be continuous as further names are added during current research projects or conversations with Old Fairbridgians and even visitors to the Museum. The Nominal Roll has over 690 names of children from Kingsley Fairbridge Farm School, Pinjarra who have served in peace and war.

LOOKING FORWARD – PROJECTS IN THE PLANING

·         Heritage Listing – Fairbridge Family Grave and Fairbridge Gravesite

Having cadastral surveys undertaken and completed for and the sites heritage listed is of paramount importance.

·         Renovation and Rehabilitation of the Commemorative Colonnades.

·         Transferring of Records to Electronic Format – Photographs and Museum Records

·          Fairbridge the Place.

·         Memorial Gardens and Additional Memorial Wall.

Construction on hold, however planning continues with the process of preparing documentation for the submission to the Heritage Council and Fairbridge Village.

·         Purpose Documents

·         Kingsley Fairbridge Farm School Cemeteries

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