Our Society 2020

by Heather Smith

Our organisation although small fulfils a need to preserve the history of Riverstone. We welcome people each month seeking not only history of the town but also history of their early family who once lived here. Our extensive collection of school photographs and family history collected over the years is always a source of joy to the searcher.

Each of our active Committee members provides a special skill which our visitors adult and children alike enjoy so much.

Graham Britton (Vice-President) whose imagination and skill generates memories for the older generation as well as the younger visitors informing them of the real history of our town. His creation of the township model coupled with the Meatworks display is one of the most interesting displays in our Museum. He also created the railway display, sport in Riverstone as well as our “Dunny Man” and is always seeking better ways to improve and create our displays. Recently he and Rosemary were responsible for the display of Binks’ cottage.

Carol Britton is the member which every organization wishes they had, nothing is too much trouble she steps in whenever needed and her sewing skill has fulfilled many a job which improves the look of our surroundings.

Cheryl Ramsden (Treasurer) her knowledge of genealogy has set many a stumped researcher on a new course in their search of family history and coupled with her duties as Treasurer makes her a valued member of our Society.

Clarrie Neal (Life Member & Vice President (retired) and his wife Beverly are two stalwart members of our group., Clarrie has researched and written The 120 Year History of the Riverstone Football Club as well as many family histories in our reading room and Bev, whenever she sees a cleaning job (which we often overlook) gets in and gives it a good “spit and polish”.

Win Phillis whose quiet efficiency and impeachable local knowledge fills a gap in our local history with the passing in 2017 of our former President Judith Lewis. Win never lets her health problem stands in the way of her duties and her recording of the innumerable records, items and books which we have accumulated is endless.

Barry Clarke As I mentioned before each of our committee has a special skill and Barry is a long time supporter of the Society and now a committee member does a wonderful job of playing our collection of musical instruments like the pianola, the pump organ and our piano providing not only entertainment for our visitors but to ensure each instrument remains in working order.

Rosemary Phillis Finally, in our small group we all acknowledge the true spirit of our organisation our Secretary, Rosemary Phillis. She is not only respected by us but the entire town of Riverstone refer to her in matters of local and social history. Our Society flourishes mainly due to the numerous publications by Rosemary. She has compiled and edited 19 annual Journals as well as researching and writing books on The Riverstone Meatworks, A History of the Rumery Family, Riverstone and World War 2 and Photos of Riverstone.

Also, she has co-authored and compiled The Riverstone Cemetery, A History of St. Pauls Anglican Church Riverstone, Riverstone and the First World War and to celebrate the centenary of the cenotaph 2020 she wrote the Riverstone War Memorial book.

Rosemary is currently working on writing a history of St. Peters Anglican Church, Schofields coupled with compiling the 2020 Journal. She is also assisting one of our members Shirley Seale researching and adding illustrations to her book on Mary Bligh.

Her work load could only be done by a person who is passionate in her love of local history. She has a never-ending thirst for knowledge, seeking and finding any object or recording of the history of Riverstone. With her camera she has recorded the movement of a small town which will be the history of Riverstone in the future as we fight the creep of development.

Development is a never-ending threat to Riverstone. Our Society must look to the future and encourage parties to realise and preserve the history of Riverstone. New families who have chosen to settle in Riverstone our Society welcomes them and we hope to inspire them to preserve the history of Riverstone.

Heather Smith

11 November 2018 Remembrance Day at the Museum. Back Row: Jackie Dawson, Carol Britton, Graham Britton, Barry Clarke. Front Row: Cheryl Ramsden, Heather Smith, Rosemary Phillis, Winsome Phillis.
Photo: Neville Biddle