Ku-ring-gai Historical Society Inc
incorporating the
Ku-ring-gai Family History Centre


Ku-ring-gai Library Meeting Rooms, The Old Gordon Public School (adjacent to the Gordon Library, 799 Pacific Highway, Gordon; Corner Pacific Highway and Park Avenue).
General Meetings
MonthsDate and time
Jan-Nov3rd Saturday 2:00 pm
Family History Meetings
MonthsMembers’ ResearchGeneral Meeting
Feb-Dec 1st Saturday 11:00 am 1st Saturday 2:00 pm
KHS Speakers’ Program for 2017
Date Speaker Subject
Sat 21 Jan Andrew TinkAustralia 1901 - 2001

Former politician turned history writer, Andrew Tink, returns to talk about his sweeping narrative history of Australia in the 20th century: a period marked by war and depression, but also by many achievements in science, the arts and sport. A story of how a young nation matured is told through the stories of a diverse range of people.
Sat 18 Feb Lisa MurraySydney Cemetery Adventures

Cemeteries, and the way they are planned and designed, tell us much about attitudes to death and dying. Within 30 years the first burial ground (where the Town Hall now stands) was full and there followed a history of tussles between Church and State as well as inter-denominational squabbling over how to deal with the dead. City of Sydney Historian, Dr Lisa Murray, author of Sydney Cemeteries: A Field Guide is an expert on the topic.
Sat 18 Mar Anne Whitehead Betsy and the Emperor

Subtitled “The True Story of Napoleon, A Pretty Girl, a Regency Rake and an Australian Colonial Misadventure”, author Anne Whitehead’s biography of Betsy Balcombe covers the family’s connections with St. Helena during the time of Napoleon’s exile there, and their later lives in Australia. A surprise guest with Balcombe connections to The Briars at Wahroonga is expected.
Sat 15 Apr John MalmbergThe Life and Times of Sir John Monash

Historian and U3A presenter John Malmberg’s talk on Australia’s greatest military leader, civil engineer Sir John Monash (1865-1931), will range from his early life as the academically gifted son of Jewish-Prussian immigrants, to his strategic contribution to final victory in World War I, and his post-war years as a successful public administrator.
Sat 20 May John Ramsland The Paul Brickhill Story

Distinguished historian John Ramsland’s latest project traces the highs and lows of the career of the former fighter pilot, POW, North Sydney Boys’ High School old boy and author of the post-war bestsellers The Dam Busters, Reach for the Sky and The Great Escape, all of which were adapted into highly successful films.
Sat 17 Jun Doug EdwardsLife in Submarines

How can you join the RAN and not serve on a ship? By serving under the sea, as a submariner, as did our speaker, Doug Edwards, in the 1960s and 70s in Oberon class vessels. Not a technical talk, but a life talk, Doug assures us.
Sat 15 Jul Robert Clancy The Story of Eleven Maps

Scientist and map historian Robert Clancy AM will trace Sydney’s rapid development from a small and isolated colonial outpost to today’s international city through the story told by these unique maps, beginning with Capt. Arthur Phillip’s plan for “Albion” and including Major Mitchell’s 1831 map, the first commercial one of its type.
Sat 19 Aug Louise Stedinger The Archaeology of North Head Cemetery

Louise, a forensic archaeologist and criminologist, and her husband, photographer Gerald Stedinger, are involved in investigating and recording the hundreds of burials of immigrants who, while they never made it to Sydney from the confines of the Quarantine Station, have their headstones facing south towards the city’s skyline.
Sat 16 Sep Don Napper A Nobel Prizewinner’s Shame

Emeritus Professor Don Napper’s Uncle Frank was one of the first Australian soldiers to survive being gassed on the Western Front, a fact that triggered Don’s interest in gas warfare and the work - for both good and evil ends - of the brilliant German scientist, Fritz Haber, controversial winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1918.
Sat 21 Oct Julian LeatherdalePalace of Tears

Extensive historical research informs the background to Julian Leatherdale’s debut novel set in the Hydro Majestic at Medlow Bath. Julian will share just some of the surprising stories he uncovered about this well-known hotel that was opened as a hydropathic sanitorium in 1904 by the wealthy retailer, Mark Foy.
Sat 18 Nov Matt MurphyWeight of Evidence

Full-time Newtown fire chief and part-time historian, Matt Murphy, tells the story of a little-known court case that lasted ten years: the longest and most expensive in colonial times, involving 210 prime acres, money, greed, lies and other dastardly doings. It would became known as the Newtown Ejectment Case.