Tasmanian Family History Society Inc. Hobart Branch

News - June 2020

Editor: Judith Crossin

View this email in your browser       

Tues 16 June - 7.30pm General Meeting

VENUE: Zoom Meeting


TOPIC: "The Story of the CWA in Tasmania"

As for the previous Zoom meeting, log-in details for the meeting will be sent via email on Tuesday morning. The details will also be available for members on the Branch Facebook page.

More for Your Diary

Tue 21 July - 7:30pm - 2020 Branch Annual General Meeting

More details below.



At its monthly meetings the Committee reviews the situation regarding the reopening of the Branch Library. Watch the website for information updates. Given the limited Library floor area and COVID‑19 restrictions, the first move will be to booking library visits for 2 or 3 members.


The Committee has prepared the Annual Report for 2019-2020 and it is now available on the Branch website by link.

The 2020 Branch AGM which was to have been held in April was postponed. At the May Committee Meeting (held using Zoom) the decision was made to hold the AGM on Tuesday 21st July 2020. Whether the meeting is face-to-face (at the Old Sunday School) or by Zoom will depend on the Covid-19 restrictions in place at the time.

So nominations for the 2020/2021 Committee are now being invited and the closing date for such nominations is Tuesday 7th July 2020.

Nominations are open for the following positions:

NOTE: Maureen, Sue and Geoff are not standing for re-election.

Given the current restrictions and difficulty to use conventional nomination forms in the normal manner, the conditions for a nomination form will be relaxed. A valid nomination will require the following:

Nominations will be accepted by post (PO Box 326, Rosny Park 7018), email  or at the Branch Library (19 Cambridge Road, Bellerive). It is not necessary that all the information is contained in a single email, letter or form.

Library Accessions May 2020


The following items were accessioned during the month of April 2020.

Books / Computer Disks

The following items were accessioned during the month of May 2020.

* Moorhouse-Grey, Freda; WE SHALL DO WELL THERE - The Story of William Nichols
[Q929.2 NIC]

[Q929.2 JAF]

* Sargent, John R; DAYS GONE BY - An Historical Snapshot of Kangaroo Bay, the Port of Hobart and the Derwent River

* Whittle, Meryle; McDOUGALL FAMILY TIES [Q929.2 MCD]

Computer Disks

* Denotes complimentary or donated item



Due to the Library closure, you can now access Ancestry from home if you are a member of Libraries Tasmania.


The society membership year is 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021. If you have not already renewed please do so as soon as possible. You can direct deposit through your financial institution, please use your CRN as the reference (bottom right hand side on front of form) or pay by credit card, complete details on back of form and send to PO Box 326 Rosny Park TAS 7018. If you have misplaced your membership renewal (pink form) please contact us and we will arrange a replacement.

Willow Court History Group

Willow Court is the oldest, continually run asylum located in the Island State of Tasmania, Australia and had its heritage start before 1827. This is older than the well-known and well visited Port Arthur Historic Site. Asylums like Willow Court that once segregated and housed people with disabilities and mentally ill have lain empty and often unused for the last decade. As the Social Model of care was rolled out the vacating of these institutions began. Tasmania was the first state in Australia to de-institutionalise all of the people it housed and closed the doors of Willow Court/Royal Derwent Hospital in late 2000.

This social experiment was watched by other states in Australia, which also had started their own journey of de-institutionalisation. Communities were left with large complexes and equally large maintenance bills, often too much for small municipal councils or state governments to bear through their rate payer/tax payer base. Theft, arson and vandalism all added to already growing problems of natural decay. This is the story of Willow Court in New Norfolk, Tasmania, a peaceful township on the banks of the Derwent River 30 km from Hobart.

Please feel free to join their Facebook group or Facebook page. They are happy to supply educational material including podcasts, films, documentation, guest speakers who are registered teachers in the state of Tasmania.


The Ryerson Index is a free index to death notices appearing in Australian newspapers. The date range covered extends from the Sydney Gazette of 1803 up to newspapers published within the last week or so.

As of July 2019, Ryerson Index had accumulated 5,902 records from the Burnie Advocate, 38,429 from the Launceston Examiner and over 90,000 from the Hobart Mercury.

Ryerson Index is a non-profit organisation with volunteers providing much of the indexing.


For some time now, there has been much speculation regarding the change in the nature of newspapers in Australia, with a switch from newsprint to digital being the most likely suggestion. Fairfax has, up to now, been the primary target of this speculation, with comments going back to 2013 regarding the cessation of weekday print editions of the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. Thankfully, this has remained speculation.

Until April 2020

The COVID-19 worldwide pandemic caused huge disruption to most countries. In Australia (and many other countries), businesses were forced to close, personal movement was severely restricted, and working from home became the norm for a large number of people - all with the aim of stopping the spread of COVID-19.

Large-scale business closures, and the reduction in spending by the general populace, had a severe impact in the newspaper industry. Almost overnight, the advertising income stream for most publications dried up. During the second week of April 2020, the two major newspaper publishers (News Corp and Australian Community Media (ACM)) announced the suspension of many of their smaller mastheads until at least the end of June. The stated intention of all publishers was that the "suspensions" would only be temporary.

News Corp was the first to break ranks, announcing on 28 May the closure of a number of regional and suburban publications, and the switch of many more to become digital only. Thus a very large number of print mastheads have ceased to exist, with in many cases their final print edition being in the second week of April 2020.

At this time, ACM has reiterated its intention to re-open all suspended mastheads at the end of June.

As you can imagine, Ryerson has a vested interest in whether or not a paper's print edition ceases to exist. We have attempted to list all those publications which we know have been suspended, digitised or closed down, and these lists can be access by buttons at the bottom of the state-by-state page. If you find we have mis-classified any paper, or you can supply additional information to that published, please contact us so we can correct the record.

The Tasmanian mail - December 1920


The physician was giving an informal talk on physiology.

"Also", he remarked. "It has recently been found that the human body contains sulphur."

"Sulphur!" exclaimed the girl in the blue and white blazer. "And how much sulphur is there, then, in a girl's body?"

"Oh, the amount varies," said the doctor, smiling, "according to the girl."

"Ah!" returned the girl. "And is that why some of us make better matches than others?"