FHWA early history

By Ms Christine Christine Harris

The following article is reproduced verbatim from Western Ancestor, Vol.1 No.1, published in March 1979 (page 3).  


by B.J. Croker

Early in 1975 Mr Tony Morton of South Perth placed an advertisement in the "West Australian" inviting people interested in Genealogy to meet with him at his home.  Tony and his wife Hazel were both interested in the subject and thought they would like to share some fellowship with people with similar interests, as there was no active group, to their knowledge, in Perth, even though a number of individuals had been doing a considerable amount of work for many numbers of years.

A number of people responded to Tony's advertisement, including Alf Stalwarts, Peg Tippett and Peter Bottrell.  At this first get-together they agreed that they would like to continue meeting.  It was also agreed that their meeting together would be more beneficial if they could include in their gatherings some contributions from the individuals on techniques and other subjects related to Genealogy.

After a few get-togethers a proposal was put to the group that they affiliate with the Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies, which group some of the members had joined.  This proposal was finalised early in 1976 and the group became the Western Australian Branch of A.I.G.S.  The group elected the writer as Chairman and Peter Bottrell as Secretary and Treasurer.

The first meetings of the group were held in the homes of different members.  As numbers grew it was obvious that a regular meeting place would be required.  After looking around at a number of venues, the kind ofer of Mr C.H. Snowden of Snowden & Willson Pty. Ltd. to make available a suite of rooms at 1123 Hay Street, West Perth, at no charge to the group, was accepted with gratitude.  We have been meeting at these rooms since January 1976.

In 1977 the writer was again elected Chairman and Tony Harrop and Leo Van de Pas were elected as Vice Presidents in accordance with By-laws prepared by the A.I.G.S.  Peter Bottrell continued to act as Treasurer and Jay Bray accepted the responsibility for the Secretary's task.  These officers continued in their positions until late in 1978 when both Jan and Peter felt that they could not carry on any longer.

At a meeting in November that year the members decided that they no longer wished to remain as a branch of A.I.G.S. and that a separate Western Australian Society should be formed.  At the first meeting in 1979 it was decided that the name of the Society should be the Western Australian Genealogical Society.

At the end of 1978 the financial members of the W.A. branch of A.I.G.S. numbered 30.  The monthly newsletter of the group was mailed to 50 individuals and 10 interested Societies, etc.


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