Sunday, August 31, 2014

Not with a whimper but a bang!

silhouettes of children in Museum of Brisbane looking out at dome of City Hall
Brisbane City Hall - Museum of Brisbane

This is the way National Family History Month ends
This is the way National Family History Month ends
This is the way National Family History Month ends
Not with a whimper but a bang!

(with apologies to TS Eliot)

Today was one of those days that just happened to turn out for the best.  Just as well really because I was a bit low last night.  

I was a bit low because Robbie and I have really been suffering a dreadful bout of the flu this week.  Last night I was meant to go to a concert with my kids but was still a bit too "not chipper" to be standing in a mosh pit dancing to my favourite band - yes, tragic at my age I know, but there you go.  

Anyway, so I was a bit sorry for myself last night but determined to turn it around today.  And today was the last day of August.  The last day of National Family History Month in Australia.  Next weekend is Father's Day in Oz but we decided to celebrate it early in the Daw household and I took my father and his partner out for brunch this morning.  Originally we were going to the Gallery but I had a last minute change of heart and suggested we  have breakfast at the Shingle Inn and then follow up with a tour of the Museum of Brisbane.  I have been meaning to do this for months I reckon.  It was fabulous and already I want to go back.

The Shingle Inn was pretty deserted at 9am and we virtually had it to ourselves.  I stuck to my promise to have a waffle and Daddy had a slap up Eggs Benedict.  Jen is not really a breakfast person but sampled the biscuits on offer.  Now for those of you who don't know Brisbane very well, the Shingle Inn is a bit of an institution.  Somewhere to take your Mum or your Besty for a slap up morning tea.  We were all bereft when the original premises in Edward Street was dismantled to create the swanky new Queen's Plaza shopping centre back in 2002.  Luckily the original interior designed by architects Hall and Phillips in 1936 had been listed on the Heritage Register.  The Bellchambers family gifted it back to the City in 2010 and it was reassembled in City Hall by architects Tanner Kibble Denton, reopening in April 2013. (The Open House 2014, p.43)

Display as part of Many Lives of Moreton Bay exhibition at Museum of Brisbane featuring lightbox, panels, headphones, built-in displays etc

It's free to get into the Museum of Brisbane and there are several exhibitions on at the moment.  None of us had visited the Museum since it had relocated to its new position and it is HUGE now.  The quality of the displays is outstanding.  We saw The River exhibition first which was very impressive.  It led into an exhibition of Euan Macleod's work on Moreton Island and then the Many Lives of Moreton Bay exhibition and then the exhibition celebrating the work of David Malouf.  

Interactive artwork featuring boat with sail and black swan by Camille Serisier

There was plenty for big and little people to enjoy.  For those of you who remember that there used to be a C & K Childcare Centre in City Hall, the Museum is now located where that used to be on the 3rd Floor.  Hard to imagine that 20 years ago I was struggling into the lift with two children under two and booking them in for a couple of hours so I could race down George Street to conduct interviews for Film Queensland's then internship scheme in the Executive Building.  How time flies!

You have plenty of time to see the River Exhibition (which recently won an award for best permanent exhibition) but the others end soon so get a wriggle on.
Part of display in The River - A History of Brisbane Exhibition - 9 mounted photos and text on slate blue coloured wall

Now, you would think that would be enough for one day but  I was on duty this afternoon at the Queensland Family History Society.  I always have something planned to do there (Sunday afternoons tend to be a bit on the quiet side visitor wise).  Imagine my delight, when I was walking through the library, turning on the lights, my hands lighted on a new book added to the library about the suburb where we live.  Called On Bielby Road by Pat Dryden, OAM, it's an absolutely fascinating history of our suburb Chapel Hill in the Western Suburbs of Brisbane.  I found out that our part of Chapel Hill, called Merri Merri estate, was named after Merri Merri Farm owned by Yvonne and Melville Haysom who bought it as part of a deceased estate in 1939.  The farm was named after Merri Creek, a suburb in Melbourne.  Now I know why Haysom Close is called Haysom Close. 

And apparently this area used to be called Garson's Flat.  So there you go.  I am definitely going to buy the book.  Pat is the Coordinator of the Kenmore and District Historical Society too which I've been meaning to join/get along to one of these days.

I raced home to try and participate in lovely Geniaus' Hangout to celebrate the wonderful month of National Family History but I seem to have the "witchy" fingers as my husband calls them when it comes to technology and could not make the "connection".  One day!

It was a big month for me all up.  I attended a seminar with QFHS "Fortune and Misfortune".  I attended "virtually" Thomas MacEntee's Blogger Boot Camp.   We hosted two Family History workshops at work and I presented a talk to our library's family history group highlighting some of our less-discoverable resources e.g. microfiche and CD-ROMS.  I hosted a Pimp Your Blog weekend which was lots of fun and very productive.  I went to the State Library and conducted research for a friend's mother.  I went to the Museum of Brisbane.  I bought lots of family history books and a magazine.  I blogged.  

Margaret McLoughlin holding baby son Vince 1911
Margaret McLoughlin and son Vince 1911

Last but not least, earlier this week, I was invited to my very first Family Reunion in November by the McLoughlin/Taylor branch of the family.  I am so excited.  What a month!  How about you?  Did you have fun?


Jill Ball said...

A great month and fab day for you, sorry that you weren't able to succeed with the hangout - we could see but not hear you. I hope we have more success next time.

Cassmob (Pauleen) said...

What a busy month you've had Alex, and successful as well. I've been wanting to get to the Museum of Brisbane for some time but my Brisbane visits are all too short. I have a vague recollection that the basement of City Hall is where the children's vaccinations were done donkey's years ago - must ask Mum. Thanks for the Pimp the Blog inspired us all to put our blogging necks on the line and make some improvements.

Alex Daw said...

Thank you Jill. I have my lovely husband looking at my computer and trying to figure out whether the problem is technical or human :)

Alex Daw said...

Thanks Pauleen. It was such a lovely month. Yes, so many memories of City Hall. The Shingle Inn is on the right hand side of the front entrance when you walk in. I have memories of buying charities' Xmas cards in about that position every year at Xmas time. Thanks too for participating in the Pimp your Blog exercise. I think we all got something out of it.