Six years ago the Society wanted to establish a suitable memorial to its founder and a patron, Mrs June Roughley. It was to be a recognition of her remarkable research skills and generosity.

To this end a quality, wellresearched, public lecture, presented by a professionally recognized historian, on a subject connected to our district, was deemed the best way. In the intervening years the audiences have heard presentations by a history teacher and University professors. Their subject have covered local government, historic sites, the identity of an early anonymous traveller through our district in the early 19th C and the influence of Aboriginal spirituality on world religion.

This year the subject is on a most important aspect of the Colonial economy, distilling. We have learnt about the Rum Corps, of alcohol as a means of exchange and a Rebellion. The presenter will be, Darren Hopkins, an historical researcher and publisher and his lecture will be, Irish distillers in Colonial Times. In his words, the ability to distill was a “license to print money”, but there were risks and special knowledge was needed. The Irish settlers were special people, prepared to work hard and take a risk or two. Not all was bad though and the profits they made went back into the economy, to the benefits of the community and in the long term, to future generations and us.

Our district is rich in names and places associated with distilling and several recent archaeological discoveries have added to that record. One will be there to see on Saturday the 11th August in Arcadia Community Hall at 2:00 PM.

I am sure that the audience will see that our lectures are a worthy recognition of our founder’s dedication to history.

EXPLORINGThe Old Great North Road

The Dharug and Lower Hawkesbury Historical Society would like to extend the invitation to the general public to join us as we explore the Old Great North Road which is 1 of 4 convict sites in NSW that, together with 7 other sites in Tasmania, Western Australia and Norfolk Island, make up the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage Property.

DATE: Saturday, 25th August
TIME: 9:45 AM
LOCATION: To meet in the park at Wisemans Ferry Kiosk.

We will have a quick morning tea and then head over by ferry and along to the Old Great North Road. We will leave some cars at Devines Hill entrance and proceed to Shepherd’s Gully Road. The National Parks and Wildlife have recently completed restoration work on the Road so more of the original road can be seen. A little way along we will see remains of a small bridge which signals Sternbeck’s Gully road. Here more of the stonewalls can be seen. From here we will proceed up the hill to the locked gate and the descent down to Devines Hill. We will have lunch at the top and admire the panoramic views below. After lunch we will then walk back down Devines Hill taking note of the spectacular sandstone walls and interpretative panels along this section. We will exit out at of Devines Hill and re carpool to collect all the cars.

Bookings and contact details in case of rain to 0405 321 478 (leave a message) by Wednesday, 22nd August.

Bring along lunch, snacks, water, sunhat, sunscreen & repellent. Sturdy shoes are suggested. Whilst the walk is initially uphill it has moderate grades only and the road is in good condition.

For further information please contact us on [email protected] or 0405 321 478.