Michael Gandy: live in Melbourne

This is a wonderful opportunity for all family historians to experience one of the best genealogical speakers in the world!

Michael Gandy has been to Australia before but to hear him speak you would have had to attend an Australasian Congress held somewhere around Australia or New Zealand.  This would not have been cheap – taking into account transport, accommodation and Congress registration fees.  Now you have a chance to hear Michael give four presentations plus a Q&A session in Melbourne.

The Genealogical Society of Victoria web site includes details of Michael’s presentations and how to book for this great event on Saturday 10th November.

The start and end time have been chosen to enable family historians from country areas to travel to Melbourne, enjoy Michael’s presentations, and get back home again on the same day.

Day 2 – Victorian Expo

I’m sitting at my keyboard wondering where I’m going to find the strength to get off the chair and crawl into bed!  I’m totally physically and mentally exhausted … but what a magnificent couple of days!

It’s all over and it went so well – the photo shows the section occupied by most of our Geelong & district groups [there were another 4 in the sections above and below ours].  Our main section had our groups on both sides of the rectangle marked by the red lines and arrows!  This was a quiet time – the only time I managed to get the camera out and take a couple of snaps!  There were 200-300 people in the 2 presentations going on at the same time but still plenty of people in the exhibition area to keep us all busy.  Also, the photo shows about one third of the total exhibition area – it was huge and buzzing over both days – it was a terrific vibrant feeling.

There might be a “recession” in the book selling industry but that definitely wasn’t apparent at the Expo – we did an absolute roaring trade with our huge range of local & family history books from our Geelong & district groups.  And more importantly our groups had heaps of interest in their brochures, membership and research options.  And the comment we heard again and again and again - “we didn’t realise there were so many groups in the region”!  That alone makes the Expo a huge success – a lot more people know that our local groups exist and I’m sure there’ll be plenty of follow-up communications for them all.

And as tired as I am, I couldn’t end this without mentioning the terrific show by Colin Mockett & Shirley Power last night … “Hit the Road, Digger”.  Everyone who was there thoroughly enjoyed it.  Entertaining, full of interesting history, wonderful historic images and of course the wonderful voice of Shirley Power singing songs from the 1920s & 30s … and yes, we had a good old sing-a-long.  Congratulations to Colin & Shirley for adding a wonderful evening to our Expo.

I’m sure there’ll be plenty of photos appearing in the next few days on the Unlock The Past web site, so keep an eye out for them.

In case you hadn’t worked it out – I enjoyed the last couple of days – they were wonderful!

Day 1 – Victorian Expo

Wow – day 1 of the Victorian Expo (Geelong) was terrific – caught up with heaps of friends, didn’t stop talking ALL day [surprise anyone?] and we launched our new “book” [CD] … Irish in Geelong & District.

What a great day – and there’s still time for anyone to get along to the second day – today – and that’s where I’m heading now.  Hope to see some of you there.

I know I’ll be doing plenty of talking again today – 2 presentations – “Look local: it’s not all on the web” and of course my favourite “Sewerage records” – the one that has everyone laughing and completely gobsmacked by the end at this wonderful resource.  And if anyone has heard this before, you might want to hear it again – some terrific news about Sewerage records – something exciting that happened VERY recently that you might find just a tad interesting!

Irish in Geelong & district – NEW publication

Am I excited?  You bet I am!  Just over a year ago Pam Jennings & I published Scots in Geelong & district to 1860.  The obvious question from people was when are you going to do the Irish one?  Of course we replied – “can’t be done”!

OK – we’ve proved ourselves wrong.  At the Victorian Expo tomorrow we’re launching Irish in Geelong & district.  This publication will ONLY be produced on CD and there will NOT be a print-on-demand version.  Why?  Because there are 1,711 pages!  That doesn’t include an index because the book is in Acrobat (.pdf) format and is fully text searchable.  Also the A-Z section is in surname order for easy browsing.  Mind you, it takes a while to browse 1,700+ pages.  At a later stage the full index will be added to the Geelong & district database.

It isn’t a list of ALL Irish who came to Geelong & district but a HUGE number of records that may include your ancestors – if not you’ll certainly get an understanding of the wealth of information available in our region.

The CD will normally be $30 and details on how to purchase a copy will appear on the Geelong & district web site after the Expo, but for an Expo special it can be purchased at the Victorian Expo on Friday 2nd or Saturday 3rd September for $25.00.  Visit us at the Geelong & District Historical Association stand at the Expo – Table 18 – and make sure you visit all the other Geelong & District Historical Societies and Family History groups in our block of tables 13-24.  We’ve got heaps and heaps of books for sale from our region.

And if you haven’t booked to attend the Expo, don’t worry.  Anyone can come and it will only cost you $5.00 to get in.

It’s now less that 24 hours to the start of the Expo – and I’m sure my to-do-list includes more items than there are minutes before it all starts!

See you there!

Unlock The Past Victorian Expo (Geelong)

Unlock The Past and the City of Greater Geelong have issued a HUGE invitation to anyone wanting to come to this terrific Expo.  It’s a banner across the Melbourne-Geelong Road - on the footbridge spanning the main road into Geelong – you can’t miss it!

If you see the banner and you’re coming to the Expo, you’re on the right road!  Stay on the main road, follow the bends as you go up and over the railway line, then start working your way into the left-hand lane.  Yes, I know The Arena is on the RIGHT but you have to go LEFT from the service lane at the Victoria Street exit [3rd set of traffic lights after the railway overpass].  Then turn hard right into the Margaret Street overpass to go up and over the Melbourne-Geelong road.  Turn right at the end and The Arena main car park is on your right.  See the map.

Look forward to seeing you all there.

Unlock the Past Victorian Expo (Geelong)

Well I really can’t quite believe that it is SEVEN months this week since I first posted the news of the Unlock the Past Victoria Expo to be held in Geelong on Friday 2nd & Saturday 3rd September!  And now it’s only a week and a half away.

Already we have 74 exhibitors and lots of people registered.  Don’t forget that if you register before 30th August you get into the Expo for FREE!  And don’t forget to book for any of the sessions you want to attend to ensure you don’t miss out.  There are some free sessions with others at $5 each.

I really hope to see lots of you there.

And just to share something funny with you … this afternoon I was testing some computer equipment we’ll have on the Geelong & District stand so we can do lots of lookups of databases etc.  I had previously used my Netbook and USB dongle for Internet connection.  Unfortunately the Netbook has a rather insignificant display card and when a larger screen is attached for people to view it looks a tad … well … AWFUL!

The screen looks great with my Notebook but I had never used my USB dongle on it.  So, there I was trying to get my Internet connection working on the Notebook computer.  You see, where I live in Ocean Grove, we’re in a shadow and sometimes struggle to get digital TV reception, let alone a wireless Internet connection.  If you can picture me standing on tippy-toes on a chair on the verandah AND holding my Notebook as high as I could while still reaching the touch-pad and keyboard to try to get a connection … well I nearly fell off the chair laughing – it looked pretty silly and obviously my neighbours thought the same.

The good news – it works!

See you there … Susie Z

Geelong Heritage Centre: Open Day

For those who struggle to get to the Geelong Heritage Centre during the week [open Tue-Thu] here’s a great opportunity.

The Centre will be open on Sunday 17th April from 11.00 am to 4.00 pm to co-incide with the Geelong Heritage Festival.

See the Geelong & District Events calendar for full details.  While you’re there, have a look at the other events in Geelong & District.

Unlock the Past Victorian Expo (Geelong)

This is so exciting – after some months of planning it’s now a reality and a MUST for your diary! Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd September 2011.

A major history-genealogy-heritage event for all Victoria.

See our Geelong & District Calendar & Events.

And for full details and future information on the program, bookings etc. make sure you bookmark the Unlock the Past Victorian Expo (Geelong) web site.

Groups from throughout our region will be there in force with all their expertise and local knowledge.  And of course it will be a chance for you to meet some of our wonderful volunteers who have provided so much to the Geelong & District Database.

And of course it’s not limited to our region as all the major Melbourne and Victorian groups and organisations will be invited to participate in the EXPO – that’s why it’s called the “Victorian Expo”!

We’re thrilled with the venue – lots of free car parking, 2 minutes from the North Geelong station, easy access from Melbourne, and of course we haven’t forgotten our friends from the east side of Port Phillip Bay – why not enjoy a lovely trip across the bay on the Sorrento-Queenscliff ferry?

Of course there’ll be heaps of announcements between now and the EXPO so put the dates in your diary and keep your eyes and ears open!

Look forward to seeing you there.

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