Lake Macquarie Family History Group Inc. - History

The respondents to a local newspaper advertisement by Diane Little seeking interested parties to form a family history group in the Lake Macquarie area formed the nucleus of the Group which has now been operating for 21 years.

From the forty who attended the meeting on the 21st April, 1999 it was agreed to convene again on 12th May to elect a working committee with Diane Little elected as the first President of the Group. In the intervening twenty years the group has moved home several times, hosted many meetings and seminars, produced umpteen newsletters and journals and published books and indexes of records.

Vicki & Kevin Williamson won a competition to design a logo and a name for the Journal.  This Nautical image now appears on all our print and digital communications.

The Newsletter was first published in May 1999  with the first edition of the Chronicle appearing in August 1999. Digital issues of these publications are now distributed to members and similar groups under an exchange arrangement.

After using several premises for meetings the Group, which started life at Woodrising Neighbourhood Centre, found a permanent home at The Marmong Point Community Hall, a venue with inside toilets and fans, air conditioning, a new kitchen and new windows. It also provides a secure area for the Group’s library and equipment.

To increase the profile of the Group and gain membership, Open Day Workshops were introduced for the public to attend. Monthly meetings for members and interested locals have been held since 1999. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 we have used the online Zoom platform for informal meetings of members as well as our Committee meeting. In 2001 our website was set up as an information portal for our Group and in 2019 the Group  created a social media presence on Facebook. The new Lake Macquarie Family History Group Blog will provide an additional avenue for the sharing of our stories and news.

The cost of printing our many publications for sale was another hurdle with limited funds available. We acknowledge the generosity of Federal, State Governments and LMCC for making Grants available to assist with initial printing costs of our Cemetery publications and the essential equipment required on a day to day basis. Our affiliation with the Royal Australian Historical Society also allows us to apply for Grants to assist with projects undertaken.

The Friday Volunteer Program, where members of the Group attend The Speers Point Library each week to assist researchers, commenced in 2000. This service has helped numerous members of the public discover their roots with a substantial number going on to join our Group.

The strength of our Group lies in the commitment of our volunteers, past and present. We acknowledge the work of those who created the firm foundation on which our Group rests today.

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