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Well-informed day for Whittlesea Historical Society

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The North Central Review
The North Central Review
The North Central Review is an independently owned newspaper publishing company based in Kilmore that is responsible for publishing two community newspapers each week, covering communities within the Mitchell Shire

Guest speakers Peter and Julie Nankervis were the star attractions at the Whittlesea Historical Society’s (WHS) general meeting earlier this month at Arthurs Creek Hall.

The meeting turned out to be a success with 16 members and nine visitors.

Mr Nankervis invited WHS to host their meeting at Arthurs Creek Hall – originally the Mechanics Hall.

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The renovated building has found an exciting new purpose in the Arthur’s Creek community, and WHS much appreciated the opportunity to admire the hall and make use of its facilities.

Mr Nankervis spoke about the history of Mechanics Institutes, and the Arthurs Creek Mechanics Institute in particular, followed by Ms Nankervis informing the audience about writing a family history.

Ms Nankervis has produced several history books for her family, ranging from small annual photos books for each grandchild, documenting their activities throughout the year, to large-scale books of photos and information about branches of her family. 

WHS president Barbara Miller said Ms Nankervis reminded the audience of finding the gaps in recording a family history. 

“Julie’s excellent hint was to ‘think big, but start small’,” she said.

“She encouraged her listeners to begin with a small manageable project such as a family holiday or a birthday celebration.

“For family history trees, Julie spoke about filling in the family’s knowledge of names and dates with the story of each person – what they did, what sort of a person they were, what their connections to the community and the family were.”

Robert Draper was the special guest of the meeting, to whom a presentation was made of a photo of Bear’s Castle in the early days.

The presentations by Peter and Julie Nankervis are available on the WHS YouTube channel –

WHS’s next free event ‘My Kitchen Table Talk’ is open to members and the general public at Wollert Church, Carome Homestead in Mernda on June 16 from 1pm to 3.30pm.

To book tickets, visit

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