Oatley Heritage and Historical Society celebrates 25th anniversary

Presidents on parade: top centre is Founding President, the late Russ Gibbs 1995-2001, others left to right, Cliff Crane 2011-12; Alec Leach 2001-2011; Julian Sheen 2015-2020; Lawrie Yeomans 2020; Rafe Kowron and Rodger Robertson shared part 2012; and Rodger Robertson 2012-15.
Presidents on parade: top centre is Founding President, the late Russ Gibbs 1995-2001, others left to right, Cliff Crane 2011-12; Alec Leach 2001-2011; Julian Sheen 2015-2020; Lawrie Yeomans 2020; Rafe Kowron and Rodger Robertson shared part 2012; and Rodger Robertson 2012-15.

There will be a tinge of sadness when the Oatley Heritage and Historical Society holds its 25th anniversary commemorative meeting at the Oatley RSL Club on Friday, November 27.

"We will be remembering all the society members we have 'lost' since we started as the Oatley Heritage Group in 1995, " said long-time society member, and former president, Cliff Crane.

"Many wonderful people have contributed over the quarter of a century and freshest in our memories are the recent deaths of Beryl and Norm Butters, and June Bennett, all of them in their 90s," Mr Crane said.

"Norm and June were both born of parents then living in Oatley and knew each other from babyhood."

Mr Crane thinks Norm may have been delivered by June's mother, Nurse Stevens who ran her "Nurse Stevens Nursing Hospital" in a weatherboard home in Rosa Street Oatley, which still stands as a private residence.

"Norm's father was for many years 'in the early days' a bootmaker-saddler with his shop on the corner of Frederick and Letitia Streets, site of present-day The Corner Pharmacy," Mr Crane said.

"The society is fortunate in still having among its now large membership a nucleus of Oatley-born people who, in their 90s, and of clear mind, can still contribute their memories for recording in the society's archives," he said.

The Society now has more than 100 family or individual memberships and pre-COVID were regularly getting upward of 60 people attending its quarterly presentation meetings at Oatley RSL and Community Club.

The Society also has three 'Coffee and Chat" meetings each year and they are similarly very well-attended.

At the November meeting, Oatley Heritage and Historical Society's long-time president, Alec Leach will talk on the history and development of the Society with emphasis on its early years under its original name as The Oatley Heritage Group.

The Society's latest booklet " A Place Called Oatley" by Julian Sheen will be launched by Oatley MP Mark Coure at the meeting and be available for purchase for $10.

Most regrettably because of COVID-19, attendance has to be restricted to members - membership inquiries can be made to Society Secretary Rodger Robertson, 0408 232 874 or rodgerr@comcen.com.au

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