HAGSOC Monthly meeting: Margaret Wright OAM: From Newtown to Fromelles
6 Sep 2011 8:00pm - 9:30pm
- Cook Community Hub Hall, 41 Templeton St,
- Australian Capital Territory
- Cost: Free
Margaret Wright says that she is an ordinary Australian who believes that history matters and that tracing our family stories introduces us to past times, events and social conditions. She is speaking on her personal involvement with the ceremony at the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery, at Fromelles last year when the remains of her grandfather’s cousin Alexander Clingan were reinterred.
Margaret’s own story however is diverse and interesting. In 1958 she was a scientific illustrator at University of Sydney for herpetologist Dr Stephenson. Margaret’s work was published in the Journal of the Linnean Society of London and for this, 50 years later, she was elected a fellow of the Society in 2010.
After this position as a scientific illustrator, Margaret trained as a primary school teacher and then travelled overseas. She subsequently had a number of years in Canberra at home looking after her family during which time she was a prolific letter writer in her quest for family connections. Margaret restarted her teaching career at age of 40 and, for her work in the classroom, she received a Churchill Fellowship to study the teaching of the recorder, the love of which she has shared with her many pupils. She officially retired 16 years ago but has continued to share her love of music but now focusing on seniors. For her volunteer work with seniors she was awarded an OAM this year, on Australia Day.
Her retirement has enabled her to pursue not only her passion for music but also her own family history. Her particular interest in World War 1 and the fate of her English relatives has taken her to the National Archives at Kew and to the Family History Centre in London. I am sure a highlight for her was relaying Alexander Clingan’s story at Pheasant Wood last year.