THE 2021-22 ESA ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING WAS HELD BY ZOOM ON 8 DECEMBER 2022. WE HAD A QUORUM. THE PRESIDENT AND TREASURER REPORTS WERE ACCEPTED. IN CASE YOU COULDN’T COME HERE IS The president’s annual report for the year July 2021 to June 2022.
1. Activities: We have been able to resume our regular (and some new) programme.
The September 2021 and May 2022 fairs went ahead. And we had a good array of stalls with regular, sometime and new dealers present.
In May 2022 thanks to member Saskia Ericson and Mimmo Cozzolino we moved in to the 2020s with publicity on Instagram and Facebook using little sets of images.
Thank you to Garry James and David Harris for front of house at the fairs, assisted by Rhonda James, Kris Waters, Wendi Bradshaw and Andrew Hillier. In May Kris ran a particularly successful ESA stall selling material donated to the ESA. Kris sorted and displayed the material in a way that encouraged sales. I did the organising of stall holders and the council for the last time. Follow up: We are looking for someone to take over this role.
Show & Tells and a Swap Meet were run by Edwin. These haven’t been as well attended as in the past and Follow up: we will be canvassing what we can do to improve these really interesting and friendly events. We have been restricted to Friday nights because of room availability at Camberwell Library.
The symposium was held in July in the church itself. Once again we had a great array of speakers and an informed and interested audience. Edwin Jewell had organised it with Debra Parry who MCed this time and is taking over this event for 2023. Follow up: She will need assistance for discrete tasks – the front desk, the setting up; the afternoon tea.
In March 2022 we started with zoom meetings to cater for those who cannot come to the symposium. These have been held about very 6-8 weeks and attendance has varied with the topics. The most successful were probably Michael Aitken’s kookaburras and Will Muddyman’s confectionery packaging. We set these up at the request of those who can’t come to events in Melbourne but to date those attending seem mainly to be in Melbourne. Follow up: we will ask if there is a better time, or other topics our interstaters and country members would prefer.
The annual dinner has just been held and once again it was a great opportunity to talk about collecting – tall tales and true. We had about 20 in attendance and needed three tables which is a great advance on our first dinners. Thank you to Edwin for organising.
2. President activities: I gave talks about why local history societies should keep collecting ephemera to: Eastern Suburbs’ Historical Societies May 2022; the Warrandyte Historical Society, September 2022 and the Donvale Historical Society, October 2022.
3. Membership We ran the usual renewal process albeit by email where we could and had a reasonable response. The current membership situation is:
- 160 paid up members;
- 23 of these are in Vic country;
- 37 are interstate;
- And about 50 are lapsed. Ed has begun reminding these members and a number have become financial again.
The membership fees have remained the same for possibly 10 years and don’t actually cover the costs of the publications.
4. Publications: I count in this section: Facebook, Instagram, website, newsletter and journal.
Facebook – we have about 1200 followers, not many in Facebook land and it is not as active as say a Facebook group. It would be good if someone else felt like livening this up and trying to build some value from it – more members or more people attending the fair.
Instagram – Mimmo Cozzolino and I think Eamon Donnelly have expressed an interest in getting this platform into our suite of activities – with the same aims.
The website has been dogged by server issues in the last few months and so inactive really since August 2022. It has been rescued courtesy of Mimmo Cozzolino and Philip Moorhouse so expect more posts in 2023. Some people aren’t keen to have their stories on the website – they want to be in print which I guess it the natural prerogative of ephemera collectors but we get a good range of different people reading and commenting here. We had 730 visitors many of whom looked at more than one story. 80% are Australian, 10% USA and 5% UK, rest made up from many different countries.
The quarterly newsletter has had a good kick along thanks to the energy and efforts of Wendi Bradshaw and Susannah Low. We are I think still finding our feet as to the best mix of content, but interviewing members seems to be a good option and Wendi is working on these. In 2022 we posted out a separate calendar to current and lapsed members and hope this will stop the need for constant reminders about events.
The journal is always in the pipeline and we are a fair bit behind at the moment. A special issue focussing on kookaburras is almost ready. Thanks to contributors and also Mimmo Cozzolino who of course brings the ephemera and so the journal into a class of its own. We always need material for the journal so please come forward with ideas, collections.
5. The ESA Committee
The committee has met when it can and provided a useful source of ideas and as a sounding board for others. Thanks to Garry James, secretary, Edwin, treasurer and symposium organiser, general members David Harris (resigned this year), Debra Parry, and new members/ex officio attendees Wendi Bradshaw, Mimmo Cozzolino and Philip Moorhouse (and Annette Shiell who usually offers advice outside meetings). We are now meeting by zoom for meetings that last for an hour which we hope will be more effective and accessible to more people.
6. Future plans
We always have these.
- Carolyn Fraser is running a trial oral history project – interviewing four collectors about why they collect. The interviews will be for about an hour; and a transcript will be made. Excerpts will be used by the ESA to keep documenting and telling the stories of collecting.
- The National Trust of Victoria may provide an opportunity for small displays by groups like the ESA.
- Saskia Ericson is looking at whether the ESA might make a contribution by way of short lectures about food related ephemera in the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival in March 2023.
- There are also opportunities which others might like to pick up – an event that fits into:
- The National Trust History month;
- Rare Books week;
- The Clunes Book fair.
- The ESA committee would like to see responsibility for the activities spread a bit more widely like Debra Parry has agreed to work on the next symposium with Edwin with a view to taking that over and Wendi Bradshaw will I think consider joining the committee and the taking over more of the newsletter.
- I would like to finish as president in the next four years and Edwin (treasurer and event organiser) and Garry (secretary and fair front of house) have similar plans. So please think about how you might say volunteer 4-10 hours per year to help run discrete parts of the ESA.
Thanks for your support, interest and collecting.
Mandy Bede, current president of ESA