With the current issue of the Southern Johnsonian, the Johnson Society of Australia enters its 25th year and we remain a strong organisation, maintaining at least four events each year. So far this year we have had our Gallery visit and our Seminar.
Please put into your calendars the remaining two dates. November 10th will be a particularly significant event for two reasons. The first is that the Fleeman Lecture will be delivered by our own John Byrne, immediate Past President and one of our founding members. John will be reflecting on his own lifetime journey with Johnson and his circle. The second reason is that this will be the official celebration of our Silver Anniversary, and a special booklet will be prepared to celebrate this, including memorabilia from the last 25 years. The venue will be finalised closer to the event. Please invite as many former Johnsonians as you can to this event.
The second event is our Christmas Celebration at the Mitre Tavern on the afternoon of Saturday 1st December. Expect food, fun and fellowship in this intimate venue.
We are rapidly catching up on our publishing program, thanks to Paul Tankard, and with assistance from Meredith Sherlock from Ancora Press. Last year Kate Burridge’s lecture on advertising – Magnificence of Promises – was published; so far this year we have published Volume 16 of our papers and I hope that Gordon Turnbull’s Fleeman Lecture will be available by the time of our AGM. Paul is now working on Volume 17 of our papers.
On the financial front, over recent years we have built up a very healthy balance, largely because of good management by Barrie Sheppard but also because of a lull in the number of publications. However this year there have been many challenges. Scots Church both raised the booking fee and insisted that we took out Liability Insurance, and despite all our best efforts to get a good price this Insurance cost us $250 for just one day! (If anyone knows where we could get a better deal let me know!). Because Bronwen used professional actors for the presentation of her play and they spent the Saturday before the Seminar rehearsing as well as performing on the day, we believed that they had to be paid. Finally, quality printing of this Newsletter is more expensive than black and white photocopies.
We will be discussing finance at our next committee meeting, but for the Financial Year 2018-2019 our subscription will remain at $50.00 and $40.00 for students or those on Social Security. For methods of payment see the Secretary’s report on the next page.
We always welcome contributions to the newsletter from members. In this issue, as well reports on John Byrne’s adventure and collecting we have an article by Paul Tankard on the Boswell Book Festival and an item suggested by Lisa Sherrif on Jane Austen manuscripts which are now available online.