Entertaining History Presentations Funded by an ACT Seniors Grant

It has been several years since the ACT Government generously funded this series of presentations of entertaining reminiscing sessions for our senior citizens. Once again, these sessions are available.

The presentations run for roughly an hour and are all ‘hands on’ for the suitcase items.

After reading the outlines of what is on offer and viewing the photos of the costumed presenter, should you wish to book a session, please phone 6161 6383, (a message can be left), or email: Information is also available on my website: www.historywithadifference.com.au

Using my own extensive and eclectic collection of antiques and collectables, I am keen to bring my suitcases full of interesting ‘stuff’ to thirty venues in the ACT, to share memories, anecdotes and stories. Because we are delving into the past, I call the presentations ‘historical’ – but as a storyteller I try to choose material which will bring back memories for those in our community who have enough years behind them to remember!

For those who have not met me before, as a presenter, I like to choose some of my collection to wear, as I believe it gets us all in the mood to travel back in time. Below are some photos of popular past presentations.

Leading in the popularity stakes is (1). ‘There’s History in the Bottom Drawers – or Secret Women’s Business’ – revealing the layers of history – or more correctly ‘her story’, generations of women have preserved for posterity in the chests of drawers. This presentation is popular with men as well as women, as it takes them back in time when ‘Mum’ ran the household in a very different manner to today’s lifestyle. Be warned – many seniors, over the years, have added anecdotes which make this a very cheeky presentation.

(2). ‘Flapper Fashion’ takes us back to the 1920s and 30s and shows that women changed in that era, not only in appearance, but also in attitude. Some of our seniors may remember snippets from that time, but for people of my generation, born in the 1940s, it provokes enormous admiration for young people from that time.

(3) ‘A History of Toys’ looks at childhood from the past – a gentler time , mostly pre plastic, pre television and pre super heroes, but a time when playing cowboys and Indians was such fun!

(4) ‘Remember When…’ involves remembering an unusual range of items reflecting changing lifestyles – for example, flat irons, curling tongs or recycled short pants for boys, bicycle clips, school hats and gloves etc.

(5) ‘Oh to be a Man!’ really stretches the imagination as I trawl through a range of men’s items, particularly relating to Australian history, where through hard work and different professions, it was possible to change one’s status. I’ve been told there is too much of me, in the wrong places to convincingly look like a man – but who cares – it’s all a bit of fun!

For years I have dressed in a style similar to Mrs Julia Webb who was born in 1820 in Kilkenny Ireland, arrived in the Canberra region in1841 and died here in 1877. Mrs Webb called herself (6) Judy the Great’ as she plied her trades of midwife and ‘sly grog dealer’. She also brought up eight of her ten children and was a true ACT pioneer. See elsewhere on my web site for more details. I have written twenty local history stories for ACT school children in her voice. Some of these stories about pioneer times in the Territory are also available as a presentation.

Another lady from the past is the photo of the one in the black nineteenth century gear. Her story is also available as a presentation. She represents (7) Mrs Francis McGee, nee Mary Anne Morrison, who lived at, and ran the household at the Tuggeranong School house in Chisholm, (now run by me as a Museum), from November 1898 until 1927. This was the longest time for any resident there in it's 130 years as a cottage and attached classroom. As well, they were the family with the greatest number of children, seven, one of whom achieved international fame. See elsewhere on the web site for information, photos and opening times for this Museum.

The other photo is the (8) basic me, but I like to embellish this image when I present three other ‘stories. These are a history of hats, shoes – and brace your selves – women’s ‘undies’. I also offer a presentation of items that were used to stimulate memories for the stories of several women, found elsewhere on the website, funded by an ACT Women’s Grant.

Here I am in eight different guises for a range of history presentations. Generally I am wearing at least one item from my antique clothing collection.

To book your next History Presentation Contact Elizabeth Burness on 6161 6383, or 0400391440