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NGHS ESU
Presidents' Reports

2020
Colleen Potts OAM (1958 Leaving Certificate)

PDF

Thank you for being part of the NGHS Ex-students Union Committee.

What a worrying, frustrating, challenging year we have experienced worldwide.
2020 will be remembered for the year of house hibernation, mask wearing, hand sanitiser, toilet paper and paper towel shortage, mandatory social distancing, online shopping, contactless delivery, border closures, self quarantine and great confusion about the constantly changing restrictions placed on us when COVID 19 took over our lives - just to name a few.

We started the year on a positive note in March, planning our restoration and conservation works and Annual Luncheon.

The Portraits given to us by NHS Library Staff of Miss Read and Miss Webster were given to our Historians, Judy Lindsay and Judi Cooper to investigate restoration and possible framing and the two HGHS portraits passed on to Lynn Wickham for the Central to Hunter Ex-students.

Robin Gordon arranged for her talented neighbour, Ray Mouthane to regrout, clean, waterproof, repair/replace damaged tiles restoring the tile sculpture at the NHS entrance for future generations.

5 Lead light cabinets in the NHS Library were lovingly restored and secured back in the Library by Alder's Furniture Restoration. On completion Carolyn Rigby secured plaques to the cabinets - " NGHS Heritage Item restored by NGHS Ex-students 2020"

Judy Lindsay began working on her Oral History of NGHS  students' memories of their school days - Judy has arranged with Local Historian and Ex-student Rosemary Melville to have her NGHS Oral Histories placed on the University Website.

Our two Historians began an inventory in our display cabinet at NHS as part of our developing Heritage Policy.

Lynn Haine from Central To Hunter Ex-students gave us a navy box pleat tunic which after some TLC is now proudly worn by our model in our display cabinet.

Our Sleuth Extraordinaire, Robin Gordon, is compiling an inventory of all NGHS heritage  items housed at NHS which will become part of our Heritage Policy to be developed in 2021. Unfortunately her sleuthing was interrupted when visitors were banned from schools.

After researching suitable venues for our Annual Reunion Luncheon, capable of catering for 200+ , it was decided to stay with South's after Colleen and Carolyn had a very positive meeting with their new Event Co-ordinator, Sandra Stowe. An exciting Shared Buffet menu was provided by their New Caterers and Lynne Malcolm agreed to be Guest Speaker. We decided to break tradition and have NO official photographer.

Then COVID restrictions began and everything closed down - we were not able to meet again till July 25th - I was still hoping to hold a Reunion Luncheon.

South's no longer had an Event Co- ordinator so I organised with the yet again " new caterers " - Amy and Scott who gave us an outstanding two course alternate drop main and desert menu . Thus we were still on track.
Due to the 4square metre rule, we moved our September booking till November 14th, 
hoping to accommodate 150 ladies and Carolyn sent out a " Save the Changed Date " message to our Ex-student body.

We intended to send out Invitation in September with RSVP the second week of October. South's were happy with this arrangement.

Robin Gordon and John Beach ( NBHSOBA ) met with NCC Local Studies Librarian Sue Ryan regarding checking on the Caesar Smith Collection. This meeting has resulted in John and Judy Lindsay attending a NCC Library Volunteer Workshop on Wednesday March 3rd  2021, to then be able to work on the collection in the Library - a combined NGHS and NBHOBA initiative.

Some illustrated poetry posters by a few 1950- 1953 NGHS students were found by NHS Library Staff - our Historians are working on their preservation. They will then be digitally copied by NBHSOBA and placed on the website for all to see.

Crunch time came August 31st when I held an executive meeting - the last for 2020.
Sadly we felt with the uncertainties COVID 19 was causing we had no choice but to abandon any plans of a 2020 Reunion Luncheon.

We decided that the September 4th 2021 Reunion Luncheon would be known as 
" NGHS Ex-students 2020/2021 Reunion Luncheon "

Our Ex-students Union provided the usual glass Awards for the NHS year 12 Assembly but sadly due to the closure of all schools to visitors and with no large gatherings allowed, I delivered them to the front office for the school to present.

I met with the new Principal Janene Rosser in October. Janene is keen to conserve the school history and protect NGHS Heritage Items. She is not impressed with the modern changes in the foyer and is keen to take it back to represent the schools heritage.

I am presently working on September 4, 2021 with South's new Event Co- ordinator, Annalisa Ceccato. The caterers are the same as in late 2020 so I am hoping they will provide us with the 2020 menu for the same cost.

Sadly we lost our committee member Nance Adams during the year. 
Our long standing committee member Joan Cobb is very ill in the Hospice.

I would like to thank Judy, Judi, Joy, Robin and Carolyn for their support and continued visits to NHS to work on our Heritage items.

Thank you Vice President Carolyn  for your valuable input throughout the year.

Looking forward to a successful Reunion Luncheon.

Colleen Potts OAM
President
Newcastle Girls High School Ex-students Union
March 2021