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Gravestones to be returned to the Cathedral cemetery

About 40 gravestones now in storage at Newcastle City Council's works depot are expected to be restored and replaced in their original positions at the city's Christ Church Anglican Cathedral. Council project manager Tony Ayling told me the work was scheduled for the 2021-2022 financial year, provided funding was available. The historic cemetery, originally proclaimed in 1817, received more than 3300 burials by the time it closed in 1884. Sadly, despite its great historical significance, the burial ground suffered badly after it was transferred to the ownership of the council in 1972. Many stones were shifted…

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Read more about the article The mysterious case of the vanishing “natives”
Doug Lithgow in his study with framed copies of the charts he found in the Hydrographic Office of the British Navy in 2008

The mysterious case of the vanishing “natives”

Doug Lithgow, Freeman of the City of Newcastle, NSW, and noted campaigner for the environment and heritage, can cite many high points in his long life of activism and community involvement. But one of which he is especially proud is his "discovery" of the original hand-drawn map of the mouth of the Hunter River, drawn in 1797 by Lt John Shortland, RN. Actually, the chart wasn't lost. Like much of Newcastle's documentary heritage it was simply kept somewhere other than Newcastle. In this case, the somewhere else was the Hydrographic Office of the British Royal Navy…

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Walsh Island Dockyard in 1929

Industrial and commercial newsletters and in-house publications are a rich source of fascinating historical material, often of a type that can't be found anywhere else. One of my favourite Australian business journals is Bank Notes, the journal of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. I pick up copies and bound volumes from time to time, mostly from the 1920s and 1930s, and love to comb through them for great old photos and articles about many aspects of Australian life. Mostly the articles are written by bank staff members, and the photos come from many sources. Among the…

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