NSWDS 10th Anniversary & Dickens Fellowship Annual Conference 2012

NSWDS 10th Anniversary Celebrations

At our October 2012  meeting the Society’s tenth anniversary was marked by the cutting of a cake bearing the Society’s logo by two of the founding members Jean Porter and Patricia Stebbings-Moore. Here they can be seen with NSWDS President Catherine Barker.  Then at lunch following the meeting members were treated to a glass of champagne to toast the continung success of the Society.


International Dickens Fellowship Conference 9 – 14th August 2012

Five of our members attended this Bicentennial Conference held at
Portsmouth, the city where Dickens was born. Catherine and David
Barker, Michelle Cavanagh, Margaret Mandeno and Rae Goth were
delighted to meet up with Honorary Life Members Sandra and John
Faulkner there so the NSW Branch was very well represented. We were
housed at Rees Hall, now part of the University of Portsmouth, but
which used to be the Southsea Pier Hotel where Dickens stayed on his
last visit to Portsmouth in 1866. Apart from a variety of talks by an
international panel of speakers and our attendance at the Annual
General Meeting of the Fellowship, we enjoyed a Civic reception at the
Guildhall where the annual Dickens Banquet was held later in the
Conference. We were taken to visit several sites of Dickensian interest in
Portsmouth, including the house where Dickens was born and which is
now a museum, the Pay Office at the Dockyard where his father
worked, and the cemetery where both Maria Beadnall and Ellen Ternan,
Dickens’s first and last loves, are buried. As well as visiting the Dickens
exhibition at the Portsmouth Museum (A Tale of One City), we also
watched a performance of Barnaby Rudge at the historic Kings Theatre.
(Now there’s a novel that is extremely difficult to adapt for the stage and
it was very well done). The Dickens Evensong Service took place at the
church where Dickens was baptised in March 2012 and the address was
given by Mark Dickens, the great-great grandson who is both the head
of the Dickens family and current President of the International
Fellowship. It was good to meet up with fellow Dickensians from all
over the world to talk about Dickens and to hear of different branch
activities. You are now all warmly invited to attend the next Conference
which is to be held 26th June – 1st July 2013 at Boulogne Sur Mer, France.

Dickensians cheer on Ian & Gerald Dickens who were greeted by Portsmouth’s Lord Mayor

Margaret Mandeno, Catherine Barker, Rae Goth & Michelle Cavanagh at the conference dinner held in Portsmouth’s Guildhall.

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