Unlock the Past Cruise March 2011 - Day One (part 2)
Food can come from a number of places on the ship (for ‘free‘), including the buffet, restaurant, and some tables that mysteriously appear and disappear near the pool. I chose to have a meatball roll from these mysterious tables. The afternoon was spent by some watching a movie, sitting and drinking cocktails (alcohol is abundant…), going to discussion groups, or perhaps having a nanna nap. I was in that latter category. 4pm meant talks began once more and this time we went to an equally cold room, the Dome. Not meant for lectures, this entertainment area was rearranged suitably, though not perfectly. Three talks occurred back-to-back with a brilliant time-keeper ensuring efficient progress.
The first talk was Carol Baxter speaking about the ‘Biographical Database of Australia’. Not having any idea what this was, the talk was half way through before I had a reasonable understanding: it is a not-for-profit on-line database with separate entries on people in Australia, these entries comprising not only on written biographies when available, but also related documents such as (again, when available), marriage certificate, obituary notice, church record mentions, etc. Carol is the editor so has a good grasp on the database’s content and creation. I was disappointed in discovering (at the very end of the talk) that the BDA is not available as yet but possibly late this year or early next year, by which time I will probably forget about it, as well as the fact that the PowerPoint wasn’t used during the talk.
Mike Murray (from TimeTrackers) was next with ‘Scottish Research’. Being a genealogy-specific topic most of the exact details were not of huge interest to me, however I did learn that ScotlandsPeople is the start and finishing place for research, with a few other places in between (which Mike did cover briefly as well). As such those already familiar with ScotlandsPeople would have been unenlightened by the majority of his talk, though newbies would have found his demonstration of the website very interesting. Mike spoke well and his use of PowerPoint was welcomed and necessary.
My favourite speaker was Leigh Summers (I am biased though as she spoke on a history topic), speaking on ‘Fashion History: British & Australian’. Leigh focused on the 1920s, outlining the fashions and comparing them to both 1900 and today. It was surprisingly (and disturbingly) similar in nature to now. Leigh used many pictures to illustrate this delightful talk, as well as a You Tube clip and even a real-life lass modelling a corset! She spoke very confidently and authoritatively, and despite being very chilly by then (and queasier than ever), I was hesitant to ding the little bell signalling the end.
A mad rush then ensued as I along with others changed before heading down to tea. It was cocktail night so the restaurant would not allow people to dine unless appropriately dressed (I witnessed one very irate man being turned away). One well-cooked steak later (and a bowl of turnip pretending to be a side-dish of ‘steamed vegetables’) and I was ready to crash for the night.