RAHS AGM in 1919 – The impact of the influenza

In the extraordinary times of COVID-19 that we presently find ourselves, adjustments have had to be made to how we maintain safe social distancing. As our members would be aware, the Royal Australian Historical Society Annual General Meeting was held in a novel way this year – via Zoom video conferencing.

Given these circumstances, you may be wondering, how was the AGM held in 1919 during the ‘Spanish flu’ pandemic?

The following is an extract from The Daily Telegraph, dated 17 February 1919:

The annual meeting of the Royal Australian Historical Society was originally set down for February 25, when his Excellency Sir Walter Davidson was to have presided and Mr. P. Board, M.A., C.M.G., to have read a paper on “Australian Citizenship.” Owing to the Government embargo on public meetings, it is impossible to announce at the present moment the date of the meeting. But the nomination of councillors for 1919 has proceeded, and the following have been declared elected: — President, Mr. S. H. Smith; vice-presidents, Judge Backhouse, Mr. R. J. Black, M.L.C., Professor G. A. Wood, and Mr. Hugh Wright; hon. secretary, Mr. K. R. Cramp; hon. treasurer, Mr. W. Welch; hon. research secretary, Captain J. H. Watson; council, Messrs. C. H. Bertie, C. T. Burfitt, J. A. Ferguson, W. A. B. Greaves, Aubrey Halloran. J. A. Hogue, P. J. Marks, H. Selkirk, and F. Walker.

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