Our next Speaker Evening for Tuesday 7 June 2022 at 5.30 pm at the Society Rooms - 3 Cathedral Street, Maitland

Speaker: Les Kilmartin

Topic:  William Cromarty: A Rare Bird

He will speak about his forebear, Captain William Cromarty who was well known in Newcastle and Port Stephen in their early colonial days. The talk, William Cromarty: A Rare Bird.

An Orkney man by birth and therefore a seasoned mariner, Cromarty arrived in Sydney to settle in 1822. From then on he was frequently in Newcastle and Port Stephens. He was described as a ‘rara avis’ by Sir Edward Parry, the famous Arctic explorer and mariner. Sir Edward was commissioner of the AA Company at Port Stephens between 1830 and 1834 and employed Cromarty in various capacities. In this talk, Les Kilmartin will present previously unknown information about Cromarty’s life and explain why he was widely regarded as a rare bird in the colony.

Dr Leslie Kilmartin was a dean and pro vice chancellor at La Trobe University until 2003. Following that, he was human resources consultant. Over the past several years he has researched the life of William Cromarty, his 3X great grandfather. He has recently published a novel, The Cromartys of Port Stephens, and a biography The Elusive Captain William Cromarty. He lives in Carlton, Melbourne.

The Society asks for a donation of $5 to cover the cost of light refreshments before and after the talk. Members of the Public are welcome.

We are currently trialing ZOOM (for members only) on speaker nights.


Speaker Evenings are held on the first Tuesday of the month (except January) at 5 30 pm.

(A small charge of $5 includes light refreshments provided before and after the speakers delivery.)

Future Guest Speakers:


   5 July 2022:          Jim Waddell - on the Role and Organisation of the Anglican Church in Maitland to 1836

  2 August 2022:        Heather Berry - Colonial connections between Maitland, Morpeth and more distant places

No dates set for: -


    Brian Walsh: The Changing Face of Farming in the Paterson and Woodville Areas, 1812-1920  







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