Biblionews has still not caught up on itself, and the lateness of the present issue will inevitably mean a delay in appearance of the December issue. However, there has been a development, not yet finally confirmed, which should mean that the journal will come out on time from 2001 on. I will elaborate on this in the December editorial, by which time the matter in question should have been finally con-firmed.
September was, as is now normal for the Society, the month that saw the holding of the Annual General Meeting in Sydney. The vari-ous reports given there show that the Society is still in a reasonably healthy position and, in spite of the rather heavy cost this year in-volved in the publication and distribution by post free to all members of the
Biblionews 50th anniversary volume Fellows of the Book, we are still able to fund our activities, mainly the publication of Bib-lionews, quite comfortably. Incidentally, I would like on behalf of Jeff Bidgood and myself to thank all those members, both contribu-tors to it and readers of it, for their appreciative comments (despite my typos) on our jubilee volume Fellows of the Book.
Although our membership is inevitably being affected by the pass-ing of some of our oldest members, to which the regular obituaries in our journal sadly bear witness, we are pleased that we have acquired a number of new members this financial year. It has been decided that to acquaint existing members with our new members we will from 2000 on in the December issue each year list and welcome these new members.
After the formalities of the AGM were completed, Committee member Graham Stone gave a talk on Australian Science Fiction and I have extracted from him the promise that I can publish that fascinat-ing contribution to book collecting in the coming December issue.
The present issue of Biblionews contains an entertaining look at medicine/medicos and literature by former consulting physician, and our President, Dr Ben Haneman.
This is followed by the first in what we hope will be a series of articles on prize plates by our immensely hardworking Secretary, Jeff Bidgood. It is articles like this that make me regret that, in view of our very low subscription fee, we cannot afford to use coloured illustrations in Biblionews. Jeff gave a talk on this neglected collecting area at last year’s September meeting, and for many of us not so young members it brought back memories of shyly, but nonetheless smugly, going up onto a stage at some school or Sunday school to collect an item that endeavoured to overlook our frequent misbehaviour and focus on one of our less obvious good points – all the better, of course, if we had been allowed to choose the prize book ourselves, rather than undergo the Hoodoo McFiggin experience of trying to smile wanly on the receipt of something that someone else had decided would be what we wanted or needed. (And in case the reference to Hoodoo McFiggin means nothing to you, just look for Stephen Laycock‟s wonderfully funny story “Hoodoo McFiggin‟s Christmas”; my adult children still chuckle at the very mention of H. McF.’s name, which they heard from repeated readings of this story well before their age had reached double figures.)
As always, it is with great regret that we have to mark with Victorian member Jack Bradstreet’s obituary for John Holroyd the passing of another of our long serving members. Jack makes abundantly clear what a great bookman John was.
For a while reviews were not much in evidence in Biblionews, but they are coming back reasonably thick and fast now, and we thank New South Wales members Dr Neil Radford, formerly the Librarian of the University of Sydney Library, Dr Mark Ferson (like our President a medical man) and Frank Carleton, a fully qualified and expert archivist, for their reviews in this issue.
The issue concludes with a couple of pieces of borrowed whimsy.
In conclusion, I would like on behalf of the Society to congratulate our Sydney member Pat Corrigan on his being awarded the Australia Medal in the 2000 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his services to the pictorial arts, of which he has been a generous patron.