During the Second World War a group of professional men championed the establishment of the Illawarra Historical Society. They organised a public meeting on Tuesday, 5 December 1944 chaired by the then Mayor of Wollongong, Alderman J. J. Kelly. The Illawarra historical society was formed at the meeting and a provisional committee appointed.
The first general meeting was held on Thursday, 1st February 1945. At that meeting, the following office bearers were elected:
Patron: Dr Harry Maldon
President: Mr John Harrison
Vice-Presidents: Mr Allen Higgins
Mr Arthur Jones
Secretary: Mr Alexander Fleming
Treasurer: Mr Cyril Law
Research Officer: Dr Robert Taylor
Committee: Capt. William Nicholson
Mr Thomas Maguire
Mr Harold Milne
Mr William Simpson
Mr Gordon Worland
The first ordinary meeting was held on Thursday 8th February 1945 in the rooms of the Illawarra Mutual Building Society. The meeting agreed that ordinary meetings of the society would be held on the first Thursday of each month except January. Each meeting would have a guest speaker who would address members of the society on an historic topic. The Society has always maintained the same meeting schedule and format.
The society was formally accepted as an affiliate of Royal Australian Historical Society on 13 February 1945. The Society became affiliated with the National Trust of Australia on 12 February 1948.
[Illawarra Historical Society Inc.: 60th Anniversary Commemorative Issue/ C Herben. Wollongong, Illawarra Historical Society, 2004]
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