The Woodford Academy Management Committee is proud to present ‘My Dearest Jack’ – A talk by Kate O’Neill  for our upcoming open day on Saturday 17 March 2018 at 1pm.

‘The Woodford Academy for Boys’ was founded in 1907 by distinguished classics scholar John McManamey. Accompanied by his wife Henrietta and their two daughters they fostered a family atmosphere for their young charges at the Blue Mountains boarding school. Tragically John’s beloved wife Henrietta passed away just a few years after the school was founded.

Hidden away for over a hundred years, a small suitcase of carefully folded letters dating from 1890-1892 gives an intimate insight into the courtship of Henrietta Nielson and John McManamey. This deeply personal and treasured collection of letters have only recently been made accessible through the assistance of The Copland Foundation. They reveal much about life in the Central West NSW in the late Nineteenth Century and the poetry of a young man’s attempts to woo his love with words.

‘My Dearest Jack’ is the third talk by local historian Kate O’Neill in her fascinating ‘Women of Woodford’ series. Kate O’Neil is the founder of the Central Mountains History web page dedicated to revealing and celebrating the unique, rich history of the Central Blue Mountains including the Woodford Academy. Kate is currently undertaking a Graduate Diploma in Local Family and Applied History at UNE.

Our open day on Saturday 17 March 2018 is also the last opportunity to view launch ‘Fire’ a site-specific installation by Blue Mountains based artist Kevina-Jo Smith. Smith’s installation engages with concerns of climate change and the bushfire season in the Blue Mountains.  The installation responds to investigations of the Academy’s collection of research by historical guests, researchers, artists and the local Indigenous community, the Darug and Gundungurra People, who have provided records of documenting bushfire in the past, through written word and illustration.

Museum Entry, Talk & Installation
Adults $6, Concession/Child (4-16yrs) $4, Family $15 (2 adults, 2 children)
Guided Tours – $2/Person (4+years)
Woodford Academy 90-92 Great Western Highway, Woodford
(on street parking available on Vale Rd)

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