Maitland 200 Years committee calls groups to join community day on September 16

HISTORY: Maitland 200's Janece McDonald with a replica of an 1880's engraving of Maitland City. Picture: Jonathan Carroll
HISTORY: Maitland 200's Janece McDonald with a replica of an 1880's engraving of Maitland City. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Maitland 200 Years events are fast approaching and the organising committee is calling on local groups to get involved in a community day in September.

Maitland 200 Years is an acknowledgement of the city’s history dating back before Europeans arrived in the area in the early 1800’s.

In 1818 eleven men and a woman – Mary Hunt (also known as Molly Morgan) – were granted possession of the river flats between Pitnacree and Oakhampton.

But the costs of Europeans migrating to the area were the destruction of local Aboriginal society and culture, fire stick managed wooded grasslands, riverside wetlands, rainforest and associated fauna. 

The community day on September 16 will be an acknowledgement of that history and also a chance to reflect on the past to move forward together.

“Maitland is a town with a huge history,” Maitland 200 Years committee member and Maitland Regional Museum president Janece McDonald said.

Today Maitland is “a thriving regional city welcoming a diversity of peoples and culture”, the committee says, but has gone through periods of great change over the years.

Dr McDonald said that because Maitland was growing so rapidly, it was important to hold events such as this so the history isn’t forgotten.

“It’s really starting to go ahead as a city,” she said.

“But because there are so many suburbs on the periphery that there is a risk of disconnection.”

“A lot of groups know the history, but this is another platform for people to learn about where they live.”

The community day will reflect on the original inhabitants and their environment, the first European settlers, farming pioneers, industrial and commercial entrepreneurs and the convict and immigrant workers but also welcome the people of “new” Maitland who “continue to enable Maitland’s growth and diversity”.

Dr McDonald said the community day would hopefully become an annual event. She urged any and all groups to join the event in any sort of capacity.

The committee is also seeking corporate sponsorship to help facilitate the day.

To get involved, visit www.facebook.com/Maitland200Years