50th Anniversary of the Sydney Mediæval & Renaissance Group

One of our committee members visited the Sydney Medieval & Renaissance Group for their AGM this month. The group recently celebrated their 50-year anniversary. Here’s an introduction to the group from their Vice-President, Sharon Davidson.

The Sydney Mediaeval and Renaissance Group, commonly known as SMRG, celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014. It is the oldest mediaeval society in Australasia.

The Group began in 1963 with an interdepartmental meeting at the University of Sydney and commenced formal operations the following year with a four-page newsletter and a series of lectures on Sir Thomas More. Its initial size of 20 members soared rapidly to 130 from Australia and New Zealand.

This success inspired the foundation, in 1967, of the Australian and New Zealand Association for Renaissance Studies (ANZMRS), forerunner of the current ANZAMEMS. A visit, in 1980, from a Western Australian colleague led to the formation of the Perth Medieval and Renaissance Group, which flourishes to this day. SMRG too continues, holding monthly meetings at the homes of members, who assemble to hear papers by local and visiting academics and to enjoy convivial discussions accompanied by food and drink.

For more information about SMRG, how to join and its upcoming program, visit https://sites.google.com/site/sydsmrg/. Members come from all walks of life, but share a common thread: an interest in aspects of mediaeval life, history, literature; and their definition of ‘medieval’ is quite flexible.

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