Thank you for the invitation to speak here tonight, at the 2012 Annual General Meeting and Conference of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists.
I’m really pleased to join you here in the electorate I represent as Member of Parliament, at your “Volcanic Taupo – Steaming ahead” themed conference.
What a tremendous turnout of people who share a common passion and interest in such an important and ever-growing field. This is shown in the staggering membership figure of around 7600 members, and 70 branches, wow!
I know that here in Taupo, there are 70 members of Taupo Genealogy, and I would like to personally thank you for the free service you provide here locally at the Taupo library. I would love to come along one day to see you at work in our community.
I certainly can relate to your motto “Family History – Preserving our past for our future”, for me personally, my family history, and in particular my Scottish ancestry, has become more and more important to me, particularly as my children get older and ask about our background and family history, and I hope to learn more to pass on to them. This is possible through people with expertise and knowledge here tonight.
Organisations such as the New Zealand Society of Genealogists provide an excellent service throughout the community, educating people and promoting the study of genealogy, as well as providing assistance, research and fostering awareness. I believe these are all ambitions which are covered in your objectives, and I commend you for achieving them.
The sharing of knowledge is important, and I know that in the field of genealogy, it is especially so. I read somewhere recently that, when you search for ancestors, you find great friends, and I’m sure that this will be so this weekend where you are here to learn and bond over a common interest.
It sounds like you have an absolutely fantastic line up of speakers for the weekend, including Dr Barratt, from England, and Rosemary and Eric Koppitke, from Australia.
And so in conclusion, thank you very much for asking me along here to say a few words, and I really do wish you a great weekend here in Taupo for your Annual Conference.