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Meeting – 25 June 2024 @ 7.30pm

Nayda Kelly will be guest speaker at our June meeting where we will learn about “A Day on the Bay: The Port Philip Bay Excursion Paddle Steamers 1870 – 1940“.

Nayda has sent us the following bio

  • Past Port Melbourne resident – I grew up in Ross Street, attended Nott Street School, followed by Middle Park Central and MacRobertson Girls’ High.
  • My three children have very fond memories of their grandparents and visits to their home at 143 Ross Street.  My parents were Leo & Iris McLaughlin, who were life members of the local tennis club, where I learned to play also.
  • I have four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, the youngest only four months old.
  • In late January my husband Brian & I moved to Point Lonsdale where our son lives for a sea change.  A bit like living in Port – just 5 minutes to the beach from home.
  • I have family links on both sides to Port Melbourne from the late 1880s – my mother was a Lawson and yes, I’m related to Charlie ‘Tiger’ Lawson.  
  • I’m a person who loves ‘something to do’ and always had an interest in past family history, which was instilled into me by Mum.  So, it was a natural progression when I retired from my career in the advertising industry to take up family history research as my hobby.
  • I love a challenge, and a project to keep me busy; my first serious research was trying to find my mother-in-law’s birth family. After my mother-in-law Mary died it was decided by the family that ‘wouldn’t it be nice if we knew’.  Armed with virtually no documentation I began my research.
  • VERY long story short – I, with help from various family members, found her birth mother.   The official file regarding Mary and her birth mother was given to Brian and myself in August 2014 at the MacKillop Family Services offices in South Melbourne.  At the time I was likened to “a dog with a bone” as, despite the difficulties of establishing the facts, I never gave up.  Mary had been adopted not just once, but twice when the first adoption fell through when the mother died during the Spanish influenza epidemic.  As I said a VERY long story and around five months of intensive research!  Since then, DNA has confirmed the family connection.

That’s me in a ‘nutshell’ – a stickler for detail who spends too much time researching, which is now my favourite past-time, but I hope it shows in what I discover, the stories I write, and particularly in my presentations.

PMHPS meets in-person upstairs at Port Melbourne Town Hall and via Zoom using the following link.

If you experience trouble logging into the meeting please try:

Meeting id  869 6664 5825
Password is: 450546

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PMHPS acknowledges the generous support of the City of Port Phillip.


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Acknowledgement of Traditional Custodians

We respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we meet and work, the Bunurong Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung peoples of the Eastern Kulin Nation and pay respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.