Monday, March 23, 2015

AFFHO Congress Presenter Interview - Paul Milner

When is an interview not an interview? Perhaps when you are having a pleasant day out with friends.

Mr GeniAus and I had a Pre-Congress Social Day out with AFFHO Congress presenter,  Paul Milner and his wife Carol Becker yesterday.

We tried to not to talk about genealogy etc because our spouses (who don't admit to being genies) were along for the ride to the beautiful Blue Mountains. At times, during our 11 hours together the conversation did turn to geneachat and Paul kindly responded to my questions.

Paul indicated that he loves Australia and was thrilled to have an opportunity to be able to address a new audience at our national event. Paul has plenty to share, he is not having difficulty with what to share in his sessions but in what to delete from his talks so that he can adhere to the 45 minute session time limit at Congress. I have heard Paul speak on a previous Australian tour and an Unlock the Past Cruise and can attest that he has lots of knowledge to share. Paul's presentations are packed with information and he is an excellent presenter, he will be giving 5 talks at Congress so do try to get along to hear one or two.

Paul, as a conference attendee, is pleased that he will have an opportunity to hear presenters from the UK and local speakers that he does not have an opportunity to hear in the United States. Paul, like many Americans, also has ancestor ties to Australia and feels a areal affinity with our country.

Paul was pleased to tell me that local publisher, Unlock the Past, have published several of his books and that they will be on sale from the Unlock the Past booth at Congress. I'm sure Paul will be happy to sign any of his titles that you purchase there.

Paul and Carol have allowed themselves time to explore NSW before and after Congress and are looking for advice on places to visit particularly in and around Canberra, The Snowy and the South Coast so if you know of some local hidden gems please do find Paul during Congress.

Our first stop Blaxland Riverside Park was a huge success, Carol had read about it in a landscaping magazine and was keen for a visit.  Thankfully the weather there was just overcast.

Blaxland Riverside Park
We had a fun but frustrating day when we reached our destination, the Blue Mountains to the west of Sydney, the weather just wasn't cooperating.At Echo Point The Three Sisters and the Jamison Valley were shrouded in obliterated by mist, Paul and Carol bought a postcard so they would know what they should have seen.
The Three Sisters came out for a few minutes to greet Carol and Paul
While at Echo Point Carol was excited to a Banksia and I was pleased to see the Road Builders' Memorial that I misssed on my last visit.

Blue Mountains Banksia
Road Builders Memorial
After our lunch break at the Paragon in Katoomba which was a hit my hardy co-travellers managed a walk to the Leura Cascades with its beautiful display of ferns. Our drive home was punctuated by a yummy dinner at The Red Spoon at Top Ryde.

A Room at The Paragon, Katoomba
While Paul and I enjoy Congress I think that Mr GeniAus and Carol are going to fit in some sightseeing - I do hope the weather is kind to them.

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