While I have enjoyed communicating and collaborating via Zoom and other online tools during Covid times I have missed interacting with real people in a face-to -face situation.
I finally had a chance to present two face-to -face workshops about the Trove newspaper collection to the members of The Tea Gardens and Hawks Nest Family History Research Group yesterday. The members of this Group are to be congratulated for their fundraising efforts in the local community which resulted in their local newspaper, NOTA, being digitised and added to Trove. They thought it timely to host some Trove workshops and I was the lucky person who scored this gig.
I had a super day with the participants whose Trove experience ranged from experienced user to a gentleman who said "I only heard about it this week". It is so much easier to engage with people when one is together with them in person. We had two lively sessions (separated by a yummy lunch) with lots of laughter, learning and sharing of tips. I tried a different approach with my talk and, after just a few introductory slides, demonstrated application of my Trove Tips live on the Trove site. This provided a more effective learning experience as I was able to integrate participants' interests into the workshop.
While I enjoyed my time with the members it was a surprise that I received that put the icing on the cake of my day.
I was seated beside a delightful gentleman who was recounting the story of his Christening; his name didn't ring a bell with me but when he mentioned his wife's name, Shirley, I looked at him and said "she's my cousin". He responded with a bemused look until I said we share Elizabeth Phipps as an ancestor. We were both flabbergasted that serendipity had thrown us together in Tea Gardens. I had Shirley in my tree but I was unaware of her current whereabouts. I exchanged details with the gentleman and look forward to sharing ancestor stories soon.
Sadly I forgot to grab a photo with the gentleman before he left but one of the Group members sent me a copy of one that I have cropped, it's a bit fuzzy but captures the moment of our surprise.