Union Jack flag

The Origin of the Union Jack Flag

The origin of the Union Jack flag

Whilst researching the March saints for a Tabula story, I was diverted into a story about the flag known as the Union Jack. The Union Jack consists of the flag devices of three of the four patron saints of the countries which comprise Great Britain. The feast days of two of these patron saints occur during the month of March and there is another in April. Not only is the Union Jack the official flag of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, it also appears included on 31 other flags around the world, including Australia, New Zealand and six flags of the Australian States.

The central feature of the flag is the cross of St George, patron saint of England; behind it is the cross of St Andrew representing Scotland and the cross of St Patrick representing Northern Ireland.  Unluckily for the Welsh, the fourth patron saint, St David of Wales, is not depicted on the Union Jack at all!

St David’s feast day is celebrated on 1st March.  This is considered to be …

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April Fools Day at the Abbey Museum

The Story Behind April Fool’s Day

April Fool’s History

Everyone enjoys a good joke, (whether practical or otherwise) and April 1st or April Fool’s Day is recognised almost universally as the day on which pranks are played. They may be close to home such as sending your brother to find a can of elbow grease so you can shine your shoes or as widely reported as the BBC Panorama report on 1 April 1957 about the spaghetti harvest in Switzerland which had many people asking where they could obtain spaghetti plants themselves.

There are a number of theories about the origin of April 1 being celebrated as April Fool’s Day. The most widely accepted is that it goes back to when the western world adopted the Gregorian calendar in place of the Julian calendar during the 1500s. Under the Julian calendar the year began on March 25; festivals marking the start of the New Year were celebrated on the first day of April as March 25th fell during Holy Week. When the Gregorian calendar was adopted, New Year moved to 1 January. The theory goes …

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Regency Era Fashion Plate

Regency Ball – Recreating the Regency Period.

The Regency Period – a great artistic era or a bad royal joke?

The Regency Period went for nine years, starting in 1811 when a bill passed declaring that King George III was too unfit to rule, naming his 48-year-old son, the future King George IV, as Prince Regent. While the actual regency only lasted until the King’s death  in 1820, the entire Regency Era is generally thought to be from the 1780’s until George IV’s death in 1830. However, the bill was made with reluctance as the Prince Regent was extremely unpopular. He was discouraged from making decisions regarding official governing business and war, so he instead spent all the money from the treasury on things such as balls, fashion, food, and pageants!  People did not view him as the ‘Great King’ they originally had hoped he would be, and by his official coronation in 1821, he had become a symbol for senseless extravagance and a national joke.

Regency, an era of change

But although the Prince Regent was disliked himself, the actual regency was a great period for literature, …

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Abbey Museum Stained Glass Tours - medieval shield

Gregorian Peace at the Abbey Museum

Gregorian Chanting – take a breather this Advent

Close your eyes and be transported back to the Middle Ages where monks in hooded robes chant their divine offices in the candle lit sanctuary of a Church.  This is not a scene from centuries past, but instead the Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology in Caboolture, brings the past to you in the form of Gregorian Chanting!

Traditionally, Gregorian chants were sung by choirs of in churches or by religious orders in their chapels.  Named for Pope Gregory I (Pope 590 – 604), chanting has been part of Christian religious services since the very early days of the Catholic Church. The ambiance is magically re-created in the candlelit Abbey Church with ‘Schola Cantorum’ of Brisbane each Christams. The Gregorian Christmas chanting which signifies the beginning of Advent and the onset of what some might call the ‘silly season’ instead brings a piece of peace to your heart and soul, a much sought after reprieve from our busy lives.

A Christmas Tradition

The Medieval Christmas event has been a well-loved event …

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Teaching the Value of Archaeology

To many people archaeology embodies adventure, excitement, very old things and, of course, thanks to the Indiana Jones franchise, unfortunately Nazis. The image of Indiana Jones, Hollywood’s archetypal archaeologist, has been burned into the minds of the “baby boomer” generation. These days, finding anyone under the age of 20 who has seen these films is an adventure in itself. Archaeology is so much more than “digging up old stuff” and putting it into a museum; it plays an important role in society, more than most people realise. Instilling that idea into a student’s mind is a definite challenge.

Curiosity plays an important role in the public perception of archaeology and history. Why are people so fascinated by King Tut and the Pyramids? It has to be more than, “they look pretty cool” right? Well, that’s because it is. Human beings have a natural desire to know more about where they have come from, especially if it relates to themselves. There is no doubt that there is economic value associated with archaeology as well. Museums all over the world are …

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Dr Geoff Ginn talks about the Abbey Museum history

A Morning out of the Museum Office

The Moreton Bay History Seminar was held at North lakes Community Centre on 11th May 2017 as part of the National Trust sponsored Australian Heritage Festival. A number of Abbey Museum staff and volunteers attended and were especially keen to hear the second speaker, Dr Geoff Ginn, who spoke about the history of the Abbey Museum and its founder J.S.M Ward.

The morning consisted of three speakers on very diverse subjects – but all related  in one way or another to the local region.

The first speaker, Dr Regina Ganter, professor of Australian History at Griffith University, spoke of the missions at Zion Hill and Stradbroke Island. Her talk examined the social experiment that these missions represented and why they both failed to achieve the results that were initially expected of them. In discussing the difficulties encountered by the missionaries, Dr Ganter touched on the expectations placed on them by their home societies, as well as local issues which affected their efforts.

Dr Geoffrey Ginn, Senior Lecturer in History at the University …

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Tell Halaf Talk

Tell All – Tell Halaf

What do Agatha Christie, Lawrence of Arabia, Max von Oppenheim and donors to the Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology have in common? The packed audience at Vera Windau-Heath’s talk on Saturday 18th March heard the answers to these and many other fascinating facts about archaeological digs in Syria.

Archaeology in Syria

Vera and her husband Ken were part of teams undertaking digs at Tell Halaf in Syria. Vera’s passion for the country and the local inhabitants (they came to befriend) was obvious from the tenor of her description of the numerous cultural issues they confronted. Tell Halaf was a major settlement in the fertile valley of the Khabur River from the Halafian period 6000- 5000 BC through Summerian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Aramean and Persian periods. Max von Oppenheim first undertook excavation at the site during 1911 – 1913 where settlements dating back to the Chalcolithic period were revealed. Vera explained how von Oppenheim had to transport all his tools and equipment from Aleppo to the dig site at Tell Halaf by camel – a journey that took 20 days!

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Antique, Vintage or Just Plain Old?

One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure!

Indeed this statement is so true! Have you ever heard the stories of the families that had a special item at home that they were absolutely SURE would make them an overnight millionaire because it belonged to great-grandmother Betty who said it was a special antique family heirloom?

Well great-grandmother Betty told Grandy Bruce, who told his daughter Alice, who then told her niece Bertha it was special and had been in the family for generations. The item was taken to be appraised only to revel that it had indeed been in the family for generations, but was worth absolutely nothing apart from the knowledge it was special.

So how do you know that your old family antiques are actually antiques and not just… old?

What is an Antique?

Today everything seems to be called an antique!

Generally speaking, an antique is any work of art, piece of …

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hamper

Picnic Hampers at Pemberley

The perfect accompainment to the Picnic at Pemberley;

A delicious pre-made Picnic Hamper!

We all love the amazing treats served for afternoon-tea at our Pemberley event, but this year you can  indulge in a true “Picnic” at Pemberley. Why not treat yourself to a hamper full of Regency inspired food, that is packed and ready for your culinary delight?  Whether you choose to be seated on a rug, or at one of the tables to enjoy your lunch, we are sure you will appreciate feasting on the treats inside your hamper, while absorbing the Regency atmosphere created throughout the grounds of the stunning Abbey Church and Museum. Picnic Hampers can be ordered online at a cost of $25, and can be picked up when our gates open on the day, at 11:30am.

Hampers will include a range of Regency inspired goodies such as:

Red or White Wine, and Regency Cordial for Children.

Chelsea Bun or Gluten free cake.

Quiche …

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Order of the Horse – Pemberley 2016

Horses, Cavalry, Guns and Uniforms

The backdrop set in the time of the famous Napoleonic Wars in the early 1900s in Regency style.

A time where women paraded around in regency dress and gentleman courted, escorted and swept ladies off their feet. When men were adorned in French or Anglo uniform and women worshiped their male heroes of war.

Picnic at Pemberley transports us to a time of grace where women were dressed in beautiful gowns and men a like, a time when military men of the cavalry were admired with awe. Their horses and uniforms breath taking. At Picnic of Pemberley, a small unit of heavy French Cavalry serving the Emperor Napoleon arrive at the Picnic on their horses. Women and men eye off the cavalry and their horses as they enter as guests. An armoured Cuirassier officer of the cavalry, appointed by the Emperor Napoleon, and Dragoons, display a beautiful drill on their horses in full uniform followed by …

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