In 2021 the Tunks Descendants Association Incorporated underwent many changes which were initially felt in 2020, but consolidated in these last 12 months. Throughout the world the COVID-19 pandemic continued its march, morphing into variants which in turn were more harmful, more virulent, and more evasive to the vaccines deployed against it. At this point there does not seem to be any sensible expectation that this will change in the near future.
While many of us expected the efforts to vaccinate would have a positive effect on how we lived with the virus amongst us, our holiday season proved that we will have to be smarter to overcome it. Indeed, we will have to modify not just our behaviours but our expectations going forward in this new world. We dropped our guard at the end of 2021, and we paid for it.
For TDAI this has meant a full year without the Committee meeting face to face, at least in person. It has also meant that for the first time in perhaps 30 years TDAI has not had some form of social function. This has certainly been a burden to an organisation which is framed around fellowship, kinship and social interaction.
However, we have made progress on other fronts in this regard. Our web presence, including social media on Facebook and Twitter, has been improved and broadened. Meaning our ability to interact with our members, followers and those interested in Tunks history has been enhanced. Thanks to our Committee members work in this area, I believe this will only continue to improve and develop. Forming an integral part in how TDAI interacts in the public space.
Our Committee meetings have benefited from the flexibility of using Zoom too. Meaning timings or changes to dates to conduct our meetings are not hampered by the need to lock down a venue. It also means our discussion has been just as robust and productive. So once more thank you to all of the Committee members for their diligence and dedication to the advancement of TDAI.
Our Committee (and a couple of old hands) have been working hard to preserve our heritage too.
With a new brass plaque to commemorate our ancestors William Tunks and Sarah Lyons to be attached to the Tunks monument in St Johns Cemetery in Parramatta. A significant move, providing Tunks descendants with a physical point of focus on their family history.
Our family history has been further enhanced, with the family tree broadened and honed through research, and documents added to strengthen the veracity of that research. A shining light for TDAI as it is the central focus of all of us who have Tunks-Lyons DNA in terms of family history. This underpins all of the work that is done in preservation and the social aspects of this organisation of kinfolk.
Our financial position remains strong. As does our membership, which we can hope to grow with the web presence well maintained. Tunks Talk continued to circulate to its fan base, and I know from personal experience just how much our members look forward to it. All of these things mean that TDAI remains in a healthy position financially, and socially.
We’ve also begun a journey into the Reconciliation space with contact and discussions made with the CEO of Reconciliation NSW, with a view to further efforts to engage with First Nations people of the Dharug and Eora. These are the indigenous groups directly affected by the arrival and presence of our own ancestors in the greater Sydney region. Their history is our history, and vice versa. The Committee recognises that these histories are inextricably intertwined, and it will be to the advancement of TDAI to pursue this progressive endeavour.
So in closing, I am proud of the year that TDAI has had. Proud of our efforts in trying circumstances. And optimistic for our future as an organisation with history and kinship at its heart.
President Tunks Descendants Association