Oral history interview with Miss Thelma Aktin [by Elsie Harwood, 1983]

University of Queensland Oral history interview with Miss Thelma Aktin [by Elsie Harwood, 1983]. (Oral history interviews collected by Dr. J.R. Cole for 75th anniversary history project sound recording)

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Oral_history_interviews_atkin_thelma.mp3 Stream this item to your browser Audio/mp3 (open access) audio/mpeg 107.53MB 0
Creator University of Queensland
Title Oral history interview with Miss Thelma Aktin [by Elsie Harwood, 1983]
Open Access Status Other
Recording Date 1983-01-01
Year available 2015
Contributor Atkin, Thelma, 1898-1985
Harwood, Elsie
Series Oral history interviews collected by Dr. J.R. Cole for 75th anniversary history project sound recording
Type audio/wav
Original Format On 1 of 3 sound discs (117 min.); 4 1/4 in.
Source Oral history interviews collected by Dr. J.R. Cole for 75th anniversary history project sound recording, Volume 1, track 1a, 1b, 2
Duration 01 hr., 57 min., 27 sec.
Language eng
Rights Please contact the Fryer Library, The University of Queensland Library to inquire about this work
Formatted Abstract/Summary
The oral history interviews were conducted in preparation for the 1985 publication A place of light & learning : the University of Queensland's first seventy-five years by Malcolm Thomis, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the foundation of the University of Queensland.

Some three dozen tape recordings were made of interviews with former staff and students of the University. The interviews were conducted by John Cole, Nancy Bonnin and others from 1979 to 1983.

Between 1999 and 2001, the University of Queensland Library converted the tape recordings into MP3 format. In 2015 the Library combined tracks with the same interviewees and converted the MP3 to WAV format.

Reference: Thomis, Malcolm I. (1985). A place of light & learning : the University of Queensland's first seventy-five years. University of Queensland Press, St. Lucia, Qld.
Keyword University of Queensland -- History
Cole, John R.
Harwood, Elsie
Atkin, Thelma, 1898-1985
Additional Notes Thelma Atkin joined the staff of the University of Queensland in 1914, at the age of sixteen.

She went on to train several generations of secretarial staff, worked in some of the most sensitive and confidential areas of the University administration, and became well known to many of the University's most distinguished academic staff members as an utterly reliable confidante.

Other positions held by Thelma Atkin include Minutes Secretary to Senate and administrative positions in External Studies, Exams, Records, the Registrar's Office, Chancellor’s office and the University Committees.

In this interview conducted by Dr Elsie Harwood, Thelma shares memories such as how the students had to wear academic gowns to attend lectures (and how "now they dress as if they’re going to the seaside"); she describes humorous incidents and some of the "absent minded professors" she had to smarten up. Thelma Atkins and Elsie Harwood recall the early days at UQ's first site, Old Government House, and the beautiful setting of the hall there for student dances ("a romantic sort of time").

They also speak of Walter Wyche, UQ’s first Janitor and Mace bearer, who lived in a small apartment which used to be a stable (with hitching post outside) and how he was always available to "guard the morals and behaviour of the students". Thelma Atkin retired from the University on 28 January 1958.

(Biography published first in The Fryer Library online exhibition, UQ Memory.)

Document type: Audio Document
Collection: UQ Library - Digitised Materials - open access
 
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Created: Mon, 02 Nov 2015, 20:33:00 EST by Ms Dulcie Stewart on behalf of Scholarly Communication and Digitisation Service