I can’t say enough positive things about attending a genealogical conference — unless it also happens to include a cruise! Even so, the words wonderful, fabulous and excellent “do not” do a genealogical cruise justice.
The Australian genealogical community has been very blessed that we have Alan Phillips, of Gould Genealogy, along with his dedicated Unlock The Past team of Anthea Phillips, Alona Tester, Helen Smith and Eric and Rosemary Kopittke, who have been providing wonderful opportunities over the past eight years for genealogists — not just in Australia— but also from far places around the world to sample the fabulous world of genealogy cruising.
I admit I’m a late starter on these tours having only attended my first genealogy cruise in 2016 – New Zealand to Fremantle. And I couldn’t have asked for a better lineup of speakers which included Judy G. Russell and Paul Blake.
My second cruise with UTP should have been the 2018 trip to the Alaskan Inside Passage only to see me having to withdraw two days out from flying to Seattle to join the cruise due to an unexpected health problem.
So, it is only now, in 2019, that I am on my second cruise with UTP as we travel from Sydney to Singapore. And while it is only day four of this 15-day cruise, there is nothing that hasn’t come up to expectation from the Unlock The Past team.
To have David Rencher, Chief Genealogical Officer for FamilySearch, and Dr Richard Reid, Executive Officer for the Australian War Memorial in the project to return the Unknown Soldier to the Hall of Memory at the Memorial, has been a standout coup.
However, I don’t want to appear to be discrediting the other speakers on this cruise because they continually work to further their knowledge and update their topics accordingly.
No matter how much you think you know about genealogy, when attending any conference, taking in the latest presentation from a speaker (who undoubtedly has spent hours working on or updating their talk) there is always, no matter how small, something new will be learned.
And yes, as experienced as I am, I still take away something new from every conference I have attended from subjects I am well versed in. I am more than grateful that all our genealogical speakers go that extra length to bring to enthusiasts like me the latest updates, tips and methods for anything genealogy related.