19 June 2009

Australia: Queen honors genealogist

A well-known member of the "down-under" Jewish genealogy community was surprised to receive an Order of Australia Medal in the Queen's Birthday honors list, according to a story in the Australian Jewish News.

Lionel Sharpe, 77, is an academic, communal worker and, most importantly, for Tracing the Tribe's readers, a genealogist. Currently, he's a Monash University School of Historical Studies research associate.

The Caulfield (Melbourne) grandfather was recognized for his services to Jewish welfare organizations and the Jewish community.

“I’m surprised and honoured. What else can I say?” Sharpe told The AJN.
Born in Australia, Lionel worked in his Russian-born father’s Melbourne business before completing a bachelor of arts in psychology, and later joined the Jewish Welfare Society (now Jewish Care).

He has also worked to support students with disabilities and to raise money for special-needs children in Jewish schools.

As for his interest in genealogy:

When Sharpe’s daughter Monique brought home a family-tree project during her school years, a dad’s helping hand led him to discover one of his great passions, genealogy.

Sharpe attended a lecture by Sophie Caplan, then president of the Australian Jewish Genealogical Society (AJGS), and soon became absorbed in the field.

Today he is secretary of AJGS in Victoria, and one of his many projects was to visit Germany last year with AJGS colleagues to examine a former Nazi archive at Bad Arolsen. The archive has been digitised and placed on a database for access by Shoah survivors.
Tracing the Tribe is delighted to congratulate Lionel on this honor.

Read the complete article here and learn about the other MOTs who received honors.

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