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For people who love, use and manage archives

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Annual History Lecture 2014: ‘The Battle Within Ourselves’ – POWs in post-war Australia

Prisoner of War Memorial, Ballarat

Organisation Name: History Council of NSW in partnership with Sydney Living Museums

Event Type: Talk / Lecture

When: Tuesday, 9 September 2014 from 06:00 PM to 08:30 PM

Where: The Mint, 10 Macquarie , Sydney

Cost: General $50.00 / Concession $45.00

Contact: Dr Mandy Kretzschmar, 02 9252 8715, Email: executive@historycouncilnsw.org.au or Book Online

The current embrace of former prisoners of war (POWs) of the Japanese as veterans who suffered undue hardships in the service of their nation belies a more complicated history. Focusing on the immediate post-war period until the 1970s, Professor Christina Twomey explores in her lecture the rare testimony from ex-POWs about how they experienced life in Australia after their return home. Many applicants to the POW Trust Fund (1952-77) certainly believed that captivity had blighted their chances and disrupted their capacity to find employment, connect properly with other people or to settle down and find happiness in work and family life. Whether imprisonment in war caused their problems, or merely compounded an existing structural disadvantage or personality failing, lay at the heart of the Trustees’ deliberations. The way Trustees chose to find an answer, which drew upon networks of information available from private charity and assumptions about who or what constituted a deserving case, demonstrates the limits of sympathy for damaged and broken men.

The Lettesi in Newcastle

Post by Gionni Di Gravio

Over the Australia Day 2014 long weekend, I was contacted by Dr Judy Galvin, who completed her PhD back in 1983 on the Lettesi in Newcastle.

The Lettesi were a community of Italian immigrants from the town of Lettopalena, located in the Abruzzi region (Chieti province) of Italy.

Here is an introduction by Dr Judith Galvin, from the work “The Lettesi Story: A Community in Search of Place” pp. 5-7:

“The Lettesi in Newcastle are the extended family members of 145 households, where either one or both partners were born in Lettopalena, Italy. Most of this core group of first generation immigrants arrived in Australia over the seven-year period from 1950 to 1956 and after working in the cane fields, settled mainly in Hamilton, a working-class suburb, close to the heavy industries and port facilities of Newcastle.

The community evolved through a chain migration process that began with the arrival, in 1925, of Giacomo De Vitis. In 1927, Giacomo called his brother-in-law, Arcangelo Rossetti. In 1938 Arcangelo’s sons, Antonio and Giacomo, bought a cane farm in Proserpine where the brothers later purchased farms of their own. These farms became the focus for a major post-war exodus, sponsored mainly by Antonio, with assistance from Giacomo, and other Italian farmers.

News of the Carrington volumes hits the Northern Hemisphere!

 

Carrington gallery

 

News of the presentation of the Carrington volumes to New South Wales has travelled to the Northern Hemisphere and the home county of the Carington family in Buckinghamshire.

Historic Buckinghamshire volumes presented to New South Wales

A fascinating Victorian archive of life in New South Wales (NSW), donated by the Carington Family of Buckinghamshire, has made its debut in Australia.

The current state Governor, Marie Bashir, was joined by other representatives of the NSW state government to unveil the gift.

Known as the Carrington Volumes, the 22 exquisite leather bound albums were presented to the third Lord Carrington upon his retirement from a five-year term as NSW Governor in 1890.

The captivating Victorian collection consists of 13 albums of hand-illuminated manuscripts, detailing expressions of gratitude and fond farewells from towns, cities and establishments visited by Lord and Lady Carrington.

Read more at Buckinghamshire County Council website

The story was also featured in the South Bucks Star
Carrington Volumes unveiled Down Under -South Bucks Star - July 2 2014 p4

Happy #NAIDOC Week 2014: 6-13 July

Serving Country: Centenary & Beyond

NAIDOC 2014 poster

NAIDOC Week celebrations are held around the country each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The week is celebrated not just in Indigenous communities but also in government agencies, schools, local councils and community organisations.

To see what celebrations are taking place near you, check out the 2014 local NAIDOC events calendar or find some ideas on how to celebrate NAIDOC Week.

Here are a few archive/history themed links for NAIDOC week.

More Than Service: Black Diggers and The Great War

In commemoration of the centenary of the First World War the History Council, NSW and Cosmopolitan Civil Societies Research Centre, UTS, invite you to a symposium about the contribution of ‘Black Diggers’ to the war effort and how their service changed social and economic relations on the home front.

Records show that more than 800 Aboriginal men enlisted, eager to fight on behalf of their country: they served in this conflict on equal terms, successfully breaking down cultural barriers by forming friendships with those they fought side by side. The participation of Aboriginal Servicemen in the First World War held immediate implications for families and communities on the home front.

When: Thursday, 10 July 2014 from 10:00 am to 03:00 pm

Where: State Library of NSW, Macquarie Street , Sydney

Cost: General Free

Book Here

 

 Department of Veterans Affairs honours indigneous servicemen and women

As we approach the centenary of the First World War the Indigenous Champion Project is proudly honoring the service and sacrifice of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Servicemen and women by sharing with you their wartime stories.

Read their stories

Finding Indigenous communities in the State archives

This site brings together all our resources that can help you identify, access and use State archives that relate to Indigenous people.

Learn more on the website

School gardens

A recurrent theme in the Schools Photographic collection, NRS 15051, are photos of school gardens.

Students are depicted toiling in the soil or standing proudly next to a garden in full bloom.

Caption: Beecroft Public School  Digital ID: 15051_a047_000925.jpg  Date: year only 31/12/1923

Caption: Beecroft Public School
Digital ID: 15051_a047_000925.jpg
Date: year only 31/12/1923

Caption: Bowning Public School  Digital ID: 15051_a047_001628.jpg  Date: c. 31/12/1900

Caption: Bowning Public School
Digital ID: 15051_a047_001628.jpg
Date: c. 31/12/1900

A bit of digging on Trove reveals the school garden scheme was not only a  popular pastime that was part of the learning experience, it was also a highly competitive pursuit with school garden competitions going on throughout the state!

 In New South Wales the schools have an Inspectorate Competitive System, and all schools in an Inspectors zone compete one against the other, with severe handicap conditions so that actually this year the winner of the Treloar Shield was Byamee School, with fewer than 30 pupils, so that under the system in vogue, the small schools have as much chance as the bigger ones in competition.

SCHOOL GARDENS ‘. (1934, December 26). Townsville Daily Bulletin (Qld. : 1885 – 1954), p. 9. Retrieved June 19, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article61866534

And here is a photograph of the Treloar Shield winners for 1934  - Byamee Public School’s garden:

Caption: Byamee Public School - Byamee School Garden, winner of 1934 competition - Treloar Shield.  Digital ID: 15051_a047_002178.jpg  Date: year only 31/12/1934

Caption: Byamee Public School – Byamee School Garden, winner of 1934 competition – Treloar Shield.
Digital ID: 15051_a047_002178.jpg
Date: year only 31/12/1934

What did the judges have to say about the winning garden at Byamee?

The Judge, who judged the gardens, said, ‘The winning school’s flower garden presented a magnificent display. The Red Radiance Rose Hedge at this school extends for a distance of seventy yards along the front, and in full massed bloom presented a magnificent display. Lavish planting in huge beds produced a riot of bloom, in massed Petunias, Goodenias, Corn flowers, Snapdragons, while extensive rows of Sweet Peas and Holly hocks were respectively ablaze with color.’

SCHOOL GARDENS ‘. (1934, December 26). Townsville Daily Bulletin (Qld. : 1885 – 1954), p. 9. Retrieved June 19, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article61866534

It appears Byamee continued its winning streak the following year. Succeeding in retaining the Treloar Shield in 1935 :

Fifty-one schools took part in the Tamworth inspectorate schools’ garden competition Results: Byamee 281 points, Manilla 274, Nundle 243, Duri 230, Westdale 233, Kootingal 224, Piallamore 217, Scone 214, Quipolly Creek 202, Brown’s Springs 200, Walhallow 115, At- tunga 188, Barraba 177, Warrah Creek 174, West Tamworth 129. The Byamee school, present holder of the Treloar Shield, retains the trophy. The Manila school secured the highest total marks in the flower garden sec- tion, and retains the Wilson Cup.

SCHOOLS’ GARDEN COMPETITION. (1935, December 11). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), p. 16. Retrieved June 23, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17235251

See more photographs from NRS 15051 here.