Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Family History Research Workshop for beginners in January

Geraldton Regional Library's Heritage Services section is organising a Family History Workshop for beginners on Tuesday 17 January at 5.30-7.30.

The Workshop is free of charge, but please book at front desk, as we can only accommodate limited numbers.

Bring along your family research and tricky questions to receive helpful tips and professional advice.
In the workshop you'll learn:
- Where to start
- Where to find records
- What you are looking at


Monday, 12 December 2011

More WA newspapers available in Trove

The National Library of Australia has kept busy digitising newspapers, and a larger amount is now available in Trove: http://trove.nla.gov.au/

Click on 'Digitised Newspapers and More' to be able to conduct a keyword search or an advanced search. Trove is a free database containing a huge amount of digitised archival information in various formats.

For the Mid West researchers the following papers are now available online:

Geraldton Guardian 1906-1928, 1948-1950. Geraldton Guardian and Express 1929-1947, Inquirer 1840-1855 and The Inquirer and Commercial News 1855-1901.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Another Recipe from the Geraldton Branch of the Country Women's Association (CWA) "My Favourite Recipe" Booklet published in 1964

A bit of a  favourite in Australia is the Pavlova - particularly at Christmas.   Our CWA cookbook has a lovely recipe for Pavlova Cake which I have reproduced below:


Ingredients:   Four egg whites; 8 oz castor sugar; 1 dessertspoon cornflour; 2 teaspoons vinegar.

Filling:  Cream; mixed fresh fruit; tinned fruit; nuts.

Beat egg whites until stiff, then continue beating, adding sugar gradually.  Gently fold in cornflour, then vinegar.  Cook ina slow oven (250 degrees) for 1 1/4 hours.  Leave till quite cold, then turn onto a plate upside down.

Fill with fresh or tinned fruit then cream, and sprinkle with nuts if desired.

To make removal from pan easier, use bottom of sponge tin (turned upside down) and wrapped round with paper to stand up about 2 inches.  Line bottom with paper and grease well, then dust with cornflour.  Alternatively use aluminium foil shaped up at sides, greased and dusted with cornflour. 

This recipe is courtesy of Mrs E Doye.


Monday, 5 December 2011

Call for titles

Mid West Heritage Series is a Geraldton Regional Library’s publishing project that explores the history and heritage of the Mid West region. So far, eight booklets have been published in the series: Geraldine Mine, Food and Cookery, Rock Lobster Fishing the Batavia Coast, Railways of the Mid West, Cemeteries of Geraldton-Greenough, The Batavia Saga and the Courageous Wiebbe Hayes, Point Moore Lighthouse and HMAS Sydney (II) Is Found. The ninth booklet in the series, Geraldton Wax, will be published in early 2012.
We are now extending the call for new titles to the wider community. We are looking for topics that fill in existing gaps in the information available to both residents and visitors to the region, that promote the region’s history and heritage and that can be covered in a concise, informative and intriguing manner.
Please send your suggestions for new titles to:
Heritage Services Librarian
Geraldton Regional Library
PO Box 101
WA 6531
email: sannan@cgg.wa.gov.au or call 9956 6655.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

"My Favourite Recipe"

The Local Studies Collection has many treasures including the Geraldton Branch of the Country Women's Association "My Favourite Recipe" booklet.  This booklet contains a collection of recipes supplied by Geraldton Branch Members and was published in April 1964. 

I would like to share some of those recipes with you:

Ingredients are:
1 cup of plain flour; 1 cup sugar; 1 cup chopped dates; 2 eggs (or 1 egg and 1 tablespoon of golden syrup); 1/2 cup self raising flour; 1/4 lb margarine; half cup chopped walnuts.

Melt margarine (add syrup if using this ingredient); beat egg, add other ingredients.

Place in flat tin and bake 15 to 20 minutes in a moderate oven. Cut into fingers when cold.
As a variation, instead of dates and nuts add 1 cup chopped raisins or 2 tablespoons preserved ginger or 2 tablespoons of cocoa. 

This recipe comes courtesy of Mrs I Gray.

I will publish another recipe from this booklet in the near future. 

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Happy Birthday!

Today the Library is celebrating its very first birthday in the new location on Marine Terrace! Come in and join the celebrations. You can pick up a wrapped birthday surprise book to borrow or enter a draw to win books.

Thanks to ABC Open, you can view and listen to the journey from Cathedral Avenue to Marine Terrace at:

Thursday, 24 November 2011

National Year of Reading 2012

"Those who say 'you only live once' have never read a book."
- John Hughes

2012 is the National Year of Reading:

"The National Year of Reading 2012 is about children learning to read and keen readers finding new sources of inspiration. It’s about supporting reading initiatives while respecting the oral tradition of storytelling. It’s about helping people discover and rediscover the magic of books. And most of all, it’s about Australians becoming a nation of readers.

Nearly half our population can’t read with any fluency. It’s a shameful and worrying statistic. We have identified four goals which will help us to turn Australia into a nation of readers and encourage a reading culture in every home. Next year will see a whole heap of amazing, fun, reading activities taking place around Australia and online, so people of all ages, from different backgrounds, can discover and rediscover the joy of reading."

Find out more at:

Our Story is part of the National Year of Reading. You can vote online for one of the eight books that best reflects what WA is all about at:
or you can pop in at the Geraldton Regional Library and cast a paper vote.

Geraldton Regional Library will be promoting reading as part of the National Year of Reading program. As John Hughes, one of the Friends of the National Year of Reading says:

"Those who say ‘you only live once’, have never read a book. Reading is the only way you can be someone else while remaining yourself. No one can do this unaided, purely by imagination. But when the words are in your head, then the imagination can take you anywhere. That’s why I support the National Year of Reading. Because no other activity can transport you in this way, because nothing else sparks the imagination like a word."

Why not give reading a go, discover something new and get inspired? The Library has a huge collection, including the Local Studies Collection. If we haven't got an item you want to borrow in stock, we may be able to get it for you through our Inter Library Loan system.
Those who already read a lot, why not try something new? I have decided to expand my views and read some crime, romance and maybe westerns next year - at least one book of each genre!

Oral History Mornings - summer break

We really enjoyed Audrey Tomlinson's oral history morning this month. Audrey's lively accounts of various periods of her life really made me wonder how much you can achieve during one lifetime. What an incredicly brave, giving and inspiring woman she is!

Audrey Tomlinson on 16 November 2011.

The Oral History Mornings continue in February 2012.
If you'd like to receive our Oral History Morning notices via post or email, please feel free to call the Library at (08) 9956 6659 or talk to someone at the front desk and ask to be added to our mailing list.

See you again in February!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Review of the Heritage Act - Discussion Paper

Give your views to the Heritage Council of WA on a series of proposals that will form the basis of a new Heritage Act.

View the Discussion paper online and find out more at: http://www.heritage.wa.gov.au/about-the-heritage-council/review-of-the-heritage-act.html

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

The Moment Behind The Photo

ABC Open digital storytelling workshops start at the Geraldton Regional Library as of Wednesday 23 November, 2011. ABC Open is inviting you to share your stories behind your favourite photos.

Chris Lewis from ABC will be at the Library (Randolph Stow meeting room), every Wednesday morning from 10-12 (except the Oral History Mornings, which are held every third Wednesday Feb-Nov). Bring a photo or two and have a chat with Chris!

For more information, contact: 9923 4199, abcopen.midwest.wa@abc.net.au

"Maybe it's a story of travel and adventure. Perhaps the photo brings back memories of sharing special times with a dear friend or a loved one."

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Bill to preserve WA documentary heritage

A Bill to ensure the protection of Western Australian public documents through the State Library of Western Australia will be introduced to Parliament today.

Culture and the Arts Minister John Day said the purpose of the Legal Deposit Bill 2011 was to ensure the preservation of the State’s published documentary heritage for current and future generations.

“Legal deposit legislation will be welcomed by historians, researchers, librarians and all those who use and value our documentary cultural heritage,” Mr Day said.

“West Australians will benefit from this legislation as it will provide them with comprehensive coverage and access to the published record of the State’s economic, social, creative, scientific and educational activities for centuries to come.”

The Minister said the Legal Deposit Bill 2011 would put WA at the forefront of Australian States in terms of the range of materials to be deposited.

“The Bill is deliberately broad in scope to ensure any document related to the heritage of WA will be collected, regardless of length, format and medium,” he said. 
“As the means by which information is disseminated has changed, the capture of digital information to record the State’s history and culture is now critically important.”

Legal deposit will extend to commercial publishers, as well as private individuals and organisations and will include published government information; it will exclude public records as defined by the State Records Act 2000.

  • Bill ensures preservation of WA’s published documentary heritage
  • Any document related to the heritage of WA will be collected
  • Capture of digital information critically important

  •  Legal deposit is a statutory provision that obliged publishers to provide copies of their publications to libraries in the State in which they are published
Date: 9/11/2011
Minister: Day
Portfolio: Culture and the Arts
Region: All

Monday, 7 November 2011

Remembering Sydney - HMAS Sydney II Seminar

The Western Australian Museum is organising Remembering Sydney Seminar on 18-19 November to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the ship's disappearance.

You can enjoy listening to the quest speakers from various organisations, institutions and backgrounds at the Queens Park Theatre. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 concession and children under 16 can participate for free.
Bookings are essential.
You can find more information and the program at:

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Audrey Tomlinson - November Oral History Morning

A retired nurse with an international career will be interviewed at the November Oral History Morning.

Audrey Tomlinson was born in England in 1926. She did her nursing training in the deprived area of Liverpool and then serviced as a District Nurse in Lincolnshire. In 1953 she went to Malaya during the Communist Insurgence and worked in Chinese villages and native kampongs. In 1967 Audrey and her family emigrated from England to Australia. Her work with Aboriginal people has taken her to a remote area of Cape York, to Palm Island and to the coastal towns of Bowen and Innisfail. In retirement Audrey Tomlinson is involved with The Leprosy Mission.

Audrey is a great raconteur and will be relating stories from her remarkable career.

This Oral History Morning will be held in Geraldton Regional Library on
Wednesday 16th November at 10 am.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Wilgie Mia ochre use - TODAY!

WA Museum - Geraldton hosting an interesting lecture tonight:

Pigment use from the ochre mine of Wilgie Mia

Vicky Winton, Eureka Archaeological Research and Consulting, UWA & Ansell Egan, Wajarri Traditional Owner

10.00am, Thursday 27 October - Geraldton
7.00pm, Thursday 27 October - Geraldton

Explore research investigations by Wajarri Traditional Owners and UWA archaeologists to trace the use of ochre at the nationally heritage-listed Aboriginal ochre mine of Wilgie Mia in the Mid West region of WA.

Book online at: http://www.museum.wa.gov.au/whats-on/whats-on-now/#geraldton

Monday, 24 October 2011

Author Talk: James and Tania Park


This book is about how our fear affects your psyche and how to overcome those fears.”

It was James Park’s back injury and forced rest two decades ago, that led him to write about his childhood. James wrote down everything he could remember and with the assistance of his wife, Tania, the notes turned into a book, ‘The Only Way I Know’, published earlier this year.

The book tells James’ life story, starting with the traumatic memories of his childhood amongst his nine siblings in the shadow of his overpowering and often drunken drover father. Hard discipline, hard physical labour and the fear of punishment for slightest infraction of his father’s demands coloured his life. Against all odds he managed to overcome the legacy of his brutal childhood, started a family and became a successful businessman.

James and Tania Park will discuss the process of writing the book and James’ life story at the Geraldton Regional Library on Thu 10 November, 2011 at 12.00-13.30 and at Mullewa Library on Fri 11 November, 2011 at 12.00-13.30.
Please let us know if you'd like to attend by phoning 9956 6659.

The book is available for sale for $20 in both locations.  

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Out with the Old - Halloween Market Day

Community Group of Greenough is organising a family fun day themed Out With The Old - Halloween Market Day at the Pioneer Museum on 30 Oct from 10am - 3 pm. Events include: treasure hunts, horseshoe throwing, face painting, raffles, races, live music, sausage sizzle, local produce and garden tours amongst many others.

If you'd like to book a stall or volunteer at the market day, you can contact Peter or Gary at 9926 1729 or greenough@westnet.com.au. A fee of $10 is applicable per stall.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

October Oral History Morning

The October Oral History interview will be with our Freeman of the City, Mr Phillip Cooper. As a member of a large family Phil Cooper recalls a happy childhood growing up near Nabawa in the Chapman Valley. After leaving school Phil worked on a farm for four years before becoming the mail-truck driver on the Nanson-Nabawa-Yuna run. He then established his own successful trucking business. He sold this business in 1984 and moved into a B.P. service station where he was ably assisted by his wife, Waltraud. It was in 1963 that Phil Cooper commenced his record contribution to local Government. He served 19 years as a Town Councillor and 13 years as Mayor of Geraldton. On April 2001 he was declared a Freeman of the City.

This Oral History Morning will be held in
Geraldton Regional Library on
Wednesday 19th October at 9 am.
Please note change in usual time.

Shapes and meanings

Sometimes trying to decipher old handwriting can be a real agony, not to mention the changes in the meanings and words. Here are some links to assist you to make sense of artistic, old handwriting:

UK National Archives:

Tips and interactive tutorials (and a great ducking stool game)

Cambridge English Renaissance Electronic Service:

Alphabets (in the link – click on each letter and see alternative forms of writing)

Deciphering Old Handwriting by Sabina J. Murray:

Tips on abbreviations etc and commonsense advice.

Old English was used prior to the 12th century and it was followed by Middle English, which was used until the late 15th century. 

You can access a free online book: A Concise Dictionary of Middle English by Mayhew and Skeat on Project Gutenberg’s site at:

Middle English was followed by Early Modern English (period of Shakespeare etc) that was used until the 18th century.

University of Toronto houses an online Early Modern English dictionary, which, unfortunately, is not free. In case you are interested, you can find it here:

Google has digitised Samuel Johnson’s A Dictionary of the English Language, 1768, which is accessible for free (it takes a while to download).:

You may also find some very useful links in the following page:

Happy transcribing!

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Great win for Aboriginal heritage protection

The National Native Title Tribunal has rejected a mining application in Weld Range in the Mid West. It is only the second such ruling in the history of the Tribunal. The area in question is located on Wajarri Yamatji native title claim and includes the ancient Wilgie Mia ochre mine, which was added to the national heritage list earlier this year, and other sacred and culturally important sites.

More at:


Thursday, 29 September 2011

Volunteers welcome

Are you interested in transcribing oral history or digitising photographs? Are you looking for something to do? Heritage Services are looking for reliable and computer literate volunteers who would like to spend some time working with the Local Studies Collection. It is an excellent opportunity for anyone interested in local heritage, oral history, photography, archiving, collections and digital preservation. Young, old or in-between, please feel free to contact us at 9956 6659 or sannan@cgg.wa.gov.au

Monday, 26 September 2011

Rare and valuable donation

I'm very excited after picking up a valuable donation from the State Library last week: Murchison Goldfields Supplement to Geraldton Express compiled by George Hope in 1897. The supplement is illustrated with many photographs and advertisements, and it contains a wealth of information on events, buildings, industries and personalities. The largest sections include: 'Geraldton - the gateway of the Murchison', 'Northampton', 'Cue', 'Cue Mines', 'Day Dawn', 'Peak Hills', 'Nannine', Mount Magnet', 'Yalgo', 'The Midland Railway', 'Perth' and 'Melville Water Park Estate'.

We are hoping to digitise and, perhaps, index the Supplement in due course to make it easily accessible for everyone. Unfortunately, and understandably, the original copy is in quite a fragile condition and will be held in our rare books section.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Useful Family History links

SLWA's Steve Howell compiled Dead Reckoning: how to find your way through the genealogical jungle of Western Australia in 1997. The book has since been revised and is now published and available online at:

SLWA's Family History page (http://www.slwa.wa.gov.au/find/family_history) is full of information and tips for family researchers. Leonie Hayes and Tricia Fairweather have also compiled an impressive list of links to worldwide resources on family research subjects at:

Monday, 19 September 2011

Wednesday's oral history morning: Bob Cornell

Please join us to hear Bob Cornell's story on Wed 21 September at 10am. The interview will be held at the Heritage Services section of the Library.

Bob Cornell is very much a man of the Northern Wheatbelt. He grew up on the family farm at Ajana. After service in World War II he established his own farm at East Binnu. Bob is a real community man and has made an outstanding contribution to local organisations. In the interview he also talks of the huge problems caused by the annual incursions of emus.

Morning tea will be provided by the Library.

Final Merry-go-round workshop on Thursday

This final workshop will allow the community to review a draft precinct plan prepared by the landscape architect, and confirm that the plan accurately reflects their vision for the precinct. Please RSVP by 20 September to geraldton@greg-rowe.com


Remember Endeavour

HMB Endeavour will be in the Fishing Boat Harbour 30 September - 4 October. You can visit the vessel and experience how James Cook and his men lived on board during their 18th century voyage. The ship is open to the public from 10am - 5pm and the tickets cost $18/adult and $9/child, concession. Family tickets are also available.

More info at:


Thursday, 15 September 2011

It's all in TROVE

National Library's Trove is an amazing database containing a huge amount of information on social sciences, literature, and local or family history, plus more. Family and local historians, librarians and students are sure to find it useful in their search of materials.

Trove logo large

Trove was designed to:
  • provide a single point of access to the resources of the deep web
  • facilitate access to a significantly greater range of resources from major sources, including selected digitised material freely available online
  • support searching of, and access to, full-text content
  • enhance ease of discovery by providing improved relevance ranking, refinement by facets, grouping of all editions of the same book (this is known as FRBR-like grouping) and exploitation of thesauri
  • engage with communities and individuals through annotation services
  • ensure that relevant information is not missed in a search by reducing the need to search material-specific discovery services separately
  • provide a platform for niche services to query a vast resource of Australian metadata and adapt if for their own needs.
You can search for books, manuscripts, maps, journals, articles, music, sound and video - and my particular favourite - digitised newspapers. A lot of the old local papers for Geraldton region are now being digitised and you  can find more and more online. The word searches use a word recognition program, so they are dependent on the original condition of the newspaper and the text. It is possible for the users to correct incorrectly interpreted words to make the searches more efficient.

Have a go and learn more at:

New selected Stow poems out in November

"Randolph Stow's slim body of poetry weighs more than most oeuvres many times its size. It has few equals anywhere in the world. Groundbreaking, historic and essential, it is haunting, lyrical, mythical, spiritual and anchored in place." says John Kinsella, editor of The Land's Meaning -  selected poems by Randolph Stow, out in November this year.

You can pre-order a copy, plus get a chance to win a copy of all Fremantle Press 2011 poetry publications at:

Monday, 12 September 2011

Goodbye Big Sky 2011!

Big Sky 2011 was a great success - hardly a surprise! The weekend was extremely busy for the Library staff, but at the same time it was incredibly rewarding. Thank you for everyone who participated in the festival. Any feedback is warmly welcomed and will be taken into consideration when organising next year's event.

P.S. Those who participated in the Poetry Scrabble in Walkaway: I am holding on to the poems in case you'd like to keep them. Just come and see me at the Library.
Goodbye Big Sky! See you again in 2012!

Wednesday, 31 August 2011


Words of Wonder – that’s the theme stringing together the seventh Big Sky Readers and Writers Festival in Geraldton this month.

As always there will be something for everyone; lovers of words, pictures, music, song, art and of course, food!

Spread across three days and nine venues in the City of Greater Geraldton, Big Sky Readers and Writers Festival – Words of Wonder, begins with sessions for youth on Friday, September 9 in the Geraldton Senior College Library, Mullewa District High School and Our Lady of Mt Carmel, Mullewa.

The official launch will take place at the Geraldton Regional Library at 5.30pm Friday, September 10, with MC William Yeoman, Books Editor and Senior Arts Writer for the West Australian. Most sessions will then be at Geraldton Universities Centre - apart from when chef and author, Emmanuel Mollois, reveals the secrets of a French kitchen on Saturday morning at Durack Institute of Technology; and a bit of Poetry in the Pub at Walkaway Tavern that evening; and the wrap up of the festival with a Literary Lunch at Bentwood Olive Grove at 1pm on Sunday.

High profile Australian identity and household name - twice voted Australia’s most admired woman - Ita Buttrose, will headline this year’s festival with the Keynote Address at Queens Park Theatre on Saturday, September 10 at 9am.

Pick up one of the pink programs in various locations in the City (you can be certain to find them at the Library) and register for the events as soon as possible. You don't want to miss out!

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Inaugural Randolph Stow lecture at UWA

Dr Gabrielle Carey will speak at the inaugural annual Randolph Stow lecture:
‘Getting to Know Randolph Stow: towards a portrait of the artist as a young man’
The lecture is held on Tue 20 September at St George's College Chapel, Crawley from 5.30 - 7pm.

"Gabrielle Carey will speak about Randolph Stow from the point of view of a reader, a scholar and a writer as well as from the perspective of the daughter of a dear friend, born from several generations of family friendships spanning Geraldton to the Swan Valley. What do we really know of this famously reclusive and most enigmatic of writers? Carey has begun the task of trying to get to know Randolph Stow only after coming to terms with the possibility that her subject may have preferred to remain unknown and possibly, ultimately, unknowable."

Everyone is welcome; wine and cheese will be served after the lecture. More at:

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Geraldton Senior College researching the foreshore

Another morning with the Heritage Services full of enthusiastic young people! Simon Keemink brought his Year 10 class along to look at the way Geraldton foreshore and Marine Terrace have changed over the years. The students consulted the maps, photographs and articles featuring the foreshore.

September Oral History Morning

Join us for Robert Cornell's stories about farming and life in Binnu on Wed 21 Sept at 10am.

In August's oral history morning Harry Moorhead had the audience in stitches more than once with his memories and stories about Mullewa and his clothing business.

Harry Moorhead on Mullewa.

Second round for Merry-go-round consultation

The first of a series of three community workshops to prepare a Precinct Plan for the iconic Merry-go-round precinct on the foreshore was held on Wednesday August 17, with a small group of participants sharing their experiences and memories of the area and the values they associated with these experiences.

The fact the Merry-go-round is a community icon shone through at the first workshop,” Andrea Selvey, the Director of Creative Communities, said. “The memories shared involved common themes of playing in the area as teenagers and using the area as a meeting place. The precinct was described as ‘neutral ground’ where people of all backgrounds could gather and participants also stressed the importance of the Moreton Bay Fig tree to the precinct,” said Ms Selvey.

After sharing their experiences in the precinct, workshop participants were then asked to look to the future and describe what experiences they wanted the precinct to offer and what values should be incorporated into its future planning.

Participants wanted the area to remain an all hours meeting place for all ages and backgrounds,” Ms Selvey said.

They also stressed future play equipment should incorporate the mobility of the Merry-go-round, capturing an element of adventure and unpredictability while preserving the history of the original, incorporating links to Randolph Stow and telling the story of the area.”

The next workshop will be held on Thursday, 1 September at 5.30pm and will encourage participants to take an active role in designing the precinct. A consultant landscape architect will be in attendance to guide discussion on how the area could be designed and landscaped.

The final workshop, the review workshop, on Thursday 22 September will allow the community to review a draft precinct plan or plans prepared by the landscape architect

RSVP is requested no later than two days before each workshop to geraldton@gregrowe.com
Light refreshments will be available.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Finding My Place researching family history

It was wonderful to see Heritage Services packed with young Finding My Place students learning hands-on about conducting family research earlier this month. The students familiarised themselves with the resources available in the internet and at the Library, and used the microfilm readers to find out details about their family history.

Some of the Finding My Place students using the microfilm viewers and internet resources.
Finding My Place is a WA Public Library Program that encourages learning and suggests career opportunities through motivational and informative workshops. More information about the program can be found here:

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

HMB Endeavour's historic circumnavigation - VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

HMB Endeavour, a replica of Captain Cook's famous ship, is sailing around Australia from April 2011 - May 2012.

The ship is currently sailing from Darwin to Broome and is going to stop in Geraldton Fishing Boat Harbour 30 September - 4 October.

Australian National Maritime Museum are calling for volunteers to act as tour guides showing visitors through the vessel or act as over-night ship-keepers. Previous experience is not necessary and training is provided.

You can download volunteer forms and find out more at:

Monday, 15 August 2011

Merry-Go-Round community workshops start 17 August 2011

A series of community workshops is to be held to determine the final plan of the iconic Merry-go-round precinct on the foreshore.

Everyone is encouraged to attend to have a say in how this area is planned for the future use of the entire community.

Three workshops will be facilitated by Greg Rowe and Associates at the Queen Elizabeth II Seniors and Community Centre with the first one, a vision workshop, on Wednesday, 17 August at 5pm.

City Director of Creative Communities, Andrea Selvey, said although the existing Merry-go-round - made famous by former Geraldton author, the late Randolph Stow’s 1965 modern classic, The Merry-Go-Round in the Sea - is a replica of the original structure, it is still a favourite local icon and community input on developing its surrounds is very important.

Variety WA is keen to be involved and has expressed an interest in making a presentation at the workshop, with the possibility of installing playground equipment inclusive for children of all abilities.

The second workshop on Thursday, 1 September at 4pm will be the design workshop where a consultant landscape architect will be in attendance to guide discussion on how the area could be designed and landscaped.

The third workshop, the review workshop, on Thursday 22 September will allow the community to review a draft precinct plan. Ms Selvey said this draft plan will be prepared by the landscape architect from ideas put forward at the design workshop.

RSVP is requested no later than two days before each workshop to

Light refreshments will be available.

Afternoon ride in Mullewa.

Congratulations Cadel Evans for winning Tour de France this year!

I was looking for something to suit the theme in our collection and came across a great photograph of an afternoon bike ride in Mullewa in the 1930s. The photograph was kindly donated to the Local Studies Collection by Joan Ridley.

Monday, 1 August 2011

August Oral History Morning

Last month's Oral History Morning moved the audience between tears and laughter when Joe Greenland shared some of his memories.

Please join us again on Wed 17 August at 10am. The Oral History Morning will feature a live interview with Harry Moorhead.

Recently Mullewa became part of the City of Greater Geraldton. The focus of the August Oral History Morning will be on the social history of Mullewa from the 1930s to the 1980s.

Mr Moorhead is a retired businessman, who lived in Mullewa from 1933 to 1987. Harry was born in Victoria in 1927. During the Depression the family moved to Western Australia and a set of unusual circumstances led to Harry’s father setting up a drapery business in Mullewa.

Jim Trevaskis interviewing Joe Greenland in July's Oral History Morning.

Photo and story competitions for primary and secondary students

Excellent opportunities to get students interested in the local heritage around them:

National Trust of Australia (WA) has launched their photography and story competition Valuing Our Heritage for Primary and Secondary Students. The entries are due by the last day of term 3 (30 Sept). More information and entry forms can be found at:


National History Challenge 2011 is sponsred by the National Trust and themed Defining Moments. The challenge "encourages students to use research and inquiry based learning to discover more about Australia and its past. Students are the historians, they can investigate their community, explore their own and their family’s past, explore major events that have taught Australia, as a nation, new ideas or theories." The competition is aimed for students in Years 5-12, the entries closing on 26 August.
More information:


Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Family researchers ahoy!

Two new purchases in the Local Studies Collection feature:

Enga Smith: Filling in the Gaps (2010) and
Judy Mitchell: The First Hundred Years (2000)

Filling in the Gaps traces the family history of the Mills, Mountain and Maley families from the arrival of the author’s great, great grandparents Frederick and Fredericke Waldeck, who took up farming in Greenough Flats in the 1860s.

The First Hundred Years tells the story of the Mitchell family on Barnong Station as it had been recorded in the station diaries and documents from 1889-2000. The book also includes family trees.

The books are not available for loan, but can be viewed at the Heritage Services section at the Library.

Monday, 25 July 2011

National Family History week 29 July - 8 August

Check out the W.A. events for the National Family History week at:

Please also note that you can access  the large online family history database ancestry.com at the Geraldton Regional Library for free!

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Searching for The Fringe Dwellers

Nene Gare’s (1919-1994) novel The Fringe Dwellers is out of print. The novel that discusses fictionalised interaction of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities in Geraldton is based on Nene Gare’s own experiences, and is so popular that it just flies off the shelf (sometimes never to return). If you have a spare copy lying around or know where we could purchase one, please let our staff know!

Microfilm scanner fixed!

The Heritage Services microfilm scanner is in working order again, thanks to Laurie and Stewart from Digital Microfilm Equipment in Perth. You can now scan and save microfilm views onto thumb drives again. All the other microfilm viewers received a good clean and polish as well.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Battery Recycling at the Library

It is now possible to recycle your old batteries instead of throwing them into your everyday rubbish bins. Just hand them over to a staff member at the front desk and we'll place them into a battery recycling bin at the back.

(note: not for car batteries!)

Monday, 18 July 2011

Save the date: Big Sky 2011

Planning for Big Sky readers and writers festival is well on the way, so mark the weekend of 9-11 September into your calendar and keep yourself updated at:


Wednesday, 13 July 2011

New books to borrow

Please note two new purchases, which are going to be available in the Library’s floor collection in about a month’s time. If you are a member of the Library, feel free to place a reservation on either one to ensure you’ll get it as soon as it is about to hit the shelf!

How to write and publish your family story in 10 easy steps by Noeline Kyle.

“After thirty years of giving workshops, talks and seminars to family historians and genealogists Dr Noeline Kyle realised what was missing. What her audience is really crying out for is an easy-to-use reference book to show them how to write and publish their research. How to write and publish your family story in ten easy steps draws on Kyle’s extensive experience writing and publishing family history. It provides a template for family historians and genealogists who are ready to take the next step. The book guides them through the process with ten basic steps to help them shape the story, develop a narrative, establish their characters and write biographies, construct chapters, edit their text, use technology, and ultimately, publish and promote their book so it reaches the widest number of readers possible.” (blurb from New South Publishing website.)

A Pictorial Parade of Western Australia by Lou Macchia.

Lou Macchia has chosen a collection of out-of-copyright photographs by largely unknown photographers and images of Western Australia in his coffee table book published by Capital Production. Locations feature Perth, Fremantle, Goldfields and Wheatbelt from 1830s – 1930s. The book also includes pioneer portraits, newspaper ads and fashion shots. 

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Picture Australia - one search, many places

National Library of Australia hosts Picture Australia, a fantastic online image search service. Through Picture Australia, you can access the image collections of hundreds of cultural agencies and individuals in Australia and overseas by just conducting one search on the website:

For example, just typing in ‘Geraldton’ and clicking the ‘search’ button brings you 977 images from different periods and collections. Aaron Bunch’s 1995 black and white images of Geraldton and WA are particularly beautiful.

Bunch, Aaron. Art Gallery, Chapman Road, Geraldton. 1995 [picture]
Art Gallery, Chapman Road, Geraldton by Aaron Bunch. Copyright: National Library of Australia. Permission for use of image here received from National Library of Australia.

You can also contribute: all you need is a Flickr account with your images. Guidelines can be found here:

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

WA receives World Heritage and National Heritage Listings in 2011

This year has seen some huge heritage listing successes in Western Australia: in June 2011 Ningaloo Coast joined Shark Bay (listed in 1991) in UNESCO’s World Heritage List, recognising its outstanding value to humanity. The decision was based on aesthetic and natural values as well as the biodiversity the coast supports.

Closer to home, Wilgie Mia, an Aboriginal ochre mine located NW of Cue, was listed on the National Heritage List in February 2011. The mine, which dates back at least centuries, has been consistently used by local Aboriginal people and is the oldest and deepest ochre mine in Australia. The superior quality ochre is still used in traditional ceremonies and art. The cultural importance of the ochre and the story associated with its creation to the Aboriginal people has been recognised in the National Heritage Listing, as well as the outstanding heritage value to the Australian community and nation as a whole.


Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Bike parking at the Library!

Why not ride your bike to the Library next time you intend to visit? We have recently got our new bike parking rails installed to keep your bike safe during your visit. There is nothing better that hopping on your bike and getting your circulation going again, after a few hours of historical research!

Also, the National Ride to Work Day is approaching. To participate, mark Wed 12th October into your calendars. You can register on their website at:

Monday, 4 July 2011

Oral History Mornings at Geraldton Regional Library

Oral history consists of spoken memories, stories, and songs, and the study of these, as a way of communicating and discovering information about the past.” (Definition from Collins English Dictionary.)

Whether we are talking about ‘official’, local or personal views on historical events, an element of interpretation is always present. The aim of oral history is to collect and preserve historical information obtained from individuals and groups. The more individual stories are collected, the more comprehensive view of the past can be constructed. Oral histories contain the personal views and opinions of the person sharing them with others. Each story is as valuable as the next, as each experience and interpretation adds to the understanding of life, society and the events of the time past.

The Local Studies Collection at Geraldton Regional Library holds over 300 oral history interviews collected since the 80’s. We are currently in the process of digitising and transcribing all the older interviews. The transcriptions and most of the tapes are available for loan.

The Library hosts a highly popular Oral History Morning every 3rd Wednesday of the month (February – November). A live interview, usually by Jim Trevaskis, takes place after a morning tea. It is a fantastic opportunity to come and learn about local history and characters, as well as to share stories and ask questions. If you would like to be notified of the Oral History Mornings, please contact the Library at 9956 6659 and register your residential or email address to the Oral History mailing list.

Jim Trevaskis in action during an Oral History Morning.
 Some of the Oral History Stories are available as audio files from the Geraldton Regional Library website through Overdrive. Just search for the ‘History’ and ‘Biography’ sections.

The next Oral History Morning on Wed 20th July, will be with Joe Greenland. Mr Greenland was born in London in 1930, and after 8 years in an orphanage he was sent to Western Australia along with 41 other boys. He spent a number of years at the agricultural school in Tardun and Pallotine Mission, where he learnt to bake bread. Later he worked as a baker at the Golden Crust Bakery in Geraldton. You are welcome to join us for morning tea and at 10am hear Mr Greenland’s fascinating story.    

Thursday, 30 June 2011

New booklets in the Mid West Heritage Series

Proud authors with their booklets.
National Heritage Week in April was a busy time for the Heritage Services. Amongst other events, four new booklets in the Mid West Heritage Series were launched. The booklets: Rock Lobster Fishing the Batavia Coast by Howard Gray, Food and Cookery by Peter Dameon, Cemeteries of Geraldton-Greenough and Geraldine Mine by Gary Martin can be purchased from the Geraldton Regional Library at $ 9.95/each. The booklets published earlier in the series are also available.    

Tuesday, 28 June 2011


Welcome to the Heritage Services blog. The mission of this blog is to make everybody out there aware of the fascinating Local Studies Collection held in the Heritage Services section of the Geraldton Regional Library. I hope it will also become an inspiring meeting ground for those interested in local history and heritage, as well as for those conducting family research. The blog is also an avenue to notify you of upcoming events and news concerning local heritage.

The Local Studies Collection consists mainly of publications, newspapers, reports, rate books, photographs, maps and oral history stories, all from the Mid West Region. The collection has been constantly added to since its inception in the 1970s.

Library customers and professionals conducting family research and historical research use the collection and our services regularly. Some of the collection is not readily available and you will need staff assistance to access materials. This is because the item may be difficult or impossible to replace, fragile or access is restricted for some other reason.

Some of the collection is searchable in the Geraldton Regional Library online catalogue. There is also a separate database for the Local Studies Collection which you can access on one of the computers located in the Heritage Services section of the Library.

I hope we can use this blog to bring some of the treasures held in the collection into your attention. Please do not hesitate to come and visit us at the Heritage Services. We are happy to set you up on a microfilm reader, assist with your queries and bring out material held in our collection for viewing. There is a Heritage Services staff member at the Library on weekdays from 8.30am to 5.00pm.