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Journal by itellya

As I glanced through my KILTS AND COW DUNG FLATS regarding my STRATHMORE AND PASCOE VALE journal,I couldn't help thinking that it would never have been written without the enthusiasm of Jenny Shugg. Then my mind drifted back a further two years, and I realised that I probably would not have started researching and writing local history at all without the enthusiasm of Rosemary Davison. Not much later, the enthusiasm of Bev Brocchi gave me another boost.

The Mornington Peninsula librarians inspired me to start my journals on family tree circles by not showing enthusiasm. Amazed to find that few of the parish maps for the area were available,I obtained the Kangerong and Wannaeue maps,painstakingly fitted the parts together and presented them to the library. Over two years later, they are still not in the map drawer. What a contrast! I decided that it would be a waste of time and energy producing any history for that library. It would probably be hidden in the jail (local history room)rather than being made available for borrowing anyway. How could I make my history available to the public free? I found a way,thanks to Scott. I hope his family tree family is truly appreciative of the service he provides to the world.

Rosemary Davison started the ball rolling. In about August 1988, I discovered, while seeking information about my great uncle, Alf Cock, that the history of Tullamarine consisted of one and a half foolscap pages and decided to improve the situation as a bicentennial project. Gordon Henwood put me onto John Fenton,who had Alf's farm, and John gave me about a dozen names of old Tullamarine residents. Within two weeks, I was turning up daily with a new treasure for Rosemary, provided by these pioneer families. She didn't say, "I'm not sure what we can do with these." Instead, the photocopier ensured that Bev Brocchi at the Niddrie Library and Jenny Shugg at the Gladstone Park High School Library had copies as well. I'd rarely return to Rosemary empty-handed from the other two libraries.

Rosemary put on a display of these treasures and one visitor, Anthony Rohead, a Department of Civil Aviation inspector, was so enthused that he launched a scheme to rename the roadways in Tullamarine Airport after aborigines, early settlers and aviation pioneers. After Anthony had spent countless hours working on information provided by Wurundjeri historian, Ian Hunter, aviation historians and me, and had everything finalised, the project was abandoned, possibly because of privatisation plans.

Not long after Rosemary's display, the treasures were on display again, at the 1989 Back to Tullamarine, organised with great assistance from Winnie Lewis (nee Parr.) Over the years WHERE BIG BIRDS SOAR, A TRICKLE OR A TORRENT, KILTS AND COW DUNG FLATS and volumes of DICTIONARY HISTORY OF TULLAMARINE AND MILES AROUND were added to the collections at the three libraries and the Sam Merrifield Library at Moonee Ponds where Jan Miller was the enthusiastic local history librarian.

I can't remember how long Rosemary was at Tullamarine, but I will always be grateful for the supreme enthusiasm that certainly rubbed off onto me. Due to Jenny Shugg's enthusiasm(which got the High School's history teachers fired up)a V.C.E. student told me about Jim and Peggy McKenzie, leading to the writing of KILTS AND COW DUNG FLATS.

Tullamarine library was threatened with closure twice over the years and having been part of the City of Keilor and then the Moonee valley Regional Library, it is now part of the Hume Library System with Rosemary's treasures, and material I donated when I moved to Rosebud,housed at the Global Learning Centre. I just hope it's all being cared for by somebody like Rosemary,Jenny,Bev or Jan.

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by itellya Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2013-03-15 02:35:16

Itellya is researching local history on the Mornington Peninsula and is willing to help family historians with information about the area between Somerville and Blairgowrie. He has extensive information about Henry Gomm of Somerville, Joseph Porta (Victoria's first bellows manufacturer) and Captain Adams of Rosebud.

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