South Perth Stories has launched!

South Perth Stories is an online collection that aims to capture and preserve the history of our dynamic city through the stories and experiences of residents and visitors, past and present.

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It encompasses stories recorded and stored in the City’s Oral History Collection, stories recorded in early 2016 during The Bench Talk Project, and stories collected throughout 2016 on South Perth Storycards.

For a sneak preview of some of the stories told…

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“Yeah you could walk anywhere you liked… the only problem, back in the 1950s, didn’t have the Dog Act that we’ve got now, you’d be bailed up by dogs wherever you want, very often you’d have one snapping at your heals if you went the wrong way… you knew where to walk and where to not walk…” Ronald Jess, 2013

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“When the Como Theatre opened up, they had blokes on their bike. Half of them didn’t have lights on their bike or anything, they rode from Angelo Street, South Perth to pick up their reels … when they showed the first part of that film and so forth … if there was two movies on or news – every theatre ran news reels, they would show that first, he would scoot up, pick up those reels and bring them back to the Como and then put them on at the Como. Occasionally you’d get the wrong reels, so you’d see the end of the film before you saw the start of it… [laughs]… but all part of the fun of growing up…” Ross Wedderburn, 2008

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“Along Fremantle Road as it was, Canning Highway now… it was a single track. And then there was just the loops. There was a loop down near Tate Street, and then there was a loop which comes off Angelo Street, and there was another loop down by where Collins Street is now now. Roseberry Avenue used to go up so far and then it stopped, and there was the bush. And we’d wonder through the bush. We would just take this track through the bush to get onto the, to catch the tram. And this is where they had all these beautiful swan berries. We’d always look at these bushes to raid these berries cause they were so sweet and succulent, and, I’m almost feeling guilty now because they no longer exist cause we ate all the fruit and stopped them reproducing.. [laughs]… they were delicious.” Mary Haydock, 2008

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“The zoo was terribly neglected after the war and they hadn’t had much money. Money was necessary after the war for everything else, and of course the zoo came last on the financial list, and there was very little money spent on the zoo and I can recall that the majority of the enclosures were all built of wood and mesh. All the monkeys were in wooden enclosures with mesh and a lot of places were falling down. I mean the wood was crumbling and collapsing left right and centre everywhere. A few animals used to get out. Luckily no dangerous ones in those days and it was definitely … and of course because of there was no sewerage all the monkeys were on a bit of sand with the enclosures built on the sand so all you could do was rake it out . It was, as people used to say in those days a smelly place…” Pieter Leeflang, 2008

 

The full collection of South Perth Stories can be accessed online at: http://stories.southperth.wa.gov.au/

Stories recorded as part of the Oral History Collection are also available for three-week loan periods at the South Perth Libraries. Visit the ‘Local History‘ area of the South Perth Library to browse through the many stories available. Or search for “South Perth Stories” on the Library’s Catalogue online to browse through a list of the interviews and reserve a copy.

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The collection of South Perth Stories will continue to grow over the coming months and years as we continue work to digitise and catalogue the recordings in the City’s Oral History Collection, as well as record new stories.

If you have a story to tell about living or working in the City of South Perth, contact the City’s Local History Librarian at the South Perth Library on 9474-0800 or email localhistory@southperth.wa.gov.au to arrange for your story to be recorded.

May Gibbs – an exhibition celebrating 100 years of Gum-Nut Babies

The City of South Perth Historical Society is celebrating a centenary of May Gibbs becoming a published author in Australia with a special exhibition featuring her first Australian books, Gum-Nut Babies and Gum-Blossom Babies at Heritage House Cultural Centre from Saturday 15 October to 31 January 2017.

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Some information from the Historic Society:

May lived much of her youth in South Perth and drew inspiration for her early stories from the Western Australian bush. May arrived in Sydney in 1913 with a large portfolio of art gleaned from her year’s spent in the local bushland.  Within months the first Gum-Nut babies appeared peeping out from behind gum leaves in the Christmas 1913 cover of the Sydney Mail, illustrations for The Magic Button by Ethel Turner and Little Bush Poppy by Edith Graham.  May created at this time her iconic Gum Leaf bookmark, from the Western Australian Marri ‘Red Gum’ the most prolific of local trees (and the gumnut we know so well) which she placed in copyright in Dec 1913, a series of cheeky and nostalgic Post Cards for troops in 1914 saw the emergence of May’s little bush sprites named ‘the Spirit of the Bush’ which developed into her first two children’s books, Gum-Nut Babies and Gum-Blossom Babies in 1916.

Society President Lynn O’Hara said generations of children, their parents and grandparents world-wide have enjoyed May’s stories of the Gum-Nut and Gum-Blossom Babies who loved to play tricks on their bushland friends.

“Through her stories and art May Gibbs introduce Australians of all ages to the beauty and uniqueness of the Australian bush and our society is proud to mark this important anniversary with a display of her work” we would wish to acknowledge the wonderful support of the City of South Perth and their extensive May and Herbert Gibbs Art collection. Mrs O’Hara said.

TO VISIT

Opening Hours

15 October 2016 – 30 November 2016
Tue – Sun, 1 pm -4 pm
Fri, 10 am-4 pm

1 December 2016 – 31 January 2017
Fri, 10 am – 4 pm
Sat – Sun, 1 pm – 4pm

Location

Heritage House Cultural Centre
Cnr Mends Street and Mill Point Road
South Perth, WA, 6151

For more information

City of South Perth Historical Society
9367-9243
http://www.southperthhistoricalsociety.org/

Public Art in Our City

The City is seeking community input into where, why and what types of public art we would like to see within the City of South Perth.

We know that May Gibbs now sits in Windsor Park for visitors to enjoy on their way from the ferry to the Zoo… but where else might we find inspiration from our past visiting us today?

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Feedback closes this Friday 21 October, so if you have any thoughts to contribute on where we can integrate our history and heritage into the public art around our City, add your ideas to the Feedback Map.

Visit the City’s Public Art Strategy page on Your Say South Perth to have your say.

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City of South Perth Historical Society

Did you know that the City of South Perth has a Historical Society?

City of South Perth Historical Society

Established as a not-for-profit in 1989, the South Perth Historical Society is a group of history buffs who are very dedicated to the history of South Perth and have made it their mission “to stimulate public interest in our local history, to encourage historical research and publication, and to promote the designation and preservation of historic sites, buildings and stories.”

The Historic Society is involved in a number of community ventures promoting history in our local area, and the group runs regular talks and workshops with interesting guest speakers throughout the year.

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Membership to the Society is open to the public and they invite anyone with a keen interest in sharing and preserving local history to join.

City of South Perth Historical Society
http://www.southperthhistoricalsociety.org/

Call: (08) 9367 9243
Email: info@southperthhistoricalsociety.org

To find out more about the Historic Society’s comings and goings and to read some of the interesting articles relating to the history of the area, have a read of their latest newsletter…

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“Heritage Matters” talks occur every two months and are open to everyone to attend.

Interested new members are encouraged to contact the Historic Society to join! Access the membership form online here.

 

Photographic Exhibition – South Perth 1860-1950

Photographs of family life, recreation and well known landmarks in South Perth are among the many images on display as part of the South Perth Historical Society’s latest exhibition at Heritage House Cultural Centre.

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South Perth Historic Society Member, John Maloney

Many of the images which date from 1860 to 1950 are being exhibited for the first time in the gallery. The images include some from the City of South Perth’s own local history collection, as well as a number of images from the Historic Society’s own collections.

The exhibition is running until 30 September 2016 so make sure to stop by for a visit!

  • Location: Heritage House, cnr Mends Street & Mill Point Road, South Perth
  • Opening Hours: Fridays 10am – 4pm, Saturdays & Sundays 1pm – 4pm
  • Cost: Gold coin entry.

For further information contact the South Perth Historical Society on 9367 9243.

Brekkie with a bit of history

In case you were snoozing through all your alarms this morning and missed out on 720 ABC’s Breakfast, visit the link below to have a listen to a very special bit of history on the early days of the South Perth Council Offices…

And if you enjoy wandering through that precinct and you’re itching for more on the history of the Mends Street area (and also snoozed through last fortnight’s Brekkie spot), visit the link below to learn more about the early beginnings of the Windsor Hotel…

Now I’m off to buy a stamp…

Words with Wine: False Flags

South Perth History Buffs –

Join us in two weeks time for a very unique Words with Wine event at the South Perth Library!

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South Perth Libraries & Dymocks Garden City invite you to hear author Stephen Robinson share the epic untold story of the German ‘Pirate Wars’ waged on the South Seas during the early years of World War II.

In 1940 the raiders Orion, Komet, Pinguin and Kormoran left Germany and disguised as merchant vessels, they sank or captured 62 allied ships, including HMAS Sydney off the West Australian coast.

Author Stephen Robinson studied Asian history and politics at the University of Western Sydney, graduating with First Class Honours. He has worked at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs researching British atomic weapons tests & as a policy officer in the Department of Defence.

Book Sales and signing available on the night.

This is a FREE library event, but bookings are essential!

Thursday 18 August, 2016
6.30 – 7.30 pm
South Perth Library

To book call 9474 0800 or book online.