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.

The Bench Talk Project

If you love telling or hearing stories about South Perth, you’re not alone!

Earlier this year, we launched The Bench Talk Project as a way of doing just that. Our bright blue bench has been appearing at various events around South Perth this summer and inviting people to sit and tell us a story about their connection to our local area.

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At the end of the project, the stories will become a part of the collective memory of the South Perth area and all the stories collected will be shared on a newly launched website called South Perth Stories which is due to launch during the second half of 2016.

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So follow the bench to one of our next events (see below) and take a seat and tell us a story about the olden days in South Perth… or about what you love to get up to in your neighbourhood and what makes it so special… or whatever else comes to mind!

 

The bench will be appearing at the following events during the summer months:

  • South Perth StrEats (at Sir James Mitchell Park flagpole, end of Coode St) – 24 February 2016, 5-7 pm
  • Fiesta Concert – 5 March 2016, 5-7 pm
  • Angelo St. Marketplace – 20 March 2016, 10 am-2 pm
  • Manning Mayhem – 10 April 2016, 4-6 pm

 

Visit The Bench Talk Project webpage to find out about and book in to the storytelling workshops that the City of South Perth Libraries are hosting as part of this project to teach and inspire you to gather your own stories.

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The Power of Family Stories

Happy New Year everyone!

This year will be all about stories.

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The City of South Perth has launched its new Arts & Events Programme, A Story to Tell, and we are kicking off the year in local history with our latest event, The Power of Family Stories.

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The event will start us off thinking about oral history (we will explain what it is for those who don’t know!) and why it is important, as well as giving us a few tips and tricks for how we can go about recording our own family’s history.

Our two guest speakers, John Bannister and Janine Boreland, have extensive experience in capturing stories and have worked on a long list of varied projects over the years.

This talk is the first of a number of events and workshops that are taking place under the storytelling series, The Bench Talk Project. For more information visit The Bench Talk Project page.

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Event details:

The Power of Family Stories
Wednesday 3 February, 2016
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Bookings Essential
Register online here
or call South Perth Library to book a spot: 9474-0800

Royal Perth Golf Club Collection on Picture South Perth

Founded in August 1895, the Royal Perth Golf Club has a long and proud history which began when the Club commenced on Burswood Island before moving to Wattle Grove Farm, Belmont in 1900 and then to its current site in South Perth in 1908.

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In May 2015, the City of South Perth and the Royal Perth Golf Club began working together to digitise historic photographs and ephemera from the Golf Club’s own archive collection and to record oral histories with some of the Club’s long-standing members.

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Over 100 images were scanned and catalogued and five oral history interviews were recorded with members and past presidents capturing the spirit and stories of the Club.

Visit Picture South Perth to view the Royal Perth Golf Club collection online.

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As any member of the club today will say, the real pride of the club lies in its members and their stories, in the friendships and sportsmanship that can only truly develop from a love of the game and a course that feels like home.

Watch the video introduction to the oral history interviews below, and listen to the full audio interviews on Picture South Perth:

 

For more information contact the City’s Local History Librarian on 9474 0800.

Yurleen Dorothy Winmar, Indigenous Community Stories

I am sad to announce the following message was received by the City this morning:

Sadly I advise that Mrs Yurleen Dorothy Winmar, local Elder and native title holder, died on Sunday 17 November.

Dorothy was the winner of the 2011 NAIDOC female elder award.  Her focus was on her cultural heritage and connection to Perth and Derbarl Yerrigan as a proud Wadjuk Nyoongar.  Over 15 years she conducted numerous guided cultural heritage tours and had extensive experience in developing cultural awareness training packages.  She worked with the Prisons Visitors Scheme for 30 years, and was a lifetime member of the Derbarl Yerrigan Aboriginal Health Service, she was a qualified health worker and was the founder of the Moorditj Keila Aboriginal Group (excerpt from NAIDOC Award Profile).

The City in conjunction with the WA Film and Television Institute was recently able to capture some of Dorothy’s stories in an oral history filming project, and this is available in the City’s libraries for viewing.

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The South Perth & Manning Libraries each have a copy of the DVD recording of Dorothy’s stories available for loan, they can be found in the “BIO” section in the Adult Non-fiction area of the DVD collections at both libraries. Please ask staff for assistance locating or reserving a copy.

The oral history project was recorded last year as part of the WA Film and Television Institute’s Indigenous Community Stories initiative to record Western Australia’s Indigenous heritage, cultural and historical stories.

The initiative aims to record 100 Indigenous oral histories, so they can be viewed by future generations as well as creating invaluable records of Australia’s national cultural identity.

 

Are you celebrating National Family History Week? South Perth Libraries are!

Toying with the idea of beginning your family history?

Keen to understand those databases you see advertised on TV that might provide some awesome leads in your research?

Or do you just want to know how to utilise some of these whiz-bang electronics to preserve your special photographs and documents?

There are some fantastic free workshops if you would like to learn a little about these things, or perhaps you just feel like getting historically enlightened!

Check out WA’s National Family History Week events and South Perth Library’s Introduction to Oral History presentation!