News from History Cottage

Local News: Once again our monthly meeting was well attended, demonstrating how enthusiastic we are to hear more about our local community.

Our guest speaker, local resident and member, Trevor Knight, told the story of his German/Swiss family.

A shortage of land, religious wars and the promise of a better life, forced many to leave. Those left behind only found out where they had settled when Trevor made contact, 150 years later.

For our meeting on the 13th April we will again call on the knowledge of our member, Kenneth Bradley. His topic describes the Second World War railway connecting Thailand with Burma built by the Japanese using some 200,000 Asian labourers and captured Allied Soldiers.

We begin at the bridge on the River Kwai and move towards Burma revealing several bridges up to the site of the Australian Government’s Memorial at the cutting named Hellfire Pass and identify several of the extraordinary men who survived the ordeal working in appalling conditions as prisoners of war.

Men from our own community were among those who served. Ken’s knowledge comes from his time working in Thailand and a 1988 Bicentennial project.

It was traditional for our community, on the Sunday before the 25th April, to gather around the Cenotaph. It had been built from stone quarried from the end of School Road Galston, and It seems, unbeknown to authority.

An organ to play and a speaker, on the back of a truck and ANZAC was remembered. Age, the weather and the attraction of a secure and predictable location, means we now go to the Galston Club on the Sunday before, as usual.

The wonderful thing that has happened is the very large crowd that now comes to the Dawn Service on ANZAC Day at the same old Cenotaph. To see the faces of families and friends, gradually come into view as the sun rises, is a true demonstration of the real significance of the day and a community’s commitment to it.

The next Society meeting is on Saturday the 13th April, in the Galston Uniting Church, School Road Galston at 2.00pm. All are welcome. It is free with a gold coin for afternoon tea. Enquiries: Michael on 9653 1365.