Rushworth & District Historical Society Book Sales
For those in our community interested in our region’s history, the Rushworth & District Historical Society have the following books for sale. Both books have been difficult to obtain for some years but are now once more available:
‘Walls of Wire’ by Joyce Hammond at $30.00 Plus Postage
This book covers in considerable detail the arrival in the Rushworth, Tatura and Murchison districts thousands of Axis prisoners of war and civilian detainees during the early years of World War 2. Joyce Hammond also describes in detail and with considerable sympathy the personal problems undergone by both military and civilian detainees, their interaction with both their indifferently trained Australian military guards and their generally good relationship with the local people of Rushworth, Murchison and Tatura. Many real friendships with local people were forged during these years involving German and Italian prisoners – both military and civilian – which in many cases have lasted to this day.
In 1939, shortly before the outbreak of World War 2, the Vienna Mozart Boys’ Choir was just completing a tour of America, New Zealand and Australia. The performances of these talented youngsters dressed in their white naval uniforms and aged between nine and fourteen years had charmed Australians. But their ship due to return them to Germany was eventually interned in Fremantle in West Australia. The boys were tragically separated from their families in Austria – which became part of the ‘Greater German Reich’. Following five to six years internment in Australia, and the destruction of their homes by allied bombing and Soviet army occupation in Austria and Germany, many of these boys would never see their parents or their homes again.
As a side-note, whilst stationed in Penang, Malaysia, in the early seventies, Heather and I enjoyed a performance of the Vienna Boy’s Choir then touring the Far East, little realizing that perhaps thirty years later we would be living in an area where a significant part of their history was played out.
History of The Waranga Basin by Joyce Hammond at $18.00 Plus postage
This is an early history of the development of the Waranga Goldfields region which would later incorporate the Rushworth and Whroo townships. Although the township of Waranga and many of the houses and properties which were once thriving family homes within the bounds of land are now submerged beneath the waters of ‘Waranga Basin’, many of the family names are still prominent in this area.
Joyce Hammond’s book is rich in photographs of the old homesteads and the prominent personalities who shaped the history of Rushworth and its environs. Although this is not a large book, nor is it particularly ‘thick’ at only 48 pages, it’s well bound and for me at least, an historical ‘must have’.
Rushworth & District Historical Society