History Captured for Posterity

TWO-and-a-half years, 600 man hours and plenty of dedication contributed to the success of the oral history project that was presented to the Clarence Valley Council yesterday.

More than 140 interviews covering a wide cross-section of the community have been put together by a ‘dream team’ of 12 University of the Third Age volunteers. One Interview with a Steel fabricator and another with a blacksmith.

Memories and experiences of everyday events from long-term residents, as well as newer residents, of the Clarence Valley area have been compiled onto CDs to highlight and reminisce on the history of the area.

Project volunteer Nola Mackey said it was her passion for history that inspired her to take this idea to the next level.

“This particular project came about when Noelene Grace and myself took up an invitation some years ago to attend an oral history workshop,” she said.

“We were most impressed with the idea and thought it would be great to have something like it in the Clarence Valley.

“This project not only honours past generations but is for the benefit of present and future generations.”

The project provides oral records of events and experiences that have shaped the local community from as far back as 1870.

Making the project all the more special is the fact that the average age of people involved and working on this project is close to 80 years.

Mayor Richie Williamson accepted the pieces of history on behalf of the Clarence Valley Council and will hand them over to the library for public listening.

“The council is very grateful for the gift of this comprehensive oral history. It has been over two years in the making and it is great that the thoughts, memories and stories that are recorded can be heard forever,” he said

“Everyone has a story and I am so glad and proud that we can preserve this history of the Clarence.”

The audio history CDs will be available for public listening at the Clarence Regional Library in the next few months.

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