Way back when, Wednesdays

History in pictures

If you are driving along Montague Road at Modbury you might notice a very large, distinctive mural painted on the wall of the Karadinga Recreation Centre, which is situated opposite the City of Tea Tree Gully Civic Centre. Formerly a YMCA facility, Karadinga is now run by the Uniting Church of Australia. According to the Karadinga Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Karadinga-Sports-and-Recreation, its name is a corruption of the Kaurna name for the Modbury area ‘Kirra ung dinga’. This means “the place where the red gums grow by the creek”.

IMG_4520 Mural

So what is this artwork about and who is responsible for its creation?

The Karadinga mural is a visual record of our local history since European settlement. On page 28 of the edition dated 28 January 1987, the Leader Messenger reported on the mural, which had been completed in December 1986.  It was painted to commemorate the Centre’s tenth birthday and the 150 years since the State of South Australia was founded. The project was designed by artist Stefan Twaine-Wood and subsidised by the State Government and Watyl Paints. School children and members of the local community helped to paint the mural.

Karadinga mural article

Karadinga mural with children

The mural takes us across time in its depiction of local icons, which are based on historical photographs. The City of Tea Tree Gully area is painted as being expansive, verdant and fertile. In the foreground, Tea Tree Gully’s farming heritage is celebrated. The image on the left of the mural is taken from a 1910 photograph. Behind the hay paddocks are the Tea Tree Gully Hotel (circa 1886) and to the right, the Greenwith Methodist Church, built in 1863.

In the background, we can see a representation of the Hope Valley Reservoir, constructed between from 1869 to 1861. Behind the reservoir are the more modern edifices of Tea Tree Plaza (which opened in 1970) and the Modbury Hospital (which was opened in 1973) alongside the former nurse’s home (now operating as the Torrens Valley Institute student residence).

Behind all of these works of human history lies the timeless beauty of the bush and the hills of the Mt. Lofty Ranges. Overhead, the mural features a huge sprig of the native tea-tree, the popular name for Leptospermum lanigerum, after which the suburb and the City of Tea Tree Gully were named. It is said that when the first colonists arrived, after being so long at sea, they were delighted on seeing beautiful thick growth of the tea-tree growing over and covering the bed of the River Torrens, (Page 118, Settlement to City, third edition, Auhl, Ian, 1993). It is reputated that they used the plant to brew a tea, (Page 6, Tea Tree Gully Sketchbook, Auhl, Ian and Millstead, Rex, Adelaide, 1975).

If you would like to find out more about our local history why not reserve these books online or enquire next time you visit the Library?

#waybackwhenwednesdays

Way back when, Wednesdays

Were things really cheaper then?

On page 7 of the Messenger newspaper of 17 August 1977, Kmart advertised a General Electric blender for $42.89. It caught my eye, as many years ago my mother had bought this blender from Target and it still sits on her kitchen counter. I wondered if $42.89 would have been a lot of money in the 70s. Given that he average weekly earnings for a man  (usually the sole wage earner for a family at this time) in Australia in June 1977 ranged between $181.50 to $198.70, Australian Bureau of Statistics, http://www.abs.gov.au

Recently, I looked at buying a blender but I was surprised to discover that the average rickety looking unit costs over $100. The old G.E. blender may be noisy but at least it is solid and still works. Totally false advertising – despite its seven settings, including ‘Chop’, ‘Mix’ and ‘Aerate’, it basically has one function, which is to pulverise everything!

When we entered the cost of the blender into dollartimes.com we discovered that today you would need $174.31 to buy this appliance. No wonder Mum had to put it on layby.

blender-the-messenger        blender-today

Our Slouch Hat Soldiers on show

Brothers in Arms

They served the same cause,

Fresh-faced boys departed,a new breed of diggers returned,

toughened by violent events.

They knew what was expected of them,

battle savvy,

they backed each other,

fought off insanity with humour,

got the jobs done.

 

They witnessed events

no one should see,

did things they’d rather not talk of,

fought battles

long after they had ended.

And in this chasm of hell

A special breed of mateship grew.

Second World War 1939 – 1945.  Robert John Jarrad, Page 47, Slouch Hat Soldiers Generations at War, an Echoes Downunder publication, 2014.

Robert John Jarrad speaks about his poety at the Tea Tree Gully Library.

Robert John Jarrad speaks about his poety at the Tea Tree Gully Library.

When local retired engineer, military gunner, artist, didgeridoo player and writer Robert John Jarrad launched his first book of poems Slouch Hat Soldiers – Generations at War at the Tea Tree Gully Library in March 2014, there was standing room only.

Accompanied by illustrations from by internationally acclaimed military artist Barry Spicer, Robert’s collection of poignant war poetry focuses on Australians who enlisted when their country called.  Robert based his poems mainly on the powerful stories and images told to him by his nineteen relatives – including his father and grandfathers – who had enlisted and served in World Wars I and II, and in the Vietnam War. As we hear in his poem Brothers in Arms, Robert’s poems give us an insight into the harsh realities of war, but he also describes the mateship between soldiers and how they used humour to cope with their dire situation.

Robert hopes reading his poems may help a new generation of Australians to understand what it was like to go to war and how those who served were prepared to give their lives for their homeland that they loved. Moreover, they came back forever changed by their experiences.

Since the launch of Slouch Hat Soldiers – Generations at War, Robert Jarrad has toured around Australia, speaking to community groups about his book. He has been invited to several Centenary of Anzac events. In 2015, Robert’s poems, selected from his book Slouch Hat Soldiers-Generations at War, were performed at the Australian War Memorial’s ‘Of Words and War’ Anzac Centenary poetry event.

Now Robert’s literary achievement has been honoured once again. Some of his poems will feature prominently in the upcoming Wish me luck – an Anzac Centenary photographic exhibition, which pays tribute to South Australia’s World War II veterans. The exhibition is showing from 9 July to 11 September, in the Flinders University City Gallery, located within the State Library of South Australia on North Terrace.

Vale Clifford Brice

‘Poster boy’ for the Wish Me Luck exhibition, Vale Clifford (Cliff) Bryce sits aside his portrait.

Curated by Sharon Cleary (Veterans SA) and Louise Bagger (AIPP), the Wish me luck Exhibition has grown out a special nationwide project, which began on Anzac Day 2015. The Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) photographed Australia’s surviving World War II veterans, many of whom are now in their late nineties.  In South Australia 1050 portraits were taken over a seven month period.

Veterans SA is partnering with AIPP, Flinders University Art Museum and Atkins Photo Lab to present 100 photographic portraits of those who served in the Navy, Army, Airforce and Medical Corps from SA during WWII. Entry is free.  The Flinders University City Gallery is open Tuesday to Friday from 11am – 4pm and Saturday and Sunday from 12 – 4pm.

A series of public talks will accompany the ‘Wish me luck’ exhibition.  Come and hear Robert reading from Slouch Hat Soldiers on Sunday 4 September at 2.00pm at the Flinders University City Gallery.   RSVP essential to 08 8207 7055. Copies of Slouch Hat Soldiers – Generations at War, will be available for sale.  Part proceeds of all book sales will benefit Legacy.

Bob Jarrad Wish Slouch Hat SoldiersYou can also borrow Slouch Hat Soldiers – Generations at War through the One Card Network. Search the online catalogue or enquire next time you visit the Library.

Discover more about Robert Jarrad and his acclaimed book Slouch Hat Soldiers.  You can also explore the 100 Years of Anzac website.  Read more about the Wish me luck exhibition and Robert’s poetry reading.

What WAS the 90s all about? Shakira gives us her take.

My name is Shakira, and I’m from Golden Grove High School. I was very happy to be at Tea Tree Gully Library this week (for work experience) and am grateful to all of the employees for their assistance.  You heard it here first.

For some people, (me), the nineties are just as historical and ancient as the Bronze Age. For others, the time period was filled with childhood memories, clunky technology, and the leftovers of eighties’ hairstyles.

This week, a Ninetiespalooza was being held at the library, in honour of history month. Staff members have graciously bought along pictures of their past (see below).

Who can you recognise?

Tea Tree Gully Library staff 90s shots

Dated arcade games have also been put out for the public’s enjoyment, but don’t be fooled by their simple pixel screens. They’re really, really hard.

 

So, in honour of this event, we’ll go through some of the highs and lows of the nineties.

First off, is fashion. The 1990s truly were one of fashion’s worst decades – simply because all of the clothes seemed to be designed for cosiness rather than stylishness. A very natural look was encouraged, with minimal makeup and natural hair being very popular. Now in the 21st century, flat irons and hair dye are used all around – and of course in the eighties, hairspray and curlers was the thing. Compared to all that, the nineties were very free-spirited. What a disaster! Everybody knows that comfort does not equal style.

Now, something that even the 1990s couldn’t mess up: movies. Oh, the movies. If Titanic, The Lion King, Home Alone, Fight Club, Jurassic Park, Pretty Woman, and/or The Matrix didn’t inspire you, tug on your heartstrings, open your eyes, or make you feel something… then you clearly haven’t seen them. Nineties movies were the greatest, ya’ll.

Much like people’s fashion sense, the cars of the 1990s were much the same; bland, boring, and even down right ugly in some cases. It’s amazing how even a $13k car could look like a low-grade manufacture. That’s right, this decade messed up sports cars.

Just look at the comparison.

Here is a regular, middle class car. One your parents might get you for your sixteenth.

red car

Here is a Dodge Stealth TT, looking more or less as bad as the first car. Some car critics may argue “But it’s a classy, attractive car! Look at it – it’s closer to the ground! Rounder!”

fancy red car

These people are clearly living by the standards that old cars are good cars. No. Nineties cars were awful, and they age worse with every year.

And what was with those lights?

While the music would be generic at best by today’s standards, something about those old-school tunes really excites this generation. Masses will forever awe at Mariah Carey’s vocal range, and Britney Spears’ toxic singing is boundless. The Spice Girls didn’t need anyone to tell them what they wanted, and let’s not forget Barbie Girl, which was at the top of the charts for three weeks in ’97.

The Spice Girls

Image credit: whatculture.com

So, that’s the nineties basically. Don’t quote me on that.

Thanks Shakira. Tea Tree Gully Library has plenty to offer in the way of 90s nostalgia: books, CDs, DVDs and more. Come in and browse or take a look at our online catalogue 

Love in the 90s

While going through the compactus in the Community History Room I found these old cassette tapes which took me instantly back to the 1990s. A well selected mix tape was a vital part of any 90s courtship. The songs were carefully chosen to express how you wanted the person to see you but also how you wanted to relate to the person.

The mix tape was a maze of subtexts layered with meanings but a well trained eye could read the meaning behind the tape well before they even listened to the songs. A 60 minute tape meant “I ‘like’ like you”. A 90 minute tape meant “I think I love you” and a 3 pack of 90 minute tapes was essentially a marriage proposal.

My mix tapes always had a Cure song (to show that I was “dark”), a Smiths song (to show that I was “clever”) and a Kylie Minogue song (to show that I was “fun” and open to irony).

What would have been on your mix tape?

Like, love and marriage.

Like, love and marriage.

Find the digger in your family tree

This year is the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings. Almost half of Australia’s eligible men enlisted for service in WW1 – was one of your ancestors amongst them?

ANZAC digger

Are you aware of how much information is out there about your World War I ancestors?

On Monday 9 February, Tea Tree Gully Library will host an information session, ‘Find the digger in your family tree’. This session will show people how to research and extract information from the National Archives of Australia and the Australian War Memorial, as well as other online sources.

Local History Services Officer David Brooks will help guide people to not only find the digger in their family tree, but also discover what experiences they had while on active service overseas.

This is a support event for Tea Tree Gully Library’s Field of Remembrance project, a commemorative event to honour 100th anniversary of ANZAC Centenary.

If you would like to attend, you can book online or phone 8397 7333.

For more information about the Field of Remembrance project, please visit www.teatreegully.sa.gov.au/poppyfield 

Where: City of Tea Tree Gully Library Community Learning Centre, 571 Montague Road Modbury

When: Monday 9 February 6pm

Kidstory History Storytelling Sessions Thursday May 1

270px-Inglewood_hotel

Are your kids curious about the past? Bring them to the Library’s Kidstory History storytime session this Thursday 1 May and they can learn all about the good ol’ days of our amazing region.

Specially designed for kids aged 3-5, the two 30-minute storytelling sessions will be hosted by Local History Officer David Brooks, who will use stories and objects from the collection to explore three different eras of Tea Tree Gully’s history.

These storytelling sessions are a part of SA’s History Festival, and are designed to be interactive, with lots of games and fun. There will also be guided craft activities available after the session and every child will receive a gift to take home.

Children must accompanied by an adult during event. Follow the link below to book!

http://www.teatreegully.sa.gov.au/page.aspx?u=841#e7152