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Celebrating History in May

Celebrating History in May
03 May 2018

Les Hill Collection, 1908 Gentlemen in first motorcycle with sidecar by the Gordon Monument.
The Les Hill Online Collection
Les Hill Collection, 1908 Gentlemen in first motorcycle with sidecar by the Gordon Monument.

Each year, the Mount Gambier Library participates in South Australia’s History Festival which takes place during May. It is a fabulous opportunity to celebrate our region’s historical places, people and events.

The Library’s focus for 2018 is the forthcoming 100th anniversary of Rook Walk; Mount Gambier’s largest working bee. This historical moment saw Mount Gambier come to halt on Wednesday 27 November, 1918, when citizens from all walks of life assembled at the lakes to engage in the greatest one-day community effort in the city’s history.

The project which was organised by hotelier Arthur Rook, saw the involvement of the community as a whole; the working committee, tradesmen, labourers, bankers, shop assistants with 300 ladies providing three meals during the day and live music played at regular intervals by two city bands.

About 2000 participants were involved in the Rook Walk project and the Library is hoping that people from around the region will have stories or photographs from their ancestors who were involved.

“Commemorative stories can be documented by Local History Officer Danni Reade and be used to celebrate the anniversary in November,” Mount Gambier Library Community Engagement Coordinator Kristi Leamey said.

“If you’re curious to know if your ancestors were involved, visit the Library during May to see the Rook Walk display complete with a list of names of those involved.”

Other events taking place during History Month include resource lessons to show people how to use the Les Hill Collection, digital newspapers with TROVE as well as “The History of Your House” – a historic rates database where people can find out about others who have also called their house a home.

Community Artist Liz Ferguson will also run a free Legacy Journaling workshop.

“Participants have the option to participate in a group activity where Liz will assist with tips and techniques to help begin the legacy journal writing process. Or, you can book into a one-on-one session with Liz where she will evoke memories and record your words which can be passed on as a beautiful keepsake.”

A history month brochure containing all of the events and workshops can be collected from the Mount Gambier Library or found online

For further information please contact City of Mount Gambier Library Community Engagement Coordinator Kristi Leamey, 8721 2540 or