Saturday, 18 April 2015

Grahamstown Gazette: the early 20th century edition

This year, I've been writing monthly columns about The Treasury for the Grahamstown Gazette. Here's my piece for the April edition.
From The Treasury
It was fantastic to meet so many new people during March’s Thames Heritage Festival. The Treasury was open all week for talks, film screenings and workshops, and it was great to see so many people filling the Carnegie Library building. If you missed out during the festival, notes and transcripts of each lecture will be filed in the Reading Room shortly. It’s also not too late to join our beginner genealogist group, who are hoping to meet once a month following our Finding Your Family session. Don’t forget to ask for a tour of our building if you haven’t visited before.

April is also an important month, internationally as well as locally, as we mark the centenary of the Gallipoli landings during World War I. Out of a population of one and a half million, New Zealand lost 18,166 service men and women. More than 5000 have no known grave.  As part of WW100 commemorations, The Treasury has tried to track down details of the lives of hundreds of servicemen associated with the Hauraki and Coromandel region, including many whose names are not recorded on our local war memorials.

Late last year, The Treasury launched a new book, From Gold Mine to Firing Line, chronicling the effect this war had on the Coromandel Peninsula. The book looks not only at the soldiers who left the region to join the war effort, but at the families they left behind. 

As well as our book and the war pages on our website, we have a lot of information about both world wars in the archive.  One particularly special project in the works at the moment is organising the restoration of the photographic montages which once hung in the corridors of Thames High School. These montages feature images of the ex-students who fought and died in the first world war. These photos are starting to show the ravages of time, and we’re extremely fortunate to be able to use funding from the Lottery WWI Commemorations fund to preserve them for future generations.

The Treasury is open from 11am to 3pm on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Researching costs $15 an hour per person for non-members and $5 for members, while non-researching Gold Card holders can pop in and read a book in our Reading Room for free. Be sure to check out our website and like us on Facebook.

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