Saturday, December 13, 2014

Exciting Plans for the Australia Day Weekend 2015

The front view of the former Latoof and Callil Clothing Factory in Coster Street.
The old Latoof and Callil Canteen, in which we will have our exhibition.

We recently learnt that the former Latoof and Calill Factory (also known as Benalla Spinners,  located in Coster Street across from our hospital), where many of the migrants worked as part of their immigration contract with the Australian Government, will not stand much longer.
The site has been sold and will be demolished to make way for a residential development according to the new owners.
On the Australia Day Weekend they have given us access to the site for a special, limited exhibition. So you will find us here only, and not at BARC Hut 11 this one time.
The site holds so many memories for so many migrants, that we thought it would be great to have one last look. Our Opening will be part of the official Australia Day Program.
Watch this blog, and the Benalla Rural City Website, as we put together the program for the weekend.

Always Adding to the Exhibition

Recently Mike and I spent two separate weekends in Canberra on a mission to locate more information on the Benalla Migrant Camp Families. We were very lucky to have two fabulous finds: About 50 Bonegilla Migrant Registration Cards and a 2 Minute Colour Home Movie.

Amy Lay, the curator of the 'A Place Called Home' Exhibition at the National Archives was very helpful, and interested in our exhibition, as it was covering the same topic.

Equipped with the names of all our migrant families who have registered for our Benalla project, we were able to view dozens of boxes of Bonegilla cards with the corresponding letters of the alphabet. We needed to flick through all of them to find the ones we were after. Quite a task.
Mike with the morning's load ...

We found about 50 Bonegilla Cards for Benalla Migrant Camp residents.
Unbelievably, at the National Film and Sound Archives we also had a terrific find!
Clare Norton, the curator there helped us find a 2 minute home movie of the Benalla Migrant Camp!!

Monday, November 17, 2014

It was great to see so many visitors during Benalla Festival 2014

We were open over the two weekends, November 1-9

 Aivars Bruns.

Tilda Kiraly and daughter Kathy.
The Rotary Club of Finley.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The September 28 Open Day was a great success

We were thrilled to have the Moyhu Lions Club visit! A great bunch.

Yaroslav and Lydia Yurcheshen made the pilgrimage back to Benalla from Kensington.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Winners of the Rising Star Award at the Benalla Business Awards

Thank you to the Benalla Business Network for coordinating these Awards - a lovely way for our work with the Exhibition to be acknowledged.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Great News

We were successful in obtaining a local council small grant for $1,600 to have a detailed plan of the original migrant camp site drawn up for display at the exhibition. Such a plan is the first step towards our long term goal of creating a diorama of the camp site.

Found a Nissen Hut!!

Now all we need is a bit of money to move and restore it!!

25 May Opening Day

Exhibition Volunteers Caroline Cage and Sophie Arendt look at immigration papers found in the National Archives.

Caz Grubissa

Caz Grubissa and John Mozuras have quite a bit of information which helps me understand the lay-out of the camp.

Recent additions to the collection

Maria Fruehwirth (nee Holodniak) donates her mother's Potato Grater to the collection. Her father made it himself whilst in the camp. Such a fine grater  Maria says, was used to make 'Kartoffelpuffer". Maria had also kept a baby bottle which was given to nursing mothers on the migrant ships.
Rozalie Dean (nee Fergin) also revisited the exhibition to have another look at her family's photos.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Working with, and learning from the Bonegilla Migrant Experience

We are delighted that our strong supporter, Prof Dr Bruce Pennay author of 'Receiving Europe's Displaced- Bonegilla Training Centre 1947-1953' has agreed to write the history of the Benalla Migrant Camp (beginning some time this year). The Bonegilla Experience Coordinator Bernadette Zanet has been a generous mentor to us, and this is most appreciated.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

and more visitors ...

Josette Aiello (nee Pierroz) from Switzerland, who lived in the camp in 1961. 

Chris Dunster is our volunteer roster organiser, thanks so much.

It was great to see Oleg and Loredana Mitrachowitsch from Eildon.

Andree Klopsteins donated her late husband Harry's family chests to the exhibition. Thank you Andree.

More visitors

Chris Sevels (third from left at the back) nee Bitneris with her camp school group.

Christa Ryan (nee Romaniszyn)

Zigie Kulbars who had just visited his 100 year old mum Jenny at her retirement home in Oakleigh.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Recent Visitors

Kaz Golonski and a young relative

From left Theo Cehun, his sister Brigitte and Joe Zajac

Irene van Rooyen nee Michel (right) and her daughter Sarah on a visit from Buderim in Queensland

Karl Boening

John Kolodziejczyk

Helena Molenda

From left: Susan (nee Hummel) and Ed Nawrocki with Joe Zajac

Jutta Stone (nee Tillmanns) donated these fabulous Lederhosen which her brother wore at the camp

This is the new display box that volunteer Joe Zajac built, materials paid for from the exhibition entry fees.

The Nikolsky Family came to Benalla on what would have been their mother Margaret's 100th birthday on 31st January this year. From left Grandson Brenton, Daughters Nikki (Ursula), Irene, Sons George, Viktor, his Wife Robyn, and Brenton's wife on the very left.