A historic photo exhibition over the Australia Day weekend will tell the stories of many migrants to Benalla.January 25, 2013 4:55am
Memories: Children from Bihun Migrant Camp 4. Submitted by local Benalla College teacher Wasyl Bihun of his brother Henry playing with unknown friends.Henry (Slawomir) Bihun, standing in dark cardigan...with friends unknown.This photo has taken between 1952 and 1953.
The story of the post-World War II Benalla Migrant Camp will be brought to life by Sabine Smyth in a special historic photo exhibition that will get under way at BARC Hut 11 from 1
Mrs Smyth said she had been overwhelmed by the sheer number and quality of photos from the late 1940s onward that had been submitted, mostly from people of Polish and German descent.
‘‘It really is an amazing history that is worth remembering,’’ she said.
‘‘Their (the residents of the Benalla Migrant Camp) lives were so hard by today’s standards, but they were so happy to be making a new start here in Benalla.’’
A staggering 60
‘‘The exhibition of personal photos, documents and memorabilia tells some of their stories and I think it’s really important that people learn about this history, because it really helped to develop and shape Benalla after the war,’’ Mrs Smyth said.
The old migrant camp is located just off Samaria Rd, behind Benalla Airport.
Appropriately, one of the old huts in which the migrants actually lived is the venue for the exhibition, making a ‘‘very authentic space’’.
‘‘They came out here with nothing,’’ Mrs Smyth said.
‘‘It was a gated community so they needed to check with the guard to get in and out.
‘‘But as a result of that they were a really tight-knit community who stuck together.
‘‘Australia was selling itself as the land of milk and honey in those days, and several countries were competing for migrants after the war.
‘‘For the migrants, it was a two-year commitment and you had to work where you were sent.
‘‘The two biggest employers at the time were chain manufacturers Reynolds Chains and clothing manufacturers Latoof and Calill.’’
The population of Benalla swelled to 20
Many of the migrants were from Poland, Germany, Hungary, Croatia, Italy, Holland and Lithuania.
Mrs Smyth said she wanted to thank Dawne Tonks of Benalla and District Family Research Group, Lyn Tanner and Maree Hanlon of Benalla and District Historical Society, and Jennifer Campbell of U3A Benalla.
In regard to the exhibition itself, Mrs Smyth received about 130 photos, but only has room to exhibit about 100.Exhibition opening times:
(Australia Day) Saturday, January 26 from 1
Sunday, January 27 from 10
Every Sunday in February from 10
Entry to the exhibition, at BARC Hut 11 in Samaria Rd, is free.
Kyabram becomes immortals after capturing the Goulburn Valley Football League against Rochester to cap off an undefeated season.
Dawn Tabor 10 January 1944 – 10 September 2016
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
MOSQUITOES look set to start biting earlier than usual thanks to our wetter than normal winter.
OUR Lady of the Sacred Heart Elmore was a sea of colour earlier this month for Footy Colours Day.
THERE were picnics galore at St Augustine’s College recently as the school celebrated St Augustine’s Day with a whole college mass and a community picnic on the school oval.
Seymour A and B-grade in season decider
Extensive rainfall in the Southern Riverina is having a negative impact on farming.
When Pyalong Primary School does something, it does it well. Here are the students all dressed up for the school's recent Roald Dahl day to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the author’s birth on September 13, 1916.
Former Moira Shire mayor Marie Martin will be running in the upcoming council election.
Nick Caruso will compete in tumbling at the National Clubs Championships in Bendigo tomorrow.
Tuesday, August 16
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.