An artwork painted by a prisoner of war held at Tatura has been discovered in Sydney.JOHN LEWIS June 23, 2014 3:33am
Alison Bevege with a painting done by a Japanese prisoner of war while he was held at No. 28 Camp Hospital at Tatura.
A rare, delicate watercolour painted by a Japanese prisoner of war held at Tatura during World War II has surfaced in Sydney.
The small painting of a bird on a branch was discovered by Darwin woman Alison Bevege as she sorted through her mother’s belongings following her recent death.
A typed note on the back of the framed painting says: ‘‘This picture was painted by a Japanese P.O.W. interned in Tatura POW Camp (No. 28 Camp Hospital) in gratefulness for the attention given him by Dr R.B Perrins (Major, AIF).’’
Ms Bevege said the painting was signed in Japanese and was finely painted.
‘‘It’s possibly a finch resting on a camelia tree,’’ she said.
Ms Bevege said she had no idea how her mother came to own the painting.
‘‘I found it in her bedroom. As a child she lived in Swan Hill,’’ she said.
‘‘I think it is an amazing piece of history. It is exquisitely painted by some prisoner who clearly had skill.’’
Ms Bevege said she had contacted the Tatura Museum about the find.
‘‘I would like to donate it to them, but legally I have to administer the estate and there are other beneficiaries, so I am bound to seek best value,’’ she said.
‘‘So in all likelihood it will be sold at auction. Either that or the Canberra war memorial may buy it,’’ she said.
Tatura Irrigation and Wartime Camps Museum joint researcher Lurlene Knee said the museum would welcome the painting as a valuable addition to its extensive collection of wartime documents and artworks from the camps.
‘‘We’d be delighted to have the painting. If it goes to Canberra it would be stored away,’’ she said.
The Tatura district was the site of seven World War II camps which held between 4000 and 8000 people from Japan, Germany and Italy at any one time.
Some were enemy prisoners of war while others were families from hostile nations living in Australia at the outbreak of war.
Japanese prisoners were sent to Tatura after the infamous Cowra breakout of 1944.
Mrs Knee’s husband Arthur said if the watercolour was by a prisoner of war it would be rare.
‘‘There are very few paintings by POWs — they didn’t have the materials,’’ Mr Knee said.
Mrs Knee said the museum was still visited frequently by Japanese families searching for the history of their relatives.
‘‘We see the children of Japanese internees and prisoners — they are anxious to find out where they lived, but there’s not much left to see now,’’ she said.
‘‘We have shelves and shelves of their stories and books.’’
Shepparton’s Declo Bisimwa firmly believes education is the key to a better life.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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