THE history of a town or region can, and must, be preserved through written and spoken word as well as through still and moving pictures.
This story was first published in the 14 November 2014 edition of the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen.
Times change and memories fade and it’s all too easy to lose knowl-edge of who and what got our com-munities to where they are today.
Over recent decades, Baw Baw Shire’s community radio station 3BBR FM has been recording conversations with people who have long memories of the district. These are not only broadcast as programs but are also archived and even handed to groups and organisations keen to ensure our local history is recorded as fully as possible.
One notable program that has been presented on and off since 2002 is “Gippsland Heritage”. Interviewees on the program have recalled branch rail lines, small town stores, war memories, local butter factories, early Gippsland radio – 3UL and 3TR – and even race callers.
Episodes that relate to Drouin will form part of a project being pla-nned for next year called “Drouin Assets.” Recognising that Drouin is now growing and changing at an unprecedented rate, the Committee for Drouin has been working with the Drouin branch of the Warragul and District Historical Society to preserve memories of old Drouin.
You will hear more about that project next year, but it will take a two-pronged in its approach: the physical, like old homes and buildings, and the memories of human treasures recorded for posterity.
3BBR FM is involved in the “Drouin Assets” project as an audio partner. Lynn Wells and the team are polishing up some previously recorded and broadcast material, and recording new conversations.
Expect to hear Roy Cheeseman on “Growing Up in Drouin”, Phil Edwards recalling “Edwards Engin-eering” and Drouin South matriarch Mary Allen, who was 107 years old when Lynn recorded her.
There will also be more rec ent autobiographies including Gipp-sland historian John Wells and local country/blues musician Steve Messer.
It’s exciting to see the resources of a local “community” radio station being used in such a literal way.
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