Elliston group to record history

Elliston District Council chairman Kym Callaghan

Elliston District Council chairman Kym Callaghan

A group of Elliston residents have formed a history group that will collaborate with the Elliston District Council and the visitor information centre to preserve the district’s history.

Elliston District Council chairman Kym Callaghan said the council put the call out for community members to register their interest in the group last year.

Initially a group of seven community members put their hands up and met for the first time in October last year. 

Mr Callgahan said the group had met a number of times since then and more people interested in documenting the areas history had volunteered for the group.

He said in light of the old Elliston cemetery being cleaned up, the council thought it would be a good idea for other historical sites in the district to be documented and watched over.

He said after the initial meetings the group had suggested working on projects including adding historic information, like photos and booklets, to the council’s website; printing hard copies of specific historical information for the library and visitor information centre, setting up a slideshow of historical photos, working with the men’s shed to construct resilient headstones for older graves and interviewing local identities to compile profiles and add them to the council’s website.

Mr Callaghan said while the Elliston district had a centenary book, a lot of the district’s other history had not been formally recorded.

He said it would be nice to mark historic buildings the way other towns in the region did.

“Walking around town people wouldn’t know where the old hotel or the old police station was,” he said. 

“Then we’ve got places like Venus Bay and Sheringa, Sheringa used to have a boarding house and dance hall – in the 1920s there was as many people living at Sheringa as there are living in Elliston now.”

Mr Callaghan said as long-term members of the community got older it was important to record their history before it was lost.