Project to record local war stories

January 03, 2018

(From left) Christine Dodd, Carole Stevenson, Patty Clines and John Russell have spent at least 18 months researching for the Passing Parade project.

Local war stories are being collated for a special commemorative project, called Passing Parade.

Through audio recordings, first-hand experiences of war as described by district residents will be re-told.

The project is being coordinated by South West Arts and the stories have been written by members of the Deniliquin Creative Writers.

Sivonne Binks from South West Arts said Outback Theatre for Young People and South West Music would also be involved.

‘‘Members of the Deniliquin Creative Writers have brought their talent and imagination to the project, transforming interviews and historical research into first-person accounts of the personal experiences of war that have shaped our history and who we are today,’’ Ms Binks said.

‘‘The short stories created by the Deniliquin Creative Writers will be recorded as audio stories, with music composed and recorded by South West Music Regional Conservatorium.’’

Deniliquin Creative Writers president Carole Stevenson said members have been working on the stories for 18 months.

She said it had been been an interesting and challenging task in ensuring the stories are re-told accurately.

‘‘We have stories from most of the conflicts Australia has been involved in and we’ve also featured people not only from Deniliquin but from the Southern Riverina and even Hay.

‘‘Many of the stories are about soldiers, but there are others featured too; like my subject, Sister Lorna Whyte from Hay, who was a nurse.

‘‘She was one of 16 taken prisoner from Rabaul after the Japanese attacked New Guinea in World War II.

‘‘They were held in a convent for the first six months and treated reasonably well, but then they were transferred with soldiers to Japan where they were virtually starved and beaten for 2 years.

‘‘Surprisingly, all 16 returned home after the war.’’

Ms Binks said the aim is to release the audio project for Anzac Day 2018 commemorations.

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