“The Hut” by Nell Gawthorne, held in the City of Parramatta Cultural Collections Artwork Collection (Acc no. 2006.175)
During World War Two, community organisations and local councils across Australia were instrumental in providing recreational opportunities in support of the physical and mental wellbeing of the transient population of service personnel who were stationed in or passing through their area.
Image of Horwood Street Car Park, Parramatta, c. early-1980s. Source: City of Parramatta Council Archives Photographic Collection
Over the years, the City of Parramatta Council has taken many photos to record its events, activities, buildings and achievements. One of the roles of the Parramatta Heritage Centre is to preserve these images in its archives.
Join us on 14 August 2019 for an expert talk, as part of this year’s Sydney Science Festival, where we will explore the fascinating history of the “Spanish ‘Flu” pandemic, which reached Parramatta in 1919.
Commuters in Sydney wearing masks during the influenza pandemic, 1919. Image: The Australian
A global pandemic reaches Australia
In November 1918, as peace was declared and the guns of the First World War fell silent, people across the world began to succumb in great numbers to a deadly disease. Caused by a particularly virulent strain of pneumonic influenza, the illness was notable for taking the lives of an unusually high number of otherwise young and healthy people.
Makeshift Pneumonic Influenza hospital, Melbourne, 1919. Image: Heritage Council of Victoria
Parramatta prepares, and the pandemic arrives
In January 1919, cases of the deadly pneumonic influenza pandemic sweeping the world were diagnosed in Australia, first in Melbourne and then in Sydney.
Motions of Condolence. Source: Minutes of the Meeting of Dundas Municipal Council, 2 April 1919
Loss and recovery in Parramatta
As the pneumonic influenza pandemic took hold in Parramatta during the first few months of 1919, the small Parramatta District Hospital was only able to admit a handful of influenza patients, so those ill with the disease began to be directed to Lidcombe State Hospital, or the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Camperdown.
Dundas Skyline Drive-in, c. 1950s (Source: www.drive-insdownunder.com.au)
Some previously well-known features of Parramatta’s urban landscape have, over the years, given way due to changes in taste or developments in technology. Here, we take a look at the stories behind five of the city’s vanished historic landmarks, and explore what has taken their place. (more…)
A spectacular tree in Parramatta Park (Source: City of Parramatta Council, 2012)
Trees across the Parramatta area make our surroundings more attractive and pleasant. They provide relief from heat and glare, improve the quality of the air we breathe, and help retain precious rainwater in our soil. Trees frame our memories and identity. For the traditional custodians of this land, the Darug people, trees hold particular cultural and spiritual relevance.
The Centennial Memorial Fountain in Centenary Square, Parramatta, 2017 (Source: Anna Namuren)
Devices have been used to measure the concept of time for thousands of years – from the tracking of the sun by obelisks and dials, to the use of hourglasses and waterclocks, through to the development of mechanical and, later, digital time-pieces.
The Red Gum Walk sign, Boronia Park, Epping, 1952. Source: City of Parramatta Council Archives
In the dappled sunlight of Boronia Park in Epping, a mysterious and forlorn sign stands by an avenue of trees.