[box] “Warrnambool – This is home” is limited to 500 signed and numbered copies: $30 plus $8 flat postage anywhere in Australia. You can order a book direct from the author by direct deposit or Paypal. Books are also available from Warrnambool Books, Fairy St. [/box]
[dropcap style=”color: #a5cecd;”] W [/dropcap]hen I first returned to live in my hometown of Warrnambool in early 2013 after being away for more than 20 years, I had a new appreciation for the ties that bind people from this seaside city.
Despite Warrnambool now being a place of 32,000 people, we all feel like we know each other and, if we don’t, we spend a few minutes playing what one friend described to me as “the game”.
This is where you ask each other what school you went to, or the names of your parents/brothers/sisters, or if you knew such-and-such and – usually – within no more than four or five moves, “bingo!” you have made a connection.
But it is also more than that.
It is the environment that also connects us: the wild ocean, the bent trees, the Norfolk pines, the whales, the restless wind…
And it is even more than that.
It is the iconic people and places that are so familiar to us and that we remember so fondly, even nostalgically, as we all age and they start to slip away. Names like Swintons, Kermonds, Macks Snacks, Ryan’s Removals, The Savoy, Rauert’s shoe store, Politis fish and chips, the Materia Brothers and on it goes.
I chose 30 of these icons to photograph and write briefly (snapshots) about – I could have chosen many more – as a small collection of some of the places and faces that connect us as being “from Warrnambool”, even if we live many miles away.
[dropcap style=”color: #a5cecd;”] A [/dropcap]s the book unfolded, I felt an increasing sense of urgency to capture these special places and faces before it was too late, because there is no doubt Warrnambool is facing unprecedented challenges that are seeing many businesses close and not replaced by others.
In the 16 months since I started this book, the Savoy has closed, the Criterion Hotel building has been pulled down and Lucas Bros butchers was sold out of the family. Just this week it was announced that Capricorn Records would come to an end next month after 35 years.
Warrnambool is changing and, as with any change, there is both an anticipation about what might come and a sadness about what has been lost.
This book is my attempt to preserve some of our shared and precious past.
As I say in the introduction: “Whether you live in Warrnambool, or you simply carry it in your heart, this is a tribute to the place by the sea that no matter how widely we travel, we will always call home”.
* * *
Warrnambool – This is home features the following: Swinton’s Supermarket (Val Grundy/Dot Grauer); Lucas Bros Butchers (Ken Lucas); Materia Bros (Mario,Paul and Mark Materia); the Sycopoulis family home (John, Maroulla and Peter Sycopoulis); Kermond’s Snack Bar (Rob and Bill Kermond); Mack’s Snacks (Graeme, Keith and Paul McLeod); Savoy Restaurant (Alan Tampion); Rauert’s Shoe Store (Ron and Peter Rauert); The Bowl (Lucas Reid and Andrea Occhipinti); Politis Seafood (Helen, George and Chris Politis); Robert Ulmann whale mural (Justy Ulmann); Warrnambool Surf Lifesaving Club (Lisa Logan (Cole), Ben Logan, Ron Cole); The Warrnambool Standard (Peter Collins and Peter Fletcher); The Warrnambool Woollen Mill site (Mary Jackson); Chittick’s Bakery (Ian Robb and John Chittick); Capitol Cinema (Ivan Berndt); Fletcher Jones Gardens (Lex Caldwell); The Quarry/ art collectives (Claire Drylie) Ryan’s Removals (Frank and Graeme Ryan); 3YB radio (Steve Welsh and Lyndsay Hill); W’bool Grand Annual Steeplechase (Brian McIver); W’bool Aquarium (Donna Krebs (Livingston); Timor St Newsagency (Brian Mills); Bojangles Pizza (Simon Mugavin); Isles General Store (Ken Isles); McNeil’s BP Service Station (Noel McNeil); the War Memorial Angel; T&G clocktower (Peter Hogg); The Criterion Hotel.
[box type=”bio”] Warrnambool – This is home will be limited to 500 numbered and signed editions. If you would like to order a copy ($30 plus $8 flat postage if required) from Bluestone Magazine, you can do so here. Books are also on sale at Warrnambool Books. [/box]
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