A ta­pes­try of Beecroft his­tory

Monthly Chronicle - - News - Jenny Bar­lass

If you, a rel­a­tive or friend has a story of der­ring-do or hero­ism about how you came to live in Beecroft or Chel­tenham, then the lo­cal his­tor­i­cal so­ci­ety would love to hear it.

Rod Best from the 17 year-old Beecroft Chel­tenham His­tory Group (BCHG), is launch­ing a new project and putting out feel­ers to lo­cals. “We want to col­lect sto­ries of peo­ple who’ve lived, or still live, in ei­ther Beecroft or Chel­tenham,” said the BCHG Pres­i­dent.

“The sto­ries that we’re af­ter con­cern their trav­els get­ting to these sub­urbs and forms part of the ta­pes­try of our his­tory. These sto­ries may be about them sur­viv­ing war or famine or treach­er­ous seas or any other tra­vails that peo­ple may have sur­vived to set­tle here.

“Beecroft is multicultural and res­i­dents come from a huge range of places. Some sto­ries that have come to light so far in­clude one fam­ily fight­ing in the name of the last Rus­sian Tsar and when the army was de­feated by the Bol­she­viks, they fled to China be­fore set­tling in Beecroft.

“An­other fam­ily were work­ing in Sin­ga­pore with the fa­ther the Gen­eral Man­ager of a ma­jor oil com­pany. In 1941 the wife and child trav­elled by ship to Sydney while the fa­ther stayed in Sin­ga­pore, only for the fa­ther to die there when it was taken by the Ja­panese in 1942. We also have Viet­namese boat peo­ple who’ve told sto­ries of es­cap­ing pi­rates, or oth­ers who fled the civil war in Sri Lanka.”

The sto­ries will be in­cluded on the Beecroft Chel­tenham His­tory Group web page at www.bchg.org.au and pub­lished in a book to be called ‘By­ways to Beecroft’. Con­tact the So­ci­ety with your story at: en­quiry@ bchg.org.au. Sto­ries can be anony­mous if you’d pre­fer.

Copeland Road East show­ing the grand es­tates of Beecroft that new pre- WW1 set­tlers would have seen

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