Stan­ley au­thor’s book re­launched

Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - By WENDY STEPHENS

The fourth edi­tion of the late Geoff Craig’s book ‘The Stan­ley Times and Min­ing Jour­nal: A His­tory of the Stan­ley, Hur­dle Flat and Hills­bor­ough Dis­tricts’ was launched last Satur­day at The Stan­ley Athenaeum.

Jim Low­den from the Me­chan­ics In­sti­tute of Vic­to­ria Inc. launched the new dig­i­tally en­hanced and reprinted book and thanked the Friends of the Stan­ley Athenaeum who made the re­vised work pos­si­ble.

“The co­op­er­a­tion of Doug and Va­lerie Craig for mak­ing the Craig collection of pho­to­graphs avail­able and the as­sis­tance of Linda Pea­cock of the Burke Mu­seum, in lo­cat­ing other pho­to­graphs has been amaz­ing,” Mr Low­den said.

“Other peo­ple who gave gen­er­ously of their time and ex­per­tise were Chris Baker, Sylvie Blair, Chris Dormer, Robyn Har­court, He­len McIn­tyre, Cath O’Con­nor, John Thor­ley, Ros Woods, and nu­mer­ous oth­ers in the wider com­mu­nity.”

Mr Low­den said Geoff who passed away in 2003 would have loved the day with a cap­tive au­di­ence and the launch of the fourth edi­tion of his first book which was first pub­lished in 1972.

He was born in 1935 and dur­ing his life­time Geoff amassed a large archive of printed and man­u­script ma­te­rial and a myr­iad of me­mories and sto­ries.

For­tu­nately for the Stan­ley and the wider com­mu­nity, Geoff spent the last part of his life ag­gre­gat­ing all that in­for­ma­tion to­gether into a raft of some thirty-nine pub­li­ca­tions.

This was fa­cil­i­tated along the way by the very suc­cess­ful Back to Stan­ley held in 1976.

These mono­graphs recorded the early pas­toral set­tle­ment, the pe­ri­ods of dry and wet min­ing, clear­ing the for­est, and the tran­si­tion into dairy­ing, ap­ple or­chards and nut grow­ing.

The Stan­ley Athenaeum and pub­lic room holds the works, manuscripts and ex­ten­sive lo­cal his­tory collection of Geoff Craig.

“Added to this mo­men­tous oc­ca­sion is the re­al­iza­tion of Geoff’s vi­sion of a largely re­stored Stan­ley Athenaeum and Pub­lic Room, the re­ten­tion of its His­toric Li­brary, and the con­tin­ued re­pub­li­ca­tion of his works,” Mr Low­den said.

“The Friends of the Stan­ley Athenaeum have worked so hard over the years to bring the pub­lic room back to life.

“It has been my priv­i­lege over the past decade to see it con­verted from near dere­lic­tion to the vi­brant and sig­nif­i­cant ex­hi­bi­tion and re­search space it is to­day.

“Sim­i­larly I have also seen a great change in the com­mu­nity to one of real pride with a stan­dard­ised sys­tem of dis­tinc­tive sig­nage around the vil­lage.

“It is in­deed a unique place seem­ingly driven from ac­tiv­ity around the Pub­lic Room and is an in­ter­est­ing case study in small-town re­newal.”

PHOTO: Wendy Stephens

TOWN ARCHIVES: Launch­ing the most in­ci­sive his­tory of Stan­ley writ­ten and re­searched by the late Geoff Craig and re-pub­lished with dig­i­tal en­hance­ment were Chris Dormer, Jim Low­den, He­len McIn­tyre and Janet Suther­land.

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