Stanley author’s book relaunched
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.”
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.