New book solves the puzzle of Ulmarra
A PROJECT that was born more than 40 years ago by lifelong Ulmarra resident Ken Watkins has led to the historic port town’s formative years being collated by his son, Kevin.
And it was connecting the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle that attracted Kevin Watkins to researching the history of the town.
Kevin will launch his new book Ulmarra – The First Forty Years at the Coldstream Gallery on Sunday, and Mr Watkins used a combination of historical references to collate the information.
“My dad started collecting old photos of Ulmarra, and over the years he amassed a lot of good stuff,” Kevin said.
“I started to help him digitise the photos, and on top I started to process all of the information he collected into text, and in doing so I got caught on the bug myself.”
After he retired from teaching in 2009, and his father died in 2011, Kevin started to reference old issues of The Daily Examiner to help solve the puzzles of the town.
“No one knew anything about the early businesses, or even the fact that there were three different Ulmarras and it was getting all the information that we worked out how it all came together,” he said.
The book consists of snippets of stories from dates throughout the years 1860-1900, and Mr Watkins said that the online Trove of copies of The Daily Examiner became invaluable.
“I like to use the Examiner because as far as I'm concerned that’s the truth, whereas you get information coming from other sources, anecdotal or memories, are not as accurate."
The book will be launched at the Coldstream Gallery on Sunday at 2pm.
It will be available from the gallery, the Ulmarra Hotel and other businesses in the town.
DECADES IN THE MAKING: Kevin Watkins with his book, Ulmarra the first 40 years, which will be launched on Sunday.