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Artarmon shows off its heritage

This year’s Heritage Week launch in Artarmon was the first opportunity for the Artarmon Progress Association (APA) to show off the history project it embarked on last July.

The event, which APA hosted on April 12 at the Artarmon Library, was opened by Willoughby Mayor Pat Reilly, and attended by Mayoress Beth Reilly, councillor Barry Thompson and local residents.

Project co-ordinators Adrian Alexander and Katie Walshe had put together a heritage display, which included an outline of Artarmon’s history since its start in 1796, when the first land grants were made, mainly to English soldiers and also the history of St Basil’s Church in Broughton Rd, which celebrates its centenary in June.

Alexander told the gathering the display also expanded on Artarmon’s contribution to The Faces of Willoughby mural at The Concourse. The APA submitted 25 to council and got 15 photos into the mural.

The heritage display included oral histories of the families who contributed the photographs, including the Wiseman family, who had lived in Artarmon over four generations since 1903 and ran a plumbing business in Artarmon from 1925 to 1996. It also included the advocacy history of the APA and its predecessor, the Artarmon Advancement Association, formed as far back as 1906.

He thanked all involved in the displays, including the local residents who allowed their stories to be told; Katie Walshe and Christine Kelley; Tracey Cameron from St Basil’s; WCC festival & events special projects co-ordinator Bernard Lau who created the artwork for the displays and APA committee member Luke Slattery and Kwik Copy in Whiting St for printing the displays on two-hour notice; Toni McKay who did much of the oral history; the Artarmon Library team; and the APA for its moral support.

Reilly congratulated the APA and president Ross Dickson on the heritage initiative. Having spent a greater part of his early years and working life in Artarmon, he said he would “go with a 1906 start” for the APA because “advancement and progress are two of the same”. “To still carry on here in this century is something to be extremely proud of,” he said.

“You got to be proud of your heritage and Willoughby and precincts that make it up – as diverse as they are – are very much a heritage aspect.

“No-one can ever blame a progress association for not giving everyone the opportunity to understand and know their community and how they can be part of it ... because that’s where that strength has come from over those years of creating a great community.”

Reilly said Artarmon was a desirable area for people to buy property and they were welcome to become part of its lifestyle “but please don’t over-invade it!” he warned.

by Eva Wiland, Gazette editor

Courtesy of Gazette May 2012
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Adrian Alexander, Katie Walshe and Pat Reilly
Heritage team Adrian Alexander (L) and Katie Walshe (R) with Mayor Pat Reilly





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