A new publication launched last night aims to honour iconic Warrnambool figures and landmarks before they are lost to the passage of time.
‘Warrnambool…this is home’ is resident author and editor Carol Altmann’s tribute to familiar faces and places central to Warrnambool’s identity.
“Iconic figures and landmarks are so much more than just buildings and structures,’ Carol explained.
“They hold our memories and our stories that have built up over generations, and give us a sense of place and belonging.”
Despite an element of unashamed sentiment – “call it old fashioned nostalgia” – Carol says her book is more about giving tribute, to people and places that have stood the test of time:
“These are landmarks which become part of our collective community memory; a means for people to orientate themselves by,” Carol said.
“Warrnambool is in a period of rapid change in terms of its economic and retail makeup.
“The old crew are moving on. Businesses are not being passed on like they were. I wanted to capture at least some of it before it was gone.”
Warrnambool teacher and 2013 ALP candidate Michael Barling is guest -speaker for Carol’s book-launch and says she engages people so they connect and understand the environment surrounding the telling of her stories.
“It’s a really happy knack if you can write a book and people connect with, and see the human side of the broader picture,” Michael said.
“That’s a very good talent. And I think this is what Carol does with this book.”
Michael was born and raised in Warrnambool and says the iconic figures and landmarks Carol chose for her publication will be familiar to a lot of people with their own stories to add:
“It’s the terrific thing about this book, so many people are going to be able to say I have a story about the Woollen Mill, or I have a story about Materia Brothers, or the Politis family at Seafood’s.”
Carol personally took each of the 30 photos for her publication and though ‘new’ to photography – and which she found ‘terrifying’ – Michael believes Carol has chosen significant faces and places for her stories:
“Lots of these photos I can look at and connect with straight away. If I had to choose 20 to 30 iconic places in Warrnambool I would probably pick most of what Carol has put in this book,” said Michael.
“If you look at these photos like Lucas brothers, or Kermond’s brothers who started up in 1949 you have people with connections across generations. And that’s the thing; it makes it a very human connection.
After beginning her career as a journalist in Warrnambool Carol also worked as a feature writer and lecturer before her return to Warrnambool in 2013 with partner Louise to launch their online Bluestone Magazine (with its unique south-west content).
“Both have been remarkable, grassroots campaign as people feel a deep attachment to them so it is hard to tear down a landmark when it has so many hearts still in it,” Carol said.
“A lot of people had written off the Fletcher Jones site as being too expensive or as too hard to repair after a decade of near neglect.”
A fundraising initiative to restore Ulmann’s mural quickly reached its target with local support.
“Ulmann’s whale mural is a timeless tribute to our wonderful whales which was completed by one of the great characters of Warrnambool and is worth preserving.”
“I think these things touch our hearts and that is why people have chosen to donate and ensure it is kept for future generations to enjoy as much as we have.”
For Carol this publication is as much a reflection about the meaning of ‘home’as it of attribution:
“For most people who come from Warrnambool there is a very strong connection to the city,” said Carol.
“As people from Warrnambool we know about a Kermond’s, or the colour of a Ryan’s Removal van or where to find Mack’s Snacks – these are the threads that bind us and give a sense of unity and belonging.”
Carol’s cover icon for “Warrnambool…this is home” is the Angel atop of Warrnambool’s War Memorial in Liebig Street.
“It encapsulates what this book is all about. No matter how old you are, if you are from Warrnambool you will know this angel!” Carol said.
“It’s a highly visual landmark that sits in the heart of Warrnambool, has become a strange rite of passage for young people who drive laps around it, and which has a colloquial name – the Dirty Angel – that only Warrnamboolians understand.”
A limited edition of 500 copies of ‘Warrnambool…this is home’ is set for official release at the Last Coach in Warrnambool on Tuesday August 19 from 7pm. Each book is individually numbered and signed, cost is $30 and books can be ordered direct through Carol at Bluestone Magazine or from Warrnambool Books.
Journalist Matt Neal successfully sums up 30 things that mostly only Warrnamboolians will understand.
Iconic Warrnambool Places and Events
- Our Beaches (but don’t forget to clean up and be safe)
- Our Whale Nursery
- Lake Pertob Adventure Playground
- May Racing Carnival
- Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic
- Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycling Classic
- Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village
- Foreshore Triathalon
- Greyhound Racing
- Annual Seaside Volleyball Tournament
- South West SufferFest
- Surf Coast Fishing Classic
- Botanic Gardens (with its original LONE PINE memorial tree grown from seed brought back from the first world war.
- Warrnambool Community Garden.
- Fun 4 Kids Festival
- Clean Up Warrnambool Weekend
- National Tree Day
- Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve
- Warrnambool Ag Show
- Shipwreck Coast Golf Tournament
- Warrnambool Art Gallery (WAG)
Rotary Warrnambool Annual Art Show
Warrnambool and District Artist Society (and annual award)
- Warrnambool Drags
- Hidden Histories Laneway Festival
- Koroit Lions Annual Art Show
- Deakin University
- Warrnambool and District Historical Society
- Warrnambool Family History Group
- Warrnambool Athletics Club
- Warrnambool Relay For Life
- Walk to Cure Diabetes
- Warrnambool Lawn Tennis Open
- 46th Square Dancing Convention 2015
- Surf-T-Surf Fun Run
- Warrnambool Cinema
- Historic Tower Hill Cemetery