The response of the local residents in the Shire of Berwick to the challenges of World War One.
The Casey-Cardinia Branch of the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) has recently published a booklet on the impact of WWI on the small farming communities within the Shire of Berwick. The author, Ian Good, researched the local Shire News over the period from 1914 to 1918 to record details of the lifestyle, interests, and values in the small settlements, and, in particular, to catalogue responses to the challenges and harsh realities of the times.
The Local Community and the Great War outlines the drive for volunteers, and the divisive later issue of conscription, and the great support for the Allied cause shown by the Shire Council, the Red Cross, the schools, libraries, churches and local Progress Associations. It includes a wide range of photographs, posters, and news items taken directly from the local paper.
This new publication was officially launched as part of the recent Heritage Festival, held at Officer Community Hall on 15 May 2016, and the level of interest was encouraging.
Copies are available for sale in the Berwick National Trust Heritage Centre at Pioneers Park, the Berwick Newsagency or the Mechanics Institute Library in Berwick High Street. The cost is $10 per copy (or $18 if combined with “Pages from the Past” a history of people, places and events in Casey Cardinia).