Harnessing the River Murray: Stories of the people who built Locks 1 to 9, 1915 – 1935 by Helen Stagg
The Mildura Book Launch will be at Mildura and District Genealogical Society Rooms, 74 Deakin Avenue next door to Mildura Civic Centre on Monday July 6 at 2 pm. All are welcome.
Helen is also guest the same evening at 8 pm immediately after the Mildura Genealogy Society July meeting to speak about the Mildura families in her book.
Helen is the grand-daughter of one of the hundreds of men who worked on the mammoth engineering scheme to control the waters of the Murray River with a series of locks and weirs. As a child Helen was told stories by her mother of her own childhood at the lock construction sites and Helen’s mission has been to further explore the stories of the workmen and their families. Over the past five years, Helen has undertaken extensive archival research and captured the oral history of some of the few remaining ‘lock children’ for her book ‘Harnessing the River Murray: Stories of the people who built Locks 1 to 9, 1915 – 1935′ which was released in June 2015. The book, with a foreword by Professor Geoffrey Blainey, has 258 pages and over 150 photographs and focuses on the first nine locks and weirs which were built by South Australia. It tells the story from the viewpoint of the ordinary people, the workers and the women and children who lived with them in the camps which popped up along the river at each construction site. 2015 marks exactly 100 years since the Foundation Stone was laid for the first Lock at Blanchetown in South Australia.