20 Anzac stories recorded at the Loxton Cheer-Up Hut

IMG_0365The Anzac Centenary Cheer-Up Hut continued to make its way around South Australia, with its most recent stop at the Masonic Lodge in Loxton between April 28th and May 1st.

Opened by the Mayor of the Loxton Waikerie Council, Leon Stasinowsky, the Loxton Cheer-Up Hut saw up to 200 people from the wider Riverland area visit over the four days.

Local Cheer-Up Hut Champion, and former Loxton Citizen of the Year, Howard Hendrick DFC attended the Cheer-Up Hut over the four days. Howard, along with 20 other local residents, had their personal stories recorded in the Anzac Centenary recording booth. Howard reflected on his time as a WWII Flying Officer in 460 Squadron, flying Lancaster bombers in Europe, and on his life once he returned to Australia. Howard’s interview, along with the others, will be included in the State’s Anzac Centenary Time Capsule project.

Community members’ personal recordings will be edited and made available as audio podcasts on the Anzac Centenary website, and copies of the interviews can be provided to the interviewees upon request.

The Loxton Cheer Up Hut re-creation was made possible by the outstanding assistance received from the Country Women’s Association, the District Council of Loxton Waikerie Council. A special thank you to the Loxton RSL for their support in setting up the re-creation.

The Cheer-Up Hut display was brought to life by historical archaeologist Christeen Schoepf. Christeen is a community historian in the final phase of her PhD examining the role of the Cheer-Up Society during the First World War. Christeen was awarded South Australia’s Emerging Historian of the year in 2014, and consulted on the Cheer-Up Hut re-creations in Adelaide, Mt Pleasant, Mount Gambier and Port Augusta.

To further commemorate the Centenary of Anzac, a wider footprint of exhibitions was also included throughout the Riverland. The Chaffee Theatre in Renmark saw approximately 4,600 people come through the doors to view the Wish Me Luck Exhibition.

The Berri Barmera Council hosted the Blue Jeans Jungle Greens and Call of Country Exhibitions at the River Lands Gallery, and the Waikerie RSL Museum hosted the Gallipoli Exhibition. All of these exhibitions provided a wonderful opportunity for people across the Riverland to commemorate the Anzac Centenary.

Special thanks must go to the following; District Council of Loxton and Waikerie Community Development Officer, Sue Schultz, Loxton Library Manager Catherine Rubarth, Loxton RSL President Rob Manuel; and of course Howard Hendrick DFC who’s support made the Loxton Cheer-Up Hut a huge success.

Loxton Cheer-Up Hut Gallery