Life stories are an open book of memories for Kogarah Writers' Group project

Pages of the past: Rose Rennie, Eileen Little and Evelina Zentilomo contributed their life stories to a project by Kogarah Writers' Group. Picture: John Veage
Pages of the past: Rose Rennie, Eileen Little and Evelina Zentilomo contributed their life stories to a project by Kogarah Writers' Group. Picture: John Veage

The fascinating stories of long-time residents has become an open book of memories, as a collection of nostalgic moments are splashed onto pages of history.

'In Their Own Voice' is a collection of oral histories from senior residents from aged care facilities and from the community.

The book has come to life thanks to members of the Kogarah Writers' Group, which launched its latest publication this year at Kogarah School of Arts.

The group has been operating in the region for more than seven years.

It is a project that began more than two years ago - an ambitious undertaking for the group, in which members set about recording and transcribing memoirs. It was supported by the Georges River Council Community Grant Program.

There are fifteen stories, all from people of different walks of life and backgrounds, but with one thing in common, a desire to tell their stories.

The book includes several stories, including those of three women who are all residents of Mary Andrews Village at South Hurstville. Centenarian Eileen Little, Evelina Zentilomo and Rose Rennie feature in the book. They each recorded their memories, reflections, tributes and have passed on information thatwill remain for their families for generations to come.

They tell not only of personal stories, but what life was like for them in the Georges River area from Carlton, to Sans Souci, Carss Park, Kogarah Bay to Dolls Point, to Sylvania and Kogarah.

It is a true and invaluable record of times gone by, giving the community a deeper understanding and insight in what their life was like.

Arabella Lee from the Georges River Council, officially launched the book, while acknowledging the rich and rewarding lives of the contributors.

"There are so many great stories," she said. "From Pauline who has had a lifelong passion for the St George Dragons, to Rose who found her long missing mother on a street corner in Paddington, and to Eileen who recently turned 100 years of age, and asked by the department store David Jones to demonstrate how to shear and spin rabbit wool.

"There is Rosa who fled Bulgaria, and Evelina, a young mother from Italy who found herself stranded in a flood in Tamworth."

Each contributor was presented with five copies of the book for themselves and their families.

This is the Kogarah Writers' Group third publication, the previous two being anthologies - a collection of stories and poetry. The latest edition was edited by Adele Ryan.

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