Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Wagga Free Library

The Wagga Wagga Free Library opened May 24 1946. Local and state luminaries such as the Mayor (Alderman Doyle) , John Metcalfe (member of the Library Board of NSW) , E K Graham, the Minister for Agriculture and Mrs H K Wessel, librarian from the United States Information Library attended the opening ceremony and a Mayoral dinner.
Unfortunately we don't know what was on the menu (apart from a great deal of toasting) but the occasion did spark some lively conversation about what sort of books people should be reading.
One of the guests was foresighted enough to recommend that the library specialise in collecting Aboriginal lore.
The honored guests were also taken on a tour of Wagga and were "greatly impressed with the view " from the top of Willans Hill.
On opening day the library registered approximately 134 new members and that figure grew to 200 within a couple of days.

If you have any memories you would like to share about Wagga's first free library please contact me at

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Gumi festival

The Gumi race has been part of Wagga Wagga's traditions and folklore since the Gumi festival's beginnings in 1976. Other events including a bush dance, street parade, and the Gumi Festival Cup race meeeting were also a part of the festival. The name Gumi comes from the New Guinea word for rubber. The festival died out in 1995 but is being revived in 2012. We're not sure when these intrepid Gumi racers braved the Murrumbidgee . Do you recognise the craft or any of the people on board ? If you have any stories about Gumi you would like to share, email me at