Monday, January 30, 2012

Gumi - river bank spectators - were you there?

The Wagga Wagga City Library currently has a display of photographs from the 1983 Gumi race. Come along and see if you can identify yourself in the crowds along the river bank.
Julie Mutton shares her brief but vivid memories : ...standing on a high bank (probably opposite Wagga beach) and watching the carry on by the entrants. Water bombs and flour bombs being the norm. Also some of the fanciful decorations of the craft which included balloons, flags and patchwork on the more elaborate rafts.
She also remembers having a picnic lunch out of the boot of the car.
Can you see yourself in the crowd? Or someone you know ? email me at wagga.local.studies@gmail

Monday, January 23, 2012

Gumi memories

The 2012 Gumi race is almost upon us and the Wagga Wagga City Library has put together a great little display of photographs and memorabilia from the library's collection, and artifacts kindly on loan from the Museum of the Riverina.
We have also heard from some people who have kindly shared their memories of Gumi .
Here's Chris Mutton recalling some classic Gumi goings on :
"My memories of the Gumi race are fairly scratchy as I was involved back about 1970 -1974.The Scout troop in Coolamon entered a team back then.I believe that the race started on the eastern side of Eunomy Bridge and we made our way to either the reserve just past Hamden Bridge or to the Wagga Beach. I am unsure of which.I do remember that life jackets were not used, as a lot of todays' safety requirements were definitely in use. Having said that, flour and water bombs were a necessity. We used to be bombed by watchers as we passed under the bridge as well. If the weather was hot, a dip in the river soon fixed that.From memory, the Gumis got better and faster as the years progressed as most of us started with just inner tubes and wood, there were those who were more progressive and soon paddle wheels(powered by paddle and the like were added."
Thanks Chris - and if anyone else has memories they would like to share email me at :

Monday, January 16, 2012

Gumi programme 1984

This amusing cover of the 1984 Gumi programme shows that feminism hadn't reached this part of the world just yet. It's cringeworthy now but at the time the image was probably considered unremarkable. The Wagga Wagga City Library has a handful of programmes , all of them containing basically the same information , including a list of festival events, advertising from local sponsors and a map of the race route.
This programme also has a bonus selection of captioned photographs from previous races.

Interestingly 1984 was the year an alcohol ban was introduced and "hard missiles" were also banned from the race itself. The "Life- be in it" message, introduced by the government in 1978, was incorporated into the general ethos of the festival by the organisers, presenting the race and associated events as good wholesome fun for the whole family.

any comments ? email

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Civic Theatre memorabliia

The Wagga Wagga City Library local studies collection
has an incomplete number of civic theatre programmes dating from when the theatre opened in 1963 up to 2007.
The programmes are interesting from a historical and design perspective. The two shown here are productions presented by Wagga High school sometime between 1968-1970. The cover designs reflect the overall visual design look of the period, using bright colors and bold lines.
Theatre programmes could be of great interest to family historians as they list the cast, crew and directors of the productions.
Were you in either of these productions and what were your memories ? or if you were in the audience, what do you remember about the night- a favourite line, actor scene or song ? write to me at with your fave moments from any production since the theatre opened.