A Centenary Since The Flu

RAHS Councillor Peter Hobbins has been busy compiling new community stories for the ‘An Intimate Pandemic‘ project. The project has been growing steadily and these latest additions are timely reminders that September 2019 marks the centenary of the influenza’s abatement in NSW.

All three girls were typists. All wearing masks during influenza pandemic – Botanical Gardens, Sydney, NSW [State Library of NSW, At Work and Play – 00508, FL1720080]

As Dr Hobbins writes, ‘we round out a year of RAHS activities designed to encourage community historians across the state to consider the pandemic’s lasting legacies.’

New additions come courtesy of Maris Bruzgulis, Geoff Burch, and Professor Ian Jack and Alex Wright.

Maris’s account concludes his two-part chronicle, ‘Flu in the Tweed Valley District’. Part one detailed the impact of the influenza on the Tweed, while this new contribution takes a detailed look at how the district responded.

Geoff Burch’s ‘Diary of a Pathogen‘ takes an in-depth look at the ‘Spanish’ flu’s impact on the community in Wagga Wagga. His document is, like all our contributions, meticulously researched and includes a series of informative graphs and diagrams that chart the pandemic’s impact.

Our next contribution, ‘St Andrew’s College: From the Archives‘ is courtesy of Professor Ian Jack and Dean of Studies Alex Wright. They have contributed rare photographs from the St Andrew’s College Archives, which bare witness to ‘the College under medical siege.’

There are also contributions from Robert Parkinson on the influenza’s impact on picture shows and theatres, Alison Moir on NSW border towns, and Peter Smith on a monument to ‘Spanish flu’ courage.

We look forward to hearing your responses to these new additions, and encourage communities and individuals to share their personal and local accounts of the flu. ‘Together, we can create a patchwork history of the fractured world of 1919.’

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