Revealing the soul of Woodstock and its people was the motivation behind commissioning the book Waugoola to Woodstock – Our Town Our People.
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Waugoola owner Peter Allen launched the book at the historic Woodstock property on Saturday.
He and his wife Cheryl Allen commissioned author Amanda Mackevicius to produce the book with its scores of stories and more than 260 images each telling its own story.
Copies of the book are available at the Cowra Visitors’ Centre.
“Stories are really important in telling, I suppose, the soul of who we are as people and probably more importantly how places interact with people,” Mr Allen said launching the book on the lawns of Waugoola before a verandah crowded with Woodstock residents, past and present.
“Waugoola has a fantastic history, there are so many stories about in terms of its importance and position and how it has grown as Woodstock has grown.
“I thought it was really important listening to the stories of people, how they and their grandparents had some sought of association with Waugoola and a real association in terms of Waugoola to Woodstock.
“So I asked Amanda to put something together.
“I’d like to thank those people who participated by providing a whole lot of information in terms of what has come out with this book,” Mr Allen said.
Author Amanda Mackevicius told the gathering that Mr Allen was “not only enthralled by the stories (of Woodstock and Waugoola) but recognised the importance and value of preserving and sharing them”.
Ms Mackevicius thanked the Allen’s for giving her the opportunity to work on the project.
“Waugoola to Woodstock is a collaborative memoir of people and place,” Ms Mackevicius said.
‘It celebrates the life and times of this special property, of your town and of your enterprising resilience and very supportive community.
“I couldn’t have written this book without my wing-man, life long Woodstockian Kevin Graham.
“Kevin and his wife Anne have been collecting letters, facts and memorabilia related to the town for years, probably decades,” she said.
Also speaking at the launch, Mr Graham said it was a pleasure being involved.
“It unloaded a lot of stuff I had (in my head),” Mr Graham said.
“Waugoola has been a very beneficial place for Woodstock.
“In the early days when the shops in Woodstock were being built the Whitney’s supported the shops as they were being built.
“They were the biggest employer in the district by far and I have never heard where anyone was sacked, I dare say someone was probably sacked, but I never heard of it,” Mr Graham said.
Speaking about the stories collected for the book Ms Mackevicius said: “It has been a real challenge deciding what to include.
“There is not much about the place Kevin doesn’t know.”
Members of the Whitney family, Karen Rhodes, Spud Bennett, Marilyn Bush and Alison Rutledge were also recognised for their contribution to the publication.
“I loved listening to your stories over cups of tea and scones, the hours whizzing by like minutes.
“If you don’t have community events you don’t have a community,” Ms Mackevicius said in recalling one of the stories from the book.
“So here’s to community projects and events like this, I hope there are many more.”
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