POW Camp expert talks local history at CWA meeting

Graham Apthorpe was the guest speaker at the July meeting of Cowra Evening Branch of the County Women's Association (CWA), in his role as Chairperson of the 75th Anniversary of the Cowra Breakout Committee.

Graham outlined the four day program of events planned for August 2, August 3, August 4 and August 5, to mark 75 years since the Breakout of Japanese prisoners of war occurred in the early hours of August 5, 1944.

Saturday, August 3 and Sunday, August 4 will be dedicated to life in Cowra during the 1940s.

There will be displays of historic military vehicles as well as other displays with a 1940's theme, living history soldiers, a parade with a pipe band and a Pop-Up Museum in Macquarie Street.

There will also be great entertainment by local performers and groups, including a 1940s Swing Dance held at the Masonic Hall, for which our CWA Branch will supply the supper.

The lantern parade and commemorative event at the POW Camp site on Sunday evening sounds most interesting.

Graham drew on his vast store of historical knowledge about Cowra in World War II and regaled us with lesser known stories about the everyday 'goings on' at the camp among the different national groups and facts such as the Prisoners Without Guards program for Italian internees and why there also were Indonesians at the POW camp, 13 of whom are buried in the local cemetery.

Most of us were unaware that it took nine days before all Japanese escapees were recaptured.

Branch Secretary, Cheryl McAlister, warmly thanked Graham for his fascinating presentation.

Rowena Casey is in the process of organising a Pop-Up Shop in a vacant shop in the main street, which will be open from Thursday, July 25 to Saturday, July 27.

All sorts of homemade goodies will be on offer as well as used items, plus raffle tickets in a beautifully restored rocking horse.

Keep an eye out and come and support fundraising for worthy CWA causes.

The meeting was also the opportunity to congratulate Rowena who is now the Chair of the CWA of NSW Show Catering Committee, which is responsible for the running of the hugely successful tea rooms at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.

This year 50,000 scones were made by CWA volunteers at the tea rooms.

Rowena was presented with a bunch of Jill Allen's beautiful native flowers.

For those looking for a gift with a difference for the special woman in their life, why not consider a beautiful, unique apron made by some of our members.

These are on sale at April Troy's shop, "The Apiary Art & Design" at 98 Fitzroy Street.