Community News

Museum Curator Janet Hauser at left and Marcia Hunter with the new Iluka history book ‘A glimpse into Iluka’s past’. Image: Contributed.

Iluka’s history – told with a difference

The Iluka History Group has embarked on its first foray into a publication for locals and visitors alike. What’s more the first printing sold out within weeks. A second print will be available by the time you read this.

The title of the publication is ‘A glimpse into Iluka’s past’ and is a collection of stories under the secondary heading of “Feuds, Fishing and Fond memories”. There are some 25 stories in all each one illustrated in colour by different Iluka residents who are part of the U3A ‘Art Group’. They include the personal recollections of past and present residents.

The work is the brainchild of secretary and research officer Janet Hauser who is a well respected artist in her own right. She was always delighted to come across such stories whenever she was in the museum talking to relatives and looking through the archives. Via the Trove website she has been able to access reports from the many newspapers of the day throughout the northern rivers. If it was in the paper, it must have been true. Also included in the book are some wonderful black and white photos.

This historical perspective is not a dry history in the usual sense. It’s a fun read with some quirky recollections. In the tradition of pioneer towns, Iluka was settled by tough workmen who were rugged individuals who often made up their own rules and were not too concerned with the law or its officers. There is the original story of how husbands cum fishermen often ‘got wrecked on Sedgers Reef’ or were delayed by that same hotel stop. My favourite story is how the regular bus from Grafton to Iluka came to the aid of fishermen when all the seats were taken out to accommodate the bumper haul of mullet.

The book is available from the museum which is open from 9am to 1pm on Wednesdays and Fridays. It’s a great read and sure to delight visitors and history buffs alike as well as those who just want a good laugh.

Col Hennessy