Seeking to identify more Western Creek internees…

I wanted to again share these two photographs taken inside the internment camp in 1942. I’m hoping to identify any of the other men who are pictured in the photographs, so if you do recognise them or know someone who might, I’d very much like to hear from you for them to be included in the museum display and booklet by the Millmerran Historical Society.

The first photograph is from when the internees undertook forestry work in the state forest and Annibale (Joe) is standing to the far right.

The second is of some down time in the internment camp (Joe sitting front centre). Considering many men came to the camp with one suitcase of all they owned, it was fortunate a few happened to have musical instruments as the occasional singalong or playing cards was all they had. If anyone recognises any of the other men in these photographs or if you have information or other photographs regarding the internment camp at Western Creek, I would very much like to hear from you. Much appreciated! Zoe x


Filed under inspiration + history

4 responses to “Seeking to identify more Western Creek internees…

  1. Hi Zoe! The Canadian government released an official apology for the internment of Italian Canadians during WWII. There was already one in 1990 but it was not done in Parliament, so considered unofficial. I published a post on June 10, which is was the 81st anniversary. of the internment I thought of you as I was writing it, actually. I believe 5,000 Australian Italians were interned-much more than the Canadian number. it still amazes me how many people-even those of Italian descent-have no idea this happened! That is why I wrote the post. Hope you are doing well and hanging in there! Ciao, Cristina

    • Hi Cristina, thank you, it was interesting to read your post and to see the internment of Italians from a Canadian perspective. That is really good that there has been an official apology in Canada, although sadly much too late for most of those who were interned. It is right that it has been done though, for their descendants especially. There is no sign of this happening in Australia anytime soon and the unofficial numbers of those interned here is more around the 7000-8000 mark but unfortunately the records of many were lost, not kept or burnt many decades ago, including those of my grandfather. I keep hope that one day this may be acknowledged but a long way to go yet it seems. Hope you are well too! Warmest wishes, Zoe x

      • Let’s hope so Zoe! I listened to the Italian American Podcast last week. They interviewed a guy who is making a documentary about Italian internment in the US. This was the first I’ve ever hear about it in the US. One of the hosts was kind of disturbing, as he was very opinionated that the internment was justified as the Italians were all fascists! I was shocked and I think the guest was too! I think that is the sentiment the US has used to justify their behaviour and why it isn’t spoken about at all. So sad. Ciao and hope you are staying safe, Cristina

        • Yes, that is disturbing that such a justification is being peddled. Particularly as it’s quite inaccurate considering it has been well documented that many internees had left Italy before the war to escape fascism as they didn’t agree with it, and in addition, some internees were descendants of Italian heritage whose ancestors had migrated many decades before.
          All well here, hope you are staying safe too! Zoe x

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