Lots going on as usual this week in Australia including the temporary closing of the State Library of NSW, a great Family History Fair and the commemoration of an important date for the descendants of Australian service men and women from World War 2.
The State Library of NSW has closed some of its doors for a major renovation that will last until September 18th.
Included in the closure is the State Reference Library, which means the Family History section will be inaccessible.
Fortunately the Society of Australian Genealogists (SAG) has stepped up with a special offer to give people access to their many genealogical records and services. They also have volunteers on hand to help you out if you’re struggling to make breakthroughs.
As always, there have been a series of events around the country, which just goes to further demonstrate the increasing popularity of family history research.
If you’re keen to pop along to an event this weekend and are in, or near, Sydney then why not check out the Liverpool Family History Fair.
Entry is free and there are a series of talks with everything from scrapbooking to military research.
Speaking about Military Research, this week was a particularly poignant one for Australian families as the 66th anniversary of Victory in the Pacific (VP) Day was commemorated on August 15th.
The day, also known as Victory over Japan of VJ Day, commemorates the surrender of Japan and the effective ending of World War 2.
Japan was Australia’s nearest enemy during World War 2 and the two countries fought many battles in Pacific theatres of war.
This escalated into the infamous bombing of the northern Australian city of Darwin on February 19th, 1942, in which more bombs were dropped on the town than were dropped during the Pearl Harbour raid in Hawaii.
That bombing, dramatically portrayed by director Baz Luhrmann in his epic film ‘Australia’ signaled the end of the sense of security that many Australians felt due to the country’s isolation. This only escalated with the Japanese submarine attacks on Sydney Harbour later on that year.
While the “rightness” of the way in which the war ended will be debated for as long as it is remembered, the end of the war resulted in the reuniting of Australian servicemen and women with their families as well as a reforming of that sense of security that was eroded by the Japanese forays onto Australian territory.
While Australia’s quarrels with Japan are well and truly over, the fact remains that World War 2 and the end of it as symbolized by VP day, are key components of many Australian families’ histories.