A highly successful visit to Tatura was held on 15 April 2018. About 25 Dunera members and friends gathered, on a blustery autumn day, at the Tatura World War II Wartime Camps Museum. Sadly there were no Dunera Boys in attendance.
While enjoying the country hospitality, we perused the many artefacts, artworks, reconstruction of huts, letters, memorabilia and other items in the immense collection that is overseen by the local historical society.
It was a pleasure to welcome some first-time visitors to Tatura, including Singapore Group descendant Ron Beer.
We had the pleasure of watching a new documentary compiled by the Tatura Museum titled The Seven Wartime Camps at Tatura. The first part of the film gives an excellent summary of the background to the camps and the arrival of the first group of Dunera internees in 1940. It also details the transfer of Dunera Boys from Hay to Tatura camps and the internment of the Singapore Group in the family camps 3 and 4.
Tatura Historical Society president, Steve Barnard, welcomed people to the Tatura Museum and introduced John Gribben who later conducted a tour of camp 1. While imagining the 1000 inmates at each camp, it conjures up a rather desolate situation.
One visitor reminded us that the Australian guards were fair and reasonable, food was ample and medical care was provided for the internees. In addition, cultural life in camp flourished, including lectures, clubs, sporting teams, theatrical and musical performances, study of matriculation and technical subjects through the “Collegium Taturense” which was organised by the internees.
We are once again grateful to George Ferguson, Lurline and Arthur Knee, and the president, committee and volunteers from the Tatura and District Historical Society for their hospitality and kindness to the Dunera Association