L-R: Paula James (daughter), Henry James (Dunera) & Leah James (wife).Henry James – 97 ½ yrs old (originally Heinz Jacobius)
The Sydney Reunion commemorating the 79th anniversary of the arrival of the Dunera Boys in Sydney was held at the Sydney Jewish Museum on Sunday 15th September 2019. In attendance were approximately 25 descendants and friends. Several regular attendees sent apologies due to the holding of a significant event at the Tatura Irrigation and Wartime Camps Museum, being the opening of the museum extension and the exhibition of art works of Dunera Boy Erwin Fabian.
John Ebert, a Sydney committee member of the Dunera Association and organizer of the reunion, opened proceedings welcoming all attendees, particularly Dunera Boy Henry James, his wife Laura, Mrs Julie Lippmann, wife of Dunera Boy the late Henry Lippmann, founder of the Dunera Association and the first editor of the Dunera News and Mrs. Hilary Weisser, wife of the late Mendel Weisser, a Dunera Boy.
John Ebert then introduced the President, Dr. Peter Felder, who outlined recent Dunera Association developments, including the following developments: the establishment of a Heritage Room at Jones Bay Wharf and the Dunera Solar Farm in Hay. Dr. Felder also outlined future events in Melbourne on 10th November and in 2020 for the various 80th anniversary commemorations. He also appealed for additional committee members in Sydney.
Rebecca Weisser, Dunera descendant, journalist and author was called upon to mention the opening of another Erwin Fabian exhibition at the Robin Gibson Gallery in Sydney which will be open until 2nd October.
Our guest speaker, Louise Anemaat was introduced by Dr.Felder. Coincidentally, she had been a student of Professor Konrad Kwiet, well known in the Dunera community. Ms Anemaat is professionally an art gallery curator and is now an Executive Director of the State Library of NSW. Her presentation centred on the importance of libraries in the compilation of histories and how libraries and memories intersect with communities such as the Dunera community. Collecting institutions such as libraries, safeguard these memories so the stories are not forgotten. Ms Anemaat also paid tribute to the collection of Henry Lippmann’s papers that were donated to the Library of NSW. She was particularly honoured to be in the presence of Mrs Lippmann. Collections such as these are at the heart of libraries around the world and allow historians and other readers to interpret and interrogate what was written in forming lessons from our history. Ms Anemaat concluded, “Libraries play a vital part in the recording of our history and give us the tools to learn and interpret the information for the benefit of the future”.
Ron Reichwald, Secretary, thanked Ms Anemaat for her contribution to this reunion and presented her with an inscribed copy of the book ‘Dunera Lives’.
As a result of the President’s earlier appeal, two attendees volunteered to join the Dunera committee as Sydney representatives.
Everyone then adjourned for an afternoon tea and mingling, completing a most successful reunion.