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Man Booker Shortlist

Reading Rewards - reviews -

The six books on the just-announced 2013 Man Booker Shortlist could not be more diverse! They are from novelists from New Zealand, England, Canada, Ireland and Zimbabwe – each with its own highly distinctive taste. They range in size from the 832 pages of Eleanor Catton's The Luminaries to the 104-page The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín. The times represented stretch from the biblical Middle East (Tóibín) to contemporary Zimbabwe (NoViolet Bulawayo) by way of 19th-century New Zealand (Catton), 1960s India (Jumpha Lahiri), 18th-century rural England (Crace) and modern Tokyo (Ruth Ozeki).


We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
Harvest by Jim Crace
The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri.  To be published in Australia in October 2013
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín

The Winner will be announced on 15 October, 2013.  

Mystery photographs - are they of Dewhurst?

Links to our Past - history -

I have been scanning some Shire of Pakenham slides, most are of streetscapes and rural views in the Shire taken in the 1980s and early 1990s. However, some are copies of old photographs, like the ones below.  I know the one immediately below is of the Dewhurst State  School, which operated from 1934 until 1953. But the  rest are mystery shots,although I believe they are also Dewhurst. The original town is now under the Cardinia dam, which was completed in 1973 - so were these photographs collected by the Shire to commemorate the  lost town?  If you can help identify them, I would be very grateful.

Dewhurst State School

Is this the interior of the Dewhurst State School?

Are these Dewhurst State School students?

Looks like a  School play.

A wedding party. Dewhurst had a Methodist Church - is this it?

Too Close to Home

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Too Close to Home by Linwood Barclay  is a event filled thriller with a twist like no other. The news that your neighbours, the Langleys and their teenage son, have been shot dead is shocking enough, but even more terrifying is the thought that maybe the killers went to the wrong house.

The Cutters, who live next door, also have a teenage son, Derek, who was in the Langleys' house when the killer came to visit; naturally Derek becomes the upstate New York cops' chief suspect.

But this is just the start of an extraordinary and complicated series of events that, before the 380 pages are done, are going to lay bare many shameful secrets kept hidden for years. Too Close to Home is generally more intended for a slightly older audience, as the older teens are able to connect with one of the protagonists, Derek. It's a little slow in some parts, but picks up your attention in others.

I wouldn't recommend this book to someone who gets paranoid easily, but for all others it's a good read to check out.

Age  17

Ned Kelly Awards

Reading Rewards - reviews -

The Neddies, as they are popularly known, are awarded annually by the Australian Crime Writers' Association for the best debut fiction, best overall fiction and best true crime book.  The Best Debut Fiction award went to Zane Lovitt for The Midnight Promise.  
Geoffrey McGeachin's second novel featuring detective and ex-WWII bomber pilot, Charlie Berlin, Blackwattle Creek, took the gong for Best Crime Fiction; and Robin de Crespigny's The People Smuggler won the true crime category.  
To read a review we posted back in May this year of Blackwattle Creek, click here.

Percy Jackson Sea of Monsters

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For Lovers of the Percy Jackson series of  books by Rick Riordan, the second movie in the series, Percy Jackson Sea of Monsters  is due for release on the 19 September. 

Catch it in the school holidays!

Check out the trailer below.

Get Reading!

Reading Rewards - reviews -

In September each year, Get Reading! runs a month-long, nation-wide campaign focused on inspiring more Australians to discover or rediscover the pleasure of reading.
The 2013 Top 50 Books You Can’t Put Down again delivers a wide range of books for everyone to find their next favourite read. Hand-picked and curated by a panel of industry experts, the guide guarantees you will find a great read, no matter your personal taste.

From authors who are all Australian, the list contains something for everyone, from picture books to history, memoirs to popular fiction, award-winners, classics and more.  The guide is available on the Get Reading! website [click HERE] (desktop, tablet and mobile optimized). It is also available to download as an interactive PDF, and for the first time, as a multi-touch  book for the iPad, available on the iBookstore. 

Pop into your local library soon and pick up some great reads at our Get Reading! displays.  Even better, why not write a review of your Get Reading! great read and send it in to us - we'll publish a select few here on our blog during this Get Reading! month!  Email your review to admin@cclc.vic.gov.au with Reading Rewards in the Subject field.


Quicksand -

She was dead…but not anymore She was once harmless…but not anymore Emotionless, Dangerous and Deadly,. She is the perfect solider …until of course she isn’t The perfect solider is done taking orders Watch out!!!
Five years ago Wren Connelly was shot three times in the chest. She died only to rise again 178 minutes later rebooted. Set in the ruins of what was once Texas Reboot tells the tale of the human race being overrun by Normal looking as ever Reboots are faster, stronger, able to heal and emotionless, they are the perfect army for a totalitarian government intent on controlling the masses. Wren Connolly is perhaps the most deadly Reboot ever, dead for 178 minutes, the longest ever, she is more dead than alive…or so she thinks. When Callum, dead for 22 minutes and still more alive than dead, arrives he shakes Wren to her very core. Callum is slow, weak and emotional, the absolute opposite to what HARC wants.  But as Callum begins to challenge Wren’s ideals and stir emotions in her she believed long dead. It all comes down to a choice for Wren, the unknown or the known?  Is Wren human enough to care to save a life rather than take it? the spread of a deadly virus, KDH. KDH is a virus that kills then revives leaving the world occupied by ‘Reboots.’

The Vampire, the fairies, the angels, they've all had their reinventions now its time to reinvent the zombie and what a reinvention it is. Tintera pushes the boundaries and breaks down years of traditionalism to bring to life an utterly original retelling of the zombie tale. Wren as the protagonist is bad ass, she’s tough, practical and a lot more human than she realises. Callum as the love interest is sweet, endearing and not all macho. I particularly liked how his character refused to be changed no matter the cost; he reminded me a lot of Peeta from the hunger games. And I suppose because of this I loved the dynamic of his relationship with Wren; this is a tale of about a girl who saves a boy, a tale about an emotionally broken girl who is healed by the love of a boy. In addition to the tale Tintera’s writing style is very free flowing and descriptive which make for an easy and visual read. My only criticism of this book is that it ended rather abruptly, I didn’t know I was at the end of the book until there were no pages left to turn. That being said Tintera plots enough suspense and questions throughout the pages to make for a compelling read. If you’re looking for something new in the supernatural genre then Reboot is a it…a thrilling and action packed reformed zombie tale. 

Courtney :)

Man vs. Child

Reading Rewards - reviews -

I'm always interested to read books by an author I haven't heard of, especially if they are Australian. Man vs child is written by Dominic Knight who is an Australian comedy writer best known as a member of The Chasers.

 Dan McIntyre is thirty-three and single. He produces a radio show he’d rather not be publicly associated with and is also working on improving his stand-up comedy set and finds plenty of material in the new attitudes and habits of his old friends. A chance meeting with his high-school crush, Penny, at his local coffee shop prompts him to revisit his toddler tolerance levels, because Penny has separated from her husband and has moved to a nearby apartment with her one-year-old son Lloyd. If there is a sliver of a chance with Penny, Dan is determined to take it, and in spending time with Lloyd, Dan revisits this crush and sees whether his former dislike of babies is still alive within himself.

Dan is a like-able character, floating through life with seemingly no ambition and few cares. His parents both worry about and support him, and his friends indulge and are infuriated by him in equal measure.

Most people have at least one friend like Dan – lovely and a little bit hopeless – and the book does well to reflect on life on the other side of the fence.

However, apart from sharing its name with the book, the stand-up routine and his work on a morning breakfast show does not add much value to the story. I found that parts of this book just didn't come together for me and although other reviewers have rated it well, it was a little bit lost on me. It's written from a male perspective, which is unusual, I suppose it would be called "man-lit"?

~ Janine


Book Swamp -

Winner of the CBCA Book for Younger Readers.

England is at war and for their safety city children are being sent to the countryside.  Fourteen year old Jeremy and his sister Cecily, twelve, are sent with their mother to stay with Uncle Peregrine in a stately manor.  On the spur of the moment they offer Heron Hall to ten year old May, an evacuee whose father is a soldier fighting overseas in France, and whose mother is working in a factory making parachutes.

Jeremy wants to DO SOMETHING, not sit back in the countryside, safe. So while he devours the newspapers and the stories of the war, Cecily and May roam the Hall’s grounds and discover the ruins of Snow Castle. Here they discover two boys. Are they evacuees trying to find their way back to London? Or are they much more?

Uncle Peregrine begins to tell the story of greedy kings and devious brothers, and of how two young boys are locked in a tower, all for the lust for power.  This tale is woven into the lives of those in Heron Hall. Could the boys in the ruins of Snow Castle be the two princes?

A strange mix of an old fashioned adventure tale combined with a ghost story; it is also about the loss of innocence. Each of the children has to grow up and face facts.  Jeremy who has to understand that he is still only a child, May has to accept her new life and even spoilt and brat-like Cecily has to understand the impact that war has on her family and those around her.

A good read recommended for those in the older primary years. It tells not only of war and how power corrupts, it also tells the tale of how so many children were taken from their homes, removed from their families and loved ones.

Vicki @ Pakenham

Sisters in Crime Awards

Reading Rewards - reviews -

Melbourne crime writer Kerry Greenwood won Sisters in Crime’s Inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award at its 13th Davitt Awards for Australian women’s crime writing.  The Davitts are named in honour of Ellen Davitt (1812-1879) who wrote Australia’s first mystery novel, Force and Fraud, in 1865.  Kerry was also presented with the Davitt Award - Readers’ Choice for her true crime book, Tamam Shud: The Somerton Man mystery.

Maggie Groff, from Banora Point in northern News South Wales, took out two Davitts - Best Adult Novel and Best Debut Book for Mad Men, Bad Girls and the Guerilla Knitters Institute.

Canberra lawyer and writer, Pamela Burton, won the Best True Crime Davitt for The Waterlow Killings: a portrait of a family tragedy.


The Rosie project

Reading Rewards - reviews -

Meet Don Tillman, He’s looking for a wife. Preferably someone just like him. Life however doesn’t accept preferences…

There are three things about Don Tillman you should know. First he is a oddly charming and socially inept genetics professor. Second he’s going to get married, to who he doesn't know yet but that’s what the wife project is for; a sixteen page questionnaire to find the perfect non-barmaid, non-drinker, non-smoker nor later-arriver out there. Rosie Jarman is none of these things; she is simply a damaged girl on the hunt for her biological father, something a genetics professor may be able to help with. So begins the Rosie project a moving and hilarious journey for two polar opposite on the verge of discovery what true love and being different is really about.

The Rosie project, its characters, its plot, and its delivery basically everything about this book is simply sublime. Don, who is most likely autistic, is so endearing he can observe the world around him with perfect clarity but not understand it. His view of the events around him is so simplistic yet it hard not to be swayed by his logic. Rosie on the other hand is a feisty take no crap and damaged girl who perhaps enters the picture to change Don but ends up changing herself. This tale is a wonderful blend of sweetness, madness, humour and mayhem that one cannot help but become hooked. It’s a romance story at heart but also a reflection on the human condition; we are all set in our ways but just as capable of enacting change when the right trigger comes along. Don is a relatable character because despite his quirks; who doesn't have an obsession about one thing or another, at his very core he is just like everyone else, looking for someone just like him to love and be loved by. The Rosie project is chick lit in reverse, a wonderfully funny and heart warming read. Don’t pass this one by.

Courtney :)

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Reading Rewards - reviews -

I placed a hold request for The cuckoo's calling the morning the media revealed that the author, "Robert Galbraith", was none other than famous author J.K Rowling.

I have loved all the Harry Potter novels, but did not think much of "Casual Vacancy" and stand firm in my belief that "Casual Vacancy" would never have been published if had been by an unknown author.

Enter The cuckoo's calling, published by a "first time author", but written by J.K Rowling. You may be able to imagine my trepidation when I began the first chapter. Two days and 449 pages later, I finished reading and can happily announce that I am once again a J.K Rowling fan (or in this case a Robert Galbraith fan).

The cuckoo's calling is a fast paced "whodunnit" mystery, that has you wondering for much of the book if any crime has even been committed. With less than 30 pages to go I still had a few suspects on my list. In the second last chapter, when the main character, private investigator Cormoran Strike, faced the guilty party, my head was left spinning; that person was way down on my list of suspects, but it all tied in nicely and was a fitting result.

 I look forward to reading more by "Robert Galbraith" in the future and can't wait to find out more about Cormoran Strike.

~ Leanne

Stay Close

Reading Rewards - reviews -

 Stay Close by Harlan Coben  e-Audiobook narrated by Nick Landrum
Megan is a suburban Mum who once walked on the wild side.  Now she’s got two kids, a husband, and a growing sense of dissatisfaction.  Ray used to be a talented photographer, but at forty he finds himself in a dead-end job.  Jack is a detective who can’t let got of a cold case from seventeen years ago.  Three people living lives they never wanted, hiding secrets that no-one would ever suspect, will find that the past doesn’t recede. 
People have been harping on to me about Harlan Coben suspense novels for a few years now, but this is my first ‘dip a toe in the water’.   The best-selling author has produced the Mickey Bolitar series, the Myron Bolitar series and around a dozen stand-alone novels, of which this is one, released in 2012.  

Suspense thrillers are one my favourite genres and although this is good, it’s not a stand out. Admittedly, it does have some strong and memorable characters and the obligatory twists and turns, but the Ken and Barbie characters I could’ve done without – torture is not something I want in my mental space.  That said, narration was good, the ending was apt, and overall it’s given me enough to want to try another.  His new book, Six Years, has just been released.

The Ink Bridge

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'The Ink Bridge' by Neil Grant is one of the shortlisted books for the Australian Children's Book Awards.
'The Ink Bridge' is a captivating read that confronts us with the harsh realities of refugees, asylum seekers and people smugglers.
The initial setting for the book is Afghanistan, and the story begins with the vivid spectacle of local Hazara men forced by the Taliban to destroy the ancient Buddha statues of Bamiyan.
The day is one of complete horror for Omed, who witnesses the destruction of the fifteen hundred year old statues, the death of his friend, and another atrocity which I will leave readers to discover for themselves. The Taliban come looking for Omed and he must escape. He teams up with 'The Snake'; a sinister man. Unfortunately for Omed their relationship is co-dependant.
The pair make their way to a refugee camp in Pakistan and then travel to Australia by boat.
After fleeing a detention centre they arrive in Melbourne. Both men end up working in a candle-making factory in Melbourne.
Omed meets Hec-both teens are mute for one reason or another-and their stories become intertwined. Without giving away too many details, in the last phase of the book Hec travels to Afghanistan to look for Omed. He witnesses modern Afghanistan and travels through regions dominated by warlords and landmines.
'The Ink Bridge' explores complex issues of illegal immigration and people-smuggling and challenges the readers' perception of right and wrong.
The story of Omed will leave you wondering long after you have finished reading this book. It gives a human insight into what is currently a hot political debate.

Federal Electorates in the Casey Cardinia Region

Links to our Past - history -

It’s election time, and as you would know, Australians vote for a candidate that represents an Electorate. Historically, for the first nearly five decades of Federal elections,  most of the Casey Cardinia region has been part of the Flinders Electorate. Flinders was named after the explorer Matthew Flinders (1774-1814). Flinders was a navigator and a hydrographer who, amongst other achievements, circumnavigated Tasmania with George Bass from October 7 1798 to January 12 1799 and proved that it was an island and not attached to the mainland. 

Matthews Flinders.From the Australian Dictionary of Biography website http://adb.anu.edu.au
Flinders was one of the original 75 electorates constituted after Federation and, in the first election held in March 1901, the seat was won by Arthur Groom (1852-1922)  of the Free Trade Party. Groom was a Stock and Station Agent, with William Hamilton & Co., and they operated yards in and around Leongatha and Korumburra. Groom did not contest the 1903 election.

Arthur Groom, the first Federal member to represent the people of the Casey Cardinia region.From the Australian Dictionary of Biography website http://adb.anu.edu.au
There are now 150 electorates, so the number of Federal politicians has now doubled - but considering the population of Australia was around 3.7 million in 1901 and it is now 23 million, a six fold increase, it is interesting that that the amount of politicians hasn’t also increased by the same amount. If it had then we would have around 450 politicians representing us. I love watching the election coverage on election night, but even  I would find that the novelty of having to go through the results of 450 electorates would eventually wear off.
Flinders was originally much bigger geographically than it is today - in 1903 it covered basically Dandenong to Trafalgar, all the way to Phillip Island, Wonthaggi and Yarram.  It also covered the Mornington Peninsula to Portsea. As the population grew, new electorates were added and the boundaries of the Flinders electorate shrunk -  McMillan was formed in 1948 and named after Angus McMillan (1810-1865) pioneer and explorer. La Trobe was established in 1949. La Trobe was named after Charles La Trobe (1801-1875) first Lieutenant-Governor of Victoria from 1851 to 1854. As this area began to move from rural to suburban, other electorates were established.  Holt, was established in 1968 which was named after the Prime Minister, Harold Holt, who disappeared whilst swimming off Portsea in 1967.  Casey also also established in 1968. Casey was named after Lord Casey (1890-1976), Governor General of Australia from 1965 until 1969.
Emerald, Macclesfield and Lysterfield had a short time in the Mernda Electorate, although by the 1909 rolls they were in Flinders.

Because Flinders has historically covered the entire Casey Cardinia Region we are going to have a look at three of the past sitting members. Flinders has produced one Prime Minster, Stanley Melbourne Bruce (1883-1967) who was Prime Minister from 1923 to 1929.  Bruce was listed in the electoral rolls as a merchant, as he was part of the firm Paterson, Laing and Bruce, started by his father in 1878. He represented Flinders from 1918 to 1929 for the National party (a different party from today's National Party) and from 1931 to 1933 as a United Australia Party candidate. These parties are both fore-runners of the Liberal Party. Bruce was then appointed High Commissioner to Britain until 1945 and in 1947 was created a Viscount, Lord Bruce of Melbourne. He could then sit in the House of Lords.

Stanley Melbourne Bruce,  Prime Minister of Australia.From the Australian Dictionary of Biography website http://adb.anu.edu.au
James Valentine (Jim) Fairbairn, succeeded Bruce as the member for Flinders and he was Minister for Civil Aviation in the Menzies Government of 1939; and when World War Two broke out he was appointed the Minister for Air. He was a keen flier and flew his own plane. Fairbairn was killed in 1940 when the RAAF plane in which he was flying crashed near Canberra Airport. The Canberra Airport is named Fairbairn in his honour. Fairbairn never actually lived in the Flinders electorate; he had a property at Derrinallum in the Western District.  Fairbairn was succeeded by Colonel Rupert Ryan (1884-1952), who did live in the electorate, in very grand style as he had inherited Edrington and 1,000 acres from his aunt, Winifred Chirnside. He did share this inheritance with his sister, Lady Casey, the wife of Lord Casey after whom the Federal Electorate (and the City of Casey) is named. Ryan represented the Flinders Electorate until he died suddenly in August 1952

 This is an advertisement for Colonel Ryan for the 1946 election. It is from the Pakenham Gazette of September, 13 1946. In the interests of electoral fairness, I have also supplied an advertisement for the Labour Party candidate for the same election. This was on the same page of the Pakenham Gazette as the advertisement above. I don't know what Mr Lee's given names were, most reports in the papers years ago rarely used names, only initials.  There were preliminary results in the Pakenham Gazette of October 4, 1946 - Ryan had 33,029 votes and Lee had 27, 430 votes with 915 informal.

For more information on all the Members of Parliament and the men that the Electorates were named after - go to the Australian Dictionary of Biography http://adb.anu.edu.auFore more information on current Electorates go to the Australian Electorate Commission website www.aec.gov.auThe voter rolls from 1903 until 1980 are available on Ancestry database which you can access free, at any of our Libraries http://www.cclc.vic.gov.au/online%20resources

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

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This is a brilliantly funny, heartbreaking book and the début of author Jesse Andrews. It's been a little while between YA books I have loved, and I am glad I got to experience that whole can't-put-it-down thing once again. Andrews has a style similar to John Green, but a bit earthier (much more swearing and slightly less introspection). The similarity to Green is echoed in the fact that both Green's recent book The Fault in Our Stars and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl are both about teens suffering from cancer. Both, however, skip the Life Lesson style of writing, and both are better for it.

Greg Gaines doesn't really have friends . He exists on the edges of his high school carefully maintaining good relationships with all cliques but not belonging to any particular one. His only real friend is Earl and he only really hangs out with him in order to shoot movies - his one passion in life. When Greg's mum finds out that a classmate of Greg has cancer she corrals him into becoming friends with her. This is not a heart-warming tale in which Greg learns great life lessons but rather a funny and raw account of a dorky teenage boy coming to grips with the concepts of death and friendship.

The author has a strong sense of style, and the conversational tone if the book makes it extremely readable - even for reluctant readers I would imagine. Many scenes in the book are written as movie scripts or in dialogue only and organised into bullet point format. It sounds confusing but works so well to describe events and the differing internal voices that make up Greg's narrative.

And did I mention it was funny? A funny cancer book - very hard to pull off. Congrats to Jess Andrews. Greg has a great way of describing his world and especially his parents - particularly his mother.

This one is for guys and girls, reluctant readers and passionate readers, and all those in between. Highly recommended!

- Celia

Mystic: Alyson Noel

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Daire and Dace have made the ultimate sacrifice for good Can they go back? How do they move forward? And can Daire bring herself to do the one thing she now needs to do…save Cade’s life?
Series: Fated, Echo, Mystic
Since arriving in Enchantment Daire has had one sole purpose, to the Richters by killing Cade. But it was Daire and her love Dace who died in the end, now Daire must do the unthinkable, save Cade in order to save Dace. Accepting her destiny as a Soul seeker Daire must now deal with her ailing grandmother, finding her lost love, a stranger with secrets and a mad prophet and his daughter intending to end the world and all those deemed unworthy. The final countdown has begun and Daire is racing against the clock to save not only Dace and Cade but all of Enchantment as well. For Daire and Dace nothing will ever be the same again…the question is can they accept that?

Mystic is by far the best book in the series thus far while Echo acted as a “fill in” book for the overall plot, Mystic ramps things up with a full throttle plot, with twists and turns, all the way from the very first page to the very last. What I enjoyed most about Mystic was the added perspectives of secondary characters such as Xochitel and also the appearance of Phyre, who as a character is both infuriatingly frustrating yet sympathetic; she is nothing more than a brainwashed girl with little hope…sad. Dace begins to develop much more throughout Mystic as well; with a piece of his brother soul within him Dace must now struggle with the age of dilemma of right and wrong. Whereas previously Dace was purely good with no thoughts of wrong, the tables have now turned with Dace actually having to make an effort to be good. In a character this flawed nature is much more appealing and changes his relationship with Daire, more than the other books Daire and Dace’s relationship felt real and in fact for me it was this changing dynamic that really made this book shine. Daire too becomes more likable within this story she begins to assert herself and challenge her destiny. As always Noels writing style is evocative, all her research and talent makes for a very visual read. Not only can the reader envision Enchantment but also the mystical worlds of upper and lower. Overall Mystic brings this series to a head, it has everything, romance, action, madness, magic, loyalty loss etc and it is wonderfully delivered. Of course there’s still one book to go and Noel leaves plenty of room for the epic finale Horizon due out in November.

Courtney :)

Pakenham Gardens or Dr Bruce Cox Gardens at Pakenham

Links to our Past - history -

I have recently been scanning some slides, from our Archive, that were taken by the Shire of Pakenham in the early 1980s. Some of them show the construction of the carpark behind Main Street in Pakenham and what was Pakenham Gardens or Dr Bruce Cox Gardens. The Pakenham Library was later built in this area, but the Library, the car park and the Dr Cox Gardens were demolished in 2009 to make  way for a shopping centre.
Dr Cox, and his wife Kath, arrived in Pakenham in 1956, when Pakenham was just a country town. He joined the practice of  Dr George Farrell, who died in April 1962. Dr Cox, like many country doctors at the time, carried out a medical practice as well as working in the Bush Nursing Hospital, undertaking surgery, general health care and delivering babies. In fact, Dr Cox was the first Doctor in Pakenham to allow husbands to stay with their wives during labour. Dr Cox was also the Shire of Berwick Medical Officer*.  Dr Cox passed away in August 1988 and the Pakenham Gardens were renamed the Dr Bruce Cox Gardens in honour of the contribution he had made to the community.
In June 2012, a new memorial garden was opened to honour Dr Cox. near the new Hall and Library complex.

Construction of the car park, circa 1980.

The Pakenham Gardens, taken after the car park was finished, 1980 or 1981.
This slide, above, was developed in August 1982, but I suspect that it was taken a bit earlier as it doesn't show the toilet block, which is shown below, in slides developed in October 1981. 

There were at least 15 slides of this toilet block, it was obviously a source of civic pride, and if you remember what the old toilet block was like in Pakenham, then you would know that it is well worth a photograph (or 15). The old toilet block was in John Street, when it was a dead end, before Safeways was built in the early 1980s. I  remember it was a dark, clinker brick building that smelt of disinfectant blocks. 

The car park after the construction of the toilet block, most likely taken 1981.

The gardens are still called the Pakenham Gardens. This photograph is from a series of Shire of Pakenham photographs that we have, taken in the mid to late 1980s.

The construction of the previous Pakenham library in John Street, which was opened in April  1991 and demolished in 2009. The gardens have been renamed Dr Bruce Cox Gardens.

*Information from Somebody's baby: history of Pakenham & District Hospital 1926-92 by Heather Shallard (published by The Hospital, 1992)

PM's Literary Awards

Reading Rewards - reviews -

The winners of the Prime Minister's Literary Awards have at last been announced!  The $80,000 first prize goes to Michelle de Kretser, author of Questions of Travel which won the Miles Franklin earlier this year. 

Questions of Travel charts two very different lives.  
Laura travels the world before returning to Sydney, where she works for a publisher of travel guides. Ravi dreams of being a tourist until he is driven from Sri Lanka by devastating events. Around these two superbly drawn characters, a double narrative assembles an enthralling array of people, places and stories - from Theo, whose life plays out in the long shadow of the past, to Hana, an Ethiopian woman determined to reinvent herself in Australia.  Wonderfully written, Questions of Travel is an extraordinary work of imagination - a transformative, very funny and intensely moving novel.
The winners of the literary awards were chosen from a shortlist of 29 books spanning six categories.

Journalist George Megalogenis won the non-fiction category for The Australian Moment, while Ross McMullin's book, Farewell, Dear People, won the prize for Australian history.  John Kinsella took out the poetry category with his work Jam Tree Gully.


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