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Shining the light on dark history

DEDICATED:  Proserpine Community Centre research team.
DEDICATED: Proserpine Community Centre research team. Jacob Wilson

A GROUP of committed locals have managed to rewrite Proserpine history.

Over a two-year period the Proserpine Community Centre team has tirelessly researched and followed the stories of more than 950 people who were influenced in some way by the Second World War in Proserpine.

The book, to be titled Proserpine News WWII: A Record of Military Personnel from Proserpine and Districts, will shine light on a difficult time in history.

Community centre volunteer Lyn Burke said the team's extensive research would reveal a wealth of knowledge of which many people would not be aware.

"It's not just about war, it's about people's stories and lots of stories from people in the area,” she said.

Ms Burke said they were even able to discover information on 49 people who died, of which only 36were acknowledged on the Proserpine cenotaph near the Proserpine Entertainment Centre.

Fellow volunteer Lloyd Fox said the group poured through numerous documents to put together an informative account of wartime stories.

"We've actually had to get about 400-500 military records open that are in the Australian national archives so you can get access and decipher what it says about what people did in a war,” hesaid.

Ms Burke said the project also engaged three NEATO clients, who benefited from increased research skills.

"Not only have we had a lot of assistance from volunteers but the Proserpine Community Centre staff as well have done a lot of work,” she said.

Anyone seeking information on relatives affected by the war is welcome to visit the Proserpine Community Centre and look at information available on their database.

There will be 300 copies of the book following the launch date on April 27 at the Proserpine Entertainment Centre, which is made possible thanks to a State Government Community Grants Program.

BOOK LAUNCH

What: Proserpine News WWII and Portrait Exhibition

When: April 27, 5.30pm

Where: Proserpine Entertainment Centre

RSVP: April 17, phone 0407692 928

Topics:  book launch lyn burke proserpine second world war

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