History: Looking Back

Looking Back history feature: The Price of Identity

Looking Back

war 1 The officially opening of the Bulli Woonona War Memorial 1924

By MICK ROBERTS ©

I BELIEVE he would have been there for sure – not in the official party, or as a dignitary, but more likely standing to the back, watching as the Bulli Woonona War Memorial was unveiled in 1924.

The cenotaph – which once sat on the corner of Hopetoun Street and the Princes Highway – bears the name of my great uncle, Jens Orvad. He was the son of a Danish immigrant; he was a coal miner at Coledale whose life was cut short in the name of forging an Australian identity.

Jim Orvad's name on the Bulli Woonona Memorial at Slacky Flat, Bulli. Jim Orvad’s name on the Bulli Woonona Memorial at Slacky Flat, Bulli.

In a community that favoured Jack over John, Bill over William, Jens was better known as James, so I will refer to him as Jim in this story. He didn’t single handily change…

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About Mick Roberts

A Sydney journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in Australia for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick has owned and managed several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW. He currently calls the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills home.

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