BORN IN 1944? WHAT ELSE HAPPENED?
This is the sixth of 27 books in a series that covers Australian social history, in the 27 years from 1939 to 1965. Each year-book in the series tells about the large number of newsworthy events that happened in that year.
To get the material for the books, the writer, Ron Williams, worked his way through newspapers, magazines, books, and other sources, day by day until he came up with most of the major events and ideas, and trivia, of those years. He presents them in a thoroughly readable book, with a mixture of humour and gravitas.
All books are pitched at “oldies” who are not as young as they were. When people get a bit older, they become more reflective on their lives, and they place more value on their partners, and families, and friends from yesteryear. And about this time, nostalgia edges into their lives, and they start to look back at their teens, and dwell on their early years and childhood, and inevitably, their parents.
When their birthdays come round, especially for the BIG-O anniversary years, they celebrate it with family, friends and neighbours. It is a time for reminiscence and memories, and the "good old days" get many a mention. But when it gets back to their year of birth, the year it all started for them, they can't remember a thing.
IN FACT, MOST PEOPLE KNOW NOTHING ABOUT THEIR YEAR OF BIRTH.
This 160-page book aims to fix that a little by picking out the best stories of the year. In the early 1940's, most of Australian news eminated at the time from the War, so that each Chapter starts with the War scene in Europe and the Pacific. After that, it drifts quickly to politics and trivia. But overall, the emphasis is on Oz social issues,and how the War was affecting families in their everyday environment.
I find there is intense interest in the War years. This is not just confined to the oldies who lived through those years, but it extends to the younger generations who wonder at the amazing pace of life, and the enormity of unfolding events, and the depth of heroism and courage almost beyond belief.
Both series are printed on quality paper with a celloglazed buff cover, and Perfect Bound for durability. They are printed in black-and-white, and in the style of the newspapers of those earlier days, including photos that are sometimes pretty crappy.
They are ideal gifts for oldies’ birthdays. Nostalgics will love them. People will actually read them, and then pass them it on.
ABOUT THESE SERIES … But after that, I realized that I really knew very little about these parents of mine. They had been born about the start of the Twentieth Century, and they died in 1970 and 1980. For their last 50 years, I was old enough to speak with a bit of sense.
I could have talked to them a lot about their lives. I could have found out about the times they lived in. But I did not. I know almost nothing about them really. Their courtship? Working in the pits? The Lock-out in the Depression? Losing their second child? Being dusted as a miner? The shootings at Rothbury? My uncles killed in the War? Love on the dole? There were hundreds, thousands of questions that I would now like to ask them. But, alas, I can’t. It’s too late.
Thus, prompted by my guilt, I resolved to write these books. They describe happenings that affected people, real people. The whole series is, to coin a modern phrase, designed to push your buttons, to make you remember and wonder at things forgotten. The books might just let nostalgia see the light of day, so that oldies and youngies will talk about the past and re-discover a heritage otherwise forgotten. Hopefully, they will spark discussions between generations, and foster the asking and answering of questions that should not remain unanswered.