Wednesday, June 16, 2021

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Tags Heritage Week

Tag: Heritage Week

Treasures of our past and present

One of Alice Springs' living treasures, local historian Jose Petrick, will wrap up Heritage Week with a talk about the Robert Czako Mural at St Mary's Chapel this Sunday afternoon (April 22).

Says Mrs Petrick: "Hungarian artist, Robert Czako, painted this awe-inspiring religious painting on St Mary's Chapel wall in 1958. About 24 biblical scenes and characters portray the young and old, rich and poor, people of all nations and cultures. In a kaleidoscope of flowing lines, garment folds, angry faces but also gentleness, radiance and grace, stories are told from the Book of Revelations and also the Old Testament."

Mrs Petrick also has her own story to tell of how she came to uncover some of the detail of this little known chapter in Alice's history.

St Mary's is situated south of the Old Timers on the South Stuart Highway. Be there at 2pm for 2.30pm start. The talk will take about 40 minutes followed by refreshments. Enquiries to Jose Petrick, 08 8952 6041.

 

Pictured: Jose Petrick in front of the Robert Czako mural. From our archive, 2009.

Bringing the past to life: Mrs Muldoon reminisces about life inside the old Alice Springs Gaol

'Muldoon's Guest House', aka the old Alice Springs Gaol in Stuart Terrace, was a friendly place, for its female guests in particular. This is according to Mrs Phillip Muldoon, otherwise known as Bertie, short for Bertilla, or "Matron" to the 'guests', wife of the superintendent, Phillip Muldoon.

Mrs Muldoon, behind whose cloche hat and pearls readers may recognise local historian Megg Kelham, will conduct a guided tour of the facility next week (Tuesday, April 17, 4pm), as part of Heritage Week's calendar of activities.

During a similar tour in March, as part of Women's History Month, Mrs Muldoon spoke of segregation at the gaol. Women and men were housed within its walls, although in separate buildings and were never together: there were "no scandals"!

But it was also the case that the "whites and natives", in the parlance of the day, were separated. If a 'guest' was "coloured", and about a third of them were, he could choose which group he wanted to be housed with.

Her husband, appointed to the role in 1938, was a kind man, and wanted his guests to be happy, according to Mrs Muldoon. KIERAN FINNANE reports. 

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