We have put some of the photos of The WILUNA Solution up for your enjoyment. For those we’ve met on our various tours, they may enable you to better study the eras and architecture of each. For those who attended yesterday as part of U3A, this gives you a chance to see the slides which we couldn’t show during the presentation. That to one side, our thanks for a great afternoon. We really enjoyed ourselves.
The first three photos are the original hospital on the town (built in 1934) and is still in use as the shire offices. The next is pretty obvious (1934) and the third is the original Club Hotel, around 1931.
As to the rest of the photos, note that several shots of buildings were taken in Gwalia but show the styles of buildings of the 1930s. As the main character in the novel asks at one point, “How did people survive in donga-type accommodation, with temperatures in the high forties in summer and below freezing at nights in winter?”
I find the photos of Wiluna townsite, whether around 2010 or in the 1930s, so provocative. Two that genuinely fascinate us are those two shots taken from the same point in the main street nearly eighty years apart: from a pulsating hub to a gentle and reflective memory. The same applies to the photos of the Club Hotel, as a single storey building at the top to what it is today below.
If you’ve never been there, it’s worth the trip, not just for Wiluna and its history, but for the history of the area. There’s that of the Martu people and their wit, wisdom and compassion as well as their survival and preservation of their country for more than sixty thousand years. There’s the whitefella gold mining history and the cattle industry round Wiluna. There’s the ability to stand on part of the the Canning Stock Route and reflect on a magnificent feat of engineering and perseverance, a disaster in terms of interracial relationships, and a monument to the consequences of poorly thought-out government policy. And don’t forget the Leonora and Goldfields Loop roads, which portray the history of both cultures, particularly in Menzies.