Restoration and archiving project


Downstairs at the Mangrove Mountain Memorial Club there is a large conference-type room. Here there is a Roll-of-Honour Board to those from the local community who served and made the ultimate sacrifice.

There is also a collection of framed photographs and other memorabilia relating to members of the local community who served, about 275 frames in all. In addition, there is an “In Memoriam” book, donated by the parents of a local soldier who was killed in action in World War I. This book cross-references the photographs and recorded details of the personnel and other images.

This collection showed signs of deteriorating with the passage of time and in the worst case, such as a fire, however unlikely, all could have been lost.

The Mangrove Mountain Computer Club undertook the project of scanning the photographs and transcribing the In Memoriam book so that it could all be archived in a digital format that could be used to reproduce the photographs and information as they are now whenever it may needed in the future.

The project was initiated by Ken West in collaboration with the late Joe Alexander. Ken is a Member of the MMCC Committee and Joe was President as well as being President of the Mangrove Mountain RSL Sub-Branch.

Scanning and cleaning in progress showing three of our volunteers in action

l to r: Ken West, Committee Member, Ron Collins, Secretary/Treasurer, scanning and Ken's wife, Margaret, cleaning the glass of one of the photographs.


Four laptop computers and scanners were employed. Each picture frame was removed from its place on the wall, its location was recorded, and the contents were removed for scanning. The frame and the glass were cleaned while scanning was done, and then the frames were reassembled and replaced on the wall.

Two sessions of about four hours each were allowed for the project but, due to the willingness of the twenty volunteers involved to keep going, it was completed on the first day, Monday, 30 th January 2006.

Some of the photographs require restoration due to condensation and just plain ageing. The commentary from the In Memoriam book requires updating if only because some of the terminology and acronyms that were commonplace at the time now require to be explained.

This can be done over time. There is no urgency now that the raw images have been captured and preserved.

The two photographs of Dick Shorrock and J. G. Gordonillustrate the sort of restoration work that is required to the scanned images to try and return them to their original state, as best this can be imagined.

We run photo editing courses from time to time. We hope that towards the end of these courses those attending will be able to assist with this work.

The other part of the project is to research more information about those in the photographs using the resources available on the Internet as well as talking to surviving friends and relatives.

For example, all that is recorded in the In Memoriam book about Dick Shorrock is that he passed away on 27 September 1956.   In the case of  J. G. Gordon, we know that he served with the Australian Light Horse in France and Egypt, but not even his first name.

In one case, we are already hampered by the fact that we have the photograph of the correct person but have discovered he used his brother's name when he enlisted because he was too young.

Below are examples of how the photographs looked after the glass and frames had been cleaned and they put back up on the wall.These show Reg Baxter (l) and Ed Collins (r), Ron Collins's grand-father (WWI) and father (WWII)...looking much better!



After cleaning

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Photo of Dick Shorrock

Dick Shorrock


Photo of J. G. Gordon

J. G. Gordon