Encyclopedia to preserve local history

David Rae and Christian Ellis lavish time and effort on an encyclopedia of the Tweed Coasts social history.
David Rae and Christian Ellis lavish time and effort on an encyclopedia of the Tweed Coasts social history. Yvonne Gardiner

AUTHOR David Rae is so devoted to preserving the social history of the Tweed Coast, he's spent countless hours of his time and his own money on books that do just that.

His first Tweed Coast history book, Glimpses at the Past, published in 2010, has proved so popular it's now on its fourth reprint.

Now David and his design and layout specialist Christian Ellis, both of Cabarita Beach, are working on a 400-page encyclopedia of the Tweed Coast, and are searching for any old photos.

"The encyclopedia covers the period from the 1880s to the 1980s, mapping the history of the early settlers, schools, churches, public halls and events," David said.

"Early photos which are borrowed will be returned within 48 hours.

"I'm quite convinced these photos are out there somewhere.

"It was in the 1880s when the first dairy farms started appearing on the Tweed.

"The cedar-getters came before that."

David hopes the encyclopedia will be finished for Christmas 2018.

"There's an enormous amount of work to be done," he said.

"If we don't do it, the social history is going to disappear off the face of the earth.

"A third of the people I interviewed for (Glimpses at the Past) are now dead.

"We're not in it to make a quid, we're about preserving history."

The region of interest includes Tweed Heads, Fingal, Duranbah, Kingscliff, Bogangor, Cabarita Beach, Hastings Point, Pottsville, Wooyung, Burringbar, Mooball, Cudgera, Round Mountain, Clothiers Creek, Reserve Creek, Sleepy Hollow and Palmvale.

If you can help with photos or sponsorship, call David on 6676 1118 or Christian on 0410 625 277.

Topics:  glimpses at the past northern nsw seniorsnewspapers tweed coast yvonne gardiner

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