A recent addition to the landscape of Concord Library is a ‘tree’ in the cafe area. The leaves of the tree are made up of historical images of the Canada Bay area taken from the library’s digital collection, Canada Bay Connections.
The tree has been created by the Embroiderers’ Guild NSW, which is based at Concord West, and joins other decorative trees made by the guild at the library.
This is, of course, not the first time that the library’s photographic collection has been used creatively as part of a new artwork. Joanne Saad used images from the collection as part of her ‘I remember’ mural in Fred Kelly Place, while David Capra used elements taken from historical documents in the Local Studies collection to create his work ‘Gold Dust and Gemstones’ in the windows at Five Dock Library.
John Flavelle arrived in Sydney in 1842 and initially worked for Australia’s first professional photographer, George Baron Goodman, before going into business as an optician and jeweller.
About 1870, John Flavelle built a two-storey home in Concord which he named ‘Wellbank’ after his wife Catherine’s birthplace in Ireland. The Flavelle Estate originally occupied the area around Wellbank Street, between Correys Avenue and Arthur Street.
In 1945 the Housing Commission compulsorily resumed the Flavelle Estate for post-war housing. Wellbank house was left untouched while the remaining daughters of Flavelle, Lucy and Ida, lived there. After their deaths, Concord Council acquired the property and in 1961 demolished the house to build new Council Chambers. This building in turn was demolished in 2007 to make way for the new Concord Library and Wellbank Children’s Centre.
Appropriately, the multifunction rooms at Concord Library are named after the Flavelle sisters while the location on the corner of Flavelle and Wellbank Streets provides another link with the history of the site.
To celebrate the 5th anniversary of the opening of Concord Library on Flavelle Street, the library is featuring an exhibition of the pictorial history of Concord Library.
The exhibition traces the history of the current site which was formerly Concord Council Chambers and still earlier the site of Wellbank house, home of the Flavelle family. It also takes a nostalgic look at the earlier libraries on Concord Road and Bent Street, Concord. The John Mendel Memorial Library on Concord Road was opened in 1968 and named after a former Town Clerk of Concord who was a great supporter of a free library service for residents. The Concord Branch Library at Bent Street opened in 1975.
The photograph shows a storytelling session at Concord in 1970. Storytelling remains one of the library’s most popular activities.
The exhibition is currently on display until 12 May 2013.
Parramatta Road looked more like a country road in 1900, about the time this photograph was taken.
The photograph shows Parramatta Road at the ‘7 mile post’, near Five Dock. Milestones were situated at one mile intervals along the Parramatta Road showing the distances to Sydney and Parramatta.
In 1942, Australia was under threat of invasion and the New South Wales Premier directed that all the distances be removed from the milestones along the main roads so as to confuse an invading Imperial Japanese Army. After the War the milestones were re carved.
A rare survival of one of the early milestones with the mileage shown in Roman numerals can be seen on the grounds of Concord Library at Flavelle Street, Concord. It was removed prior to World War II from the intersection of Parramatta Road and Mosely Street, Strathfield.