OWL group still going strong and having a hoot
The times when Port Hedland had a Bunnings store with wooden counters, three outdoor movie theatres and running rivers were remembered by some of the town’s senior residents recently.
Older Wiser Library Seniors, known as OWLS, was started by the Town of Port Hedland to bring residents, particularly the retired, together to share knowledge and meet new people after high rates of social isolation were noticed.
Those who attended the latest session with guest speaker Jeff Edwards said there had not been a boring event since OWLS started almost a year ago.
Local history enthusiast Anna Winters said the sessions had become valuable meeting places.
“For me, especially, it is always great to meet someone who recalls so many details,” and find people you jointly know. You can paint a picture more and more of how the old times used to work in Port Hedland,” she said.
Mr Edwards, 52, has lived in Port Hedland since the age of five and brought photos from family collections and archives to share with the group.
“We had a lot more water around back then. At the Turner River there used to be a permanent watering hole,” he said.
“That has moved, now the dynamics of the Turner have changed so the rivers don’t flow as often. They used to flow every year, Turner, De Gray, Yule, you’d be lucky to get them to flow now,” Mr Edwards said.
“You couldn’t even get to Karratha half the time because the Turner and the Yule might be up and we didn’t have any bridges.”
In the next OWLS event the attendees were asked to judged artwork by school students and decide which would go on the side of the South Hedland Library as a mural.
Condon, north of the De Grey River, used to be the main port for the area before Port Hedland was developed.
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