Lismore High School students on their heritage walk around Lismore – (front row) Olivia Brennan, Marlie-Lee King and Alvina Kapeen.
Lismore High School students on their heritage walk around Lismore – (front row) Olivia Brennan, Marlie-Lee King and Alvina Kapeen. Doug Eaton

Taking a walk down memory lane

KIDS see history differently to adults . - their own histories are so short, what seems recent to adults may be impossibly remote for them.

So it was good to catch up with a bunch of Year 7 students from Lismore High School this week, keen to set out on a "heritage walk" through the Lismore central business district.

The aim, as explained by their history teacher, Luke Wallace, was to observe "change and continuity".

"Walking around Lismore, we're looking at which buildings have changed, and which haven't," Mr Wallace told The Northern Star.

The children all had worksheets showing streetscapes of Lismore from the early 20th century - Woodlark and Molesworth Streets in 1914, and photos from each decade since, up to the mid 1960s.

Their job was to notice what had, or had not, remained the same.

The worksheets called for them to look up (how often do we do that?) at the tops of buildings, to see that while the street frontage may be quite different now, the old facades and rooflines of the city are still quite similar.

Names of the owners of the oldest buildings shown are still current today - Coronakes, Feros and Crethar - descendants of these catering pioneers still live in the district.

Looking at a 1949 picture of Magellan Street showing the cars of that era, Olivia Brennan, of Lismore, remarked that we don't see cars like that any more. "But my Pop might have driven one of them," she said.

"Lots of people know my Pop, Ken Gallen."

Mr Gallen is a former Lismore City Councillor (1983-2004) and drove taxis around Lismore before he retired.

Tali Hooper, of Lismore, said it was interesting to find out about the history of Lismore, especially since he was from a Sydney family that moved north when he was only one year old.

"It's a nice change to get out of school, walk around and take some photographs," he said.

Back in the classroom, the students will match up the photos they took on their walk with the old pictures of Lismore in their worksheets, and in a couple of weeks, they will each give a PowerPoint presentation on what they have discovered about change and continuity in their cityscape.



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