Bonegilla Reunion is a hit

"A bus group from Melbourne travelled specifically to Wodonga for the genealogical talks."
Bernadette Zanet

Up to 750 visitors took part in the Bonegilla Reunion with additional guided bus tours added to the itinerary to keep up with demand.

People travelled from throughout Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and NSW during the two day reunion at the Bonegilla Migrant Experience on Friday, November 2 and Saturday, November 3.

Mayor Cr Anna Speedie officially welcomed the visitors on Saturday, with Albury Mayor Cr Kevin Mack also in attendance.

There were 100 guests at the Back to Bonegilla dinner at the German Austrian Australian Club in Wodonga on Friday night, who were welcomed to Wodonga by Cr Ron Mildren and President of the GAA Club, Rose Hancock.

From historian talks to researching your family tree and author talks, there were activities for everyone.

Bonegilla Migrant Experience team leader Bernadette Zanet said the genealogical talks presented by Wodonga Family History Society were well attended.

"The speakers were impressed with the quality of research and investigation that attendees shared," she said.

"A bus group from Melbourne travelled specifically to Wodonga for the genealogical talks."

Visitors brought photos, immigration papers and special objects to share, including a backpack used by a family that had the displaced person's numbers written on it.

There was also an engraved silver jug donated by Carolyn Stedwell (nee Guinn) whose father was a camp director for many years (Colonel Guinn) and whose image was used to create the Welcome sculpture located at the corner of Mahers Road and the Bonegilla Rail Trail crossing.

A special place in the Hume Club will be found for the jug.

Guided bus tours into Latchford Barracks on Saturday were fully booked with two additional tours added to the itinerary as people were keen to have the opportunity to visit the sites of Blocks 1 to 16 and 20 to 27.

Author Annett Janic spent two days talking and sharing stories with ex-residents and gave an enthralling presentation about her family story.

One visitor gave this glowing review of the reunion "Lovely food, lovely people, great organisers and volunteers, great to chat and catch up with so many."

Wodonga Council thanks the 12 dedicated volunteers who assisted staff to organise and host the event.

The reunion event was preceded by a visit from 220 members of the Ukrainian Association of Victoria who held a commemorative service and luncheon at BME last weekend.