Untold history of Blacktown Showground wins Mayoral History Prize

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The untold history of Blacktown Showground and Francis Park has received the top award in the 2021 Blacktown City Mayoral History Prize.

Les and Lyn Tod were awarded first place in the adult category for this year’s prize at a virtual presentation ceremony.

The Tods received the $3000 prize for their entry exploring the social and cultural history of the showground precinct.

Mayor of Blacktown City Tony Bleasdale OAM congratulated the pair on their winning entry.

“Thank you to the Tods for their research into an important part of the history of Blacktown City,” Mayor Bleasdale said.

“Our City has such a rich and diverse history – from the Darug people who have called this land home for more than 60,000 years, to the European settlers and to the migrants and refugees who make up the rich cultural fabric of our City.

“Our historians and our storytellers play an important role in preserving this history for us and for future generations.

“I congratulate all entrants on helping promote and preserve our City’s history. I am immensely proud of all works submitted and I am sure they will provide a valuable contribution to our shared history and heritage.”

The Tods have been prominent entrants over the 14-year history of the prize and, between them, have taken out the top award on seven prior occasions.

Mayor Bleasdale was also delighted to see the emergence of the next generation of local historians in the high school age entries.

Frank Javadi and Adam Cruz were named the winners of the Years 7-9 and Years 10-12 categories respectively.

Entries in this year’s Prize explored topics such as the establishment of a street library in Glenwood during the COVID-19 pandemic, the life of the late Dr Russ Dickens and the history of construction in Blacktown.

In a first for the Prize, entries this year were received in video and poetry formats.

Blacktown City Council first established the Prize in 2008, with the aim of encouraging a wider understanding of the City’s history through research, documentation and promotion.

Entries may be included in Blacktown City Libraries’ local history collection for future researchers to access.

Picture: Blacktown City Mayor Tony Bleasdale OAM, Cr Kathie Collins OAM and Deputy Mayor Julie Griffiths with the winners of the 2021 Mayoral History Prize, Lyn and Les Tod on screen.

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