Bay past isbroughtback to life

Peter Duke (left) and Luke Bracken hold a blown up print of the TSS Wollongbar moored at the former jetty.
Peter Duke (left) and Luke Bracken hold a blown up print of the TSS Wollongbar moored at the former jetty.

Byron Bay's past is being brought back to life through a collection of graphic historical photographs.

With the help of local residents, including historian Eric Wright, part-time school teacher, Peter Duke has collected an archive of 80 pictures covering the years between 1900 and 1963.

All photographs have been scanned on a high resolution drum scanner and he's also in the process of getting the images enlarged to an impressive 90 cm by 60 cm.

But that's an expensive process, which is why he is seeking financial sponsorship to complete the project.

With some financial backing, Mr Duke is planning to exhibit the collection at the Byron Bay Surf Club next year.

He has been putting the collection together for the last five years and has also recorded interviews with local residents to complement each image.

Eventually he plans to publish a small book on the history of Byron Bay along with a CD containing all the images.

His ultimate aim is to see the collection find a permanent home, hopefully in a dedicated Byron Bay museum.

Mr Duke's project has already attracted the support of Luke Bracken, the owner of Broken Head Quarry, who has donated $500.

Mr Bracken said the project was a great idea and if it hadn't been for Mr Duke, many of the images would have been lost.

He urged the community to back the project.

Anyone who wants to support the project can call Mr Duke on 0422022097 or

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