Three local primary schools went delving into the Claremont archives last month, creating ‘postcards from the past’ from significant historical figures to their families while living through the Covid-19 pandemic.
Around 150 year five students from Freshwater Bay Primary School, Scotch College and St Thomas Primary School chose a significant figure to write from their perspective to a family member about time in isolation.
Mayor Jock Barker said it was a great initiative, not only to teach local children about Claremont’s history, but also to understand how the pandemic can affect everyone.
“Many of us aren’t too familiar with historical figures from Claremont’s past, so this project was a great little insight into how long our Town has been around and the people who have influenced our community,” Mayor Barker said.
“It also helped the children put themselves into someone else’s shoes to understand how others might have felt with similar struggles in different eras. This ability to empathise for others across time and space helps children think beyond our own immediate community.”
The project was inspired by a similar initiative in the UK, where the BBC asked children to write postcards about being in a time of lockdown from the point of view of a historical figure such as Cleopatra, Albert Einstein or Charles Darwin.
The historical figures celebrated in the Town’s project included former Claremont mayor Thomas Briggs (1875-1935), Claremont’s first teacher Mrs Anne Herbert (1810-1886), Olympian Percy Oliver (1919-2011), first female parliamentarian Dorothy Tangney (1911-1985), and Whadjuk Noongar elder Fanny Balbuk (1840-1907).
“Some of the postcards have been very well researched, and fit the character’s era perfectly,” Mayor Barker said. “Other postcards were an entertaining reminder of a child’s vivid imagination.”
The postcards will be on display in the Claremont Community Hub and Library foyer until the end of August.