Fruits of Their Labours – a long time coming to fruition.
Standard Newspapers Ltd, of which the Doncaster Mirror was a part, had planned in 1984 to publish the Byways of Local History stories in a book, titled Doncaster Folk Tales. Preliminary editing of the 180-page text had been completed and preparations had proceeded to the proofs of 80 ‘tales’ and 75 illustration/photos, when Standard Newspapers folded, taken over by the Melbourne Herald, and the project fell through. This was 1986.
From 1993-96 I unsuccessfully submitted the manuscript to publishers and tried for grants. To preserve the research, I collated the entire collection of my local historical writings, had them bound, and donated this to the Whitehorse Manningham Regional Library Corporation. The Australiana Librarian acknowledged it to: ‘… represent an outstanding chronicle of the community life of Doncaster-Templestowe from first settlement to the present’.
In 2008 Manningham Council enthusiastically agreed to support sponsorship of my application for a grant from the Local History Grants Program for the publication of Doncaster Folk Tales. Councillors changed, and this, too, fell through.
Almost 30 years since its first preparation, I decided to start again, rework the whole collection and publish it myself. So in 2012, Doncaster Folk Tales became the 350 page Fruits of Their Labours: Orchard Empire to Urban Affluence: A Folk History of Doncaster.