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Why not 1991?

It might seem odd that there were eleven years between the first two A Day in the Life of Deniliquin projects and only ten years between the last two.

When planning for the 2011 A Day in the Life of Deniliquin began in mid-2010, we thought the concept had begun in 1991. There were no records remaining with the early images and even those who participated in the 2001 A Day in the Life of Deniliquin thought it had been held on the tenth anniversary. We may have been none the wiser if it hadn’t been for a quest to find out more information about the ‘1991’ photos.

In February 2011, the images from ‘1991’ and 2001 were exhibited at the Peppin Heritage Centre during the ‘Back to Deni’ celebrations. As we had so little information about the early photos, we asked visitors to the exhibition to identify people and locations. Of particular interest was the photo of the mother and baby who had been born on 9th March. We knew the baby would be about to turn 20 and wanted to re-photograph him or her on the 9th March 2011.

A visitor identified the mum as Veronica Taylor’s daughter Marlene. We had also posted some of the photos on the A Day in the Life of Deniliquin Facebook page and, not long after, the daughter of Marlene Taylor, was referred to the page and, after looking at the photo and the date that (we thought) the photo had been taken, said it couldn’t be her.

We were back to square one and so, in the week leading up to the 9th March 2011, we asked the local newspaper, the Pastoral Times, to publish the photo with a request for information. The next day, we got a call from Veronica Taylor saying it was definitely her daughter Marlene and granddaughter Sarah. Our relief evaporated when Veronica mentioned that she was about to visit Marlene and Sarah for Sarah’s 21st birthday on the 9th March. But that would mean….

Realisation dawned that perhaps we had it wrong and a flurry of slightly frantic phone calls to some of the original organisers and checking of dates made it clear that the original photos actually had all been taken on 9th March 1990. The clincher was realising that the 9th March 1991 was a Saturday and several of the photos show Council workers at work, much more likely to have happened on Friday 9th March 1990.

We are still unsure whether the second A Day in the Life of Deniliquin was supposed to happen in 2000 or that those involved had genuinely forgotten. Regardless, the small anomaly of the dates has provided us with a great story that illustrates the many connections within a community and the power of the media.

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Marlene Taylor and baby Sarah born 9th May.
Photograph by Frank May.