07 November 2010

Boggoroadian Day 2010

The annual reunion of former Boggo Road officers, now known as 'Boggoroadian Day', took place as usual on the first Saturday in November, and once again it was a great success with well over 100 officers, spouses and family attending.

Not a scene from the reunion!

After years of little activity among the former officers, this event has recently been resurrected thanks largely to the efforts of John Peel, who spends much of the year phoning, emailing and snail-mailing ex-staff right around Australia. His dedication to the cause has ensured that the early achievements of Don Walters, Dave Jefferson and others in organising the Retired Prison Officers Association in the 1980s have been continued and more than matched.

Attendees represent a wealth of experience at the site, from the 1930s right up to the closure of the prison in the 1990s. It is a time to catch up with old friends, avoid old sparring partners, swap a few anecdotes, remember those who are no longer with us, and find out what is happening now at Boggo Road itself.

This was the third Boggoroadian Day for the Boggo Road Gaol Historical Society, who assist in the promotion of the event and have a stall there. This year we attracted 44 new members, bringing our current total very close to the 200 mark. Some people even brought in memorabilia and artefacts from the old prison to donate to us, and these will be recorded and stored in our Queensland Prisons Collection.

It would have been special to see this event staged at the old prison itself, but it now looks like Boggo Road may not be reopening for a while. Until that can happen, John and the others will carry on with this great work in ensuring that the most important part of Boggo Road history - the people themselves - will continue to stay strong and connected, and keep that history very much alive.

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