Library exhibitions remember those who have been lost

In commemoration of Remembrance Day, residents can head to Sunshine Coast Council’s Beerwah and Maleny Libraries for exhibitions providing an insight into this significant day in our history.

Division 1 Councillor Rick Baberowski said in commemoration of Remembrance Day, Beerwah Library will host an exhibition of memorabilia from conflicts and World Wars 1 and II.

“The exhibition provides the opportunity gain a rare insight into the shocking trials of life on a battlefront through the personal diary of Eric Harold Rapkins, with entries recorded on the landing at Gallipoli,” Cr Baberowski said.

“The community knows we all need to remain vigilant to the awful cost of conflict and war and as time passes these displays play an important role in supporting our commemoration ceremonies.”

Thanks to Eric’s grandson John Rapkins, visitors to Beerwah Library will gain this insight into his grandfather’s life during a tumultuous time.

Eric Harold Rapkins was born at Duranbah in NSW on August 26, 1891.

He left home at the age of 14 to find work and ended up working at the Tweed Sugar Mill. When WWI broke out, at the age of 23.

Eric was assigned to the AIF 15th Battalion and found himself heading to Gallipoli on New Year’s Eve in 1914.

“The exhibition includes Eric’s war medals and hand-written diary entries of his experiences and feelings which were kept in a small, fragile diary,” Cr Baberowski said.

Eric was officially discharged on August 26, 1915 and his diary note captures his thoughts on his 24th birthday.

However Eric re-enlisted as a recruiting Sergeant travelling throughout SE Queensland and following his discharge, due to ill health, took up a soldier settlement at Beerburrum.

He later became a lighthouse keeper at various Queensland locations before becoming the lighthouse keeper at Caloundra in 1930.

Eric Harold Rapkins died on July 26, 1947 and is fondly remembered by his family.

The local RSL chapter will sell poppies in Beerwah Library from 9-11am on Friday, November 10 and from 9-10.30am on Saturday, November 11.

The community is invited to attend the RSL Remembrance Day service at Turner Park, adjacent to the library, on 11 November. Morning tea will follow at the Beerwah Community Hall.

Council’s Maleny Library will also be hosting the Maleny at War exhibition from November 1-30 where people can discover heritage through an exhibition of local memorabilia, images and educational displays.

Visitors to Maleny Library can also get involved in a local heritage recipe swap. Simply bring in your treasured family recipes and share it with the community.

To find out more about the exhibitions, head to council’s library website.

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