About the Author - Mr. William J. Cuthill
Foreword by the Author - The River of Little Fish
published on CD ROM - 2001
Traralgon is an industrial City, 160 km to the east of Melbourne, with a population of approximately 26,000. The children are fortunate in having their own history of their City, written for young people by the author, Mr. William J. Cuthill.
Mr. Cuthill was a resident of Traralgon for 18 years, and was the Clerk of Courts. He retired from the Victorian Public Service in 1974, when he was the Chief Stipendiary Magistrate for the State of Victoria. He has agreed to the reproduction of his book, on CD ROM, for distribution to the schools of Traralgon and District.
His method of retaining the interest of his young readers was copied from "The History of
Bermuda" by Canon Tucker, a unique book. Mr. Cuthill has assured the Society that he is grateful
to it for allowing him to leave a small "footprint on the sands of time" and hopes that you, too, will enjoy your reading of
"The River of Little Fish".
W.J. Cuthill - January 2000
Foreword by the Author for the original publication -1970
The study of local history forms part of the curriculum in our schools. both in Grade V and
Form 1, and in the past the children of Traralgon have had no suitable source of information.
In 1946, the Centenary Celebrations Committee published a pamphlet entitled "The First Hundred Years" which was prepared by its Historical Committee, and that pamphlet has had to serve as a basis for their studies, for there is no other published History of Traralgon.
When in Bermuda during 1961, I was shown a History of Bermuda written specifically for the school children of Bermuda by Canon Tucker. This History was published in book form by the local Education Authorities and, as a result, the school children there are all fully informed on the history of their island, which has been written down to their own particular levels.
On my return to Australia, I began to give consideration to preparing a History of Traralgon particularly suited for children. Upon hearing that those seekers of information for school projects first called at the "Journal" office, with little result, and then sought the help of the late Miss E.M. West , and after conversation with other members of the Traralgon and District Historical Society , I considered that I might find time to draft a simplified history for the children which, through the kind offfices of Mr. W.A. Thompson, might be published in serial form in the "Journal" so that those children who were interested might compile their own personal copy by keeping all the instalments as they appeared.
The compilation of such a history has not been easy. I have followed the incomparable style of Canon Tucker as far as possible, and felt that, by so doing, I will have enticed my young readers to read further. But, although research into the earlier periods of the history of our town is fairly complete, little effort has been made to compile any record of happenings during the twentieth century. As a result, I feel that the latter chapters of the story are somewhat scrappy, and fail to achieve their purpose to the extent which I would desire, despite the assistance given by members of the Traralgon and District Historical Society who perused and checked the draft before it was published.
I feel that this attempt at compiling a children's history might be the basis of revision over the years as research progresses and further chapters of the reference history held by the Society are written. I am pleased that the Society has seen fit to publish the story in book form. The basic data will always form portion of the main History of Traralgon for the information of those who would seek to improve upon what I have been able to achieve without precedents and with but little assistance from modern institutions in Traralgon who seem most reluctant to compile a detailed history of their organization and activities to hand down to future generations.
W.J. Cuthill - 1970