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By Brendan Rees

A timeless exhibition, tracing the wartime accounts of seven Victorians who served in WWI has been officially launched at Cranbourne Library.
“Writing the War: personal stories from WWI” tells the story of Australia’s involvement in WWI through the eyes of seven ordinary Australians through their letters, diaries, published writing and photographs.
Federal Member for Holt Anthony Byrne said he was honoured to launch the special touring exhibition from the State Library on Thursday 9 November.
“I can’t think of a better way than this exhibition to remind our young people in this area of what it was like to be a person at that time and this personal touch I think really means a lot. It meant a lot to me.”
“This is a great honour of sacrifice that was made by young servicemen of the First World War and to have these letters here as part of the exhibition in front of us, it turns these people into real fresh and blood people.”
Mr Byrne said attendees would gain a personal understanding of the war experience which commemorated the centenary of World War I.
“We encourage as many people as we possibly can just to come and see this exhibition, just to appreciate it and honour the sacrifice they made.”
“So congratulations to the Casey Cardinia Library Corporation for bringing this.”
Keynote speaker at the launch was Lambis Englezos AM, a Greek-born Australian teacher responsible for discovering mass war graves of some 250 lost Australian soldiers in the disastrous Battle of Fromelles in 1916.
Also present at the launch was Casey Cardinia Libraries CEO Chris Buckingham who said the exhibition was “incredibly powerful.”
“It tells the stories of ordinary Australians. This is not a celebration of swords. It’s a celebration of words.”
“It’s a real treat for the local library to have a role celebrating local history.”
He said the library was fortunate to have Mr Englezos as a speaker, describing his presentation as “compelling.”
“He is a man who’s been on a quest for many years to see due justice and recognition is served. I think his passion and drive to see resolution is inspiring.”
Cranbourne Library will be hosting several companion events before the exhibition closes on 7 December, including two author talks.
For more information, visit http://www.cclc.vic.gov.au or www.slv.vic.gov.au/writing-the-war.

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