Sydney in 1943

Thanks to SIX (Spatial Information Exchange) Maps, you can browse Sydney in 1943 in the same way you use Google Maps to view the modern world. The photographs were taken from a reconnaissance plane in 1943, and have been carefully ‘stitched together’ to appear as a satellite view. Here’s what Cabramatta CBD and Station looked like in 1943:


To have a look, simply head to SIX Maps, click on Basemaps in the top right hand corner, and then ‘Looking for 1943 imagery?’ An additional menu will open to the left, allowing you to select ‘Sydney 1943 imagery’.

This allows you to toggle between a modern and 1943 view by again selecting Basemaps and choosing between the two.

Use the searchbar in the top left hand corner to find a specific address.

Find anything interesting? Let us know in the comments!




Published in: on May 12, 2017 at 4:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

Lest We Forget

ANZAC Day March [Smithfield, NSW] 1966
“Members of the Smithfield RSL Club take part in an ANZAC Day march in 1966.” ANZAC3

Soldier’s Memorial Bandstand [Cabramatta, NSW] 2004
“This memorial is located at the Cabra-Vale Park. It was completed in 1919 in memory of local soldiers killed in World War I. The monument was deidicated on Anzac Day 1919.”


ANZAC Day Service in front of Cabra-Vale Town Hall [Cabramatta, NSW] 1920s
“Gun is a captured German field artillery gun. Speaker is possibly Alderman Jacob Cook.”


Published in: on April 26, 2017 at 2:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

ANZAC Centenary

The Centenary of Anzac 2014 to 2018 is Australia’s most important period of national commemoration. Marking 100 years since our involvement in the First World War, the Anzac Centenary is a time to honour the service and sacrifice of our original ANZACs, and the generations of Australian servicemen and women who have defended our values and freedoms, in wars, conflicts and peace operations throughout a Century of Service.

Anzac Day Poster #23 Flanders.jpg
Centenary of the Flanders Offensive

More than 76,000 Australians became casualties on the Western Front in 1917, including some 22,000 who were killed. No year in Australia’s wartime history has been more costly. In this poster Australians march through Ypres in late October 1917 toward the end of the
massive British offensive known as the Third Battle of Ypres. The Australians fought in five major battles here: Menin Road, Polygon Wood, Broodseinde, Poelcappelle and Passchendaele. Images from this offensive are among the best known of the Western Front, and the Third Battle of Ypres has come to symbolise the muddy horror and waste of the First World War. The survivors of the fighting here faced another year of war before the Armistice brought an end to hostilities.


Fairfield City Open Libraries will be posting some local ANZAC content over the last week of April, in honour of ANZAC Day.



Published in: on April 10, 2017 at 9:55 am  Leave a Comment  

Journeys In Fairfield – Migrant Hostels

Come to Whitlam Library during the month of April to witness our Migrant Hostels exhibition, part of a series titled Journeys In Fairfield. Check our opening hours and come in for a visit!

The exhibition highlights Cabramatta and Villawood migrant hostels, which were operational between the 1950s and 1980s. It shows everyday hostel life, featuring families who made the journey to an unknown land by all methods and means in order to make a new life for themselves, and to enrich ours in turn.


Published in: on April 1, 2017 at 8:29 am  Leave a Comment  

Not Just Pin Money: Australia’s Forgotten Colonial Businesswomen


Colonial women are predominantly remembered in history as wives and mothers. Dr Catherine Bishop reveals, however, that many were also family breadwinners running a variety of small businesses to make ends meet.

When: 6:00-7:30pm, Wednesday 8 March 2017
Refreshments will be provided from 6-6:30pm
Where: Whitlam Library, 165 Railway Parade, Cabramatta
Cost: FREE
Contact:                           or 02 9725 0190








Booking can be made at Eventbrite

Published in: on March 7, 2017 at 5:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

History Council of NSW – March Talk at Whitlam Library, Cabramatta


Published in: on March 1, 2017 at 9:13 am  Leave a Comment  

Changes in Fairfield – Now and Then…


[Source: Weekly column of Now and Then published in the Fairfield Advance Newspaper in 2008-9]







































Published in: on February 3, 2017 at 1:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

Changes in Cabramatta – Now and Then…

cabra-1 cabra-2 cabra-3

[Source: Weekly column of Now and Then  published in the Fairfield Advance Newspaper in 2009]

Published in: on January 17, 2017 at 5:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

Christmas card from Down Under


This Christmas card from the Walter Stimson family includes stencilled shapes of a map of Australia and various plants. Caption (on the back of the postcard): To Private N. McNaughton. With best wishes from Pr. Stimson & family. Fairfield West, Sydney, Australia.

The Heritage Team would like to wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas and a Joyous New Year!


Published in: on December 22, 2016 at 2:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

Christmas time at the Russian Orthodox Churches


Golden cupola on the Russian Orthodox Church, Cabramatta & icons inside the St Nicolas’ Russian Orthodox Church, Fairfield.

St Nicholas’s Russian Orthodox Church, Fairfield

With the influx of Russian immigrants after World War II, the Russian people needed a place to worship according to their traditions. In 1952, with the support of the Russian community, a block of land located in Barbara Street, Fairfield was purchased and construction for a new church began. Due to financial constrains, a temporary timber building was erected and the church was finally completed and opened in 1956. The present Archpriest, Fr Nikita Chemodakov has been with St Nicolas since 1978 and still leads the popular Mass services each weekend.

For additional information on St Nicolas’s activities or history, please visit their webpage here

Russian Orthodox Church, Cabramatta 


Midnight Mass at the Russian Orthodox Church, 2007. Photographer Danny Huynh

The Russian Orthodox Parish at Cabramatta was formed in 1949 by a small group of Russian immigrants. In 1953, they enlisted the help of a Russian architect, Mr Michael Miklashevky, who drew up the plans for the construction of the new church on John Street, Cabramatta.

According to an account from the Advance (06/02/1969) – “the ancient Russian style architecture of the church with its unusual design, size and form and the gold coloured cupola and cross has been long a landmark in Cabramatta. The total height from ground level to the top of the cross is 110 ft (33.53 m). There are two galleries, one one either side of the central part. A special large gallery for the accommodation of the choir is situated above the main entrance. The church can accommodate 600 people.” 

The church was officially open on the 1st of February 1969 by Bishop Konstantin. In 1981, the Advance reported that Father Alexis, one of the two priest then at Cabramatta, and commercial artist Tonia Ganin had undertaken the task of “covering every inch of the interior walls” of the church with iconic paintings.

[Source: “Foundation of Faith: Christian churches in the Fairfield area” by Beverley Donald, pp.127-131. & “Rituals & Traditions” by Fairfield City Museum & Gallery, pp 36-42]







Published in: on December 20, 2016 at 4:59 pm  Leave a Comment