Barrow carries many memories
Brunswick Men’s Shed members have been busy building a replica wheelbarrow to help preserve a piece of Harvey’s history.
The timber wheelbarrows were used to dig the Harvey Diversion Drain during the Great Depression and the replica will be part of an exhibition at the Harvey Museum.
Men’s Shed secretary Kim Hawkins said he was delighted to complete the project and could not wait to help other members of the community in need of some woodwork.
“It was a really special assignment and we were happy to help out,” Mr Hawkins said.
One of the builders, Joe Princi, even had a sentimental connection to the project, with his uncle Natale Frisina being one of the workers on the Harvey Diversion Drain.
“There was no machinery back then, they had to do everything by hand,” Mr Princi said.
“The drain project was a Government project to employ people for a couple of days a week and keep unemployment down during the Depression.”
Harvey Museum team member Marion Lofthouse said about 12km of the diversion sand section was dug by 2500 men shovelling sand into wheelbarrows.
“The wheelbarrows were wheeled up planks and emptied onto the bank,” Mrs Lofthouse said.
“The clay section closer to Harvey was excavated by drag lines.”
The men started digging in November 1931 and finished in December 1932.
Mrs Lofthouse’s father, who was a renowned Harvey farmer, would deliver fruits, vegetables and farm produce to help feed the men during the Depression.
Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.
Sign up for our emails