History Articles / The Blackwood Magazine
Throughout 2014, to celebrate the centenary of The Blackwood Magazine as well as to promote our local history, community members (facilitated by the Blackwood Action Group and supported by The City of Mitcham's Heritage Research Centre) will reproduce 1914 magazine snippets in The Blackwood Times.
Believing the local area “does not receive that attention which its unique natural attractions and the talents of its inhabitants deserve” the Blackwood, Coromandel and Belair Club Literary Society began in 1914 to produce ‘The Blackwood Magazine’.
Costing threepence, this magazine was published monthly for just the one year and became a unique part of Blackwood’s history.
With a masthead that proudly proclaimed E montibus omnia bona, which loosely translates as ‘all good things come from the hills’, the magazine included community concerns, advertising, church, sporting and club news, weather, transport and shopping information, poetry, and stories of local identities.
The magazine was the official organ of the Blackwood, Coromandel and Belair Club Literary Society in which the editors sought to address their belief that the local area “does not receive that attention which its unique natural attractions and the talents of its inhabitants deserve.” (The Blackwood Magazine January 2014 p3.)
Aimed at giving contemporary readers a snapshot of the lives, times and issues of hills residents 100 years ago, and how times have changed, the series will encourage readers to preserve the special community spirit that has always existed in the Mitcham Hills.
Reading the first issue, no one could doubt how proud the editors were of their local area.
The Blackwood spirit is the essence of kindliness, simplicity, brotherliness, and above all,
loyalty. In our experience few can live in Blackwood without assimilating that spirit very largely. For the barbarian from the suburbs who comes to live among us with all his vices thick upon him, is soon so tamed, so softened, that he might have been born in the midst of us. January 2014 p6.
Just 12 months and 12 issues later, the magazine ceased publication.
When Great Britain declared war against Austria and Hungary in August 1914, the Australian government sent troops in support. Far away and insignificant as Blackwood may have seemed on the world stage, the beginning of World War I had a great impact on its magazine.
Many a good man has been hung for no fault of his own, and ‘The Blackwood Magazine’, because the Kaiser has chosen to embroil the world, is to be suspended. We bid our readers farewell with a good heart, and a confident belief that they will read us once again. (The Blackwood Magazine December 2014 p1.)
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