Historical homework worth the research
By Megan Cunneen
BERIS Gaal is quite the expert on her family's history after spending more than 20 years collecting the secrets hidden among the leaves of the Whittred family tree.
Mrs Gaal put together the book A Dynasty Cast in Dough, which compiled stories and tales gathered from four generations of Whittred family bakers.
"Doing the research opened up a lot of secrets to me," Mrs Gaal said.
For her efforts, she was recently awarded a highly commended in the annual Queensland Family History Society competition and, while she is proud of her award, learning more about her family's history was far more rewarding. "I met a number of my relatives that I had never met before and those who were close relations I got to know a lot better," she said.
The Whittred family was prominent in the Bundaberg area and originally owned and operated a bakery at 30 Princess Street.
This week is the inaugural Family History Week, which celebrates Australia's appetite for genealogy. Mrs Gaal encourages every8one to look into their family history, whether it is to compile a book or just a basic family tree. "Everyone's got a history and everyone's life is important," she said.
"It is important to your children and grandchildren to know about their lives."
To coincide with National Family History week, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, along with the National Family History Association, will hold an open day today at its Family History Centre on Bingera Street.