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History preserved

Daryna ZadvirnaGreat Southern Herald
Lost Katanning's Arthur Todd.
Camera IconLost Katanning's Arthur Todd. Credit: Liam Croy

After dedicating more than six years of his life to research, a Katanning historian has published a book about how the heart of the Great Southern started beating.

Arthur Todd’sKatanning — A Look Back started with the creation of his website, Lost Katanning.

“A lot of research went into that website and I just thought people might want to have a keepsake of our earliest history,” he said.

“This particular book looks back at probably the first 50 years of settlement in Katanning.

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“It goes right back to the earliest European history with the explorers that came through the area, it talks about how Katanning got its name ... and the first people that started working in the area.”

The Lost Katanning book also features information on Aboriginal history, war veterans, buildings and local government.

Mr Todd said while the European settlement in his book was relatively detailed, he would love to include more Aboriginal history.

He encouraged Katanning’s Noongar community to share their stories.

Originally from Perth, he said Katanning had captured his heart and prompted him to look into the town’s past.

He moved to Katanning at the age of 19, when he started working as the paymaster and ticket clerk at the Katanning Railway Station.

“When I first arrived, there were 105 men and one woman on the payroll at the station and I married that woman and so I’m still here,” he said.

Mr Todd was a Shire councillor for eight years and in 2019 was Katanning Senior Citizen of the Year. His book is available from www.lostkatanning.com.

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