Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Derwent Valley photo mystery

HYDRO Tasmania is seeking the public’s help to identify the students and teachers featured in an archival Derwent Valley school photo. The photo, which appears below, is believed to be of the class of 1935 at the Tarraleah State School. They would be the children of Hydro workers involved in the construction of the Tarraleah Power Station which opened in 1938.

Do you know the names of any of these students and teachers at Tarraleah
in 1935? The Hydro would love to know and so would we.
Click image to enlarge.
Hydro Tasmania wants to discover their identities and find out if any are alive or have family in the state, so the company can recognise their role in Hydro history as part of the work it is doing to celebrate its centenary later in the year.

The centenary recognises the creation of the original Hydro-Electric Department in October 1914 which was later known as the Hydro-Electric Commission, the Hydro-Electric Corporation and now as Hydro Tasmania. Despite these name changes, it has been known and claimed by Tasmanians for generations simply as "the Hydro".

“The photo reflects a time when thousands of Tasmanians lived in Hydro villages constructed to cater for the workers and their families throughout the development of Tasmania’s world-famous hydropower system,” Hydro spokesman Lara Van den Berg said.

“We know where the photo was taken but have been unable to identify the students or their teachers. What we are asking for is the public’s help in putting names to these young faces and their teachers. We believe that the children would now be well into their 80s and we are hoping many of them will not only be alive but still living in Tasmania. Hopefully, they or family members will see the photo and can help us solve the puzzle.

 “If we can track them down we would like to find out their story and hopefully share it with others. The stories of the people who built the Hydro and made it what it is today are central to the centenary celebrations. We would love to discover these children’s stories and make them part of the event.”

Anyone knowing any details about the people in the photo can contact Hydro Tasmania via email at, phone 1300 360 441 or post to Hydro Tasmania Centenary, GPO Box 355, Hobart 7001. The Hydro is also asking anyone with a connection to the business and its history to share their stories and photos through the centenary website at

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