Mildura Weekly : Friday July 18 Vol 8 No 37
www.milduraweekly.com.au 12 Mildura Weekly – 18/07/14 Rudi and the Gestapo connection • From Page 8 It was here that Rudi and six of his mates decided they’d had enough and deserted, bribing an American sailor to smuggle them on board a cargo ship, which took them via Japan to San Francisco, where they jumped ship. After spending months cadg- ing rides on trains and trucks, tak- ing odd jobs, Rudi and one of his mates gave themselves up to the German Consulate in New York, and were promptly shipped back to Hamburg. Rudi lived for a time in Hannover before saving up and catching an ocean liner called the ‘Roma’ to Australia. He made his way to Morwell, found casual work, and saved enough to buy a BSA motorbike that he used to travel through the LaTrobe Valley and later, eastern and northern Australia. Wes recounted how Rudi eventually ended up in Mildura, attracted by advertisements for fruit pickers in Mildura, with the promise of “making some big money.” It was November when they arrived, picking didn’t start until February, so Rudi got a job at Red Cliffs, where a new power sta- tion was being built. His ‘home’ was a tent on the bank of the Murray, and every morning Rudi would swim across the river and back for exercise. He later got a job putting in the PMG telephone line from Mildura to Canberra. Rudi was a keen dancer, and it was during one of the popu- lar dance nights at the Murray Moon that he met his wife-to-be, Joan Trood, working on her fam- ily’s Karawinna farm before their wedding in 1955. After that they moved to Adelaide for a year, and on their return to Mildura Rudi went share farming in the Mille- wa for six years before moving into Mildura and starting work at Syd Mills Motors. The couple had two children, Margaret and Peter, and over the years the family enjoyed many adventures, including a 1973 holiday through Europe, where Rudi was able to show them his place of birth in Germany, and in- troduce them to his family. They went again in 1980, touring Italy, Spain, France, Holland, Belgium and the UK before again visiting family in Germany. In 1982 it was Hong Kong and China, the Philippines and Singapore, and four years later it was a car trip through Europe, then Greece and Egypt. According to Wes, Rudi spoke fondly of the family’s last over- seas trips, firstly in April of 2005, when they went back to Germany for Silver Wedding anniversary celebrations, and then the follow- ing year, again for surprise anni- versary celebrations. Their only travels after that were closer to home, to Mel- bourne and Adelaide to visit family and friends, trips that just weren’t the same from 2009, when Rudi lost Joan, his wife of 54 years. He confided in Wes. “She was a lovely woman, but now I am on my own,” he said. “I miss her very much...you only find out how much you loved someone when it is too late.” And Wes said that was very much the case with Rudi. “He was an exceptional man,” Wes said. “A good man, with an interest- ing and adventure-packed back- ground, and Mildura is all the poorer for his passing.” • The infamous Nazi ‘death’s head.’ LA Trobe University has cel- ebrated the recent launch of its 10th annual Edge of the Outback photography exhi- bition at its Mildura campus. The program – launched in 2004 – is a 24-day inten- sive photography subject of lectures, workshops, field trips and digital photogra- phy for students participat- ing in La Trobe’s internation- al ‘Study Abroad’ program. Edge of the Outback is co-ordinated by the La Trobe Art Institute, with director Neil Fettling saying he was excited to be celebrating the project’s 10th anniversary. “This is a significant milestone – more than 400 students have participated in the program over the last 10 years, and have built up an extraordinary US-based alumni who all keep in touch,” he said. “For students participat- ing, often it is their first time away from their country of birth so there is an enor- mous amount of growth for them – aside from learning about photography. “They actually learn out- side the generic classroom – we teach out in the land- scape and learn photogra- phy through isolated parts of regional Australia. “It provides great insight from an outsider’s perspec- tive that we living in this country often take for grant- ed.” The exhibition – featur- ing some “extraordinary work” captured by students as part of the trip – will re- main on show at the ADFA Building of La Trobe’s Mil- dura Campus for the next two weeks. Viewing of the exhibi- tion is by appointment only, with those interested asked to contact 5051 4000 for more information. Prints can also be pur- chased for $100. Edge of the Outback 10-year anniversary • ARTWORK MILESTONE: Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences, Professor Tim Murray, and Director of La Trobe Art Institute Neil Fettling at the recent Edge of the Outback exhibition, ABOVE, launch.
Friday July 11 Vol 8 No 36
Friday July 25 Vol 8 No 38