Whittlesea’s rich history will be in the spotlight throughout October as part of Yarra Plenty Regional Library’s (YPRL) local history month.

Local historians and groups will present talks, tours, stories and displays at YPRL’s four branches in the city, sharing their passion for the community and its past.

Among them will be the Friends of Westgarthtown, who will screen their new film,

Westgarthtown and World War I, shot at Ziebell’s Farmhouse in Thomastown.

The film, funded by a federal government Anzac centenary grant, documents the treatment of German descendants living in Westgarthtown – a heritage-registered precinct in the Melbourne suburbs of Thomastown and Lalor – during the war and the experiences of their relatives, who were fighting for Australia.

Friends of Westgarthtown president John Fry says the film is based on research by the group’s historian, Robert Wuchatsch.

His research found about 70 descendants of the German settlers of Westgarthtown fought for Australia. The 15-minute film tells of three families from Westgarthtown who had relatives fighting overseas.

“The key message is the juxtaposition between the experience of German descendants fighting for Australia and their relatives who were facing racism in Australia,” Mr Fry says.

“There’s a parallel with the experiences of Muslims living in Australia now.”

The film will be screened at the Thomastown library, 52 Main Street, Thomastown, on Wednesday, October 19, from 11am-noon.

For more information about local history month, visit: www.yprl.vic.gov.au

John Fry. Photo by Damjan Janevski.

John Fry. Photo by Damjan Janevski.