Small Towns and Big Ideas

By M.J. MacNally
The Mail (Adelaide, SA : 1912 - 1954) Saturday 8 August 1936

The little village of Oberammergau, in Bavaria, is famous the world over for its Passion play. The villagers stage manage, produce, and dress this drama representing the sufferings and death of Jesus Christ in the most perfect way. It is the Mecca of thousands of people, some of whom are attracted by curiosity, but the majority by a devout and religious feeling.

It is a far call from Bavaria to Murray Bridge, South Australia. Castlemaine, Victoria, and Cessnock, New South Wales, but in these small towns are people just as thoughtful, just as enterprising, and possessing great minds as the people of this little German hamlet. It is astounding to dwellers in cities that these little out-of-the-way places of few inhabitants and with meagre means at their disposal can rise above this materialistic work-a-day world and accomplish more than a big capital like Adelaide in spite of Government backing and the artistic taste and knowledge of a lord mayor and his aldermen.

For we learn that Prof. Bernard Heinze on his annual pilgrimage to country centres in search of musical talent discovered in the village of Cessnock, New South Wales, a town peopled almost exclusively by miners and their families, a symphony orchestra of 36 performers, with a small boy who bids fair to become one of the world's greatest violin virtuosi as leader.

This orchestra specialises in the works of the masters, and it gave such a performance that this great and able musician was utterly astounded; the more so as neither he nor anyone else was aware of its existence. This is a very wonderful thing, and there are many other wonderful things taking place in small Australian townships of which 98 per cent of people in cities are unaware.

"Small Towns and Bio Ideas." The Mail (Adelaide, SA : 1912 - 1954) 8 Aug 1936: 10. Web. 25 Feb 2013 <>.

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