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Wodonga by the book

MORE has happened in Wodonga in the past 17 years than the previous 150, the author of a new history of the city believes.
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Former Border Mail journalist Howard Jones made the observationafter the launch on Thursday of Wodonga Across Three Centuries, his159-page work examining the city’s past.

It follows his 1998book Wodonga City: A Jubilee History, which marked 25 years since the rural council was established.

“The 17 years since then have been the most exciting in Wodonga, the most gung-ho,” Jones said.

“More things have happened in that time than the previous 150.”

They include the removal of the railway from the CBD, the development of White Box Rise, construction of a new swimming pool and The Cube performing arts centre.

Jones said he believed hispublicationshowed the councilwas in better financialshape than generally thought.

“I hope this book, describing many of the city’s achievement in many areas, will counter a lot of negative criticism about the council,” Jonessaid.

“The debt of $25million today is actually less, in real dollar terms, than what it was under the old council in 1994.

“It was then $18 million, a sum that today would equate to $32 million today.

“Against the liabilities, look at all the assets this city now has.”

Mayor Rodney Wangman launched the book at Wodonga’slibrary beforecouncillor Eric Kerr and inaugural female mayor Pam Stone.

Cr Wangman called Jonesthe doyen of writing Wodonga history and said Wodonga Across Three Centuries would be invaluable to the council.

It contains lists of mayors, citizens and young citizens of the year and Eagle award winners.

Although the book was commissioned by the council, Jones said it was “not a PR exercise”.

“(Cr Wangman) never told me ‘don’t put that in’ or ‘do put this in’,” Jones said.

Wodonga Across Three Centuries is available for $25 from Wodonga’s library, visitor information centre and council chambers.

updated look back: Howard Jones with his new book which takes in advances in Wodonga such as The Cube. Picture: MARK JESSER

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