This riveting new book is about New Norcia’s first photographer, Walter William Thwaites. The outcome of a six-week stay at New Norcia in 1896 was a collection of almost forty images of this unique Hispano- Aboriginal community, which promised to fulfil Bishop Rosendo Salvado’s vision of a self-sufficient monastery-cum mission set in the still-isolated Victoria Plains district. Previously attributed to the Bishop’s elder brother, Dom Santos Salvado, who lived at New Norcia between 1869 and 1879 and was its unofficial photographer, closer examination has shown the on-the-spot photographs to have been Thwaites’ unique work, guided by Garrido’s wishes. To call them ‘iconic’ is an under-statement.
Bob Reece was able to carry out his research to support from the Dom Placid Spearritt Scholarship fund.