Every second year in early November, while punters grab their hats and wallets and head to the Melbourne Cup, The Frinj comes to Natimuk. Or Natimuk becomes the Frinj. A big arty farty fun festival that brings people flocking to town, and is an absolute joy for the inhabitants of our not so sleepy little town.
The Frinj Festival starts with a Hay and Thespian Mardi Gras (*) Parade on the Friday. It used to be that no one was watching it, because everyone was in it! These days, quite a few visitors line the street, and a significant amount of locals let their hair down in the Parade.
(*) this is a word play, courtesy of the inimitable Greg Pritchard, based on the name of the organisation auspicing the do ( ACT, Arapiles Community Theatre) and the fact that, well, we live surrounded by farmland.
For the Arapiles Historical Society, the Frinj is an opportunity to share our history with the younger generation, the newcomers, and the visitors. There will be a display this year at the Garage, and Jennette Sudholz, researcher, has been busy gathering information on the fourth wave of inhabitants to the Wimmera, the German settlers who came from South Australia. We do possess an original German wagon ( from the Werner Family), which was part of the fourth wave of settlers/visitors to the area, after the first people - the Duanbarap-, Major Mitchell's expedition (1836) and the squatters - such as the Wilson brothers (1844) and others. (**)
The German families came from the Mount Gambier- Penola area and stopped at the lake, with the Haustorfer, Speher and Klowss families first filling in land applications in 1871. (**)
Jennette , along with a few other dedicated volunteers, can be found most Tuesdays afternoon at the AHS Research and Archives Old Masonic Lodge home researching the history of our area.
(**) From Allan Lockwood's book, Natimuk... The First Hundred Years