When Northern Tasmanians awoke to the surprising sight of snow on Wednesday, it had many asking if something like it had ever happened before.
Now, the search for more details around Launceston’s last major snowfall has been given further clarity, thanks to one keen historian.
After the Bureau of Meteorology compared Wednesday’s event to a similar one in 1921, Launceston Historical Society president Marion Sargent went digging for proof.
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What she uncovered were remarkable photos that appeared in The Weekly Courier, published by The Examiner, of Launceston residents playing in snow on High Street some 99 years ago.
“Sunday’s great snowstorm is effectively mirrored in this week’s Courier,” an article from The Examiner, August 3, 1921 reads.
“A fine selection of pictures was obtained of scenes in and around Hobart, and these convey a striking impression of the heavy fall that was experienced in the south.
“A snowballing scene in Launceston is also included. There are nearly three pages of snow pictures and these will represent a splendid record of one of the biggest snowstorms experienced in Tasmania.”
Ms Sargent was able to find the articles with assistance from Launceston Library staff and digitised records available on Trove.
She said finding the high resolution photos felt like she had struck gold, and further highlighted the importance of good historical records.
“I think events like this really need to be documented so people in the future can find out about them,” she said,
“Because it’s obvious that this sort of thing interests people.
“Even in 1921, everyone was arguing about when the last big snowfall was.
“They decided it was about 25 years earlier, with a few bits in between, but only sprinkles.
“It was exactly the same case on Wednesday, with everyone trying to work out if it had happened before.”
Other major snow falls in Launceston have been reported in 1957 and 1986, however digitised Trove records for The Examiner don’t got past 1954.
Ms Sargent said if the snow fall was to happen again in another 100 years time, there would at least be plenty of documented history available from the 2020 event.
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