World War II silk souvenir given to Redland Museum

DONATION: Kath McNeilly from the Redland Museum, with councillor Paul Golle and Olivene Lagerroth. Photo: Cheryl Goodenough

DONATION: Kath McNeilly from the Redland Museum, with councillor Paul Golle and Olivene Lagerroth. Photo: Cheryl Goodenough

A CHAT with a hairdresser has led to a silk souvenir from World War II being handed over to the Redland Museum.

The silk scarf was one of many items Olivene Lagerroth has taken to show hairdresser Gayle Rushton during weekly appointments at the Marebello aged care facility where Mrs Lagerroth lives.

SOUVENIR: The silk souvenir of the front page of the Selma Times-Journal of September 2, 1945.

SOUVENIR: The silk souvenir of the front page of the Selma Times-Journal of September 2, 1945.

“She told me a Japanese man had handed the souvenir to her husband when Japan surrendered during World War II,” Ms Rushton said.

“Olivene said she didn’t know what to do with it.

“I said it should go to a museum so it can be preserved.”

Mrs Lagerroth said her hairdresser had recognised the significance of the item.

“She contact the Redland Museum and arranged it all,” she said.

The souvenir is a silk square with an impression of the front page of a newspaper depicting the Japanese surrender during World War II.

HISTORIC PICTURES: Photographs of Ron Lagerroth were among the items that had been stored with the silk scarf from 1945.

HISTORIC PICTURES: Photographs of Ron Lagerroth were among the items that had been stored with the silk scarf from 1945.

The newspaper is The Selma Times-Journal, published in Alabama in the United States.

It is dated Sunday morning, September 2, 1945.

Mrs Lagerroth’s husband, Herbert Ronald Lagerroth, who was known as Ron, grew up in Bardon and was enlisted in 1941.

He served as a soldier with the occupational forces in Nagasaki.

The family later moved to the Redlands and the silk scarf has been stored with photographs, other silk items and Mr Lagerroth’s record of service books from the 1940s.

Mr Lagerroth died in 2008, when he was aged nearly 90.

Councillor Paul Golle provided funding under the Councillor’s Small Grants for the souvenir to be framed.

Speaking at a morning tea to celebrate the donation to Redland Museum, Cr Golle said it was magnificent that the piece of history could be presented in the Redlands.

“It will be held in the Redland Museum for generations to see,” he said.

Museum representative Kath McNeilly said the donation would be installed in a special room for military items at the museum.