WW Public Archives

History of cwwpa.org

After I retired from Council around 2011(?) I was looking for a project to progress. As a geographer/historian I was thinking of a historical perspective. So I joined the Willoughby District Historical Society and soon became their Secretary. I noted that interest in the West Ward did not seem to have the same focus for the other easterly part of Willoughby City.

So I set out on a journey of recording the history of West Ward. Also having fairly tuned IT skill especially with simple web sites I had a look at the Society’s web site as a publishing platform.

The Historical Society’s website had been set up and maintained by an enthusiastic member who had recently moved away. So, I took it over. A big mistake. The site appeared to have been developed using Apple based product. I big feature of the product was the use of style sheets to ensure a consistent look and feel and easy maintenance. The volunteer obviously had no understanding of the product. Every page had its own menu structure. Many were different. It was a nightmare to work with. They only way I found to get ahead was to actually program the pages in HTML code.

In the past I had used emerging WIKI technology to development website. Free, easy to use, easy to maintain. But, not widely adopted.

On the other hand WordPress was widely used. It was free (with paid for upgrades if wanted) had a variety of templates with a large user and support base. So I selected WordPress as the server environment (cloud). I started collating historical information about West Ward.

What should I call the site? I decided on Chatswood West Ward Public Archives. Somewhere to highlight West Ward’s incredible social history. I then acquired the domain name cwwpa.org.

It was serendipitous. After I re-engaged with the Progress Association I was asked to set up a West ward website.  I already had the infrastructure and some content.

Terry Fogarty (Former Deputy Mayor & West Ward Councillour)