BILLY Butterfly, Radio Dave and Herman the German all now rest in Ballarat’s past, but Carolyn Sanders wants to bring them back to the present.
The University of Ballarat professional writing and editing student is researching these Ballarat identities in the hope to write short biographies of them.
“I’d never heard of them until a few weeks ago, but ever since they have taken my fascination and I want to learn more,” Ms Sanders said.
“Everyone seems to have a story about them – especially the older generation – you ask if they remember them and they all light up and say yes and go on to tell you their own story.”
Ms Sanders described the characters as a big part of Ballarat’s history that had never been documented.
“These are important people in Ballarat’s history whose stories are worthwhile telling – even though they weren’t mayor, and they didn’t find gold, they were still prominent characters,” she said.
“They had a direct influence on Ballarat culture just through who they were as people.”
Ms Sanders has come across bits and pies of information so far, but would like to find more.
“Butterfly lane was named after Billy Butterfly, as he lived most of his life in a hut in Llanberris Reserve,” she said.
“Radio Dave was a character – and he too had his connections. He had a seat at the Australian Pie Coffee Shop where he went in and had a pie ever day.
“There are rumours around Herman the German – even though he was seen sleeping on park benches and said to have carried all his belongings in a supermarket bag, many thought he had hidden wealth.”
If you have any information on these people, or in particular are a relation, please get in contact with Ms Sanders by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling The Courier.