31 March 2023

Temora Rural Museum celebrates 50 years of local history and heritage

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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Temora Citizen of the Year Mrs Roslyn Hartwig, Steph Cooke MP, WWII veteran Mr Bill Harris, Temora Shire Council Mayor Mr Rick Firman and Bundawarrah Centre manager Mr Bill Speirs. Photo: Supplied.

Temora Rural Museum recently celebrated its golden jubilee, with about 600 visitors attending a “fantastic” event to mark the occasion.

Located at the Bundawarrah Centre, the museum began as an agricultural museum, opening its doors on 10 March 1973, and today it is home to many of Temora’s attractions and modern facilities.

The museum’s manager Bill Spiers said the 50th celebration was a fantastic day.

“Back in the 1960s and 70s it was the low-hanging fruit,” he said. “We got a very good agricultural collection and beyond that, we’ve expanded significantly.

“We’ve got a very good textile collection and in recent years we’ve gone down the track of preserving emergency services exhibitions … we’ve got a community engagement centre that focuses on all the historic vehicles of Rural Fire Services in NSW.

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“We’ve also got a complementary exhibition of Fire and Rescue,” he said.

In 2014 the museum signed a memorandum of understanding with New South Wales Ambulance and now holds the entire heritage collection.

Mr Spiers said the museum was displaying what it could and was in the process of developing an exhibition that looked at the entire NSW Ambulance Service.

“It’s a wonderful thing for the region to have a state collection … it’s a gift from God,” he said.

Mr Speirs said the museum had had a strong cohort of volunteers since its inception. There have been up to 25 active volunteers working in the museum every Saturday.

“Our volunteers are very much involved in maintaining and restoring vehicles and the exhibits.

Temora Mayor Rick Firman said the milestone was a tremendous achievement, and all those who had served as volunteers could be proud of their contributions.

“We particularly acknowledge the long-serving, foundation president, the late Ron Maslin, his son, Mr Robert Maslin (current president), as well as the museum manager, Mr Bill Speirs.

“It was a terrific day, all age groups and walks of life enjoying a unique experience of yesteryear. People come from everywhere to see this special, live display.

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“It’s important to salute our rich past and learn from it, as well as being committed to our future. Our Bundawarrah Centre is growing all the time and it’s a very exciting time.”

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said she was delighted to join Temora Citizen of the Year, Mrs Ros Hartwig, to officially open the 50th celebrations and live exhibition.

“I have seen many changes to the Temora Museum over the years, all of which have encouraged more and more visitors to the area, boosting the local economy,” Ms Cooke said.

“Over 6000 people visit the museum each year to see the amazing collection.

“This walk back in history is made possible thanks to the 70 local volunteers and over 400 members of the Historical Society.

“The golden jubilee is a credit to all the members and volunteers, and these celebrations are also a way of saying thank you for all you do.”

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