Heritage Centre over Winter

Our regular Saturday morning open times are in recess over winter and will resume in September.

For group bookings and enquiries please ring Janet 03 5826 2363.

Other enquires please ring 0475 018 743 and leave a message. The telephone is not checked every day but we will answer your enquiry as soon as possible.

Email messages will be answered more promptly.

Thank-you, Kay Ball, President.

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Wonderful Trip to Costume Collection

Many will remember Bryan and Loel Thomson who owned Noorilim for many years – a very beautiful property that they restored and shared with the community for many fundraising events and were a tremendous supporter of the Murchison Historical Society. During their time at Noorilim, Loel built a spectacular Museum and collection of costume and accessories. They are now well established in Bulleen since relocating to Melbourne where Loel has recreated the Museum.

1950’s display

Eye catching exhibit

Twenty nine members and friends had the most wonderful day on a coach trip to the Costume Collection at the Thomson’s in Bulleen on 4th of May. It is hard to give an adequate description of the displays so well presented by Loel; they are varied, professionally exhibited, cleverly presented and reflecting Australian social history – right through from mid 1800’s to the 1980’s – just amazing! The information accompanying the displays is fascinating and Loel faithfully attends to every detail, as well as providing an often humorous and thorough introductory talk on arrival. Bryan has motoring memorabilia on display as well, enjoyed by the men folk as well as the ladies.

Clever display with reflection

The weather was showery so we enjoyed our picnic lunch at tables set up in the motoring display area on the lower floor.

Sadly Bryan and Loel’s days at this ideal location are numbered as the property has been compulsorily acquired for an extension to the freeway. Finding a suitable person to take over this very special collection of costume is a work in progress.

Our group were so pleased we planned this trip to the Costume Collection and to catch up with the Thomson’s when we did, for one last very enjoyable visit.

Display of shoes over the years

Laundry scene


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ANZAC Day 2018

Each year hundreds of Murchison families gather at the dawn service on ANZAC Day to remember those that fought in wars for our freedom. It is always a moving service, starting in the dark before dawn and continuing as the sun rises to reveal our garden surroundings in the early morning light.

The war memorials in Murchison Riverbank Gardens and the floral tributes placed on the monument during the service.

They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old: 

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning,

We will remember them.


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Lively Annual General Meeting

It was great to see a good roll up of members at the AGM of the Murchison Historical Society on 20th of March.
The Presidents report related many activities reflecting another successful year. Highlight of the past year was the winning of the Cultural Heritage Award for the development of the Heritage Centre which now provides a great experience for visitors and improved facilities for volunteers to care for the Collection and promote Murchison’s unique history. Another achievement was the launch of Art Captured during History Week, the story of Hans Wolter von Gruenewaldt and his art relating to his time spent in POW Camp 13 Murchison. The book has been well received and can be purchased for $25. at the Heritage Centre in Murchison, Tatura Museum and Shepparton Information Centre or mail order by telephoning 0475 018 743 (postage extra).
Results of the Election of Office bearers for the coming year were as follows: President – Kay Ball, Vice President and Treasurer – Jeff Huddle, Secretary – Marg Lock, Committee – John Ball, Janet Clark, Warwick Finlay, Gloria Polkinghorne and we welcomed a new face on the Committee – Warwick Gregory.
Our guest Speaker was Geoff Allemand from Lost Shepparton who shared the story of the development of the Lost Shepparton Facebook page and the success of this medium in bringing images to light that relate events and places long forgotten and photographs that may well have ended up at the tip! Information is contributed when the events, people, places or buildings no longer in existence are identified. Followers treasure the memories that the photographs help to recall. It is an amazing record of Shepparton’s past that could well have been lost and forgotten. Geoff has helped to set up sites for many other towns in the Goulburn Valley as well. The link to the site is: https://www.facebook.com/lostshepparton/ Several books have resulted in the material that has been gained via the Lost Shepparton site and they are a great collection of images giving a pictorial history of Shepparton long forgotten. Members enjoyed meeting and talking to Geoff and learning about his work.

Margaret Brown presented Geoff with a gift of appreciation.

Members of the Society looks forward to the coming year and working to further develop resources and promote the history of the Murchison district.

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Our next meeting is the ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING and it will be held on

                                               Tuesday 20th of March 2018 at 7.30pm

in the Heritage Centre.

Our Guest speaker will be GEOFF ALLEMAND from Lost Shepparton Shop

All welcome.

The meeting will be followed by supper.

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The Sad Tale of John Edge


John Gribben

Local Historian, John Gribben was guest speaker at the general meeting of the Murchison Historical Society this month. He spoke about his research into the life of a young boy called John Edge, who met a sad and lonely death while working on an isolated property near Molka, south east of Murchison in 1894.
During a tour of Euroa Cemetery recently, John became intrigued to know what had led to this child, supposedly an orphan, to be lying in an unmarked grave in the Euroa Cemetery.  There were many twists and turns and confusing information as John tried to find out the background to the life of this young boy who was found dead on the side of a nearby creek.
The sad circumstances of disjointed, violent family life, neglect and abandonment, were revealed through the research and this obviously affected the health and growth of John Edge. His father had handed the boy, who was in a filthy and ‘wasted’ condition, to Miss. Sutherland, who helped abandoned needy children on the streets of Melbourne. Her work was to eventually lead to the foundation of the Sutherland Homes for Neglected and Destitute Children in 1908.

Miss. Selina Sutherland, pictured with children at a Christmas party at Sutherland Homes in Carlton, 1908, courtesy of Diamond Valley Local History Digitisation Project, Yarra Plenty Regional Library. Selina Sutherland, pictured with children at a Christmas party at Sutherland Homes in Carlton

Miss. Sutherland had arranged for John Edge to be placed with a family near Euroa, and it seems his ‘cleanliness’ and health improved there, but he was described as partly deaf and “slow witted” no doubt due to malnourishment and many years of possible abuse. He was moved for employment to a farm nearby and according to an account of the inquest into his death, did not appear to receive the same care and attention there.
Following the inquest, and together with other similar cases, many questions were raised throughout the community, in the press, and also in the Victorian Parliament, about safeguards for vulnerable children. This led to the establishment of the Victorian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in 1896, to assist children that found themselves in dire circumstances like John Edge, a small undernourished child who sadly only lived to be 8 years old. So perhaps John Edge’s death was instrumental in bringing about significant protection for neglected and abandoned children and he did not die entirely in vain.
John Gribben plans to place a plaque on a sizable rock near where John Edge died, telling his story so that he is not forgotten and his short, sad life can have some recognition.
It was a tortuous journey trying to piece this tragedy together but John Gribben persisted, trawling through newspapers and official documents, til a clearer picture emerged and all this work will now have a positive outcome.

Marg Brown thanked John for his intriguing presentation and presented him with a gift of local produce.

Kay Ball, President, Murchison and District Historical Society Inc.

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Australia Day in Murchison

The Murchison Australia Day Committee do a really great job in organising a wonderful event every year and it just seems to get better and better!
This year we had Dr. Sharman Stone as our guest speaker. Sharman is now the
Ambassador for Women and Girls with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
In her address Sharman related the stories of two hard working ‘ordinary’ Australians who made an impact on many lives and received officially recognition of their achievements; Pastor Doug Nicholls who was knighted for his work to promote Aboriginal rights and Albert Borella, whose bravery earned him a Victoria Cross during WW1. Both men persevered against all odds to succeed.

We were entertained by Bec Hence firstly leading us in the National Anthem and then singing two great songs with very suitable themes following on from Sharman Stone’s address about the privileges of living in Australia, showing tolerance between many different cultures, valuing what our country provides, and that we can all achieve great things by good honest work, and mateship.

Denni Bathman was the Junior Speaker this year. Denni was one of the Murchison Primary School Captains for 2017 and counted it an honour to represent the school at many functions throughout the year. Denni said she had a great year in this role and learnt many leadership skills. She is passionate about her local community and all that the town offers. Denni will attend Notre Dame College this year.

Denni Bathman delivering her speech

It was delightful to see the littlest members of our town confidently walk up the dais steps to receive prizes and certificates for colouring and essay competitions. The photography competition had 54 entries this year – some wonderful images on show for the theme ‘3610 – Love Where You Live’. The judges had a tough time deciding the winners. First prize went to Sandy Sullivan for a photo entitled ‘Perfection’ – an image of relaxing by the river.

The Junior Soccer Team had a very good year with very few matches lost and also received recognition with the Sports Award.

Young Citizen of the Year of the Year was awarded to Sara Louise Niglia, a very talented 25 year old teacher with many qualifications and accomplishments associated with sport. Sara’s outstanding achievement in 2017 was coaching a local teenager to win the Under 20 Oceania Weight Lifting Championship. Sara is taking up a teaching position at a Secondary School in Kew this year.

Sara Niglia Young Citizen of the Year with Dr.Sharman Stone

A happy Una Stone with her Citizen of the Year Award

Citizen of the Year was our wonderful senior citizen, Una Stone who is indeed a deserving recipient of the honour. Una has been a caring supporter of people and every organisation in the town for many, many years. She is renowned for supplying superb food and baking when there is an occasion or fundraising event, without ever receiving any payment. Her jelly slices and ginger fluff sponges are mouth-watering! But more than this she is a quiet, behind the scenes supporter for those in need.

It was a very hot day and being at the swimming pool was a great location and of course the Duck Grand Prix was a suitable event to hold in the heat. The children in the water had a splashing good time!


Lining up for the beginning of the Duck Grand Prix!

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