2020 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

Annual General Meetings can be dull affairs and poorly attended as some people think they might get roped into a job! But a good roll up, reports that reflected our year’s positive achievements, seeing some wonderful archival photos not seen before of the Goulburn Weir under construction, meant the meeting was not dull.    

Guest Speaker was Paul Borbely, Goulburn Weir Storage Manager who told us the facts and figures about this impressive structure that is over 100 years old; an engineering masterpiece that has International Heritage status. It was great to see the images from the 1890’s when it was being built.

Our past year was dominated by the planning and then the actual delivery of the 50th Anniversary Murchison Meteorite celebrations in September – Rock on Murchison. It was a mammoth effort and our Australia Day Community Event of the Year Award for Murchison and also for the whole of Greater Shepparton acknowledged its success. The town has benefitted from the Event not only with wonderful memories, but with some tangible assets. We have the outstanding murals on the eastern wall of the Heritage Centre building, a labyrinth and new information panels in Meteorite Park, a comprehensive account in the new book Space Gem, and Meteorite Cow was returned to River Bank Gardens in time for the celebration, sporting a newly painted day time scene in keeping with the correct time of day when the Meteorite fell. The $1 Murchison meteorite postage stamp is now part of the Australia Post collection and in the albums of many serious stamp collectors. We have a record of the Scientists talks on film and an amazing recording of the school children’s composition of space music.    

We participated in Greater Shepparton Heritage Open Days in March with our Heritage Centre open over the two days and also guided an Irrigation History Bus Tour. The promotion of the book Lost Boys by Paul Byrnes took place in November. Opportunities to promote our Society were at Day’s Mill Open Day in May, the Anglican Car Boot Sale in October, and street stalls prior to Christmas and on the Australia Day weekend. Website visitors since set up in 2011 total 39,700 and the website promoting Rock on Murchison together with social media received thousands of contacts.

Visitors to the Heritage Centre were up as were the number of groups visiting, plus we estimated 1600 contacts during Rock on Murchison.

Answering requests for family history and other information and regular Saturday morning openings continued as well as the faithful team cataloguing our photographs, document and artefacts throughout the year. Grateful thanks are due to the many thousands of hours given to the work of the Society by our Volunteers.

Nine new members were welcomed this year and three members have moved away from our area so our membership stands at 36.

We increased our range of books for sale with the reproduction of In Search of our Days and From Protectorate to Smaller Premier Town, and publishing Space Gem – mysteries of the Murchison Meteorite of course and 175 Years of Agriculture at Murchison plus the three large display panels complimenting the agriculture story. 

Executive Committee members for the coming year are: President – Kay Ball, Vice President – Warwick Gregory, Secretary – Marg Lock, Treasurer – Bec Hutchinson-White, Committee – Janet Clarke, John Ball and Rob Cornelious. Retiring from the executive team after many faithful years of contribution are Gloria Polkinghorne, Warwick Finlay and Jeff Huddle. We will still be able to call on them for assistance especially when visitors ask those questions that only long-term residents of Murchison can answer!

We look forward to the coming year with more projects planned.

Kay Ball, President, Murchison & District Historical Society

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HERITAGE CENTRE CLOSED

The Murchison Heritage Centre is closed until further notice as a health and safety measure relating to the Coronavirus. We apologise for any inconvenience and suggest contacting the Society via email for any enquiries, thank you.

Email: murchison-historical-society@hotmail.com

Kay Ball, President

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ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

The Annual General Meeting of Murchison & District Historical Society Inc. will be held at 7.30pm on Tuesday 17th March 2020 at the Murchison Heritage Centre, 4 Stevenson Street, Murchison.

Election of office bearers will take place and annual subscriptions are due and payable on the night, EFTpos facilities are available.

Our Guest Speaker will be Paul Borbely, Goulburn Weir Storage Manager from Goulburn Murray Water. Irrigation and the Goulburn Weir are a significant part of Murchison’s history, and the Weir itself, now awarded International recognition, is truly an amazing engineering structure. Come and hear some staggering facts on this topic from someone with front-line knowledge.

Supper will follow the meeting, all welcome to attend.

Goulburn Weir viewed from Stuart Murray Canal
Goulburn Weir during 2016 flood
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Article on findings of latest study about Murchison meteorite

From the Geological Society of Australia: ‘New research on the Murchison meteorite has revealed the oldest solid material found on Earth: a 7-billion-year-old grain of stardust. This pre-solar silicon carbide is the oldest of 40 large silicon carbide grains dated using cosmic ray exposure techniques.
This link is to the published paper by lead researcher Philipp Heck explaining the work of the scientists in dating the stardust in Murchison meteorite:

https://tinyurl.com/sjh4go2

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AUSTRALIA DAY AWARDS

Rock on Murchison – 50th Anniversary of the fall of Murchison meteorite in September last year, won Australia Day Awards for Murchison Community Event of the Year and overall winner for Community Event of the Year across Greater Shepparton.

What a terrific endorsement for all the hard work of the organising committee, members of Historical Society and their family, and also appreciation of the support across the Murchison community from individuals, businesses and clubs alike! Planning started in January 2017 and events opened mid-September 2019 with the main activities over the weekend of 27th -29th September.

It was an amazing occasion and offered so much for all ages and interests.

Celebrations started with Australia Post issuing a $1 postage stamp, the book Space Gem written by Marg Lock was launched and murals painted by Jane Spencer were unveiled at the Heritage Centre, conveying the reactions to the sonic booms.

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UNVEILING THE MURALS 22ND SEPTEMBER
MARG LOCK AT LAUNCH OF SPACE GEM

The weekend of 27th – 29th September opened with a wonderful Dinner Under the Stars where we were entertained by amusing song and film as Murchison meteorite came alive! Astronomer Educator Dave Reneke, provided solar viewing, star gazing and intriguing presentations about out amazing universe and insight into Apollo 11 and the moon landing that occurred only two months before Murchison meteorite arrived! Interpretive signage and a labyrinth were unveiled in Meteorite Park, meteorite hunts were organised for children, displays and films at the Heritage Centre were a big draw-card as was the re-enactment of the BIG BANG at 10.58 each morning! Essay and drawing competitions were held for the local school children and they composed the most amazing sound track of their version of space music.

The highlight of the weekend were presentations by eleven Scientists from America and around Australia, all experts in their field, who shed light on various aspects of the Murchison meteorite and related topics. Each speaker was filmed and with their permission the talks have been formatted on to a good-quality USB Flash Drive. Anyone wanting to purchase a copy can order via email to:

murchison-historical-society@hotmail.com

We are thrilled with our Australia Day Awards and proudly have them on display in the front window of the Heritage Centre. Another accolade for this significant part of Murchison’s history!

Kay Ball holding Award certificate
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MURCHISON METEORITE MAKES HEADLINES AGAIN!

Great excitement has been generated due to the findings of a recent study on the Murchison meteorite published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and with coverage in many newspapers and television programs around the world.

Dr Philipp Heck, Cosmochemist from Chicago Field Museum, is the lead author of a paper published on 14th January this year that reveals the age of stardust extracted from the Murchison meteorite is 7 billion years old. This pre-dates our solar system by many hundreds of millions of years. The meteorite consists of material that IS THE OLDEST-KNOWN SOLID OBJECT ON EARTH. Philipp describes Murchison meteorite as “a treasure trove for science” as it keeps revealing surprises that provide insight into how our galaxy developed over time.

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Pre solar grains

Philipp also said it is the most exciting study he has worked on to date and he has been studying Murchison meteorite since 2002 when he obtained his PhD by writing a thesis on Murchison meteorite. The meteorite has proven to be a significant resource for science and when he was here last September as our Key Note Speaker during the 50th Anniversary celebrations, he commented more than once that the scientific world is very grateful that the residents of Murchison gave so many fragments to universities and museums around the world allowing studies to be conducted that have enriched scientific knowledge about our universe.

Pre solar grains from Murchison meteorite

With the advancement of technology, Murchison meteorite has revealed more and more important details over the years and will continue to do so, according to Dr Heck.

Dr. Philipp Heck delivering his presentation in Murchison Victoria Australia September 2019.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2020-01-14/earths-oldest-stardust-found-in-murchison-meteorite/11863486

https://10daily.com.au/news/australia/a200114tgspm/the-day-a-small-victorian-town-was-rocked-by-a-meteorite-20200115

Links to media items above.

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Seasons Greetings

Murchison & District Historical Society members wish all our supporters and friends a very happy Christmas time and a safe and healthy New Year. The Heritage Centre will be open as usual on Saturday mornings during the holiday period.

We have enjoyed a busy year mainly taken up with planning for our celebration of the 50th anniversary of the fall of the Murchison meteorite. It was a wonderful experience and so well supported by the community of Murchison and also friends further afield.

The involvement of our local Primary School was really great but not obvious on the actual weekend of activities at the end of September as it was during school holidays.

The children wrote essays, created art works that were hung around the town and in the Community Centre, and the younger children were involved in a colouring competition. Prizes were awarded on their return to school at the beginning of Term 4.

These are some of the winning entries of the colouring competition:

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