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    Horsham Rural City Council councillor Les Power.

Horsham Regional Museum concept progresses

By Lauren Henry

Horsham councillors have implored the community to support the development of a Horsham Regional Museum.

At Monday’s Horsham Rural City Council meeting, councillors noted the findings of the Horsham Regional Museum Feasibility Study’s stage one and two reviews.

The Horsham Home of History Group, comprising of Horsham Historical Society, Horsham RSL’s Military History and Heritage Group, council and community representatives, identified the following locations to be looked at for the museum: a greenfield site along the Western Highway; lease of an area of farmland; and Longerenong College.

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The study identifies several significant heritage collections throughout the greater Horsham region, owned by community organisations and individuals.

Collections included more than 1500 military items – some with known national significance – at Horsham RSL, and an extensive collection of cultural, civil and military items held by the Horsham Historical Society.

The collections are dated from 1840, when Horsham was first noted as a destination, to 1950, when the centenary of Horsham was celebrated.

The primary collection theme will centre on water and agriculture and include items such as irrigation implements, farming equipment manufactured or sold in Horsham and secondary supplies that catered for the needs of the farming community.

James Darlot followed the Indigenous people when he chose Horsham to be a village in the 1840s.

Cr Les Power encouraged the community to support the museum plans.

“It will attract people to come to Horsham and that’s what we’re all about at the moment – attracting people to buy and sell their produce in Horsham, and to possibly move here and prosper with us,” he said.

“In a trail, just like the silo trail, this could be a fantastic thing where we could probably be the centre of it... They could go to Ararat and see the Chinese museum, they could go across to Rupanyup and Warracknabeal to their museums. One thing we must not do is stand on the toes of places like Natimuk, that has worked so hard on its museum. 

“We need to make sure they are a part of it.

“It would also be really good to see if we could incorporate First Nations people as well – that they could be encouraged to partake with their artefacts and with their long line of history that they could be a part of this.” 

Cr David Bowe said the museum would not only celebrates the region’s rich heritage, but would also reflect its culture and economic landscape.

“Horsham Regional Museum aims to immerse visitors in our local history by harnessing modern technology to bring stories of the past to vivid life,” he said. 

“There will be focus on collections from the 1840s to 1950s, highlights of pivotal moments in Horsham’s development, emphasising our unique narrative of water and agricultural.

“I look forward to the next phase, this includes supporting the establishment of museum trails and co-operating with other local museums such as the Arapiles museum to foster a regional heritage experience.”

Cr Ian Ross said he was looking forward to a museum becoming operational in Horsham.

“Hopefully it will capture the essence of what is the Wimmera from pre-European to European settlement,” he said.

Cr Ross said the first combine harvester in the world was developed in the Wimmera, but the patent was allegedly stolen.

“But it went all around the world from Victoria. That’s some of Horsham’s history, it’s very important to our local identity,” he said.

Cr Penny Flynn said the work started on stage one of the study in 2018, and the council was now being presented with stage two, six years later.

“The first goal is the Wimmera Regional Museum Trail – that’s a short-term; goal two is to review feasibility study stage two, that’s a medium-term goal; and then the third goal is Horsham Regional Museum being operational,” she said.

Cr Bob Redden said he ‘heartedly endorsed’ the idea of a museum.

The entire April 24, 2024 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire April, 24, 2024 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!