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Kangaroo Valley
Sunday, February 25, 2024

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Historical Heist

The end of June disappointingly saw a break-in at the Kangaroo Valley Pioneer Village Museum with many unique and special objects stolen. All of these objects had been donated by the Kangaroo Valley community members who gave up their own memories so that the Historical Society could preserve the history of the Valley by maintaining the displays at the museum: the tin photo album that was found in the ashes of the burnt-out Nugent Store; a 1909 autograph book with the owner’s initials stamped in gold on the front and full of jolly comments and signatures; cut throat razors that had kept many a beard at bay; men’s braces to stop some burly gentleman’s trousers falling down; and a vintage shoe stretcher used to make the shoes comfortable in the very early days.

Then we come to the stolen children’s possessions, handed to the museum as the owners were now adults, and not in need of three-wheeler bikes and hand-made peddle cars. The books of 1924 were thrown aside but the dolls made with pegs for legs and the vintage wind-up toys were stolen.

But the major heist, with so so many memories attached to each and every object, were the objects taken in the Saddlery building full of saddles, sulky collars, head stall and breast plates, side saddle, winkers, bridles, plough collars, pit harnesses and much more. Many past souls would be turning in their graves.

Even the Cedar cutters were hit, eight two-man pit saws and many agricultural tools – gone. 

The museum displays thousands of objects for the Historical Society. Yes, much was thieved, but the fantastic displays remain as they have for 50 years at this museum. So come along and enjoy not only the past memories of the Valley, but walk this beautiful ‘park’; cross the historic Walker Bridge – another unique donation; do the bush walk, and on the way back have a picnic under the purpose-built sheds beside the donated and definitely unique Selby Rock.

On the bright side of all of this, the fantastic textiles have been cleaned and prepared by the Historical Society volunteers and moved from a slab building for display in the sealed building behind the office/War Room. This will be opened very soon. Come and see what an 1882 wedding dress looks like; what ladies and gents wore at night; see how they reduced their waistline by being ‘tied up’; shoes showing how small their feet were; and view my great-grandfather’s straw hats with many more donated surprises. 

Yes, the Historical Society will still be celebrating 70+ years at the Village Hall on the 11th November, starting at 11.30 am after the Remembrance Day Ceremony. A free community event for everyone to share, but donations will be gratefully received. 

So save the date, bring along your memories or come and sit a while to hear and see the precious memories of Kangaroo Valley. If you have any queries about this day, please email me on chrismurphy1952@gmail.com.

Christine Murphy

Secretary

Kangaroo Valley Historical Society

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