Historical Happening

Kangaroo Valley Historical Society celebrates 70+ years

Thank you to the many people who joined us at the Village Hall on 11 November to celebrate the  70+ years of the Kangaroo Valley Historical Society and the work of all our volunteers over this time. A six page list of as many of the volunteer names that could be found took pride of place.

A special thanks to those who assisted in making the day special in some way, and especially the volunteer caterers who provided delicious refreshments with a general ‘old time’ theme. The scones with jam and whipped cream seemed to be the favourite, and the conversations recalling people and places and times continued to flow whilst a cuppa was at hand. These conversations made the day!

Despite the very hot weather, we estimate about 170 people passed through the Hall (many staying for several hours) to look over the displays of historical items, including some significant cultural items from past generations, such as the Osborne Ledger, Nugent’s Store Book and the inaugural Minutes of Meeting for the A & H Society. These are not normally on display at the Pioneer Village Museum. The Kangaroo Valley Bowling & Recreation Club Ltd Honour Board of their Foundation Committee was an unexpected sight for some.

A number of local speakers informed and entertained the crowd: Arthur Moorhouse presented detail of his memories and the machinery that they designed and manufactured locally in Nowra – some are displayed in the museum; John Sanderson presented the Valley Boys – stories of the young men from Kangaroo Valley who enlisted and fought in World War One; Mark Chittick presented the history of Jane Chittick, who came to Sydney in July 1880 from Northern Ireland, after the death of her husband Gustavus in 1865, with their eight children, only to lose her life in August 1880 to typhoid fever; and Terry Fox and Lee Chittick presented the stories behind the making of Travelling with Percy book they wrote.

The recently introduced Associate Volunteer Program was displayed. All that this requires is enthusiasm and a desire to preserve the history of the Kangaroo Valley community. The program allows for volunteers to choose a small achievable task, create a plan and a time needed to complete the task, then seek approval to make it happen. For example: Research Assistant; Cataloguing the Collection; Photographing Objects and Caring for Exhibits. Enquires are welcome by email: chrismurphy1952@gmail.com.

Many of the visitors had travelled long distances to attend and to catchup with families and friends. What was evident was the benefits of bringing people together to talk about the history of the area. Attendees brought photographs and other items to discuss and ultimately assist in recording history not yet in the archives of the Historical Society. Peter Dumbrell assisted many to find historical information that they had not seen or heard before, as he does so well. 

The Historical Society is keen to encourage more historical discussions amongst community members, both past and present, of all ages. Maybe we should consider an annual ‘Yearly Community Conversation’ or our own Q & A event. Watch this space!

Christine Murphy