By Colin MacGillivray
Wandong History Group will revitalise its home at the former St Michael’s Catholic Church and preserve a trove of historical documents with the aid of grants totalling more than $20,000.
The group will receive $18,529 through the State Government’s Regional Collections Access Program and $2928 through the Federal Government’s Cultural Heritage and Arts Regional Tourism, CHART, program.
President Karen Christensen said the group was thrilled to receive the grants, which would allow it to better protect the region’s history while giving the church building a fresh look.
“The regional collections grant was for archive material, and we’ve used it to purchase archive-quality boxes and folders,” she said.
“We’ve got a lot of material that has been given to us – old documents and other things – so having archive-quality boxes and folders will make a big difference to being able to keep that stuff properly.
“We’ve got an a very expensive book that needs to be properly kept because it’s a book of original photos of the Australian Seasoned Timber Company.
“It’s quite fragile – you can barely touch it now without bits falling off it – so having something we can put the book in to make sure it doesn’t deteriorate further will be good for us.”
Ms Christensen said the group would use the CHART grant to purchase moveable room dividers that could double as display walls.
“We’re trying to fit the church out and have a permanent display there all the time, which these will be good for because you can configure them in different ways,” she said.
“What we’ve got now are some metal screens that we had made, but you can’t change them around, they’re just fixed. These new ones you can bend around and put in corners, and they’ll make better use of the space.
“Now that the church is finished we’re back in there, so finally we’ve got a home again – it’s really good.
“I think we’ve got enough that we won’t need to purchase any more going forward. We got enough out of the grants that we’ve got plenty of capacity for storage, which is great. It’s one less sausage we’ve got to sell to raise money.”