History gets a new lease on life

Kalamunda and Districts Historical Society president Gay Bridgement and vice president Marcia Maher. Picture: Bruce Hunt www.communitypix.com.au d416531
Kalamunda and Districts Historical Society president Gay Bridgement and vice president Marcia Maher. Picture: Bruce Hunt www.communitypix.com.au d416531

The society, which was formed in 1969 and manages the history village on Railway Road, usually has its lease renewed for five years but was unsure of its future with council amalgamations looming. It applied for 10 years and the council granted it at a recent meeting

‘The Kalamunda and Districts Historical Society was seeking security of tenure due to concerns over the possible impact of local government amalgamation on the ability to further extend their management lease five years from now,’ Shire President Sue Bilich said.

‘From the council’s perspective, the society’s good standing and trending improvement in levels of performance further justifies the approval of a term of 10 years, with a further option of 10 years.’

The society has seen an increase of schools come through the village gates to learn about the history of the area, with 99 in 2012 and 107 in 2013.

As of the beginning of February, the society had secured 27 school bookings and predicted a likely increase in school visits to 110 this year.

The 150 members of the society, and three part time shire employees, cover everything from maintenance to oral history, rosters, archives, research and collections, and rely on donations of items with local provenance.

President Gay Bridgemont said a set of hand-made baby clothes dating from the early 1920s was a recent treasure donated to the society.

‘Depression-era furniture and hand tools were also donated recently,’ she said.

She said members were still on the lookout for more artefacts.

‘There are a couple of items we would like: a two wheeled heavy dray of the type used for carting rock and gravel from Statham’s quarry and perhaps some early apiary equipment, such as hives and honey processing gear,’ she said.

‘Largely, we rely on word of mouth, but could use the WA Historical Society as a vehicle of search.’