Bingara historians honoured

April 20, 2010

Two men who have contributed an enormous amount of time to the Bingara and District Historical Society were honoured with Life Membership at Regional Conference of the Royal Australian Historical Society New England and North West Affiliated Societies.

Bruce Batterham, John Wearne, Ron Irlam and Peter Jones celebrate Bruce’s and Ron’s Life Membership

Left: Bruce Batterham, John Wearne, Ron Irlam and Peter Jones celebrate Bruce’s and Ron’s Life Membership of the Bingara and District Historical Society.


Former Bingara resident, Bruce Batterham, who has been involved in the Bingara and District Historical Society since its inception, and Ron Irlam, who has, since he moved to Bingara several years ago, done a massive amount of research and writing of Bingara history, particularly military history.

Delegates from 23 Historical Societies in the region outside the Roxy Theatre.

The conference attracted 65 people from an area including Tenterfield, Glen Innes, Moree, Barraba, Armidale, Tamworth. Twenty five societies from the area were represented at the conference held at the Roxy Theatre.

Roxy Manager, Sandy McNaughton, spoke to the group about the history of the Roxy. “This presentation was very well received,” President of the Bingara and District Historical Society, Peter Jones said.

Another speaker to engage the interest of the delegates was Rick Hutton. His topic “Journey in the footsteps of Cunningham – Researching the explorers trek through the Gwydir Shire,” was enhanced by Rick’s use of Google Earth overlays to show the trail.

“He showed us that Cunningham’s trail follows the road very closely, the message being follow valleys, don’t try and climb the mountains,” Mr. Jones said.

Heritage Advisor, Graham Wilson, spoke about the Community Heritage Study he undertook in Bingara.

A range of other speakers kept delegates interested with a variety of topics.
“It was a great day, all went perfectly with no hitches,” Mr. Jones said.

The theme of the conference was “Patches on the Quilt of History”. To reflect the theme, Robyn Jones loaned a number of her quilts which were displayed on tables.

The conference was opened by Gwydir Shire Mayor, John Coulton, and the Master of Ceremonies was John Wearne.

Following a dinner that night,  a number of visitors stayed in Bingara overnight and took part in a walk along Maitland Street, where Bob Kirk explained the history of the street.

This was followed by a visit to the cemetery to inspect historical graves, before a barbecue lunch hosted by Bingara Lions Club.

“We received a lot of positive feedback, everyone was wrapped in the Roxy,” Mr. Jones said.