Historical Society recognises their hard workers

August 25, 2017

Five long serving members of the Bingara and District Historical Society have been awarded with Life Membership. Councillor Marilyn Dixon presented Jean Robinson, Ron Irlam, Ted Sparke and Russell Reading with Certificates of Appreciation at the Society’s meeting last Friday.

Life membership badges will be presented when they arrive, probably this week. Diana Kazanilli was unable to attend the function and will be presented with her Life Membership and certificate at a later date.

Life members, Jean Robinson, Ron Irlam, Ted Sparke and Russell Reading.

Life members, Jean Robinson, Ron Irlam, Ted Sparke and Russell Reading.

Mrs. Jean Robinson has been a member of the Historical Society for 37 years, and is Bingara Historical Society’s longest serving member. She has been Vice-President for a number of years, and is involved with a number of current projects.

Ron Irlam has been heavily involved with the Historical Society for many years, and is a prolific researcher and writer.  He served as President for many years, and at the Society’s last Annual General Meeting, was elected Patron.

Other Patrons are Austin Mack and Joan Bull.

Ron’s interest in Military History led to the publication of several books about men and women from Bingara who served in war, pioneer families of Bingara, and the most recent, Women of Bingara.  He has also written many articles for the Historical Society newsletter.

Most recently, Ron has been successful in getting a couple of streets in new Canberra suburbs named after significant Bingara women, Vellacott Street, Denman Prospect, named after Helen Vellacott, and Munro Street, after CWA founder Grace Munro, of Keera, yet to be signposted.

Diana Kazanilli has been a member of the Historical Society since 1999, and is involved with the cataloguing of items in the Bingara museum. She has been involved with art exhibitions and a number of other projects.

Ted Sparke has been researching for the planned Heritage Walk, and during the last three years, has spent many hours at the Bingara Advocate, pouring through archives.  He is also involved with scanning and laminating photographs and putting captions to the photos.

“When we get our new building, this will be our photographic room, where copies of all our photographs, done by Ted, will be on display,” Society Secretary, Judi Peterson, said.

Russell Reading, who joined the Historical Society in 2001, has used his passion for photography to benefit the group. He is the Historical Society’s official photographer, as well as being the ‘maintenance man’ at the museum.

After the death of Bingara historian Bob Kirk, who compiled the original Bingara Cemetery book, Russell updated the book adding recent burials. He also has had plaques made and put on headstones.

The compilation of numerous historical Bingara books has taken much of Russells time.  He and Noelene Cronin compiled a book noting Bingara weddings, and with a team of Noelene Cronin, Judi Abra and present and former staff from the Hospital, produced a book about the history of the Bingara Hospital.

“All of our members do a lot of work behind the scenes,” Judi said.

“Without them we would fall apart,” President, Jane Connelly added.

“At the moment we have three volunteers who are cataloguing every item in the museum, so far they have done five rooms,” Judi said.  “Every item is given a number, information filled out on a form, photographed, and Jane enters the items on the computer.

“Ted, Russell and Jean have been sorting photographs and identifying them.”

Wednesdays are really busy at the museum.  “We have ten people who get on really well, everyone has a job and everybody does their bit,” Judi said.  “We have plans, everybody is happy, we have our own little niches.”

In recent times, the Bingara Historical Society has started printing their own books.  “It is more economic, and gives us better cash flow, with all profits to the Historical Society,” Judi said.

Have you been to the Bingara Museum Complex?  If not, you should, it really is fantastic and is well worth the visit, a MUST SEE on a visit to Bingara.

Locals, if you haven’t been, you should make the time, you will be glad you did.  Tireless work from these volunteers have created a historical reference point, that as a local, you would be proud of.