The establishment of a Greek Museum at the Roxy in Bingara took a giant step forward this week with the announcement of a $94,500 grant from the State Government.
Duty MLC for Northern Tablelands, Sarah Mitchell, said that under the 2012 Arts Funding Program, the Roxy Museum would receive government funding which is available for the construction, renovation or fitting out of buildings and other facilities for arts and cultural use.
“I am pleased to announce that $94,500 will be directed towards Gwydir Shire Council for the capital development of the Roxy Museum,” Mrs. Mitchell said. “The Roxy Museum is a fantastic local concept that celebrates Greek settlement in rural Australia and this funding will help people conduct research and develop collections that document Bingara’s history,” she said.
The announcement was welcomed by Member for Northern Tablelands and Roxyphile, Richard Torbay PM, who described the Roxy restoration as “one of the finest staged developments in the region.”
“Sandy McNaughton, the Gwydir Council and community supporters have done a magnificent job of restoring the original Roxy theatre and the adjoining Greek café,” he said. “This $94,500 grant means the plans for the upstairs museum commemorating Australian Greek café culture, particularly in our region, can go ahead. This has been an ambitious and successful project and it’s great to see it all coming together like this.”
Mr. Torbay said the Museum would house memorabilia donated by the Fardouli family in Inverell and other families connected to the Greek cafés which were a feature of almost every country town last century.
Strong support from the Kytherian and Greek communities and good relationships with other museums would also result in other items to display and special exhibitions.
Also delighted with the grant was George Poulos, Secretary of the Kytherian Association, and member of the Roxy Board of Management. “The grant will continue the progress towards making the Roxy complex in Bingara a Hellenic heritage site of not only national, but world significance,” Mr. Poulos said.
“It will attract tourists from around the world.”