Publicity stunt for local museums housing ‘treasures’ like the Gallipoli flag

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Peter Lacey stands in front of the Gallipoli flag at the Bega Pioneers’ Museum. Photo: provided.

Did you know that a local museum in Bega houses one of the few Australian flags that survived the Gallipoli campaign?

“This is the kind of flag the Australian War Memorial would love to have,” South Coast History Society president Peter Lacey said of the rare item.

Our local museums are important institutions and those in Eden-Monaro are getting a boost through the federal government’s Culture, Heritage and Arts Regional Tourism (CHART) program.

Mr Lacey said his historical society received $3,300 from the scheme to promote museums in the area and as far north as Batemans Bay to encourage people to visit.

He said the company would use the money to produce a special “Museums” edition of their history magazine Recollections that will feature Eden-Monaro museums and print more editions than usual.

“We are especially pleased to be able to provide all of these museums with free publicity which will hopefully result in more people visiting the museums,” he said.

“Local museums were affected by bushfires a few years ago and more recently by impacts resulting from COVID, so they really need the help and assistance they can now receive. “

Ongoing challenges facing local museums were the struggle to find staff, volunteers or funding, as well as marketing and drawing attention to themselves, he said.


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Mr Lacey said that although the local museums are small, all have extremely interesting and important items from the region, while some even hold items of national significance.

For example, there is the Bega Museum flag mentioned above, which flew at the Australian base at Gallipoli from April to December 1915.

“After the evacuation of Gallipoli, this flag was taken to France by Medical Sergeant Norman Bignell and, although of national significance, eventually found its way into the collection of the Bega Pioneers’ Museum,” said Mr Lacey.

Australian Light Horse Roll Call

Peter Lacey stands next to the roll call of the Australian Light Horses which is in the Bega Museum. Photo: supplied.

Another important item in the Bega Museum is a colorful hand-drawn coat of arms for the Australian Light Horse.

It lists the battles in which the force participated during the Boer War and is a roll call of its members in 1905.

“It is an object that we understand the Australian War Memorial would very much like to add to its collection, and it is an excellent example of the ‘treasures’ that are often found in small local museums,” said Mr. .Lacey.

He said many local museums, such as the one in Bega, reflect the area’s history, while others, such as the Eden Killer Whale Museum, the Benjamin Boyd History Center and the Saint Mary MacKillop Museum at Eden, have very specific goals.


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The special “Museums” issue of Recollections will be released at the end of March.

NSW Senator Jim Molan said funding from the CHART program will help two Eden-Monaro organizations, the South Coast History Society for its magazine and the Merimbula-Imlay Historical Society, to help set up software and textbooks for collection management.

“With the support of the Morrison Government, we are helping to rebuild our local economy through the development of collections or exhibitions, improving visitor facilities and digitizing local heritage collections so that future generations can enjoy them. enjoy,” he said.

“I encourage community-run arts, culture and heritage organizations in Eden-Monaro to apply for a CHART program grant today – it will help us continue to provide engaging cultural tourism experiences in our regional communities.”

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