Bob Coleman was the guest of honour at the official opening of Cundletown Museum’s newest building named in his honour.
About 300 people attended the celebration for the Coleman Pavilion in June, which included a morning tea hosted by the museum ladies and a sausage sizzle organised and cooked by Taree North Rotary Club.
Mr Coleman was instrumental in the building being completed by his generous donation towards it and the committee had voted unanimously that the building be named “Coleman Pavilion” in recognition.
The building and the security fencing and walkway, along with the new disabled toilet, cost $156,000, of which the museum raised $98,000 through the generosity of local service clubs and donations from community members and local businesses.
The three levels of government, FRRR (Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal) and Midcoast Water approved grant applications which covered the remaining cost.
Former curator of science and technology at the Powerhouse Museum Debbie Rudder, who had previously visited the museum to assist and advise the members in the layout of the items on display, was a guest speaker and praised the museum for its progressive displays.
Also attending was a contingent from the local Air Cadets who were assisting, emcee Allan Eyb, Kathryn Bell who was a speaker representing the tourism officer and MidCoast Council and member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie who also spoke.
Cundletown and Lower Manning Historical Society president Margaret Love said the project had been many years in the making.
“The Society realised there was a wealth of history at their fingertips relating to the dairy/farming community,” she said.
“When we added to this the history and memorabilia associated with local dairy factories, timber getting and river trade, we recognised the urgent need to collect and preserve this local history for future generations.
The Society realised there was a wealth of history at their fingertips relating to the dairy/farming community.Margaret Love
“With so many local donors promising large artifacts when space became available, planning commenced for the extension as soon as the museum signed the lease for this location in 2011.
The turning of the first sod was in January 2015 and work continued on and off as money became available.
A decorative truss placed at the front of the building blends in with the Society’s original idea of a timber barn.
The decision to call it a pavilion was based on the fact showgrounds have pavilions, and they are associated with farming.
The entire project is not yet complete with $60,000 required to build a concrete car park.
There are also plans for a resource centre to be built on the existing concrete slab to house the many records held by the museum.
“These are at present mostly in storage,” said Margaret.
She acknowledged the hardworking volunteers, people and businesses involved with the project for their contribution.