On Sunday, June 5th 2011, KHS members, friends and visitors, celebrated 25 years of an archive of regional history. The day went well with a constant, comfortable number (for a small museum), of members, friends and visitors, including members of Broome Historical Society, who all enjoyed the museum throughout the day and evening as people came and went. Many good wishes and apologies were received before the event. The museum was filled with displays, old and new, permanent and temporary.
The minutes of the inaugural meeting with other early KHS minutes and documents were on display in booklet format, showed the enthusiasm for a historical society by the large attendance at that initial meeting called by Ursula Brimble, with Dennis O'Brien chairing the meeting that started KHS on this day in 1986.
"A Photographic Journey on the Ord"
Two large screen LCD TVs, which are now a permanent feature of the museum, as well as several other screens, all running the newly documented and digitised 25 hundred images, showing wonderful photographs taken over the years chronologically from 1911 to 2011 with most images (concentrated during the digitisation program) from 1960-1965. The Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley was acknowledged for the digitisation grant on the main display screens. The digitisation program's success resulted from the huge body of work in digitising and documenting each of over 25 hundred images, by just two dedicated KHS volunteer members.
New displays were created on archival work and preservation, showing results of a a workshop on Sunday May 29th with WA Museum's "CF" Craig, when eight KHS members learned techniques for handling, cleaning, packing and preservation of fabric objects. Safe archival material types (from Andrew's recent WA Museum "Preventative Conservation" & "Collection Documentation," workshops in Perth), tips on preservation of people's photographs and documents, as well as the KHS archival procedures manual made up this table display to celebrate 25 years of an archive for your regional history.
History writing, photographs and objects from the archives as well as newly researched histories, all helping to "interpret" the early pioneering period of Kununurra 50 years ago, paint a great picture of what life was like in a new bush town with less than 200 people in the surrounding area in 1961 and not many more before 1964. One popular feature was a static display of Marion Hansen's recent writing about her life as wife of a Danish Engineer for Christiani & Nielsen (C&N), on the early Diversion Dam construction and living with two young children in the bush town of a dozen houses in 1961. This was interspersed with photographs taken by her husband Uffe and donated by him recently for digitisation by KHS, which were also part of the Slideshows.
Some articles from Danish magazines about Bent & Lisbeth Ludvigsen and Jens J. Huusom and their time in Kununurra, had been transcribed by Uffe Hansen by hand and sent to KHS in the past few months. Uffe Hansen's own writing, illustrated with photographs, about living and working, setting up site works as OIC for C&N, in the bush that was Kununurra of 1960 and as the project got under way, which is on the new display panel as well as in A4 sleeved booklet format for visitor's to read.
Many new booklets like this on Kununurra history were prepared for the day, with the Danish articles and other subects like; Dennis O'Brien's writing on many Kununurra topics of the early 1960's; Photographs by Cyril Ion helped interpret and show the significance of the Pilot Farm history; documents and letters from the archive and many other histories.
Another new display and booklet, "A Timeline of Tropical Agriculture," shows that while Kununurra has a short 50 year history, the idea of tropical agriculture in the Kimberley can be traced back well over a hundred years. New photographs were in the slide-show of Carlton Reach in 1941 and some that document dates for the clearing and development of the Kimberley Research Station (KRS), from two huge KRS photo albums at the Department of Agriculture and Food, Library archive in South Perth, which were digitally photographed on the abovementioned trip to Perth in April.
New photographs of the 1921 WA/NT border determinations (90 years ago over the next month) from the Durack Family collection and the family of former SA Surveyor General Hambridge, via former SA Surveyor General Porter (as well as documents), from Chris Jordan of SA's equivalent Lands Department, featured in the slideshow and help to further interpret and document this anniversary event.
These displays and booklets will now be available in the museum on a permanent basis for the rest of the year.
With food and refreshments available (except in the archive room of course!), all present seemed to enjoy the atmospere of history during the day and into the evening through to 8pm. It was a day to remember those early years with these displays that all resulted with thanks to those back in 1986 with the foresight to start the society, archive and museum, which are growing, preserving and showing the regional, State and National significance of "your" community history for the future communities of Kununurra.
Have you lived in Kununurra? or do you know someone who did?
Copy and send them this link to Your Kununurra History
KHS is especially keen to receive (hi)stories, anecdotes, images or information from anyone who worked on the Diversion Dam and or the establishment of Kununurra and associated projects 1959 to 1965 - Share your (hi) story!