Port Fairy Historical Society seeks more room

CRAMPED: Port Fairy Historical Society president Judith Kershaw looks through some old newspapers. She is hoping a new room will give members more space to work.
CRAMPED: Port Fairy Historical Society president Judith Kershaw looks through some old newspapers. She is hoping a new room will give members more space to work.

THE future of important items from Port Fairy’s past will be secured with the addition of a new building at the town’s history centre.

The Port Fairy Historical Society has plans to construct a new archive room in the back yard of the history centre on Gipps Street.

Society president Judith Kershaw said the new room would help ease congestion in the main building.

“The plan is to move some of the big archive boxes out to the new room once it’s built,” Mrs Kershaw said.

“We have a lot of boxes with history from community organisations and clubs that from time to time people want to access.

“The new room will be perfect to store things like this and there will be space in there to sit down and go through the boxes and find what is needed.”

The new space will also house some of Port Fairy’s earliest newspapers, telling the stories of life in the town and district from as far back as the 1800s.  

Mrs Kershaw said the new room will be insulated and have temperature control to keep the historical items protected.

The project is set to cost $38,806 with the society successfully applying for a community assistance fund from Moyne Shire.

This grant has delivered half of the cost, $19,403, with the search now on to find funding from other sources to match this amount.

“The extra room would be a great asset, there is so much Port Fairy history and we don’t want to lose any of it,” Mrs Kershaw said.

“The history of community organisations that may have wound up can be lost and the existence of the group forgotten about all together, so we have to ensure we have the space to keep track of as much history as we can.”  

The latest display on show at the history centre is the Happy To Serve project.

Port Fairy photographer Peter Grenfell has taken a photograph of every shop and shopkeeper in the town’s CBD.

Mrs Kershaw said the photos mark a period in time and would be a fascinating reference point for future generations.  

*During the winter, the history centre is open on Saturdays only from 2-4pm.