Narromine's Historical Museum and Meeting Place closes its doors

DOORS CLOSED: Due to a lack of volunteers Narromine's History Museum and Meeting Place has closed its doors to the public for good. Photo: ZAARKACHA MARLAN
DOORS CLOSED: Due to a lack of volunteers Narromine's History Museum and Meeting Place has closed its doors to the public for good. Photo: ZAARKACHA MARLAN

Due to a lack of volunteers Narromine's Historical Museum and Meeting Place has closed its doors for good.

Opened in 2012, the Historical Museum was managed by the Ngarru Mayin Elders Aboriginal Corporation and showcased a range of Aboriginal arts and crafts and European historical items.

The museum, housed at the town's historic 1898 court house and leased from the Narromine Council, frequently ran workshops for Aboriginal language and art and was a great place for visitors to meet locals.

Volunteer Ruth Carney said it's with "great sadness" they had to close the museum, but was due to the costs of insurance and a lack of volunteers.

Dick and Ruth Carney presenting the cheque to Narromine Cancer Support Group. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

Dick and Ruth Carney presenting the cheque to Narromine Cancer Support Group. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

"We really felt sad that there's nobody out there that wanted to come and volunteer," she said.

"Even the young ones weren't interested, and that's really sad.

"We're non-for profit, but we still had to have insurance, so we were paying the insurance ourselves.

"Admittedly the council, in the last two years have waved our rent, which was an asset for us because then we could afford to keep our insurance up."

Mrs Carney was working on the Narromine Shire council when they decided to re-open the Historical Museum and Meeting Place to showcase the culture of the Ngarru Mayin people, after the Historical Society folded and the museum shut its doors.

"It was closed for about two decades after the museum moved out," she said.

"We saw the building sitting here doing nothing and I thought that would be just another little avenue to put a foot in the community.

"Since then we've been opening the doors and some days we might have got two people, another day we might get nobody and another we would get a busload.

"So it was just an ongoing thing that really was an asset to the council and the community."

Dick and Ruth Carney presenting the cheques to Narromine VRA and Narromine Fire Brigade. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

Dick and Ruth Carney presenting the cheques to Narromine VRA and Narromine Fire Brigade. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

Mrs Carney said however it was meeting people and having the schools visit that were among her highlights over the years.

"Seven years goes by very quickly," she said.

"But we got a lot of joy out of it, we met a lot of people.

"We met people from coast to coast, they were really enthralled with what was in here."

Mrs Carney thanked Joy Gillespie who she says was a "driving force" behind the museum.

"Without her we wouldn't have been able to survive for as long as we have, because we really bounced off each other," she said.

"She did as much, if not more in these latter months than I have, because I've been too busy running off to the stage."

Remaining funds from the museum were donated to local organisations including $500 to the Narromine Shire Cancer Support Group and $250 each to the Narromine VRA and Narromine Fire and Rescue station.

Mrs Carney said some items from the museum are being relocated to the Wungunja Cultural Centre in Trangie, with other items being returned to their owners.