Letter | Strange, but I can’t see those names

THE Oberon and District Museum committee congratulates Keith Sullivan on his excellent description, in the letter on March 1, of the charter of all museums.

Thousands of hours go into finding, recovering, transporting, restoring, housing, maintaining and recording as much as possible, in some cases thousands of items, which is the foundation, identity and culture of the area and its people. Once lost, it can never be replaced.

Oberon and District Museum is a member of Museums Australia and the Central West Museums Chapter, where it is well-known that some small NSW councils are extremely negative to their local museums, and in some cases have deliberately disadvantaged them.

Unfortunately, Oberon is one of them, as a check of council support will no doubt confirm.

Oberon Council headed the taking of the station building, fully restored by the museum at a cost of over $40,000, many years before necessary. The museum was also taken from non-rateable to full business rates. The latest is taking away our designated legal car park.

State Rail, as compensation to the museum for the loss of the station, allocated $44,000 to Oberon Council to supply the Oberon and District Museum with a new building of similar size and amenities. Oberon Council held this money for several years.

After constant approaches from our committee, they reluctantly agreed to add what we call "the new extension" to our Muir Pavilion, costing $23,000.

Our committee has made many approaches to Oberon Council inquiring where the other $21,000 is - to no avail.

The last paragraph of Keith's letter left our committee puzzled as to the suggestion to contact Marjorie Armstrong.

On checking the museum membership, visitor and donation books, Marjorie Armstrong, mayor Kathy Sajowitz and Keith Sullivan's names do not appear anywhere. Strange their sudden interest. 

None of those mentioned above have ever assisted the museum in the last 30 years, so we won't hold our breath now.

Marjorie Armstrong or Oberon Council have little or no say in the operation of the museum, as shown by their absence.

Any genuine concerned people should contact either by writing to Oberon and District Museum, 62 Scotia Avenue, Oberon, 2787 or phoning (02) 6336 1016 during business hours.

Laurie McMahon, president, Oberon and District Museum