Meeting considers Oberon and District Museum's future

DISCUSSIONS: Oberon and District Museum members Laurie McMahon, Barry Chapman, Warren Rawson and Ray McMahon have met to discuss the museum's future.
DISCUSSIONS: Oberon and District Museum members Laurie McMahon, Barry Chapman, Warren Rawson and Ray McMahon have met to discuss the museum's future.

OBERON and District Museum looks likely to be wound up after a meeting held last week.

Oberon and District Museum Inc held the meeting with members to gauge the museum’s direction.

Committee members include Barry Chapman, Warren Rawson, Laurie McMahon and Ray McMahon. Absent from the meeting were treasurer Narelle Rawson, Kim Stapleton and Darcy Ried. The museum's solicitor Robert Hood was also at the meeting.

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Mr McMahon said the museum has no future with no car park.

"We have moved our entrance off Scotia Avenue to Herbourne Street. There is no off-street parking or anywhere for buses to park.”

"Oberon Museum committee have conducted several meetings of late and we conceded that the lack of support from Oberon Council and OTHR [Oberon Tarana Heritage Railway] add to our grief. We have no assistance from either party.

"We have been investigated by the Department of Fair Trading and everything is in order.

"It will take time to wind-up the museum. We have everything catalogued and 80 per cent of the items in the museum are owned by the McMahon family. There's no way our family will leave what we own here.

"Once we remove what we own, there will be little left and we will contact others who have loaned items to the museum to come and collect their goods."

Mr McMahon said council waived any rates when they established the museum but, in 2009, they were charged full rates and "a not-for-profit organisation cannot function like this”.

“Even if we recruited more members, it would still not cover costs.”

Mr Hood said his advice to the McMahons was to take their bat and ball and go home.

"Artefacts in the museum are worth money and they have to think of their health. All the stress is not worth it,” he said.

Museum members will continue discussions with Mr Hood.

Oberon Tarana Heritage Railway member David McMurray said they have offered to help the museum.

"They were always allowed to use the adjacent area to the museum as their car park. We were always willing to work together," he said.

Friends of the Oberon Museum spokesman Greg Bourne said their meeting tonight (Thursday, September 13) at the community centre is timely.

He said he welcomes the news that the committee of the museum has decided to wind up the association.

"I would expect they’ve had legal advice to wind up the association. The timeline given is imprecise and makes no consideration for the people of Oberon who are very concerned about the status of their donated items.”