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Input invited on municipal history assessment

THE community is invited to take part in an assessment of the significance of the Derwent Valley Council’s historical collection at two public sessions this coming week. The council, which “dis-established” its Historical Information Centre Committee in its purge of all volunteer activities two years ago, has obtained funding for an assessment of the items collected by the disbanded committee over the last three decades.

A council spokesperson said historian and collections expert Jai Paterson would undertake the comprehensive significance assessment of the collection and the public was invited to take part between 10am and 1pm on September 12 and 14.

Items from the Derwent Valley Council historical collection.

The spokesperson said Dr Paterson was hoping to hear from people with a story to share, whether from their own experience or from their family’s history. These stories might relate to artifacts collected by the New Norfolk Historical Information Centre, or salvaged from the Royal Derwent Hospital/Willow Court Centre, sporting bodies, or businesses such as the peg factory, to name but a few.

“We look forward to engaging with the local community – recognising the extensive knowledge and interest that is out there,” Dr Paterson said. Community members are invited to visit the council history room in Circle St, New Norfolk, during the times listed above.

They will be able to see what is being done as part of the significance assessment, have a look at items in the collection as they are assessed and share their stories as part of the project. “The project, including the commissioning of a Significance Assessment Report and Recommendations, will inform the future of the Derwent Valley Historical Collection,” Derwent Valley Council mayor Michelle Dracoulis said.

Recent questioning by Cr Matt Hill at several council meetings has revealed that despite being officially disbanded, the former members of the dis-established Historical Information Centre meet regularly and are still regarded as council volunteers. It has not been stated whether the same applied to the other committees sacked by the council.

See more Derwent Valley and Central Highlands news online and read our print edition every second Friday.

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