A COMMUNITY-driven campaign to raise $300,000 for the city’s new museum project at the Paisley Centre was launched today amid calls for people to recognise the value of Bunbury’s history before it is too late.
Bunbury Museum and Heritage Centre will open in July 2015 and a media launch on Monday marked an opportunity for fundraising committee members to explain the importance of the project.
The museum, to be located at the old Bunbury Boys’ School site, will include an education centre, audio displays of Noongar language, street stories, historic collections and space for visiting exhibitions.
The Paisley Centre has already been subject to $1.1 million worth of restoration work, with a new jarrah floor about to be installed, and the additional funding will go towards fitting out the museum.
Curator Lauretta Davies said a successful fundraising campaign would get the project off the ground sooner and allow for national or international exhibitions to come to Bunbury for the first time.
“Bunbury people have been asking for a museum since 1936,” Ms Davies said.
“It is the only regional city in Western Australia with no museum to tell its story to the local community or visitors.
“Economically, a lively and engaging museum in the centre of Bunbury will attract tourists, giving them another reason to linger in Bunbury.”
Mr Craddock agreed on the importance of linking the project to the CBD revitalisation and said the community had a responsibility to hold on to a link to the past.
“So many of our heritage buildings in the CBD – the post office, the old Anglican church, the fire station – have been knocked down.
“Here we have the opportunity to restore something really worthwhile.”
Former Bunbury Boys’ School student Laurie O’Connell spoke about his memories of the old Paisley Centre building at the media launch on Monday and implored the public to get behind the initiative.
“I think it’s important that something happens to the building and if it’s going to be a museum then there is probably nothing better. Too many of Bunbury’s buildings have disappeared,” he said.
“It is high time the citizens of Bunbury realised they have got to retain something otherwise there will be no history here whatsoever.”