GALLERY: Historic launch for Bunbury museum project

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.”

Former Bunbury Boys' School student Laurie O'Connell with curator Lauretta Davies and fundraising committee chairman Stephen Craddock in the Paisley Centre.

Former Bunbury Boys' School student Laurie O'Connell with curator Lauretta Davies and fundraising committee chairman Stephen Craddock in the Paisley Centre.

The Paisley Centre as it stands now.

The Paisley Centre as it stands now.

The Bunbury Museum and Heritage Centre design concept.

The Bunbury Museum and Heritage Centre design concept.

The Paisley Centre building on Arthur Street, Bunbury.

The Paisley Centre building on Arthur Street, Bunbury.

A photograph of the old post office and clock on Stephen Street.

A photograph of the old post office and clock on Stephen Street.

Lauretta Davies, Laurie O'Connell and Glen Franklin at the launch.

Lauretta Davies, Laurie O'Connell and Glen Franklin at the launch.

The Koombana Queen on the old timber jetty.

The Koombana Queen on the old timber jetty.

East Bunbury underwater after the 1964 floods.

East Bunbury underwater after the 1964 floods.

Lauretta Davies with a copy of an old Southern Times newspaper which survived a century encased in a time capsule within a brick wall laid to mark the foundation of South Bunbury Primary School. Used by permission.

Lauretta Davies with a copy of an old Southern Times newspaper which survived a century encased in a time capsule within a brick wall laid to mark the foundation of South Bunbury Primary School. Used by permission.

The laying of the foundation stone at South Bunbury Primary School in 1913. Used by permission.

The laying of the foundation stone at South Bunbury Primary School in 1913. Used by permission.

Betty McCleary and Lee-Maree Gallo at the launch.

Betty McCleary and Lee-Maree Gallo at the launch.

A Paisley classroom photo lent to the Museum and Heritage Centre by the Bunbury History Society.

A Paisley classroom photo lent to the Museum and Heritage Centre by the Bunbury History Society.

The Bunbury Museum and Heritage Centre will be located a restored Paisley centre.

The Bunbury Museum and Heritage Centre will be located a restored Paisley centre.

Museum curator Lauretta Davies with one of Bunbury's passionate history collectors, Ray Repachol.

Museum curator Lauretta Davies with one of Bunbury's passionate history collectors, Ray Repachol.

Wendy Giles and Murray Cook at the launch.

Wendy Giles and Murray Cook at the launch.

Reverend Andrew Buchanan, Bunbury Congregationalist minister and civic leader.

Reverend Andrew Buchanan, Bunbury Congregationalist minister and civic leader.

Spinning wheel used to spin wool for socks sent to soldiers fighting in the First World War.

Spinning wheel used to spin wool for socks sent to soldiers fighting in the First World War.

Paul Vukelic and Gary Brennan at the launch.

Paul Vukelic and Gary Brennan at the launch.

The clock from the Stephen Street Post Office, which was demolished following earthquake damage.

The clock from the Stephen Street Post Office, which was demolished following earthquake damage.

An old handgun which will be among the exhibits at the new Paisley Centre museum.

An old handgun which will be among the exhibits at the new Paisley Centre museum.

The old Bunbury Jetty.

The old Bunbury Jetty.

John Cross excavating shipwrecks in partnership with the Western Australian Museum in November 2011.

John Cross excavating shipwrecks in partnership with the Western Australian Museum in November 2011.

An old pamphlet from the Bunbury Tourist Bureau.

An old pamphlet from the Bunbury Tourist Bureau.

Stephen Craddock and Betty McCleary at the launch.

Stephen Craddock and Betty McCleary at the launch.

Rosetta Kelly.

Rosetta Kelly.

A cell door from the old Bunbury Police Station.

A cell door from the old Bunbury Police Station.

A 19th century letter from Phoebe Scott expressing relief that she had survived the birth of her first child.

A 19th century letter from Phoebe Scott expressing relief that she had survived the birth of her first child.

Thomas Paisley

Thomas Paisley

A 1984 opera program.

A 1984 opera program.

A promotional gift from Bunbury's now-demolished department store, Haywards.

A promotional gift from Bunbury's now-demolished department store, Haywards.