Clarence River Historical Society members Mavis Robertson and Judy Johnson.
Clarence River Historical Society members Mavis Robertson and Judy Johnson.

History helpers in demand

THE Clarence River Historical Society is looking for new members to secure the future of the region’s past.

Among its many roles, the historical society runs the Schaeffer House Museum in Grafton, publishes historical books, is the caretaker of 150 years of The Daily Examiner and conducts research, particularly for people looking into their family trees.

Society president Frank Mack said all of the work was done voluntarily by around 30 active members who were kept busy every week.

The problem was their numbers were dwindling.

“The present lot of active members we have are getting on in years and we’re slowly losing them,” Mr Mack said.

So the historical society has put the call out for new members to join the group.

“What we want are people who are keen to become members and contribute,” Mr Mack said.

Whether people have lived in the Valley all their lives, or just arrived, all are welcome to join the society.

Mr Mack said that because most of the work was done on week days, retirees would be ideal.

“We’re probably after newly retired people who are looking for something to do,” he said.

A trip to Schaeffer House is a great way to see the many roles members can fill.

Some volunteers enjoy showing people around the museum and keeping the thousands of antiques and historical pieces dusted, polished and looking their best.

Others are busily working in the back room filing, researching and working on computers.

But the best time to make a visit to Schaeffer House on Fitzroy Street is for morning tea when all of the volunteers sit down for a cuppa, biscuit or two and a good old chat.

“It’s a good place to come in terms of company and there’s no set hours so you can come and go when you feel like it,” Mr Mack said.

Although no skills are necessary, Mr Mack said the society would love to find members with data input and computer skills, people interested in setting up displays around the museum and anyone interested in the preservation of history.

“There are some treasures in this place and the more you go looking, the more you will find,” he said.

To become a member of the Clarence River Historical Society call 6642 5212, email clarencehistory@bigpond.com or visit www.clarencehistory.org.au.

Membership costs $20 per family.



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