Our cultural service Coffs Collections turned two years old a few months ago, and it continues to freely share easily accessible gallery, library and museum content. The newly added local histories included gems such as A Pioneer and the Eastern Dorrigo featuring a different style of treehouse
and From Pastures Green to Silver Screen, a personal memoir by cinematographer Jack Gerard, whose screen projector was donated to the Regional Museum.
Jack Gerard’s partner Marie Hunt was a gifted photographer and had her own studio, where she did not baulk at any subject.
In addition to uncovering Joe Blake, some of our work revealing local stories found others who had an early start in the region but moved away for work, including the whistling mannequin Beth McKay who became Tad Wunderlich.
We were also pleased to launch a completely new work via Coffs Collections: the South Solitary Island Lighthouse list of Early Keepers 1879 – 1915.
The sad part of the year
In January we lost an assiduous Museum volunteer and researcher, Geoff Watts. He continued to identify opportunities for filling gaps in our records, even after he left the area. One of those gaps was in the online coverage of the Coffs Harbour Advocate before 1955.
In December, the National Library added three sets of issues which had been missed from Trove: 4 – 11 December 1908; 10 January – 16 May 1925; and 5 -26 October 1928.
We were also able to dry out and contribute some flood-affected issues for August, September and October 1946. The World War II years were underrepresented because the paper was not available for printing. More than 75 years later, we were able to fill in part of this gap.
And we farewelled Tina, who taught us a lot about museum collection management best practice. Thank you!