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In the bunker: historical society celebrates 60 years

Glen op den Brouw says being the president of a historical society is mostly a thankless task, but there are exceptions.

“There’s only so much you can do but I love how people come out of the blue and say: I have this box of stuff, do you want it,’’ says the Liverpool Historical Society president, pictured above.

Speaking to the South West Voice on the eve of a special luncheon to mark 60 years of the society, Mr op den Brouw relates how he recently acquired some excellent historical items.

“I received an email from a fellow whose uncle showed cattle and horses, around the district, at the Liverpool show, the Camden show, that sort of thing, and this fellow won a lot,’’ he explains.

“Well, it turns out this fellow had a box of ribbons from things like the 1954 Liverpool Jubilee Show.

“That’s like, gold!’’

Glen op den Brouw, as the current president, will be saying a few things at this Saturday’s 60th anniversary luncheon at the Cross Roads Hotel.

“I will be giving a short speech about the society, how it started, what we have done over the years,’’ he says.

“I am also going to throw a few bombs, but that’s history: we’ve been evicted, and we need a new home.

“Our vision is to have a heritage building where we can tell the history of Liverpool.

“I think that’s most important, having a permanent display of historical Liverpool items, that people can visit.’’

Op den Brouw is hopeful talks with Liverpool Council CEO Kiersten Fishburn at the end of the month could pave the way for the society to use part of the old court house on the corner of Bigge and Moore Streets.

“In the past three years I have been thinking about where and what are the possibilities for a home and a permanent exhibition for Liverpool Historical Society,’’ he says.

“We can’t fit everything in the old court house, but at least we would be able to have a mini museum and an office – a home once again.’’

The old court house would also be a good option because it’s a stone’s throw from the current bunker under the Liverpool Library where around 10,000 historical items are stored.

“We could even walk items across from here in the bunker to the old court house if that were to happen,’’ says op den Brouw.

As part of the 60th year milestone, the society has produced a list of historical pieces called The History of Liverpool in 60 Objects.

At number one is an Aboriginal grinding stone found along Cabramatta Creek, number nine is a front page article on the formation of the society in 1959, while number 24 is a letter written by local member and Prime Minister Gough Whitlam.

The objects, which are in a glass display, pictured below, can be viewed in the bunker under the library. Check with the society for details.

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