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Manilla Historical Society 50 years young

              Manilla Historical Society was formed in 1972, after a group of local residents requested the Manilla Shire Council President Cr, Brian Brynes to convene a public meeting to gauge the interest of the local residents in forming a Historical Society.

              Even though the meeting was small in numbers it was big in  resolve. So in May 1972  (50 Years ago) the Manilla Historical Society was formed with Brian Brynes elected President, Mrs. Lila Grill Secretary, Lindsay Bignall elected Treasurer, Mrs Marion Bignall Researcher (Historian), Committee Members were Mrs Nola Coote, Mr. & Mrs Alan Alston, Mr. Charles Hedger, Jim Maxwell, Mrs. Worthington, Mr. George Nixon.

              A temporary museum was established in a shop which was formally Noel Simpson’s Chemist Shop. The Museum was moved to the present site (Royce Cottage) in late 1975. In that year the former Manilla Shire Council purchased the block next door to Royce Cottage, which was formally Venes’s Garage and later Burges’s Garage for $5,000 of which Manilla Historical Society contributed $2,500 and this became Pioneer Park. In 1975 the Yarramanbully School was moved onto its present site to mark the Centenary of Education of Education in Manilla. Later Council built the Stable Workshop at the rear of the block for the a Arts and Pottery Workshop. In 1984 the Former M.C.MacKenzies brick garage was added to the Museum for a Machinery Museum.

              On Saturday 11th June the 50th Anniversary was held with former residents and some former members of the Historical Society attending, with a least one former pupil of Yarramanbully School, Mr. Jack O’Dell from Tamworth.

              President of the Society Jim Maxwell (a foundation member ) welcomed the g guests – Tamworth Regional Council Mayor Russell Webb along with the Local State Member Kevin Anderson addressed those present. Jim Maxwell and Kevin Anderson unveiled a plaque to commemorate the occasion. The president Jim Maxwell then read a letter from Mrs. Nola

Coote the other remaining founding member of the Society who was unable to attend the celebration.

              She wrote, “First of all I must apologise for not being to attend the 50th anniversary due to health concerns.

              I joined the Manilla Historical Society at the very beginning after hearing of early Manilla and District History item being dumped at the local tip, down wells,and disused long-drops etc.

              Together with Marion Bignall, Lila Grill, Allan & Margaret Alston and a couple others we approached the Manilla Shire President Brian Brynes asking him to convene a public meeting to see if there was enough interest in forming a Historical Society to preserve the local history and as they say in the Classics “The Rest is History”.

              During my time with the Manilla Historical Society I not only enchanted my interest in the history of the past, but have made lifelong friends who I keep in contact with, sadly some have passed on.

              It is an honour to be one of two founding members of the Manilla Historical Society, the other being Jim Maxwell.

              Sorry I am unable to attend the 50th Anniversary, keep up the good work and congratulations on the 50th Anniversary”.

              Nola Coote former President Manilla Historical Society.

              Before adjourning to morning tea President Jim invited those present to go over to the “Yarramanbully School” where Mrs Nancy Gallagher

unveiled a sign with a little of the history of the school, which  was donated to the Manilla Historical Society in 1977 By Mrs. Gallagher’s late husband Peter on behalf of the Gallagher Family

              Submitted by the Manilla Historical Society