The History Of The Bega Valley Historical Society Bega Main Street-01

A public meeting was called by the Mayor of Bega, Alderman Charles Ayres, in the Bega School of Arts on the 28th March, 1952, with the object of forming  an historical society. Sister Bernice Smith was elected President. The Mayor was elected Patron. Secretary and Treasurer were to be appointed later.

The committee was Miss Kate Ritchie, Sister Marjorie Sirl, Mr Silby McNeil, Mr Greg Lofts, Mr A. T. Cochrane, Mr Alf Laws, Mr Bob Russell and Mr W. B. “Curly” Anabel.

The historical society met regularly, always on the lookout for suitable premises for a museum. However it wasn’t until the 18th of December 1967 that Sister Bernice Smith managed to open the Bega Museum in a single room in Church St.

There was another move in Church St followed by occupation of the historical building in Gipps St that had been a the Bega bridge-01bakehouse, bank, solicitors office and police station. After the museum moved on it became The Tourist Information Office until it to moved on to The Bega Cheese Heritage Centre.

In 1976 the Society was asked to vacate these premises and the Courthouse was considered a perfect position for a museum. However the old Bank building in Auckland St was eventually selected and the museum items were actually in storage there when the old Family Hotel came on the market following the death of it’s owner, Mr Harry Scanes. Arrangements were quickly made for a loan from the Shire Council and the Society purchased their dream, a permanent museum.

After much restoration and maintenance the Bega Family Museum was officially opened on Saturday April 16th, 1977, by the Mayor, Mr Roy Howard, who became the Societies Patron.


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