HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF MOOROOPNA
PURPOSE AND VISION
The aims of the Historical Society of Mooroopna are to:
Create a permanent home for history in Mooroopna, which has been by purcashing the Museum building and being debt free.
To make the Historical Society financially feasible.
To recruit more working members, and have those members enjoy their involvement.
Further develop and preserve the most extensive single information resource on the history of Mooroopna.
Promote the many wonders of Mooroopna’s past to all Victorians. To help us safeguard the future of Mooroopna’s history, you can make a donation to the Society. By supporting the Society you are helping us to ensure that your grandchildren’s, grandchildren learn about and enjoy the treasures of Mooroopna’s past.
FROM 1983 TO NOW
From its inception in 1983, the Historical Society of Mooroopna has been collecting items of historical interest. The Society of Mooroopna exists to establish, maintain and manage a collection of historical items, and to restore, preserve, catalogue and display articles of importance to the history of Mooroopna and its surrounding district.
The Society’s Museum displays items, documents and photographs from Mooroopna’s past, and also displays and preserves items associated with the history of the Mooroopna Hospital (now Goulburn Valley Health). The Society is housed in the former Grutzner House, at the rear of the old Mooroopna Hospital. Outside of the Museum walls, a couple of larger items exist at Ferrari Park. The old Compressor from AFP and a large Horse powered Wagon.
The Mooroopna Historical Society was established in 1983, with the help of the Mooroopna Kiwanis Club. They enlisted the help of the Royal Historical Society and the Shire of Rodney. The society is all about the people of Mooroopna, The Goulburn River, the Fruit Industry, Dairy Industry, Flour Mill, Irrigation and the development of the district. It has a special interest in the medical history of the Mooroopna Hospital.
The early meetings of the society were held at Dr John Mackellar’s Surgery Rooms, until 1989, when the Atheneum Hall became a permanent home, and the front of the RSL Hall was used as an office & Library. In 1992 land was offered for a proposed Heritage & Cultural centre at Kids Town and Storage was offered at Northern Pear Growers.
In 1993 ‘Back to Mooroopna’ was a successful event raising over $12,000 towards the planned Heritage & Cultural Centre. In mid 1993 flooding caused extensive damage to the RSL Hall and later heavy rain caused severe damage to the Atheneum Hall. During this year a joint committee of management was formed with the Hospital to establish a GVBH Historical Centre based on the Geoffrey Nice Collection which already existed.
In 1996 the Atheneum Hall was set up as a permanent display. The recreation Reserve Gymnasium was offered as a possible site, but the floor would have had to have been replaced, as it had been damaged by the flood. A Public meeting was held by the Society & MEAC at the Hub. In 2002 we received a grant of $2,000, which became a much appreciated annual gift from the City of Greater Shepparton.
In February 2008 we were offered the use of the old Grutzner House, on a free lease basis. In October 2009 the new Museum was officially reopened at Grutzner House. By June 2010 the society was advised that the building was being demolished or sold. July 25th 2010 saw the last opening day, with 150 people attending, who really did not want to see the Museum close.
The Rotary Club of Mooroopna supported an appeal to purchase the Grutzner House building. Barry Campbell was president at the time, and had become very involved with the Historical Society. He is now Secretary, and has been since 2014. (He was also involved with the keeping of, and then creation of a new Police Station for Mooroopna). At this time, Jeanette Powell promised $200,000 to the society, conditional on the Coalition Parties getting into power. Thankfully, they were elected, and the society received the money. A further $50,000 was received from The Greater Shepparton City Council. The rest of the funding came from our local community and service clubs.
The Grutzner house building is on residential land, and to run as a museum, a permit was required. In spite of having occupied the same property for 15 years, it required a $522 permit, and the Council required that a car park for 300 cars be built! A requirement of the Council grant was to have our project on the Mooroopna Community Plan list. While formalising the purchase of the building, there were many obstacles. The car park has been built, as required by council, but only for 12 car parks.
Improvements to the building include making the roof secure & watertight, along with new spouting and facia Board. LED lighting has been added, the inside of the building has been repainted, solar panels installed, an Honour Board for donors created, and security cameras installed. The Museum now has NBN, supplying Wifi to the entire building. The Football Club donated a new large TV, and pictures of Mooroopna’s previous football players. The Mens Shed have donated a computer with videos installed which show the AFP operating in 1930, and another video from the 90s. It also contains a recording of about 10 long time Senior employees, of AFP, discussing their times with the Ardmona Cannery. These are all available to be viewed at the Museum. Ardmona Cannery was an important part of Mooroopna since the 1920s. The Museum also has a lot of information about the Flour Mill on display, (and in storage). There is also interesting information regarding the Ardmona Cannery and the Mooroopna Hospital. The Museum contains the largest collection of Hospital equipment in country Victoria.
There is a Flagpole from the Hospital at the front of the Museum in Park St, and the society has also obtained an old security door and fencing from the old Mooroopna Police station, as well as a cell door. The Museum has built up garden beds at both the front and back of the building, and interestingly, these gardens will be of great value when the Goulburn River rises too high, as the building is on a flood plain.
The Mooroopna Historical Society is always looking for new members. If you have an interest in history, and would enjoy volunteering, for as little or as much time as you like, we’d love to hear from you. Check the CONTACT US or VISIT US sections for visiting times and contact details.
The Museum is always appreciative of donations - either monetary or items of historical significance to the Mooroopna Community. If you'd like to help, pleas CLICK HERE for more details.