“Heritage Matters” Exhibition

8th August 2021
By Gina Tooke
Professor Peter Stanley launches our "Heritage Matters" exhibition at ACT Heritage Library.

The FHACT Heritage Matters exhibition opened on 2 August at the ACT Heritage Library in Canberra. The exhibition showcases the evolution of Family History ACT over the past 55+ years and what this means to family history researchers both here in the ACT and more broadly within our region.  The exhibition features many photographs, artefacts and ephemera.

FHACT Patron Professor Peter Stanley officiated at the opening of the exhibition at the Society’s premises at Cook - a virtual launch due to COVID restricted numbers at the exhibition venue.  Members enjoyed a virtual video walk through of the exhibition and a preview of the display’s video presentation featuring reminiscences from members Pam Ray, Barbara Moore, June Penny and Grahame Thom alongside a sneak preview of the Society’s work on the ACT Heritage Tracks and digitisation of the Brian Maher collection.

Speaking about the exhibition, Peter Stanley said Heritage Matters is a further demonstration that ‘Family History ACT is an unusually dynamic and productive organisation and has been that way from its inception in 1964.’

The exhibition is both a history of FHACT and a demonstration of why family history should be done and how it can be done. Peter said, ‘I was especially gratified to learn that in the course of demonstrating the research value of cemeteries and their inscriptions, the Society used to hold Cemetery picnics. If, as the Bible truly tells us, ‘in the midst of life we are in death’, the attitude of embracing cemeteries as places to learn, share and even celebrate seems to me to be particularly forward thinking.’  Peter recommends the exhibition to visitors as a ‘most informative and interesting exhibition which along the way reveals why family history is a compelling, not to say compulsive pastime’.

Exhibition project manager Kerrie Gray also addressed the launch and spoke about her pleasure in unearthing the photos, memorabilia and the beautiful handwriting and drawings from the minutes of the society’s first meeting which can be seen at the display.  Kerrie said congresses, cemetery picnics and roadshows all had a role to play in us becoming part of the wider family history community and in developing strong friendships within that community’.  The displays at the exhibition capture these and other memorable and formative moments in the history of FHACT.

FHACT gratefully acknowledges and thanks the exhibition sponsors - Bytes N Colours, the Framing Doctor and Trinity Law – for their valued contributions and support to this exhibition.

The exhibition runs at the ACT Heritage Library at 255 Canberra Avenue, Fyshwick from 2nd August – 3 September 2021.  Information about attending the exhibition is available here.

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