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Dream Retirement Exhibition

Home > Melbourne > Exhibitions | Museums
by Neil Follett (subscribe)
I'm a retired photographer living in Lilydale mainly researching and writing on Australian aviation history. Now writing more on general subjects.
Event: -
The exhibits have retired - not you

shoe poster
The poster advertising the exhibition.

Museum building
The Yarra Ranges Regional Museum.

Dream Retirement' is the title of an exhibition in the Yarra Ranges Regional Museum. It showcases recent acquisitions to the museum's collection. Its collection has over 8000 objects and photographs reflecting the stories of the Yarra Ranges.

One of the most eye-catching exhibits is an ornate chair. It is the mayoral chair of the Fern Tree Gully Shire Council which was gazetted in 1889.

Mayoral chair
The 1889 Mayoral Chair.

Chair inscription.
The inscription on the Mayoral chair.

In 1863, Swiss born Baron Frederic Guillaume de Pury purchased a property in Coldstream and named it Yeringberg. Six years later, he married Ada Ibbotson and they had two sons. A showcase exhibits a pair of Ada's shoes and hats worn by their son, George, when he attended a school in Switzerland.

Old shoes & caps.
Ada's shoes & and George's hats.

In another showcase is a trophy which was to be awarded to the "most graceful girl in callisthenics" at the 1961 Fern Tree Gully Festival. No name has been inscribed on it. The bell is from the Mooroolbark Primary School from the 1930s. It was rung to herald the start of school lessons, lunchtime and recesses. Also in the cabinet is a glass bowl from the 1930s and a book on how to throw a boomerang.

bell & trophy
The bell & trophy display.

No mention of Lilydale would be complete without mention of Dame Nellie Melba. A showcase has a fan which Melba gave to a pianist and singer Emmy Smith-Palmer after she accompanied her on a European tour in 1906.

One end of the display room.

A French flag, signed by Melba is displayed above the showcase. The occasion was a Red Cross fundraising concert held in the Exhibition Buildings in Adelaide in 1914.

French flag
The fan & flag exhibit.

An unusual item is the dunny pan, the forerunner of the septic tank and sewerage systems. The pans were collected weekly by "The Nightman" who would replace the full pan with an empty one.

Dunny pan
A display of convenience.

The bell hung over the entrance door of the Coldstream Post Office in the 1950s and would announce the arrival of a customer.

Above the display cabinet is a sign reading "33 Miles to Griffith Bros. Teas." These signs were on many railway stations with the appropriate mileage shown.

Griffith Bros. Tea sign
Almost every station had one of these.

The red waistcoat belonged to Bill Broadway, a drummer with the local band, "Bluebirds Five," in the early 1960s. In a display opposite this exhibition, musical instruments from the band are displayed.

The drummers waistcoat.

musical instruments
The drummers drum and other instruments.

That display is a permanent exhibition telling the story of the areas past 40,000 years.

In the downstairs display area is the Lynley Dodd Story, well-known for her Hairy Maclary books. The display features original drawings and is open until 26 January 2020.

'Dream Retirement' exhibition is not large, but an extremely interesting telling of a previous era, and when combined with the other two exhibitions, an hour of history can pass quickly.

free sign
No charge.

The Yarra Ranges Regional Library is open every day from 10.00 am to 4.00. pm. except public holidays.
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Where: 35-37 Castella Street, Lilydale. Melways map: 38. F.4.
Cost: Free
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