Perth Heritage Days are here for another year courtesy of Heritage Perth and the growing support and interest of the public. This year's theme of 'Perth at the Outbreak of War' has great significance for the city and Australia as the lives of its people, places and history were influenced by both World War I and II. In addition, the centenary of the outbreak of WWI and the 75th anniversary of the outbreak of WWII occurs this year. Held on the weekend of 18 and 19 October, Perth Heritage Days 2014 will be a rare opportunity to hear stories about how these 2 international wars influenced and shaped Perth and its forebears. museums, restaurants, art galleries, libraries, heritage buildings and special events will focus on how Perth was affected in 1914 and 1939.
There is keen interest from many to attend Perth Heritage Days and several events are fully booked. So I decided to speak with the organisers and found that there are still plenty of things to do that don't need any prior bookings or reservations. Here's a list of the FREE things to do and see during Perth Heritage Days that are as as easy as just showing up.
Government House / Photo courtesy of Heritage Perth
Government House - Open on 18 October from 5.30pm to 9pm, you and your family can experience Perth's most magnificent heritage building under the cover of night. Supported by the Government House Foundation of Western Australia, you can learn about the Cunningham family whose 6 sons went to WWI and returned. You can also take a self-guided tour of the house by lamplight and take in the beauty of another era. Thanks to the Westralian Great War Living History Association, the grounds will be transformed into a replica WWI army camp and hospital with tents, soldiers, nurses, campfires and members of re-enactment group, the 10th Light Horse Troop.
Parliament House - Open on 19 October from 10am to 4pm. You can enjoy a fun day out with self-guided tours of the house, exhibitions by the Armed Forces and the 10th Light Horse Troop re-enactment parade.
GPO Building - This year also marks the 100th anniversary of the first automatic (i.e. dial) telephone exchange in Perth and the WA sub-branch of the Australian Historic Telephone Society (AHTS) is involved in operating a display in the old GPO building in Forrest Chase. There will be vintage telephones, vintage gramophones and Morse code demonstrations on 18 and 19 October from 10am to 4pm. You might still be able to reserve a space for the Aboriginal Cultural Experience taking place from the GPO on 19 October.
Open doors Sunday - Additional open door events on 19 October include the WA Rowing Club, The Bell Tower, Mercy Heritage Centre, East Perth Cemeteries, Trinity Church, DFES Education & Heritage Centre, ANZAC House, Royal Perth Hospital Museum and Box City (for the kiddies) at WA Museum Hackett Hall.
Perth Town Hall / Photo courtesy of Heritage Perth
More walk up exhibitions - Don't fret if you miss some of the exhibitions on 18 and 19 October. Some walk up exhibitions will still be available after the official Perth Heritage Days. They include the 'Perth at the Outbreak of War' exhibit at Burt Memorial Hall till 25 October, and 'Gnarla Moort' (Our People) presenting 12 Noongar elders till 2 November at the Perth Town Hall.