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St Johns Ambulance Museum

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by Clay Steele (subscribe)
Nutritionist & Life Coach Meeting all requirements to call myself so (i.e. none)
Published May 1st 2012
Across the way from Williamstown Beach resides the charmingly quaint St Johns Ambulance Museum. In a small space you will find some lovingly assembled displays of the organisation's contributions throughout the years. It's an eclectic mix, from the Boer War to the Sunbury Music Festivals of the 1970's St Johns has been in the background tending to the maimed and drug addled alike.

St Johns Ext
St Johns Museum, Williamstown Beach

A more entrepreneurial management would probably request a gold coin donation however "entrepreneurial" is certainly not a word that springs to mind when you enter the museum. After spending around 90 seconds trying to work out if I should knock on the front door or just enter I decided on the latter. The small, bare floor boarded space is efficiently used; walls adorned with war medallions, ye olde looking tomes and photos of Victorian era handlebar moustaches surround mannequins dressed in distinguished blue uniforms.

St Johns Manequins
One of the displays in the museum

I get the impression that the museum is held together by a few volunteers who have seen many more winters than have I. It definitely has the feel of the bowling club featured in the movie Crackerjack about it. You do learn interesting tid-bits, such as the eleventh century founding of the St Johns Hospital in Jerusalem from which grew the Order of St John and more latterly the St Johns Ambulance, however the museum can only really provide you with a 10 minute diversion rather than a fascinating afternoon.

St Johns Medals
War medals on display in the museum

Your kids would likely become bored in the museum once they realise that the mannequin displays are not for touching and they're unlikely to view any actual war wounds. However if you love your nostalgia and senior citizens so sweet they make you want to weep then definitely stick your head in the door, at least before they start demanding a gold coin for the privilege.
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Why? Nostalgia
When: Daytime
Where: The Espalande, Williamstown Beach
Cost: Free
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