Rob Nicholls and Gay Gillies of the Proserpine Historical Museum Society in front of the new RSL donated exhibit.
Rob Nicholls and Gay Gillies of the Proserpine Historical Museum Society in front of the new RSL donated exhibit. Peter Carruthers

Museum launching new RSL war exhibit

WAR historians will be elated to learn that a new exhibit at the Proserpine Museum opened last week.

When deciding what was going to happen with the RSL collection of war artefacts after the Chapman St building stopped operating, the Proserpine Historical Museum Society was left with a conundrum.

They wanted to display the collection but did not have the space, society secretary Gay Gillies said.

In order to facilitate the public showing of priceless war artefacts, help was enlisted in the form of society member Ian Lade, president Don Kurkowski and vice-president Rob Nicholls.

The team came up with a solution that involved the partitioning of a climate- controlled room to store the sensitive artefacts, which were on loan from the RSL. 

"We went and spoke to the RSL and checked out the legality and it took a long time but it is finally up and running," Ms Gillies said.

Everything on display has at one stage in its life been owned by a Proserpine enlistee. There are guns, ammunition, models of tanks and some special stories of Proserpine soldiers.

Ms Gillies said the sensitive nature of the exhibit meant a person with proper firearm accreditation needed to be on hand to handle the deactivated guns and ammo.

"Ian Lade holds a gun holder's licence and we had to make sure the guns were properly looked after," Ms Gillies said.

Along with the war relics, documentation has been sourced on a Proserpine soldier, Charlie Doherty, and the story of well-known local family the Johnstones has been chronicled in detail.

Entry to the Proserpine Museum is $3 for school aged children and $6 for adults.

Or for $7 a year you can become a member and entry to the museum is free.

"It wonderful to see it all up and running and we will have an official opening later in the year," Ms Gillies said.


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