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Benalla Ensign - - Front Page -

An ex­hi­bi­tion high­light­ing the unique link be­tween Euro­pean set­tle­ment and the Be­nalla district was launched last week.

Win­ton Wet­lands of­fi­cially opened its Euro­pean his­tory ex­hi­bi­tion on Fri­day evening at the Old Lake Mokoan Yacht Club in Ch­es­ney Vale.

Win­ton Wet­lands chair­man Den­nis O’Brien was ex­tremely pleased with the ex­hi­bi­tion’s open­ing.

‘‘This ini­tia­tive is very sig­nif­i­cant to the lo­cal com­mu­nity and in­dica­tive of our in­ten­tions to move for­ward on a multi-fo­cus project that recog­nises and re­news the com­mu­nity and ecol­ogy, as well as busi­ness and tourism op­por­tu­ni­ties,’’ said.

‘‘It was ex­cit­ing to hear so many sto­ries and mem­o­ries that con­nect people to the site and re­ally of­fered vis­i­tors the chance to share these. I en­cour­age ev­ery­one to get out to the ex­hi­bi­tion to en­sure these sto­ries con­tinue to be shared.’’

A high­light of the open­ing day was hav­ing for­mer Win­ton North res­i­dent Clem Lee view the ex­hi­bi­tion. At 94 years old, Mr Lee is the old­est sur­viv­ing mem­ber of the Lee fam­ily and shared many tales of early dairy­ing days across the Win­ton North district.

At the ex­hi­bi­tion’s of­fi­cial


O’Brien open­ing, Win­ton Wet­lands com­mit­tee mem­ber and lo­cal iden­tity Doug Bain and State Mem­ber for Be­nalla Bill Sykes shared their Win­ton Wet­lands ex­pe­ri­ences with a crowd of 60 people.

The ex­hi­bi­tion fea­tures a range of items from Win­ton Wet­lands’ Euro­pean his­tory, in­clud­ing farm­ing tools, items used for sail­ing and wa­ter ski­ing and nu­mer­ous prints of pho­to­graphs.

‘‘With so many lo­cals hav­ing strong con­nec­tions to the site, we are hop­ing that ex­plor­ing the ex­hi­bi­tion’s pieces will be a very nos­tal­gic ex­pe­ri­ence,’’ Win­ton Wet­lands chief ex­ec­u­tive Jim Grant said.

‘‘The com­mu­nity has re­ally em­braced our Euro­pean his­tory project and has con­tin­ued to con­trib­ute to as­sist us to piece it all to­gether.

‘‘We’ve been overwhelmed by the level of in­ter­est and this is re­flected in the num­ber and va­ri­ety of pieces people have pro­vided.’’

The Euro­pean his­tory ex­hi­bi­tion will be open un­til Sun­day, June 1 be­tween 10 am and 4 pm daily. En­try to the ex­hi­bi­tion is free.

For more in­for­ma­tion about the Euro­pean his­tory ex­hi­bi­tion phone the Win­ton Wet­lands of­fice on 5762 1192 or email info@win­ton­wet­

Re­flect­ing on roots: Win­ton Wet­lands chief ex­ec­u­tive Jim Grant, for­mer Win­ton North res­i­dent Clem Lee and daugh­ter Aileen San­ders.

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