Solving puzzle of the past
The will introduce you to people who serve our community behind the scenes at local councils over the next two weeks. This week, Laura Pond meets Tracy Willet.
Western Suburbs Weekly THE role of museum curator is similar to constructing a big jigsaw puzzle, says Tracy Willet.
The City of Stirling curator manages Mt Flora Regional Museum in Watermans Bay and the Stirling Community History Collection.
Mrs Willet worked in libraries before completing a museum studies degree and joining the City staff 16 years ago.
“I am very passionate about the importance of preserving our history for future generations,” she said.
“Every day I get to handle historical objects, or discover a new story, or meet someone with a connection to Stirling.
“It is like a big jigsaw puzzle and putting those pieces together is very gratifying.
“I have collected stories that have me laugh, cry, smile, wonder and feel inspired.”
According to Mrs Willet, selling land in Scarborough was not always as is easy as it is now.
“No one was interested in purchasing land from this afar coastal place where the roads were rickety wooden or limestone tracks,” she said.
“One of the rather provocative manoeuvres they did was to name the Scarborough streets the same as Perth City streets, such as Adelaide Terrace, Beaufort, Lord, William, Stirling, Aberdeen, and Francis streets.
“This made potential outof-town buyers think the land was in the city area, making it easier to sell.”
The museum on Elvire Street, which is housed in a water tank built in 1936, displays the region’s history though photos, artefacts and stories and has permanent exhibitions on market gardens, suburb histories and early school days.
Mrs Willet said preserving the City’s history was important for individuals, families and the community.
“If we are to understand where we are at present we need to know our past, which is imperative to help us plan our future,” she said.
“Our past has stories to inspire every one and they are all around us just waiting for discovery.”
The museum is open Wednesdays and the first Sunday of the month from 1pm to 4pm. Mrs Willet hosts guided tours by appointment.
Mt Flora Regional Museum curator Tracy Willet with local history officer Kyra Edwards.