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 - - Serving Our Community -

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.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie­mu­ni­ d475261

Mt Flora Re­gional Mu­seum cu­ra­tor Tracy Wil­let with lo­cal his­tory of­fi­cer Kyra Ed­wards.

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