Re­sort looks back in time

Mt Hotham Falls Creek - - FRONT PAGE -

TUCKED away in the Pan­a­bode Build­ing next to the newly re­named Hal­ley’s Comet chair­lift at Falls Creek is a bit of his­tory – in fact a lot of his­tory and the col­lec­tion is grow­ing.

The re­sort’s his­tor­i­cal so­ci­ety, with the aid of an ever in­creas­ing num­ber of bene­fac­tors, has put to­gether a col­lec­tion of mem­o­ra­bilia and arte­facts from Falls Creek’s vi­brant past.

There are of course old skis and old ski boots, but there are also in­dige­nous arte­facts, a pi­o­neer­ing ski­doo and uni­forms trac­ing the his­tory of ski pa­trol at the re­sort as well as Aus­tralian Win­ter Olympic gear dat­ing back to Inns­bruck and more re­cently freestyle skier Brit­tany Cox’s jacket from Sochi.

But Karen Smythe, who is co­or­di­nat­ing the vol­un­teers who man the mu­seum most af­ter­noons, says her favourite is the lift ticket to­kens col­lected by Falls Creek stal­wart Lyn Gibbs.

“The amount of peo­ple who stop and work their way through the dif­fer­ent to­kens is just amaz­ing,” she said.

“There are tickets that you tore off each time you caught a lift, a cu­ri­ous coin that dates back to the 1960s and so many oth­ers that rekin­dle mem­o­ries.”

Smythe says the mu­seum is a work in progress.

“Peo­ple now re­alise that we are open, that we are here and so they are now will­ing to do­nate some of their trea­sures,” she said.

“And that is ex­actly what we want to hap­pen -- with more mem­o­ra­bilia, arte­facts and other bits and pieces we can ro­tate ex­hi­bi­tions, cre­ate new dis­plays so that peo­ple come back time and time again.

“Just the other day a lodge owner brought in a video of the con­struc­tion of his build­ing -- it is these videos and footage that will con­tinue to build our col­lec­tion.

“Our next big push, at least for next year, will be to cre­ate a fash­ion dis­play through the ages – it’s a chance to show­case some of that great ski gear from the 1960s and ‘70s.”

The Falls Creek mu­seum is closed on Mon­days but open from 1pm to 4pm the rest of the week.

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