Snow history gets display at Bright
WINTER ACTIVITY: Kay Adams and other Bright and District Historical Society members are creating a display on the local ski fields for the Bright Museum.
IF you’re a snow enthusiast then a look back at early ski equipment will tell you how far technology has advanced over the years and presumably for the better.
Some of the snow skis included in a new display at the Bright Museum look more like wooden fence palings then anything that would allow a person to safely make their way down a ski slope.
The exhibition is the newest by the Bright and District Historical Society and with two major ski resorts nearby and a long history of skiing and winter activity at Mt Buffalo there is plenty to be shared.
Kay Adams and Merri Nash, who both worked at the Mt Buffalo Chalet in the past, hope to bring to life a history of the local snow fields.
The two historical society members have already accumulated many items and hope that local people with old and modern ski equipment, gear and other snow related paraphernalia will be happy to add to the collection.
“We’re after any photographs or items that are relat- ed to skiing,” Ms Nash said.
“They need to be pertinent to the local area and historically relevant.
“If someone who lives in Bright bought something back from Austria 50 years ago that’s ok as long as it has a little bit of history behind it.”
The snow exhibition is replacing the Bright 150 year display which was put together in 2012 to mark the town’s milestone birthday.
Among the items already acquired are home-made toboggans and ice skates, a homemade mono-ski and skis that belonged to the publican of Bright’s Alpine Hotel.
“Anything that comes in has to be donated and we have to know the province of it, Ms Nash said.
“We have made an exception with some of the skis which were kindly donated by the op-shop who really looked after us.
“We have a pair of wooden skis of Captain MacFarlane who had the Alpine Hotel in about 1890.
“He formed the Bright Alpine Club back then and the skis we have were the first seen on Mt Buffalo.
“They were very heavy as you could imagine and only really had a leather strap as a toe piece to hold you in.
“We’ve also got some ice skates that were made by a Swedish man named Barney Andresson who came to Australian in about 1920.
“He moved to Porepunkah and baked bread for the Mt Buffalo Chalet and being accustomed to the snow and ice he wanted to teach locals to skate on Lake Catani.
“Because there were no skates he improvised by converting work boots and footy boots into skates.
The other significant piece of equipment is an akia from Mt Buffalo used to carry injured skiers.
It was found in the society’s storage but had never been used and was still wrapped up with the tag on it.
Ms Nash said she and Ms Adams had been inspired by museum displays at Falls Creek and Mt Buller.
“They’ve got so much history at the Falls Creek Museum and while I haven’t seen the National Ski Museum at Mt Buller Kay says it’s an amazing display,” she said.
By JUSTIN JENVEY