Launch of ‘Gilgandra’s Coo-ees’ new museum display in the Coo-ee March Gallery at Coo-ee Heritage & Visitor Information Centre
On Tuesday 25th August 2015 I attended the launch of a new museum display about the 35 men from Gilgandra who enlisted in the Gilgandra to Sydney Coo-ee March, at the Coo-ee Heritage & Visitor Information Centre at Coo-ee Memorial Park, Gilgandra.
The new display was officially opened by Mark Coulton MP, Federal Member for Parkes.
Pictured from left to right in front of the new display panels, which feature information on each of the 35 Gilgandra Coo-ees, is Gilgandra Shire Council Cultural Officer Kylie Moppett, Acting Mayor Cr. Ashley Walker, Gilgandra Museum & Historical Society curator Shirley Marks, Gilgandra Museum & Historical Society member Margo Piggott, Member for Parkes Mark Coulton, and Graeme Hosken and Mrs Imelda Silva.
A book titled ‘Gilgandra’s Coo-ees’ that was compiled by Margo Piggott to support the new display, which provides information about each of the 35 Gilgandra Coo-ees, including a photograph of many of them, was provided to the large number of people who attended the launch.
Also during the launch, Mrs Imelda Silva, with her nephew Graeme Hosken, donated an original purple “Coo-ee badge” ribbon to the Coo-ee March Gallery collection, which will make a valuable addition to the collection. This ribbon had been obtained by the family at the time the Coo-ees stopped at Eastern Creek in Sydney on 10th November 1915 during the Coo-ee March and was kept in the family’s autograph book. A photocopy of the signatures that were written in this autograph book on this same day, which includes Bill Hitchen’s signature, was also donated to the Coo-ee March Gallery collection.
In conjunction with Blacktown & District Historical Society, my husband and I and Jim Bostock have just published a book entitled ‘Diggers from the Shire of Blacktown 1914-1918’. One chapter features Recruiting and the Coo-ee March, focussing particularly on the St Mary’s to Parramatta section of the route. The autograph book with the signatures of some of the Coo-ees as well as that of the school teacher of Wallgrove Public School (now Eastern Creek Public School) has particular relevance to our own local history. Well done and we look forward to visiting Gilgandra in the very near future to see your display.
If anyone is interested in purchasing ‘Diggers from the Shire of Blacktown 1914-1918’ it is available for $40 plus postage through the Blacktown & District Historical Society, P.O. Box 500, BLACKTOWN NSW 2148.
Thank you for this information. I will purchase a copy of the book. The Coo-ee March Gallery at the Coo-ee Heritage & Visitors Information Centre http://www.gilgandra.nsw.gov.au/community/cultural-heritage/heritage-centre provides a wonderful museum display about the Coo-ee March for anyone visiting Gilgandra. Gilgandra holds a Coo-ee Festival every long weekend in October, and the Coo-ee March 2015 Reenactment will leave Gilgandra following a street parade and commemorative service at the on Saturday 17th October 2015 – details for the activities that will be happening in Gilgandra for the start of the march can be found at http://www.gilgandra.nsw.gov.au/news/what-s-on-in-2015.
Thanks, Helen. We might make a special trip to Gilgandra in October.