Peter Finnigan, president of the Friends of the Heritage Village Association is concerned about the future of the village. Photo Sharyn O'Neill / The Morning Bulletin
Peter Finnigan, president of the Friends of the Heritage Village Association is concerned about the future of the village. Photo Sharyn O'Neill / The Morning Bulletin Sharyn O'Neill ROK280313svillage

Village 'friend' says culling collection could save money

OPINIONS were many and varied among Heritage Village volunteers at Thursday's meeting with Mayor Margaret Strelow to discuss the future of the township museum and market centre.

Some were supportive of making alterations to save money while others were shocked such drastic changes - such as closing the village - were even being considered.

The Mayor made a plea for suggestions on how to improve the operation of the village to cut costs for the council.

"You're the people who know this place inside out, you love it," she said.

Vice-president and former treasurer of the Friends of the Heritage Village Association Betty Nixon said culling the size of the village's collection might help cut costs.

"We have a lot of stuff in storage that's costing us a lot of money," she said.

"There are some things that we will probably never have room for in the village ... it's just another expense."

"President Peter Finnigan said he was thankful the mayor had taken time to come and meet them and quash rumours around the village.

"At least she's explained it to us.

"They're her options, we hope the community rejects them and finds a way to keep us going," he said.

They both encouraged the community to rally round the Village.

"Local people need to use our village or we'll lose it," Ms Nixon said.

"There's so many ways we can serve the community," Mr Finnigan said.

Councilor Rose Swadling said she was right behind the Heritage Village, and won't stand to see it closed.

"The cost of what the volunteers have contributed far outweigh the fiscal dollar," she said.

"This belongs to the region."

Peter Finnigan, president of the Friends of the Heritage Village Association is concerned about the future of the village. Photo Sharyn O'Neill / The Morning Bulletin
Peter Finnigan, president of the Friends of the Heritage Village Association is concerned about the future of the village. Photo Sharyn O'Neill / The Morning Bulletin Sharyn O'Neill ROK280313svillage

Volunteer Graham Whitfield was passionate about the role the Village played for its volunteers and the wider community.

"This is like a big men's shed," he said.

"This is like one big family ... we're all here with a passion."

He rejected the idea of the volunteers taking over management, suggesting an organisation like Rotary take it over.

"I've been in business for 38 years for myself and a lot of other blokes here they're all retired, so how do they expect to run this on a friends basis?" Mr Whitfield said.

"If you take this out of the tourism equation what have you got left? This is a major attraction."



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