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History of the Lodge

Wednesday, 17th October, 2018

Co-owner of the Lodge Outback Motel Helene Power between several of the informative pieces within the Lodge’s ‘Heritage near me’ exhibition. PICTURE: Callum Marshall Co-owner of the Lodge Outback Motel Helene Power between several of the informative pieces within the Lodge’s ‘Heritage near me’ exhibition. PICTURE: Callum Marshall

By Callum Marshall

An exhibition exploring the characters and stories of the Lodge Outback Motel is currently on display within the building.

The ‘Heritage near me’ exhibition contains a series of informative posters and images drawn from information discovered through the online library database Trove as well as archives within the Broken Hill Library.

Co-owner of the Lodge Outback Motel Helene Power said the exhibition would provide locals a greater insight into the history of the building and the people who occupied it.

“It’s partly telling the social history of this building and it’s been inspired by Professor Simon Molesworth,” she said.

“It’s been brought about as a response to guests who came in all the time asking about its history.

“So I thought I’d put it up in an exhibition to tell all these stories because there’s quite a few of them like Doctor Macgillivray, the first man who lived here. He had aviaries and a zoo here while also studying birds.”

William Macgillivray, or Dr. Macgillivray, was a well-known naturalist who moved to Broken Hill in 1901 and helped establish the Barrier Field Naturalists Club alongside Albert and Margaret Morris. 

Helene said that the exhibition contained some amusing stories about his time living within the building.

“One snippet in the paper was him telling boys that they were alright to go through the grounds but not allowed to open the cages and let the birds out because someone had let a crow out that he was studying. So now he’d have to repeat 12 months of studying this (particular) bird,” she said.

“The other one I found is one where he crossed the road and got hit by something and fell over. His son rushed over to help him out but he wasn’t quite sure whether it was a pushbike or a motorbike, but the snippet said he’d be ‘fine to go to work tomorrow.’”

Although Doctor MacGillivray, his family and his work forms a big part of the exhibition, Helene said there were also other interesting stories to explore.

“There’s another one about the architecture of this place and the intricate details that I found out through my research, as well as one about the Lodge and when it was opened back in 1965,” she said.

“There’s also a little detail about this lady with her engagement card and how she came and spent her wedding night here. That was the big thing to do in the 70s.

“I’ve actually spoken to quite a few locals who did that, how the Lodge was the place to come to spend your wedding night.”

Helene hoped the exhibition would inspire more people to explore the town’s heritage and lead to more interest in historical events across the town. 

“Partly, it’s showing what Broken Hill can really be proud of. Its social history and the interesting and fascinating lives of the people that have lived out here, and how different it is to the big cities,” she said.

She also welcomed the idea of people contributing to the exhibition if they had anything relevant to add.

“If people have other stories and memories of the Lodge, then they’re more than welcome to pop in and tell them so we can record them,” she said.

The ‘Heritage near me’ exhibit is currently on display at the Lodge Outback Motel and will run until the end of February. The exhibit is free and open to the public. 

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