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Nature pioneers mark centenary

Tuesday, 11th February, 2020

An award presented to club member and renowned Broken Hill artist May Harding. An award presented to club member and renowned Broken Hill artist May Harding.

This month, the Barrier Field Naturalists’ Club will celebrate 100 years of continuous community service and caring for our natural environment.

The club was formed on February 18, 1920 at a public meeting in the Technical College in Argent Street.

The meeting was attended by about 40 people and Dr McGillivray and Albert Morris became the first President and Secretary, respectively. 

Among the several events planned for throughout the year to mark the occasion, such as workshops and other activities, the club will be staging a Centenary Exhibition, which opens in June at the Geo Centre and will run for 10 weeks. 

Treasurer of the club, James Bourne, said the costs involved with mounting such an exhibition were significant and they will rely heavily on fundraising. 

For this purpose, the club has set up a ‘go fund me’ page and any amount that people are able to donate will go a long way to help cover costs.

“We are hoping to be able to mount, frame and exhibit an astounding collection of fragile botanical specimens, gathered by botanists and passionate club members over 60 years ago - a veritable treasure trove of species endemic to the Broken Hill region and now of national significance,” Mr Bourne said.

“In addition, we will be exhibiting some of the unique collection of one hundred years’ worth of archival material from Albert and Margaret Morris’ superb collection of glass-lantern slides and hand-coloured photos and works by May Harding.”

Mr Bourne said some of the Barrier Field Naturalists’ most outstanding achievements included the creation of the Regeneration Areas around Broken Hill over a 30-year period; the gazetting of Mutawintji as a reserve then declaration as a National Park; intervention to save the “dig-tree” at Innamincka commemorating Burke and Wills’ expedition and; having Central Reserve renamed Sturt Park to honour Sturt’s exploration of this region.

Donations can be made at https://www.gofundme.com/f/100-years-observing-and-caring-for-arid-lands

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