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40 years of fine craft

Tuesday, 16th July, 2013

Aloomba Arts and Crafts secretary Joy Cakebread with some of her art works. Aloomba Arts and Crafts secretary Joy Cakebread with some of her art works.

An art and craft centre which started as a small hobby for a handful of women is now celebrating 40 years.

After its inception, Aloomba Arts and Crafts soon blossomed into a special attraction for Broken Hill.

“Aloomba Arts and Crafts Centre at the rear of shops in Oxide and Chapple Streets, was formed by foundation members Pat Coffey, Rita Smith, Marj Pinkerton, and Doreen Fitzpatrick,” secretary Joy Cakebread said.

“Their first meeting was on Tuesday January 23, 1973 and was held with 15 members attending.”

By 1974, there was a total of 54 members, with several on a waiting list.

“The first president was Marj Pinkerton and annual fees were set at $10 per year,” Mrs Cakebread said.

Over the next few years, a variety of crafts were initiated and enjoyed, including string pictures, bark painting, pottery, macrame, China painting, mosaics, oil painting, card making, soft goods, knitting, crochet, folk art, copper enamelling, ceramics, egg artistry, and cottage crafts.

“Members participated in many exhibitions,” Mrs Cakebread said.

“Exhibits were held at the Town Hall Facade, there were displays at the Library, the Tourist Information Centre, the Plaza and Algate House Annual Fete, the YWCA yearly fete, St Peter’s Church Hall and Lifeline.

“We had a special display with other ladies for International Women’s Year, and Charles Sturt Festival at the Civic Centre.”

Mrs Cakebread said over the years there were lots of fun days at the rooms.

“Our first fun day was painting the Aloomba sign on the outside wall of the rooms,” she said.

In 1987, they were able to rent the shop on the corner of Oxide and Chapple Streets, so they could display their work to the passing public.

“In the continuing years, our membership declined and in February 2004, we closed the shop.

“But continuing with a membership of seven; we meet once a month to have a stall at the Centro Westside,” Mrs Cakebread said.

“We also participate at the pottery fete and LifeLine, each year, with our varied crafts, home made cakes, jams and pickles.”

Mrs Cakebread said the group would meet at Centro Westside this Thursday to display their art.

“We have five members left and the eldest is my mother who is 98,” she said.

“The stall at the plaza is reasonably popular, we had out brochures to promote our work.”

She said it was unfortunate that they were lacking in younger members. But the current members enjoyed meeting once a month to promote their goods.

The craft stall starts at 9am and run until 5pm.

“I would encourage as many people as possible to come out and see our arts and crafts,” Mrs Cakebread said.

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