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Museum commissions reprint of book on Gilgunnia history

Wednesday May 6, 2009

Gilgunnia book reprinted
Great Cobar Heritage Centre’s John Collins with ‘Gilgunnia: A Special Place’ book contributors Joy Prisk, Dolly and Barry Betts with a reprinted edition of the book last Friday.

A book documenting the history of the once-thriving village of Gilgunnia has been relaunched due to popular demand.

The Great Cobar Heritage Centre commissioned a reprinted edition of the book ‘Gilgunnia: A Special Place’ after the original print run was completely sold out some years ago.

Three of the book’s contributors, Dolly and Barry Betts and Joy Prisk, joined the museum’s John Collins last Thursday to unveil the reprinted edition.

Mrs Betts said the book was the brainchild of Leila Alderdice.

“Leila was new to the area and really thought Gilgunnia was a special place.

“She was the main one on the committee and collected the stories and photos,” Mrs Betts said.

Mr Collins said the heritage centre had received a number of enquiries about the book “over the years” and decided to reprint a limited run of 100.

“We had enquiries from travellers and people who were featured in the book.

“The museum’s own copy had disappeared as well, so we decided to have another run printed,” Mr Collins said.

The book was first launched in 1994 to celebrate the centenary of the village of Gilgunnia, and was released in conjunction with commemorative copper medallions.

Mr Collins said the reprinted edition of the book is exactly the same as the first, except for a new cover (a result of the printing process).

The book details the history of Gilgunnia, from the settlement of founders Henry and Sidwell Kruge in the 1860s.

Mrs Kruge also played a vital role in the discovery of copper at Cobar.

In 1895 gold was discovered in the Gilgunnia area, leading to a boom for the village which grew to include three hotels, 16 slab huts, 11 log huts, five cottages, four sets of stables, 31 weatherboard huts, eight stores, one iron hut, two halls (one used as a school) and one tent, according to the book.

The book features information on Gilgunnia’s school, the effects of drought and closing mines, and social life in the village.

Members of the Cranston, Read, Youlten, Morris and Kitson families also shared their memories of life in Gilgunnia in the book.

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009 3:47 PM