New memorabilia and fashion exhibits at Tweed Regional Museum

What do a prayer desk, a hand-beaded evening jacket from the 1920s and an All Blacks football blazer have in common?

Not a lot – but all of these items play a part in stories significant to the Tweed, and have been recently acquired for the Tweed Regional Museum collection.

What’s New 2 is on display at Tweed Regional Museum Murwillumbah until Friday 24 June, with a talk focusing on Alex Itong’s All Blacks football team blazers to be held at the Museum on Wednesday 22 June at 6pm.

Photo:  A 1920s Handed Beaded Evening Jacket

What’s New 2, the second in a series of displays showcasing recently-acquired items, also features a collection of memorabilia associated with well-known local builder George Hanna (of Hanna and Edmed) a doll’s hat from the early 1900s and the band from a cap belonging to a HMAS Uki sailor.

Tweed Regional Museum Director Judy Kean said carrying out research on items donated to the collection was always a joy – partly a journey of discovery and partly detective work.  “Putting together this display was no exception,” Ms Kean said.

“It took us into the fascinating and sometimes poignant lives of many people and events, and spanned the decades from the early 1900s to the 1990s.

“In some instances, thanks to the work of donor families, we have been able to access detailed histories of the circumstances in which these items were used and how they survived,” she said.

Ms Kean said in other instances, there was a lot more to discover.  “The beautiful hand-beaded evening jacket from the 1920s made by Dorothy Thornton is the last surviving example of the skill of a gifted seamstress,” she said.

“Thanks to the research already undertaken by the Thornton family, we know much about the family’s connection to the Tweed and about Dorothy, including the early days of her marriage and the glamorous social life she and her husband Syd enjoyed in Tweed Heads and the Gold Coast in the 1920s.

“In other cases, such as for the All Blacks rugby league blazers owned by Alex Itong, player and selector for the team in the 1940s and 1950s, initial research reveals there’s a whole lot more to be recorded.

“As for the doll’s hat, the little we know is probably all we’ll ever be able to discover,” she said.

“We hope people will enjoy these wonderful stories and the glimpses they offer into our rich past and maybe even help to fill in some gaps.”

What’s New 2 is on display at Tweed Regional Museum Murwillumbah until Friday 24 June.

A talk focusing on Alex Itong’s All Blacks football team blazers will be held at the Museum on Wednesday 22 June at 6pm.

For more information, contact the Museum on (02) 6670 2493 or visit

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Courtesy Tweed Shire Council Newsroom.

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See also Tweed Regional Museum – Murwillumbah at Big Volcano and Big Volcano Museums, Historic Places and Heritage Buildings


Tweed Regional Museum showcases recent additions

An original record of the daily happenings at Condong’s sugar mill in 1880 is just one of the ‘old but new’ acquisitions of Murwillumbah’s Tweed Regional Museum, on display now.

The Museum collection includes thousands of individual items gathered over more than 50 years, but history doesn’t stop, and new items are continually being added to the collection.

Museum Director Judy Kean the exhibition, titled What’s New?, showcases these artefacts.  TRMfamily976EL50
Photograph by David Palmer

“Each new addition to the collection brings with it a glimpse into our past,” Ms Kean said.

“We’re very aware that in 20 years’ time and sooner, people will be curious about what was going on in the Tweed in 2015.

What’s New? gives us the opportunity to feature just some of the many significant donations to the Museum over the past couple of years. The oldest ‘new’ acquisition currently on display dates back to 1880, and the most recent to 2013,” she said.

“We’re particularly grateful to those who have parted with treasured items, generously donating them to the Museum so they can be preserved and shared with future generations.”

Ms Kean said the first selection for What’s New? included the original ledger recording the activities of the Colonial Sugar Refining Company (CSR) mill at Condong from its establishment in 1880, alongside a model of the first 747SP (Special Performance) aircraft purchased for the QANTAS fleet in 1981, named City of Gold Coast Tweed.

“We have also included tools from the studio of well-known Stokers Siding potter Bob Connery who passed away in 2013,” she said.

“Only a small portion of the collection can be on display at any one time and a lot of work goes on behind the scenes to get things ready, so we’ve put together a short sequence of images featuring objects being prepared for display.”

Behind the scenes at the Museum Store

“If visitors enjoy seeing this little bit of what goes on behind the scenes, and the diversity of the collection, they may enjoy a tour of the Museum collection store. We are often asked about where everything not currently on display is kept, and our store is something of an Aladdin’s cave.”

Free tours of the Tweed Regional Museum store are available on the third Thursday of every month at 11am. The next tour will be held on 21 January 2016.

Each tour is led by a Museum staff member and takes about an hour. Bookings are essential Tel: (02) 6670 2493 or

What’s New? is part of the summer season of displays now open at Tweed Regional Museum Murwillumbah.

Tweed Shire Council Newsroom


See also  Tweed Regional Museum – Murwillumbah at Big Volcano

Auslan guided tours coming to the Gallery and Museum

New tours to widen horizon for hearing impaired

Tweed Regional Gallery and Tweed Regional Museum will offer Auslan (Australian Sign Language) guided tours this year for deaf and hearing impaired visitors.

Four interpreted tours will explore and provide insight on the Museum’s historical collection, the 1915 ‘Shire Hall’ and selected highlights from the Gallery and Margaret Olley Art Centre.  

Gallery Director Susi Muddiman said that the Gallery and Margaret Olley Art Centre had offered interpreted tours in the past that were very popular.   [Big Volcano Visitor Guide: Tweed Regional Gallery]

“We hope that by offering a number of tours throughout the year that take in both the Museum and Gallery, people will be able to plan a visit to the Tweed and to these two wonderful facilities,” Ms Muddiman said.

Museum Director Judy Kean said this will be the first occasion the Museum has offered an interpreted tour for deaf and hearing impaired visitors.   [Big Volcano Visitor Guide: Tweed Regional Museum – Murwillumbah.] Tweed Museum - Murwillumbah, David Palmer, Big Volcano

“Highlights will include a background on the heritage Museum building, which celebrates its 100th birthday this year,” she said.

“We are delighted to be able to collaborate with the Gallery to offer this program.”

The first of the tours will take place on Saturday 4 April with the remaining three scheduled for 6 June, 5 September and 7 November 2015.

The Museum tour will run from 10am to 11am and the Gallery tour from 12pm to 1pm on all dates.

Auslan interpreted tours are free but bookings are essential. To book contact Museum Collection and Program Support Officer Kirsty Andrew on (02) 6670 2493 (this phone number also receives text messages) or

For more information, visit or

Courtesy of TSC Media Unit Monday 23 March, 2015