MORE than $70,000 stands between the Ballarat Ranger Military Museum and a much-needed expansion in time for the centenary celebrations of Ballarat’s 8th Battalion.
The building which houses Ballarat’s foremost collection of wartime memorabilia is bulging at the seams and another is needed to ease the load.
More display space would give curators a chance to display more of the collection than is currently possible – items which are currently locked away in storage.
It’s hoped that when constructed, elements of the City of Ballarat’s wartime collection currently at the Gold Museum, and possibly parts of the Ballarat RSL’s collection could also call the museum home.
Museum manager Neil Leckie said a quote for a similar sized building, planned to be adjacent to the existing facility, would cost close to $120,000.
He said the University of Ballarat had offered student apprentices from one of their TAFE courses to be used as labour, which equates to about $50,000 off the price.
The trade-off is that the students could then gain competencies in their course.
Mr Leckie said any help from the community would be greatly appreciated to make up the $70,000 shortfall.
“We’re calling on residents to offer any cash donations or businesses to donate either cash or perhaps building materials,” he said. “At the moment we’re full – we simply need more space and we’ve got a big eight years coming up where more and more people will want to donate things to display.”
Those eight years coincide with various centenary anniversaries of Ballarat units departing for duty overseas with the Australian Imperial Force, until the AIF was disbanded in 1921.
The museum is located on the corner of Sturt Street and the Ring Road and is open Thursday afternoons or by appointment.
For more information, to book a visit to the museum or to help out with the fundraising effort, call Neil Leckie on 0400573802.