A perfect fit

THE Golden City Collectors Association annual show has found a new home. 

For more than 30 years, the Antique Arms and Collectables Show has been run out of the Kangaroo Flat Leisure Centre hall in Browning Street. 

But with council and government announcing funding for a new aquatic centre, which did not include the retention of the hall, the show's committee decided it was time to "jump before we (are) pushed" and find a new site.

"The secretary of the group wrote a letter to the editor, published in the Bendigo Advertiser, saying that it was an awful shame and, at this point, we were trying to save the hall," committee member Sue Rawlings said. 

"We needed a new venue and this chap responded, Troy Craig from Bendigo Major League Sports Multisports, and said we could use his venue because no one used it on the weekends.

"If it hadn't been for a letter in the Addy we would never have known that this venue existed and it was possible to use for our show."

Association secretary Leighton Rawlings said the group was started by a group of men who collected firearms in the 1970s and had since grown to include 180 members across the country.  

"It comprised a group of antique gun owners who had historical firearms from the Bendigo Goldfields," he said.

"About half a dozen individuals got together and decided they would like to form a club and invite along people who were interested. In 1982 we became an incorporated club and from there we have just grown." 

The show will feature a variety of items, from antique fire arms and militaria, to phantom comic memorabilia.  

Mr Rawlings, who collects army helmets, Bendigo memorabilia, books and old car parts, said "everybody collects". 

"I used to go into people's places and say, "I would like to write an article on something you have got"," he said.  

"They would say, "I don't collect anything" and everything I would walk in there would be something. Even if it was only a cup they kept from ages ago or maybe they had half a dozen egg cup containers.

"We all have this passion and to some of us it becomes a life long pursuit whereas others collect something that is more family-orientated or to their liking and collect something quite small. 

"When you get this disease it can be quite encompassing."

Association president Greg Penna said one of the highlights of the upcoming show would be Richard Arman and his Victoria Cross collection. 

While Mr Arman does not have an original Victoria Cross, Mr Penna said the collector had objects connected to the honour. 

"He has things like barb wire which got entangled in somebody who won a Victoria Cross," he said.

"He is a goldmine of information. Ask him anything about the Victoria Cross and he knows it."  

Other highlights include Joyce Cheong and her button collection, Eldred Johnstone who has a collection of shearer’s equipment and John Oakes who has a pocket knife collection. 

Mr Penna said there would be 120 traders spread across the complex. 

The show is on August 23 from 9am to 5pm and 24 from 9am to 3pm. 

On site catering will be available. 

The Bendigo Major League Multisports Complex is located at 1-3 Waterson Court, Golden Square. 

Entry costs $10 for families, $5 for singles and 44 for concession. 

For more information about the club and show, visit www.collectorsbendigo.com.au 

To make bookings a the Bendigo Major League Sports Complex, call 5447 1077.


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