History buffs and interested community members are invited to take a tour of the Mannum Institute during a Stage One restoration reveal on Saturday.
Since the Mid Murray Council took over ownership of the 137-year-old building in 2018, it has undergone significant upgrades, and most recently the restoration of the ground floor was completed thanks to $182,000 in funding from the Australian Government’s Drought Communities Programme.
While there is still significant work to be done on the second storey of the building, overwhelming community interest has been shown in taking an early look inside the ground floor, which will soon be home to the Mannum History Group and other groups over time.
Anyone interested in registered in taking a 45 minute tour between 11am and 3pm this Saturday, 30 January 2021, will need to book online via this link or phone the Mid Murray Council.
Mayor Dave Burgess said the Mannum Institute means a lot to the community, and Council is looking forward to bringing people back in to celebrate the historic space.
“There’s still a lot of work to do on the building, but thanks to the significant Commonwealth funding we’ve received in recent years, we’ve been able to make a good start,” Mayor Burgess said.
“When we first flagged the idea of taking ownership of the site and restoring it for the community, the support was overwhelming, and this has been consistent since. Now we’re excited to welcome the history group back into the space permanently, and the wider public on special occasions.”
Work is still set to take place on the second storey, building exterior and other complex building aspects – and this will occur over time as funding becomes available.
The Council is looking to establish a Friends of the Mannum Institute group with an aim to raise community funds to put into the iconic building. Those interested can express their interest at the event or by phoning council.
“We want this building to have community ownership, and are asking that people bring along their ideas on how they can assist with the Friends of the Mannum Institute group,” Mayor Burgess said.
The Council will use the event to call for Expressions of Interest (EOI) for the use of Room 6, or shared use of Room 5. Following this, a community meeting is planned for February to consider the submissions.
The Mannum Institute Stage One Reveal event will include a historical photo slide show, 45 minutes tours for registered groups and a sausage sizzle. The Mannum Aboriginal Community Association Incorporated (MACAI) will also be there sharing local Aboriginal culture, art and artefacts. Plus, new residents of the building, the Mannum History Association, will be on site sharing details of their plans for the building.
Photo at top of Mannum Institute and photograph below of 1900s Mannum Institute Event, supplied by Mannum History Group and Mid Murray Council