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WYMAH Public School is back in business — 28 years after it closed as a one-teacher school.
The opening ceremony yesterday of the old weatherboard school as a museum was a culmination of 10 years of work by six volunteers.
Some families represented had five generations study at the school from 1873 until the region lost its fight to keep the school open in 1985.
About 60 people spilled out of the schoolhouse to the red plastic chairs on the grass outside.
Maree Roberts was a Wymah pupil, just as her mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great grandmother were before her.
The opening of a museum fulfils the group’s aim of preserving the building and the district’s history.
Memories were many as guests under wide-brimmed hats swatted flies and women served tea and coffee under the verandah from a white-paper-covered table groaning with scones with jam and cream.
Friends of the Wymah School Museum president June Sutherland — Mrs Roberts’ mother — said since the school closed, it had not been used much, apart from craft and card nights.
She is a member of one of the district’s town’s oldest families, the Hores.
“I feel emotional,” Mrs Sutherland said as she viewed pictures of relatives on a wall and her great-grandmother’s wedding dress displayed behind her.
“I gave a little speech a while ago and I nearly burst into tears.”
Mrs Roberts said the group had wanted to preserve the past for future generations.
“They’ll be wondering what happened all those years ago,” she said.
Books on the village’s history lining the walls contain titbits like how the town was originally called Wagra.
A tribute to Andrea Hore, who was killed in the Bali bombings, stopped her relatives in their tracks on Saturday, the tragedy fresh in their minds.
Mrs Roberts said the group hoped the museum would host period costume displays and art and history exhibitions.
Greater Hume Council mayor Heather Wilton said the museum provided a sense of community as a place where people could research their families.
The museum is open on Sundays from 12pm to 4pm or by appointment. Admission is a $2. For information phone Mrs Sutherland on (02) 6020 2027.