EDITORIAL:Why so long for Margaret?
TENNIS legend Margaret Court still hopes a multimillion-dollar museum housing her memorabilia will be opened on the Border, but Albury mayor Kevin Mack is much less optimistic.
The Perth-based winner of 62 grand slam events yesterday said she still wanted her collection housed in her home town, even though huge financial hurdles stand in the way.
“I have some trophies in Melbourne now but I still have a lot of them and would love to see them in my home town,” Mrs Court said in Albury.
“I understand funding is needed — something like this doesn’t just happen — but Albury deserves it.”
Cr Mack said while the council backed the idea of a museum it could not achieve it without government cash.
“We are waiting for a significant investor to come on board and provide us with the impetus to support this worthwhile project,” he said.
“Federal and state money is tight and they would not see it as a priority.”
Mrs Court’s nephew and Margaret Court Tennis Academy director Phil Shanahan said it was vital for Albury to drive the project.
“It’s important the whole collection comes back to where Margaret started and future generations can understand what she achieved,” Mr Shanahan said.
“We want a permanent home for her clothing, her racquets and invitations from the Queen.
“Let’s get the greatest sporting collection in the nation’s history here.
“She has won 62 grand slam events and Federer has won 17 — that shows the significance of it.”
Cr Mack said there would be no further discussion about a museum site or its appearance until money was found.
“Phil is passionate about the collection and Margaret and I don’t blame him,” he said.
“But it is a big investment and show us the money is all we can say.”
Cr Mack said he encouraged Mr Shanahan to continue to seek out funding for the project.
“You can’t argue with the economic and tourist value of the museum, but it’s a lot of money to get started,” he said.