Walk to museum? It’s too dangerous

A former serviceman was turned away from Bandiana Army Museum.
A former serviceman was turned away from Bandiana Army Museum.

A FORMER national serviceman who once served on the Border is dismayed at being turned away from the Bandiana Army Museum.

John Cahir and two of his mates were stopped as they tried to walk onto the base to visit the museum.

If he was in a car they would have been allowed to stay, he was told.

The incident happened on a Monday afternoon late last month.

Mr Cahir was told he and his friends were not allowed to walk approximately 200 metres from the front gate to the museum door for occupational health and safety reasons.

The concern was that they could be knocked over by a passing car.

Mr Cahir described the situation as “trivial” and a great disappointment.

“No attempt was made by the (Bandiana) gate staff to provide us with transport, although I am sure this could have been arranged for three interested and harmless veteran gentlemen,” he said.

“This does seem to be a case of bureaucracy overdone, and a lack of public relations goodwill.”

While the incident has not deterred Mr Cahir from visiting the museum again, it has concerned him enough to write a letter of complaint to the Department of Defence.

“There’s a group of us from Melbourne who had come up to Albury for the weekend. We’re a walking group,” said Mr Cahir, a retiree who lives at Camberwell.

“On the Monday, as we often do in Melbourne, we went for a longish walk from Bonegilla back to Albury.”

In the late 1960s Mr Cahir was based with an army unit next to what is now the Bonegilla Migrant Experience.

“It was a small army outfit — I did national service from ’69 to ’71 and I did three months at that unit,” he said.

A museum spokesman could not be contacted.