The iconic Eden Killer Whale Museum will soon boast two new gallery areas and storage space that will “be full in no time” according to chairman Jack Dickenson, with help from a $640,000 Federal Government grant.
The two new galleries will be built as extensions to the current museum and one will likely house the museum’s most famous resident (and perhaps the town’s) the skeleton of the Killer Whale ‘Old Tom,’ who hunted with the Davidson whaling family in the early 1920s.
Member for Eden Monaro, Dr Mike Kelly says ” the investment in community infrastructure like this helps to create jobs, supports the lifestyles and living standards of regional Australians and enables regional cities and towns to attract and retain population.”
The Museum, which employs five staff and has a volunteer pool of over 200 people has benefitted from the regular arrival of cruise ships into the Port Of Eden and with the addition of an elevator as part of the project, Mr Dickenson says that the museum might even resemble a cruise ship, “which often have glass elevators.”
“The elevator is something we’re quite excited about, it will make our museum more accessible but also the elevator will be visible from the dock, something that catches your eye as it goes up and down,” he says.
Noting that there is currently a cruise ship in port, Mr Dickenson says “day-to-day the museum is self-funding but having the ships come in has been great for our income. It will mean that the museum can take the grant amount up to about 1 million to cover all that we want to do.”
Mr Dickenson reports that the museum welcomes about 50,000 visitors annually.
A volunteer on the museum board for 42 years, Mr Dickenson says that among the 200 other volunteers, “there are quite a few who’ve been there for more than 20 years.”
“And they’re just as keen today as they were on day one,” Mr Dickenson laughs “I can’t hose em’ down!”
The museum’s 90th birthday is in February 2021 and the board hopes that renovations will be complete by then.