Armidale Family History Group President Wayne Hoppe, left, Research Centre Co-ordinator Dianne Hoppe and Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall underneath the new air- conditioner.
Monday, 5 August 2019
ARMIDALE residents looking to track down long lost relatives or put together their family tree will be able to do their research in comfort with the home of the Armidale Family History group on Kentucky Street now air conditioned.
The organisation received a $3,878 grant from the State Government in January to install a modern air-conditioning system and provide thermal curtains to allow history buffs to conduct their investigations all year round.
Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall called into the centre last week to get out of the cold and inspect the new unit with Family History group President Wayne Hoppe.
“So many people are passionate about their family history and now the fluctuating temperature of Armidale will no longer a restriction to them tracing their blood line,” Mr Marshall said.
“Up until last week the research centre relied on radiant heaters in winter to keep researchers warm. That’s caused some issues for its 200 members, many them who are elderly, and need to be able to do this important work out of the cold.
“Wayne has informed me volunteers have dwindled a bit over the past two years so I hope this new air con will act as an opportunity to encourage new volunteers to fill the ranks.”
With many of the Northern Tablelands’ original pioneering families first arriving in Armidale before spreading out across the region the Family History Centre has now become a central port of call for visitors to the city looking to go back to their roots.
Mr Hoppe said over the years the group had compiled an extensive archive of Armidale’s history.
“The Family History Centre has been operating out of the Kentucky Street for 21 years and over that time we have put together 4000 resources, mainly in books, but including CD’s, microfiche, pioneer registers and other records,” Mr Hoppe said.
“Like with any museum or collection climate control is important for the preservation of records and documents and while the centre’s volunteers do a great job looking after our compilation but the more we can do to keep it protected the longer it can be available to the public.
“We look forward to continuing to build the collection as we move to finish the Armidale Cemetery project which has seen nearly 2,000 headstones photographed and documented.
“I expect we will be finished the collection by Christmas as well as our long awaited written history of the stonemasons who built these monuments to the lives of our forefathers.”