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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Enjoy a historic walk at Paterson

MARK down Sunday 28 March in your calendar.

That’s if you don’t mind a lovely stroll in a beautiful setting.

Paterson Historical Society president Dr Cameron Archer AM will host this year’s Paterson Historic Walk from 1pm.

The popular amble is expected to take visitors around the centre of the village and describe the origins of European settlement.

“The Paterson district is bountiful and would have supported a considerable population of Aboriginal people but sadly few records are available regarding their lives in the area,” Dr Archer said.

“We do know that the Aboriginal name for the river was Yimmang and that Tocal is derived from an Aboriginal word meaning large or plenty.”

A special feature in 2021 will be the Paterson School of Arts, which has stood proudly in Duke Street for 86 years, being built in 1935 in the dying days of the Great Depression.

It was not the first such building in the village.

Another, constructed in 1884 and still standing in King Street, was the first Paterson School of Arts.

But, by the 1930s it was too small for the growing community.

Its size, along with confidence in the dairy industry, provided the impetus for a new building.

“The current facility will be opened specially for the walk, during which the finer, little-known features of its interior will be explained,” Dr Archer said.

“For example, the small squares of concrete, which appear in the floor of the supper room.

“The story of the 1977 awning collapse will also be told.

“The 2019-2020 disastrous fires across our continent demonstrate how important it is to have public assets such as halls and showgrounds available as refuges.

“We hope we never need to use our School of Arts in this way.

“However, it’s good to know it is there.”

The Paterson School of Arts has had many uses over the years, changing with the demands of the community.

It’s been managed and loved by many dedicated local residents.

The Paterson Courthouse Museum with its extensive display of district history and memorabilia will be open, too.

Another highlight of this year’s event is that after the walk, participants can visit the adjacent Rail Motor Society Museum and depot to view its interesting collection of rail motors.

Cost for the walk is $5 per adult including museum entry and afternoon tea.

There is no charge for children.

Bookings are not required.

The walk starts at the museum at 1pm, while a hat and walking shoes are recommended.

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