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Primac’s Proposed Museum Exhibit Becomes A Reality!

Author: Greg Jacobsen 25th March 2023

On Monday the 23rd May 2023, representatives of the Primac Gurus Association Inc, Chris Todd and Richard Handley, met with the President of the Miles and District Historical Society Inc Kerry Mulholland, to sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) . Their aim was to establish a Primac museum exhibit at the Miles Historical Village Museum.

Pictured with the signed MOU are Richard Handley, Chris Todd & Kerry Mulholland.

Why Miles?

At the Primac Gurus committee meeting on the 20th July 2021, the suggestion of a museum was raised. The idea was raised to find a suitable location to exhibit and display the many examples of memorabilia that had previously been collected and donated by past employees and their families. At that meeting a range of options were discussed regarding a suitable location for the exhibit. A partnership with an existing country museum seemed to be the best fit for the idea. Whilst many sites across the state were considered, the Miles Historical Village Museum appeared to be the one, that ticked most of the boxes. It already had an established exhibit of an agents office, displaying some rich Primac (Mactaggarts & Primaries) material. It was reasonably accessible being at the crossroads of the Warrego and Leichardt Highways. Importantly Primac had a long pastoral association with the district.

An outcome of the August 2021 Zoom meeting of the Gurus, it was agreed that our committee would formally approach the Miles & District Historical Society Inc to propose our suggestion. As Secretary, Greg Jacobsen despatched a letter to the museum’s President, Kerry Mulholland. This was meet with their general approval at the time, but needed to be discussed at management level.

Primac Guru Museum Sub Committee formed.

Subsequently a museum sub committee, comprising Richard Handley, Barry Dixon, Helen Walker, and Greg Jacobsen was formed to push this idea forward. A planned meeting at Miles, was set down for the 28th February 2022, however flooding across the Downs resulted in road closures, and the meeting was then postponed to the 22nd April 2022. Richard Handley and Barry Dixon, representing the Primac Gurus Association met with Kerry Mulholland, Margaretta Morgan and Shirley Makin from the Miles Historical Village Museum

Appropriately, museum volunteers, Shirley Makin and Margaretta Morgan had strong connections over many years with Mactaggarts PPCA. Shirley was employed in the Miles office for many years, and of course Margaretta, is the daughter of the late Hugh Innes. The Innes family were long term clients of Mactaggarts since the company’s inception.

A tour of the village, but more particularly the established agents office display, convinced our delegates that indeed, this site was more than adequate to meet the criteria for the Primac Gurus exhibit.

At the Primac Gurus committee meeting held on the 20th June 2022, it was formally agreed that we should proceed with the Miles museum proposal.

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

Subsequently a proposed MOU was drafted by the museum management, and presented to the Primac Guru committee for consideration. The MOU outlined the responsibilities of both parties. In essence it highlighted that the museum would provide display space immediately adjacent to the existing agents office. Primac Gurus was to provide display cabinets, and be solely responsible for the display, and ownership of the exhibits contained therein.

Whilst a few “tweeks” to the MOU were worked through towards the end of 2022, further progress was stalled for several months whilst our new President, Chris Todd, came up to speed with past negotiations.

It was only into the New Year of 2023, when a second meeting was planned at Miles, for Chris and the sub committee to literally “get the ball rolling again”.

Second Miles Meeting in March 2023

As Richard Handley had put so much effort in getting the proposed museum to this point, it was strongly agreed that Richard should continue on with the project.

Chris Todd, with his museum sub committee of Richard Handley, Helen Walker, Barry Dixon and Greg Jacobsen met at the Miles museum in March 2023 to put the final planning in place. Once again, meeting with museum President Kerry Mulholland and volunteers Carol Tribe and Robyn Coleman, we were made more than welcome, and suitably impressed with the way the historical village is presented to the travelling public.

Almost two years of planning becomes a reality!

After the March meeting, the focus turned to finding suitable display cabinets that would meet the needs for the Gurus future exhibit. Once and agent always an agent, Richard Handley kept his ear to the ground for a suitable deal. Low and behold, an opportunity quickly presented itself and Richard was able to “pounce”.

Through his good work, Richard was able to secure two excellent jewellery display cabinets from Hayes Jewellery store in Dalby. Our thanks go to Glen and Melinda Hay for their generous support. They are so pleased, that they have been repurposed and have gone to a good home. They look great, are fit for purpose and blend in well with the theme of the timber background.

On the 23rd May 2023, Chris Todd and Richard Handley, were able to sign off on the MOU, and install the first ever Primac Gurus museum exhibit.

Primac Gurus Association Inc sincere thanks goes to Kerry Mulholland and his group of incredible volunteers at the Miles Historical Village Museum for their support in making this project a reality. Thanks must also go to the museum sub committee, and in particular to Richard Handley for their efforts in making this project happen.

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