Opening 25th March 2017 Owen Guns Museum.
Announcement. Many More Displays have been added since these photographs have been taken.
At 6.30 PM on March the 25th 2017, 150 people were present to watch Writer/Author/Hunter/Shooter Nick Harvey from Home Hill NSW open the Owen Guns Trust Museum. The opening was a little delayed as Nick Harvey has shot a 20 pointer Red Deer Stag on his way and after butchering and capeing out had to wash his hands before pulling the rope and opening the curtain.
This is What Caused The huge WOW Factor.
Below are some photos of the firearm displays before completion. Eventually more photos of completed displays will replace these one below. If you do not wish to scroll just click on the above Videos.
Uncle Nick Getting ready to pull the lever, Uncle Ron waiting for the firing squad if the curtain fails.
Speech on the night.
I would like to thank everyone for coming on this momentous occasion. A special thanks to Nick Harvey for coming all this way to open the museum. Nick Harvey has been writing articles on Australian and international shooting and hunting for over 60 years. His opinions, advice and answers to millions of questions are often given the same reverence as God’s commandments. On these walls are firearms that belonged to some of his great contemporaries. Jack Pollard, Colin Shadbolt, Mick Smith, George Lansell and Merv Naughton.
The initial objective in displaying all these firearms was not just to legitimise the ownership of firearms, but to ‘normalise’, the owning firearms. We need the general public to accept that the ownership of firearms is ‘a normal human right’.
The Catalogue explains in the opening Dedication the inspiration for the displays, but the reason for celebrating this Opening, is not because its “Finished at last’.
Museums are never finished. To be ‘alive’ they should always be in a state of improvement. I have not finished the educational video’s, The catalogue is just In its infancy, they are logged per number, but the descriptions need hours of research and what you see in the catalogue to day is just an outline of a huge work in progress, that will grow.
This opening is an opportunity to thank all the people who so willing put time and energy, guns and money into this project. It has been a dream of mine ever since the collection was put into the Owen Gun Trust in the early 1990s. It was put into a plan almost three years ago with the enthusiastic assistance of Edgar Lutz and Terry Clark, they said it all could be done, so all that was needed was permission from the Lord of High Finance, my dear wife Andi and we we’re off. Without Edgar and Terry encouragement this would still be a dream.
The Concrete vault could not be built until we cleaned out all the machinery and stock, so another extension had to be added. Edgar and his sons from Supercoat organised this project. Edgar, Terry, and Kaleb, who had built the front room vault, later joined by Jacob began fitting and welding the inner steel room, adding the reinforcing mesh, then the fine mesh that stops the concrete from slipping, followed by tons and tons of concrete which was sprayed on to it.
Christmas 2015 saw Edgar and Terry spray painting the Ceiling. During this time Kev and volunteer Daniel began cleaning the collection, this is a task like the Sydney Harbour Bridge there is no end, just continual restoration.
I presumed that when the room was finished in January 2016 we would have been having this opening at Easter 2016, but as we began to organise the layout of 3200 firearms, and the first display The Rising Sun, was completed. This set the standard for the rest. It quickly became apparent that with extra time, extra volunteers, extra work and money, we could use the teams extra talents to create firearm brilliant displays on every wall, so that this would extend our timeline.
So the collection that began 57 years ago took over a year to fit into displays. Meggie, my beautiful daughter designed the Nautilus shell design and had nearly half of it up before. I told her to start again as guns have to be displayed with bolt handles to the outside. So she diligently went back to the drawing board and designed it all over again. Everything had to start again as all the angles were opposite.
We realised we were short of space so thankfully Edgar had the idea of the columns I drew them up and as usual Terry miraculously made them happen.
The Lithgow display design was created by myself and Kaleb put them up, not once but three times as getting that pattern right was another work of art. Meggie designed and built the Air Rifle Water wheel and I began planing the shelf for the 19th Century Wall. I organised the art work and Kevin from Pacific Signs printed them out. Kev Green, Meggie Kaleb and Terry positioned them on the walls.
Edgar made the Tombstone display. I dreamed up displays, Terry, Kev and Kaleb built the racks, Meggie arranged, locked them into place, catalogued, and numbered then, or as again with the World War Three wall, Meggie designed the display, and then helped Terry Kaleb, and Kev make it all happen.
The First World War wall was designed by myself, again the team Meggie, Terry, Kaleb Kev and Kevin from Pacific Signs made it all happen.
Meggie has put thousands of firearms upon these walls, the cable ties are 316 stainless, with a coating which protects the firearms, of course when things have not worked out right, they have had to all come down and be put up again. I have been called ‘Grumpy Guts’ more than once. Without, all of this teamwork we would never have progressed so far.
Guns from Waterloo, the Wild West, the Boer War. Guns from the 55 days at Peking, the American Civil War, the Zulu wars, guns from all the way back to when those pesky Americans’ Rebelled against the Crown in 1775.
I would also like to thank our team of staff especially Jason and Wendy who have held the fort and kept the shop rolling while the rest of the team were building this Museum.
A huge ‘thank you” to all of those who have donated exhibits and those volunteers who have donated their time. To the contractors who have gone over and above all expectations, I Thank you.
To All those who have contributed and been a part of creating this amazing project the Owen Guns Museum. I Thank you.
Waiting for the OPENING.
BEFORE THE OPENING. Nick Harvey Stands Ready.
DOWN COMES THE CURTAIN and THERE it IS,
THEN IN COME THE CROWDS, WOW. WOW
Yes a LARGE WOW FACTOR was waiting for them.
Words of thanks for the workers and contributors, by Ron, and Meggie and Nick Harvey.
Some Group Photos.
Please call in during shop hours for a look around. ron
For those Millions of Soldiers who Never made it home for Christmas.
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