He once got lost in his own museum?

Chicago-fed-money-museum-500x3

I always loved that quote from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Reading Ron Wallace’s column from the Auroran week of October 26th made me wonder if he’s Aurora’s own Marcus Brody.  

You can read his column here:

V10N51P04.pdf
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Ron seems to be of the belief that the reason, at least the primary one is that, Aurora doesn’t have a museum is money.

I beg to differ.

There is no issue about not having money, it is where did the money for this intended purpose go to?

What is so hard to understand about the purpose of the restored Church Street School?  

The Historical society raised tons of money, a grant was secured for the purpose of creating a “Heritage Centre” to house the town’s museum.  

Read the plans, read the website, read the grant proposal.

I commented on them in a previous post here:http://christopherwatts.posterous.com/bait-switch

It was done, well at least the building of a home part.
The opening of the doors part is where things seem to have been horribly derailed.

The preoccupation with the board of directors seems to have more to do with the fact that the building was inappropriately, and inexplicably a “Cultural Centre”.  Several events, some of which are elitist VIP parties complete with cover charge offer the town little “culture”.

And 4 years out our museum is in boxes in the basement while a grand piano and not much more occupying the building as it stands.  

Our tax dollars are paying for this misadventure, and all the while the complete absence of heritage or a museum.

Ron’s suggestion that the museum be moved to another location is absurd, and I’m not surprised that the Historical Society is not interested in his idea.

There is no need to look for another home for the museum, effectively undoing all of the work that has been done to date.

Why would you deny the Historical Society what is already rightfully theirs?  Why would you force them to reset everything to 0 and start all over again in raising money for another home when they already have one?

By doing this there would be little doubt that the issue of money would become very real, and the likelihood of having a museum would be pushed out another 20-30 years.

Completely unacceptable.

Ron doesn’t seem to be alone in believing his fatalistic statement “What mattered years ago doesn’t apparently matter any more.”  

If Helen Roberts, the former chair person of the Aurora Historical Society said “There are few people interested in the History of Aurora” then why does Aurora have a Historical society at all?

To claim “people of Aurora today aren’t interested in the town’s history” is ignorant, disrespectful and grossly insulting.  Given her past position exceptionally so.

If there wasn’t any interest can anyone tell me why is there all the fuss with Heritage committees, plaques or multi-million dollar restorations of old buildings?

Is it to placate a small percentage of the town and nothing more?

I don’t think so.

In answer to your headline Ron I’ll tell you who cares about Aurora’s history : Aurorans, past, present and future.

If someone suggests, or even believes that there is “little interest in Aurora’s history“, it can’t be because Aurora’s History is not interesting.

I have only begun to get exposed to it.  Through relatives and my deep roots to the town, through friends and through local businesses.

If there is any lack of interest it is more likely because Aurora’s history has not been presented in a way that has been most fitting.

How exactly does a community get engaged in its history if everything is in boxes in a basement of a building where nobody can see it?

How do you raise interest in a community with an attitude like Helen Roberts, sitting on the town’s Historical Society?

Maybe if we took our history more seriously, and presented it in the way we presented the grant application for the town’s Heriatge Centre we would be on our way.

Instead we have crusty old people throwing up their hands, and all of our artifacts stowed away in crusty old boxes in the basement intended to be a state of the art museum.

It’s obvious to me what needs to change to make this happen.

After reading Mayor-elect Geoff Dawe’s comments regarding the matter in this Auroran article I’m confident that the incoming council will see the light too:

V10N50P03.pdf
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