Australia's best kept ‘Pioneering Secret’


Sat 8th and Sun 9th of June is the Queen’s Birthday Weekend, when Jeparit Wimmera Mallee Pioneer Museum hosts its Annual Vintage Rally, a fantastic expo on our pioneering history.

 Experience pioneering life right here in Jeparit!! Showcasing the first 100 years of European settlement and development in the Wimmera region, from 1838, when Edward John Eyre passed through this area searching for a direct stock route from Sydney to Adelaide to WWII in the 1940s.

 The Wimmera-Mallee Pioneer Museum has Australia’s largest collection of agricultural machinery, assorted grain equipment, horse drawn carriages and buggies, and household items from the 1890s to 1940. There are farming innovations that helped settle and create the farmland and history of our region, such as the stump jump plough and the horse or oxen pulled Mallee rollers, displayed near the front gate. Many  of the exhibits in the museum are still operating and will be showcased during the Annual Vintage Rally.

 The Museum itself is set out over four hectares of land as a pioneer town, with original local buildings including a hall, church, chemist, state school, jail, blacksmith and family homesteads and farm sheds.

 The museum’s machinery display ranges from the blacksmith-made cultivating machines to strippers and harvesters from the 1890s to the 1940s, including the famous McKay Sunshine Harvester. Many of the machines are even now kept in working order by the enthusiastic volunteers at the Museum, who also give their time and expertise to restoring these examples of agricultural ingenuity. Although tractors are symbolic of farming practices, much of the machinery at the museum was originally horse-drawn by the magnificent Clydesdales owned by all the farmers in the area. At the Queen’s Birthday Vintage Rally, the Clydesdales are on display, strutting their stuff as they did in days gone by.

 Jeparit is the proud birthplace of several prominent citizens of Australian history including: Sir Robert Menzies, Australia's longest serving Prime Minister; Ryko the Byko, 'Edward Reichenbach', who jumped on his pushbike in 1914 and rode from Adelaide to Darwin in a record breaking 29 days; Alfred Traeger, who invented the pedal powered radio that was used by the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Discover their stories and other local history at the Wimmera Mallee Pioneer Museum’s Annual Vintage rally this Queens Birthday weekend.

 This is the 12th annual rally, being held on the Queen's Birthday weekend of the 8th and 9th of June 2019. There will be a vast array of exhibitors attending and assisting with their knowledge and experience and sharing their stories and history of our pioneers. These include vintage car clubs and a huge array of working tractors and engines, as well as crafts and markets, and coffee and food stalls. A fantastic and entertaining day out for the whole family, young and old.

 The Sandy Creek Clydesdales, always a crowd favourite, will be present again, and they will be putting one of the Museum's vintage ploughs to work in the paddock across the road, along with a chaff cutting demonstration at the horse-works. For the ladies and gents alike there will be heritage stalls, and Gayle Newcombe will be returning with her artwork.

 Keep the kids entertained on the Jumping Castle; let them take part in the games their great-grandparents used to play; or watch the slide show in the Woorak West Methodist Church being run by the Dimboola Historical Society. The Church will hold a special service on Sunday morning. The Museum's Blacksmith Shop, still in fully operational & working order, will be, running continuously for the entire weekend, forging some interesting items; and the “Blademan” will be back with his forge, as will the blade shearers (there might even be a race between the blades and modern technology).

 See the Dunmunkle Sump Oilers, with their wonderful displays of vintage engines, Heritage crafts & sewing, displays of die-cast model farm machinery, workshop manuals and magazines, and information on early fashions including early 1900's wedding dresses.

 Or maybe visitors might like a quiet sit around the fire cooking damper and drinking billy tea. The food court is packed with vendors and local charities. Don't miss the yummy Spuds and Roast fundraising for cancer and of course the traditional Lions Club BBQ.

 This year, we will have the delightful company of Phillip Molesworth, resident historian from Rainbow, and an expert on Albacutya homestead and its first owner John Coppock. Phillip will be giving a talk about John Coppock called 'A squatter Coppock and the Albacutya Run'. He will also entertain us with a Pantomine about the Hold-up of the Station by the bushranger Mad Dog Morgan, titled “Morgan's Gold”. This entertainment will take place at 11-12am, and 2-3pm on Sunday. Perhaps our impromptu actors (3 boistrous men, 1 woman and a child) will come from our appreciative audience.

 Around the town, the Town Garage Sale is also back, so drop by the Museum for a map and discover how beautiful Jeparit is while you are here.

 Then, stay on for Monday and join in the ‘soup n scones' lawn bowls tournament at the Jeparit Bowls Club.

 Everyone who attends our Rally can experience first-hand the early years of living in Rural Australia, especially in this area.

 It is truly an amazing and unique event, and we encourage everyone to come along and enjoy the experience of what we have on offer.

 Our Museum really is “One of Australia's Best Kept Pioneering Secrets"

 For more information or details, please contact any member of our committee, who will be delighted to assist you in any way that they can. Or follow us on Facebook at “Wimmera Mallee Pioneer Museum" to stay informed about the various interesting “doings" and projects going on at the Museum. You may even consider becoming a valuable volunteer, always needed and greatly appreciated.