It is always exciting when someone walks through the door of the Heritage Centre in Murchison, with a piece of our past in their hands, wanting to share the story or donate the item to the Historical Society.
Sometimes it is a photograph or newspaper clipping, postcard or letter, and other times an item belonging to a Murchison resident reflecting practices or events of some time ago, and is tangible evidence of our past history.
Judy Revell recently called in to the Heritage Centre with a copy of the Tatura Guardian press dated April 27th 1961, containing more than one notable mention of the Revell family, and is quite a revelation.
Judy’s husband John at the time worked for the Tatura Butter factory and this issue records that John was named as the Top Butter Maker in Victoria, and describes the annual award as one ‘‘of very great distinction’’; quite an impressive achievement.
The award came with prizemoney of five guineas and two certificates — John and Judy don’t recall seeing either the money or the award certificates!
The Revells moved to Murchison in 1965 when John took up the position of water bailiff with the State Rivers and Water Supply Commission.
He had responsibility for supply of water to farmers from the outlet of the Stewart Murray Canal at the Goulburn Weir right through to Toolamba, well before the days of computer-controlled delivery of water; his equipment was a ute in which to drive around the channels with a shovel to mend the leaks and he provided a great service to the irrigators.
Retired for 30 years now, John and Judy happily live in Wybalena, Murchison’s Retirement Village.
Also mentioned in this same edition, is the retirement of George Revell, John’s father, a highly respected local water bailiff who offered great assistance to farmers for many years, over and above the requirement of his job as a water bailiff.
Ron Revell, John’s younger brother is reported as having passed his test to also become a water bailiff, in this issue of the paper.
Albert, another of John’s brothers also had a career as a water bailiff!
Murchison and District Historical Society is always pleased to receive items like this copy of the newspaper the Revells have donated.
We are also happy to simply copy an item, such as a photograph or letter if the owner wants to keep the original.
Our policy is to collect things that relate directly to Murchison, that is, we want items that tell the story of Murchison and district events and people.
So, thanks to Judy and John Revell, we now have another document in our archives adding to our collection of local history.