From the Newsroom

Eulie (Eulalie) Allen, 88, is the oldest and longest serving volunteer at the Lawrence Museum. Image: contributed

88 years old and still volunteering

Lawence Historical Society volunteer and life member, Eulie (Eulalie) Allen was 88 years old on May 26, making her not only the oldest volunteer at the Lawrence Museum, but also the longest serving.

Eulie was born in Newcastle in 1936 and moved to Lawrence with her late husband Jim in 1998.

She joined the local historical society in 2000, and as part of the original group, approached Broadcast Australia for the purchase of the vacant former 2NR Broadcast Station building to help establish the Lawrence Museum.

The building had been vacant for some years and was in a derelict state, the doors off, and cattle camping inside.

Both Jim and Eulie were active with the big clean up.

Eulie recalls fellow volunteers Rae Harrison and Olive Webb climbing ladders to clean the windows.

“I scrubbed the floors,” she said.

“I couldn’t fall very far doing that job.”

It took two years to repair and clean the building and begin the museum collection.

The museum was finally opened on June 12, 2004, by Allan Rawson, Regional News Editor of the ABC.

Even in the early days, members were very conscious of meeting financial commitments, and the ladies of the Bluff Point Quilters, many of whom were also members of the Lawrence Historical Society, annually held a Bluff Point Quilters Exhibition to raise funds for the operation of the Lawrence Museum.

Eulie has been a contributing member of the quilters since its inception.

They meet one day a week and create not only beautiful patchwork quilts, but also knit, crochet, and hand sew items for charities.

Eulie has seen the museum grow from those early beginnings to the much-praised museum we have today.

“Of course, we did not have access to the resources we have today, none of us were trained to operate a museum, but we were all very passionate to keep our history alive for the community and future generations,” she said.

Vice President of the Lawrence Museum Roz Jones has worked with Eulie for several years.

“Eulie has worked from the grass roots level through to conservation and digital cataloguing of items,” she said.

“Eulie is always ready to learn more.

“She enjoys moving with times, and regularly participates in our skills workshops.

“We were delighted to present Eulie with Life Membership in 2018.

“Eulie is a great mentor for new volunteers, and she has great knowledge of the collection, museum practices, the history of Lawrence, and she loves working with people.”

Her colleagues also enjoy working with her and describe her as ‘kind, caring, humble, and someone who always makes time for those around her.

Eulie believes it is very important to have museums to preserve our social history and sees the historical society as a great learning opportunity, for both history and conservation.

“We need to keep our museums to preserve our history for the future generations,” she said.

The Lawrence Historical Society welcomes new volunteers, especially those willing to be weekend guides at the museum.

Interested participants are not required to know about the history as training will be provided.

If you can spare three hours week, please call Ms Jones on 0429 477 102.