DIGGING INTO HISTORY: Merlene Coates-Freeman and Anne Croft from Murilla History Group are working to identify the lone graves in the Miles region.
DIGGING INTO HISTORY: Merlene Coates-Freeman and Anne Croft from Murilla History Group are working to identify the lone graves in the Miles region. Alana Calvert

Historical mission to unearth the past

ANYONE who lives in the bush knows that the best curator of family and local history often isn't the library, old newspapers or even the museum, but the senior residents.

Fortunately, this frequently overlooked opportunity has not been lost on a small group of Miles locals who have begun the Murilla History Group.

"This historic thing seems to get handed down in families," group member and local history expert Merlene Coates-Freeman said.

"When I was a child, I was talked to about what grandfather did and what grandfather didn't do."

And despite only being formed four months ago, the Murilla History Group has already become deeply involved in its first project, thanks to members Mrs Coates-Freeman and Betty Little.

 

Anne Croft said it was at one of Murilla History Group's first meetings, as they discussed what they should collectively focus on, when a tiny voice in the corner said, "While I'm still alive, I'd like to do something about all these lone graves that are about the place."

"There was this very noisy meeting going on and Betty was very quiet and she was sitting in the far corner over there.

"Every meeting I try to go around and ask everybody what they're doing because everyone's doing something different," Mrs Croft said, which was when Mrs Little made the suggestion.

"And I said, 'What does everybody else think?' and they all just went 'yes',"

"While we've got four (members in their 80s), this is the opportunity to do it. We just ran with it straight from there."

Murilla History Group is now calling on the public to help members with the task of locating, identifying and creating a database of all the lone graves in the Miles region.

If you can help, phone Anne Croft on 4627 6401.

The Murilla History Group meets at 10am on the first Tuesday of each month at the Miles Historical Village Museum. New members are always welcome.


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