The Society was formed in 1964 to conserve the history of Leongatha and District and publish
material on the history of the area. The Society met in a room at the Memorial Hall, in private homes and at the Leongatha Community House until 1983. In August 1983 the Society, which was by then known as the Woorayl Shire Historical Society, obtained the use of the Leongatha Mechanics’ Institute as a home.
This beautiful building was constructed in 1912 and is a fine example of the architecture of the time. The three spacious rooms have pressed metal ceilings and the front room has exquisite stained glass windows. The interior walls are unique being made of river reeds and plaster. The large rear section was a billiard room used by many in the community from 1912 to 1982. Since moving into the Mechanics’ Institute, a museum has been established and many interesting displays related to the area’s history have been mounted.
The Society had another name change in 1995 when the Woorayl Shire became part of the South Gippsland Shire. An extensive collection of photographs, documents, textiles, clothing and other artefacts are stored in the Mechanics’ Institute. The research material is available for use by the general public.
As a Place of Deposit (P.O.D.) of the Public Records Office of Victoria the Society is able to look after community records no longer required by the Shire and other organisations.
Current office bearers are:
President, Robert Sage
Vice president, John Hyett and Rob Williams.
Secretary, Lyn Skillern;
Treasurer, Alan McGuinness;
Archivists, Pat Spinks, Sonia Holt.
Annual membership is $30 for individuals and $40 for families.
The museum at the Mechanics’ Institute is open Thursday and Friday afternoons, between noon and 4
pm (or on request).
Entry by donation