David Bowden, Evan Dunster, Jenny Hewitt, Maree Worland and Noeleen Guyatt from the Roma and District History Lodge.
David Bowden, Evan Dunster, Jenny Hewitt, Maree Worland and Noeleen Guyatt from the Roma and District History Lodge.

‘It’s our bible’’: History Lodge farewells printed Star

THE Roma History Lodge is home to more than 140 years of historical artefacts, mostly made up of old Western Star papers, clippings and photographs.

While the collection doesn’t contain the first ever Star, the Lodge houses papers dating back to 1876.

Bookcases are filled with clippings of weddings, births, deaths, balls, businesses, and more. Out the back, the shed houses thousands of Stars.

President Maree Worland said as a group that collects the written history of Roma on paper, there is no source more valuable than the Western Star, and the loss of the printed newspaper is being felt by all lodge members.

“We’re not a museum, we don’t take donations, we just decided to concentrate no the written history,” she said.

“Over the years we’ve accumulated a lot, but the most valuable resource we have is the Western Star, we use that every time we are in here.

“It’s just our bible.

“All our clippings are indexed, so if someone comes in wanting to know about a relative who got married, or an old property, or a fire in town, we can find the article and the photograph and it’s all dated.”

Ms Worland said the lodge would still do whatever they could to document history when this masthead goes digital only from this weekend, but that the flipping through papers would be missed.

“There’s been a lot of changes over the past 145 years … back in the day the whole first page was ads, but that’s still an invaluable information because through that we know that at one point there were 25 pubs in town,” she said.

“In the early papers too, t he articles ran on, that was before photographs.

“There has been so much local news recorded in the Star over the years.”