Roadmasters House End of Year Function

November 19, 2019

Roadmasters House Museum closed for the year on Thursday 31 October. A function was held the following afternoon at which the contribution of sponsors, volunteers and supporters was acknowledged. The happy occasion is evident from the excellent photographs taken by our skilled photographer and supporter Roderick McDougall.

Ray Menhinnitt, Eddie Weber, Skip Menhinnitt


Helen Menzies, Kevin Dodd, Sony Kent


Col Beard, Carl Cossill

Kerrie and John Horgan, Lil Smith, Helen Menzies

Museum curator/manager Trevor Menzies gave the following address (edited) at the function in which he described the events and activities held over the year and thanked those involved in the operation.

The museum opened on Goyders Day, 5th February to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Goyder Survey Expedition which of course was the beginning of Darwin.  For the commemoration the exhibition was revamped, and a booklet called In the Footsteps of Goyder was produced.  The contents of the booklet are based upon the historic maps and photographs in the exhibition that tells the story of Darwin from the early days to the present.  A good number were sold to visitors over the year.

The museum then closed later in February for the building to be re painted, and repairs carried out.  It re-opened in early May after successful completion of the works.

Our records show that about 800 persons visited over the 140 opening days this year which averages out at between 5 and 6 per day.  This manageable number enables good interaction between visitors and attendants which is reflected by the praiseworthy comments in the visitors book. In fact, our Friday attendant Col Beard received an award from the Darwin Visitor Centre after being nominated by appreciative visitors.

Several events held over the year boosted visitor numbers - Goyders Day in February, the Heritage Festival in May, and during the South East Asian Survey Congress in August. This Congress was hosted at the Convention Centre in Darwin by one of our sponsors, the Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute. A collection of informative colourful posters on Surveying Central Australia that were exhibited during the Heritage Festival in Alice Springs were on display at the venue.  The posters are now on display at the museum.  Over the period of the Congress about 60 delegates paid a visit to the museum. In September and October, 25 International Students from Charles Darwin University visited in 3 separate groups. 

Some new exhibits have recently been put on display. These are a collection of five miniature brass instruments – a sundial, mariner’s sextant, surveyor’s level, magnetic compass and a magnifier.  The collection belonged to National Trust Past President Orchard Somerville-Collie who passed away in 2016.  I was thrilled to receive them from Amanda as I have never seen anything quite like them before and they perfectly fit the theme of the exhibition.  The detail and workmanship is exquisite.

I would like to acknowledge the support of our sponsors.  Our main sponsor is Earl James and Associates - the Territory’s leading firm of surveyors and planners. Thank you once again Kevin for your firms continued support since the museum opened 3 years ago

Our other sponsors are the Mapping Sciences Institute and the Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute.  The support of sponsors means that we don’t need to charge an entry fee to cover operating expenses.  Of course, donations are most welcome and many visitors oblige.   

I would like to thank regular attendants Colin, Carl and Greg and reserve attendants Skip and Ray. They enabled the museum to open on five morning a week, from February through to the end of October.  Thanks also to Janet and Eddie for their support in undertaking repairs and maintenance tasks to keep the place in good shape.

The museum reopens on Goyders Day, Wednesday 5th February 2020.

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