By Claire Ottaviano
MIDLAND’S 125th birthday is being recognised and celebrated with two-days of talks, guided walks, historical displays and exhibitions next weekend.
No one is more excited to celebrate the milestone than passionate local historian, Midland and Districts Historical Society chairman and Remember Midland Facebook page creator Matthew Pavlinovich.
“Going back to my primary school days, I had a massive passion for Midland even then,” he said.
“There was no internet or Facebook but instead I was cutting out articles from Echo News and scrapbooking them.
“Remember Midland was born to recognise Midland’s past in a positive way and reunite the people of old Midland back together again.
“I’m also proud that the Midland and Districts Historical Society was born from Remember Midland and local history in our area now has a voice.”
Midland was officially established in 1895, when the municipality was formally proclaimed as Helena Vale.
Mr Pavlinovich said the turning of the sod to start construction of the Helena Vale to Walkaway line by the Midland Railway Company of WA in March 1886 was one of the most significant events in Midland’s history and the Town Hall one of its most iconic structural features.
“It’s our entry statement, it’s our symbol, it honours our fallen and when you can see it coming from the west, you know your home.”
Mr Pavlinovich has also taken the opportunity to use the celebrations as a platform to push for further heritage protection of Midland assets.
“I would certainly support a review of the council’s municipal heritage inventory on a more regular basis and the establishment of a heritage advisory group taking in representatives from all our areas of the City of Swan especially Midland and the other 6056 suburbs,” he said.
“If you look back as far as the 1960s we have lost far too many heritage buildings in Midland at a huge rate.”
As well as the guided walks, renowned archaeologist Dr Shane Burke will also share his knowledge about Midland before European settlement in a talk on November 7 at the Old Midland Courthouse.
Sporting enthusiasts can also attend a talk from world champion cyclist Steele Bishop who grew up in the area and went on to represent Australia and set world records in cycling.
Swan mayor Kevin Bailey encouraged visitors from near and far to attend.
“Midland has a rich cultural history and I encourage locals and visitors alike to delve in to our weekend program and learn about our fascinating past,” he said.
“From before permanent European settlement through to present day, our history makes us who we are.”
For more events, exhibition times and details visit www.swan.wa.gov.au/Events