WARRNAMBOOL HONOUR BOARDBrief history of Pioneers of Warrnambool and District honour board
Created over 100 years ago in 1907 as a personal and unique tribute to honour Warrnambool pioneers who settled in the area prior to 1860, Pioneers of Warrnambool and District is even more relevant and significant today. Its connection and importance to the local community is strong and undeniable and is clearly demonstrated by the on going research and promotion of the Honour Board by the members of the Warrnambool & District Historical Society Inc. and the Warrnambool Family History Group Inc. The funding of the Significance Assessment and Report through the Warrnambool City Council Community Development Fund also clearly shows the continued importance of the Honour Board for the broad local community and its willingness to invest in the long term management and preservation of the Honour Board.
The significance of the Honour Board is multifaceted and acknowledges the Honour Board as an artefact of considerable unique artistic merit, as an excellent example of an early twentieth century method of civic commemoration and as an effective means of connecting with the past and its people through its proven value as a genealogical and social research tool. The Honour Board is acknowledged as helping to keep the memory of the Pioneers alive. It has proven capacity for infinite research which adds to the understanding of the local and broader social history and is an integral part of and is linked to, many aspects of the HeritageWorks research Collection.
Comparative analysis involving the review of over 300 local Victorian community collections and major Victorian Institutions via online catalogues and database, site visits and discussions with heritage and conservation professionals confirms the significance of the Honour Board. It is the only honour board of its type to be identified during the Significance Assessment which has detailed documented provenance and includes artworks and decorative features of a very high standard. It is also the only pioneer honour board to have been made by and associated with a woman photographer and artist. It is also the only honour board of its type to be on permanent display.
The excellent aesthetic/artistic qualities of the Honour Board have been recognised by art professionals since its creation which is evidenced by the Honour Board being displayed in Foyle’s Photographic Studio, Bernard’s Fine Art Gallery in Melbourne in 1907 and in the Warrnambool Art Gallery, where it was unveiled publically in 1924. There was also mention of offering the Honour Board to the National Gallery in Melbourne but it was considered more important for it to stay with the local community.
The Pioneers of Warrnnambool & District honour board and its content are of historic, artistic, research and social significance at a local, state and national level. It is a unique example of an early twentieth century pictorial honour board and is significant for its many documented associations of local, state and national significance ranging from its creators through to the 204 pioneers who are depicted and their descendants.
At the HeritageWorks Gilles Street Warrnambool