This weekend I learnt something that shocked me.
I was actually surprised at how surprised I felt when I heard about it.
It has to do with a little Gippsland town called Korumburra (FYI: means blowfly), where my grandmother hails from.
Inside this scenic town I have just learnt there is an historical village. You know, along the lines of Sovereign Hill (Ballarat) or Pioneer Settlement (Swan Hill). This village commemorates and preserves the memory of coal mining in this district and gives you a chance to taste what life was like a century or so ago.
Creatively named Coal Creek, there’s Devlin’s General Store (original, my grandmother informs me…apparently Mr Devlin was a cranky old man who would call her sissy), a train, a school, a cafe, etc etc.
But this is all fairly unshocking….where’s the surprise element in this?? Wait for it…
Entry is FREE.
Not even gold coin donation required. And the souvenirs are reasonably priced. Furthermore, Coal Creek is staffed entirely by volunteers.
Yup. In an era where water is no longer considered a right but a commodity, where even elephants and leopards need to be protected because so many view them as cash, where lives are valued less than drug patents, where even migrants…you know, human beings…are treated as a commodity (if not for their advanced skills then for the money they bring to the private corporations who run the detention centres they are contained in), where private enterprise and capital investment are glorified above all else and anything that can be turned into a business generally is, Coal Creek Community Park and Museum is swimming against the tide.
Yes, I was pleasantly surprised.