New military museum opens its doors

The Richmond Valley’s latest tourist attraction has opened at the iconic Casino Drill Hall and aims to educate residents and visitors alike on local involvement in all world wars and conflicts. The Northern Rivers Military Museum was designed to accurately express the region’s military history, as well as share the victories, tragedies, and sacrifices of those who served their country. At this stage, the Military Museum will be open to the public on Tuesday and Thursday between 9am and 3pm, or by appointment. 

A small committee comprising members of the Casino, Lismore and Kyogle RSL sub branches and the 41st Battalion Association has spent many months collecting, preserving, and interpreting this historical collection. The committee’s vision is to create unique learning opportunities to ensure the Museum becomes both a rich source of accurate information and an attractive destination for visitors. 

Casino RSL Sub Branch secretary and committee president Owen Newell said the Museum would be the home to a remarkable collection of stories representing generations of local service people - people who trained here, served their country and, in too many cases, made the ultimate sacrifice. “The Military Museum will acknowledge the families of the veterans, and will embrace our community’s enrichment from the cultural and educational diversity people brought to the region during their service and, in many cases, brought back when they returned,” Mr Newell said.

Speaking at Tuesday’s opening, Richmond Valley Mayor Robert Mustow said recalling war was a precondition for understanding it, including its awful consequences, which was why it was important to put time and effort into establishing a significant collection of local involvement in all wars and conflicts for new generations. Cr Mustow congratulated the committee on its hard work to give the community a wonderful asset and a memorial to those who served our great country, acknowledging it would be a welcome addition to the tourist appeal of our area.

He said an aspirational goal was to link with the Heritage Aviation Museum and Bellman Hangar at Evans Head, and the Ballina Naval & Maritime Museum to encourage tourists to visit all three museums while staying in the region. “The acquisition of the Drill Hall site provided Council with the opportunity to create an iconic new leisure and tourism space which will define the entry to Casino from the south. It is going to be an exciting space to watch as an amphitheatre and other resources get developed to encourage community use.”