Saturday, September 20, 2014

Jane Franklin Memorial Museum opens

It was entirely fitting that Mrs Frances Underwood, wife of the late Governor of Tasmania Peter Underwood (beautiful tribute to him here), officially opened the Jane Franklin Memorial Museum and Gallery in Franklin today. In her speech, she drew comparisons and contrasts between Lady Jane's experiences as wife of Tasmania's Governor Sir John Franklin, and her own experience in that same role over recent years.

Vice president of the history group, Alan Cato, gave a lovely speech about Franklin and the importance of its past to its future. Dr Alison Alexander, author of the book 'The Ambitions of Jane Franklin', arrived in period dress and also said a few words about the determined Lady Franklin, who purchased land to establish the settlement of Franklin. A beautiful piano that belonged to Lady Jane stands proudly in the corner. Another clever history group member Jane Walduck has made a reproduction dress of Jane Franklin's from a photograph.

The museum is located in the former St. John's church hall, purchased a few years ago by fifth generation apple grower Naomie Clark-Port. Indeed her ancestor John Clark is credited with building the hall in the first place. Naomie is also the joint owner of Frank's Cider, named after her grandfather Frank Clark. The museum and gallery space is shared with a soon-to-be-opened cider bar and cafe. I am looking forward to enjoying a Frank's Cider there and taking a slower look around the museum soon. It features history of the apple industry, the Franklin waterfront, reclamation, egg island canal, local families, war history and much more to come.

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