Thank-you to my regular blog follower Craig Thatcher who wrote this post for you all on his recent visit to Sovereign Hill. Enjoy!
Today I had a very special experience at Sovereign Hill Ballarat. We were able to participate in the “Make Cancer History Walk" which was a 2km or 4km walk around Sovereign Hill and Blood on the Southern Cross. Walking around Blood on the Southern Cross was such a very special experience that very few have ever had the chance to experience by day. I'm so glad that we were given the opportunity, especially with all the proceeds going towards cancer cures.
I have been to Sovereign Hill twice before and once to Blood on the Southern Cross just a few months ago. Each time I have had very special experiences for different reasons. This time was different! Not only did we have that very special experience in Blood on the Southern Cross, but also undertook a great amount of learning of where Sovereign hill started and how many volunteers give up two weeks a year of their to be part of it for no other reason than they love to be part of the history behind it, and enjoy the friendships they have made there.
During our visit we went into the candle making shop, where young children were learning something that is not commonly taught in schools these days. They had plain candles pre-made for them and were able to learn about prime colours and how when combined, can make another colour. I remember doing this when I was in primary school, and thought it was wonderful that this basic thing was being taught again. These kids loved every moment.
I came across “Lizzy” the peacock who found a warm place in front of the fire in the café, much to the delight of the kids that were around, and if I’m honest to my wife and I too.
I met a volunteer who talked about the costs associated with the day to day running of the site. He mentioned that from the $47 admission fee, only $1 is revenue above the day to day costs which knocked me for six. To be honest, like a lot of people I would have thought it was a money making machine, but the whole thing is run “not for profit” and everything goes towards the cost of preserving history. I know that from today, the next time I visit and hand over my hard earned money I will look at it in a very different manner.
Sovereign Hill to me is a place of history, comradeship, spirit and education. It represents something that should be preserved forever and never to be compromised. The history in this wonderful outdoor museum is very special and to walk through Ballarat, it is obvious that the city has never forgotten and not likely to forget anytime soon. It should be remembered by all Australians as all other fights in history have been, to preserve our freedom and rights in our everyday lives. Sovereign Hill represents all of these things to me and so much more. It will be something I will pass on to my kids when the day comes and hopefully they will do the same with theirs as well. It is the most wonderful experience and a humbling journey of discovery for every person who enters the gates to re-live one of our most important times in our history.
Author - Craig Thatcher - 26 May 13