June 4, 2013

A Moment in Time

Dr Bashir escorts Heidi Wood and Faith Shean to the rocks where the Victorious Crossing Daisy is to be planted.

                  Following its highly successful official opening by the NSW Governor, Her Excellency, Professor Marie Bashir, on 1st June at the Hartley Historic School, is ‘A Moment in Time,’ an exhibition that examines the celebrated crossing of the Blue Mountains by Europeans in 1813, and the consequences of that crossing.

Duncan Wass, Chairman of the Hartley District Progress Association 1813 Sub Committee said “ in settling on the name ‘A Moment in Time’, we have tried to capture the essence of the crossing. It was but a moment in time and this is an exhibition that considers what existed before and what came after”.

Curated by retired professional historian Joan Kent, now a resident in the Hartley Valley, ‘A Moment in Time’ examines much more than the crossing by Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth and their party. It begins with a consideration of the rich and ancient geology of the landscape into which the explorers intruded, where ancient sedimentary rocks lie juxtaposed with igneous granite.

In fact, the opening display in the exhibition is a most remarkable large mollusc or Brachiopod fossil, that has never before been on public display. Discovered in the Hartley Valley, it nestles in, but is removable intact, from the block of Late Devonian grit stone in which it was discovered.

Whilst geology is the opening theme, the exhibition explores many aspects of the crossing story, from the Indigenous Peoples whose country was being traversed, through the explorers and the development of the Bathurst Road, to the first European visitors to Bathurst. It closes with a consideration of the life and achievements of some of the earliest settlers in the Hartley Valley, John and Jane Grant and Pierce and Mary Collitt who settled here in the early 1820s.

“This significant exhibition is a comprehensive, sophisticated, accessible and absorbing presentation of that exciting yet poignant moment when the Europeans vigorously fanned out westwards – it’s a must-see amongst Crossings commemorations” commented noted museums adviser Lynn Collins who has acted as an occasional adviser to the project.

The exhibition will be open to the public on weekends from 18th May to the 16th June, from 10am ‘til 3pm, and by appointment midweek. Party viewing can be arranged at any time by contacting Barbara Johnson on 6355 2017. The exhibition will be held at the historic Hartley School and Hall located just off the Great Western Highway in Mid Hartley Road, Hartley.

‘A Moment in Time’ is just one element of the commemoration activities the Hartley community is undertaking, all promoted under the ‘Hartley Rocks’ logo. Other activities include guided walks and rides along the line of Cox’s 1814 road through the Hartley Valley, and a project to date sign many of the heritage assets located within the valley.

The Cox’s Road walk represents a unique opportunity to walk some of the country traversed by Cox and the explorers, much of which is located on privately owned land and is not normally accessible to the public.

For more photos click here.

For newspaper article click here.

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