Today’s Lennox Head Heritage Committee (LHHC) had its genesis in the late 1980s, when a small group with a shared passion for collecting and preserving the story of the town and its surrounds commenced informal gatherings.
Keith and Dorothy Purcival, Nola Daley, Edna Hayter, Annette Potts, Marelle Lee and Dorothy Thompson instigated sessions at the home of Edna and Elvin Hayter who, on Sundays ‘held musical afternoons … at Teven which were open to all’. ‘The venue became the gathering place for old photos and memorabilia.’1
Oral history interviews, written memories and photographs were collected with advice from historians Annette and Daniel Potts.2
In March 1996 Lennox Head Residents’ Association (LHRA) formally recognised a Heritage Sub-Committee. With the late Hilary Wilson as Convenor, eight members continued to locate, preserve and protect places and things ‘that are special …. and which are identified as items of heritage value’.3 A corner of the old Library housed the collection in two filing cabinets.
Challenges faced the fledgling Committee with some members of the parent body unconvinced of its benefit. Initial funding was eked from LHRA whose June 1999 minutes specified that ‘the sub-committee meet on a regular basis and must report to the Association before making press releases etc’.4
Fortunately, the dedicated group persevered, publishing five books by 2018. The collection is now housed in a room within Lennox Head Library. Still an LHRA sub-committee, the Heritage Committee has forged its own identity with an extensive photographic collection (https://lennoxheadheritage.com), providing reference for local government and business and with community partners, and working towards commemoration of the Lennox 2022 Centenary.
Sources: 1.2 Purcival K and Thompson D, An Account of Keith and Dorothy Purcival’s Involvement in Lennox Head, Personal recollections, 2018; 3 Smith, BC, President LHRA Inc, Lennox Head Residents’ Association Incorporated Heritage Committee Principles and Policies, 04.11.1996; 4 LHRA Inc Minutes 07.06.1999.