In 1968 Sheila Timms placed an advertisement in the 'Warrnambool Standard' inviting people interested in gems/minerals to a meeting. As a result of that advertisement, the club was formed at a meeting held in the home of Arthur and Sheila Timms that year. The club has operated continuously since then from a number of locations in Warrnambool. These included a hall at the Church of England in Warrnambool; a small room at the back of a house in Timor St. opposite the current 'Warrnambool Co-op'; a tin shed with a dirt floor, belonging to John Hattie, near the corner of Liebig St. and Lava St.; a shop in the 'Market Arcade' in Lava St. and the 'old Scout Hall' in Pertobe Rd. The club moved to its current premises in the 'old pumphouse' in Queens Road, Warrnambool over 20 years ago. The club has developed it's workshop at this location over the years and now has a well equipped facility. The premises are leased from the Warrnambool City Council which is supportive of the club. In 2009 - 10 the council has installed a toilet and water supply to the building. It also undertook maintenance work on the exterior of the building.
Top left: External view of club rooms2007Above: Part of the club workshop 2007Left: Callum Laurenson faceting 2007
In July-August 2009, the Warrnambool City Council undertook demolition of the stadium complex which adjoined the club rooms (see photos below). The council repaired the roof of our club, installed some new electrical wiring, a water supply, toilets and an access ramp. Funding was also obtained to enable the exterior of the building to be repaired where it had deteriorated. The club is grateful for the councils ongoing support which will enable us to continue providing a venue for club members to enjoy their lapidary pursuits.
July 2009: our club rooms on the left of the photo (below left) were the original 'pumphouse buildings' for Warrnambool's water supply.The 'tin house' was used as a sports stadium for several decades. In this photo (left) only the roof and supporting columns/bracing remain.When the stadium is fully demolished, the area will revert to parkland. The base of the stadium, which is the original reservoir for the city's water supply will remain.Left: Workshop during early stages of the renovations. Most of the grinders and sanders were dismantled, cleaned, wire-brushed and repainted as part of the renovations. Two new motors were installed.Left: Alan Altmann and Keith Fisher, who along with John Honan did much of the renovation work in the workshopRight: Jenny Wood, Janice Fisher and Kay Keen painting the bases for the new benchesLeft: The workshop partially completed. Kay Keen, Janice Fisher, Ted Morton and Alan Wood all made significant contributions to the completion of the project.Right: Alan Altmann and Keith Fisher constructing a frame for a workbench.Left: The completed workshop as of 7-4-2010, showing the new grinding bench and the gravity fed water supply.Right: Completed workshop showing new sanding bench. Bench heights were increased and anti-fatigue rubber matting installed.Left: The slab saws and trim saws were all relocated to one end of the workshop.Right: The photo on the left shows the slab saws and flat lap.
The new workshop was given a trial run on the 7-4-2010 by a small group of club members and adjustments made to several items to ensure everything was shipshape prior to opening the workshop for general club use.
Left:September 2010, showing repainted and repaired exterior of clubrooms. The Warrnambool City Council has undertaken significant work on the buildings.Right: Interior of club workshop, September 2010. Note the new storage lockers forming the bases of the central benches.During January and February, 2012, the club installed 5 display cases for housing our mineral displays. The club was assisted by the Warrnambool City council and the Moyne Shire council.The displays have added significantly to the amenity of the clubs meeting area.In May, 2013, the club received the collection of member Ivy Harper along with 3 of Ivy’s display cases. After a lot of work by club members, the collection was put on display in the rejuvenated display cases. A great addition to our club! You can view the display on the Ivy Harper collection page.In October 2015, Steve Morgan, Jeff Gilbert and Alan Altmann installed benches and repainted the floor and walls on the new ‘glass fusing’ and silversmithing area in the club.In November, the new faceting benches were installed and a major rearrangement of the meeting room of the club took place. Once again, this work was done by Steve, Jeff and Alan.Left: Silversmithing areaRight: Glass fusing areaLeft: New faceting bench area.Right: Rearranged display and meeting area.
View of Warrnambool Gem Club ‘club rooms’, October, 2017.