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Local movie to launch for Heritage Week

An important slice of local history has been preserved for the people of the Riverina through the generosity of West Wyalong Movies.

West Wyalong Movies will launch “When the news was local, RVN2 The Wyalong Reels” 1975-1979 at a gala Heritage Week event co-hosted by the Bland Shire Council Heritage Committee on Friday April 12. The launch will take place In West Wyalong at the Services & Citizens Club from 7pm.

“We are really looking forward to the launch of “When the news was local, RVN2 The Wyalong Reels” as we can’t wait to see people’s reactions as they see themselves or family members on screen,” West Wyalong Movies principal Ross Harmer said.

Bland Shire Heritage Committee spokesperson Guy Marchant said the committee was delighted to link the launch of such an important local production with local Heritage Week celebrations.

“Combining the launch of ‘When the news was local, RVN2 The Wyalong Reels” with local Heritage Week celebrations was a natural fit. The committee is delighted to be affiliated with the launch and release of this wonderful celebration of local history and congratulates West Wyalong Movies and in particular Ross Harmer for helping to preserve this priceless local footage,” Bland Shire Council Manager of Development Services, Guy Marchant said.

The reels originally belonged to the Riverina’s iconic RVN-2 television station and are now held by Riverina Archives Charles Sturt University Wagga Wagga. They contain precious footage of every major happening in the Riverina between the years of 1975 and 1979, including significant developments, prominent locals as well as school and theatrical performances.

RVN-2 Wagga Wagga was the local station that served the regional city and the surrounding Riverina region from 1964. It was purchased by Prime Television in the late 1980’s and became an affiliate of the Seven Network during 1989.

The Manager of CSU Regional Archives & University Art Collection, Wayne Doubleday, said West Wyalong Movies’ funding support is fantastic and is a small but valuable step in the migration of the entire RVN-2 collection to digital.

“The collection is very significant, with about 1000 reels of footage from the years of 1975 to 1982; so about 5% of that has now been migrated across to DVD. While that’s a small percentage, it’s significant for us and the people of this region in terms of the relative ease at which we can now access the material. It is now catalogued and a lot safer and easier to copy in digital format” said Mr Doubleday.

West Wyalong Movies Principal Ross Harmer said that he and Phil McLellan of Kea Video Producers in Orange are proud to have supported the project, which included the acquisition of an original RCA 16mm telecine machine to carry out the migration.

“You hear of people referring to newspapers as the ‘diary of a district’. Well what better diary than to have the events of that period recorded in pictures. Some of the footage is absolutely fantastic. Some has sound and some doesn’t, but the important thing is that the history of our region is safely preserved in the archive for the community to access now and for future generations,” said Mr Harmer.

Special guests for the evening are former long serving RVN-2 and Prime news reader Doug Hogan who started at RVN-2 in 1982 before stepping into an off-camera role in 2012 and Bruce Gibson, the son of Ken Gibson of Bland Studios who shot all but one story used for “When the news was local, RVN2 The Wyalong Reels’.

With support from West Wyalong Movies and the Bland Shire Council, admission to the launch on Friday, April 12 is free of charge and open to the entire community