The Tweed Regional Museum is highlighting the history of Uki.
The Tweed Regional Museum is highlighting the history of Uki. Contributed

Uki history on display

THE history of Uki and some of its interesting stories are on show at the Tweed Regional Museum.

Museum director Judy Kean said the latest exhibition features different historical artefacts and materials from Uki, which is one of the largest rural villages in the Tweed Valley.

"Village Stories: Uki features three fantastic groups of material from the Museum collection,” Ms Kean said.

"A series of posters advertising the community balls; a collection of T-shirts associated with the Buttery Markets, the Uki tug-o-war team and the Uki Touch Football Club; along with items rescued from the Mount Warning Hotel fire in 2013.”

Known by some locals as the 'Harvest Balls', the May Balls were flamboyant and highly-anticipated events for the Far North Coast alternative community. Always fancy dress, they were held in the Uki Hall on the last Saturday in May during the 1980s and early 1990s and profits went to a charity or local community group.

"Many locals have vivid and entertaining stories about the May Balls and I have absolutely no doubt there are many many more historically important anecdotes out there that locals might be ready to share,” Ms Kean said.

The exhibition also features bottle and plates retrieved from the ashes of the iconic Mount Warning Hotel fire.

"The Museum's collection documents the history of many Tweed villages and our exhibition program over the new few years will progressively focus on a number of them,” she said.

"Not only will each display feature items already in the Museum's collection, we also want to work with each community to expand the collection and share stories that reflect contemporary village life.

'History doesn't stop. Many of the shire's villages were prominent in early settlement of the valley and its prosperity, and they remain central to what makes the Tweed unique. It's important we continue to document what makes them tick.”

The Village Stories: Uki exhibition opened at the Tweed Regional Museum Murwillumbah last week and continues throughout the year.