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Ballaarat Mechanics Institute Foundation

Frank Hurley BMI patron, Hon Michael Ronaldson, and current BMI president Phil Roberts.

THE BMI Foundation was launched by the Hon Michael Ronaldson at the Institute on Wednesday 15 November.

The large attendance applauded Michael’s string address in which he said he was “Passionate about Ballarat’s past” because he was “passionate about its future”.

He wanted our key, identity-giving institutions like the BMI to be preserved for his and our grandchildren and the people of Ballarat in generations to come.

Throughout its 160 year history the BMI has been sustained by men and women reciprocating the opportunities and life that Ballarat gave them.

BMI’s mission is to preserve and make accessible Ballarat’s social and cultural past in a digital and present and future.

The BMI is a centre of many skills and latent assets awaiting development to attract locals and visitors.

Donations and bequests to the BMI Foundation will enable the BMI to further acquire, develop and restore the historic building.

The BMI Foundation is inviting philanthropy from individuals and business to help continue this valuable work.

The BMI would welcome attachment of your name to the achievement in whole or significant part of any of the proposed projects.

BMI president Phil Roberts said they would be happy to discuss any ideas.

A Major Benefactors’ Honour Board, prominently displayed in the BMI, will record benefactions in four categories of $1000 and over of people in their lifetime or through bequests.

Their names will forever be part of the annals in our city.

Philanthropists’ and benefactors include Thomas Learmonth who underwrote the loan to build the grand façade in 1869; Dr James Stewart a leading 19th century Ballarat doctor bequeathed a large sum to the BMI; John Collier a SMB 1950s geology graduate and patron of the BMI left a five figure sum in his will to BMI; David and Jenny Haymes in 2016 acquired the Max Harris Collection and are providing funding for the initial stages of curation and display of the collection.