THE annual Eureka Arms and Militaria Fair 2015, now in its 26th year, will be taking place on the weekend of Saturday July 11 and Sunday July 12. Run by Ballarat Arms And Militaria Collectors Society (BAAMCS) the weekend is so much more than a collection of guns. Club member and owner of ANTIK, Ben Smith, describes his business as being purveyors of the old and unusual – antiques, collectables, old wares, taxidermy, vintage industrial pieces, coins, jewellery, militaria and much more. They also provide medal mounting services and have a particular love for industrial and vintage decor items including advertising, signage and garagenalia. ANTIK is located at 202 Grant Street, Golden Point (opposite the Grapes Hotel). Mr Smith added the Fair is being held in the Wendouree Sports and Events Centre on Norman Street. “The Fair consists of local dealers, Melbourne and certainly interstate and occasional international person will attend, as well,” he said. “It ranges in stock from general sporting firearms and accessories through to a range of military firearms and accessories, historical items of interest, uniforms, head gear, medals, badges, flags, paper work, pictures, maps, basically anything with a military interest from any war, whether it be from Waterloo to the modern conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. “It consists of areas of display where collectors will bring items from their own personal; collection and put them on display and some of those items are only seen once every 10 -20 years.” Mr Smith added that the Fair is very educational for a lot of the general public, but for the true collector or hoarder it’s a good museum day where they can get up close to some of this gear that would otherwise be seen behind glass. There will be vehicles and historical displays and people dressed up in various military uniforms. “The collectors love it and are always looking for a bargain and everyone seems to take something home,” Mr Smith added. “Most families will have a connection to the military, whether it be a distant or close relation and they can often learn about that person by talking to some of the dealers on how to research them, enquiries about medals and medal mounting, general ideas as to what uniforms they may have worn and things like that. “There are strict guidelines and licensing at the show, weapons have to be secured from the general public so they can’t pick them up at will and blades are under guidelines. There are strict local, state and federal laws that are adhered to at every fair and dealers are almost handpicked by the Society as to their credentials.” With a full canteen, heaters and plenty to see the Eureka Arms and Militaria Fair has something of interest for the whole family.
The Fair is open on Saturday from 9am to 3.30pm and Sunday 9am to 2.30pm. Further information can be found on the BAAMCS website www.ballaratarms. com.au.