ILL health has meant the end of an era for a Uralla icon.
The Uralla Military Museum and all its contents will be auctioned off today.
Owner Darcy Hassett has bone cancer and moved to Ballina in April and has his treatment in Lismore.
The former Uralla RSL and New England District Council president started the museum in 1989.
“I’d been collecting for years and decided I’d do something about it, so just kept collecting and grabbing stuff and then built this,” he said.
The museum has been closed for about a year due to Mr Hassett’s health. He said he couldn’t keep it open as it was a 700km round trip from his home in Ballina.
Mr Hassett said the auction had garnered plenty of interest from all over Australia, from Cairns to Darwin and Victoria.
“Keeping anything is out of the question,” he said.
“I don’t like getting rid of it one little bit. It’s very sad, but if you get collectors, they go to a good home.”
Mr Hassett said anyone who’d donated items to his museum had collected them or arranged for their collection.
“Highlights of having the museum were the people you meet from overseas – they showed a lot of interest,” he said.
“I met the British High Commissioner and got to know Bruce Ruxton quite well and Rusty Priest.”
Mr Hassett served with the RAAF before joining 1 Commando Company in the Citizen’s Military Force where he rose to lieutenant.
He completed 103 jumps with the commandos and broke his ankle on the 56th.
Mr Hassett is still in the RSL in Ballina, but is not taking on any positions and is also a member of the ex-army association.
He said his treatment was going well with his next session on Wednesday.