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    MILESTONE: Garry Middleton joins with other patrons, staff and community representatives in celebrating Stawell Library’s 40th birthday. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

Reflection on a life-long love as Stawell Library users celebrate

A 40th birthday celebration for Stawell Library provided life-long library patron Garry Middleton with an opportunity to reflect on the service.

Mr Middleton, 80, of Stawell, said he could remember getting his first book from the library as a six-year-old.

He said he was walking home from school when he noticed a sign at Stawell Town Hall saying ‘books’.

“I went into the town hall and got a book from Miss Collins. I read the book before I got to the end of the street, so I went back and got another one,” he said.

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Mr Middleton was among guests at last week’s morning-tea event, which celebrated four decades of the library being at its Sloane Street site.

Library services in Stawell date back to 1858, when they operated from city’s Mechanics Institute Hall.

They were subject to changing directives and underwent various developments until Victorian Premier Dick Hamer officially opened Stawell Regional Library in 1980.

Mr Middleton said he had maintained a strong connection with Stawell Library and had built on his own ‘substantial’ library of his own.

His advice to the children of today was to continue to read to make the most of worldwide opportunities.

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