Good Sorts: Museum celebrates history of West Coast rugby

December 4, 2022

For more than three decades, Adam Gilshnan has been collecting mementos that tell the story of rugby on the West Coast.

“I’ve had stuff sent to me from all over the country and around the world,” he told 1News.

Gilshnan has turned half his house into a museum. “[It] started as a young kid, always grabbing a programme.”

One programme soon became a room full.

“For West Coast games, I’ve got 700 programmes now,” he revealed.

Then there are the jerseys, blazers, books, photos, caps.

“People want to see it, they want to touch it, they want to feel it.”

The room is littered with stories of almost West Coast victories, such as when they nearly beat Canterbury for the Shield.

“The referee had a shocker with this time keeping and called the game off 10 minutes early,” Gilshnan recalled.

Outside his museum are programmes from games involving clubs that died long ago.

“Magpies don’t exist, Star don’t play anymore, Cobham long since gone.”

Gilshnan says visitors come for half an hour and stay for two or three hours, looking for photos and stories of lost loved ones.

For all the memorabilia downstairs, there’s one programme which takes pride of place upstairs.

It’s from 2 September, the day Gilshnan met his wife, Amber at a rugby match. The programme sits by their bed.

“It’s sat there for the last 16 years,” he said.

The only thing missing from Gilshnan’s museum? A succession plan.

“I feel like I’m the custodian of all this stuff. We are all just passing through, as they say.”


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