FRIDAY’S official opening of the new exhibition at the Pioneers' Museum, German Settlers in the Bega Valley, had a surprise guest.
The exhibition honours those families who came out on the ship Caesar from Germany in 1855 on an assisted passage organised by James Manning from the Twofold Pastoral Company at Kameruka.
Peter Ubrihien, a descendant of one of the families who came on the Caesar, was speaking on Bega's history at the Bega Heritage Centre to a U3A group.
Also at the Heritage Centre that day was a Sydney Probus Club group and one of their number went up to Mr Ubrihien and asked him whether he knew anything of Kameruka and Warragaburra.
Of course Mr Ubrihien said yes, so the visitor identified himself as Richard Manning, the great-grandson of James Manning,
On being told about the exhibition, Mr Manning and his wife left their tour so they could come to the opening.
Jean Ubrihien cut the ribbon and officially opened German Settlers in the Bega Valley.
She thanked all those connected with the exhibition, especially curator Kay Durant, and said it was important that families wrote their histories before the stories would be lost forever.
Mr Manning echoed those sentiments when he spoke.
Some of the German settler families represented at the opening were Ubrihien, Rheinberger, Spindler and Bildstein.
The Pioneers' Museum is open 10am until 4pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and Saturdays from 10am until 2pm.