The Original Lamp Shop
It was almost a year ago when I first met Robert on one of our day trips to Braidwood. A nice man with a great passion for Antique oil lamps. I saw his shop’s sign on the corner of Wallace and Duncan streets read “The Original Lamp Shop” with a painting of an old oil lamp underneath the writing like the ones I remembered from my childhood. I got so excited and led my family to have a look at his shop which was full of beautiful old oil lamps in different sizes and shapes, a great collection. I was so happy to have found him as I had an old Russian oil lamp at home which needed urgent attention to be usable again. After a year, I have now come back to him with hopes of fixing my lamp…
Looking at him who is skillfully fixing my old oil lamp triggers a question in my mind. A question that comes to my mind whenever I see a passionate man/woman caring about saving old cultures and items for future generations.
“Is anyone in your family sharing your passion to take over this shop in the future?”, I ask.
He disappointedly looks at me and shakes his head, “Young ones would like to do their stuff. This is my passion, not theirs.”, he says.
“It is unfortunate if all this knowledge and collection go to waste and we couldn’t save it for the future generation.”, I reply.
I am sure he knows it already and he is most probably more concerned than me. It is a part of his life gathered in this shop after all.
“There is no other collection like this in Australia.”, he says.
“I am mostly concerned about your knowledge and skill which must be passed on to the next generation”, I reply.
“I am happy to train whoever buys this collection for a year,” he says while adding wick to my old oil lamp and showing me which product to use to clean it.
“It would be great if we make a museum of this collection. I don’t want them to end up in an auction.”, he adds.
The Importance of saving our Heritage
Coming from an ancient country like Iran/Persia has taught me to appreciate previous generations who saved old buildings, books, artifacts and cultures for us and I saw how easily a craft died over the years since people didn’t care. I know that appreciating the past and learning from it will brighten our future. Ignoring our past will make us like a piece of fabric in the wind with no root to stand on the ground for things that are worth fighting for in our life. I desperately want to help him save his collection, make a museum, to pass his knowledge to younger generations but I don’t know how. I don’t know anyone to invest in, anyone who would care but I know how to tell a story so I tell his story and hope for someone to hear it before it’s too late!
The Original Lamp Shop in Braidwood by Zahra Pedram Jafari