The Berwick - Pakenham Historical Society seeks to promote awareness of the history of our district's history through the acquisition, preservation and display of historical items; recording of older residents' knowledge; and undertaking research, publications and displays. We are a member of the Royal Historical Society of Victoria.
We focus on the history of the former Berwick and Pakenham Shires. These covered a large part of West Gippsland, including Beaconsfield, Berwick, Bunyip, Cardinia, Garfield, Harkaway, Iona, Mt Burnett, Nar Nar Goon, Nar Nar Goon North, Narre Warren, Narre Warren North, Officer, Pakenham, Pakenham South, Pakenham Upper, Rythdale, Tynong & Upper Beaconsfield.
The Berwick - Pakenham Historical Society was founded in November 1961. Originally known as the "Historical Society of the Berwick Shire", the catalyst for the foundation of the Historical Society was the forthcoming centenary of local government in the District. Herb Thomas (Proprietor of the Pakenham Gazette) and Norman Beaumont (a leading Berwick identity) were instrumental in the establishment and growth of the Society. Local residents responded with great generosity, donating historical items which formed the nucleus of the collection. One of the Society's first projects was the writing of "From Bullock Tracks to Bitumen", which was the Centenary History of the Berwick Shire.
Originally, the Historical Society met in the Pakenham Consolidated School, before being being housed in the old Police Station in Main Street Pakenham. In 1965, Mr Les Futcher, a well known Pakenham businessman donated land in John Street for a new building for the Historical Society. The "Historical Centre of Berwick Shire" was opened by L.J. Blake, President of the Royal Historical Society of Victoria in June 1967.
Today, the Berwick - Pakenham Historical Society and Museum are now located in the historic former Berwick Shire Office which was erected at Pakenham in 1912.