WITH an Akubra hat, rail memorabilia and Hansard it's not hard to guess who is the subject of the Riverina's newest gallery.
Tim Fischer, former deputy prime minister and "all round good fellow" according to Lockhart mayor Rodger Schirmer, was thrilled to be on hand as a wing in his honour was opened yesterday.
The Tim Fischer AC Gallery is part of an extension of Lockhart's Greens Gunyah Museum into the neighbouring former Billabong Motors showroom and garage.
Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals leader Michael McCormack joined Mr Fischer in cutting a ribbon to officially open the gallery.
"There's a couple of initials after Tim Fischer's name and it's AC, now that is the highest honour that anyone in Australia can achieve," Mr McCormack told those gathered for the occasion.
"But AC to me for Tim Fischer stands for a champion, it stands for a colossus, it stands for a character.
"There's no greater Australian, ladies and gentlemen boys and girls, than Tim Fischer, no greater Australian."
Mr Fischer, who was born 73 years ago this Friday, was rapt to see his artefacts, including his first and only tractor, a 1967 Ford, displayed.
"I just want to say this is a great privilege," he told the crowd that included school children and friends from his Boree Creek farming days.
"Yes we had a good deal of detritus to tidy up, but something dawned on me that this was also part of our central Riverina history.
"I was born in Lockhart, I was preselected (here)...I just thought why have it locked away in a cupboard."
During his speech, Mr Fischer presented another three items to be included in the display, a steam train whistle which he blew, a silver coin from the king of Bhutan and farm pannikin.
Lockhart and District Historical Society president Heather Trevaskis said the new site was bought for nearly $200,000 after community fundraising and $90,000 in grants saw it upgraded to museum standard with grease and oil up to 10-centimetres thick removed.
The entire new wing, with other galleries and machinery display, will be officially opened in October.