In 1990 Noel and Betty Hope of Preston, collectors for more than 50 years, donated their collection to the Trust. In 1992, the Trust handed control to the Shire of Woorayl, now Bass Coast Shire. Community support has given us one of the world's best displays of shells, with over 6000 being on display.
The collection is now owned by the Bass Coast Shire under the auspices of the South Gippsland Conservation Society. The collection is constantly reviewed and updated by local members of the Malacological Society of Australia.
In this collection may be found a sinistral specimen of Sassia verrucosa (Reeve, 1844) found by Jack Lewis. Sinistral is the term used to describe left handed shells - shells where the aperture is on the left when you place the shell with the spire up and the aperture facing you.
There are some species in which the sinistral aperture is normal. The small sand creepers of the Family Triphoridae are sinistral and a number of species may be found in shell sand at Inverloch. They are under 1cm in length.
Quite a few land species also have sinistral apertures. The Gordonians displayed above the Victorian Collection, were found in Bass Strait. They do not lose their colour like coral which becomes white after the death of the animals.
Basket stars live on Gorgonians. If you look carefully you will find some. Basket stars belong to the same Phylum as starfish, sea urchins and sand dollars (Echinodermata). The Blue-ringed Octopus, Hapalochlaena maculosa (Hoyle, 1883) which is found in Victoria, is a member of the Mollusc family. DO NOT TOUCH – they are DEADLY.