Thursday, 24 July 2014
Members of the Society again worked hard to assemble a great stall at the recent Malanda Show. Following the success of the new display format tried last year, a mix of artifacts and photos was set up again this year but the smaller then usual crowd coming into the pavilion was a disappointment to the volunteers manning the stall. What has been an enormous success for the Society is the new addition to the groups' computer social media program. Along with its Facebook site, the group has now started a 'You know you grew up on the Atherton Tablelands when' facebook site which has already had some one thousand viewers sign up as members and is bring out numerous old photos of the district. The members who volunteer at the Society's museum at Millaa Millaa have also been busy with the concrete floor of the newer section of the museum having been painted and the artifacts in that room been rearranged to produce a better display. While at the history centre in Malanda, it has been pretty much business as usual with the Society assisting members of several prominent local families who are working on their family stories.
The efforts of Pauline O'Keeffe were rewarded with the 'In Times of War' exhibition been a huge success. It was reported that on the final day, which coincided with the Tanks market day, over 1400 people visited the display which was a record for the Tanks and this gave the Society some great public exposure. The Society has been successful in attracting funding for a professional conservator to review the archival and photographic collection. The timing is good as it will mean the group can start to plan for the storage of the collection in the renovated School of Arts building. The latest on the renovation is that the Cairns Regional Council is calling for tenders now with work to start after the G20 Financial Ministers meeting in September. It was also reported that a smaller crowd of members then usual attended the Heritage Festival activity which this year included a journey on the Kuranda Scenic Train. Despite a heavy shower of rain early on the day, by arrival at the station, the sun was out and stayed that way for the rest of the day and overall it was a most enjoyable fieldtrip. Sadly, it appears the monthly meetings have been again suspended for the time being due to poor attendance over recent months and the Management Committee will look at different formats regarding times and locations etc.
Wednesday, 23 July 2014
The Innisfail Historical Society has seen a fairly busy time over the past couple of months. To celebrate Queensland Day, the group put together an exhibition of early photographs of Innisfail which was displayed in the Central Arcade. A new booklet of old photos was launched at the exhibition. It was decided to print just one hundred copies of the booklet which will sell for $15 and so make a small profit on each one. The Innisfail Show celebrated its 100th show this year and the Society put together a photographic display on the shows' history. Another project the group is working on is in conjunction with the Returned Services League and the Cassowary Coast Regional Council to place a plaque at Wright's Park commemorating the volunteers involved in the chemical warfare studies. Members are also hard at work putting together next year's Society calendar. The theme of this new calendar will feature the local hotels from the Innisfail district and it is hoped to soon have the mock-up done and ready for the printer.
The historians at Gordonvale must be congratulated on the launch of their Society's new website which will be a great complement for their well used Facebook page. This new innovation will bring the group's computer social media up to the standard of the other big northern historical societies. The other big project they are busy with at the moment is their Tea Cosy Competition which they hope will help to revive the old craft of tea cosy making as well as helping to promote the Society. An information flyer and entry form for the competition is available for anyone keen to participate. The group also reported that they had recently hosted a visit to their museum by a group of visually impaired people which was organized by Guide Dogs Australia. It was with sadness that the Society learnt of the passing of one of their very earliest members with the recent death of Mr George Jago at the age of 93 years. Over the years, George had contributed numerous photographs and history articles to the Society and he will be missed.
Monday, 21 July 2014
The historians at the Tolga Historical Society had a gala evening recently when three of the groups foundation members were granted life membership of their Society. Mayor Rosa Lee Long attended the gathering and presented plaques to Mrs Lottie Hastie, Mr Dick Daley and Mr Frank Bass and commened them for their many years of tireless efforts for the group. All three had been prominent in forming the Society and obtaining the old railway station building and relocating and restoring it to create a museum for the town. Mrs Hastie was the group's first president, a position she held for 17 years with Mr Daley as the vice-president and Mr Bass, a registered builder been in charge of the museum renovations. All were most deserving of this honour.
The last quarterly meeting of the Heritage North Association saw twelve historians in attendance representing five member groups. That old quandary of affordable insurance for local historical societies was again the main issue brought up at this gathering. The Mulgrave group has been investigating the Museums Australia's offer of volunteer insurance for their member groups which would be cheaper that the existing group system. It was resolved to investigate the parameters of the Museums Australia insurance to see if it would be suitable for Heritage North members as a group. It was also confirmed that the next meeting would involve a workshop to discuss hosting objects from each others collections and the exhibition or sharing of individual objects. The next meeting will be held at the museum in Gordonvale.
The small community shed in Watsonville was again busy with about 120 history buffs attending the recent Pioneer Women's Day organized by the local Western Progress Association. There was the usual singing from Sing Australia and various bush poets to entertain the crowd along with the bush lunch. The pioneering lady featured this year was Mrs Margaret Parsons (nee Tobin) who travelled to the Palmer River Goldfield in 1903 and four years later, married Percy Parsons. Later she became the Post Mistress of the Maytown Post Office and ran it for 31 years until the office was closed in 1945. The feature story was again printed up in a small booklet which was available for sale on the day. This little heritage event has become a regular annual outing for many and I hope it will continue for many years to come.