Thursday, 26 February 2015
The North Queensland Mining History Association recently held its first quarterly meeting for the year with a gathering of mining history enthusiast at the Herberton Mining Centre. After a brief meeting to catch up with the belated Annual General Meeting which saw the sitting officers returned unanimously, a discussion was held to bring members up to date on the destructive 'mine capping' fiasco. It turns out that the contractors ignored the government guide lines on the protection of project sites' heritage values which have left the area desolated and open to renewed toxic leaching. It was also reported at the meeting that a reasonable insurance policy had been organised for the group through a membership with the History Queensland organisation. Graham Byrnes gave a talk on his mining project on the Palmer River Goldfield in which he hopes to include a heritage venture for the growing tourist traffic on the field. A field trip to the Palmer River for members was discussed and may be arranged for this winter. The meeting closed with a report on the Tin Dredge Project which will include a launch of Col Robinson's study of the history of the dredges of North Queensland as well as the presentation of the scale model tin dredge. After the meeting closed, members inspected the progress made on the construction of the model. The next meeting of the group will be held in May.
The Mulgrave Shire Historical Society ended the last year on a positive note with the two main events of the year, the John Gordon plaque and the Tea Cosy competition, been very successful. Sadly, one dark note for the group over the year was the passing of many of the Society's old long-time members who had contributed greatly through their volunteering work or historical material donations. Acquisitions of a local historical nature is still enriching their museum and it was reported at the end of the year that the group had recorded on the computer a total of some 1400 artefacts. They also reported that the group had done well with their publicity over the year which was helped along with the popularity of the Facebook page which has grown immensely and now have some 134 'likes'. The first project for this year was the annual clean-up of the museum and members were busy with working-bees so that the museum would be ready for the re-opening at the end of January along with a new central display to commemorate the 100 years of Anzac Day. Although the rain kept down the numbers of members in attendance, the Society has just held its first meeting for the new year and is looking forward to another successful year.
Towards the end of the year, the Innisfail Society organised an event for the 50th year reunion of the 1964 winning Innisfail Foley Shield Rugby League team. Cheryl Belbin and Chris Head were the instigators of this project and worked hard to ensure the celebrations were a memorable occasion. The original Foley Shield was on display and they also acquired a football jersey worn during that game against Townsville in 1964. Original players from the team returned to Innisfail to celebrate and memorabilia collected for the function will be donated to the museum. The Society's annual fund-raising calendar for the new year is now on sale and this year's theme is 'Pubs from the Past' which feature twelve of the districts oldest hotels. While researching for this calendar, it was found that in 1940 there were twenty working pubs in the old Johnstone Shire area with many of these pubs having come and gone over the years. The group's year concluded with their annual Christmas break-up lunch held this time at the newly re-opened Queens Hotel.