Tuesday, 30 June 2015
The Cairns Historical Society reported that they were still waiting to hear from the Cairns Regional Council about the start date for work on the School of Arts building. It was originally hoped that the renovations would be finished this year but it now appears it may not even be started before the end of the year. Planning and preparations for the new museum displays are well underway with the volunteers starting to identify and ready objects for the displays. As a part of the re-vamp of all the Society's systems, a consultant and students have been working on a Business Plan. They recently presented a report on charges and fees and as the membership fees have not changed for over ten years, a new fee structure is proposed which will need to include GST. On other matters, the Society reported that they recently obtained two grants to upgrade the group's computer systems which will enable them to be set up properly when they return to the School of Arts building. The group have also obtained improvements on their photographic catalogue database program and the archive and library catalogue program. Unfortunately, the recent gathering to present the last bundle of history papers saw a disappointing turn out of less that a dozen members in attendance. This situation may require some attention.
The recent Heritage North Association meeting held at Port Douglas was a rather quiet affair with eight historians in attendance representing just four member groups. The main business of the meeting regarded the promotional brochure project for the northern museums. Dr Jo Wills has this well in hand and the information produced will be used on a TTNQ web database which is directly linked to tourist networks. The other project discussed at the meeting concerned the planning for the trainning workshop to be held on Saturday 11 July at the Cairns Historical Society centre. The facilitator of the workshop will be Dr Janice Wegner of the James Cook University and it will concern learning core skills for history research. The Association also agreed to support the Australian Sugar Industry Museum in their proposed project; 'World War One and its effect on the sugar cane industry of Australia'. A letter will be written in support for a funding submission and the Douglas group mentioned an interest in this project. The next meeting of Heritage North may be held at the new Armour and Artillery Museum (to be confirmed) at the end of August.
Mareeba Shire Mayor Tom Gilmore recently made a visit to the 'Mapping Our Anzac History; the Mareeba Shire's Anzac Legacy' display held at the Mareeba Historical Society's centre. This project is the Society's major effort for this year with this current display been the first of a series of four that the group has organized to highlight the contribution that the Shire's men and women made for the First World War effort. The first display which tells the story of the local soldiers will remain at the history centre until the end of July before been replaced by a display involving local Indigenous soldiers. This second display will continue until the end of October when the third display, on the Nurses and Medical efforts, will be put in place and will run through to the end of January. The last display will centre on the Non-Combatants efforts and will be open until April next year. In order for more of the Shire's residents to be able to view the displays, they will be moved to other locations such as the Mount Molloy Memorial Hall after their time at the Historical Society's centre. To thank the many people who loaned their precious artefacts, a wine and cheese evening was held so they could view the display. The Mareeba Historical Society invites everyone to come in to their centre and enjoy the displays.
The Western Progress Association oranized their annual Pioneer Women's Day again recently which saw over a hundred people gathering at their little community shed for the celebrations. The group's president, Mrs Jane Chapman told the story of the pioneer Myra Ruby Jones who went on to spend much of her life at Innsifail and the life story of a second pioneering woman of the district, Christina Wilesmith was told when Mr Tom Freeman launched his book on the Wilesmith family on the day. The usual music and singing and various bush poets entertained the crowd before the traditional bush lunch. The event also honours the most elderly lady present on the day which saw Mrs Dulcle Welnert and Mrs Muriel Skinner, both ninety years of age, sharing the honour. This little heritage event is a regular annual outing for many people and I hope it will be for many more years to come.
The Mulgrave Shire Historical Society's efforts for the Anzac Centenary display turned out well due to the many donations from locals which included a 'Dead Man's Penny' and shrapnel and pebbles from Anzac Cove along with photographs of soldiers who fought in that conflict. One of the group's members has researched the story behind the Gordonvale Soldiers Memorial Hospital as part of the unveiling of the plaque that used to be on the gateposts. The Society is also looking into the history of the Gordonvale Turf Club which has its centenary this year. For the second year, the group is holding a Tea Cosy competition as last year's event was well received with many positive comments. Entry is free and cosy must be at the museum by the 4th August.