Saturday, 30 January 2016
The Douglas Shire Historical Society finished a busy year off having accomplished much including helping to save the old Dixie's Shed from the axe with the combined efforts of the Douglas Shire Council, Member for Cook, Billy Gordon and also thanks to the District Officer of the Boating & Fisheries Patrol. The Society also organized a free guided walk for Seniors Week around historic Port Douglas starting off from the Court House Museum. The Bel Cibo restaurant in Port Douglas hosted the group's annual fund-raising event this year with the Melbourne Cup luncheon. Congratulations are due to Mr Norman Yarr who was named the Volunteer of the Year and he received his award at the Society's Christmas party. Norman has contributed many hours to the group and has often stepped in at the last minute to volunteer at the Court House Museum and he was thank for his valuable support and efforts on behalf of the Society. It was decided to try a new format for meetings in 2016, there will no longer be 'housekeeping' items at the monthly meetings. These will be dealt with at management committee level. Please ask a committee member if you require any information on thses changes. The next meeting will be held on Monday 1st February at 2pm at the Mossman Community Centre. Society member Mr Ken Keith will present his paper on the First World War and there will be a photo display. Please bring along any of your war-time photos to share with others.
The Innisfail Historical Society's museum was closed from 25th December 2015 to the 5th January 2016 and then only open on a limited basis till the end of January. The group are giving their wonderful volunteers a well earned rest. If you wanted to show your visitors around the museum, the Society will try to arrange a time to open up for you. Phone numbers notice is pinned up on the door. The Society's new calendar for 2016 is celebrating the centenary of the South Johnstone Sugar Mill. It is selling extremely well and they have already gone through the first one hundred and had to order more. They are only ten dollars each and make a good present. The Christmas Dinner to end 2015 was held at the Innisfail Accommodation Centre on Flying Fish Point Road. In this new year, they will be having another street walk at South Johnstone to help the sugar mill, the School and the Post Office who are all celebrating their centenaries. The group will be looking for all their friends to be there to help. The Society recently had a stall at the Lioness Craft Fair and that was a great day. There was a great little article published in the Innisfail Advocate newspaper about the Mourilyan State School recent visit to the museum and how much they all enjoyed it. All the kids are usually horrified when they see the Dunny and learn what it is all about! More schools should avail themselves of this resource and see for themselves how interesting the museum is. The Society will also be publishing another of their Memories Albums of photos in this new year, also about South Johnstone. They have a very interesting history and there is some great photos for the album. The group also have a postcard and a magnet for sale, both feature photos of the beautiful Johnstone River taken in the 1930's by Robert Stack and hand-coloured by his daughter, Queenie. They thought they would try these items out for fundraising and they are selling really well.
The Eacham Historical Society finished the year off with a number of gatherings to celebrate another successful year. The members who volunteer at the museum in Millaa Millaa got together for a fancy-do at De Millaa coffee shop while more than a dozen members who regularly volunteer at the history centre in Malanda gathered at the Rainforest Bounty premises on Lindsay Road to enjoy a morning tea. The Society could not function without the efforts of those who volunteer and their efforts are greatly appreciated. And to end another successful year, some fifty members and guests gathered once again at the Malanda RSL function room to catch up with fellow history buffs and see the old year out at the Society's annual dinner party. The work of the Society these days typically involves issues of family history research with the Society regularly assisting members of the public who are working on their family stories. So much so that they are beginning to feel like a genealogy group. But the group did do other heritage work over the year and were pleased to hear that the 'Anzac Treasures of the Tablelands' project that they had assisted with had won an award. Later in the year, a field trip which attrached great interest from the members involved a long drive out to Mount Garnet then down to Gunnawarra Station and on through to the Kirrama Range and out through the Kennedy Valley. It was a long day but those who participated in the trip enjoyed themselves. It was also reported that the Society's electronic-media effort is still the most successful aspect of their publicity effort with their 'You know you grew up on the Atherton Tablelands when', facebook site now with over 4,000 members and the official Society facebook page continuing to grow. The Society also managed to maintain their regular annual social events with successful display stalls at both the Malanda Show and the Rocky Creek VP Day with good interest from the public. The Society started the new year off with their first meeting for the year on the 19 January.