Wednesday 17 April 2013

Eacham Historical Society

At a recent meeting of the Society, a long and lively discussion was held concerning the circumstance of the great flood of 1967 and its local effects.  It was decided to begin a project to collect articles, memoirs and photos of the big floods that has inundated the tablelands.  The group held a Sunday fieldtrip down to Koomboolooba dam which started with a visit to the little museum at the Ravenshoe Visitors Centre and the Jidabal Cultural Centre with a later stop at the Tully Falls Lookout before a picnic lunch at the dam.  To ease the storage problem at the Centre in Malanda, Ed looked into building some high shelving which is progressing well.  The Society has also published a number of history bulletins on Mr James McCabe's story of his time teaching at the Beatrice River School during the mid 1920's and the difficulty he had relating to the bush people and the harsh damp environment.  The little competition been run on the group's Facebook site has attracted a lot of interest and has shown the members just how popular this site has become.

Sunday 14 April 2013

Tobacco Industry book

Historian Mrs Marjorie Gilmore and her co-author Mr Bob Veness have produced a wonderful study of our local tobacco industry with the recent publication of their 326-page book, 'Smoke and Mirrors; The rise and fall of the North Queensland Tobacco Industry'.  I joined the large crowd of some three hundred people who attended the recent launch of this book at the Mareeba Heritage Centre with Mr Ron Blundell as MC.  Old industry stalwart Mr Remze Mulla, who spent his whole life involved with the tobacco officially launched what he believed to be one of the most comprehensive book ever written on the topic.  This large book covers much of the social history of the industry from its first days in 1929 through to the last crop grown in 2004.  Unfortunately, it concentrates on the Mareeba and Dimbulah districts and scarcely touch on the many other areas where tobacco growing was started such as at Mary Farms and Watsonville.  The staff of the Centre had organized a fantastic event with great catering and the one thousand copies of the book that was printed were almost sold out at the launch, so if you want to buy a copy, you may need to wait for the re-print.  This subject holds a special interest for me as my paternal grand-parents tried to start a tobacco farm on Tinaroo Creek Road in the early 1930's but lost everything due to the hardships of the Great Depression.

Wednesday 10 April 2013

Douglas Shire Historical Society

Having not heard from the Douglas Shire Historical Society for some time, I called in to the Court House Museum in Port Douglas and found their Society doyen, Mr Noel Weare on duty at the front desk.  During a long chat, he brought me up to date with happenings at their group.  They had just completed a project to repaint their museum for which they obtained finance of $6000 and it has left the building looking clean and tidy.  Their Society was also publishing a local history Bulletin again after quite a long break without an editor.  The latest written by Dr Jonathan Richards on the Native Police activity in the Port Douglas dictrict.  Other projects they are undertaking entail collecting information on the dozens of hotels that have operated in the district over the years and the renewal of their aging internet website.  But like all the Societies, they too are struggling with the problem of finding new and younger energetic members and with the eternal problem of finance.

Monday 8 April 2013

North Qld Mining History Group

On a wet Saturday afternoon recently, more than twenty mining history enthusiast gathered in the research rooms of the Mining Centre in Herberton to formally constitute the new North Queensland Mining History Association inc. (NQMHAI)  This new organization aims to record the history of the North's mineral fields, mines, mills and smelters, prospectors and miners, starting with the tin and goldfields on and about the Tablelands.  After the business of starting the group was dealt with, Mr Ivan Searston gave an excellent presentation on his research into how the histories got the site of the original tin discovery by James V Mulligan at Herberton so wrong beginning with Robert Logan Jack's misreading of Mulligan's journal.  Mr Donald Walker who was named the inaugural patron of the group, then spoke on how he came to be in Herberton as a young man and gave a brief description of the tin industry from that time to its collapse in the mid 1980's.  For more information on the association, contact the Herberton Mining Centre.

Saturday 6 April 2013

Cairns Historical Society

Things have slow-up at Cairns due to the planed renovation to the School of Arts building which is to take place later in the year.  As this will cause great upheaval as the Society will have to vacate the building, the Management Committee has taken the rather extreme course of suspending all general meeting until further notice.  Monthly bulletins and the newsletters will still be published as normal but the gift shop is to be closed down.  The Management Committee will still meet to attend to the general business of the group although it could be well into 2015 before the Society gets back to normal.  Until then Les will organizes informal monthy get-togethers for the active members on the old meeting nights to keep everyone up to date on happenings within the group.

Friday 5 April 2013

THeN Meeting

The last meeting of the Tablelands Heritage Network (THeN) was held recently at the Atherton Chinatown complex with Rhonda Micola as the host.  A large crowd from the district's heritage groups and information and visitor centres attended with the day beginnng with a behind the scenes tour of the Hou Wang Temple.  Local archaeologist Mr Gordon Grimwade gave the gathering a presentation on the heritage interpretation systems at the site which is becoming very professional.  The next meeting will be held up at the Mountains Institute in Ravenshoe on Friday 14 June.

Thursday 4 April 2013

Atherton Family History Group

Gwen and the folk at the Atherton Library who conduct a little family history group have been very busy and have already drawn up a draft schedule for this year.  This includes reports from colleagues on their recent research trips and a workshop session on solving genealogical research problems.  They are also planning to have meetings with sessions on how to organise and present your family history and telling stories of very good or very bad ancestors.  The group are also planning to have an outing down to the Atherton Pioneer Cemetery and is hoping to obtain offers from visiting specialist to be guest speakers at various meeting.  This group assemble at the Meeting Room in the Atherton Library on the first Thursday of the month in the morning at 10am.  For more information on the group, please phone Gwen on 40434787 or call into the library and pick up an information sheet.