Friday 29 November 2013

North Qld Mining History Association

The last quarterly meeting of this mining history group was held in late October at the Herberton Mining Centre with about ten members in attendance.  After a quite a lot of business from the pervious meeting was sorted out, Ivan Searton presented the information he had obtained from the Qld State Archives on the old Tinaroo Tin Mines and then spoke on the history of the Tinaroo Freehold mines.  Also of interest was the news that Col Robinson was working on a study of the old mining dredges that worked on the tin fields and up at the Palmer River Goldfield.  Hopefully there will be a book about the dredges in this.  In order to build up a register of the district's pioneer mining families, it was decided to begin gathering records from the old schools of the local mining towns that would hold lists of names.  This would also be useful in tracing the movements of the families from one mining area to the next as well as been helpful to those working on their family histories.  The meeting closed with the news that Graham Byrns has a large number of old papers on the districts mines which he is willing to donate to the Association.  After the meeting, I viewed the small archive that is been built up at the Centre and it already appears quite impressive.  The next meeting will be held at the same location on the first Saturday of February.

Cairns Historical Society

As this Society is not having monthly meeting at the moment, I called into their new centre at the old Grafton Street Post Office building to pay my membership and catch up with happenings.  It was good to see this temporary centre now up and running although due to staffing problems, the centre is not open on Saturdays which makes it difficult for some members to access the Society.  It is hoped that it will be opened for at least one weekend a month next year.  Sadly, the Annual General Meeting was held at the ridiculous time of nine o'clock on a Friday morning which made it almost impossible for many members to attend.  I hope there was little business to attend to at this year's meeting as this attitude will make finding new people to sit on the committee difficult.  This years Society Christmas party is also a little different as it is a cruise about the inlet on the Sunset Harbour Cruise boat, although I hope the limited number of seats will not be a problem.  I look forward to a better year in 2014 with some normality returning to the groups operations.

Douglas Shire Historical Society

While chatting with Society doyen Mr Noel Weare the other day, he brought me up to date with happenings at the Douglas group.  Like all the history groups at this time, they are winding down for the year although the elections for the newly re-formed Douglas Shire Council has brought up a few concerns for the Society about the change back from the Cairns Council.  Along with their research on the Port Douglas cemetery, the Society has decided to start a new project to develop a guided walk through the Mossman cemetery to view the more historic graves.  The groups annual Melbourne Cup Luncheon for this year was held at Sassi's Cucina in Port Douglas.  This event is important as it is one of the Society's major fund-raising events for the year.  And to end the year, the members Christmas party is to be held at Mojo's in Mossman.  The Society appears to have had a very successful year.

Mareeba Historical Society

The Mareeba Historical Society reported another successful year although health problems amongst members slowed things a little this year.  The Significance Assessment project is coming to a close and the committee is waiting to see the final results of their efforts and to what use it could be put.  A sub-committee of some four members was put together to compile and organise displays for the approaching centenary of the beginning of World War One. Something that all the Societies will need to think about during the coming year.  And to finish this Society's year off, the Xmas BBQ is again organised to be held at Helen's place.

Thursday 21 November 2013

Malanda School Book

After some two years of research, Mr Malcolm Brown has seen his impressive book on the history of the Malanda State School completed.  This book entitled 'Malanda State School; A School in the Rainforest' was launched in the library of the Malanda State School during their recent centenary celebrations.  This fine publication also covers the history of the many smaller schools of the local area where the children were sent by bus into the Malanda School when they were closed.  A complementary CD was also produced with all the class photos that could be found as there was no way in which the hundreds of photos could have been put into the pages of the book.  The book is a credit to Mal's dedication to the school where he was the Principal for fifteen years from 1979 through to 1991.  Sadly my father, who attended the High-Top section of the school in the early 1950's, was missing from the book's list of teachers as he also taught there for nearly a year after completing his National Service after Teachers College.  Still this large 175 page volume is a great addition to the recorded history of the Eacham distict.