Monday 29 February 2016

Heritage North

The first meeting of the Heritage North Association for this year was held recently at Innisfail with that local historical society acting as host.  Some ten historians attended the gathering and gave reports from six member groups.  Unfortunately, nobody has been found to edit the group's newsletter, so this will be discontinued until a volunteer steps forward to take it on.  As no written reports are needed for a newsletter, a more informal meeting has been instigated and oral reports from the member groups were given.  The general business of the meeting mostly concerned the progress of the new Heritage North museum's brochure and the information required from each group.  The next meeting will be held in late May with the Eacham Historical Society as host.

Mulgrave Shire Historical Society

Fishery Falls was the site chosen for the annual Christmas party to end another successful year for the Mulgrave historians.  The highlight of this event was the presentation of Long Service Awards to several of the Society's long-time stewards.  With their museum closed until the end of January, the Society held an informal get together for the museum volunteers which saw a great turn-up.  The group also reported on the value of the recent workshop they conducted to review their Society protocols and recommend other Societies should consider a similar exercise.  The Society has recently been given a large collection of old glass plate negatives and a number of photographic negatives from which the group are now seeking to produce photo images.  They also reported that the group had received a donation of records from the old Hambledon Sugar Mill for their library collection.  At a recent meeting their President, Mr Travis Teske stated that the Mulgrave Shire Historical Society was looking forward to a busy new year as their district will be celebrating a number of centenary events for local community organizations, in particular the Gondonvale Turf Club, the local Scout Group and the town's Ambulance Centre.

Saturday 20 February 2016

Tolga Historical Society

The Tolga Historical Society has started this new year off by beginning an oral history project.  Society committee member, Mr Joe Tomerini suggested to the group at their January meeting that they should start a project to build up a library of local oral histories of the Tablelands' pioneering days.  The Society have been collecting eulogies from local funeral services for their pioneers files and they also want more Aboriginal family histories to be collected as well.  As a farming district, the group would like to see more photographs of pioneering farm life along with scenes of horses pulling ploughs and cultivators etc.  They are sure many older Tablelanders would have valuable memories to share and if you wish to have your stories recorded and preserved, contact the group's President, Mr Rob Fuller on 0427869446.

Tableland Heritage Network

Some twenty volunteers from different museums and heritage interested groups from about the district recently made the long journey over the rough gravel road out to Irvinebank to attend the first meeting for the year for the Tableland Heritage Network (TheN).  After gathering at the historic School of Arts Hall, the meeting began with a persentation from the region's Museum Development Officer, Dr Jo Wills concerning the need for the local groups to have an Interpretive Plan for their collections.  Having enjoyed morning tea, the group then climbed up to the Loudon House Museum where Mr Tony Dirksen explained how the museum was been redeveloped and their plan for it's future.  After a tour of the collection, it was down to the recently reopened Irvinebank Tavern for lunch before heading homeward.  The next THeN meeting will be held at Mareeba in early June.

Mareeba Historical Society

The Mareeba Historical Society started the new year off with the great news that the third display of their First World War series, the Nurses and Medicos photographic display, had won the Australia Day's Community Event of the Year award from the Mareeba Shire Council.  The Secretary of the group, Helen Kindt didn't think they stood a chance of winning and so was very pleased with the award.  This display closed in late January after a twelve week viewing to make way for the Society's fourth and last display in this series.  The new Non-combatants display, which was officially opened on the 5th February, chronicles the actions of the men and women who took part in the war while never carrying a gun.  The display also covers the amazing contribution of around sixteen million animals, mostly horses and mules but also dogs, carrier pigeons and even cats that were used to keep down the rats in the trenches.  The Non-combatants display will run until the end of April.  The Society is also calling for more helpers to come into their Centre to assist with the many little jobs that are needed to be done to run the group and to help John on the morning of the Mareeba Markets to erect the gazebo and set up the tables and put out the boxes of books for the fundraising stall.

Saturday 6 February 2016

Cairns Historical Society

At last!  A contract has been signed for the renovation work on the old School of Arts building with the Council and the successful builder currently working to finalize the budget and design issues with work due to start in March.  This date being a full two years later than the Society originally thought was planned.  Working from the start date of construction, the Society hopes to be back in their building and have the museum opened again by the middle of next year but with the way things have gone with this project, I would not be surprised if the group is not up and running again until towards the end of that year.  Planning for the designs of the new museum exhibitions is now absorbing much of the group's efforts and the concept for the new museum is starting to take shape.  On other issues, the Society ended last year with their annual Christmas break-up party been held this time at the Edge Hill Bowls Club with about fifty members attending the event.  The highlight of the party was the presentation of Life Membership to the recently retired President of the group, Mr Stephen Fowler.  The Society also welcomed a new volunteer co-ordinator, Ms Debra Jakes who will manage the recruitment and induction of volunteers to help run the collection.  The Society is now calling for nominations for the S.E.Stephens History Award for 2016 and the nominations should be mailed to the Secretary by the end of March. The next quarterly lecture series will be held in the Cairns City Library on Sunday 17 April from 2pm.

Monday 1 February 2016

Cairns & District Chinese Association

It has been twelve years since CADCAI became the caretaker of the important Lit Sung Goong temple artifacts.  A small group of volumteers was formed to collate amd catalogue the collection.  They had a lot to learn but now they are getting ready for the next phase which is to build on their land in the Cairns Cultural percinct near the Chinese garden.  This will establish a permanent home for the temple artifacts and a place where the community can come together to share and celebrate their heritage.  During the year a fresh sub-committee has been working on a more affordable staged development aiming to start in this new year.  Recently the heritage group has received a number of family history enquires regarding Chinese migrants who had lived in North Queensland.  In most cases the trail have been difficult to track, however there has been some success such as the story of Jang Tim who settled in Gordonvale and was been researched by his grand-daughter from China.  The Association has also catalogued a collection of twenty-three original lithograph poster depicting both traditional and popular Shanghai vintage art.  Other achievements during the year were the completion of the cataloguing of the Kevin Wong Hoy library and the Chinatown collection files.  This new year will see the ongoing conservation of all the CADCAI heritage collection and fundraising will become an important and major focus for the group.