Thursday 29 December 2016

Douglas Shire Historical Society

The Society was very pleased to announce that due to popular demand, they were able to conduct another Mossman Cemetery walk in October.  So many people missed the first one that Judy Coulthard repeated her fascinating tour of the cemetery.  This free tour was another successful partnership between the Douglas Shire Council and the Historical Society.  The November meeting of the group was held at the Port Douglas CWA rooms and members were asked to bring along some of their old photos and if they could, tell some stories about them.  The Society would also like to say a huge 'thank you' to the Salsa Sorensen organization for funding the Society's new computers.  Now the group can really get the databases in order so it can 'share our history with our community'.  And as it's that time of the year again, the Society's Christmas dinner was held at Mojo's of Massman as usual, on Monday 5th December.  Don't forget the Society's fundraising bookstall at the Christmas in the Park event.  The museum will be closing down on 12th December and reopening on 3rd January and then on the 29th January it will be closed for the annual maintenance program and reopen on the 5th March 2017.

Innisfail & District Historical Society

What a great day the Society had in the museum recently with the opening of the aboriginal Ma Mu 'Midja', a Mamu rainforest shelter.  It has been made in the traditional way and has been furnished with authentic everyday household things from the museum collection.  There was a big crowd for the event and everything went off really well on the day.  It is a great exhibit and the group are proud to have it.  Thanks to Trisha and Shenoa for building the Midja and especially to Thelma as she was the one who suggested having the exhibit.  Make sure that you come in and see it soon.  Also, the Society's 2017 calendar is now available and this time it is celebrating one hundred years of Rugby League football in Innisfail.  Call in to the museum to buy your copy at $10 each.  The group has ended off this busy year with the Society's annual Christmas party which was held at the Criterion Hotel at South Johnston.

Monday 26 December 2016

Mulgrave Shire Historical Society

The Society held it's AGM in September with Travis Teske been returned as President and the group's doyen Jim Hill as Vice-president.  Don Lawie was elected to the position of Secretary and Jenny Verrall to serve as Treasurer.  Their first ever Gordonvale Cemetery Tour was a huge success.  The wet drizzly weather didn't stop well over a hundred visitors listening to interesting stories told by amazing Gordonvale State School students dressed in period costume.  Thanks to Jenny Verrall from the Society for putting this wonderful idea into motion and thanks also to the school teachers, Patrice Honnef and Janine Faulkner who assisted Jenny.  Members have already started researching for the next 'Ghosts of Gordonvale Cemetery' walk to be held sometime in 2017 and are asking if anyone has any suggestions as to which pioneer families to include in the event.  The Gordonvale Scouts are celebrating their centenary with the first scout troop been formed on the 22nd November 1916.  The Society has just put together a Scouts display at their Mulgrave Settlers Museum and if you have any stories, photographs etc, about Scouting in Gordonvale, please let them know.  The local Mirriwinni State School also reached their 100th year recently and members of the Society attended their celebrations.  The Society has just enjoyed their annual Christmas dinner party which was held at the Hamilton Hotel in Edmonton and they will be closing down their museum from the 11th December until the 23rd January 2017.

Cairns Historical Society

As you are probably aware by now, the Cairns Council is renovating the School of Arts building and have awarded the contract to Hutchinson Builders.  This project is slated for completion in February 2017 and when finished the Society's area will really be just a empty shell.  The Society's project will then be to build the museum inside the building and to build the operational area for the Society.  Then all the objects will have to be moved back into the museum galleries.  This will be a separate job with Michael Marzik, a Cairns based Museum and Gallery specialist, taking on the work.  The historical society area will need new workstations and storage installed with upgraded IT systems and the return of the archival collection.  The current timeline has the Society re-opening in June 2017, but this is still notional as it depends on the building being handed over on time, with the museum fit-out being completed on schedule and the Society installation program running on time.  On other news, congratulations go to Pauline O'Keeffe and Gordon Grimwade who have been involved in the Cairns Regional Council project acknowledging and honouring the significant contribution made by the men and women of this region during Wold War One.  A part of which, the Cairns ANZAC Trail, was launched on 25th November.  Also, at the recent AGM, Clive Skarott was returned as President of the Society with Jan Wegner as Vice-president and Megan Lilly in the position of Secretary along with David Goodman as the new Treasurer and Suzanne Gibson returned as Museum Manager.  The Society Christmas party was held once again at the Edge Hill Bowling Club and the Research department closing down for the year from the 22rd December until the 5th January.

Sunday 18 December 2016

Heritage North

After twenty-five years of assisting local heritage groups, we held our very last Heritage North meeting in Cairns.  At the recent AGM it was decided that as the organization had not been supported very well over the past few years that it be wound up.  Heritage North grew out of the old 'Far North Queensland Museums and Historical Societies Association' which was formed in the early 1980's as an umbrella group when many of the local historical societies were getting off the ground and were setting up their museum collections.  Then after a few years in recess, the Association re-commenced operations in 1992 when a second wave of small history societies were starting up and the group was later renamed the 'Heritage North Association'.  But as the societies have developed and matured, the need for an umbrella group has lessen, although an informal group may continue to help organize training workshops for local historians and maybe an annual conference to get the societies together for a social to share news and ideas.


Historic artifacts from Cairns' original Chinese temple will get a new lease on life thanks to funding from the Federal Government's Community Heritage Grants Program.  The Cairns and District Chinese Assocation inc (CADCAI) will receive $13,630 to carry out conservation treatment on the Lit Sung Goong (Temple) furniture.  This was great news for CADCAI who are very active in promoting and preserving our Chinese heritage.  The Chinese Temple in Cairns was opened in 1877 in what was then called Sachs Street by settlers from the Zhongshan district of Guangdong.  The temple was a significant cultural site as it was a meeting place and the focal point of Chinese community life in Cairns well into the 1920's.  Unfortunately, a series of events including a fire and a cyclone that destroyed the front of the temple, along with dwindling attendance and a debt resulting from City Council rates, forced the sale of the site in the 1960's.  Luckily the internal fixtures and the entire collection of temple artifacts were salvaged and today, members of CADCAI are custodians of this important collection and it's their goal to establish a Chinese cultural facility in Cairns to re-house, preserve and showcase this collection for present and future generations.  CADCAI was also thrilled to announce that they have signed a three-year, $100,000 naming rights sponsorship deal for the Chinese New Year celebrations with developer KUR-World.  The group's Vice-president Nathan Lee Long was very excited to see the growth of this festival, which next year will be its fourteenth year.  Chinese New Year in Cairns will be launched on 20th January.