Monday 29 May 2017

Story of the Port Douglas Courthouse

A new book was recently launched at the Mossman Library by the Douglas Shire Historical Society.  Entitled 'Built to Survive; the uncertain journey of a Courthouse built for Port Douglas', it tells the story of the life of the old Port Douglas Courthouse which was built in 1879 and is one of the town's oldest buildings.  Once marked for demolition, the story of saving the old Courthouse and bring it back to life as the district's museum involved many in the community.  This story was researched and written by the past president of the Society, Mr Noel Weare whose aunt purchased the building when it was about to be demolished and so saved it.  The book also gives a brief outline of the history of Port Douglas which was founded a 140 years ago.  Another great effort from members of this dedicated little group. The book is available from the Society's museum in Port Douglas.

New Townsville History

Thanks to its stature as the premier city of North Queensland, from as early as 1895, Townsville was known as the 'Queen City of the North'.  This now been the title of a recently published book written by Trisha Fielding.  It is like a leisurely stroll through some of the fascinating aspects of Townsville's history since its settlement in 1864 as a port for the region's pastoral industry.  The book tells tragic tales such as the disappearance of the last lighthouse keeper at Bay Rock, the sinking of the SS Yongala and shark attacks in Ross Creek.  Stories of the destruction caused by floods and cyclones, to gun battles in the city streets over workers' rights, the bombing of the city during World War Two and of the cast of colourful characters that shaped the city's fortunes.  The book presents a remarkably vivid picture of life in early Townsville that should delight all lovers of northern history.  Trisha Fielding won a National Trust of Queensland Award in 2010 for her first book, 'Flinders Street, Townsville; A Pictorial History' and was awarded the John Oxley Library Award in 2015 for her blog on North Queensland history.

Sunday 21 May 2017

Cooktown Historical Society

In May of this year, the Cooktown branch of the CWA is celebrating its 80th birthday.  The Cooktown Historical Society, on their behalf, is searching for any old photos of past members and events like dances or dinners.  If anybody can help, please send a message or email to the Society.  Recently, Cooktown was visited by a descendant of Captain Albert Ross Hovel.  They visited the cemetery, weeded his grave and laid a bouquet of flowers.  Its been a long time between visitors for Albert Hovel, Master Mariner who was buried there on 6th May 1888.  This Society have a wonderful number of volunteers but would love just a couple more to work at the front desk for this tourist season just to meet and greet the visitors.  Three hours a week is all they are after, this would be perfect for parents with kids at school either in the morning or the afternoon so call in if you can help.

Sunday 14 May 2017

Mulgrave Shire Historical Society

The Mulgrave Shire Historical Society is inviting all local Seniors Groups to visit their Mulgrave Settlers Museum.  An entry fee of $6.00 per person will include a morning tea.  To book your group, contact the Publicity Officer Julie or phone the museum.  The Society has also put out an urgent call for more volunteers to help out at their museum in Gordonvale.  The volunteer positions would be suitable for people who like to share their knowledge and or learning about the area's rich history.  So, if you like meeting people and can spare four hours a fortnight, contact the Society about becoming one of the museum staff.  The central display in the museum is changed approximately every six months.  The current display includes the opening of this museum twenty-five years ago and the story of the local Silhouette Marching Girls.  The museum will be closed from the 19th to the 22rd June to enable the volunteers to get the next exhibition ready.  This new display will feature the Edmund Jarvis cases and other items to celebrate one hundred years of the Meringa Sugar Experiment Station.  The Jarvis cases were restored through a RADF grant.  The Society is also asking if anyone have any early Cane Grower's Quarterly Bulletins that could be donated to the Society or loaned to be copied.  

Mareeba Historical Society

The Mareeba Historical Society has begun a celebration of strong women through the generations with a series of photographic displays for the month of May.  The new displays showcase local women through the photos as well as personal belongings that have been handed down.  On some of the displays are five to six generations of local families.  Society Secretary, Helen Kindt stated that the Mother's Day display had morphed into a 'Month of the Women' and the display will run until the end of the month.  The Society has their Centre open every Tuesday and Wednesday from 8am to 4pm for anyone who wish to view the displays.