Friday 23 March 2018

Kuranda History Group

Last year, following the opening of the newly refurbished and expanded Cairns Museum, a group of interested Kuranda residents were encouraged to explore the idea of establishing a Kuranda 'historical society' with the aim of finding a home for items of historical interest pertaining to the Kuranda district.  Photos, letters, documents and other items are being lost each year and with them the details of daily life.  Ultimately it is hoped that one day Kuranda will have a museum or keeping place for residents old and new and of course visitors to explore.  An interim working group consisting of a dozen or so local residents, with Interim President Garth Owen and Interim Secretary Gayle Hannah, was established to approach Council to see if a space could be found to store items the public might donate or loan, as well as a space where small displays, exhibitions or events might be held.  Council has responded positively and now the working group is wanting to invite the general public to get involved.  The process of incorporating the Kuranda Historical Society has just begun.  It is hoped that a public meeting will be held in April.  For more information see next month's Kuranda Paper, check them on Facebook or send them an email on  

Thursday 22 March 2018

Cooktown Historical Society

The Cooktown Historical Society is wanting to start a self interest Family History Group.  This is for anyone researching their family history, not necessarily just the Cooktown area.  This group will be under the umbrella of the historical society so there will be no separate committee etc.  They envisage this will be an ideal forum to discuss those 'brick wall' that all genealogists encounter and to be able to talk with others of a like mind.  If you are interested, please contact the Society to give an ideal time to suit and when number are ready, the group will let you know the date of the first gathering.  The historical society is also to trial a series of free public History Nights this year.  The first evening will be presented by Bev Shay and will be entitled 'A Productive Community'.  It will look at the production and exporting that was being conducted in Cooktown in the early 1900's.  The most exciting news of all is that the Society was advised by Council that it had been awarded a RADF grant.  This fund is to be used towards the 'Preserving the Palmer' project and cataloguing of the Wild Irish Girl collection.  This Community Engagement project aims to train volunteers on how to catalogue and manage objects from the collection of the late John Hay.  The workshop will be open to other participants if they wish to learn more about collection management.     

Tuesday 20 March 2018

Irvinebank museum

Volunteers Brian Perkes, Bob Barnes and Bill Moulang have been hard at work with their shovels installing the new interpretative signage at Irvinebank's heritage and historic buildings.  Visitors to Irvinebank can now enjoy a heritage walk around the town to view the historic buildings built during the Moffat era from 1884 - 1912 and read the stories that provides a glimpse into the past and the people who were connected to these buildings.  This project has seen interpretative signage erected at the following sites; School of Arts Hall,Queensland National Bank, Loudoun Mill, Police Station & Courthouse Buildings, Tramway Station and the Loudoun House Museum.  Heritage walk maps are available from the museum which is open 10an to 4pm daily.  This 'Sharing Our Heritage Stories' project was supported by the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) Small Grants.  The talented local, Mr Harry Knowles has very skillful constructed in paper a model of the small Borsig locomotive that used to run on the 2 ft gauge tramway from Irvinebank to Boonmoo.  It will form part of a new display for the Tramway and State Treatment Works.  The group is so lucky to have a talented artisan such as Harry working on the displays.  The Association is now holding a fundraising event at the School of Arts Hall every second Friday evening from 5.30pm till about 7.30pm with a barbecue and drinks.  All the proceeds to go towards maintaining the lovely old heritage buildings.  The group is also seeking a new Volunteer Caretaker to assist in the museum and help with the ongoing conservation work of the town's heritage buildings.  For a information package, email the Secretary. 

Sunday 18 March 2018

Tableland Heritage Network

Some twenty volunteers from many different museums and heritage groups recently travelled from across the tablelands to attend the first Tableland Heritage Network (THeN) meeting for the year.  This gathering was held in the Old Post Office Gallery at Atherton Chinatown where the 'Railways 1914 - 1919' display was recently opened to honor the work of the railways during the First World War years.  Many of the organizations attending the meeting helped with this display and expressed satisfaction with the result.  After morning tea, the meeting opened with a report from a delegate from each of the groups in attendance telling of their efforts since last year and of their hopes and projects for this new year.  This was followed by the region's Museum Development Officer, Dr Jo Wills presentation concerning the Railways display and a discussion on ideas for future displays.  The next THeN meeting will be held in June at Mareeba with the Mareeba Historical Society as host. 

Friday 16 March 2018

Eacham Historical Society

Members of the Eacham Historical Society celebrated the end of another successful year with a number of gatherings just before last Christmas.  Those who volunteer at the history centre in Malanda got together for a morning tea on the barbeque deck at Atherton's Platypus Park while the members who volunteer at the museum in Millaa Millaa enjoyed a get together at De Millaa Cafe.  The group could not function without the efforts of those who volunteer and their generosity is greatly appreciated.  Some forty members and guests also attended the annual end of year dinner held again in the function room of the Malanda RSL Club.  The Society has recently completed a project to reprint a number of its popular publications which had sold out.  This also included a long awaited second edition of the 'Murder in the Boonjie Scrub' book which was launched in a brief ceremony at the end of year dinner.  It was also decided to award a Life Membership to Mr Anton Kneubuhler in recognition of his many year of dedicated service to the Society.  The new year began with the Society's first meeting in late January at which a paper written by David Candow was read telling of the childhood adventures growing up at Topaz in the mid 1940's.  The group was also asked to assist with the travelling Railways 1914-1919 project which has been organized by the Workshop Rail Museum to honour the military service of the railways and its personnel during the First World War.  The first field-trip for the year was held in late February to explore the Ravenshoe - Innot Hot Springs district.  A wild storm that hit during lunch at Glen Gordon Station made it a most adventures outing.  The next meeting will be held on 20 March at the Malanda Centre.