Monday 30 April 2018

Harry Dalziel Commemoration

When David Dalziel and his son John planned their journey to the North to speak to a couple of school class about his famous war-hero father Harry Dalziel, he had no idea the trip would turn into a full week of lectures and civic functions.  To celebrate the centenary of the Battle of Hamel and the action that won Harry Dalziel his Victoria Cross, a glossy twenty-page booklet was printed telling the story of Harry's life and of the battle that became a turning point of the First World War.  Harry, who was born at Irvinebank and spent much of his life in Atherton, has the distinction of been the only soldier from the Far North of Queensland to have won the V.C.  This little pictorial booklet was compiled by David Dalziel mostly from family records and makes a great souvenir for those interested in Australian military history.  Copies can still be obtained by contacting the Eacham Historical Society.

Sunday 29 April 2018

Cairns Historical Society

The Society's Volunteering Open Day was held in March with more than forty people coming in to see whether they might be interested in joining the staff.  Mel has been busy following up with prospective volunteers and will be monitoring the results and the retention to see whether it has been a useful strategy.  Thanks to everyone who made the first trivia night fundraiser a great success.  The event was sold out a week early with eleven tables of contestants on the night.  Ben Woodward did a sterling job as MC on the evening and the Society is thinking of having another trivia night later in the year.  The last set of local history lectures were well attended.  David Phoenix's presentation on the mystery of Kuranda's 2,225 year old Ptolemaic coin led to much interest and discussion.  Carol West spoke of the days when the Central Hotel was one of the major social meeting places in Cairns and Angela Meyer introduced the group to Anna Eglitis who was a promoter of the arts and culture in the Far North.  The next lectures will be held at the museum on 26 May at 1.30pm.  Subjects will include the early history of the Waugh Pocket area and the story of Bill Horsfall's memoirs of 1950's Cairns.  On a sadder note, three of the Society's long-term volunteers, Bill, Val and John have decided it is time to move on.  Their long years of effort have left the Society a huge legacy of which they should be justifiably proud and they will be missed.  The Society is now on the hunt for information about a benevolent society which once operated in the city.  The museum manager Suzanne Gibson is seeking to learn more about the Loyal Trinity Lodge of the Manchester Unity Independent Order of Oddfellows (MUIOOF) after a donation of formal Lodge regalia from the Uyterwijk family.  This year's annual tour, which is held in conjunction with the local branch of the National Trust will be held on Sunday 20 May.  This will be to the Herberton and Watsonville areas and for further details, contact Dawn May on 40578100. 

Saturday 28 April 2018

Herberton Mining Museum

Volunteers from the Herberton Mining Museum were thrilled recently to be invited by the Atherton Visitors Centre on a familiarization trip to Ravenshoe.  The weather was beautiful and the Millstream Falls were spectacular.  The day started with devonshire tea provided by the ladies from the Ravenshoe Heritage Railway followed by a visit to the Ravenshoe Visitor Centre where their displays were viewed.  The museum volunteers are currently developing an 'app' that is based on the 'Heritage Walk' brochure.  Visitors to Herberton will be able to download the app and then as they walk about the streets of town it will tell them stories about each building and shows photos of it at different times.  They are looking for people who have links to particular buildings who would like to be the voice for that building's story on the app.  Hopefully it will be finished in time for Pioneer's Weekend in May.  The museum was recently visited by a VIP; Mr Paul Turpin.  A photo of Paul features in one of the displays at the museum and the volunteers were enthralled by his stories of his life as a local tin miner.  There is continuous progress at the Herberton Mining Museum!  Thanks to Mr Smiley Wharton, the water turbine that once drove a stamper mill on Wondecla Creek has been recovered.  This 1880's Laffel water turbine is another valuable part of our history saved and is now on display for all to see. 

Monday 16 April 2018

Cairns & District Family History Society

The Cairns & District Family History Society is looking for actors for their 2018 production of 'Shadows from the Past.'  No experience is necessary but you must be over the age of 15 years.  Get a team together for the Trivia Night and come along to a fun night to help raise valuable funds to support your local family history society!  When; Saturday, 12 May  Time; 6.30pm  Tickets; $10 for members and $15 for non-members  Theme; General knowledge and family history.  There will be a Cash bar and light nibbles provided with a complimentary tea and coffee.  Book a table or team for six or eight people.  'Stories from the Shadows - Mary Anne Lovelock' is the latest blog post by member Joan Taylor.  It summarizes the life of Mary Anne Lovelock of North Queensland and includes some beautiful family photos. The Society is also delighted to announce that the Cairns Family History Centre is now a FamilySearch Affiliate Library.  With Affiliate Library status you will be able to access nearly all the restricted digitized images available from FamilySearch.  Many of the restricted digitized images are highly desirable sets not freely available elsewhere, including the Scottish parish records and a lot more worldwide.  Then come in and learn some terrific and easy search tips for finding family history information using Google at the 'Googling for Genealogy' lecture with presenter, Melanie Dunstan on Saturday, 21 April 2018 at 2pm.

Monday 9 April 2018

Douglas Shire Farming History

In 2009, Mr Ken Keith moved to the Douglas district and quickly became fascinated with the local history.  This led to a project with two fellow Douglas Shire Historical Society members, John Anich and Belinda Peters, to document the old farming equipment that still exist on local farms.  The trio soon had so much information that they decided to put it into print.  Now after years of research, Ken has released his book,'Cattle, Cane and Cedar; Early farming in the Douglas Shire.'  This story follows the progression of local farming from horse-drawn implements to the increasing powerful tractors and agricultural machinery of more modem times.  The new book also tells the story of the pioneers who struggled or thrived from the 1870's to the 1960's and highlights the farming families who are still on the land in the district.  These rural industries are a part of the cultural heritage of the Shire and the authors tried to cover the whole region from Wangetti in the south up to the Bloomfield River in the north.  It also touch on the attempts to produce crops like cereals, coffee, coconuts and even rubber in this district.  Douglas Shire Mayor Julia Leu recently officiated at the launch of the book at a small event at the Mossman Library.  It can be purchased through the Douglas Shire Historical Society and local booksellers.