Saturday 30 June 2018

Kuranda Historical Society

A new group is welcomed to the local heritage movement.  The new Kuranda Historical Society is now officially constituted and incorporated and proudly proclaiming their objective 'to receive and preserve historical items from or relevant to, the Kuranda region and display them appropriately to as wide an audience as possible.'  The committee is in place with Dugg Stratford as President and Anne Clarke as the Secretary and the position of Treasurer filled by Gayle Hannah.  Now that the Society is legally up and running, they will begin to seek a 'home' for the group and start pursuing funding.  They are also to organize their first public meeting and be able to open up a membership drive in the near future.  The committee wish to thank everyone who has expressed interest in being involved and with the administrative tasks finished, they hope soon to be in a position to begin receiving donations of historical materials.  Anyone with queries can contact the Society via email on or c/- P.O.Box 66 Kuranda 4881. 

Cooktown Historical Society

The Cooktown Historical Society is trialing a series of history nights this year and May saw the inaugural 'History Evening' at the History Centre in Charlotte Street.  The twenty people attending made a full house in the available space.  The presentation by Bev Shay was enthusiastically received and led the way to several lines of discussion.  This month saw the second evening, presented by Marge Scully and entitled 'Tommy Ah Kum, His Legacy'.  It looked at the life of one of Cooktown's Chinese merchants from the 1880's.  One of the visitors said they, "found it fascinating in the amount of 'detective archaeological' efforts to acquire the presented information and the discussions on the types of opium medications we used to take was very humourous."  Disappointingly, attendance numbers were down but perhaps they should check as to when the football is on when planning these event!  Next public event will be the opening of the Sam Elliot/John Hay display.  There was a busy Monday recently at the History Centre.  It started with a visit by sixteen pensioners from Brisbane and finished with a VIP visit.  The French Consul-General Mr Crozier, the German Consul-General Mr Freischlader, the Honoray Consul from Cairns Mrs Indorato accompanied by Marie-Claude Nicot from the French Benevolent Society of North Queensland.  They had requested a meeting with the historical society.  The purpose of the visit was to lay wreaths on the memorials to the French sailors who died of disease here in Cooktown in 1879 and on the grave of Dr Korteum, Cooktown's resident doctor for many years and the German Vice-Consul from 1886 to 1914.  The Society would also like to make contact with anyone associated with the old Palmer River Preservation Society which was operating in the 1980's.  If they could make contact it would be much appreciated.