Friday 31 January 2020

Eacham Historical Society

A quick review of the year 2019 showed that the Eacham Historical Society had another busy year and has again well fulfilled the aims and objects for which the Society was formed way back in 1976.  The Society was sadden by the news of the passing during the year of several of its very earliest members who had help to shape the group over the years, founding member Henry Tranter and Judy Fitzsimon.

Their museum at Millaa Millaa ran well over the year with their Curator reporting that they had seen some good visitor numbers to the museum over the years's tourist season with between 500 and 600 monthly visitors viewing the collection.  It's lovely to see so many people coming through the doors of the museum although the never-ending problem of staffing the museum continues to plague the group.  The Society continued their proud tradition of publishing local history with the launch of a new booklet on the early years of Peeramon.  This new publication began with the research done for the Peeramon Honour Board project which grew into a full study of the township.  This is their twenty-second publication and now gives those interested in local history a booklet on all the towns of the old Eacham district.

The Society also maintained their tradition of supporting annual public heritage events with the Rocky Creek Memorial Day stall again been set up in their little shelter shed at the park.  The stall was quite successful with many people viewing the display and good book sales making the effort well worth while.  They have been attending this event for about fifteen years now but it has been winding down over recent years so it is not sure how much longer the Society will continue to attend.  The group's volunteers were also happy to report a great Malanda Show stall again for the year.  Book sales were good, especially with the new Peeramon book and the railway display very much a talking point for the show-goers as was the mystery item.

Three field trips were held over the year with the first been to view the buildings and businesses of Atherton which was enjoyed by members and their guests; the Northern Motoring Club.  Several Atherton historians were also able to attend and share their knowledge.  This was part of a project to document the buildings and various businesses of the town over the years.  The next field trip was to the Mount Garnet district and was enjoyed by all.  What a great day; from a Innot Hot Springs morning stop to a drive and walk around the Mt Garnet township visiting the heritage sites to a drive into Battle Camp to view old building from the Tin dredging days to finish the trip off.  The last field trip for the year was to explore the Carrington and Herberton area.  First stop was the Robson Track junction and Hastie Swamp along with various sites of Carrington before they travelled up the Herberton Range to have a stroll around the town visiting the many heritage sites with a visit to the Herberton Mining Centre to finish the day.

Other projects over the year included an event which the Society was very happy to be part of was the Peeramon Honour Board (found, restored and re-hung) being viewed once again at the Peeramon Hotel.  The Society also started a project to collect information on the early houses and buildings of Malanda.  They are often asked by the new owners for some history for their properties.  Again over the year it was Family History research that filled much of their research time.  It is interesting to note that family history is now recognized as the biggest hobby in the world.  The 2019 year ended with their traditional Xmas dinner party held once again at the Malanda RSL Club.  Plans are now been made to make the new year just as successful.      

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