The Story So Far
Mount Bauple is geographically situated in the
centre of what was the Shire of Tiaro. It is a dominant landmark
visible from all over the Shire and beyond.
The Shire of Tiaro covers a area of 2196 square
kilometers and at the time (approx 1995) had a population of 4,500
people. It is a predominantly rural area located between the major
Cities of Maryborough and Gympie in Queensland. It is made up of a
number of small towns, all of which have a colourful past.
Up to 1995, no real attempt had been made to
properly research and record the early history of the Tiaro Shire. In
1995 the first real attempt was started to accurately record this
interesting early history, which is typically early Australian. Mrs
Lillian Coyne set upon the mammoth task and then approached Alex and
Daphne Mackellar. With their help, and help from other long standing
Tiaro Shire residents, a huge amount of photographs and records were
gathered from families of early settlers, and laid the foundation for
what has now become an organization of no mean repute.
Tremendous response from the families of the early
settlers was very encouraging. Offers of assistance from the community
both financially and in man-hours resulted in the incorporation of The
Mount Bauple & District Historical Society on the 19th
Such a huge quantity of memorabilia now collected
outstripped the Society’s recources and suitable accommodation to
securely and safely house the photographs, family histories,
memorabilia, etc. has now been constructed.
Society members conceived the idea of acquiring
land in the centre of Bauple, that was a disused road reserve, on which
to erect a suitable building. To enable the Society to give back
something to the community in appreciation of their tremendous support
to date, it was decided to transform that part of the land not required
for the building, into a landscaped public park with public toilet
block, BBQ’s. tables and chairs and a children’s playground.
The Tiaro Shire Council held a Public
Consultation Meeting on the site on the 30th October 1999. A
total of 31 people attended this meeting, at the conclusion of which
they voted in favour of the proposed project.
The land was transferred to the Tiaro Shire Council
as Trustees, who in turn leased it back to the Society for a peppercorn
A budget of $500,000 was required to build the
premises and complete the parkland.
Of the $500,000, less than $200,000 was obtained
through grants. The balance of funds was obtained by the generous
nature of the business world, individual and family donations, donations
of plant and equipment together with trained operators and time and
effort by numerous civic minded people. The grants came from the
Centenary of Federation Committee who gave $68,500 and $123,000 from
Department of Employment, Training and Industrial Relations through the
Wide Bay Group Train Scheme Ltd for long term unemployed to gain
experience. An additional grant of $7,832 was made by the Gambling
Community Benefit Fund for a publishing photocopier.
The connection between the Society and the
pioneering families is reinforced by donation of timber from their
family’s properties. This timber was then milled by Dale & Meyers,
whose workers donated their time and labour to the project.
The building was completed just prior to its
official opening by the Governor of Queensland Major General PeterArnissonon 24th February 2001. Minor works to other
buildings were still to be completed.
In 2001, the Society received the Cultural Award
during the Australia Day Award ceremony.
So it was, with a spirit of adventure that the
Society set out to fit out its own institute where the permanent home of
the local history and its display for posterity could be accomplished.
This would enhance knowledge of the traditions passed down over the
generations from our earliest forbears. It was to give a real
opportunity for the Society to fulfill a purpose that would enable the
provision of facilities for the people, including students, of today and
future generations to develop a full and clear understanding of the
ideals for which many of our men and women have fought and died.
To commence with, the Society concentrated its
research efforts on the Bauple and surrounding district in the parish of
Gundiah. This has expanded to include other areas within the Tiaro
shire, both north and south.
Since 2001, the gardens have been established,
public toilets, BBQ’s and covering sheds plus tables and seating have
been installed, all of which are available free of charge to the public,
travelers and locals alike. These facilities are maintained and paid
for by the Society and are available at any time all year round.
Lighting around the park is also maintained by the Society.
The park and gardens have been fenced making it a safe area for
children to play. A children’s playground has been provided. The
fencing itself tells a story of the community. Each panel was paid for
by a member of the community who live in the area, or by descendants of
pioneers of the area.
Since its beginning, the Society has continued to
provide voluntary work options through centrelink thus ensuring a small
but consistent workforce, while at the same time providing a service to
the community. It has built an extra shed for display purposes and has
since extended this. Restored a locomotive similar to the one that was
used in the Bauple Sugar Mill, upgraded it’s office and reception area,
purchased equipment to maintain the park with the help of Jupitors
Casino and the Community Gambling Benefit Fund and recently installed a
Wishing Well with the help of a grant from Tiaro Shire Council, to
recognize Lillian Coyne, Alex and Daphne Mackellar for their
contribution and efforts to establish the Society.
The grounds are now maintained mostly by the
efforts of Geoff Dunbar and other volunteers and are considered to be one
of the better parks along the Highway. They are frequently used by travelers who comment on how clean and well maintained they are. It is
a matter of pride to the volunteers to maintain this reputation. A
working windmill in the grounds is not only a display piece, but
provides water for the public facilities and the garden.
2008 has seen major changes to our community with
the amalgamation of Shires. Our community has been split into two
parts, with the major part going to the Fraser Coast Council while the
Southern end of the Shire combined with the Gympie Region.