Bauple Museum & District  Historical Society Inc.

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The Story So Far


Mount Bauple is geographically situated in the centre of what was the Shire of FCC.  It is a dominant landmark visible from all over the Shire and beyond. 
 The Shire of FCC 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 until 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, which 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 November 1998. 

 Such a huge quantity of memorabilia now collected outstripped the Society’s resources and suitable accommodation to securely and safely house the photographs, family histories, memorabilia, etc. has now been constructed. Which Society members conceived the idea of acquiring land in the centre of Bauple, 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 consideration. 

 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 was 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 Peter Arnissonon on 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, travellers 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 saw 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.

In 2017 a coffee shop was created on the verandah, to service travellers and the local community.

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