ENGAGEMENT: ORGANISATIONS VOLUNTEER RUN
WINNER: Mulgrave Settlers Museum, Gordonvale for Visiting the Ancestors
Visiting the Ancestors is a remarkable project comprising three sections: Streets Ahead (identifying the people/families that streets were named after); Cataloguing of Graves; and Ghosts of Gordonvale Cemetery and Ghosts of Babinda Cemetery (telling stories of the cemetery inhabitants).
Mulgrave Shire Historical Society was invited by the locally-produced magazine, Pyramid Views, to write a regular column about the town’s original inhabitants (now buried in the local cemetery) and the Gordonvale streets named after them. Each month, one of the volunteers organises for the family members of several generations to be photographed at the street sign, and an article is written about the person/family the street was named after. Public response to the column has been so great, that it has now grown to a full page!
Cataloguing the graves has involved photographing all of the graves in the Gordonvale Cemetery, and adding basic information to ‘Find a Grave’.
When searching for information on the graves, the Society realised that many of the residents had interesting stories contributing to the history of Gordonvale. Initially, they chose to focus on twelve cemetery inhabitants and researched these using oral family history; the Society’s bulletins; published and unpublished books on local family histories; war records; births, deaths and marriage registers; historical newspapers; and TROVE.
The Society worked with students from Gordonvale High School who dressed in period costume and delivered scripts for these characters in front of 200 attendees.
Cr Rick Baberowski, Sunshine Coast Council with Jenny Verrall, Mulgrave Settlers Museum – Winner of Engagement: Organisations Volunteer Run category. Photograph by Krista Eppelstun, courtesy of Museums & Galleries Queensland.