Pop Culture Quest: Preserving Queensland’s Trekker history

Old newsletters from the Queensland Star Trekkers Fan Club. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Old newsletters from the Queensland Star Trekkers Fan Club. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Although the original Star Trek series ran for only 3 seasons (1966-69) before it was cancelled by NBC due to low ratings, it has gone on to become a pop culture phenomenon, resulting in a movie franchise and several popular spin-off series such as Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek Voyager. Legions of fans from around the world (fondly known as Trekkies or Trekkers) have devotedly followed the franchise, in some cases establishing their own fan clubs to enable intense discussion about the world (or should I say universe) of Star Trek.

Queenslanders certainly have a soft spot for the franchise as evidenced by the longstanding not-for-profit club – Queensland Star Trekkers Fan Club (known as Quest). The fan club, first established in 1977, meet once a month to (in their own words) “view and debate various aspects of Star Trek, Sci Fi and any other forms of Science”.

It is possible to examine the history of the Queensland Star Trekkers Fan Club, as the group have regularly deposited their newsletter, Log of U.S.S. Quest to State Library of Queensland’s collection. The newsletters include upcoming events and meetings, detailed analysis of the series, news on other Sci-Fi series (such as Doctor Who and Blake’s 7) as well as Star Trek themed puzzles and quizzes such as “Name That Klingon”.

In 1985, the club celebrated their 50th edition of the newsletter. They attributed the survival and longevity of the franchise to grassroots campaigns by dedicated fans such as themselves. They wrote – “The past is important to all of us. Especially for we fans who waited and hoped and wrote pleading letters through the ten years interval in which no Star Trek was being made. It is because literally millions of Trekkers kept Star Trek alive for all those years that Paramount finally realised that we were serious. So they made a Star Trek movie”. In April 2011, William Shatner (who played the legendary Captain James T. Kirk) became the Queensland Star Trekkers Fan Club Patron.

Along with paper copies, electronic copies of more recent issues have also been received by SLQ and made available via our One Search catalogue.

May the Queensland Star Trekkers Fan Club continue to live long and prosper.

Myles Sinnamon – Project Coordinator, State Library of Queensland