Gympie hosts Q Anzac 100 workshops

In October this year the historic Queensland township of Gympie played host to the Q ANZAC 100 regional workshop as part of Q ANZAC 100: Memories for a New Generation.

The whole community was invited to a white gloves event to view some of Queensland’s most precious, original First World War materials from State Library’s collections, and those with personal collections stayed on for the Conservation workshop to learn about the best ways to care for and preserve First World War memorabilia such as letters, diaries, and photographs.

Members of the Gympie community brought along personal treasures for an assessment on condition with State Library’s conservator Rachel Spano. Photo by State Library of Queensland,October 2015.

Members of the Gympie community brought along personal treasures for an assessment on condition with State Library’s conservator Rachel Spano. Photo by State Library of Queensland,October 2015.

Regional Coordinator Niles Elvery arranged for the workshops to be delivered from the Gympie Library in Mellor St, which happens to be central to the region. Thank you to Librarian Lisa Ryan, and Local Studies Officer Beth Wilson both of Gympie Regional Libraries who promoted the workshop to the Gympie heritage community and provided us with great support over the three days. Check out the Library’s facebook posts about the workshop event – engagement #1. 

L - R Niles Elvery, State Library of Queensland and Beth Wilson, Gympie Regional Libraries.  Photo by State Library of Queensland, October 2015.

L – R Niles Elvery, State Library of Queensland and Beth Wilson, Gympie Regional Libraries. Photo by State Library of Queensland, October 2015.

Thank you also to St Patricks College who arranged for the Year 9 students to engage with the rare materials from the John Oxley Library. We understand the students were very appreciative for the opportunity to view photographs and to read hand-written text from soldier diaries and letters.

Year 9 students from St Patricks don white gloves to have a closer look at 100 year old collections from the John Oxley library. Photo by State Library of Queensland, October 2015.

Year 9 students from St Patricks don white gloves to have a closer look at 100 year old collections from the John Oxley library. Photo by State Library of Queensland, October 2015.

For the Promote and Share workshop members of Gympie Family History Association and Local Studies Officer Beth Wilson identified and contributed images and text to the Q ANZAC 100 Historypin Hub. Gympie Region remembers World War I was specifically created so every participant could upload content linked to Gympie in the one collection.

Gympie Region Remembers World War I - Historypin collection and portal image.

Gympie Region Remembers World War I – Historypin collection and portal image.

Because it is a global application and well suited to displaying images, videos and oral stories, the general public is encouraged to log onto Historypin and contribute their own Queensland WWI collections on the Q ANZAC 100 Historypin hub. If you have personal photos that can be scanned to a jpg image, why not create a collection of your own?

As part of our visit we called in say “hello” to the members of the Gympie Family History Society Inc., on the site of the Old Railway Ticket Office.  While there we learned about various  projects and collections assisting visitors with family research.

Members of the volunteer Society welcomed our visit to their back room work area. Photo by State Library of Queensland.

Members of the volunteer Society welcomed our visit to their back room work area. Photo by State Library of Queensland.

Members are preparing to host a WWI Cemetery Crawl scheduled this evening for Remembrance Day, November 11 when the actual stories of Gympie’s Diggers will be retold.   Representatives of the 5th Light Horse Brigade will also be attending.

Finally, a big thank you to Alan Blackman who took time from his busy schedule at the Gympie Gold Mining and Historical Museum to enable us to view the wonderful collections on display within the 5th Light Horse Museum. Read more about the 5th Light Horse and its connection to Gympie or contact the Curator on site.

An array of items on display, helping to preserve the history of the Light Horse for all generations. Photo by State Library of Queensland.

An array of items on display, helping to preserve the history of the Light Horse for all generations. Photo by State Library of Queensland.

Anne Scheu

Coordinator, Distributed Collections | State Library of Queensland