Dorothy(left) and Allan Walsh with Margaret Nicol from the Ipswich Historical Society at their Golden Jubilee celebration at Cooneana on Saturday.
Dorothy(left) and Allan Walsh with Margaret Nicol from the Ipswich Historical Society at their Golden Jubilee celebration at Cooneana on Saturday. Rob Williams

Preservation of tradition worth the struggle

FIFTY years ago a group dedicated to preserving the history of Queensland's first city was formed.

It was a long road before the group managed to secure a piece of land to share those historical tales, but building by building, artefact by artefact - a little village came together.

Now there's space to display old machinery, take children on a tour of old timey cars and to give Ipswich residents a glimpse of a time gone by, when coal was king and a loaf of bread cost less than three pence.

There was no shortage of antique machinery, or classic craftsmen and women showing off their blacksmithing skills, at the Ipswich Historical Society's Golden Jubilee celebrations on Saturday.

After organisers had welcomed 400 visitors to the 'village' at New Chum, they gave up trying to keep count of everyone who crossed through the Cribb and Foote branded gates.

Organiser Margaret Nicol, a sixth generation descendant of the pioneers who founded Ipswich, said it has taken a long time to build the group up into what it is today.

"They used to meet in people's houses," Margaret said.

"Finally, the council gave us this place and we've been able to build on it... but it has taken 50 years to get here with lots of struggles by lots of people."

She says Ipswich, once a contender as the state's capital, has a rich and significant history that impacts on each Ipswich born residents' identity - a history that should be preserved and celebrated.

As the historical society marks its 50th year, members are already looking forward to the next decade.

"We have a ten year plan which includes establishing a bigger historical village, although we need more land, but we want to have a school room, a post office, a police station - all the thing they had back in the old days.

"It might take us ten years to get there, but we've made a start and that's the main thing."



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