A passion for preserving history has been an important part of life for Childers man Allan Baker OAM.
The 85-year-old and has keen interest in historic items has been profiled as part of the Bundaberg Regional Council Our People Our Stories initiative which celebrates local people.
Allan is well known in the region for his unique business called Bakers Military and Memorabilia Museum where treasures and trinkets dating back centuries fill the shelves.
“Up to 90 per cent of the memorabilia is donated from all over the world,” Allan said.
“A few months ago, a young girl came in and laughed at the old wind-up phones because she had never seen one.
“I said without them, you wouldn’t have what you have now!”
Allan has always had an interest in history and the military ever since he was a young boy and growing up, this was spurred on by his family's involvement in various wars.
“I am the youngest of eight children – one girl and seven boys and I am 15 minutes younger than my twin brother,” he said.
“I was between the wars. I was a nationalist in 1955 then discharged in 1961, in the artillery for six years and was on call twice in 1957 once to go to the Nepalese and once to go to Asia.
“I had four brothers fight in WWII, two in the army, two in the navy. Dad was in the light horse and so were two of my uncles.”
After moving to Childers in 2002 almost 20 years ago, Allan said he began filling up his shop with interesting items and these days, he shows no sign of slowing down the family business.
“What’s the plan for this place? My sons and daughter will carry this on and then it will be given to my 20 grandchildren and 27 great-grandchildren,” he said.
“All of the items that have been donated will stay with the Baker family.”
Besides his love for his museum, Allan also gave his time and effort to the community over the years, especially through the establishment of Neighbourhood Watch.
“I was one of the founding members of Queensland Neighbourhood Watch and Director of Queensland and was awarded an Order of Australia Medal,” he said.
“In 1988 we had heard about the organisation in New South Wales and we thought we could do that here.
“We would have 120 people attend the monthly meetings in Maryborough and we had some really good times.”
Allan said volunteering and being part of the local community was something that he had always enjoyed and urged others to do the same.
“There are so many things you can get involved with,” he said.
“Just go volunteer with the SES or Rural Fire Brigade, I was involved with them for seven years.
“Live in unity. Don’t go one way and think you are better than the other, work together.”