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Isis District Historical Society upgrades displays

An example of the types of works on display at the Childers Historical Complex.

The Isis District Historical Society Inc have upgraded many of their displays and launched themselves into the digital world after becoming the successful recipients of a $35,000 grant.

The society received support through the Justice Department of Queensland’s Gambling Community Benefit fund, which members have put towards greatly enhancing the visitor experience at the Childers Historical Complex.

The upgrades aim to showcase local history through stories with displays that will preserve the past for the future.

Acting Secretary Abby Biggs said the most exciting upgrade was the remodelling of the Sugar Room, which displayed the history of the local sugar cane industry.

“We have repainted the Sugar Room, installed new window blinds and purchased and installed new cabinets with better lighting,” she said.

“Our small team of volunteer members working on this particular project have spent hundreds of hours collectively researching, designing and writing the stories of over 90 topics on 43 storyboards.

“Our stories cover such topics as the early varieties of cane, the importation of labour including South Sea Islander peoples, immigrants and pioneer families.”

Abby said the region began with seven mills from the late 1800s and now only had one remaining in production, The Isis Sugar Mill.

Isis District Historical Society
One of the sugar mills in operation.

She said the displays showcased it all, from the early hardships right through to information about current operations.

“The early hardships of cutting cane by hand, the introduction of the infamous cane toad and industry pests and diseases were all part of the cane grower’s occupation,” Abby said.

“We discuss the mechanical tools that were slowly introduced such as the harvesters, tractors and other agricultural machinery that took over from the simple draught horse and dray, how the transport of cane developed from the 1800s into modern times and how the industry as an organisation has evolved.”

Abby said the society was also working on a range of projects to help bring to life other historical stories from the region.

“There are many more stories that will be available soon, not only in the Sugar Room but also throughout the Childers Historical Complex in Taylor Street, which we hope to complete before Christmas,” she said.

“Progress has been started on story boards for the General Store, the School Building, the Mill Cottage and the Waluma Post Office.

“This continues to be one of our most ambitious projects and if you feel you could help out please give us a call.”

You can find out more about the Isis Historical Society here.

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