HIDDEN GEMS: Len Neale from the Banana Shire Historical Society believes the history of the Greycliffe Homestead is worth preserving for future generations.
HIDDEN GEMS: Len Neale from the Banana Shire Historical Society believes the history of the Greycliffe Homestead is worth preserving for future generations.

Recording 150 years of history in the Banana Shire

THE Banana Shire Historical Society's Len Neale said 'if you don't learn from past mistakes you're bound to repeat them'.

Mr Neale is very passionate about the historical value and stories over the years that have been produced at the state heritage listed Greycliffe Homestead.

Now 150 years on from when it was constructed, Melanie Piddocke, museum development officer from the Queensland Museum Network, is assessing the historical significance of the homestead's items.

"There's furniture that can be linked back to the homestead's history and the Ruby Campbell artwork as well.

"Emma Nott, the last resident of this house who was a World War I nurse, there's photographs and letters from WWI that paint the picture of her time in service."

For the significance assessment, Ms Piddocke will spend three days at the homestead going through the original acquisition book of items.

From here she will determine the significance of each item based on a range of criteria which includes historical, artistic, social and cultural significance from the era it represents.

 

TIME TRAVEL: Mr Neale walks through the history of the Nott family who occupied Greycliffe Homestead.
TIME TRAVEL: Mr Neale walks through the history of the Nott family who occupied Greycliffe Homestead.

 

Mr Neale said the historical society contacted Ms Piddocke to undertake a significance assessment of the homestead after they spent three years cataloguing all items in the homestead.

"There's a realisation that something is worth preserving and not tossing away," Mr Neale said.

"We have standout examples of stuff that looks like a piece of rusty tine and you think that should be in the bin.

"It turns out to be something that's amazing that has links to local and worldwide history."

Ms Piddocke said a significant assessment gave the historical society an opportunity to access more funding in the future to help preserve the homestead.

"All these groups have limited funds and time so they want to focus their energy on their most important items," Ms Piddocke said.

"It's also be a powerful tool when it comes to accessing more funding to say 'hey it has been independently verified we have a significant collection and we need help to preserve it'.

"The significance assessment will identity the important items but also a list of recommendations."

 

OLD TUNES: Mr Neale, with wife Fay, giving the piano keys a punch at Greycliffe Homestead.
OLD TUNES: Mr Neale, with wife Fay, giving the piano keys a punch at Greycliffe Homestead.

 

Mr Neale said he was gobsmacked when he went through recently and identified that there were 15 historical societies or sites in the Banana Shire.

"We've had open days, quilt days and fancy dress parades but we need to preserve this place for future generations," Mr Neale said.

"We get a lot of support and visits from the school kids.

"The little kids to me is where the hope is, they bring their iPads to take pictures and one of their themes is how they did it then and how are they doing it now."

On March 12 from 9am, a significance workshop will be held at the homestead where Ms Piddocke will walk guests people through the significance assessment process.

It is open to the public and invitations have been extended to historical groups across the Banana Shire.

To book and for more contact Banana Shire Historical Society president Fay Neale on 0409 725 447.