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Andrew Fisher Day delights crowds

On parade: Andrew and Mrs Fisher (Bill and Barbara Moore) are officially welcomed to the Gympie Gold Mining and Historical Museum for yesterday’s Andrew Fisher Day re-enactment.
On parade: Andrew and Mrs Fisher (Bill and Barbara Moore) are officially welcomed to the Gympie Gold Mining and Historical Museum for yesterday’s Andrew Fisher Day re-enactment. David Crossley

THE smell of campfire wafted out over the Gympie Gold Mining Museum yesterday as crowds enjoyed billy tea and damper – one of the more popular events at this year’s Andrew Fisher Day celebrations.

Organising sub-committee member Marilyn Soanes said everyone seemed to enjoy history bought to life with a re-enactment of Mr and Mrs Fisher, especially when they arrived chauffeured in a vintage car and local soldiers formed a guard of honour.

“Mr Fisher” even planted a wattle tree near his home – Andrew Fisher’s original house that has been preserved by the Gold Mining Museum.

Mrs Soanes said the wattle’s significance was that it was used as the background for the coat of arms while Mr Fisher was Prime Minister of Australia.

“Mr Fisher” then delivered a speech on the verandah of the house where he began his married life with Margaret Irvine in 1891.

There was plenty to see and do at the family-friendly event.

The Jacko steam generator was cranked up and blacksmithing demonstrations along with pottery kept the old time feel going.

The Queensland Mounted Historical Troop Band from Brisbane and in recognition of Andrew Fisher’s Scottish heritage, the Caledonian Hill Pipe Band also performed.

Mrs Soanes said she was glad to see children learning about history.

She said numbers were about the same as last year but the rain had kept some away.

Andrew Fisher was a coal miner who emigrated to Australia from Scotland and was elected to parliament from Gympie.

The three-time Labor prime minister of Australia sponsored important legislation in the fields of social welfare, economic development, labour relations and defence.

Mr Fisher held the House of Representatives seat of Wide Bay from 1901 until 1915.

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