Ewan Rogers and Riley Hargreaves brave the wet to celebrate Australia’s national day.
Ewan Rogers and Riley Hargreaves brave the wet to celebrate Australia’s national day. Craig Warhurst

Gympie beats the weather

A SMALL crowd of hardy sub-tropical souls helped make the effort worthwhile for Gympie Gold Mining and Historical Museum volunteers yesterday, as Gympie celebrated the family side of Australia Day.

A "Big Aussie Breakfast" got the day off to a hot start, in preparation for the flag-raising and the firing of the cannon that marked the occasion.

Some complained that media announcements of flood cancellations across south-east Queensland had stopped the arrival of crowds.

"Whatever happened to the Australian spirit," asked museum official Ralph Richardson, who was a driving force behind the museum's latest working exhibit - a small-scale replica of the underground electric train once used in the Gympie Eldorado gold mine.

"We carry on regardless," he said, explaining that two exhibitors had failed to show, one because he was in hospital and the other because his car had been swamped by floodwater.

MP David Gibson helped launch the railway, designed largely by Mr Richardson, from the relative shelter of "Clydes Hut", named after the energetic Clyde Kunst, who has been a tireless volunteer for many years.

Referring to the adverse weather, Mr Richardson said: "Last year it was a bog hole with floods receding; this year it's a bog hole with floods still rising."

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