Gympie’s railway history will be the subject of Gympie’s annual Heritage Forum.
Gympie’s railway history will be the subject of Gympie’s annual Heritage Forum. Contributed

Railway talks at forum

INTERESTED in trains? Interested in history? Interested in facts about Gympie's railway history?

Set 1pm Wednesday, May 23, aside in your diary and head to the Gympie Regional Gallery for the Gympie region's annual Heritage Forum.

Two interesting speakers have been lined up to talk about railways from different perspectives.

The first speaker is a former Gympie local, Sean O'Keeffe, who studied for his bachelor degree at the University of the Sunshine Coast and is now a senior heritage officer with the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.

More recently, he has been involved in the State Wide Heritage Survey of the Gympie Region with the aim of identifying and protecting places with cultural heritage significance.

For this forum, he will be talking about the history of Gympie train travel, a topic that has great relevance to our community.

Max Kruse is taking another point of view, talking about the benefits of train tourism.

Max is currently general manager of Queensland Rail Travel where he is creating and driving a fresh marketing campaign for the long-distance train network and spearheading the development and delivery of the new world-class 2014 tilt train rolling stock.

His background before this was more than 20 years in tourism working with several large companies like Qantas Airways in Australia and overseas, and his own consultancy business specialising in tourism.

The afternoon will move from trains to the launch of three restored historic artworks by project co-ordinator David Hill and Gympie and District Gold Mining and Historical Museum secretary Ralph Richardson.

With the assistance of Regional Arts Development Funding, the museum was able to conserve, restore and reframe these works by itinerant artists of the 1870s.

The works consist of a painting titled No. 1 North Phoenix by Charles Hirst, and two drawings Cumnock Cottage, Nash St, Gympie, 1876, and Worrum, Royal Mail Stage by J.W. Laing.

The importance of these works is that they are representative of the limited artistic activity in Queensland in the 1870-80s and they depict in detail industrial, domestic and transport elements of life in Queensland and Gympie in particular.

Everyone is to attend afternoon tea which will be followed by the presentation of prizes to the winners of the Heritage Art Competition.

Both of these events have been organised by the Gympie Regional Council's Heritage Committee and are free.

For details, phone Ric Halse at Gympie Regional Council on 5481 0644.

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