Have you ever wanted to find out more about the suburb you live in? Well Brisbane is full of local history groups that provide a veritable mountain of information about the local area as well as a social and enjoyable atmosphere.
After many years of living in Auchenflower I finally decided to go along to a meeting of the Toowong and District Historical Society. This group meets once a month in the Toowong Library on the top level of Toowong Village. I found a friendly group of about a dozen people passionately devoted to recording and promoting the history of Toowong. This meeting was devoted to exploring the history of the song " Toowong Ladies" written by an ancestor of actor, Ben Mendelsohn.
Often there are guest speakers, for instance in September the group heard from the Chermside Historical Group and in October the group will hear from historian, Rad West, about the history of pharmacy in Australia with a focus on Taringa pharmacist, Hermann Walkins-Powell. Following each meeting there is a delicious morning tea (gold coin donation) and the chance to talk informally about any aspect of local history.
The group has an impressive range of publications ranging from a walking tour of Toowong's historic buildings through to detailed histories of notable Toowong residents and so on. These are available to purchase at meetings or online.
This is a small group that is keen to attract new members. Apart from attending meetings members can volunteer to staff booths at local events and help with research, archiving and proofreading and of course being actively involved in the organisation of the group. As meetings are held during the day the timing is ideal for students, stay at home parents and retirees.
Annual membership is only $20 and for this you not only help preserve the history of Toowong, but you get access to a range of resources and are placed on the group's email list so you find out about the many other historical and heritage based events that occur around Brisbane. So if this might be for you have a look at the group's website.