Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

Bound to Be a Treasure; Hamish Macdonald-Gill Talks to Jannette Parke about His Collectibles - Allowing Us a Glimpse of Gympie's History

Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

Bound to Be a Treasure; Hamish Macdonald-Gill Talks to Jannette Parke about His Collectibles - Allowing Us a Glimpse of Gympie's History

Article excerpt

LET'S hope none of Hamish Macdonald-Gill's green bottles should ever accidentally fall. Quite apart from the mess that would make, the loss of so many lovingly collected Australian rarities would be a tragedy.

Hamish has been combing garage sales and markets for antiques and bric-a-brac for more than 35 years. Originally from Aramac, he and wife Barbara have spent the last decade based in Gympie and he unearthed his latest Gympie-centric treasures at a local weekend garage sale.

A large, leather-bound Cullinane's ledger dating from around 1936, expired shares certificates and a wage book from around 1907 have been added to his growing collection.

A century old, the wage book is filled with the paymaster's spidery handwriting, a meticulous record of employees' names, commencement dates, occupations, wages and overtime. And an old Craigies's map of Gympie advertises businesses long gone - Eil-Lyn Salon, Tobin's Cafe and Toop Bros Dry Cleaning.

Every spare space in his shed is filled with an array of Australiana objects - trinkets, knick-knacks, baubles, gewgaws and antiques - all highly collectible - some more valuable than others of course.

There are old badges and spoons, tiny ceramic fish salt and pepper shakers, a cast iron trick dog money box, gilt-edged cups and saucers, coasters - even a rodeo belt buckle - all with Gympie as the central theme.

Hamish says it's simply the pleasure of finding old Gympie bric-a-brac that he loves - and no doubt the thrill of discovery that all collectors become a little addicted to.

"It's just a hobby," he says, "the best place to search is often garage sales but you sometimes pick up good items at markets."

Hamish will occasionally sell items but the favourites never go. It's just as well he's settled happily in the Gympie region, because moving his Aladdin's Cave would be a challenge.

His rows and rows of beautiful old bottles are a feature of his treasure trove.

Emerald green, amber and indigo blue glass, tawny stone, glossy black bottles and the sleek, rare torpedo glass bottles designed to lie on their sides and keep their cork wet, so prolonging the life of the liquid. …

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