Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Calliope Historical Village Brings Region's History to Life

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Calliope Historical Village Brings Region's History to Life

Article excerpt

Byline: WORDS Tammy Lewis

STEPPING into his time machine of memories, Harold Harvey reminisces about the days of Tilly lamps, PB15 steam locomotives and gramophones.

"Our modern lifestyle has developed around technology," the 81-year-old Port Curtis Historical Society president says. "Not personal interaction with the rest of the community.

"No longer do we rely on the helping hand of your neighbour or friend to get by ... or have to light a candle or Tilly lamp to see our way around in the dark."

Back in his days there were no phones to give a friend a bell. And social interaction was the key to communication.

Yet while modern lifestyle continues to change, history will always remain the same.

It is for reasons like this that Mr Harvey believes in sharing our priceless past, conserving history.

With his Akubra firmly in place and shirt smartly tucked in, Mr Harvey renders a picture of gentlemanly kindness -- a wise and jolly chap who has spent years working beyond everyday expectations.

He is one of those individuals that strive to make a difference in his community, especially when it concerns history.

As president of the historical society since 1994, he has endeavoured to preserve the memories of Gladstone's days of old.

"In places like the Calliope River Historical Village you can look back in time at transport, building methods, as well as seeing how people lived," he says.

Mr Harvey said the village's very first building was the Ambrose Railway Station.

The historical society was given the station in 1981, and it was brought to the village on a large semi-trailer in 1982.

The station itself was in a rather decrepit state. But repairs and restoration were made and now, upon visiting the historical village, you will notice a spectacular train show circling the station; an engine master offering paid rides, sounding the "woo-wooo" whistle as he goes.

The PB15 locomotive is small in size but full of history, taking you on a journey back in time.

While the train rotates around the station, Mr Harvey continues to point out much of Gladstone's history nestled in the village.

"For Gladstone people, probably the most interesting thing is the cover over the railway carriage."

He points to a rustic looking roof.

"That's the platform cover off the Gladstone Station that got burnt down in 1989."

The Masonic Lodge, built in Many Peaks in 1908, also gains vast attention, and is one of three in the world to be held in a historical village.

Mr Harvey says, to his knowledge, it is the only one with its own free- standing building.

But while the village continues to bring history to life, Mr Harvey says sadly the problem today is history is somewhat of a dying art.

"Two things are happening with history, especially with places like this," he says in relation to the village. …

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