History and crafts combine in annual Allora display day
ALLORA and District Historical Society president Allan Darr says it's all systems go for this Saturday's annual Demonstration and Display Day at the historical precinct and museum at the corner of Forde and Warwick Sts in Allora.
The day provides a tangible experience of rural life during the early 1800s and the early 1900s from 9am until 4pm, admission just $5 for adults.
Former Allora local Steve Lehmann and his wife Maree will be on site with their axe collection, reputedly one of the best collections of axes in Australia. Aside from some other displays of interest, they will have a comprehensive selection of axes on display particular to timber-getting, and will be more than happy to explain to visitors the uses of each of the tools.
Author Kevin Ahearn's family was involved in the timber industry in the Rosewood area from 1865.
His two books, From Crosscuts to Chainsaws - Books 1 and 2, detail the history of timber-getting and sawmilling in south-east Queensland. Kevin is also a skilled woodcarver. Kevin's interest was galvanised while trekking into the forests to obtain wood for his craft and he will have some of those carvings on display.
The Warwick Shire Wood Crafters group will also have examples of their work on display and for sale, while Allora local Trevor Shields will demonstrate the art of whittling.
Another Allora local, Keith Wilson, nationally acclaimed spoked wheel craftsman, will have a working display of production of timber wheels.
Those in attendance will be in awe of the skills displayed in the chainsaw carving display,
The Historical Society boasts an interesting, if not fascinating, collection of items on display, including a wooden hand-operated sewing machine, used by members of Allora's pioneering Gordon family. The local display also includes fretwork, poker work, inlay, carving, model making and rural school woodwork items.
Wooden items were the norm in days long gone before the arrival of plastics, an array of wooden wash-boards, wooden wool winding frames, wooden flycatchers, fretwork and items with 'pointing' patterns to educate the younger generation and bring to life to memories for those a little older.
A particularly interesting display at the ADHS School of Arts Museum in Allora's Drayton St is the kitchen with a bark roof, the bark taken from Allora flats in 1870.
Currently the window of Allora Pharmacy features an intriguing display of timber necessities from the past highlighting Saturday's Demonstration and Display Day and also celebrating Heritage Week.
As well as tea and damper, barbecues, scones and other country cooking and butter making and other regular attractions, this year poetry reading is at the forefront of entertainment at the Demonstration and Display Day.
Local poets Olive Shooter, Graham Kirkland, Alan Hoey and Tom Harris of Toowoomba will thrill the crowd with recitals, as will Lawrie Herron who grew up in the nearby Forest Springs area. Lawrie is a published poet.
ADHS research officer Colin Newport will be available to talk to anyone with an interest in researching their family history and would like to share information and photographs.
The National Trust's booklet promoting all the events during the 2014 Heritage Festival is available at the Allora Library or Amy's Country Cafe in Allora.
For information regarding the 2014 Allora and District Demonstration and Display Day please call 466 2090 or 4666 3159.
Hanging up the kettle
THERE'S nothing like a "cuppa" between friends at any time for a chat and catch up, but when the iconic Aussie tradition also serves to raise money to benefit such a vital organisation as the Cancer Council of Australia, it takes on a whole different meaning. Well-known Allora identity Anne Lawson has been hosting "cuppas" at her home as part of the Cancer Council of Australia fundraiser, Australia's Biggest Morning Tea, for the past 15 years. Anne has the "kettle boiling" for another successful event to be hosted at her backyard at 5 Jubb St, Allora, from 10am on Thursday May 22.
The motivation to raise funds for the Cancer Council occurred when Anne, her husband Robert and their family endured the pain and suffering associated with son Dennis's diagnosis with Ewings Sarcoma in 1999, and the subsequent three-year battle Dennis before it claimed his life. Dennis received a bone marrow tran
splant from his sister Camelle, and while the procedure was deemed a success, Dennis sadly succumbed to complications associated with the treatment. Anne was motivated to do something to support cancer research. She had considered the Shave for a Cure fundraiser, before settling on an annual morning tea under the banner of Australia's Biggest Morning Tea. Anne Lawson's Biggest Morning Tea has been firmly entrenched in Allora's community calendar over the past decade and a half.
Raised in Allora and attending school here, and later marrying, Dennis Lawson had much to live for. He was a talented athlete, a karate exponent who was judged third-best in the world in his age group in the 1994 World Championships in Japan. His family through the Lawson's annual morning tea recognises his life cut tragically short, and the organisation that supported him through his illness.
That the Cancer Council of Australia having raised $12.7 million last year, with the kettles boiling annually for so many cuppas since 1994, is testament to the fact that when it comes to Australia's Biggest Morning Tea, every cup really does count in the fight against cancer.
After 15 years of valiant fundraising in support of such a vital course, Anne has decided to hang up her kettle. "We have enjoyed having the yearly event," said Anne, "but as the saying goes all good things must come to an end."
As has been the case many times before, the morning tea that has become an Allora tradition, will also feature a multi-draw raffle open to all. Anne and her Lawson family members will be hard at work in Warwick and Allora selling tickets in the multi-draw at only $2 a ticket in a mammoth 52 amazing prizes. Anne and husband Robert are familiar faces selling tickets in aid of cancer research throughout the Allora and Warwick community.
Anne is very proud of the way the community have supported her morning teas, which in 1999 raised $369, which later averaged $3800 and more, but the year they finished with $9800 in the coffers for cancer was the highlight.
"Our family have made many friends as a result of our annual morning tea," Anne said, "but without the tremendous support we have had from friends, the public and business houses we would not have enjoyed the success we have had, nor been able to support the Cancer Foundation to the level we have."
For this loyal support over many years, Anne is inviting everyone to enjoy a cuppa for cancer support one last time.
Entry to Anne Lawson's annual Australia's Biggest Morning Tea is only a gold coin donation, and those attending are requested to supply a plate, while this year the event features musical entertainment by local singer Tara Clark.
For further information Anne can be contacted by phone: 4666 3562.