Crow’s Nest Australia Day Award Winners

Citizen of the Year – Len Wilmington

Len Wilmington became involved with the Crows Nest Historical Society after moving to the town with his wife Marie around four years ago. He has become an indispensable part of the society and played a key part in the re-organisation of the site.

His self-taught sign writing skills were put straight into action. Previously unnamed items had individual tags attached with historical details that Len had researched. This extended to writing on individual cards for all the museum exhibits. More than 1600 information signs and 68 large metal signs have been painted to date and Len is hard at work completing more signs.

In addition, Len used his electronic expertise to install sound in some of the 21 buildings on display. This achieved the feeling of ‘stepping back in time’. It came with his special brand of humour, shocking some and amusing others. It breathed life into the mannequins at the village. Many a child has brought a friend back to hear what the ‘man in the dunny had to say’ and giggled while parents and grandparents listened to the conversation in the school room with memories flooding back.

Since becoming President, Len has not shirked any duty. He will volunteer to open the gates on days when there are no volunteers on duty, he will climb a windmill to do maintenance and patiently explain exhibits to school groups. He has dressed in a fake beard to sell wares at a sausage sizzle and accompanied a bus load of visitors on night plaque walks.

Len is an outstanding person who works hard for the community and goes the extra mile to make history fun and easier to understand. He does everything to see a smile from a child or see a tear in the eye of someone who has had a memory awakened.

 Senior Sports Award – Dean Donovan

Dean has been woodchopping for five years. He is a novice underhand chopper and has won several chops in this category. His real passion and skill lies in single and double-handed cross-cut sawing.

Dean was selected to represent Queensland twice in the under 21 Queensland team for single-handed sawing at the Sydney Royal Show in 2015 and 2016. He also won selection in the Australian team along with his brother, Jayden, to compete in the double-handed cross-cut sawing at the Adelaide Show.

The Australian team defeated New Zealand 2 – 1 in this competition with the Donovan brothers bringing the title to Australia.

 Junior Sports Award  – Jacson McNamara

In his final year of primary school, Jacson demonstrated determination, willpower and strength in his athletic events. He was the Geham State School 2016 sports captain. At the regional athletics championships he qualified to compete in high jump at the state titles, where he set a personal best jump of 1.35m. In his spare time he competes in mountain bike riding competitions. At the Newbie Nirvana Mountain Bike comp he bypassed the junior category and finished fourth in the men’s category.

Jacson took such a liking to mountain bike riding that he spent most of last winter collecting scrap metal in order to raise funds to purchase a bike for participation in community mountain bike riding competitions. At school Jacson helped his peers develop their sporting skills. He helped younger students train for the regional athletics championships and showed commendable leadership skills.

By his example, Jacson demonstrates the qualities required to be a successful young athlete. He is determined, hardworking, caring and kind-natured. Jacson always offers to help his fellow peers to join in and encourages them to achieve their best.

Jacson displays a strong work ethic and lets his achievements speak loudest.

Community event – The Crows Nest Museum and Historical Village Open Day

The Crows Nest Museum and Historical Village has been operating since 1978 when Doris Walker moved the Just family home ‘Carbethon House’ to the site. Its new life has been built on help from many volunteers who have invested thousands of hours to make the collection of buildings a wonderful store of memories. It also educates the young and rekindles memories for people who lived in times past.

As the museum concentrates mainly on the history of the Crows Nest District, many items have been donated and others created in the pioneer style. An open day was organised to entice locals and visitors to experience the exhibits. The Progressive Community Crows Nest Executive Committee recognised the importance of bringing people to the museum and funded advertising, lunch and cold drinks to stage a successful day.

More than 200 people enjoyed the open day. Attendees included Visitor Information Centre staff, bus tour organisers, Toowoomba visitors, people from other museums and many locals. Many older residents discussed the mechanics of the machinery, compared notes on their school days and related stories of the district’s working life. Interesting stories and facts were passed down to younger generations.

The volunteers have done an amazing job to collect and preserve historical items from the Crows Nest district. The exhibitions are well presented and allow people to understand a little more about pioneer life. The Museum is an important part of the community, both past and present.

It well and truly lives up to its mission statement, “Preserving the Past for the Future’.

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