President of the Maryborough and Wide Bay-Burnett Historical Society Ken Brooks inside the Maryborough School of Arts. Photo: Stuart Fast
President of the Maryborough and Wide Bay-Burnett Historical Society Ken Brooks inside the Maryborough School of Arts. Photo: Stuart Fast

Historical society returns to Kent St home

After temporarily leaving Maryborough’s School of Arts, the Maryborough, Wide Bay and Burnett Historical Society has now returned to the Kent St building.

For society president Ken Brooks, it means the group can now focus on organising its collection and prepare to open again for the public.

“We’ve been out of the building for over a year now, when Council started works to demolish the former Council chambers next door there was a risk of potential damage to the School of Arts.”

“We were located over the road at City Hall with restricted facilities, we were still able to carry on with little bits of projects. Moving back over, there’s a massive amount of work for our volunteers to prepare for the future.”

The society formed in the School of Arts building in 1955 and has amassed a massive collection of historical artefacts regarding local history.

“Part of our future is leasing the entire School of Arts Building, which means we can do better forward planning and how to do and what to do with exhibitions and natural disasters such as flooding.”

Mr Brooks said the 2013 Maryborough flood did enormous damage to the collection and to the building.

“We will have the capacity to move the collection upstairs so the flood vulnerable stuff will be permanently stored upstairs and brought down for special exhibitions.”

“We’d rather protect the resource that we have rather than try to replace them.

Mr Brooks said preserving Maryborough’s history was important as it retained the stories of the city, such as Maryborough’s founding in 1847, the cities colonial history and importance as a destination for immigrants arriving in Australia.

“Maryborough is a natural heritage city which people constantly come back to. It’s important to keep this heritage alive for the future.”