Pioneer Village, Laidley

Monday, 8 April 2024

We had a roll up of twenty-two (22) for this event which included one (1) new member Frank Moore – Welcome Frank. Unfortunately, the late cancellation of our planned Dolphins Rugby League Club Event (due to circumstances totally outside our control) brought about the need to not only find a suitable replacement event but to have to change the date & day as well which would have no doubt contributed to this low attendance. However, it was an excellent event enjoyed by all in attendance.

Following are some of my observations & learnings during our guided tour –

  • Laidley Pioneer Village was the first such village in Qld – Established between 1969 & 1972, & officially opened in September 1972.
  • They have an excellent team of forty-five (45) volunteers on their books.
  • The village area is flat with several formed (Concrete etc.) paths that make it accessible to the majority of buildings including the toilets (ramped) by people using mobility aids. 
  • Several of the demonstrations e.g. blacksmith, corn husking, viewing of stationery machinery running etc. can be viewed from the paths.
  • They have a shaded area for Smokos with a shelter to retreat to if it showers.
  • They are open to providing smokos (Tea, coffee, milk, sugar & biscuits) along with a barbeque lunch on arranged days at a modest cost. 
  • On open days they have in the order of five hundred patrons attend over the course of the day.
  • Barry Lander was our guide & provided us with a great insight into the History of the village & area along with a few tales & stories – Well done Barry.
  • On arranged days they are quite open to having special demonstrations e.g. Corn husking, making of butter, & blacksmith etc.
  • A few of the features that we looked at included a blacksmith forge, 110 year old slab hut, an oven constructed from ant bed, old stationery engines, horse drawn machinery, original Laidley Shire Office, Historic Butcher Shop & Jail.

On arrival, Barry met & welcomed us; joined us for lunch; following lunch provided us with a good insight into the local history; & then guided us around most of the buildings etc. in the village. 

On completion of our guided tour, we then travelled back to the Qld. National Hotel in Laidley for lunch.

After lunch, we had our usual birthday cake etc. with birthdays for the following members falling in April acknowledged & celebrated in our usual manner viz. Michael Bourke, Garry Dwyer, Trevor Hohn, Denis McCarthy, Pat McNamee, Neil Phelan, Bill Phillips & Peter Thompson.

In closing, special thanks to those who contributed to making this another safe & enjoyable event for all attendees, including:

Barry Lander & Ron Johnstone – For organising this event, & Barry for his very interesting & entertaining guided tour.

Peter Taylor – For ensuring we were all on board before the coach departed at each stop, & for taking the photos.

Warwick Dingle, Rowdy Reid & Paul Reynolds – For looking after our finances & name badges during the event, & Russell Mauch for receipting & banking of surplus cash.

Rowdy Reid – For assisting the kitchen staff in delivering meals etc.

Alec & staff at the Qld. National Hotel – For our great lunch.

Peter Thompson – For his usual gig as coach doorman ensuring we all got on & off the coach safely at each stop.

Tony Wind & Warwick Dingle – For being on duty as our first aid officers.

Jan Neal – For making our birthday cake.

Ron Lewis & Lindsay Reis – For looking after the expanded role from attending to our hydration needs to now hydration & hygiene – Lindsay has taken to his new role with gusto squirting hand wash on members hands (as required) when they are getting on the coach.

Finally, our coach driver Kelvin Chetham for transporting us to & from Laidley safely.

16 April 2024