STORIES OF THE REDLANDS is a permanent display in the Rotary Wing and was opened by the newly appointed Governor of Queensland, PENNY WENSLEY, on Wednesday, 13th May, 2009. Redland City Mayor, MELVA HOBSON, was also in attendance. It tells the story of the Redlands from 180,000 years ago when the islands were first formed, to 2009. This is done in many different ways:
- 27 placards around the eastern, southern and western walls;
- Two Aboriginal paintings by two grandsons of KATH WALKER;
- A 1900 door jamb;
- A piece of 1970 blue piping;
- A glass map of the bay area and its 25 islands;
- Seven video screens;
- Six framed award certificates and one photo of a presentation on 3rd October, 1991;
- Numerous freestanding items, all relating to the history of the Redlands.
On the right is the first of the 27 placards, which tell the story of the Redlands from 180,000 years ago to 2009 . The remaining placards describe the settlement in 1770, the convict era of 1824 – 1839, immigration to 1850, early entrepreneurs, Whepstead Manor, Ostend, Fellmonger Park, Dunwich Benevolent Asylum, Peel Island Lazaret from 1907-1959, the Strawberry Festival from 1958 to 2002, Spring Festival from 2003 to 2009, World War II from 1939 to 1945, urban development to the present time (2009) and much more… These placards contain maps, photos and information. They are accompanied by various freestanding items. Some of these are a watertank (shown on the left), a leadlight window dated 1900, the 1875 Fresnel lens fitted into the 1864 Cleveland Light House in 1879 farm stencils, the double bottom copper boiler used in the production of Queensland’s first commercial sugar mill installed in 1864 at Ormiston on Louis Hope’s property.
There is also the shovel used by Minister for Health, Brian Austin, on 12th August, 1986, to turn the first sod of Redland Hospital in Weippin Street, Cleveland. Another very interesting item is a framed photo of the first Cleveland Show Society Committee. This features 18 men and one sole lady, Ethel Maud Dean. Also interesting is a “scare all” carbide gun which was used on an orchard in Birkdale during the 1950s and 1960s. Its purpose was to scare crows and parrots from the crops. The constant boom from these guns could be heard all over the farming communities of the Redlands and from the Bay.
After the exhibition was opened on 13th May, 2009, all seven videos in it run all day. These show various scenes of life in the Redlands.In fact, the entire exhibition offers a wonderful opportunity to learn and appreciate the development of the Redlands over the past 180,000+ years! For students researching and studying the history of the local area, it is an excellent resource.
To the left we see the leadlight window, installed by our Museum President, Ross Bower. At right we see Heather Smith with the 1875 Fresnel lens, which was fitted to the 1864 Light House in 1879.