Ailsa Head loves to volunteer and spends each Tuesday showing residents and visitors to the Fraser Coast around the Heritage City.
Ailsa Head loves to volunteer and spends each Tuesday showing residents and visitors to the Fraser Coast around the Heritage City. Boni Holmes

Sharing her love of Maryborough's rich history

A MARYBOROUGH volunteer found her passion for the city's past after realising how much history the region had to share.

Ailsa Head volunteers at a number of organisations in the Heritage City.

"I have been volunteering at the 18 years at Brennan and Geraghty's Store Museum, 19 years at the Bond Store Museum and have been at the Maryborough Information Centre for 12 or 13 years," she said.

"I also do the Heritage Walk where I dress up - for 10 years or more - every Tuesday or fill in when others can't do it.

"I do a lot of research on the port, the shipping, at the moment I am collecting names on the passengers of the coastal ships that did the Sydney Brisbane Maryborough run.

"I research anything about Maryborough itself - and have been doing that for 17 years.

"When I started to volunteer at the Bond Store I didn't realise up to them what history we had here - we got so much history here - it got to me - I just went on from there and it became a passion."

 

Ailsa Head loves to volunteer and spends each Tuesday showing residents and visitors to the Fraser Coast around the Heritage City.
Ailsa Head loves to volunteer and spends each Tuesday showing residents and visitors to the Fraser Coast around the Heritage City. Boni Holmes

Ailsa and her husband John have been members of Lions for 10 years - John is also an active member of the community including secretary of Probus and Justice of the Peace.

Ailsa said volunteering was not for everybody.

"It just got me in - I love the history, I love the background that we have here," she said.

The 80-year-old's ancestors came out in 1863 to Maryborough trying to grow cotton until they eventually went to timber and sugar and some settled at Munna Creek where she was born and bred.

Ailsa has plenty of stories which she has uncovered during her time volunteering.

"I love the research - I could do that all day," she said.

 

Dressed in heritage costume, volunteer Ailsa Head takes Maryborough resident Debbie Brown (right) and her visitor, Griffin University student from Sri Lanka Lakshi Senevirathna around the Heritage City on a Walking Tour.
Dressed in heritage costume, volunteer Ailsa Head takes Maryborough resident Debbie Brown (right) and her visitor, Griffin University student from Sri Lanka Lakshi Senevirathna around the Heritage City on a Walking Tour. Boni Holmes

"They way they wrote things in newspapers those days make for good reading - everything was recorded in detail - if they did that today they would be liable in slander everywhere but they got away with it.

"The police were strict in those days and some of the court cases.

"But kids didn't miss out either if they did something wrong - they didn't get taken to court but they would be taken before the magistrate.

"There was one instance of a little boy - not sure what he did wrong - but he did something wrong and the usual punishment they would be put in the care of their parents for suitable punishment to be administered - the judge said to the parents take him home and give him a jolly good flogging - just imagine if the judges said that today."

 

PASSIONATE RESEARCHER : Ailsa Head loves volunteering at the Brennan and Geraghty's Store Museum. (Left) She stands at the cabinet full of remnants dug up around the museum.
PASSIONATE RESEARCHER : Ailsa Head loves volunteering at the Brennan and Geraghty's Store Museum. (Left) She stands at the cabinet full of remnants dug up around the museum. Boni Holmes

Her advice to anyone wanting to volunteer is enjoy it.

"You just sort of want to be able to interact with people, know your subject - what you are there for and just thoroughly enjoy it.

"Visitors coming to town - it's a great thing to be able to tell visitors what we have got here, what they can see and do.

"Especially working at the information centre, you can met people from all over the world."

"We have so much to offer with Fraser Island, the beaches and they history we have here - one compliments the other."

Maryborough like many other towns in the Wide Bay run on volunteers.

"Most of us who volunteer do more than one place - you do it because you enjoy it," Ailsa said.

"If you do enjoy something, it's not a chore."


Meghan, Harry ‘struggling to cope’ in LA

Meghan, Harry ‘struggling to cope’ in LA

Dream of a blissful new life has quickly turned into a nightmare

Fresh confusion over virus 'detention'

Fresh confusion over virus 'detention'

Thousands of Melbourne public housing residents have been provided with "detention...

Man in iconic 9/11 photo dies from virus

Man in iconic 9/11 photo dies from virus

This man miraculously survived the 9/11 terror attacks