TIME ROLLS ON: The Yamsion cheese factory is slowly falling apart, disappearing like the rest of the community at the foothills of the Bunya Mountains.
TIME ROLLS ON: The Yamsion cheese factory is slowly falling apart, disappearing like the rest of the community at the foothills of the Bunya Mountains.

Vanishing Yamsion urges people to remember it

THERE is virtually nothing left to mark the little community that was once Yamsion, at the foothills of the Bunya Mountains.

There's just a park, a hall and perhaps Australia's smallest telephone exchange.

But that doesn't mean the remaining residents don't think it's something special.

Which is why they have created Back to Yamsion Anniversary Day, to mark what once was, and to allow current and former residents, those who once worked, went to school or church there, or whose parents or grandparents did, to reminisce.

Kay Nation is the force behind making the day on Saturday, October 28 a reality, along with members of the hall committee.

Yamsion Hall.
Yamsion Hall.

She's always lived at the foot of the mountains, but has been in Yamsion at her husband's family farm of 93 years, for the past 40 years.

They are one of just five or six original families from the 1900s still at Yamsion.

"It's just a beautiful little quiet place, but it's on the road between Dalby and the Bunya Mountains and today we're just a memory.

Yamsion Rodeo.
Yamsion Rodeo.

Yamsion Church.
Yamsion Church.

"People just pass through. There's nothing to say now 'this is Yamsion'; if you blink you miss it.”

It's 130 years since the school, which started as Black Gully School before being moved and rechristened as Yamsion School in 1891, was opened.

It's 50 years since it closed.

"About 200-300 children would have gone through that school,” Kay said.

There were eight smaller local schools - at Rangemore (twice), Bunya Mountains, Great Bunya Sawmill School, Black Gully, Woodlawn, Russelvale and Kings Tent (or Booum) Schools - also included in the day's remembrances.

Yamsion Hall.
Yamsion Hall.

"It's also 50 years since the church closed and 60 years since we lost the cheese factory.”

Kay said the area, first settled in the late 1860s, had grown on the back of the timber industry, and was once also once home to a tennis club, cricket team and rodeo grounds.

As the district grew, the Lutheran Church was erected, and with a boom in the dairy industry, a cheese factory was built.

When it closed, the humble Yamsion Hall - the district's only remaining working public structure - was built in 1955 to give residents somewhere to meet.

"When the timber industry moved away, so did the people,” Kay said.

"But when I added all these things up in my mind, and I thought what we have and what happened all those years ago, I thought we should have an anniversary day to talk and chat and remember the old days.”

The event will be run at the hall, with a good old fashioned country morning tea of scones, pikelets and damper, a barbecue lunch and a church blessing and official opening by retired Lutheran Reverend Noel Noack.

There will be a roll call, historic wall charts, stall holders and displays of woodchopping and cheesemaking, a giant raffle with over $1000 in prizes, as well as a visit from three vintage car clubs, to give everyone plenty to talk about as they rediscover old and new acquaintances.

A book on the area by local historian Ray Humphrys will also be on sale.

Yamsion Hall.
Yamsion Hall.

While she laughingly refers to it as "stirring the dead”, Kay has been pleased with the response so far, with over 200 people confirmed to attend, and hopes of up to 500.

"They are getting families together - they want to come back,” she said.

"We are trying to contact anyone who has been part of the district, in any way, to come along.”

The day starts at 10am. For more information, call Kay on 46634737 or email kaynation1@bigpond.com. Numbers would be appreciated for catering purposes.


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