Face­book helps to pre­serve me­men­tos of the past

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS -

THE abil­ity to share and pre­serve mem­o­ries has be­come a valu­able use of so­cial me­dia, es­pe­cially as it be­comes more ac­ces­si­ble to se­niors.

A Face­book group called “Monto, Re­mem­ber When” has ex­pe­ri­enced a surge of ac­tiv­ity re­cently, get­ting past and present res­i­dents of the town rem­i­nisc­ing.

The spike in ac­tiv­ity can be traced back to a sin­gle woman, for­mer res­i­dent Jenny Zim­pel, who a few weeks ago be­gan post­ing ex­cerpts from old is­sues of the Monto Her­ald from her home in Ip­swich.

“I started off with the first Her­ald, the 1959 one back when they switched from the old broad­sheet to the tabloid. I had kept that from when I was in pri­mary school,” Mrs Zim­pel said.

It be­gan when a mem­ber of the group made a post con­cern­ing the death of late res­i­dent War­wick Power.

Ms Zim­pel de­cided to post a fam­ily photo of the Pow­ers that her dad had kept.

This cre­ated a flurry of ac­tiv­ity and she started post­ing more clip­pings from the pa­per, some­times sev­eral times a day.

“It just sort of snow­balled from there, peo­ple went mad,” Mrs Zim­pel said.

“Once I’d ex­hausted all of that news, I got in touch with an old school friend of mine from Monto and she just men­tioned she had an old copy in the floor­boards un­der the lino.

“I asked if she could send them down to me, and it’s kept go­ing.”

In ad­di­tion to her tabloid copy, Mrs Zim­pel has gone through sev­eral of the old 1940s broad­sheets.

Some­times she does not know which news clip­ping will spark the next con­ver­sa­tion.

A sim­ple name in a brief can spark lengthy posts rem­i­nisc­ing about that per­son from some­one in the group.

Page ad­min­is­tra­tor John Lee said mem­ber­ship, cur­rently at 1400, had been in­creas­ing as word spread.

“It’s amaz­ing the sort of things that get posted, it cre­ates mem­o­ries,” Mr Lee said.

“It does go to show the town’s not a patch on what it used to be – so many of the old busi­nesses and in­dus­tries are dead or dy­ing.”

Mrs Zim­pel said she could not be­lieve how big Monto was in those days.

“Just go­ing by the ad­ver­tise­ments, the busi­nesses that were around, there’s lots and lots,” she said.

There have been pos­i­tive sides to the in­creased ac­tiv­ity.

Many more peo­ple have started post­ing their own mem­o­ra­bilia, and the con­ver­sa­tions have al­lowed for­mer res­i­dents to re­con­nect with one another as well.

Search “Monto, Re­mem­ber When” on Face­book to visit the group and con­trib­ute.

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