REMEMBER OUR COAST HISTORIES
Buderim resident doing her part to honour past
ACCORDING to Helene Cronin OAM remembering the past is an important part to appreciating the future.
During the 30 years Helene has lived in Buderim, she’s played a huge part in documenting the history of the suburb.
“When I came to Buderim I joined the Buderim Historical Society and from there it’s just grown,” she said.
In 2015 she published Buderim’s Great War effort
1914-1918, a book documenting stories of the Buderim men who fought in World War I.
She also helped set up, and is secretary of, Coast-based website Adopt-A-Digger in 2010, for the 100 year commemoration of World War I.
“We decided that for the 100 year commemoration of World War I we would make a website and put all the Coast diggers on it,” she said.
“We got people to help us research and I think I researched about 150 diggers.
“There’s about 3000 diggers on there now and it just keeps growing.”
Now she’s working on her second book, Timber, Trains and Turmoil, which Ms Cronin said celebrates the unique history of Buderim from it’s early days as a little village.
As president of the Buderim Palmwoods Heritage Tram group, Helene has a special interest in the tramway history in Buderim, but said the train played a wider role in the history of the area.
“That train line build Buderim, as soon as the train came subdivisions happened all over the place,” she said.
“After the train went in 1935 the village went through turmoil because residents had to find new ways to get their produce to the markets.”
The Buderim resident explains her love of history as a life-long thing, that she credits to her father.
“They say that childhood memories have a big part to play in what you end up doing and I grew up in the Bomana War Cemetery where my father was caretaker,” she said.
“So it was military history that peaked my interest but I’ve just come to love all history.”
In June the Buderim resident was honoured for her commitment to preserving community history when she was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia, an honour she said was incredibly humbling.
“To be recommended or nominated for something like that just blew me away because I never really thought that I would be worthy enough,” she said.
“For the following generations, they won’t know unless we tell them, or someone records someone’s stories,” she said.
Helene is also doing her part to conserve the developing history of the area so it can be shared with future generations.
“If I go around and see a development I try and get the real estate paperwork so you can see how it’s changed,” she said.
“I’ve got photographs of all the developments that have happened around here just to hang onto because I’ll pass that onto the Historical Society because one day that will be the Buderim history.”
YEARS OF RESEARCH: Avid historian Helene Cronin spent years studying the history of Buderim.