RE­MEM­BER OUR COAST HIS­TO­RIES

Bud­erim res­i­dent do­ing her part to hon­our past

Maroochy Weekly - - FRONT PAGE - Danielle Ford Danielle.Ford@sc­news.com.au

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.”

PHOTO: JOHN MCCUTCHEON

YEARS OF RE­SEARCH: Avid his­to­rian He­lene Cronin spent years study­ing the his­tory of Bud­erim.

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