Allora’s 150 Year Celebrations
Minister Hinchliffe; Mr James Lister MP; Mayor, Cr Dobie; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen. Kaye and I are delighted to be with you as we celebrate another significant milestone in Allora’s history.
I at once also acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands around Allora, and pay respects to their Elders and future leaders.
May I say that your town crier did a great job in summoning us here with such vigour. I also thank the local branch of the Queensland Country Women’s Association for their wonderful hospitality this morning.
One hundred and fifty years ago today, Queensland’s second Governor, Sir Samuel Wensley Blackall, declared the town of Allora a Municipality, shortly after opening the Allora section of the Southern Railway line.
When Governor Blackall descended from his train, he was reportedly met with tremendous enthusiasm and kindness, just as Kaye and I are experiencing today.
Indeed, the smiles of Allora’s locals are as wide as the town’s charming tree-lined streets – as soon as we arrived, I understood at once why you proclaim proudly to be ‘the best little town on the Downs’.
It is fitting that we meet here, near this splendidly renovated Old Shire Chambers building.
For many years, this Shire building was the scene of lively and fruitful local government decision-making, working to shape Allora’s future.
I am pleased that the building has survived, reinvigorated, and primed to house the magnificent collections and displays of the Allora and District Historical Society, which this year celebrates its own Jubilee.
I am also looking forward to visiting the Allora Regional Sports Museum, which is bursting with treasures, and tells stories of Allora’s own home grown sports heroes. I know you love your rugby league. Go the Wattles!
Looking at the extensive programme of events for the weekend, including a re-enactment of the bullock team crossing at Dalrymple Creek, I am sure we will learn much about Allora’s history and its integral role in developing our State.
The various festivities planned will give residents and visitors alike a chance to reflect on past connections, and to forge new friendships.
I wholeheartedly commend the industrious efforts of the Allora and District Historical Society – led by President, Mrs Lyn Wright – and its band of volunteers, for your organisational efforts. My thanks extend to the people of Allora who have joined together to bring this celebration to life.
You demonstrate that while the Southern Downs region struggles with drought, the wonderful resilience and optimistic spirit of its people endures.
I also acknowledge the many sponsors for their support, including Council, and the Queensland State Government for funding the restoration of the building we stand beside.
Ladies and gentlemen, I want to divert focus and publicly acknowledge the Warwick East State School community, grieving after yesterday’s terribly blaze. While we rightly celebrate this magnificent restoration today, buildings can only ever tell us so much about a community. Its spirit, really, emerges from its people.
And I know the spirit of this district – vibrant, resilient, forward-thinking, mutually supportive – will carry that community, just as it has so optimally carried Allora over the past 150 years.
Now, returning to task! It is with tremendous pleasure that I now officially open Allora’s 150 Years Celebration, and I look forward to unveiling shortly a plaque acknowledging the restoration of this beautiful building, ready now to showcase Allora’s past to Queensland’s future generations. Thank you.