New Farm and Districts Historical Society celebrates 30 years

New Farm and Districts Historical Society celebrates 30 years

One of Brisbane’s most active local history groups will celebrate a milestone of its own at a special gathering this month.

The New Farm and Districts Historical Society will mark its 30th birthday on June 22 with a look back at its many activities and a thank you to all who have made them possible.

Society President Desley Garnett is excited about the looming milestone.

“Our birthday meeting will mark the society’s origins, reflect on changes in the area and generally celebrate how far we have come. A new society logo will also be unveiled on the day.”

The society had its genesis in February 1994 after former BCC councillor David Hinchliffe initiated a history walk around New Farm.

Early meetings were held at the New Farm library and the adjacent Ron Muir Room before growing numbers saw a move to the Merthyr Road Uniting Church Centre from 2009.

Past President Ross Garnett with current President Desley Garnett, looking back on their very first newsletter from 1994.

Numbers have continued to grow ever since, and it is common for monthly meetings to attract a hundred people.

The society runs a research library and has organised numerous historical plaques around New Farm and surrounds.

Asked to explain the society’s success, Mrs Garnett said it involved doing a few things well, such as arranging interesting guest speakers, circulating an informative newsletter, and running regular guided history walks.

“Putting on a delicious afternoon tea also helps,” she added.

Mrs Garnett paid tribute to her fellow committee members and the many volunteers who help to keep the society running.

The society meets at 2:30 pm on the fourth Saturday of each month at the Merthyr Road Uniting Church Centre. Further information is available on the society’s webpage at

A history display to coincide with the society’s 30th birthday is currently on show at the New Farm Library until the end of July.

The library history display includes local artifacts like this fireman’s helmet which belonged to
Station Officer Charlie Adams who served in the Metropolitan Fire Brigade 1956 – 1986.

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