Juandah Heritage Society names three life members at its 25 year celebrations

The Juandah Heritage Society was established to preserve the history and artefacts of the first white settlers who made their lives in Wandoan almost two centuries ago.

LtoR: Trevor Robertson (Senex), Merilyn Bahnisch, Doris Stiller, Dinah Fraser, and Bill Blackley (Juandah Heritage Society President).

So it was fitting that the organisation recognised a modern day pioneer, Dinah Fraser, with life membership at its 25 years celebrations in October which were sponsored by Senex Energy.

It was Mrs Fraser who came up with the idea to form a society and then purchase land to house the Juandah Homestead and other local landmarks in the one spot where people could learn about Wandoan’s history.

As she accepted her life membership, Mrs Fraser reflected on how she thought “the old people who settled here in 1849 would be very pleased if they could come back and visit” the Juandah Historical Site.

Merilyn Bahnisch and Doris Stiller were also awarded life memberships in recognition of their and their late husbands’ contributions to the Juandah Heritage Society.

President Bill Blackley joked the life members would save $11 in membership fees annually, but encouraged people to follow their example and join the society so it can continue to share Wandoan’s story with locals and visitors.

“Much of the work at this site was completed by volunteers, and many hands make light work, so we welcome anyone who is interested in learning more of the area’s history and sharing it with others,” Bill said.

“I would also like to thank those who have donated and lent the items on display and the sponsors who have assisted the society throughout the years.

“We are delighted to have Trevor Robertson from Senex Energy here as today’s celebrations would not have been possible without Senex’s generous sponsorship.”

Senex Community Relations Manager Trevor Robertson said the Juandah Heritage Society plays an essential role in ensuring the region’s past is not lost as it moves into the future.

“Things have changed significantly in 200 years, but Wandoan still has the values of community and working together that the early settlers had,” he said.

“We wouldn’t be standing here today if it weren’t for the leadership and hard work of community members such as those who were recognised today.

“Senex is delighted to support organisations like the Heritage Society which contribute to a vibrant and sustainable Wandoan community into the future.”

See the full picture gallery from the day HERE.