Thank you to all who attended this great event, which was AO was our guest of honour and he spoke of his early years growing up on an Acland district farm and attending Acland State School before completing his secondary education in Toowoomba. What a lot he has achieved in his lifetime; as a teacher, Australian Wallabies Coach and now one of Australia’s most listened to radio broadcasters. He has a phenomenal recall of growing up in the Oakey district with its busy farming life and strong community spirit, perhaps best exemplified by the huge effort required to rebuild Acland following its near total demolition after a 1952 tornado, said to be one of Australia’s worst inland storms. Alan described the boiling green sky and the loss of precious water tanks on his family dairy farm.
Acland still has the same strong community spirit. It has survived the wrecking ball of New Hope Coal so far and the company’s intent to undermine the entire township, shifting its War Memorial and demolishing its heritage listed colliery. A new virtual community exists at Acland -minus the houses and gardens, the shouts and laughter of children in the school yard perhaps- but with the same determination to face adversity and rebuild in the face of almost impossible odds!
Thank you to Ray Hopper, MP and Mayor and Mrs Antonio who attended the High Tea with Councillors Sommerfield and Glasheen. A special thanks to Bronwyn and volunteers of the lovely Rosalie Gallery, the press and filmmakers who attended and the colourful Knitting Nanas from Northern NSW. It was nice to see all the older Acland residents enjoying the amazingly delicious cakes, sandwiches, pies and petit fours provided by OCAA. The verdict: our country towns are worth protecting and there is no match for country cooks!