May 28, 2012
Boonara Homestead’s Lorraine and Rob Goodchild have been left stunned by the success of the 150th celebrations at the historic homestead north of Goomeri on Saturday.
Lorraine told southburnett.com.au an estimated 3000 people had visited the property but the sheer number of visitors had made it almost impossible to be sure how many had really dropped by.
The visitors had the opportunity to inspect the grand colonial home as well as relax on the lawn and listen to live music – including by acclaimed soprano Ana Marina – and watch displays of dancing and whipcracking.
A large display of veteran, vintage and classic cars also drew admirers.
The crowd enjoyed a re-enactment by the Nanango Theatre Company of the life and times of Queensland’s only bushranger, the “Wild Scotchman” James McPherson who robbed mail coaches in the region during the 1860s. This time around, the worst thing that the Wild Scotchman managed to steal was a kiss …
A long queue waited patiently for antique expert Gordon Brown, from the ABC-TV show Collectors, to inspect their treasured items and provide a valuation.
Murgon State School P&C were run off their feet keeping the barbecue going to feed the crowd.
A charity auction, conducted by Nev Holden from Goomeri BGA, raised about $930 funds for the AGL Action Rescue Helicopter.
Boonara Homestead was built in 1862 for David Jones, of department store fame, so the sesquicentenary celebrations had a special significance for the Jones family. On Saturday, more than 25 descendants of the original David Jones joined the Goodchilds on stage to cut the anniversary cake.
Lorraine said many people had suggested to her that they should hold a similar event in future, and she said this could be possible but on a smaller scale.
“Maybe an afternoon tea with some music … a bit more laid-back,” she said.