Thursday, August 24, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Six Decades Of Dedicated Bowen History

Bowen as a township has long been titled the oldest town in North Queensland and its special microcosm of history and culture has been preserved by the Bowen Historical Society and Museum.

And, in a mammoth year for Bowen, the Bowen Historical Society and Museum is celebrating a 60 year milestone this year.

The curators of the Bowen Museum have been meticulous with preserving Bowen’s pioneer history, much of which is now on display, each catalogued with a detailed and accurate reporting and recording for the public to read and be educated.

With some of the largest and most thorough collections of Australian maritime and war memorabilia and artefacts, the Bowen Museum is often visited by Queensland historians and Queensland Museum Staff to aid in preservation, conservation, record keeping, and creating dynamic displays for visitors.

“Our visitors always say that this museum is the most interesting they have seen,” museum volunteer Helen Nicholas said.

“Our collection is very interesting.”

Julie Jurgens, Secretary of the Bowen Historical Society, added that the museum has enjoyed a vibrant history itself.

“It’s hard to think that the museum has been so long established in the community,” she said.

“The Museum started off in a man’s house – he started the museum in the first place – and then the museum outgrew the location.

“Then it was in the Transport building for a bit, and then 10 years later, our building was built, and in 1988, we had an expansion and added another room.”

The museum has primarily expanded due to donations from members of the community.

“We have had pieces from family collections donated,” said Ms Jurgens.

“We’ve even had a few wedding dresses donated, which solves a lot of family arguments about who gets the dress!”

Celebrations for the 60th year anniversary of the Bowen Historical Society and Museum have yet to be announced.

The Bowen Museum was established in 1963, from the founder’s home

The Bowen Museum is now located on Gordon Street in Bowen

The Bowen Museum and Historical Society has a dedicated history of Bowen and its residents. Photo supplied

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