The History of the Hervey Bay Gem & Mineral Club Inc.

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12 October 1965 Mr Bill Moores, Adult Education officer, chaired a meeting called "The first meeting of the future Hervey Bay Gem and Mineral Club" in the Urangan Progress Hall.  People in attendance were: Mr. Bill Moores, Mr. & Mrs. Matherson, Mr. R. Edwards, Mr. Davidson, Mrs. Oliphant, Mrs. Crowther, Mrs. B.S. Gorden, Mrs. Willman, Mr. Pholman, Mrs. Staniland (Snr), Mrs. Staniland(Jnr) and Mr. Bryce Edwards.
From members present, Mr. R. Edwards was elected president and Mrs. Staniland was elected Secretary Treasurer
7 July 1972 A building in Tavistock Street, Torquay, 30 x 18 ft, in good order, not lined or ceiled was purchased from Mr. Bob Carson Jones though Haddows Real Estate for a cost of $75.  
February 1973 The building had to be removed so the dismantled timber was moved to the residence of R. Voss in Denman Camp Road
1974 Lease of land in Hillyard Lane off Zephyr Street, Scarness was received from the Burrumshire Council.
6 July 1974 A building committee was formed 
6 December 1974 Work began on the concrete floor and building frame.
29 November 1974 Official opening of the new building.  Mr W.J. Moores officially declared the club room open.  There were 110 people present.  Several Clubs were represented including Caloundra, Nambour, Gympie, Maryborough, Isis, Bundaberg and Gin Gin.  A barbecue ended an enjoyable day.
1976 The first Gem and Mineral show in the C.W.A. Rooms was so successful, that it was decided to make it an annual event.
1982 Gem show is moved into the Torquay Yacht Club rooms
1982 The club emblem is an octagonal enamel badge, with Hervey Bay Gem Club, QLD printed around the green badge, a red faceted gem above a crossed green pick and shovel on a gold background centre.  (A reproduction is on the home page of this website)
August 1982 The club has 80 members this year, with courses in lapidary, working times, monthly field trips and socials in the Members rooms.
2003 Silver-smithing shed built (Note: This shed was changed to a dedicated faceting area when the main building was replaced in 2010)
2005 Air conditioner installed in the silver-smithing shed and a large rock saw acquired for cutting larger pieces of rock. Several new grinding wheels also acquired. Funding for saw & wheels through grants.
Early 2005 A website for the Gem Club with information and photos from around the club, was set up by club member Larry Anderson..
20 August 2005 Gem Show is moved from the RSL to the Great Hall at the Hervey Bay High School in Beach Road to provide more space for exhibitors  and proves to be a huge success.
Jan - March 2007 Plans for a new shed for the club are discussed. The buildings now on the site will be demolished and a new larger shed will be built. A final floor plan was voted on by members at the March general meeting and a committee formed to get firm price quotes.
June 2007 Final plans for the new shed were drawn up and submitted to Council.  Application for a grant was also submitted.  Grant was turned down and work put on hold.
October 2007 At the AGM held 9/10/07, two life memberships were presented.  They were awarded to Charlie Butcher and Don Kuchel for service above and beyond the call of duty over the years.
August 2009 Final approval has been obtained from Fraser Coast Regional Council for the replacement of the main club building and an extension to the cabbing workshop. The main building, which was formerly an old railway station, has been donated to the Hervey Bay Museum next door. The new building and extension will be steel structures.
30 September 2009 The old building has been prepared for removal to the Museum property and the extension on the cabbing building has been completed. As well, the new faceting area in the old silver-smithing area is almost complete. This room has been fully lined and insulated and repainted. Renovation of the cabbing room is presently underway. The electrical service for the whole complex has been moved to the cabbing building.
6 October 2009 The old clubhouse was lifted, placed on a trailer and moved to the Museum grounds.  See photos
13 October 2009 Slab was laid for a new 9m x 9m main building, and work is proceeding to finish up the cabbing room and saw room.
23 October 2009 Work commences on the construction of the new 9m x 9m steel building.
30 October 2009
New building is fully sheeted and roofed - awaiting inspection before doing interior insulating and sheeting.
2 December 2009
Renovations and construction have been completed.  Moving equipment and fixtures back into the various buildings at this time.  Awaiting connection of water and final inspection before occupancy and opening.
11 January, 2010
The new facilities have passed inspection (16/12/09) and have received the Certificate of Occupancy from the Fraser Coast Council.  The Club was re-opened for the members on 11th of January, 2010.
13 February, 2010 The official opening ceremony was held at the Club at 11:30 on the 13th of February.  Fraser Coast Mayor, Mic Kruger and Hervey Bay Gem and Mineral Club President, Terry Oldham officiated.  The opening ceremony was attended by over 50 people, and was followed by a barbeque.  See photos.
July 2010 Gem Show moved to the Star of the Sea school.  This venue has a covered tailgater area and huge indoor display area as well as lots of off-street parking.  Show was a big success!
3 November, 2011 The Club has had a 1.7 KWHr solar panel system installed on the roof of the Cabbing shed.  It is anticipated that this will eliminate most of the club electricity charges and could generate income for the Club by selling any excess power generated.  Also done was the concreting of the area between the Club property and the Z-Pac Theatre fence on the north side of the main building. Just prior to concreting, the area between the main clubhouse and the cabbing and faceting shed was roofed in.
11 December, 2011
The new metal awning over the concreted area on the north side of the club has been completed. This area will be used by members for coffee breaks, barbeques and area for some of our large machines.
6 May, 2012 Complete redesign of the silver-smithing area to make more efficient use of the area.  See Photo
December, 2012 Area in front of the main building was concreted to provide better access to the main door in wet weather.
3 March, 2013 Break-in - Cabbing and Faceting rooms broken into over the weekend.  Two broken windows and over $4000 worth of tools and equipment taken or damaged.  Following this episode, the Club's security was improved in several areas.
February, 2016 Solar system was upgraded and expanded.
May, 2016 Member Barry Chapman, places 6th overall in a World Faceting Competition held recently in Tasmania.

Revised 8 July, 2016