Mystery bus takes Gympie VIEW club on a trip to the past

A MYSTERY bus ride became a trip back in time for members of the Gympie VIEW Club last week.

Thirty-seven members and some brave husbands boarded the bus to "somewhere", knowing they'd have a fun day.

Travelling north, the stop for morning tea proved to be Mount Bauple and the Bauple and District Museum.

Looking around the varied exhibits - including an old copper, school reading books, a beautifully displayed brass bed and the many tools of bygone days - was like a trip down memory lane for many of the VIEW clubbers.

The travellers learned about the importance of the "Bopple" nut as a native bush food for aborigines who took them down as far as Brisbane to trade.

Better known these days as the Queensland or macadamia nut, these delicious little morsels have now become an important crop in the region.

While chatting over a cuppa and refreshments in the museum garden, the Gympie group learned that even more history was being played out that day.

VIEW member Jan Reedman discovered a baby's basket and christening gown which had been worn by her cousin, Jimmy Willet.

There was also a pair of gloves worn by the Jimmy's mother.

As members admired the murals painted across the front of the museum, they learned that they were the work of Blake Greer - the son of another Gympie member, Kathy O'Meara.

Kathy fascinated all with Blake's story.

During surgery to remove a large benign brain tumour in 2002, Blake lost part of his vision and is now classified legally blind.

Since then, he has painted numerous works of art throughout the district including those at the museum and another five 2.4 x 1.2m murals at the military museum in Maryborough.

The 48-year-old paints exquisite, realistic scenes which take one back in time.

Wallowing in sentimentality and memories, the Gympie group continued the trip north to Maryborough for some retail therapy and a picnic in Queens Park.

The breeze from the water was welcome on a very hot day as they chatted and marvelled at their close brush with history.