Coronavirus Closes Village

The management of Highfields Pioneer Village, Museum & Park Inc. has made the decision to close their gates to the public.

Volunteers essential to maintenance will still be onsite daily to maintain the Village and it’s animals and gardens, but will follow coronavirus protocol (staying home if you feel unwell, maintaining a 1.5m distance and washing hands frequently).

Volunteer Manager Ray Ashford OAM says “Our volunteers are working towards the opening of the Big Cow in September, all being well. Please stay well and keep safe, thank you all for your support”.

The decision follows a very important yet reluctant determination to cancel the Easter Vintage Festival.  “The event has been running for over 23 years. It has been sad times for our volunteers but we are using this time to maintain the Village displays and work on our Big Cow” Ray says. Volunteers hope to host a new festival in September if the coast is clear.

President Mervyn Polzin and his brother Keith practice social distancing in front of the historic cookhouse built by their forebears for smoking and preserving wursts and baking bread (Willy Wood photo)

The Volunteers of Highfields Pioneer Village are renowned for their age-old skills and passing down of knowledge to younger generations. Their oldest member is 101 years old and their youngest 9 weeks.

“People during wartime survived using skills such as preserving food when rationing was in effect, people were not permitted to ‘panic buy’ and were issued with ration cards. No foods went to waste and local agricultural production was increased to support our military”. Ray says. “On top of all this it coincided with the Spanish flu, people had to improvise and make do with what they had”.

One of Ray’s favourite displays at the Village is the Farmer’s Ingenuity Collection, “It just goes to show how resilient people were in the olden days…we might not be able to make a silk purse from a sow’s ear but we can learn from our forebears to live from the land”.

To keep up to date with the happenings at the Village please follow their Facebook page.

Submitted by:
Jody Dodds
Highfields Pioneer Village, Museum and Park Inc.
73 Wirraglen Rd, Highfields.
P.O Box 325, Highfields QLD 4352.
07 4696 6309
Dedicated to preserving the history of the Darling Downs for future generations. 


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