Birthday bash for old Mary Ann

THOUSANDS of people gathered in Queens Park yesterday to celebrate the 10th birthday of one Maryborough’s biggest tourist attractions.

The Mary Ann Steam Engine was originally launched in 1873 and was the first locomotive built in Queensland.

The quaint locomotive was almost forgotten for more than 100 years until Maryborough’s Peter Olds was fired with a passion to see her recreated.

The replica is now run by volunteers on Queensland Rail tracks around Queens Park on the last Sunday of every month and every Thursday.

“It’s great to see that the Maryborough Whistle Stop volunteers have kept the train going for 10 years without a hitch,” said Mr Olds.

“It couldn’t happen without the volunteers.”

Yesterday’s celebrations included re-enactments of the official opening in 1873.

Maryborough Piper Vince Henderson used a special step to play atop the engine just like a piper named Duncan did more than 100 years ago.

“I’m very honoured to be a part of this,” he said.



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