Outpouring of support for the Hervey Bay Historical Village
VOLUNTEERS of the Hervey Bay Historical Village and Museum have been left speechless by the outpouring of community support following a suspicious fire that engulfed a building at the rear of the tourist attraction on December 1.
A fully restored 1934 Ford truck, three tractors and an abundance of tools and machinery were destroyed in the blaze.
Museum president John Andersen said members had been left "unbelievably distraught" after the fire but have now had their faith in goodwill restored after several major donations had already been made.
In just over a week, Mr Andersen said a Hervey Bay businessman had dug deep to pay for a new building to be constructed, a River Heads man donated a complete tool workshop enclosed in a tandem trailer, a 1999 Ford Explorer in top condition was donated so it could be sold, and about $3500 was made at Saturday's Carols in the Village.
"These are all very, very generous donations and people can be assured that every cent will be put back into the museum and we will make good use of it," Mr Andersen said.
"The generosity shown by the community has just been absolutely unbelievable!
"Out of the bad side of it comes a bigger, better and brighter museum than ever, and everyone is boosted with enthusiasm as we go forth from here."
Mr Andersen gives special thanks to the crowd of hundreds that turned out for the annual carols, especially being as patient with the volunteers as they scoured every shop in Hervey Bay for more sausages after they twice ran out of food.
"Running out of food was quite amazing ... we bought a lot of food," he said.
"There were just so many people there, from tiny tots to the elderly, and I think the atmosphere and everyone being so happy started Christmas off in great spirits, especially under the circumstances."
The remains of the fire were cleared on Tuesday to make way for the new building.