PIECE OF HISTORY: Bevan Pettett, Betty Rixon and Lorraine Antonello at the Heritage Village, where tours in vintage cars bring history to life.
PIECE OF HISTORY: Bevan Pettett, Betty Rixon and Lorraine Antonello at the Heritage Village, where tours in vintage cars bring history to life. Chris Ison Rokcheritage

Volunteers at Rocky’s preserve history Heritage Village

PETER Finnigan stepped back in time in 2014, driving 14,500km around Australia in his 1929 Model A Ford.

So it's no surprise the president of the Friends of the Rockhampton Heritage Village is passionate about keeping history alive for future generations.

Peter has been volunteering at the facility since August 2003 and said he liked the way history was presented in an informal, engaging way through tours and displays.

Without the dedicated group of volunteers, Peter said the Heritage Village wouldn't function the same.

It's an issue he's passionate about, raising concerns about Rockhampton Regional Council cuts to the facility's funding and staffing in a Letter to the Editor (published above).

Each week, volunteers water the gardens and clean in and around the displays.

They also organise the Heritage Village markets and help run tours of the facility for school groups and visitors.

"Where we can, we maintain our displays and improve them," Peter said.

"We have volunteers who restore the cars, other volunteers who work on costumes.

"It's a very close-knit group.

"Generally all are of the opinion we're there for a common purpose.

"It is a place (people) can go and contribute as a group to something in the community.

"It's satisfying knowing you're providing social values."

Being president, Peter said he was at the village at least three times a week, volunteering for an estimated 20 hours in that time.

Peter said prior to funding cuts in 2013, the village had seven full-time council employees, which had since been cut to three.

He said there were also two part-time positions.

While it doesn't seem like much, Peter said those hours spent on administration of the village were vital to its smooth running.

He said a lot of small jobs which, for compliance reasons, could only be completed by council staff added up quickly.

Peter hopes mayoral candidates would consider the Heritage Village during the campaign.

"(We) just want our case to be considered," he said.

According to Peter, there aren't too many places in Central Queensland which offer the experiences the Heritage Village does.

He said adding life to the displays kept history engaging for all ages, with school students in particular benefiting from the experience.

"You don't just look to the future, you look to the past," he said.

"It doesn't hurt for people to be able to ponder what people went through to get Australia to where it is now."

Read the mayoral candidates' views on the issue in Saturday's Morning Bulletin.

Heritage Village

In 2015, 31,110 people passed through the gates

It features vintage vehicles, a hall of clocks, timber cutters camp, a blacksmith shop, homesteads, cottages, vintage machinery

Open daily 9am to 4pm (excluding public holidays)

Browse a range of stalls at the markets, running 8am to 1.30pm on March 13



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