by John Kerr
Pioneer Shire Council, c1980 [First Edition], black and white photographs, hardcover, dustjacket
Very Good Condition, a little edge and shelf wear, a little rubbing and bumping to edges and corners, no inscriptions, dustjacket shows some edge and shelf wear with a some rubbing, bumping, creasing, chipping and tearing to edges and corners (see photographs)
“On 9 March 1880 the members of the Pioneer Divisional Board met together for the first time. They had responsibility for the whole of the Mackay district outside the municipal boundaries. In an area which had been settled by white man for only eighteen years they had to provide for the needs of a rapidly growing community which had few roads and no railway, in an era before the advent of telephone and aeroplane.
Within ten years of its first settlement by John Mackay in 1862, the district had become Queensland’s leading sugar producing region. John Ewan Davidson, who provided the capital to erect the first sugar mill, became first chairman of the Divisional Board. Under his leadership, the newly elected members stretched their meagre resources to provide the facilities sorely needed by the expanding framing community.
Over one hundred people from all walks of life have served as members of the Pioneer Divisional Board which, since 1903, has been known as the Pioneer Shire Council. The role of the Council has diversified as the needs of the community have grown. It has entered the field of community health, provided water supply, sewerage and operated successful vaccination campaigns. In more recent years libraries, sporting facilities and parks have been established. While its domain was reduced by the creation of two new shires, Sarina and Mirani in the early years of this century, the growth of population in Pioneer Shire has made today’s challenges greater than ever before. The dominant sugar industry has been supplemented by the wealth derived from the pastoral industry, the influx of tourists, the growth of secondary industry and the huge export trade in coal.
This year, 1980, Pioneer Shire is one of the select group of Shire Councils which complete a century of achievement. To commemorate that event this history has been commissioned to place on record the major events of that period. Tracing its history form the arrival of the first white explorers to the present day, Pioneer Pageant gives an insight into the courage and determination of those who laid the foundation on whish the district’s prosperity today depends..”