UNSUNG HERO: 36 years of volunteer service
FOR OVER 30 years Harold Adlen has been one of the faces greeting visitors at the Kingaroy Heritage Museum, which he helped instigate back in the early 1980s.
A committee was formed in 1984 with the intention of shining a light on the pioneers of the peanut industry and four years later the Kingaroy Heritage Museum was officially opened.
Mr Adlen and a team of volunteers have preserved the history centre that was once the town’s powerhouse, supplying Kingaroy with electricity.
Mr Adlen said he took the role of preserving the town’s history seriously.
“The history of the town and district are a very vital thing to maintain,” Mr Adlen said.
“Australia is still a very young country and we have already lost a lot of history.
“The Heritage Museum was built to showcase the original pioneers of the peanut harvesting industry in Australia.”
At 90 years of age Mr Adlen has lived in Kingaroy his whole life, growing up and working on his family’s dairy farm.
The current museum site was originally full of generators that generated electricity to power Kingaroy.
Mr Adlen said once the town was hooked into grid electricity the building became vacant and was perfect for the historical society.
“After power developed in the region the building became empty right about the same time the historical society were looking from a home,” Mr Adlen said.
“In 1984 we had been working away at finding a permanent place for quite a while and eventually the council gave us the lease and a loan to do some work.
“We put in a new floor, put a roof on and eventually decided to focus on a couple of themes, with the main focus being the pioneers of the peanut harvest industry.
“We have relied on the hard work of our volunteers and donations from the public for all these years to keep the centre running.”
The Kingaroy Heritage Museum is open seven days a week and has some of the peanut harvesting industries oldest equipment, including a harvesting machine engineered right here in Wooroolin.