Valuable piece of local history found on deceased estate
A SPECIAL piece of the Miles District history was uncovered by a Burncluith man who was clearing a deceased estate in Chinchilla.
A 1969 valiant Chrysler converted into an ambulance was sitting in dense scrubland, although it is now being restored to its former glory by the Toowoomba Highfields Ambulance Museum.
Retired EMT and curator of the museum, Vincent Little, said he was excited and proud to be given the opportunity to bring the old ambulance back to life.
"We're constantly searching for local history, and old ambulances that might be lying around in old barns and paddocks," Mr Little said.
"And we found one located in Chinchilla. It's a former car five valiant Chrysler that was committed to service in Miles in 1969."
Mr Little said the ambulance is very special, and is important to the community as some were born in the back, saved, or spent their last moments there.
"It's so valuable to the community, it has a vast past, and is strongly linked to the community by the fact that they paid for it - they essentially owned it," he said.
"That caused a huge political uproar in 1991, when the government took over and made it the Queensland Ambulance Service.
"All the communities were up in arms because they thought the money they had raised for years and years was now going to go to a central fund in Brisbane."
"A few years later they reinstated a link and reinstated the local ambulance committee."
Farmers, businesses owners, and Lions Club members, Mr Little said, played an integral role for local ambulance committees by raising necessary funds.
"All these districts like Chinchilla, Miles, we're all community ambulance services and everything that was used in the community was bought by the community," he said.
"That's why it's important to preserve history, because our predecessors put a lot of money into these services, they realised the value of having it - there was very little in the way of government subsidy."
Mr Little said the museum purchased the 1969 converted Chrysler for $3,000, with money raised through fundraising, recycling, and selling chocolates.
"Now that money is going back into restoring a wonderful piece of ambulance heritage for the (Western Downs)."
Mr little is urging anyone with information, stories, or photographs of the original ambulance to contact the Highfields Ambulance Museum, so they can preserve the information for generations to come.
"It's important that if we find a significant piece of history from that region that we preserve it, and we love it, and we let younger generations see what it used to be," he said.
"Any donations to this restoration project would be greatly appreciated and are tax deductible over $10."
Contact Vincent Little on: 0418 826 649.