Mount Isa history talk revives memories of 'The Mines' Christmas Tree'

Sometimes in the early 1980s, Santa hitched a ride to Mount Isa Mines' Christmas Tree on his friendly Outback dinosaur.
Sometimes in the early 1980s, Santa hitched a ride to Mount Isa Mines' Christmas Tree on his friendly Outback dinosaur.

Local history buff, Kim-Maree Burton, is delving into Christmases of the past this Saturday from 10am to 12pm at Mount Isa Library, bringing back memories of an historic event.

Ms Burton said the topic is by popular demand, with a focus on the Mount Isa Mines’ Christmas Tree events, which were held from 1932 to the early 1980s.

Kim-Maree Burton has been presenting monthly talks on Mount Isa History at Mount Isa Library. Photo: file

Kim-Maree Burton has been presenting monthly talks on Mount Isa History at Mount Isa Library. Photo: file

“For neigh on 50 years you only needed to mention The Christmas Tree and everyone knew what you were referring to -  Mount Isa Mines’ Christmas Tree –  or the more popular term: The Mine’s Christmas Tree,” Ms Burton said.

“Every child under the age of 10 years, living in the town, was eligible to receive a gift from Santa Claus, regardless of whether or not his or her parents worked for Mount Isa Mine,” Ms Burton said.

Christmas presents everywhere, Mount Isa Mines' Christmas Tree circa 1976.

Christmas presents everywhere, Mount Isa Mines' Christmas Tree circa 1976.

This is the last talk of the year from Ms Burton in her Mount Isa Memories series, stemming from her book ‘Whispers through the Spinifex: Mount Isa Memories in the Making’, published in February.

Decades of recorded Christmas Tree celebrations offer a unique look at Mount Isa’s past, Ms Burton said.

The audience will go on a Yuletide journey, learning about the different styles of gifts handed out over the years, the evolution of entertainment, and Santa’s varying modes of transport to the tree.

“Over the years, he has arrived in a Christmas cake, a spaceship, a Cobb & Co. wagon, a dinosaur, sky rocket, fire engine, and many more methods of transportation,” Ms Burton said.

Santa hitching a ride on a Cobb and Co. coach to meet all the girls and boys on time at the 1962 MIM Christmas Tree.

Santa hitching a ride on a Cobb and Co. coach to meet all the girls and boys on time at the 1962 MIM Christmas Tree.

The interactive presentation includes photo displays to jog the memories of long-time Mount Isa residents.

Monthly talks will recommence on the first Saturday morning of each month, starting in February 2018. The new calendar of topics will be available from Mount Isa City Library in the new year.