The history of NQPA
Hillary O’Leary, our present historian, has compiled a comprehensive history of NQPA, which is available for members to peruse at Flowers Street. For those newer members, the following could be of interest:
Few people realize that cyclone Althea, which devastated Townsville in 1971, assisted in the formation of the North Queensland Potters’ Association.
Prior to this, aspiring potters learned from working potters like Carol Rosser and Noela Davis, who worked at their homes.
After Althea struck, Noela moved away from Townsville, and a few locals invited Trevor and Sibyl Woods, the president and secretary of Queensland Potters Association in Brisbane, to come up and do a weekend seminar and help in the formation of the North Queensland Potters’ Association. NQPA was inaugurated six weeks later, the main objects, set down at this meeting being:
“The promotion of fellowship among potters,
The advancement and improvement of ceramics in general and to bring together the potters of North Queensland.”
Another inaugural aim was to establish a ceramics course at the local technical college (TAFE) level. This became a reality in 1975 when a part time course in Studio Ceramics enrolled its first students.
Having ‘made do’ in various buildings and portions thereof, it became clear that NQPA needed secure and permanent premises for workshops, seminars, individual and group activities, meetings and social functions and to house some basic equipment for members’ use. Four years of dedicated and exhausting fund-raising by members resulted in the opening of the ‘Potters’ Place” in Flower Street, on 30 June 1976, on land granted by the Townsville City Council.
The first committee consisted of:
Patroness: Joan Innes-Reid
President: Jean Campbell
Vice President: Peg Hopkins
Secretary: Hilary O’Leary
Asst. Secretary: Beverly Boulton
Treasurer: Margaret McDonald
Newsletter: Fay Wells
Library: Freda Laister
Members: Jess Suthers
The history of NQPA