Urgent funds needed to repair sugar pan at Ormiston House

Volunteers at Ormiston House are panning for funds to undertake emergency conservation work on the first sugar pan ever used in Queensland.

Honorary house administrator Duchesne Barry said about $10,000 was needed to restore the four-metre square pan and build a shelter to house it.

"It is rusting away rapidly and needs urgent treatment to save. Sadly, poor weather conditions and worsening deterioration of the heritage metals mean this work must be undertaken before Christmas, or one of the last remaining connections to Australia's commercial sugar production will be lost forever," Ms Barry said.

'This history is so important, we can't just turn our backs on it. We are facing an imminent loss. It must be remembered in order to commemorate all those who were part of Australia's agricultural development."

Ormiston House historian, Dr Jessica Stroja said that sharing these objects with the community helped tell the story of this country's development.

"This is a story that cannot and should not be forgotten. Ormiston House needs the community's support to help save this vital piece of history.," she said.

Anyone willing to contribute should contact administrator@ormistonhouse.org.au or 0457 675 137.

"Community support helped Ormiston House open its doors when it was first restored, and community support can help save the sugar pan - a memory to all those who laboured on Australia's sugar plantations," Dr Stroja said.

Ormiston House has been restored by a dedicated team of volunteers since 1967. It is open to visitors on Sunday afternoons, and a range of care groups, nursing homes, respite groups, schools, interested groups and retirement groups visit the house by appointment on weekdays. In 1864, Australia's first sample of commercial sugar was grown and produced in Ormiston.