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Ashes to ashes, dust to dust

Shortly after moving into the new Brisbane office at Herston in 2013, MIFQ was dealt a devastating blow when arsonists set fire to a POD storage unit containing priceless records and memorabilia.

The unit was being used as temporary storage for archive records, resources and equipment until permanent storage arrangements were in place.

MIFQ Director, Communication and Partnerships MaryAnne Morgan made the heartbreaking discovery when she arrived at work on the 5th of June.

“I stood there for such a long time looking at it in disbelief, and then I cried,” says MaryAnne. 

“It was devastating.  It had taken us so long to move into the building and we were still working through how we were going to store everything.” 

“The pod was the only way we could keep it on site and take our time to make sure we were keeping what was important.”

The pod contained financial records but also lots of photo albums, video tapes, booklets, historical promotional material from the art exhibition, and artwork.

“After I pulled myself together, I rang our CEO, Tony and it took him a while to comprehend what I was saying.  We were both devastated.”

No security cameras were working on any of the lights or buildings around so we never found out who did it.   

It’s believed the Fire Service was called by a passer-by but the fire had already destroyed the unit.  Luckily there was no damage to the building, although some bushes were burnt.

Nearly everything inside was irreparably damaged by fire, melted plastic or water, and even though there was limited impact on day-to-day operations, the implications were a lot more emotional.

Of the memorabilia being stored in the unit, only few photos could be salvaged. 

The call continues to go out to present and past members to donate, or lend, any MIFQ memorabilia they may have.

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