Paul Dennis, Karen Mead, Paul van Schyndel, Lionel Woodrow, Maz Walters and Greg Mead outside the headquarters they meet at each week.
Paul Dennis, Karen Mead, Paul van Schyndel, Lionel Woodrow, Maz Walters and Greg Mead outside the headquarters they meet at each week. Laura Blackmore

Why this gem fossicker spreads the love with stone hearts

MORE than three years ago a small group of keen gemstone fossickers reacted to an advertisement in the local newspaper to take over the responsibility of a South Burnett club.

Lionel Woodrow, Paul Dennis and Karen Mead, previously unknown to each other, attended a committee meeting and took on club leadership roles.

Now, the South Burnett Gem and Fossicking Club is still operating in Kingaroy and members regularly attend the bi-weekly workshops.

For the past two years during their meet-ups, treasurer Paul Dennis has been carving out a collection of his own.

A section of Paul Dennis's collection of 200 love hearts he has carved out of different gems over the past two years.
A section of Paul Dennis's collection of 200 love hearts he has carved out of different gems over the past two years. Laura Blackmore

"One of our other members Dave Potter started making hearts,” Mr Dennis said.

"I got infected with making them as I thought it was a kind act to make.

"Prior to that I was creating ovals and more natural shapes.

"Now I have made over 200 love hearts out of all the different materials I have.

"We received a lot of good feedback on our Facebook page, which was nice.”

Mr Dennis is not new to the world of gemstones though, after providing the Adelaide Museum with a collection back in the 70s from his travels across Australia.

Paul Dennis holding a 60 million-year-old belmite and a 100 million-year-old prawn fossil.
Paul Dennis holding a 60 million-year-old belmite and a 100 million-year-old prawn fossil. Laura Blackmore

After living the majority of his life along the coast he was forced to move inland due to an allergy.

"We lived in Cairns for 20 years,” Mr Dennis said.

"There was too much sugar cane pollen and dust in the air.

"We moved to the South Burnett six years ago and have been here ever since.”

Lionel Woodrow and Paul Dennis proudly displaying some of their collections.
Lionel Woodrow and Paul Dennis proudly displaying some of their collections. Laura Blackmore

President Lionel Woodrow said he was pleased to see their members frequenting the workshop each week.

"We usually get a great turnout,” Mr Woodrow said.

"One of the biggest challenges is learning all the different types of gemstones but slowly you get to know them and there are guides to help you out.

"We don't sell the gems but we do go to a gem show in Kybong every year.”

Mr Woodrow said the group was starting to plan for its second show next year, set for Saturday, April 4 and Sunday. April 5.

Some of the collection of gems from members of the South Burnett Gem and Fossicking Club.
Some of the collection of gems from members of the South Burnett Gem and Fossicking Club. Laura Blackmore
South Burnett

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