Historic Binna Burra Dinner Bell Found Among Ruins
In a moment of joyful reprieve, the owners and staff of Queensland's Binna Burra Lodge have celebrated the survival of the venue's beloved bell, which was believed to be all but lost in the state's devastating fires.
The eco-tourism lodge -- which has been hosting travelers in the Gold Coast Hinterland for the past 86 years -- was mostly destroyed on Sunday night as fire made its way through Lamington National Park.
But on Wednesday, chairman Steve Noakes discovered that the iconic bell, which has been calling guests to meals since 1933, had managed to survive the blaze.
"Probably the most asked question I've had since the fire is 'how is the bell?'" Noakes said.
"And today we were able to find that and recover it.
"We've got the Binna Burra Bell! Dinner will be served again at Binna Burra."
The artifact was retrieved by the chairman during an inspection of the charred heritage-listed site, accompanied by Scenic Rim Mayor Greg Christensen and State Development Minister Cameron Dick.
The trio pulled it from the wreckage together, making sure to give it a test ring before presenting it to Binna Burra staff members.
Richard Groom, son of Binna Burra co-founder Arthur Groom, was there to see its surprise return.
"It's just joyful... it's great," he told 10 News First.
"It's part of the beginning, in 1933. It came from Lahey's locomotive we believe."
Romeo Lahey, an engineer and road builder, co-founded the Lodge.
In the past week, bushfires across Queensland have destroyed 17 houses and damaged about 70 more.
On Wednesday morning, 78 fires were burning from the southeast corner of the state to Lockhart River in the far north.
Due to more moderate winds and higher humidity, the Bureau of Meteorology has dropped the fire danger to 'high' across much of the state, however rising temperatures and ongoing tinder-dry conditions mean it's expected to spike again on Friday.