In late 1998, a small group of keen Lapidary hobbyists and enthusiasts decided to form the Bribie Island Gem and Fossicking Club Inc. 37 people attended the inaugural meeting which was held in the Bongaree Library on the 4th November 1998.
A workshop, with second hand machines, was set up in a store room at the back of the original Art Centre, Bribie Island to accommodate these hobbyists and enthusiasts. Meetings continued for some time to be held in the Library.
With funding from Caboolture Shire Council, work commenced on the Clubs workshop and club rooms on 1st November 2000 beside the Art Centre. The building was completed and officially opened in 2001. A grant from the Gaming Commission allowed the fitting out of the workshop with some new lapidary machinery and the club was off and running.
In 2004, increased interest from the public and a dramatic increase in membership saw the erection of a second shed and the expansion of the workshops. This second shed, "Club Room" now accommodates the clubs library, displays, kitchen, a large meeting room and a small faceters workshop area. Both sheds are now separated by a large undercover area. This undercover area is perfect for craft fairs, social gatherings and meeting during the summer months.
In 2005 funding from Jupiter's allowed the Club to upgrade the workshops with state of the art machinery, and further extensions to buildings.
In 2006, the Gem Club had a membership of 97, and the workshops were operating 4 days a week offering members a diverse range of activities, Lapidary, Cabochon, Intaglio, Silver wrapping, Beading and Faceting resulting in a diverse range of handcrafted jewellery and associated lapidary crafts. Silver wrapping and beading using quality sterling silver, natural stones, glass and beads are handcrafted by club members.
The Clubs workshops are well equipped with a full range of quality saws, grinders, polishers, faceting machines and a silver workshop. The availability of this comprehensive range of specialist tools allows each member the opportunity to fully realize the rewards of lapidary work and associated hobbies.
Workshops are held regularly. Whether you are a long-term member, newcomer or an interested, member of the public you are always welcome at our workshops. The Bribie Island Gem and Fossicking Club Inc. will have something of interest for everyone.