Wednesday, 30 December 2015

50 years on Bribie - 2005 - Ivan and Clare Tesch

50 years on Bribie Island - Ivan and Clare Tesch

The Bongaree Heritage Trail signs record those few residents who, in 2005, were still living on Bribie Island after 50 years or more continuous residence. Each, in their own way, has made a lasting contribution to the island's community.  Sally Brennan nee Herbert, Ted and Patricia Clayton, The Kling Family, Frank Lee, Betty Lougheed, Stella Ray, Ivan and Clare Tesch and Margo Whitney.

The following excerpt is from the Program for the Official unveiling "50 years on Bribie" Heritage Trail Sign, Wednesday 7 November 2007, Brennan Park, Bongaree.

Ivan and Clare Tesch
Ivan's parents Ben and Myrtle Tesch had lived in Caloundra and Caboolture in the 1930s where they established the Rex Cinema.  Ivan became the projectionist.  During the war years, it was a round-the-clock operation to meet the needs of the many troops stationed in the area. 

After the war, the family moved to Bribie Island and Ivan married Clare.  In 1950 they built a unique round house at Banya Street and soon began a cinema operation, initially in the Anglican Church Hall.  Local artist Ian Fairweather was a regular visitor to these early film shows. 
50 years on Bribie - 2005 - Ivan and Clare Tesch
Photo: Barry Clark

Clare began playing the organ in the Anglican Church in 1950 and was still doing so in 2005.  Ben and Ivan also ran the barge ferry service to the island from Toorbul Point and were involved in many business ventures including building and construction, ice and cold storage and electrical repairs.  The cinema moved to its own premises in Cotterill Avenue, and remained very popular until 1973 when the increasing impact of television forced its closure.  The cinema building was then sold to the Baptist Church. 

In 1967, the University of Queensland established an Ionospheric Research Centre on the island to monitor signals in the upper atmosphere.  Because of his diverse experience, Ivan was offered a job in the electrical workshop as a laboratory manager, a position he occupied for the next 18 years until he retired in 1988.  The entire Tesch family has made a significant contribution to Bribie Island for almost 60 years and continues to do so today.

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