Tuesday, 16 January 2018

New book Describing Bribie

New book
Describing Bribie Island 1865-1965
: historical first-hand accounts of visiting Bribie Island

Over the century from 1865 to 1965 many different people have written fascinating first-hand accounts recording their personal experience of visiting Bribie Island. Each story provides a special insight into both the writer and the events they experienced during their time here and this insight reveals many different aspects of life and times on Bribie over those 100 years.
Section of the cover of new book
Describing Bribie Island 1865-1965

Following extensive research and document selection the Bribie Island Historical Society has published a book containing a number of these unique first-hand accounts.  

Over the last ten years Donna Holmes, Coordinator of the BIHS Historical Database Project has recorded over 10,000 references to photos, documents and articles mentioning Bribie Island. Donna selected 27 historical accounts in various formats including articles, letters and poems containing descriptive details of what Bribie Island was like when their writer visited.

The earliest stories are two letters written in 1865 on an Easter trip to Bribie by four men in a row boat. What an adventure they had rowing up the Pumicestone Passage! One man was the first premier of Queensland, another was manager of the Bank of NSW in Brisbane. The second letter was originally sent to a niece on the other side of the world and is illustrated with a series of delightful sketches and a wonderful map of Moreton Bay showing the journey stops.

Another narrative tells of an old man and a boy on a week-long trip from Beaudesert to Bribie Island in a horse and cart in 1909.  There are accounts of journeys on excursion steamships from Brisbane while other stories are written by early settlers, soldiers who were posted here and pioneers of families who descendants still live on Bribie today.

The authors include famous people like Thomas Welsby though mainly they are ordinary people who came to Bribie Island to do a job, make a new life or escape from an old one. Many of the documents have been sourced from newspapers of the time, through the John Oxley Library or from items donated to the Historical Society by descendants of the writer.

The selected accounts are all so different and provide insightful understanding of the various eras of Bribie's history. What it was like in the 1890s, during the First World War, the Depression years, the Second World War, the struggles of the 1950s and the boom years after the Bridge. The most recent account is a poem written in 1965 by the Island's Librarian.

This is the first published book by the Bribie Island Historical Society, which will celebrate its tenth anniversary in 2018. The book has over 80 pages of well-referenced material with numerous footnotes and several illustrations from the original stories. Copies are available to members of the public for $20 plus postage. For further information please contact BIHS on bribiehistoricalsociety@gmail.com 

Describing Bribie Island 1865-1965

01. Robert Herbert and three friends visit Bribie Island (1865)
02. Sandy Archer and three friends visit Bribie Island (1865) 
03. A Cruise round Moreton Bay – Bob S., Bill W., Frank O., A.B. (1873)
04. Seeing Bribie Island in 1909 by Ronald Patterson
05. Harry Johns and the Cary family, 53 Toorbul Street (1917-1918) 
06. Reminiscences from 1919-1988 by James Ormiston
07. Bribie Island in the 1920s by Ronald Patterson 
08. Bribie Island by Phoebe Kirwan (1924) 
09. Bribie Passage: a wonderful waterway by Vance Palmer (1926) 
10. The Unnamed Lakes by William Main (1928)
11. The Island Itself by Thomas Welsby (1928)
12. Childhood memories (1930s-1940s) from Alex Barnett 
13. A Trip to Bribie Island by Irene Cuthbert (1930) 
14. Reminiscences from 1930-1988 by Sally and Bernie Brennan 
15. The Passing Show: a visit to Bribie Island by “Verity” (1931) 
16. Historic Island. Attractions of Bribie. (1932) 
17. Riding tour over the Blackall Range to Bribie Island by Helena Cass (1933)
18. The Harrison Family - Reminiscences from 1933-1983 by Wendy McNeill
19. G.A. Beale stationed at Toorbul Point (1942)
20. Lou’s Wartime Bribie (1942-1945) 
21. My Bribie Island Year (1942-1943) by Graham R. Lovegrove 
22. Reminiscences of Bribie (1946-1950) by R.E. Simpson 
23. Reminiscences of Bribie (1940s-1950s) by Ted Clayton
24. History of “Kiama” Bribie Island (1946-1970S) by Mrs. Keith Price 
25. Bribie Island . . . where Flinders lost his hat by Harry Frauca (1962)
26. Bribie Walkabout by Zena Turner (1963) 
27. poem Bribie by Lou Young (1965)  

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