Friday, 1 September 2023

Happenings on Bribie in 1922

 Happenings on Bribie in 1922

January 1922
Boomerang Pastime Club donated their takings to fund a piano for Bribie patrons and campers
* Bribie Island Progress Association 1st annual meeting
* Miss Vera Huet found a message in a bottle in the first lagoon on the ocean beach side of Bribie

September 1922
* Public telephone official opening

November 1922
* Water supplies available at Bongaree

December 1922
* Tennis Club formed on Bribie

Boomerang Pastime Club donated their takings to fund a piano for Bribie patrons and campers

Bribie, the popular campers’ resort, has suffered severely from soaking rains, which have been the cause of many packing up their troabnes and departing. Those who have braved the hardships, though dampened in every way, still have a good spirit.

The dancing hall on Monday night was the scene of a fancy and plain dress ball, which was successfully managed under the auspices of the Boomerang Pastime Club. The takings, which amounted to £13 odd after expenses had been deducted, were divided between the Ambulance’s fund and the piano fund. The piano, which is now the property of Bribie patrons, is a pleasant addition to the pleasure of the campers.

The Q.A.T.B. and St John’s Ambulance bearers have done excellent work, which is appreciated by all.

Dances were held every evening, and the fancy dress ball for New Year’s night was eagerly looked forward to.

The thanks of the community are extended to Miss Elsie Ackworth and Eric Butler for their untiring efforts at the piano and to various others who have contributed to the evenings’ entertainments.

source: The Daily Mail (Brisbane) Tue 3 Jan 1922 p. 10 

Bribie Island Progress Association 1st annual meeting

The first annual meeting of the Bribie Island Progress Association was held in Mr. G.P. Campbell’s office, Creek-street, last evening.  The chairman (Mr. C.E. Wise), in his report, outlined the formation of the association on March 15, 1921.  A general meeting had been held at Bribie on March 26, 1921, the late Mr. Page, M.H.R., being among those present.  Mr. Page had been fully seized with the need for leading lights being placed so as to enable vessels to make the passage to the island in safety at night time, also with the need of telephone communication with the mainland, and had promised to assist the association in these matters.  Unfortunately for the association, Mr. Page had been called to join the great majority, and his loss was mourned.  

The association’s present secretary (Mr. A. Hall) had interested Senator M. Reid in their needs, and he and Mr. G.P. Campbell had promised to interview the Deputy Postmaster-General regarding the telephone.  Mr. Campbell had not lost sight of the need for the proper lighting of the passage and the island.  A general meeting had been called for December 26, 1921, at Bribie, but unfortunately there had been too few in attendance for a meeting to be held.  The meeting had been adjourned until the following Saturday, but the weather had proved so inclement that no meeting had been held.  The thanks of the association was tendered to Mr. G.P. Campbell for his courtesy in allowing the committee meetings to be held in his office, and for his ready help in all matters relating to the welfare of Bribie.  Thanks were also tendered to Mr. H.H. Hamley, who, at the association’s last committee meeting, kindly offered to take certain levels in part of the township to enable the association to have correct data to work upon when further draining or leveling-up was done.  

Members of the committee were also thanked for their assistance in furthering the interests of the little seaside resort known as Bribie.  The following officers were re-elected:- Patron, Mr. G.P. Campbell; president Mr. C.E. Wise; vice-presidents, Messrs. T.W. Cary and C.B. Fox; secretary Mr A.T. Hall; treasurer Mr. F. Bell; committee Messrs. B. Winston, W. Reid, C.W. Campbell, F. Bell, H.H. Hamley, N. Coungeau, Robins, R.J. Davies, T.W. Cary, M. Robinson and Hill.  

source: The Brisbane Courier, Tue 21 Jan 1922, p. 8

A Message in a Bottle  

On Friday last Miss Vera Huet found a bottle in the first lagoon on the main beach at Bribie.  It contained a piece of paper on which was written: "Easter, 1919.  Ensign.  Anzac Memorial Day. Skipper R. Kenyon: crew, J.D. MacDonald, J. MacDonald, R. Burcher, A. Mannion, V. Mannion.  Thrown overboard Bramble Bay, 23rd April, 1919." 

source:  The Brisbane Courier, Tue 7 Feb 1922, p. 4

Hello Bribie! Scene at Bribie at the recent inauguration
of telephonic communication to the island.
The Daily Mail (Brisbane) 11.10.1922 p.11

Bribie Island Telephone Installed

Bribie Island was made gay yesterday with flags and streamers of red, white, and blue. Smart motor boats cruised about on the placid waters of the beautiful channel. The excursion steamer Koopa, bedecked with flags of many colours, was snugly berthed at the jetty, while hundreds of folks ashore wore joyfully celebrating the opening of telephonic communication between this historic island and the mainland. 

The Koopa had brought down from Brisbane Mr. G. P. Campbell (managing director of the Brisbane Tug and Steamship Co., Ltd.) and Mrs. Campbell, Mr. and Mrs. C. W. Campbell, Mr. and Mrs. C. B. Fox, Mr. and Mrs. A. Johnson, Councillor J. W. Carseldine (chairman), Councillor Zanow, and Mr. R. McPherson (clerk), of the Caboolture Shire Council, Mr. L. Thomas (manager of the Caboolture branch of the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney), Mr. C. E. Wise (chairman of the Bribie Progress Association), Mr. Winston (a member of the Progress Association), Mr. and Mrs. J. D. Bell, Mrs. Colin Clark, Mr. and Mrs. McDougall (Sydney), Captain J. Johnston (master of the Koopa) and Mrs. Johnston, Mr. and Mrs. J. P. Campbell, Mr. A. E. Hall (secretary of the Bribie Progress Association), and others, who heartily joined with the residents in publicly thanking those who had worked in the interests of the seaside resort.

Mr. G. P. Campbell entertained his guests at luncheon in the fine saloon of the Koopa. The party then landed, and for the first time officially the ''tinkle-tinkle'' of a telephone bell was heard on the island. It was the signal that Mr. McConachie (Deputy Postmaster-General of Queensland) wished to speak to Mr. G. P. Campbell. ''Hello! Is that Mr. McConachie?'' said Mr. Campbell. A silence fell over people present. A minute later Mr. Campbell walked out of the telephone cabinet, and announced that Mr. McConachie had asked him to convey to the people of Bribie Island his congratulations on the successful consummation of their efforts to have the island linked up with the mainland by means of a telephone line.

Mr. G. P. Campbell called upon Councillor Carseldine to declare the telephone open to the public. Councillor Carseldine referred to the occasion as a red-letter day for Bribie Island, and pointed out the great convenience the installation would mean to the community. The Brisbane Tug and Steamship Company, he stated, had been mainly responsible for the improvement. The company had expended a good deal of money in making other improvements on Bribie Island, such as building a jetty and erecting houses, etc., and he had been assured that the money spent in such work had not returned 2 per cent in interest. The company, however, did not look at the financial side of the matter, their only idea being to make that seaside resort a very pleasant place for people to visit. As far as Bribie was concerned since the present Caboolture Shire Council had been formed, it had expended all money received from the island in the way of rates, etc., in improving the place. No local authority could do more than that for any locality.

Councillor Zanow (the representative of No. 1 Division of the Caboolture Shire Council, in which area Bribie Island is included) spoke of the fine work done by the Brisbane Tug and Steamship Company in improving Bribie Island.

Mr. C. E. Wise (chairman of the Bribie Progress Association) and Mr. C. B. Fox spoke in laudatory terms of Mr. G. P. Campbell's efforts on behalf of the residents and visitors to Bribie Island.

Mr. G. P. Campbell said that whatever he had done for that seaside resort was a labour of love, and he did not want any credit for it. Another improvement contemplated was the lighting of the channel. This would enable the Koopa to be navigated to Bribie jetty at night time. Next week his company intended considering the questions of building a tramline across the island to the main beach, a distance of three miles. He hoped that within six months or eight months this tramline would be constructed.

source: The Daily Mail (Brisbane) 29 Sep 1922 p. 2 

Water supplies available at Bongaree

Bribie's Water Supply - The hon. secretary of the Bribie Progress Association (Mr. A.T. Hall) writes:- I would like to point out that the articles appearing in this (Tuesday) morning's "Courier" might suggest that no water is available at Bribie Island, except that supplied by the Brisbane Tug Co.  This is not so.  For the benefit of those who intend visiting the island during the coming Christmas holidays I wish to point out that there is a very plentiful supply of water not only from the tanks which have been so generously supplied by the Brisbane Tug Co. free of cost, but from several wells on the island, which have pumps attached, giving always a bountiful quantity of water, which is not only free from any discolouration or disagreeable smell, but quite good for either drinking or cooking purposes, and compares most favourably with the tap water supplied in Brisbane.  

The charges of 1d. per kerosene tin, which has been recently made, is not owing to any shortage, but to stop people from deliberately wasting the water the company has taken the trouble to supply.  At 1d. per keosene tin, to equal my water rates in Brisbane I would have to consume 5376 gallons per annum, which I do not.  

source: The Brisbane Courier, Thu 23 Nov 1922, p. 4  

Bribie Island Tennis Club

A tennis club has been formed here with the following officers:- Patron, Mr. G.P. Campbell; committee of management, Messrs. R.J. Davies, jnr. (chairman), W. Freeman, T. Mitchell, R.J. Davies, senr., and R. Patterson ; hon. secretary, Mr. W. Forde.  The committee has the laying down of a court well in hand, and expects to have the official opening performed on Boxing Day.  The Brisbane Tug Co. Ltd., generously placed the land for the court at the disposal of the club.  A fancy dress ball will be held at an early date to help the club financially.

Campers. - Given fine weather present indications point to a record number of campers to this popular island holiday resort.  The boarding establishments report full bookings for Christmas. 

source: The Brisbane Courier, Mon 18 Dec 1922, p. 10

News from the Country. Bribie. The Daily Mail (Brisbane) Tue 3 Jan 1922 p. 10  

Bribie Island Progress Association 1st annual meeting. The Brisbane Courier, Tue 21 Jan 1922, p. 8

A Message in a Bottle. The Brisbane Courier, Tues 7 Feb 1922, p. 4

Bribie Island Telephone Installed. The Daily Mail (Brisbane) 29 Sep 1922 p. 2 

Hello Bribie. [PHOTO] Scene at Bribie at the recent inauguration of telephonic communication to the island. The Daily Mail (Brisbane) Wed 11 Oct 1922 p.11

Bribie's Water Supply. The Brisbane Courier, Thu 23 Nov 1922, p. 4

Bribie Island. Tennis Club. The Brisbane Courier, Mon 18 Dec 1922, p. 10

Saturday, 29 July 2023

Surf Life Saving Competition Summer 1929-30

This year the Bribie Island Surf Life Saving Club is celebrating 100 years 1923-2023. The following items relate to the 1929-1930 Surf Life Saving Competition which was held at Bribie Island's ocean or main beach (now known as Woorim beach).

Lifesaving Cup - The Silver Cup
Brisbane Tug and Steamship Co. Ltd.

source: The Telegraph 10.12.1929 p. 4

The Silver Cup which is offered by the Brisbane Tug and Steamship Co. Ltd. For Life Saving Competitions at Bribie Main Beach.  The first competition will be held on Sunday next.

Advertistment for Excursion
to Bribie Main Beach

source: The Brisbane Courier 14.12.1929 p. 2

The final surf life-saving competition for the silver cup donated by the Bribane Tug Company was decided at the Bribie ocean beach yesterday. The teams were judged on equipment and ceremonial work. The march past was followed by a demonstration of land and release drills and the resuscitation of the apparently drowned. ... Mr M.J. Kirwan, M.L.A. (president of the Royal Life Saving Society), presented the cup to Mr W.J. Smith, instructor to the Metropolitan A team.
The Metropolitan A Life-saving Team,
winners of the Brisbane Tug Company's Silver Cup at Bribie.
source: Daily Standard (Brisbane) 31.3.1930 p. 10 


Bribie Island Surf Life Saving Club - 100 Years 1923-2023

Lifesaving Cup - The Silver Cup (photograph)
The Telegraph, Tue 10 Dec 1929, p. 4 Via National Library of Australia, TROVE online database

Advertistment for Excursion to Bribie Main Beach
The Brisbane Courier 14 Dec.1929 p. 2 Via National Library of Australia, TROVE online database

Life Saving Competition. The Metropolitan A Life-saving Team, winners of the Brisbane Tug Company's Cup at Bribie. (photograph)
The Week (Brisbane) 4 Apr1930 p. 21 Via National Library of Australia, TROVE online database

Monday, 26 June 2023

The Glasshouses

Renowned Australian authors Vance Palmer (1885-1959) and Nettie Palmer (1885-1964) lived economically "by their pens" at Caloundra from 1925-1929. The following article entitled The Glasshouses was written by Vance Palmer in 1927 - almost one hundred years ago.  These distinctive geological landforms still have a wonderous presence today and as Vance wrote below "have the same power of steeping the mind in mystery and casting a spell over the imagination".

The Glasshouses
by Vance Palmer

On entering Moreton Bay by daylight one is struck by the fantastic shapes of a group of bare mountains that rise from the low, scrubby shores of the mainland. In the morning light, with the sun on them, they look as if they were made of crystal; at dusk they might be cut out of cardboard, so sharp and definite are their lines, and so flatly do they arrange themselves along the horizon. 

The wonderous view of the Glass Houses at sunset.
Photo: Queensland Government
Glass House Mountains National Park webpage

At any time their aspect is surprising. The highest of them, Beerwah, is the exact replica of one of the Pyramids, and the others, each in its own way, suggest monuments of ancient Egypt. What intrigues the imagination is that they rise, independent and separate, out of flat, almost marshy, country, and are not conected with any range of mountains. This gives one the queer feeling that they have some human significance; that they are the relics of an old civilisation, and not merely natural features of the landscape.

Captain Cook noted them on the skyline when he sailed along this coast nearly a century and a half ago [now nearly two and a half centuries ago], and named them the Glasshouses. From the low decks of his little ship, or even from the rigging, he could only have seen the tops of them, with Moreton Island lying between, but he seems to have been struck by their strangeness. Flinders, some years later, got a clearer view of them. While his ship was lying at the southern end of Bribie Island he set out with a few men in a boat with the object of climbing the highest of them. Making his way up the passage he landed, and penetrating the dense tea-tree scrub he reached the base of one of them, but after gazing at the rocky escarpments above him he returned unsuccessful. His opinion was that they were inaccessible. Since some of them are easily scaled, even by ordinary climbers, it must have been one of the three chief mountains — Beerwah, Coonowrin, or Tibrogargan — that thwarted Flinders. It is a pity, for from the top of any of these three he would have gained a sight of the main object of his search — a river flowing into Moreton Bay.

None of these extraordinary peaks is quite inaccessible, as later explorers have proved. The highest of them, Beerwah ("up in the clouds" it meant in the native tongue), was climbed by Andrew Petrie in the 'forties. There is a pathetic story told in connection with this feat. A good deal of the folklore of the neighbouring native people was naturally connected with these striking Glasshouses, and they firmly believed that an evil spirit presided over Beerwah — a spirit that would turn anyone blind who attempted to invade its fastness. Since Andrew Petrie was their friend and protector they did their best to dissuade him from the attempt, but the sturdy old Scot laughed at them and found a path to the summit. His son records that when he actually did go blind later on, an acute tragedy to him in his vigorous middle-age, the native people took the fatality for granted. He was only paying the penalty, as they had foretold! 

But other people have climbed Beerwah since then without evil results. Although the highest of the Glasshouses, it is not the steepest. At the base there is a dense, twisted scrub that thins out higher up into shrubs and grasstrees, and, except for a couple of hundred feet of sheer rock rising almost perpendicularly, a scattered fringe of vegetation runs to the very top. Nor would the height (1,760ft.) seem formidable to New Zealand climbers. Like the others, its uniqueness lies in its shape, and in the way it rises suddenly from a swampy plain that was once a sea bed. From the top one gets an uninterrupted view over the dazzling panorama of Moreton Bay, with its grey-green islands, its sandy foreshores, and its wide expanse of blue water. It is a pity that the intrepid Flinders did not persist in making the ascent.

Of the other two major mountains, Tibrogargan (shaped like a helmet) has been climbed fairly often, but Coonowrin is a different proposition. In form it is a pyramid, with a great pillar of rock, several hundred feet high, rising perpendicularly from the summit. The approach up the sides of the pyramid is fairly easy, but when one reaches that massive pillar, smooth as the sides of a bottle, there seems no possibility of making the ascent. Until near the end of last century it was given up as impossible. Then a young artillery man, named Harry Mikalsen, who had been brought up near its base, succeeded in reaching the summit. He had formed the ambition of doing so when a boy, and had studied it from all angles and in all lights, tracing footholds and fissures in the rock till at last he found a path. A path, did I say? Even the chamois deer would hardly regard it as that, for at one point the only possible means of progress was up a thin, tall sapling that happened to grow in a line parallel to the face of the cliff. A few other people have since made the ascent, with Mikalsen to guide them, but there is never likely to be a beaten track to the summit.

What is the origin of these strange mountains? Geologists say they are volcanic eruptions of incredible age, probably from an ancient seabed. Through succeeding aeons they have passed through many changes. Once, when they were extinct and their sides were covered with crumbling lava, a thick vegetation began to clothe them. The wind and weather of centuries eventually wore off the crumbling surface at their crests, and most of the vegetation with it, leaving the basic rock exposed. The smooth pillar, for instance, which makes the climbing of Coonowrin so difficult, is formed of the molten stone that once plugged the crater of the extinct volcano. In practically all the Glasshouses hints of these plugs of molten stone can be seen; but in Coonowrin the outside shell has been more deeply worn away, so that the plug is left naked to every eye. It is like looking at the bones of an ancient dinosaur. That indefinable atmosphere of an earlier world hangs about it, and almost oppresses the imagination. Even the vegetation that clings about its base now — spiky shrubs, grasstrees with pointed spears and blackened trunks, and writhing teatrees — seem to belong to a vanished age — an age when everything was hard and horny, before the softness of the fern-world.

But, seen in the distance, they are strikingly beautiful. From many places along the northern coast of Moreton Bay one gets glimpses of them, and they seem to arrange themselves along the skyline, like a set of quaint hieroglyphics. The farther one gets away from them the more fragile they appear, and the more do their domes and pillars take on the semblance of crystal. There is a magic about them that makes them impossible to forget. I do not know any mountains that have the same power of steeping the mind in mystery and casting a spell over the imagination.


The Glasshouses by Vance Palmer
The Australasian 4.6.1927 p. 70 [viewable via National Library of Australia's Trove online resourc ]

Glass House Mountains National Park, Sunshine Coast. PHOTO

Biography of Edward Vivian (Vance) Palmer (1885-1959)
by Geoffrey Serle, 1988, Australian Dictionary of Biography v. 11.

Monday, 29 May 2023

Little ship race

The following items from 1952 and 1953 describe the Brisbane to Bribie Island Little Ship Club's race, an annual event which attracted good support from the boating fraternity of Moreton Bay. 


41 Ships in race. 

The Little Ship Club's predicted-log race from Bishop Island to Bribie Island was won yesterday by Mr. K. D. McLellan, a Brisbane hotelkeeper.

Mr. McLellan, owner of the launch Apache, scored 191 points, 9 points below a possible maximum. 

Forty-one ships contested the De Candia Trophy (a barometer and thermometer suitably mounted). 

Mr. R. J. De Candia, secretary of the club and owner of the launch Dalmar, was second with 183 points. Mr. C. L. Persson, owner of Diane, placed third with 181 points, and the Zyris (R. Downes) was fourth.

Alvis in win

The club also conducted a yacht race which was won by Brisbane's crack yacht, Alvis, owned by Mr. F. J. Markwell. Tauranga (I. Morgan) was second, and Cimba (T. W. Early) was third. Alvis also gained fastest time.

The trophies were presented at a ball held at Bribie Island last night and attended by more than 400 people, about 300 of whom had been brought by the competing vessels.

The Brisbane Little Ship Club was formed by owners of vessels which comprised the auxiliary naval patrol during the war. It has a membership of more than 80 small craft, and is regarded as one of the biggest in Australia.

Sunday Mail (Brisbane) 31.8.1952 p.3 


The week-end of August 29 and 30 will be a busy one for members of the Little Ship Club, who will take their families on a joint club cruise to Bribie Island.

About 60 vessels will participate in the cruise, which will be led by the Commodore (Mr E.T. Early) and Mrs Early in Nyalla, the vice-commodore (Mr Joe Manahan) and Mrs Manahan in Mooloola, and the rear commodore (Mr J Davies) and Mrs Davies in Cherooke.

On the Saturday night a dance and presentation of trophies will be held at Bribie Hotel.

Brisbane Telegraph 18.8.1953 p.17 

Brisbane to Bribie Race Highlights
4KQ reports on race progress
Courier Mail 29.8.1953 p.7 

Last Saturday night the 4KQ "Fine and Dandy" Show was heard from Bribie Island in conjunction with Little Ships Club Brisbane to Bribie boat race. A description of the race was given by Peter Clarke, followed by the presentation of trophies and the variety show conducted by Allen Brandt on the lawns at the Bribie Island Hotel.

If you have any photos of the Little Ships that participated in the 1952 / 1953 races, or any other years, please send us an email at 

41 Ships in race. Sunday Mail (Brisbane) 31.8.1952 p.3 

Busy weekend. Brisbane Telegraph 18.8.1953 p.17

Further Reading:

Little Ship Club, Stradbroke Island

article: The Old River, 40 years ago, Memories of Little Ships. By a Skipper. Sunday Mail (Brisbane) 13.11.1932 p.20

Saturday, 15 April 2023

Is it just a piece of driftwood or a relic

 The following article was published in the Bribie Times on 21 November 1986 and refers to a piece of driftwood that was found by Bribie Times staff member and photographer Terry Scarborough. The question posed - is it just a piece of driftwood or a relic from an old ship?

When is a lump of wood, not a lump of wood?

by Wes Thomas B.Sc.

Bribie Times, 21 Nov 1986 p. 6

When is a lump of wood, not a lump of wood! When it is a relic - that's when - and, possibly local photographer Terry Scarborough, has found just that. And not just any old relic either. It is in the right place to be a part of Flinder's boat, the "Norfolk" and it is certainly very old.

Now, before we get too involved in this, let us get a few things straight and, with that idea in mind, we turned to Stan Tutt. Stan is a noted writer and an authority on matters such as this (by the way, Stan has a book coming out in a few weeks time and it will be worth having at hand).

Stan Tutt told us that the relic was in the correct place to make it possible to be associated with Flinder's journies in Moreton Bay. Apparently, early in 1799, Flinders set out in "The Norfolk" to explore the northern coastline but ran into storms which created a serious leak in the ship, Stan outlined the story and referred us to the chronicles of Thomas Welsby.

Thomas Welsby's lifespan straddled the last half of the nineteenth century and the first third of this century [20th]. His talents inclined him to the recording of early history and, in particular, the explorations of Matthew Flinders. His records were gathered together by Thomson in the 1960s and published under the title "The Collected Works of Thomas Welsby" (Jacaranda Press, 1967, Edited by A.K. Thomson). In these volumes we discovered the facts.

Imagine the relief of the crew of the "Norfolk"when they discovered the sheltered waters of Moreton Bay after the battering that they had taken along the southeastern coast. On the afternoon of 16th July 1799, they passed into the Bay and anchored off the southwestern point of what is now Bribie Island. In the morning, Flinders and an aboriginal interpreter named Bongaree (from Sydney) and a few others went ashore. There was a party of natives on the Point and communication was at first friendly but, after receiving presents, they made an attack and one of them was wounded by gunfire.

We may be proud to have an important commercial centre on our Island known as Bongaree. Because of the representations by this remarkable man, the relations between these two isolated groups of people became friendly and Flinders stayed over a fortnight. Of course, they were all anxious to repair the leak, so the vessel was brought more around the point to a place where there was a "small beach close to which the depth was seven fathoms".

This, and other references quoted by Thomas Welsby make it clear that the site of these repairs was a locality we now know as ... [see Editor's Note] ...

That is where this ancient timbering in the form of a ship's plank has been found.

The relic discovred by Bribie Times photographer
& Advertising Manager, Terry Scarborough, November 1986.

A sentence from the writings of Thomas Welsby leaps out - "I wonder if any relics of Flinder's visit will ever turn up on the island frontage where thesloop was repaired". I wonder indeed.

Stay with us to learn about the steps that are being taken to investigate the possibility. Stay with us also to find out if we have got our history straight. For example, is the present day nomenclature with respect to Skirmish Point correct? And what happened to the key man in this situation - the man called Bongaree?

One thing I feel certain about - those men of the "Norfolk" enjoyed their stay while the vessel was being repaired. More about that too - Bribie Island's first tourists --- 187 years and 5 months ago.

Editor's Note: Upon the request of the Queensland Museum, we have withheld naming the vicinity of the relic to protect it against vandalism and sourvenir-hunters. Please, if you have sufficient knowledge of Bribie's history to work out its general location, we implore you not to interfere with it until the Museum can get to it once their work on the "Pandora" is finished in North Queensland. Also be advised that the relic has been officially reported to the Museum and now comes under the ownership and protection of that august body. Any interference with the relic will result in severe penalties to any offenders! 


Lifeboat Bribie [backgrounder series of articles] by Wes Thomas B.Sc.
Bribie Times, Friday November 21, 1986 page 6.

Thursday, 9 March 2023

Matthew Flinders Exploration

The following article describes the official opening on 16 July 1988 of the Matthew Flinders memorial at Banksia Beach.

A voice from the past speaks

by David Thomas

Bribie Times Wed 20 July 1988

Visitors to Bribie Island are now able to have a short, personal chat to the first white man ever to land anywhere in Queensland.

Saturday's opening of the first of Bribie Bicentennial Committee's 'Talking Monuments' - the Matthew Flinders Memorial on Solander foreshore - is seen as a very positive step in providing a unique service to the Island's tourists.

The monument designed by a young QIT student - Kirsty Simpson - and sculpted by Tom Farrell, was officially opened in true Naval tradition by Lt Commander Don Kidd in front of a large crowd in superb sunshine on Saturday afternoon.

Not to be outdone by Australia's modern Navy, old Matthew Flinders himself (a la local identity Tom Abblett) started proceedings off with a somewhat inglorious arrival when his dory, crewed by three Navy Cadets from 'T.S. Moreton Bay' ran aground and became stuck about 20 metres from shore.

But, for a man of old Matty's skills and aplomb, a small setback such as this was no problem - after all, he managed to start the first and only non-nuclear war ever to be experienced in Queensland when he needed an event to commemorate the name 'Skirmish' for a certain part of the Island (unknown to many is the fact that Skirmish Point was actually named after Matty's second cousin by marriage, Frederick Amadeus Skirmish of Frogsbottom-by-the-Sea, Harts.)

After finally extricating himself from the sandbar by sending his crew overboard to push (one of whom disappeared splutteringly below when they finally hit deep water again), the rest of the impressive ceremony went 'by the book'.

After finally making it to shore, Matthew Flinders was escorted to the monument by members of Bribie's Navy Association.

In her opening address, President of the Bicentennial Community Committee, Margaret Guthrie, paid tribute to the many people who had helped bring about the Flinders Talking Monument.

Matthew Flinders Exploration memorial
Photo: John Huth, 2 Feb 2018

For specific mention, she singled out the Committee's Secretary, Frank Miller; Tom Farrell, the sculptor; Terry Reader, who did the electrical work; Brian Taylor, whose voice tells Matthew Flinder's story; and Vercorp Pty Ltd, developers of Solander Shores Estate, for landscaping, paving and help with funding the project.

Before officially declaring the monument open, Lt Cdr Don Kidd RAN gave a brief history of Matthew Flinders and honoured Australia's first and greatest navigator.

The flats of Australia, Queensland and the Bicentennial Authority were raised by Cadets from "T.S. Moreton Bay' as the audience sang "Advance Australia Fair'.

Mrs Guthrie then handed over the monument to Caboolture Shire Council for maintenance and upkeeping. Deputy Shire Chairman, Joy Leishman accepted on behalf of the Shire Chairman, who have to leave the ceremony early to fulfill another appointment.

Cr Leishman congratulated the Committee and promised on behalf of the Council, that the monument would be kept in good order by the Council.

The other two talking monuments - which will be opened later in the Bicentennial Year - are to tell the story of Bribie's original aboriginal inhabitants, situated at the new Community Arts Centre; and the third will tell of the early white pioneers who settled Bribie Island, to be situated near the Air Sea Rescue in Bellara. Both will be Talking Monuments as well.


Thomas, David (1988) A voice from the past speaks.
Bribie Times v3 no44, 20 July 1988, page 4.

Matthew Flinders Exploration monument, Banksia Beach - entry on Monument Australia
Captain Matthew Flinders, Royal Navy (1774 – 1814) was a distinguished English navigator and cartographer, who made three voyages to the southern ocean (August 1791 – August 1793, February 1795 – August 1800 and July 1801 – October 1810).
Online at

Matthew Flinders Memorial

 The following information and photos are sourced from Monument Australia

Matthew Flinders Exploration - Talking Monument

The talking monument commemorates the landing of Matthew Flinders.

Front Inscription:
Matthew Flinders Story

Matthew Flinders Talking Monument
Banksia Beach
Photo: John Huth, 2 Feb 2018.
Left Side Inscription:
The Concept Of This Monument Was Designed By
Miss Kirsti Simpson Depicting The Earth`s Northern And
Southern Hemispheres Joined By Early Navigators.This Piece
Of Helidon Stone Was Sculpted By Mr Tom Farrell To Depict
The Matthew Flinders Story

The Work Was Sponsored By The Australian Bicentennial
Authority Federal Heritage Programme, Vercorp Developers
                  Of Solander Shores
The Bribie Island Bicentennial Community Committee

This Monument Was Unveiled On The 16th July.
The Anniversary Of Flinders Landing
Lt. Commdr D. M. Kidd, R.A.N.E.M.

Matthew Flinders Talking Monument
Banksia Beach
Photo: John Huth, 2 Feb 2018.
Captain Matthew Flinders, Royal Navy (1774 – 1814) a distinguished English navigator and cartographer, made three voyages to the southern ocean (August 1791 – August 1793, February 1795 – August 1800 and July 1801 – October 1810).

The above photographs by John Huth were supplied to Monument Australia.