Monday 9 May 2016

Q150 2009 Welsby Parade

Q150 Heritage Plaque - 11 of 16 - Welsby Parade
The Bribie Island Heritage Plaques Waterfront Walk Bongaree consists of 16 bronze plaques located on the "Heritage Walk" along the walking path beside the Bongaree beach from the southern point of South Esplanade and finishes just north of Kangaroo Avenue.
These 16 bronze plaques set on a white concrete square record various aspects of the history of Bribie Island: Record Rainfall, South Esplanade, Campbell's Store, Camping Grounds, Bribie Island heritage quote from A. Meston, Ian Fairweather, First Shop, Bribie Island Heritage quote from Stan Tutt, First Avenue, Fishing Records, Welsby Parade, Bribie Island Wartime, First Car, Shirley Creek, Castaway Convicts and Fish Cannery.
The following excerpt is from the 2009 booklet produced prior to the plaques placement. The Heritage Plaques Waterfront Walk Bongaree project was a Q150 Community Funded Program, initiated by the Rotary Club of Bribie Island and supported by Moreton Bay Regional Council in conjunction with Bribie Island U3A and Bribie Island Historical Society.
A copy of the map for the Bongaree Waterfront Walk can be found at 


This road named for Thomas Welsby, Brisbane businessman, Historian, Sportsman and Author, who in 1937 at the age of 80, wrote the book “Bribie the Basket Maker” and thus created a legend about the Island and its name.
Thomas Welsby 

> Born on 29th November 1858, Ipswich, Queensland, fourth child of William Welsby.  Died on 3rd February 1941, New Farm, Brisbane, Queensland.

> Educated at John Scott’s School, North Ipswich State School and Ipswich Boys’ Grammar Schools. 

> Joined the Bank of New South Wales in Brisbane in 1874, resigned as ledger keeper in 1879 to join the Australian Joint Stock Bank in Brisbane and in 1884 left there to practice as a public accountant, trustee and auditor and became a member of the Brisbane Stock Exchange. 

> Chairman of Directors of Queensland Brewery Ltd, 1907—1919. Stood for Parliament unsuccessfully in 1899, 1902 and 1909, but was successful in North Brisbane in 1911 and was Member for Merthyr from 1912 to 1915.

Thomas Welsby's motor launch "Amity"

Welsby — Historian, Writer 

* Published Works: He wrote seven books about the history of the Moreton Bay region:- Schnappering (1905), Early Moreton Bay (1907), The Discoverers of the Brisbane River (1913), The History of the Royal Queensland Yacht Club (1918), Memories of Amity (1922), Sport and Pastimes in Moreton Bay (1931).

* His last book written at the age of 80 was titled “Bribie the Basket Maker”. Welsby had a home on Bribie Island and in 1937, following the Great Depression, he wrote a romantic legend about a convict who fell in love with a native Princess on the island. This helped to regenerate interest and promote tourism prior to World War 2.

* Thomas Welsby loved history and was Foundation Honorary Treasurer of the Historical Society of Queensland: in 1913, he served as Vice– President for 23 years from 1917 until his death in 1941, and had a year as President in 1936-37.

Welsby—Sporting Activities

. Welsby was a keen sportsman and was manager and half-back for Queensland’s first intercolonial Rugby Union team which played in Sydney in 1882. He helped to revive the code in 1928, was a life member of the Queensland Rugby Union, President 1929-1939 and donated the Welsby Cup. 

. Welsby was Foundation Secretary of the Brisbane Gymnasium in 1882, sponsored boxing matches and formed the Queensland Amateur Boxing and Wrestling Union in 1909. 

. Welsby was a Founding Vice-President of the Amateur Fishermen’s Association from 1904, which established a base on Bribie Island. He was Founding Member of the Royal Queensland Yacht Club in 1885 and Commodore in 1903-1919. 

Personal Tragedy 

     Thomas Welsby had much sadness in his life. His father and two brothers had died by 1879.  
His wife Margaret Gilchrist, nee Kingston, whom he married on 21st February 1893 at East Brisbane, died ten years later.  
His only son died in childhood. Survived by two daughters, he died on 3rd February 1941 at New farm, Brisbane. 

Welsby built a home which he called “Amity” in 1892, near the River at New Farm. He moved into the house in December 1892 and in February 1893 endured the disastrous floods, which came within inches of the verandah. 

Information fromRuth S. Kerr, “Welsby, Thomas (1858-1941)”, “Australian Dictionary of Biography”, Volume 12, Melbourne University Press, 1990, p.441. 

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