Wednesday 13 March 2019

Fred's album of Bribie memories

Fred's album brings back Bribie memories
 : life in the 1920s caught on film 
by Ron Donald. 
Bribie Weekly 22 March 1992.

One of the best collections of photos of old-time Bribie Island is in the family album of retired council worker Fred Buckley, of Hall Avenue.  

Fred Buckley uses a magnifying glass to bring out interesting details of the
amenities offered to holidaymakers by a Bribie Island guest house nearly
 70 years ago. A men's dormitory, looking more like open stables, is on the left.
Source: Bribie Weekly 22 March 1992.
His father, an engraver, was a keen amateur photographer in the 1920s and left a legacy of snapshots of guest houses and other buildings of that era, as well as general scenes. 

Davies' Guesthouse Glan Y Mor, Banya Street.
Photo source: Fred Buckley collection B20_009
Among these is a photo of a guest house, with the intriguing name - possibly Welsh - of Davies Glan Y Mor, which is believed to have been located at the corner of Banya and Campbell Streets. Here board and residence were provided, with an outdoor open "dormitory" for men looking more like stables with a roof of bark or slabs of timber. Mosquito nets are faintly visible in the photo, which was taken before Fred Buckley's birth in 1924.

Davies' Guesthouse outdoor open "dormitory".
Hood, 1990, caption: "Guest House Sleeping Accommodation" approx. 1920 - bunks on sand floor - note bark roof, roll up hessian end walls and mosquito net sides.
Photo source: Fred Buckley collection B20_010
Another valuable old photo depicts a store and cafe on the foreshore just north of the Bongaree jetty and beside it about 10 shingle-roof holiday cabins built before the Second World War (1939-45) by the shipping company which ran the services to the island from Brisbane.
Store and cafe of the same era which was near the Bongaree jetty.
Camping under canvas along the foreshore also was popular in the early days of the island.
Hood, 1990, caption: "Motel Bribie" cabins, luncheon room and general store
approx. 1920, photo taken from jetty.

Photo source: Fred Buckley collection B20_003

Mr Buckley says he and his father were on the steamship Koopa when it made its final run to the island on Labor Day, 1953.  The 42-years-old vessel spent its last days rusting away in Boggy Creek which entered Brisbane River near the present-day Gateway bridge.  Mr Buckley said the mast of the ship was transferred by helicopter to St Paul's Anglican school at Bald Hills.

Small shingle-roof cabins were available to holidaymakers on Bribie Island in the 1920s.
They were built on the foreshore at Bongaree by Brisbane Tug & Steamship Company
which ran passenger ferries. These often carried more than 1000 people
 to the island from Brisbane.
Photo source: Fred Buckley collection B20_004
Among his other prized memorabilia are two large framed photographs of Bribie Island sunset scenes which won awards in America.  They were a gift from island photographer Davies to Mr Buckley's parents on their wedding day in 1924.

Donald, Ron (1992) Fred's album brings back Bribie memories: life in the 1920s caught on film.  Bribie Weekly 22 March 1992.

Fred Buckley photo collection, BIHS Historical Database Project, B20.

Information about Buckley family: Hood, J.M. (1990) Thirteen pounds [£13] of lawful British money in hand well and truly paid : the life of Sam and Jane Buckley including the Love and Mathieson families incorporating local history of Bulimba and Albert River. Compiled and Edited by Jeffrey M. Hood. 1990.

If you have any information about the above collection of photos or if you have a similar collection of Bribie Island photos that you would like to share, our email address is