Sunday 15 September 2019

1933 Field trip to Pumicestone Passage

The following article was written by Hector Dinning (1887-1941), a distinguished author and journalist. He was born in Maryborough and educated at the Brisbane Grammar School and the University of Queensland of which he was a foundation member. Enlisting in the A.I.F. in 1914, he served in Gallipoli, France and Palestine and was eventually seconded to the War Records Section, where he assisted in the compilation of the official history of the A.I.F. Following wide journalistic experience, on the outbreak of war in 1939 Mr Dinning turned his energies to a wartime occupation to the position of State Publicity Censor.

Easter 1933
Afield with the Bug Hunters
by Hector Dinning

Pumicestone Channel
The Telegraph (Brisbane) Sat 13 May 1933 p. 9
"A company of thirty-two souls - as they say in describing travellers by water - we left Brisbane by the Koopa on Easter Thursday for the Field Naturalists annual camp. ...

About to embark
The Telegraph (Brisbane) Sat 13 May 1933 p. 9
"The steamer that takes the Easter campers to Redcliffe and Bribie is bound to be a bit jammed. We got - after a search what we never expected at that late hour - seats. Both decks were as crammed as a boat of war time refugees. Only the kids looked happy as they slept, which they did early. ...  At Redcliffe, though we disgorged hundreds it made no apparent difference. Such is the growing lure of Bribie, it would seem.

"At Bribie pier we were met by the advance guard of the Field Naturalists, who had gone down by the morning boat, had pitched tents for the females in a one-night camp, and prepared supper for the lot. Having spent the day in this recreational style in God's own sunlight, they were in great form. Infected by this, and heartened by jorums of steaming coffee and Easter buns, we jaded and belated travellers revived a little.

The camp - mess tent and sleeping quarters.
The Telegraph (Brisbane) Sat 13 May 1933 p. 9

"The men, it appeared, were to sleep on the launch that was destined to take the party next day up The Passage to Caloundra, the permanent base of this expedition. A keen wind was blowing and the launch was tossing viciously. It was apparent that, except to those inured to the sailor's life (such as the skipper, his wife and family, stowed for'ard) there would be little sleep afloat that night. So it proved in the event, as related by all but the three of us who had the decision of mind desperately to snatch our sleeping bags from the launch as she cast off and spend the night on the hard, but stable, planks of the jetty. We slept not the less soundly for a notice over our heads that the electric torch revealed: "Camping on this jetty strictly prohibited." ... [on to Caloundra and then back on the Sunday] ...

"We embarked for South Bribie early on Monday. There was lunch and a scramble on South Bribie and a bathe in the easterly surf, and a race back by charabanc over that bizarre, undeviating road to catch the homeward boat. It was stuffed with campers who must at all costs (poor dupes!) be a work on Tuesday morning.

Ocean Beach, Bribie.
The Telegraph (Brisbane) Sat 13 May 1933 p. 9

"When we reached Redcliffe there was standing room only, and when they opened the pier gates the embarking host swept down upon the ship like a flood and swarmed over gangway and ship's side like a horde of boarding pirates. Soon they were standing as thick on the decks as in a London tube during an air raid.

"The engine room telegraph rang out and we began throbbing on the long, long voyage to Brisbane. But over that journey let us draw a veil.

Afield with the Bug Hunters by Hector Dinning. 
The Telegraph (Brisbane) Sat 13 May 1933 p. 9

Death of Mr Hector Dinning.
The Telegraph (Brisbane) Mon 24 Nov 1941 p. 4

Portrait of Hector Dinning, Brisbane, ca 1930s.
National Library of Australia, image 137952953