Thursday 11 November 2021

Reed baskets handmade in the 1950s

 "Old Tom's" reed baskets 
handmade in the 1950s 
on Bribie Island

In the late 1950s "Old Tom" Pethers used to make baskets out of reeds with tin bases. Recent memories from the Lind family recalled Old Tom and his baskets and remarkably two of his baskets are still used today!


Thank you to the Lind family for sharing their memories.

Photographs by Sue Edwards.

Monday 25 October 2021

Trip to Bribie Island in 1916

 The following article was published in 1916.


Walter J. May

Several islands are situated in Moreton Bay, at the entrance to the Brisbane River, and on one of these — Bribie Island - the writer, with a few friends, spent a very enjoyable week end a short time ago.  

Bribie Island is infested with snakes, and we could not help admiring the beautiful markings of a carpet snake, between five and six feet long, which had been despatched by one of our party, who, noticing a tremendous bulge in its body, cut it open, when out tumbled a fowl  !  

We were able to indulge in some very fine bathes in the calm water, and, the water being warm, we were able to stay in for hours ; but felt very thankful that no untoward incident occurred to spoil our enjoyment.  

A shark, we were afterwards told, had been caught a few days previously, and two large iguanas were found in its stomach. This shows that iguanas must be in the habit of swimming from the island to the mainland — a distance of one mile.  

Another interesting episode occurred whilst returning in a motor-boat, along the channel to Bribie Island. Something was noticed swimming in the water. All eyes were riveted on the object ; what could it be?  On closer investigation it proved to be a wallaby. The boat was stopped, and the wallaby taken on board, but it evidently objected to be rescued, and, jumping overboard, continued swimming to the mainland ; this being the first occasion that I have seen recorded of a wallaby swimming.  

Looking North up the Passage from the Pier.
Photo: N. Langdon
Queensland Pictorial, Supplement to The Queenslander 1 Jan 1916

Towards dusk, a series of long-drawn-out howls were heard, and soon afterwards an animal was seen approaching through the scrub. When it saw us, it retreated, but we could see through the bushes the yellow coat of what must have been a dingo.  

The fishing here was not too good ; perhaps we did not fix upon the right spots. One of us caught twelve fish, but as they were all catfish our larder was not replenished thereby.  

Mosquitoes proved a great trouble, as they were present in clouds and annoyed us a good deal. On the whole, we had an enjoyable outing, the pleasant bathing being, perhaps, one of the most enjoyable incidents of our stay at Bribie Island.  



May, Walter J. (1916) A Trip to Bribie Island. The school magazine of literature for our boys and girls / the Department of Education, New South Wales, v.1(8) September 2, 1916, page 127. 

1916 Scenes on Bribie by N Langdon. BIHS Blogspot post Sep 2018

Scenes on Bribie. The Queenslander 1 January 1916, page 22. To access a high resolution copy of page 22, go to State Library of Queensland's online catalogue at:  Queensland Pictorial, Supplement to The Queenslander 1 Jan 1916 

Thursday 16 September 2021

Bribie in Bloom

Springtime on Bribie is a lovely time now and has been in the past as can be seen by these two articles and photo. 

Bribie in Bloom in the 1920s and 1930s

Bribie in Bloom (1928)

In spite of human settlement, Bribie Island is still very much as Nature made it. The spring weather and warm sunshine of the past two or three weeks have transformed it into a wild garden in which the sombre green of pine trees blends with scarlet gum-tips, wattle, and white-flowering shrubs. 

To drive across the island is a delight, for the air is sweet with perfume, and the landscape is a picture. In remote places the beautiful boronia may be found in abundance - "more than the whole of Brisbane could pick," as a resident said, last Sunday - and everywhere colour leaps before the eye in vivid tones. 

There are probably few places within easy reach of the city where the nature-lover can so enjoy himself. This is the most astonishing when it is remembered that practically the whole island is composed of sand.

                                                         reference: The Brisbane Courier Tue 21.8.1928 p. 12 

Boronia from Bribie.
The Queensland Naturalists' Club held an exhibition
of wildflowers in Albert Hall. Miss D. Williams is shown
arranging a vase of Boronia from Bribie Island.

                                                    reference: The Telegraph 1.9.1934 p. 1 

Letters from Little Readers (1932)

I have just returned home from a holiday at Bribie Island; had a royal time, too. Have you ever been to Bribie, Aunt? The island looked very pretty ; it was covered with wildflowers. There were some pretty bushes all out in white flowers : people down there called them bridal bushes. I liked those the best. I do not think I had ever eaten so many fish before in all my life. We had fish for breakfast, dinner and tea. I did not try my hand at fishing, though ! 

The house I stayed at was just off the Ocean beach. I was down for a fortnight, and only went in surfing once, and that was on a dull day. If I go in on a sunny day I get sunburnt and blistered, and have to put up with sore back and shoulders. I do not think there is much fun in that, do you?

One afternoon I walked along the beach for miles, and picked up some pretty shells and seaweed. I filled up most of the time reading and sewing. I worked on an apron. Coming back to Redcliffe the sea was rough ; some of the people were seasick, but I was not. ... "Baby Mine" (15) Palmwoods.

reference: The Queenslander Thu 3.11.1932 p. 40 


Bribie in Bloom. The Brisbane Courier 21.8.1928 p. 12

Letter from Little Readers. The Queenslander 3.11.1932 p. 40

Boronia from Bribie. [photo] The Telegraph 1.9.1934 p. 1

Friday 6 August 2021

1944 Big Bird

The following article was written by Ken Telfer (1924-2018) and provides us with a wonderful glimpse of a day in 1944 when an aircraft landed on Toorbul Point and amazingly took off again the next day.

Thank you Ken.

The Day the Big Bird Came to Toorbul Point

by Ken Telfer, ex-Sapper, 2 AWT Group

 Big Bird by Ken Telfer, ex-Sapper, 2 AWT Group. 
Log Book no. 58, April 1991 pages 10-12.**

"Well, not a real big bird like today's Jumbo jets, but still a sizeable airliner for the late thirties and forties.

In early 1944, the Training Centre moved from Chowder Bay to Toorbul Point and that's where the story starts. When we arrived the United States Navy was still in residence at the main base down on Pumicestone Passage. Accordingly, personnel of the AWT Training Centre were encamped up on the cliffs overlooking Deception Bay, where Pebble Beach Housing development (of the late 1980s) is now situated.

Our campsite at that time consisted of our tent lines, mess huts, recreation room, etc., on the western slope of the cliff top, whilst our latrines and ablution block were situated on the cliff top east of a dirt road which ran virtually north-south along the cliff.

We had some interesting experiences whilst we were in residence up on the cliffs. Plenty of fishing and mud-crabbing in our off-duty hours. Then there was the time shortly after our arrival when we were invited to the movies down at the US Base. Came the end of the movies and we climbed to our feet and started to move out. "Stand Fast" was the whispered order from Harry Watts, our RSM and then we noticed all the US Navy enlisted personnel standing rigidly to attention whilst their Officers moved out first. Just a little different to our more casual AIF approach!

After some weeks on our cliff top 'eyrie' the US Navy moved out and we started to move down to the main base. The first job for us 'doggies' was to clean up the mess halls, kitchens and other buildings. Who remembers, I wonder, the boxes of cherries so obligingly left behind by the US Navy and the pigs we made of ourselves gorging on those cherries - something that certainly wasn't on the ration list of AWT.

And some of the letters left behind by some of the US sailors. Eye openers to say the least for some of us young soldiers. I never knew 'ladies' wrote such letters to men, wow!!! It must have made quite an impression on me at any rate, I can still remember some of those letters 47 years on.

However, enough of the reminiscing of my misspent youth and down to the real story. Late one stormy afternoon soon after we had settled in at the main base, a Lockheed 'Electra' airliner appeared low over the camp site from the direction of Brisbane. As we looked south over Moreton Bay, it was obvious Brisbane was copping a 'beautie'. Low, green-black nimbo-cu clouds, lots of lightning and torrential rain. The Lockheed 'Electra ' (not to be confused with a later vintage 'Electra' flown by QANTAS, TAA and Ansett-ANA), was a pre-war all metal airliner flown by Ansett Airways of that time. Ansett was contracted to the US forces and flew senior Officers from General MacArthur's HQ, to and from Northern Australia and New Guinea.

Lockheed Model 10 Electra

On this day, approaching Brisbane after a flight from 'up north', it was confronted by the severe electrical storm raging over Brisbane. Unable to land at Eagle Farm or Archerfield and low on fuel, the Captain decided to head north and look for a suitable place to make an emergency landing.

He circled our camp site at Toorbul Point several times, obviously sizing up the dirt road on the cliff top. Working that day in the signals office, I heard a call, "Break out a red lamp and get up there and let him know he can't land here!"

But, before anyone could grab an Aldis or Lucas lamp, the 'Electra' appeared low from the north over Bribie Island, flaps down, wheels down, obviously on 'finals' to attempt a landing on the cliff top dirt road. With a brilliant bit of flying the flight deck crew got the 'Electra' down in one piece and pulled up before they ran out of road.

That night the American Officers from the aircraft were taken into Brisbane by staff car, whilst the two Ansett pilots dined at our Officers' Mess and stayed overnight in the Officers' quarters. In the bright sunny morning that followed the previous day's storm, they vetoed any idea of dismantling the aircraft and taking it out by road. And anyone knowing the 'old road' from The Point to Caboolture, rough and narrow and highly corrugated, would appreciate why the aircraft Captain elected to try and fly it out.

But how? The dirt road they had landed on certainly wasn't an ideal strip. It was extremely narrow and it was short. Could they get the aircraft up, up and away before running out of road? That morning, not being on duty, I went up to the cliff top with quite a few other 'bods' to watch the takeoff.

First, the aircraft was towed back to the northern end of the road where it was still level and the tail jacked up. The 'Electra' was a tail dragger, like the Dakota. Then, with the tail resting on a sturdy block of wood from our Engineering Shop, the tail wheel was tied by a length of manilla rope, courtesy of AWT, to a nearby tree. One of our Sergeants with an axe, its blade specially honed, stood by to cut the rope.

After a final walk along the road and I'm sure with some misgivings, the pilots climbed aboard and locked the door. The two engines were started and warmed up. When the manifold and oil pressures were right, the pilots gradually increased the revs until the 'Electra' with both engines at full bore and with the whole aircraft shuddering and vibrating so that it seemed every rivet must pop, she seemed like a greyhound waiting to burst from the starting gates.

At a hand signal from the cockpit window, the Sergeant chopped at the rope (who was that Sergeant?) and with three or four quick blows the rope was cut through and the 'Electra' shot forward like a projectile .

With its tail already up, a lot of flap and engines at full bore it attained flying speed very quickly and lifted off safely before running out of road. The 'Electra' that day exhibited STOL characteristics that I'm sure the designers never dreamed of when they first put pen to paper.

After climbing to about 500 feet, the aircraft banked to the left and came about to circle the camp. With a waggle of its wings to say "Thanks", it climbed away and headed for a safer strip in Brisbane.

I've always felt that "the day the big bird came to Toorbul Point" and the assistance AWT Training Centre was able to extend to Ansett to get the 'Electra' back into the war effort quickly, is one that should be recorded in our history and not allowed to sink without trace. I'm sure some of our grandkids who get to know of the story and who might visit Pebble Beach Estate some time, will stand and wonder .. how did they do it?

Perhaps Ansett have the emergency landing details somewhere in their archives and could share the details with our Association for posterity. If not, perhaps they should."

Big Bird. The Day the Big Bird Came to Toorbul Point. 
by Ken Telfer, ex-Sapper, 2 AWT Group. Log Book no. 58, April 1991 pages 10-12.

The Australian Water Transport Association is acknowledged with thanks for permission to post this article on the BIHS Blog.

Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Model 10 Electra, at Oakland, CA on March 20, 1937. Scanned from Lockheed Aircraft since 1913, by René Francillon. Photo credit USAF.

Lockheed Model 10 Electra - Wikipedia entry

WW2 Memorial Sandstone Point - Pebble Beach War Memorial (Toorbul Point / Sandstone Point)

A Memorial Service was held at Sandstone Point on 21 Oct 2012 by 13 members and their wives of the Queensland Branch of the Australian Water Transport Association (AWTA). ... The Patron of the Queensland Branch of AWTA in 2012 was John Pearn.

Sunday 25 July 2021

1920 Entertainers on the Koopa

 One of the attractions of travelling aboard the Koopa on an excursion to Bribie Island in the 1920s were the various musicians that entertained guests. The following story is from Mrs Gwendolyn Vasco who husband Vasco Loureiro, a sketch artist, had entertained excursionists with "quick fire" sketches.

Around Australia, a Mandoline player

Those who were much in Brisbane in prewar days will remember Vasco, the caricaturist, who used to "do" the Bay boats and the sporting grounds, and other public places, and whose ability to portray likenesses with a few rapid pencil strokes, was notable. He enlisted, and ultimately made the supreme sacrifice. His widow some time later began to play her mandoline on the Bay and river ferry boats, and also became well known in the northern capital. She is now in Sydney, after nearly five years of wandering around Australia, and tells the following story, which presents one other aspect of the courage and resource with which women, bereaved by the war, faced the future :-

In 1918, when I received word from the military authorities that my husband had died at the "front," I though the end of the world had come, and it was only after many months of abject misery that I managed to pull myself together sufficiently to carry on musically with my mandoline, which I have always loved.

 Obtaining permission from the Brisbane Tug and Steamship Company, and also from the City Council, I played on tho excursion boat Koopa to Redcliffe and Bribie, as well as the Edward-street and Customs-house ferries, for three years.

steamship Koopa at Bribie Jetty, 4.6.1912
Photo: SLQ IE96552

In her later years, Gwendoline Vasco moved to Caloundra and was living there when she passed away in 1953, aged 76.


Around Australia, a Mandoline player.
The Sydney Morning Herald 5.2.1926 p. 6

Photograph - steamship Koopa at Bribie Jetty, 4.6.1912
State Library of Queensland, ID96552

Sketch "The Coffee Fiend" by Vasco, 1916
New South Wales State Library, Vasco Loureiro World War I sketches, 1915-1918

Thursday 17 June 2021

1926 Trip to Ocean Beach

 Trip to Ocean Beach


by Edward Harvey Gibbon

The following "Letter to the Editor" was written by Edward Harvey Gibbon (1849-1928) during his latter years when he lived at Ocean Beach (Woorim).

"The Brisbane Tug Co., although not a philanthropic institution, is to be congratulated on the manner in which it caters for the pleasure of the public. Through its agency has been opened up one of the most glorious marine suburbs of Brisbane. It is at once easier to access than any of the northern or southern watering places, and certainly possesses bathing and fishing facilities unsurpassed by any other coastal resort in Southern Queensland.

To reach this "Mecca," the company has organised an excellent service by means of the S.S. Koopa and Doomba. Bribie is reached about 12.30 p.m., or approximately three hours from town. Three commodious motor buses meet the visitors, who are conveyed across to Ocean Beach, the time occupied about ten minutes over a perfectly straight well-made road.

Doomba and Koopa plied the Brisbane to Bribie journey
Photo: Mountain and seaside resorts of Southern Queensland, 1925, page 94

Arriving at Ocean Beach terminus, one's attention is drawn to the magnificent kiosk built by the company for the convenience of the public. The dining hall alone can conveniently seat from 150 to 200 guests, whilst the dancing hall on the opposite side is of equally generous proportions. At the entrance hall is located the shop, where comestibles of great variety can be obtained at very reasonable prices. 

Kiosk at Ocean Beach with bus and sand on the front doorstep!
Photo: Mountain and seaside resorts of Southern Queensland, 1925, page 96

Leaving the kiosk and walking to the top of the sandhill, about two hundred feet distant, a most glorious vista meets the eye of the visitor. Extending northerly for fifteen or twenty miles and for five or six miles southerly is a simply perfect beach of smooth hard sand with the rollers of the Pacific bursting with resounding crash upon it.

This beach for surf bathing is remarkably safe, there being no under tow and no treacherous double beaches, whilst at low tide, no matter how the waves may roar, they are all broken up and a wide expanse of shallow water is provided for the veriest toddler to paddle in and enjoy itself with the utmost safety. Last year the Government sold about forty leasehold allotments on the beach frontage, and already some comfortable and neat sea-side cottages have been erected, notably by Mr. Hooper, Mr. J. Morgan (Arakoon), Mr. J. Murray, Mr. Dickson and Miss A.M.F. Gibbon (The Bean).

When satiated with the rough and tumble of the sea, the visitor can thoroughly enjoy a ramble in the unspoiled primeval bush, after which he can return to the motor 'bus and by that means and the Koopa or Doomba, be landed again in Brisbane shortly after 6 p.m., having had a most enjoyable trip."

Ocean Beach by E. Harvey-Gibbon.
Letter to the Editor. The Daily Mail (Brisbane) 9.1.1926 p.11

Mountain and seaside resorts of Southern Queensland : from Noosa to the Tweed.
Compiled by the Queensland Government Tourist Bureau, 5th edition, 10th December 1925.
Repository: State Library of Queensland

Tuesday 11 May 2021

Caravan Tales CCVII Bribie Passage

Caravan Tales, chapter CCVII, Bribie Passage

Caravanner makes a trip by motor boat along a picturesque waterway.

1932 article by The Queenslander Journalist-Photographer

The following article and accompanying photos was published in
 The Queenslander, 14 July 1942, p. 4, 20 and 21.

1932 was at the height of the Great Depression, with 32% unemployment in Australia. The following article describes a trip through the Bribie Passage (now called Pumicestone Passage) and the author seems to have captured the spirit of "sometimes the best things in life are free".


I THINK one of the things that impresses me most as we continue on our journey is the fact that money, as an actual substance, save for what is required in order to keep our wheels oiled, counts much less in the scheme of things than we are led to believe. No one wishes to be short of it, of course, but I fancy that to have more than is required (as many have) is to be loaded with a burden the weight of which (especially when so many have insufficient) must always be felt. It has been said by one writer that the best things in life cannot be bought. That is true. They may be earned, won, but not bribed to come to us. I would never expect that many would believe this, nor even attempt to bring themselves to think it, because almost all our idols (earthly ones) must have money — the present-day standard of greatness — yet it would not be bad, I think, if those who are doing quite well (and there are still many) were to cease prattling of the depression which they have never felt. Such talk is so futile, and we have lately so much of it that I would now welcome the business man who limited his conversation to, say, the weather — that being a subject about which most of us know just as much, and that much being very little! 

Lately I have met one or two men who carried their depression tactics to the seaside, endeavouring apparently to turn the thoughts of contented fishermen like myself into financial channels. That is not kind, nor thoughtful, nor indicative of singular mental balance. The amateur fisherman wants, fish, not imaginative theories of finance. Fish will not bite at them, nor will the tide be deviated by them from its inward and outward flow.

Just before going on a launching jaunt up Bribie Passage I happened (like an accident) across a genuine depressionist who, after flattering me by expressing the opinion that after all my travels I must know everything (or something to that effect), started on a financial caper. He knew the solution to everything — except how to rid himself of depression. I suggested that he should take up fishing, and he replied that the times were too serious. It was a world-wide matter and he felt it incumbent upon him to show an example to others by refraining from sport of any kind — and so forth. 

And down Bribie Passage the sun sparkled on sparkling water; fish leapt from the briny, and here and there small boats with parties of enthusiasts (not depressionists) chugged away to some sublime spot where Nature would recompense them with something more solid than all the Yellow God promises them. Though myself keenly interested in the problems of today I find myself just as much interested in life and the enjoyment of happy moments as ever I was, with perhaps a keener realisation of the necessity for mental rest (only obtained when we enjoy ourselves) than ever. So, removing my depressing friend's metaphorical finger from my metaphorical buttonhole, I joined our small party and, like those who went before, was soon chugging away up the passage.

I suppose there are many who know Bribie Passage well and who have spent many holidays in the vicinity, but to me it is something entirely new, a place with a strong lure. Of course it is more or less a freak of Nature, and therefore appeals to those inclined to things curious. They tell me the passage is slowly but surely silting up, suggesting the possibility of Bribie Island becoming common or garden coastline in a century or so. And, after all, what do a few hundred years or so matter? One can easily imagine men of a few centuries hence referring to the fact that their city was built upon a place where Bribie Island once was, just as the residents of Chillagoe say: "This was once the bed of the ocean, you know," which makes a visitor go to bed and dream of being clutched by an octopus or being devoured by a shark.

Wild Bird life.

MEANWHILE the aforesaid passage is a reality, and as the Marine Department has recently revised the channel markings navigation there is not difficult. The journey provides many features of interest, including almost unlimited numbers of pelicans, black swans, and other species of bird life. One can see black swans in parks, of course, but they do not ap pear to be quite the same. They get a tame look and the watchfulness of the hunter disappears from their eyes. I know there are many persons who think only the human face has any marked expression on it, but that is a mistake. It's just another case of the two-legged animal thinking he is all that counts, and assuming the right to a monopoly of intelligence. When I meet persons of this type — and they certainly are not uncommon — I think of a writer who said: "The dullest men are those who think they are clever." As I am married it would be unwise of me to suggest that this remark evidently was intended also to refer to women. How easy it is to "tread upon delicate ground." Some miles up the passage we sighted one particularly fine swan sunning his wings, and immediately one lady in our party said: "Isn't she a fine bird?" I said: "Yes, he is," and was told that men always imagine they are the superior sex. Still, I am sure, by the poise of that bird's head and by the light of ultra-intelligence shining in its eyes, that it was a male. There are things one has to keep to oneself.

Nearly one hundred years before I was born (that is a good way to remember dates) Bribie Passage was discovered by Matthew Flinders — a fact of which I was quite ignorant until I read the story of it in "The Queenslander" some weeks back. We all speak, of course, from present-day standards, having little else to go upon, hence it may even be possible that Bribie Passage, in keeping with the rest at Australia, may have been discovered many millions of years ago. All save geologists appear to me to work out all their theories as to the origin of places, &c., on a sort of X basis — X equals so-and-so, but goodness only knows what so-and-so equals, unless it be the unknown quantity. When I was quite young, even the most clever people seldom dared to trace things back more than some 2000 years, and any one who suggested the bare possibility of anything at all having existed, say, a million years ago was supposed to be decidedly abnormal. But times change, and the searcher for ancient relics who can give us news of bygone civilisations is welcomed as a provider of thrills. He is pardoned nowadays for trespassing even on traditions, though he may possibly dispel some of them — which on the part of any other man is an unpardonable thing to do. Writing of traditions makes me wonder what really constitutes them. What is tradition? Of late I have purposely asked several persons what tradition was, and not one of them could put the answer into words. One man, whom I met while on this launching jaunt, said he considered tradition was something based upon the glorious deeds of the past, but he subsequently qualified that statement by saying that, as all the alleged glorious deeds referred to had not been tried by a high court and proved to be absolutely worthy of worship, it might be necessary to add other elements to the make-up of tradition. Personally I think the best tradition is concocted from the doings of such men as Captain Cook, Matthew Flinders, Amundsen, and the like, because we know pretty well what they did. 

So, while we spent this day in the passage I was pleased that I had read so much of the life of Matthew Flinders (even though the Bribie Passage incident had receded from my memory), and I found myself wishing that I, too, had been on voyages with the discoverers of places and the makers of real history. I wonder what it is that makes us long to be the first to see new things — even if it be only a new type of valve for wireless that is not yet on the market, anything however small. I suppose it is some of the old spirit that directed the actions of explorers, a spirit that is still trying to eke out an existence beneath the ever-thickening coat of insulation and veneer that advancing civilisation is compelling us to adopt. In all our modest travels I have never experienced a greater thrill than when on the north-western line we followed for a day in the footsteps of Sir Hubert Wilkins — photographed the same carvings in the rocks, passed along the same track guided by the same guide. It is better, perhaps, to walk in the shadow of a great man (if we cannot be the man himself) than it is to have no objective other than passing along through life in the ruts of the multitude. Some would say: "Oh, but we cannot all do that." Why not? Is it absolutely essential that every young man should go to the same seaside resort each year instead of hiking away in search of the uncommon? How we love comfort these days. Truly we are wrapping the present generation up in cotton wool.

Caption: Lunch!
The Queenslander, 14 July 1932, p. 21
Photo has been digitally coloured.

Just a few hours ago we had five lines out from our boat, and the fish were generous. To our lines came big bream and flathead and crabs galore. We tarried over-long until the shadows fell and the waters of the passage grew glassy, as such waters do on the fall of the wind and the coming of evening. On the homeward run a long line of churned water spread away to our stern, phosphorescent. Hills and the outline of the land melted into apparent nothingness. We all became silent, as people are wont to do after a good day, just as if this falling of night were the spreading of a pall over something we particularly loved and to which we were saying a last farewell.

The engine chugged on. The night grew cooler. Nature was asleep at last — and we were yearning for it, too. Such moments appear to me to be exceptionally transitory. I was wondering how long this could last when the voice of our skipper, a man-aged by many years, brought me back to life. "Here we are," he said, and the keel of our boat grated on the beach. Such is life.

We have just left Caloundra. As we passed the State school the children, lined up by the kindly school master, gave us a final cheers. (The journey to be continued.)


The Queenslander Caravan Tales, CCVII, Bribie Passage. By our Journalist-Photographer. The Queenslander Thu 14 July 1932, page 4
Photos on page 20 and page 21

National Museum Australia. Defining Moments - Great Depression


The Queenslander Caravan Tales, CCVI. Caloundra – II. 7 July 1932 p. 4 accompanied by photos: Nature’s Runes, Sea Carvings at Caloundra, page 19 And on page 20, photo: Kilcoy as seen from the air – F.W. Thiel photo. 

The Queenslander Caravan Tales, CCVIII. Landsborough. 21 July 1932 p. 4 accompanied by photos: The Inner Light, Bribie Passage “The Queenslander” Caravan photo on page 19 And on page 20: Toogoolawah as seen from the air – F.W. Thiel photo. 

The Queenslander Caravan Tales, CCIX. Mt Mellum. 28 July 1932 p. 4 accompanied by photos: beautiful North Coast scenes on page 24 and page 26 

Saturday 10 April 2021

Lest We Forget

 Past commemorations of ANZAC Day on Bribie

1950 - 1978


1950 - ANZAC Day Memorial

ANZAC Day Memorial on Bribie, 1950
source: JJ01_001 Jean Jarmey nee Britnell collection


1969 - Laying the Wreath

Bribie Star v7(21) 9 May 1969 p.9

1969 : "The commemoration of the 54th Anniversary of Anzac Day on Bribie Island was a credit to the community. The overcast skies which seemed to lend a solemnity to the occasion did not deter the large crowd that gathered for the service.

Thirty-two veterans of both wars lead the Anzac Day Parade, which commenced at the Bribie State School and marched to the roll of drums of the school band, resplendent in scarlet uniforms. Then followed the Bribie Island Boy Scout Troop with a vanguard of state school children.

Many veterans who did not march stood at attention whilst the Salute was taken by Lt. Commander G.L. Boyd, R.A.N.R. 

President of the Bribie Island Branch of the R.S.L., Mr F. Lacey thanked all present for their attendance of an occasion of significance to returned men and their families.  The First Loyalty Resolution was given by Mr Noel Young and the first address was presented by Father F.C. Ailwood, C. of E. The second resolution was presented by Cheryl Dyer and the third by Sandra Caird.

Wreaths were laid by Caboolture Shire Council, R.S.L. Bribie Island Sub-Branch and Ladies' Auxiliary, Toc H, C.W.A. and by other Island organisations as well as presenting books to the State School Library in honour of Anzac Day.

The Bugler played 'The Last Post', the flag was lowered and many choked with emotion as they remembered loved ones who did not return.

The veterans and friends and official guests retired to the Bribie Island Bowling Club where the combined R.S.L. Ladies Auxiliary, Toc H and the C.W.A. had set out a lavish morning tea. Mr G. Dyer thanked Lt. Comm. Boyd and Father F. Ailwood for their participation in the ceremony. Mr A. Thornely proposed a vote of thanks to "The Ladies", to which President of the Ladies Auxiliary, Mrs D. Watkins responded. Cr Johnson proposed a vote of thanks to the Bribie Island Bowling Club for use of the premises to which Mr A. Loi responded.

Anzac Day celebrations concluded at an open house held in the afternoon at the Bongaree Bowling Club."

Excerpted from: Bribie honours fallen heroes. Bribie Star v7(21) Friday May 9th 1969, page 1.


1975 - Anzac Day parade at Bribie Island

Anzac Day parade at Bribie Island in 1975
Photo: Stan Tutt. From MBRC Library collection P1798


1978 - Anzac Day parade at Bribie Island

Veterans of the 1914 war at Anzac Parade on Bribie Island in 1978. The ceremony was held at the Anzac memorial, corner of Toorbul Street and First Avenue.
L to R: Eric Watson, Alf Duncanson, Ted Mawhinney, Roy Porter, Harold Braun.
Photo: Sam Hawkins. From MBRC Library collection P1803



Bribie honours fallen heroes. Bribie Star v7(21) Friday May 9th 1969, page 1, 9.

Anzac Day plans - Committee formed to organise and conduct the Anzac Day Memorial Service [on Bribie]. Bribie Star v7(19) 11 Apr 1969 p.1

Sunday 14 February 2021

1954 Celebrations Switching On Electricity Supply for Woorim

 Electric Light "Switching On" Celebrations

Ocean Beach * Woorim * Bribie Island

Saturday 8th May 1954

Programme for "Switching On" Celebrations
Saturday 8th May 1954
source: KB02_011

Programme of Events!

Sports and Treasure Hunt for Children

Caboolture Ambulance Entertainment

Official "Switching-On" of Electric Light

4KQ Fine and Dandy Show.

Modern and Square Dancing

...... Stay awhile in the brilliant sunlight atop the high sand dunes - watch the heaving sea, whose booming voice is music in your ears. Inhale that pure ozone till your lungs expand and rejoice at your good fortune in having chosen for your holiday - "The Isle of Mystic Charm" - Bribie Island. ...


In a recent Letter to the Editor, J. Rossborough recalls the "Turning on of the Power" event:

"In my younger days I lived in North Street Woorim - it was just a sandy track and many a car bogged  in the loose sand. We had a milkman who delivered milk and blocks of ice three times a week. With no electricity most folk had an ice chest. It was my task to empty the water dish underneath that collected the melted water.

My mother was a chef at the hotel at the time. I think the Dudley Family were licensees. We had to chop the wood for the wood stove, peel the vegetables and start the evening meal.

Then it was time to light the Kerosene and carbide lights so we could commence doing our home work.

The streets were graveled in the 50's much easier to ride our bikes to the shop.

The hotel had a verandah on the front of the building and it was on this verandah that the official Turning on of the Power to Bribie island took place. Radio 4BK from Brisbane broadcast live on the night. The Premier of Queensland at the time Frank Nicklin turned on the power and a lot of other Dignitaries gave speeches. There was also other entertainment. (Radio 4BK) is now an FM station.

Our first appliance purchase was a Charles Hope Refrigerator, no more emptying that ice chest water.

We still kept our wood stove well into the Sixties."

Letter to the Editor by J. Rossborough. [reprinted with permission of J. Rossborough]
The Bribie Islander, issue 134, 26 Feb 2021, page 69.

Wednesday 20 January 2021

Fishing on Bribie in the 1920s and 1930s

 Fishing on Bribie in the 1920s and 1930s

Bribie Island
(with a similar view to the 1937 photo below)
This photo won first prize in Class C Kodak Competition for R.J. Davies, Bribie.
Source: The Australasian Photo-Review, June 15, 1923, p. 311.

1923 July - Bribie fishing

Mr A.E. Godwin writes :- The roughness of the waters for the past week has unquestionably marred the pleasure and takes of many anglers on Bribie fishing grounds and Redcliffe anglers journeying to Bribie have been somewhat disappointed with their catches, the fish being on the small size. However, a few specimens of jew and some fine schnapper and squire have been hagged, the list being headed by Mr. E.H. Freeman with a total of 32 for the day, with Mr. R. Campbell next.

Last week-end some very choice fish of a pleasing size were caught by a party of Bribsane anglers up the passage, under the guidance of Mr. McPherson.

The sea mullet seem to be evading Bribie Passage, although now is the season, and many visitors to Bribie have been disappointed in this direction.

During the two hours' stay of the Koopa at Bribie some fine bream have been caught, particularly by some enthusiastic lady anglers, while, although on the scarce side, the size and quality of whiting caught were excellent.

Some of the finest rock cod the writer ever saw were caught in the passage during the week.

The Daily Mail (Brisbane) Sun 8 Jul 1923 p. 7


This unusual photo was taken at Bribie Island Beach, as a storm was approaching.
Half guinea is awarded to Mrs Bert Spring, Barter Street, Gympie.
Source: The wireless weekly : the hundred per cent Australian radio journal, v.30(17) 22 Oct 1937, page 79

1937 January - Record at Bribie Island Cottage

MANY parties during the holidays had fine fishing. Twenty-seven anglers stayed at Bribie Island cottage, and this is the record number of guests the A.F.A. has had there in a holiday period.

One party of seven at Donnybrook, up the passage, secured full creels of mixed fish, bream, flathead, and squire providing the greatest number. Another party of eight, fishing in the same waters, caught 101 mixed fish a few days later. ... 

At Bribie G. Shaw hooked a 7lb snapper on a horse-hair trace line.

The Courier Mail Fri 8 Jan 1937 page 10



1923 Photo Bribie Island (with a similar view to the 1937 photo). This photo won first prize in Class C Kodak Competition for R.J. Davies, Bribie. Source: The Australasian Photo-Review, June 15, 1923, p. 311.

Bribie fishing. source: The Daily Mail (Brisbane) Sun 8 Jul 1923 p. 7

Record at Bribie Island Cottage. The Courier Mail Fri 8 Jan 1937 page 10

1937 Photo with caption: This unusual photo was taken at Bribie Island Beach, as a storm was approaching. Half guinea is awarded to Mrs Bert Spring, Barter Street, Gympie. Source: The wireless weekly : the hundred per cent Australian radio journal, v.30(17) 22 Oct 1937, page 79.