Tuesday 22 March 2022

Donnybrook Pumicestone Passage

 The village of Donnybrook on Pumicestone Passage is noted as a fishing spot. The following article from 1939 paints a picture of what is was like over 80 years ago.

Do you know where Donnybrook is? (1939)

written and illustrated by Roy Parkinson

If you take up a map of Moreton Bay, turn to the northern end, and follow up the Bribie Passages towards Caloundra to Goat Island - easier with the pencil point than with a boat, since the shoals come thick and fast - you will notice that here the channel divides, and on the left-hand stream a little spot is labelled Donnybrook, or according to some charts, Bribie View.

The best way of getting to this place from Brisbane is to go by car to Beerburrum, there to turn off for the nine miles of bush track which leads direct to it. There is another road from Caboolture, but as residents of Donnybrook speak of it as "the bog," the conclusion is obvious.

The track from Beerburrum is quite good, and a pleasant surprise awaits the traveller at the end of it, for a quaintly attractive little place is found, typifying the fishing villages as described so graphically by Vance Palmer in "The Passage."

Donnybrook consists of about five tiny cottages and a kiosk, and the be-all and end-all of life is Fishing. The capital "F" is very necessary. At one end the Dux fleet of boats operates, and a quarter of a mile away the Benson navy rules the waves. Willie Benson, a bright lad of 14 who knows the channels as he knows the palm of his hand, and steers a boat with his eyes shut, has only once been up to Brisbane and wouldn't feel in the least put out if he never came again! At week-ends, when visiting anglers arrive, upwards of 50 boats may be scattered over the channel. After a day's fishing the correct thing to do is to repair to the kiosk for scones and strawberry jam!
Donnybrook - "A cleared and grassy area crowns
a high point of land overlooking the water..."
illustration and description by Roy Parkinson
source: Courier Mail 26.8.1939 p. 9

Of overnight accommodation for visitors there is none at all, and even supplies of bread, milk, and other necessaries should be arranged for at Caboolture. Mail arrives twice weekly, on Wednesdays and on Saturdays. It is little more than 50 miles from Brisbane.

A cleared and grassy area crowns a high point of land overlookint the water, and makes a capital location on which to pitch a tent or park a caravan. This is kept spotlessly clean, and a high belt of trees behind shelters it from the westerlies; it would be hard to find a pleasanter spot for a few days' camp. provided you are content to dream the time away in idleness or to spend the days fishing.

In the bush behind Donnybrook kangaroos, wallabies, and dingoes are plentiful, and foxes are often hear; even emus, I have been told, come close in sometimes.

On the edge of the water bird life reigns - weird croaks and cries rise from the flats where ibises, herons, and curlews poke about in the weedy sand, and an odd jabiru stalks with dignified air among the smaller fry, hawks rise the air-currents over head.

As the sun sinks over towards the peaks of the Glass House Mountains an owl hoots plaintively and monotonously "mo-poke, mo-poke," and the peace of night falls gently on the little settlement. Here man lives at one with nature - to bed with the sun, up at daybreak.

Do you know where Donnybrook is? 
by Roy Parkinson
source: Courier Mail 26.8.1939 p.9 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article40830048

Willie Benson, a lad of 14 (referred in the above article) was a younger brother of Reg Benson.
Reg was one of the local men who answered the call to serve in 1942. See R C Benson QX61294 http://bribieislandhistory.blogspot.com/2018/09/r-c-benson-qx61294.html

> Bribie View (Donnybrook)
The first motor trip of the season to Bribie View ... this is becoming quite a favourite resort for fishing parties from Brisbane and Caboolture. An enjoyable time was spent by the excursionists.
source: Brisbane Courier 3.10.1924 p.19 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article22867955

> Donnybrook (Qld.) - photos on Moreton Bay Region Libraries Our Story website