Thursday 28 December 2023

Christmas holidays at Bribie 1920 - 1929

Many people have had camping holidays on Bribie Island in recent times. Below gives a glimpse of holidays that were taken in the 1920s, with visitors spending a "delightful time, fishing, surfing and picnicing" on the one of the finest beaches in Queensland. 


A Bribie Request - "Camper" writes from Bribie Island stating that some 2000 campers will visit that resort for the Christmas holidays.  The writer expresses satisfaction at the fact that the Ambulance Brigade has rendered valuable service during the past two or three years, but urges that another great need would be filled if a police constable could be stationed on the island for at least two weeks, as commodities are often missed from tents during the absence of the occupants. 
The Brisbane Courier, 17 Dec 1920, p.8

For a Perfect Day's Outing at a Moderate Cost take
S.S. Koopa to Bribie Island and spend a delightful time
- fishing, surfing, picnicing - on Queensland's finest beach.

Humpybong Weekly and Advertiser 3.5.1928 p.2

Christmas at Bribie. Bribie Island seems to have become even more popular than it has been in the past (writes a correspondent) as the number of campers this year exceeds that of any previous year.  Every available space is occupied by tents, and the available houses are taxed to their utmost limit.  Fishing enthusiasts are having good hauls, and other sporting pastimes are also indulged in.  Dancing, music, and moving pictures are the means of recreation at night.  On Boxing Day the visitors were well catered for by Mr. J.R. McSweeney, of the Education Department, who was elected president and secretary of the sports committee.  An excellent programme of athletic and other sporting and interesting events was provided, and as a result the secretary will be able to divide £17/10/ between the St. John and the Queensland Ambulance Brigades.  A dance was held at night, Mr. R. Davis supervising the arrangements.
The Brisbane Courier, Fri 31 Dec 1920, p. 4


Ambulance Christmas Seaside Camps. The secretary of the Queensland Transport Brigade has received the following amounts from the Christmas seaside camps, representing collections, donations, and results of benefits, viz - . . . Bribie Island, £32/18/0 . . . The sincere thanks of the committee of the brigade have been extended to those who donated towards these efforts. . . . Messrs Davis, Freeman, Lacey and Thornton, of Bribie Island, the Brisbane Tug and Steamship Co. Ltd.
The Brisbane Courier Wed 9 Jan 1924 p. 3 

Lunch on the beach at Bribie
The Brisbane Courier Tue 8 Jan 1924 p. 8
Barry and Whalley photo.

Bribie Island Holiday Campers.  Bribie Island had its usual share of holiday makers during the Christmas and New Year season.  On the reserve set apart for campers, 170 tents were erected, the occupants numbering about - 1000.  The rowdy element was kept well in check by the constable who was stationed on the island during the holidays.  Ambulance bearers had a busy time attending to cases of sunburn and minor injuries.
The Brisbane Courier, Fri 18 Jan 1924, p. 10 

Social . . . The New Year was heralded in at Bribie by a plain and fancy dress ball, which proved to be one of the most successful events ever held there.  The prizes for the best fancy dress were won by Mr. L. Hall and Miss Bestman, of the firm of Bestman and Hall, newsagents, &c.  The following also secured prizes: - Mr. Flynn, Miss N. Andrews, and Miss Enid Clenand.  During the evening the committee presented Messrs. Reg. and Cecil Campbell with a pair of gold sleeve links as an appreciation of their efforts to make the function a success.
The Brisbane Courier, Sat 19 Jan 1924, p. 23


Holiday season at Ocean Beach, Bribie.  The attractiveness of this marvelously beautiful seaside resort was very much in evidence during a Christmas holidays (writes a correspondent). Many hundreds of visitors availed themselves of the opportunity to enjoy bathing in the open Pacific Ocean, others enjoyed long walks in the forest, gathering flowers and ferns, whilst piscatorial artists reveled in delight at the sport to be obtained at almost any point on a 20-mile beach. Picnic parties were in evidence everywhere. The holiday festivities culminated in a plain and fancy dress ball on New Year's night. It was held in the spacious ballroom at the kiosk, which was prettily decorated for the occasion. The music was supplied by the Gaiety Orchestra under the leadership of Mrs. Stalwood. Mesdames C. Buckley and C. Atkinson were appointed judges. Miss M. Charters was awarded the prize for the best dressed lady, whilst Mr J. Delhunty annexed the award for best dress gentleman. The consolation prize was won by Miss E. Balchane, Messrs. A. Macklin and A. Dewar divided honours as the most humorously dressed dancers.

Among those present were:- Mesdames W. Shirley, T. Macklan, Collins, Morley, Newton, Brookes, Stone, Nobler, Misses M. Campbell, Cowell, Webber, Nixon, McMullen, Claxton, Watson, Lynche (3), Johnston, Rasmussem, R. Campbell, L and J Foxwell, Messrs. Newton, Shirley, Macklan, D. Kerr, A. Kerr, Brown, Norby, Morley, Shaw, Robertson, P. Pickett, W. Lenehan, L. Magee, E. Hill, L. Derghafer, S. Burschill, Edmonstone, Shortz, Handrin, Charters, Mewett, Payne, Thompson, Jackson, McDowel, W. Macklan, Hiddiston, Kerr, Malyon, Taylor, P. Quinlan.
The Brisbane Courier, Sat 15 Jan 1927, p. 22


Bribie Island.

Visitors - On Monday the Koopa arrived with 950 surfers, and a good day was spent on Ocean Beach.
Exodus - Camps were struck early, and a large number of Christmas holiday makers returned to their respective callings. The Ambulance and Metropolitan Lifesavers also returned after rendering efficient and cheerful service, and their efforts were greatly appreciated.
Dance - A social and dance held on Bribieside on January 2 in aid of the Ambulance realised £8.
Personal - Dean de Witt Batty and his wife are holidaying at the Ocean Beach also Mr. Sampson.
The Brisbane Courier, Tue 10 Jan 1928, p. 15

Bribie Island.

Eleven Months' Rainfall.  The rainfall for the 11 months ended November 31 totaled 47.34 inches, of which 44.19 inches fell in the first four months of the year.  Since the end of April there were only 12 days on which rain fell, yielding 6.15 inches.  In July, August and September, and also in November, no rain was recorded.  A storm on Tuesday night [4 Dec] yielded 1.20 inches and afforded considerable relief to householders.
Some Good Fishing.  Fishing has been particularly good lately, and some fine hauls of bream and tailor have been taken at the jetty.  During the past few days some heavy jew have been caught.  To-morrow is the anniversary of the opening of the Amaetur Fishermen’s Association’s hut.  A party of Bulimba fishing enthusiasts are camping in No. 3 hut and are having good sport.  They comprise Messrs. B. Freeman, R. Fletcher, J. Watson, J. Saunderson, and W. Mitcheson.

New Church of England. The contractor for the new Church of England has made rapid progress and is now at work on the interior fittings.  He has advanced sufficiently to permit the building committee to make arrangements for the official opening of the church and hall, which will be performed by Archbishop Sharp on Thursday, December 27.  On the following day a fete in aid of the building fund will be held in the hall and this will be followed by a concert and dance.  A fishing competition has also been arranged by the Amateur Fishermen’s Association.  It is understood that a clergyman from St. John’s Cathedral will hold divine service once a month in the church.  A dance will be held in the hall on December 22 to assist the building fund.

Archbishop Sharp and a number of dignitaries of the Church of England are expected to visit the island on Thursday, December 27 for the official opening of the new Church Hall.  The building committee comprises Mrs. Coungeau, Messrs. R.J. Davies, R. Davies, T.J. Mitchell and W. Shirley (secretary).

Christmas Holiday Traffic.  It anticipation of a heavy holiday traffic, boarding-houses are being enlarged, preparations are being made for the accommodation of a large number of campers, and booths and stalls are being erected in many placed.

School Picnic.  Mr. C.F. Diplock, headmaster of the Bribie State School, presided over a meeting of ladies which was called for the purpose of arranging a school picnic to be held on Friday, December 16, at the breaking-up of the school.  Organisers were appointed.  Arrangements were made for the holding of a school fete on Wednesday, December 26, in aid of the school funds.
Telegraph Sat 8 Dec 1928, p. 3 


Metropolitan Life Saving Club.  The fifth annual meeting . . . Mr. W. Soden (sen.) occupying the chair.  The secretary's report showed that the club's membership stood at 25.  . . . The Bribie hut, erected on the main beach, has proved of great benefit to members, and the cooking stove donated by F. Panek was a great asset.  . . . Patrol work was efficiently carried out during Christmas and Easter holidays at Bribie surfing beach.  The club's equipment at the present time consists of a reel, three pennants, staff, and ambulance kit. . . . The club wishes to thank . . .
The Brisbane Courier, Thu 1 Aug 1929, p. 5


Advertisement : For a Perfect Day's Outing at a Moderate Cost take S.S. Koopa to Bribie Island and spend a delightful time - fishing, surfing, picnicing - on Queensland's finest beach. Humpybong Weekly and Advertiser 3.5.1928 p.2

A Bribie Request. The Brisbane Courier, 17 Dec 1920, p.8

Christmas at Bribie. The Brisbane Courier, Fri 31 Dec 1920, p. 4 

Lunch on the beach at Bribie. A Barry and Whalley photo of six men sitting in front of the bathing sheds. The Brisbane Courier, Tues 8 Jan 1924, p.8

Ambulance Christmas Seaside Camps. The Brisbane Courier, Wed 9 Jan 1924 p. 3 

Bribie Island Holiday Campers. The Brisbane Courier, Fri 18 Jan 1924, p. 10 

Social. The Brisbane Courier, Sat 19 Jan 1924, p. 23 

Holiday Season. Ocean Beach, Bribie. The Brisbane Courier, Sat 15 Jan 1927, p. 22

Bribie Island. The Brisbane Courier, Tue 10 Jan 1928, p. 15 

Bribie Island. Telegraph, Sat 8 Dec 1928, p. 3 

Metropolitan Life Saving Club. The Brisbane Courier, Thu 1 Aug 1929, p. 5 

With thanks to the National Library of Australia for their wonderful newspaper database Trove, which is still freely available for all to search.

Wednesday 25 October 2023

Excursions to Bribie 1901-1902

In 1901 the steamer Greyhound could carry 255 passengers in Moreton Bay and many excursion and camping trips were made to Bribie Island. The following descriptions of trips made to Bribie Island during 1901 and 1902 give a glimpse of those excursions.

The Steamer Greyhound's Trip. 
The trip by the steamer Greyhound yesterday was again well patronised.  It was a perfect day, and all on board were delighted with the outing.  The Kenilworth hulk had been taken down to Bribie Island, and will form a landing stage, so that passengers can get ashore without any delay, thus affording a longer time on shore.  As advertised, the Greyhound will proceed to Bribie Island to-morrow morning (Separation Day, Dec 10th), and no doubt will be well patronised by those requiring a quick trip and a good run on shore. 
The Brisbane Courier, Mon 9 Dec 1901, p. 4 

Trip to Bribie Island. 
Considering yesterday (Dec 10th) was not closely observed as a holiday, the steamer Greyhound left for Bribie Island with a fair complement of passengers. There was a good stiff breeze blowing in the Bay, and the crispness of the temperature, combined with the moderate “knocking about” indulged in by the staunch little boat, added to the enjoyment of the trip.

A good supply of fruit, with an abundance of oysters, were ready for the passengers on arrival, and after an enjoyable time ashore they left again for town, well pleased with the day’s outing.
The Brisbane Courier, Wed 11 Dec 1901 p. 4 

Greyhound (ship)
source: State Library of Queensland

The Bribie Island Trip. 
The Greyhound left town yesterday morning for Bribie Island with a full complement of pleasure-seekers, the run being made in three hours, thus allowing passengers a long run on shore. As arranged, abundance of oysters were procurable, and were quickly disposed of at Bribie prices.
On the return a stiff south-easter was met, which added greatly to the enjoyment of the quick passage to town. After a good outing for all on board, the steamer reached the Adelaide wharf at 6 o’clock in the evening.
The Brisbane Courier Fri 27 Dec 1901 p. 4 

Free trip to Bribie.
On account of unavoidable delay, the steamer Greyhound did not leave town at the usual time yesterday. There was a full complement of passengers waiting, and some, fearing the delay might be prolonged, departed to some other resort.
Those who remained were rewarded, for the steamer went to Bribie : but Mr Campbell decided to make no charge, and all enjoyed a good run on shore. As two of the Ambulance men came on board for the trip a collection was made amongst the passengers for the institution, the contributions amounting to £2 2s.  The excursion gave much pleasure, and the liberality of Messrs. Campbell and Sons was fully appreciated.
The Brisbane Courier 13.1.1902 p4 

Ship Greyhound to Bribie on Sat. returning Mon. for excursions and camping offered by James Campbell & Sons (tickets 3s, 6d each)
Excursions - Camping at Bribie Island.
Special facilities are offered to Camping and Fishing Parties to spend a delightful holiday at Bribie Island. Greyhound leaves Adelaide Wharf, 2 p.m., on Saturday, 15th March, returning to town on Monday (St. Patrick's Day, Mar 17th). Splendid fishing and shooting, surf bathing. Plentiful supply of oysters arranged for. Tickets on application to James Campbell and Sons Limited, Creek-street, on or before Friday Afternoon, at 3s. 6d each, return.
The Greyhound will also run to Bribie on St. Patrick's Day, 17th instant, leaving Adelaide Wharf, 9.30, landing passengers. Fares : Adults, 2s. 6d., children 1s.
Camping at Bribie Island. An advertisement appears in this issue notifying that the steamer Greyhound leaves the Adelaide Company's Wharf at 2 p.m. on Saturday, conveying camping parties to Bribie Island and returning to town on St. Patrick's Day.
The Brisbane Courier, Thu 13 Mar 1902, p. 4  

Bribie Camping Parties.
As advertised, camping parties can proceed to Bribie at 2 o’clock to-day by the Greyhound, and can return on Sunday or Monday.
The fare is reasonable, and many will gladly avail themselves of the opportunity of a change from city life. The passage is noted for good fishing, and an excellent beach for bathing in the clear ocean waters. Tickets can be obtained at Campbell and Sons, Creek-street.
The Brisbane Courier 15.3.1902 p5

Sailing Notes. . . . The boats will then either, that night or next day, cruise over to Toorbul Point, where a cricket match is being arranged.  On the Monday, 17th instant, the boats will race home from Toorbul Point to the Pile Light.
The Brisbane Courier, Wed 12 Mar 1902, p. 3 

Trip to Bribie.
Among the pleasure trips by steamer yesterday, one which must have been very enjoyable was made by the steamer Greyhound, which left the Adelaide Company's wharf about half-past 9 a.m. for Bribie Island, whither she had taken a number of campers-out on Saturday.  She had a fair complement on board.  She left Bribie on her return trip about 3 p.m.
The Brisbane Courier, Tue 18 Mar 1902, p. 4  

Miscellaneous. . . . Some mischievous person set fire to the hulk Kenilworth, which is high and dry on Bribie Island, at Easter.  Of course the hulk was burned right out, and the boating men got the blame, but some score of tents from the Greyhound were in the vicinity.
Queensland Figaro, Thu 3 Apr 1902, p. 17  

Editor note:  The hulk Kenilworth is mentioned in December 1901 as being used as a landing stage for passengers from the Greyhound to get ashore at Bribie.

A Night Out. Bushed at Bribie. Search Party Organised.
The large number of persons who camped at Bribie Island during the Christmas holidays were treated to a little excitement they had not calculated on.  The Greyhound during her trips to the island took a large number of excursionists over, and there must have been in all about 150 persons camped on the island. Of these there were at least three adventurous spirits – three young men – who decided to walk across the island. They started lightly clad, but found the journey more arduous than they anticipated, and proceeded to return home. At a certain point two decided on resting, but the third pushed on and reached the camp all right. The other two, on resuming their journey, concluded that their comrade had taken the wrong track and consequently did not follow on his footsteps but took another route, with the result that they lost their way.

As they did not return that night there was some anxiety among their friends in camp, and on the following morning a search party of 30 was organised, and set out to find the missing men. A sailing boat proceeded to Woody Point and gave information to the police there of the incident, with the result that the police authorities in Brisbane were communicated with, and two constables and two trackers were sent down to Bribie by the Greyhound on one of her further trips. There was fortunately, however, no occasion for their services, as before the original search party on the island returned to camp the missing men put in an appearance. Needless to say they were much fatigued, having been without food or water for some time, and having suffered extremely from colonies of mosquitoes and sandflies, who, finding scantily clad humans in their midst, made a special Christmas feast at their expense. On return to camp they were attended to and revived with the best of fare available, for which they expressed their grateful thanks.
The Telegraph (Brisbane) Tue 30 Dec 1902, p. 2 

Lost on Bribie. 
Experiences of Two Young Men. Further particulars of the incident mentioned in last week’s “Week” concerning the two men who were temporarily lost on Bribie Island, has now been supplied by Mr. Leslie Hoey, one of those concerned.

Mr. Hoey states that he, Mr. H.E. Shaw, and another, set out from the camp on Bribie Island at 8 o’clock on Saturday morning last (that is about an hour after breakfast) with the object of collecting ferns and crossing the island. Evidently they miscalculated the nature of the task they had set themselves and were ill-equipped for the journey. They calculated being away from camp for but a few hours, and took with them neither food nor water. After tramping a couple of hours they decided to return, and a halt was made at 10 a.m. for a rest. The third man soon made his way back, but the other two lingered at the resting place for some time.

When they resumed their journey they were tired, hungry and thirsty, and a difference of opinion arose as to the right track to take. They eventually lost their way, and were all Saturday seeking their camp without success. It was a weary sojourn in the scrub that night – a bed of grass, no water and no food. That was, however, what awaited them, and they made the best of it, sleeping on the grass and dreaming of pellucid streams, &c. As a compensation, however, there were mosquitoes, and it was with little satisfaction that the belated travelers found the representatives of the species Cuiicidae enjoying themselves. A hole had been dug in the sand to a distance of 3 feet, but no water was obtained.

On the Sunday morning the two young men travelled south, and then west over very rough country. They could not see or hear the sea and were beginning to be anxious when a red bullock was espied, and this indication of the nearness of civilisation gave them renewed hope.

The sea coast was at length reached, near Bribie Passage, and the two young fellows waded along near the beach for a couple of hours when, at 10 o’clock, they met the sailing vessel Dawn, in charge of Mr Murray, and which was anchored near the shore. They were treated very kindly after their 15 hours’ thirst and fast, and some of the crew accompanied them back to their camp.

Messrs. Hoey and Shaw express their gratitude not only to the crew of the Dawn and the Yarracoo, the latter being sailed over to Redcliffe to inform the police; but also to the Police Department for dispatching Constables Freestone and McLeod and the trackers James Murray and Sam Johnson to join in the search organised by the people in camp at Bribie by Mr. Markwell.
The Week (Brisbane) Fri 9 Jan 1903 p. 16 

Editor note: Edwin Leslie Hoey b. 28 Oct 1879, d. 5 Oct 1911 (Queensland) F: Thomas William Hoey M: Louisa Cornish Lavers. On 1903 roll, Edwin Leslie Noey, clerk, of Melrose, Jane street, West End.

Greyhound (ship) (not dated) image 

Steamer Greyhound (1906) image
The Week 28.9.1906 p21

Articles from Trove (newspaper archive) provided by the National Library of Australia.

Saturday 30 September 2023

Bike road along Bribie beach 1923

The following article describes a bicycle journey from Brisbane to Caloundra, boat over to Bribie Island, down the ocean beach, boat across to Toorbul Point, from there to Caboolture and back to Brisbane. The bike riders were Charlie Simmonds, Joe Cribb and Ronald Simmonds, and their journey was taken in October/November 1923.

A holiday a-wheel : three boys on bikes.
by R.J.D.

This was the programme of three lads – Joe Cribb, Ron and Charlie Simmonds, who arrived at Bribie jetty on Saturday November 3, a little fagged after their spin along Bribie from Caloundra.

Charlie Simmonds, Joe Cribb, Ronald Simmonds,
not forgetting the "dawg" in Charlie's arms.
source: Daily Mail 30.12.1923 p. 13

Leaving Milton, Brisbane, where they reside, they pushed northwards along the Gympie-road, each carrying a pack of about 50lb. Good progress was made on a fair road to Caboolture, but from Caboolture to Eudlo, where they pitched camp on Monday, October 22, the going was very bad.

From Eudlo, very hilly, but beautiful, country was passed through, the drought having little effect on this country. Nambour was reached at noon on Tuesday. This township is prosperous, indeed, and provided many interesting scenes. The trail then led along the Bli Bli road, where beautiful view of the canefields, spread over the valley of Petrie's Creek were enjoyed. Camp was pitched that afternoon by the Maroochy River, at Bli Bli, at which place they decided to make headquarters for a week. A well-earned rest was then indulged for the next two days, passing pleasant hours in boating, fishing, swimming, shooting, taking photographs and enjoying the fine hospitality of neighbouring farmers.

... Friday October 26 found the lads making a tour to Mt Coolum, from whose summit a panoramic view of unsurpassed beauty was witnesses. To the east a plain stretched out to the ocean beach, the rolling breakers making a silver chain from north to south; then away east miles of ocean blue. Southward lay Old Women's Island, Maroochydore, Buderim, and away on the horizon, standing out quite clearly, could be seen the white sand hills of Moreton and the peaks of the Glass House Mountains. To the south-west, almost at the feet of the spectators, meandering from its source in the west to Maroochydore on the east, the beautiful Maroochy lay, glistening like a huge serpent in the rays of the setting sun; the rich land along its banks clothed in scrubs and forests, and yellowish green where cane was flourishing. Beyond the river rose the chocolate coloured hills of Bli Bli, then further on to the south-west and west the foothills of Nambour and Yandina, extending up to the Blackall Range, its whole length dotted with the many orchards and homesteads of countless farmers. Sweeping out from the base of Coolum, and running north-west and west, extended large, swamping plains, bounded on the west by the formidable Mt Ninderry, with undulating hills, and Mt Corroy in the north-west. Following Coolum beach northward, Noose Heads were seen, and further north a grand view of Lake Cootharaba.

Making an easy descent toward the ocean beach, and following the beach southward, brought the cyclists to the road, which led to Bli Bli, where camp was made at Dusk. It is interesting to note that to cross the Maroochy that morning one of the number swam the river and brought the ferry over; that evening the ferryman was in arms when he was told he would be obliged to forfeit the morning charge. In the end he yielded.

Early Saturday morning of October 27, one might have witnessed a peculiar craft moving up the Maroochy to the North Shore road - three lads and three bikes crammed in a bit of a dinghy. This time they were not going to chance a swim against a strong ebb tide, and an argument with the ferryman. Reaching the ocean beach, they found their occupation for the next two hours was pushing their bikes through soft sand till Point Arkwright was reached, the tide being in. On the rocky eminence of Point Arkwright the breaking surf threw showers of spray at times 20 feet in the air, providing some fine snaps.

... Of great interest to the lads were the nights spent around the camp fire at Mooloolah Bar, in company with some of the oldest pioneers of the North Coast, namely, Mr Johnson and Mr Tucker, who now both reside there. The stories of 40 and 50 years ago told by them both were of such an absorbing character that it was well on midnight before they sought their blankets. 

Thursday afternoon of November 1 found the lads packing for the home journey. Mr Johnson having rowed them across the river, cattle tracks were followed to the coast, and progress was made along the beach towards Caloundra. Before leaving the beach they got wet through with rain, waves and wading through a creek with water to the waists. However, they quickly dried their garments round the camp fire that night. Friday passed with the hours filled with amusement.

Rising at 4.30 on Saturday, they were on their way to 7 am. A local fisherman (Mr Tripcony) rowed them over to Bribie. They then rode south along Bribie with a strong south easterly in their faces, and soft sand, which made pushing hard, not to speak of two showers that wet them through. By the time they reached Bribie jetty at 12.30 they felt as if they could eat a horse.

All along the way folks had treated them with great kindness, but the hospitality of the folks at Bribie exceeded all others. After knocking a big hole in a capital spread they proceeded in a local motor boat to Toorbul Point, hitting the trail for Caboolture at 1.30.

A fairly good road was traversed to Caboolture, though sand and progress rather slow. Leaving Caboolture at 5 p.m. it was quite dark when they rode into Petrie. After a little refreshment they pushed on, in the dark, save for a light that might as well have been out. Just as Strathpine was passed one of the number broke his diamond strut. This necessitated a considerable delay, and eventually he had to take the train to Brisbane. The other two cycled on to Brisbane, arriving at their home at 10 p.m., having travelled over 75 miles that day. Just about 12.30 the other lad called in on his way home, the train being two hours late.

... Pleasant weather, good tucker, plenty of sleep, and doing the journey in easy stages, made the trip most attractive, as well as beneficial for health and educational value.


A holiday a-wheel : three boys on bikes by R.J.D. [article and photo]
The Daily Mail, Sun 30 Dec 1923, p. 13

Friday 1 September 2023

Happenings on Bribie in 1922

 Happenings on Bribie in 1922

January 1922
Boomerang Pastime Club donated their takings to fund a piano for Bribie patrons and campers
* Bribie Island Progress Association 1st annual meeting
* Miss Vera Huet found a message in a bottle in the first lagoon on the ocean beach side of Bribie

September 1922
* Public telephone official opening

November 1922
* Water supplies available at Bongaree

December 1922
* Tennis Club formed on Bribie

Boomerang Pastime Club donated their takings to fund a piano for Bribie patrons and campers

Bribie, the popular campers’ resort, has suffered severely from soaking rains, which have been the cause of many packing up their troabnes and departing. Those who have braved the hardships, though dampened in every way, still have a good spirit.

The dancing hall on Monday night was the scene of a fancy and plain dress ball, which was successfully managed under the auspices of the Boomerang Pastime Club. The takings, which amounted to £13 odd after expenses had been deducted, were divided between the Ambulance’s fund and the piano fund. The piano, which is now the property of Bribie patrons, is a pleasant addition to the pleasure of the campers.

The Q.A.T.B. and St John’s Ambulance bearers have done excellent work, which is appreciated by all.

Dances were held every evening, and the fancy dress ball for New Year’s night was eagerly looked forward to.

The thanks of the community are extended to Miss Elsie Ackworth and Eric Butler for their untiring efforts at the piano and to various others who have contributed to the evenings’ entertainments.

source: The Daily Mail (Brisbane) Tue 3 Jan 1922 p. 10 

Bribie Island Progress Association 1st annual meeting

The first annual meeting of the Bribie Island Progress Association was held in Mr. G.P. Campbell’s office, Creek-street, last evening.  The chairman (Mr. C.E. Wise), in his report, outlined the formation of the association on March 15, 1921.  A general meeting had been held at Bribie on March 26, 1921, the late Mr. Page, M.H.R., being among those present.  Mr. Page had been fully seized with the need for leading lights being placed so as to enable vessels to make the passage to the island in safety at night time, also with the need of telephone communication with the mainland, and had promised to assist the association in these matters.  Unfortunately for the association, Mr. Page had been called to join the great majority, and his loss was mourned.  

The association’s present secretary (Mr. A. Hall) had interested Senator M. Reid in their needs, and he and Mr. G.P. Campbell had promised to interview the Deputy Postmaster-General regarding the telephone.  Mr. Campbell had not lost sight of the need for the proper lighting of the passage and the island.  A general meeting had been called for December 26, 1921, at Bribie, but unfortunately there had been too few in attendance for a meeting to be held.  The meeting had been adjourned until the following Saturday, but the weather had proved so inclement that no meeting had been held.  The thanks of the association was tendered to Mr. G.P. Campbell for his courtesy in allowing the committee meetings to be held in his office, and for his ready help in all matters relating to the welfare of Bribie.  Thanks were also tendered to Mr. H.H. Hamley, who, at the association’s last committee meeting, kindly offered to take certain levels in part of the township to enable the association to have correct data to work upon when further draining or leveling-up was done.  

Members of the committee were also thanked for their assistance in furthering the interests of the little seaside resort known as Bribie.  The following officers were re-elected:- Patron, Mr. G.P. Campbell; president Mr. C.E. Wise; vice-presidents, Messrs. T.W. Cary and C.B. Fox; secretary Mr A.T. Hall; treasurer Mr. F. Bell; committee Messrs. B. Winston, W. Reid, C.W. Campbell, F. Bell, H.H. Hamley, N. Coungeau, Robins, R.J. Davies, T.W. Cary, M. Robinson and Hill.  

source: The Brisbane Courier, Tue 21 Jan 1922, p. 8

A Message in a Bottle  

On Friday last Miss Vera Huet found a bottle in the first lagoon on the main beach at Bribie.  It contained a piece of paper on which was written: "Easter, 1919.  Ensign.  Anzac Memorial Day. Skipper R. Kenyon: crew, J.D. MacDonald, J. MacDonald, R. Burcher, A. Mannion, V. Mannion.  Thrown overboard Bramble Bay, 23rd April, 1919." 

source:  The Brisbane Courier, Tue 7 Feb 1922, p. 4

Hello Bribie! Scene at Bribie at the recent inauguration
of telephonic communication to the island.
The Daily Mail (Brisbane) 11.10.1922 p.11

Bribie Island Telephone Installed

Bribie Island was made gay yesterday with flags and streamers of red, white, and blue. Smart motor boats cruised about on the placid waters of the beautiful channel. The excursion steamer Koopa, bedecked with flags of many colours, was snugly berthed at the jetty, while hundreds of folks ashore wore joyfully celebrating the opening of telephonic communication between this historic island and the mainland. 

The Koopa had brought down from Brisbane Mr. G. P. Campbell (managing director of the Brisbane Tug and Steamship Co., Ltd.) and Mrs. Campbell, Mr. and Mrs. C. W. Campbell, Mr. and Mrs. C. B. Fox, Mr. and Mrs. A. Johnson, Councillor J. W. Carseldine (chairman), Councillor Zanow, and Mr. R. McPherson (clerk), of the Caboolture Shire Council, Mr. L. Thomas (manager of the Caboolture branch of the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney), Mr. C. E. Wise (chairman of the Bribie Progress Association), Mr. Winston (a member of the Progress Association), Mr. and Mrs. J. D. Bell, Mrs. Colin Clark, Mr. and Mrs. McDougall (Sydney), Captain J. Johnston (master of the Koopa) and Mrs. Johnston, Mr. and Mrs. J. P. Campbell, Mr. A. E. Hall (secretary of the Bribie Progress Association), and others, who heartily joined with the residents in publicly thanking those who had worked in the interests of the seaside resort.

Mr. G. P. Campbell entertained his guests at luncheon in the fine saloon of the Koopa. The party then landed, and for the first time officially the ''tinkle-tinkle'' of a telephone bell was heard on the island. It was the signal that Mr. McConachie (Deputy Postmaster-General of Queensland) wished to speak to Mr. G. P. Campbell. ''Hello! Is that Mr. McConachie?'' said Mr. Campbell. A silence fell over people present. A minute later Mr. Campbell walked out of the telephone cabinet, and announced that Mr. McConachie had asked him to convey to the people of Bribie Island his congratulations on the successful consummation of their efforts to have the island linked up with the mainland by means of a telephone line.

Mr. G. P. Campbell called upon Councillor Carseldine to declare the telephone open to the public. Councillor Carseldine referred to the occasion as a red-letter day for Bribie Island, and pointed out the great convenience the installation would mean to the community. The Brisbane Tug and Steamship Company, he stated, had been mainly responsible for the improvement. The company had expended a good deal of money in making other improvements on Bribie Island, such as building a jetty and erecting houses, etc., and he had been assured that the money spent in such work had not returned 2 per cent in interest. The company, however, did not look at the financial side of the matter, their only idea being to make that seaside resort a very pleasant place for people to visit. As far as Bribie was concerned since the present Caboolture Shire Council had been formed, it had expended all money received from the island in the way of rates, etc., in improving the place. No local authority could do more than that for any locality.

Councillor Zanow (the representative of No. 1 Division of the Caboolture Shire Council, in which area Bribie Island is included) spoke of the fine work done by the Brisbane Tug and Steamship Company in improving Bribie Island.

Mr. C. E. Wise (chairman of the Bribie Progress Association) and Mr. C. B. Fox spoke in laudatory terms of Mr. G. P. Campbell's efforts on behalf of the residents and visitors to Bribie Island.

Mr. G. P. Campbell said that whatever he had done for that seaside resort was a labour of love, and he did not want any credit for it. Another improvement contemplated was the lighting of the channel. This would enable the Koopa to be navigated to Bribie jetty at night time. Next week his company intended considering the questions of building a tramline across the island to the main beach, a distance of three miles. He hoped that within six months or eight months this tramline would be constructed.

source: The Daily Mail (Brisbane) 29 Sep 1922 p. 2 

Water supplies available at Bongaree

Bribie's Water Supply - The hon. secretary of the Bribie Progress Association (Mr. A.T. Hall) writes:- I would like to point out that the articles appearing in this (Tuesday) morning's "Courier" might suggest that no water is available at Bribie Island, except that supplied by the Brisbane Tug Co.  This is not so.  For the benefit of those who intend visiting the island during the coming Christmas holidays I wish to point out that there is a very plentiful supply of water not only from the tanks which have been so generously supplied by the Brisbane Tug Co. free of cost, but from several wells on the island, which have pumps attached, giving always a bountiful quantity of water, which is not only free from any discolouration or disagreeable smell, but quite good for either drinking or cooking purposes, and compares most favourably with the tap water supplied in Brisbane.  

The charges of 1d. per kerosene tin, which has been recently made, is not owing to any shortage, but to stop people from deliberately wasting the water the company has taken the trouble to supply.  At 1d. per keosene tin, to equal my water rates in Brisbane I would have to consume 5376 gallons per annum, which I do not.  

source: The Brisbane Courier, Thu 23 Nov 1922, p. 4  

Bribie Island Tennis Club

A tennis club has been formed here with the following officers:- Patron, Mr. G.P. Campbell; committee of management, Messrs. R.J. Davies, jnr. (chairman), W. Freeman, T. Mitchell, R.J. Davies, senr., and R. Patterson ; hon. secretary, Mr. W. Forde.  The committee has the laying down of a court well in hand, and expects to have the official opening performed on Boxing Day.  The Brisbane Tug Co. Ltd., generously placed the land for the court at the disposal of the club.  A fancy dress ball will be held at an early date to help the club financially.

Campers. - Given fine weather present indications point to a record number of campers to this popular island holiday resort.  The boarding establishments report full bookings for Christmas. 

source: The Brisbane Courier, Mon 18 Dec 1922, p. 10

News from the Country. Bribie. The Daily Mail (Brisbane) Tue 3 Jan 1922 p. 10  

Bribie Island Progress Association 1st annual meeting. The Brisbane Courier, Tue 21 Jan 1922, p. 8

A Message in a Bottle. The Brisbane Courier, Tues 7 Feb 1922, p. 4

Bribie Island Telephone Installed. The Daily Mail (Brisbane) 29 Sep 1922 p. 2 

Hello Bribie. [PHOTO] Scene at Bribie at the recent inauguration of telephonic communication to the island. The Daily Mail (Brisbane) Wed 11 Oct 1922 p.11

Bribie's Water Supply. The Brisbane Courier, Thu 23 Nov 1922, p. 4

Bribie Island. Tennis Club. The Brisbane Courier, Mon 18 Dec 1922, p. 10

Saturday 29 July 2023

Surf Life Saving Competition Summer 1929-30

This year the Bribie Island Surf Life Saving Club is celebrating 100 years 1923-2023. The following items relate to the 1929-1930 Surf Life Saving Competition which was held at Bribie Island's ocean or main beach (now known as Woorim beach).

Lifesaving Cup - The Silver Cup
Brisbane Tug and Steamship Co. Ltd.

source: The Telegraph 10.12.1929 p. 4

The Silver Cup which is offered by the Brisbane Tug and Steamship Co. Ltd. For Life Saving Competitions at Bribie Main Beach.  The first competition will be held on Sunday next.

Advertistment for Excursion
to Bribie Main Beach

source: The Brisbane Courier 14.12.1929 p. 2

The final surf life-saving competition for the silver cup donated by the Bribane Tug Company was decided at the Bribie ocean beach yesterday. The teams were judged on equipment and ceremonial work. The march past was followed by a demonstration of land and release drills and the resuscitation of the apparently drowned. ... Mr M.J. Kirwan, M.L.A. (president of the Royal Life Saving Society), presented the cup to Mr W.J. Smith, instructor to the Metropolitan A team.
The Metropolitan A Life-saving Team,
winners of the Brisbane Tug Company's Silver Cup at Bribie.
source: Daily Standard (Brisbane) 31.3.1930 p. 10 


Bribie Island Surf Life Saving Club - 100 Years 1923-2023

Lifesaving Cup - The Silver Cup (photograph)
The Telegraph, Tue 10 Dec 1929, p. 4 Via National Library of Australia, TROVE online database

Advertistment for Excursion to Bribie Main Beach
The Brisbane Courier 14 Dec.1929 p. 2 Via National Library of Australia, TROVE online database

Life Saving Competition. The Metropolitan A Life-saving Team, winners of the Brisbane Tug Company's Cup at Bribie. (photograph)
The Week (Brisbane) 4 Apr1930 p. 21 Via National Library of Australia, TROVE online database

Monday 26 June 2023

The Glasshouses

Renowned Australian authors Vance Palmer (1885-1959) and Nettie Palmer (1885-1964) lived economically "by their pens" at Caloundra from 1925-1929. The following article entitled The Glasshouses was written by Vance Palmer in 1927 - almost one hundred years ago.  These distinctive geological landforms still have a wonderous presence today and as Vance wrote below "have the same power of steeping the mind in mystery and casting a spell over the imagination".

The Glasshouses
by Vance Palmer

On entering Moreton Bay by daylight one is struck by the fantastic shapes of a group of bare mountains that rise from the low, scrubby shores of the mainland. In the morning light, with the sun on them, they look as if they were made of crystal; at dusk they might be cut out of cardboard, so sharp and definite are their lines, and so flatly do they arrange themselves along the horizon. 

The wonderous view of the Glass Houses at sunset.
Photo: Queensland Government
Glass House Mountains National Park webpage

At any time their aspect is surprising. The highest of them, Beerwah, is the exact replica of one of the Pyramids, and the others, each in its own way, suggest monuments of ancient Egypt. What intrigues the imagination is that they rise, independent and separate, out of flat, almost marshy, country, and are not conected with any range of mountains. This gives one the queer feeling that they have some human significance; that they are the relics of an old civilisation, and not merely natural features of the landscape.

Captain Cook noted them on the skyline when he sailed along this coast nearly a century and a half ago [now nearly two and a half centuries ago], and named them the Glasshouses. From the low decks of his little ship, or even from the rigging, he could only have seen the tops of them, with Moreton Island lying between, but he seems to have been struck by their strangeness. Flinders, some years later, got a clearer view of them. While his ship was lying at the southern end of Bribie Island he set out with a few men in a boat with the object of climbing the highest of them. Making his way up the passage he landed, and penetrating the dense tea-tree scrub he reached the base of one of them, but after gazing at the rocky escarpments above him he returned unsuccessful. His opinion was that they were inaccessible. Since some of them are easily scaled, even by ordinary climbers, it must have been one of the three chief mountains — Beerwah, Coonowrin, or Tibrogargan — that thwarted Flinders. It is a pity, for from the top of any of these three he would have gained a sight of the main object of his search — a river flowing into Moreton Bay.

None of these extraordinary peaks is quite inaccessible, as later explorers have proved. The highest of them, Beerwah ("up in the clouds" it meant in the native tongue), was climbed by Andrew Petrie in the 'forties. There is a pathetic story told in connection with this feat. A good deal of the folklore of the neighbouring native people was naturally connected with these striking Glasshouses, and they firmly believed that an evil spirit presided over Beerwah — a spirit that would turn anyone blind who attempted to invade its fastness. Since Andrew Petrie was their friend and protector they did their best to dissuade him from the attempt, but the sturdy old Scot laughed at them and found a path to the summit. His son records that when he actually did go blind later on, an acute tragedy to him in his vigorous middle-age, the native people took the fatality for granted. He was only paying the penalty, as they had foretold! 

But other people have climbed Beerwah since then without evil results. Although the highest of the Glasshouses, it is not the steepest. At the base there is a dense, twisted scrub that thins out higher up into shrubs and grasstrees, and, except for a couple of hundred feet of sheer rock rising almost perpendicularly, a scattered fringe of vegetation runs to the very top. Nor would the height (1,760ft.) seem formidable to New Zealand climbers. Like the others, its uniqueness lies in its shape, and in the way it rises suddenly from a swampy plain that was once a sea bed. From the top one gets an uninterrupted view over the dazzling panorama of Moreton Bay, with its grey-green islands, its sandy foreshores, and its wide expanse of blue water. It is a pity that the intrepid Flinders did not persist in making the ascent.

Of the other two major mountains, Tibrogargan (shaped like a helmet) has been climbed fairly often, but Coonowrin is a different proposition. In form it is a pyramid, with a great pillar of rock, several hundred feet high, rising perpendicularly from the summit. The approach up the sides of the pyramid is fairly easy, but when one reaches that massive pillar, smooth as the sides of a bottle, there seems no possibility of making the ascent. Until near the end of last century it was given up as impossible. Then a young artillery man, named Harry Mikalsen, who had been brought up near its base, succeeded in reaching the summit. He had formed the ambition of doing so when a boy, and had studied it from all angles and in all lights, tracing footholds and fissures in the rock till at last he found a path. A path, did I say? Even the chamois deer would hardly regard it as that, for at one point the only possible means of progress was up a thin, tall sapling that happened to grow in a line parallel to the face of the cliff. A few other people have since made the ascent, with Mikalsen to guide them, but there is never likely to be a beaten track to the summit.

What is the origin of these strange mountains? Geologists say they are volcanic eruptions of incredible age, probably from an ancient seabed. Through succeeding aeons they have passed through many changes. Once, when they were extinct and their sides were covered with crumbling lava, a thick vegetation began to clothe them. The wind and weather of centuries eventually wore off the crumbling surface at their crests, and most of the vegetation with it, leaving the basic rock exposed. The smooth pillar, for instance, which makes the climbing of Coonowrin so difficult, is formed of the molten stone that once plugged the crater of the extinct volcano. In practically all the Glasshouses hints of these plugs of molten stone can be seen; but in Coonowrin the outside shell has been more deeply worn away, so that the plug is left naked to every eye. It is like looking at the bones of an ancient dinosaur. That indefinable atmosphere of an earlier world hangs about it, and almost oppresses the imagination. Even the vegetation that clings about its base now — spiky shrubs, grasstrees with pointed spears and blackened trunks, and writhing teatrees — seem to belong to a vanished age — an age when everything was hard and horny, before the softness of the fern-world.

But, seen in the distance, they are strikingly beautiful. From many places along the northern coast of Moreton Bay one gets glimpses of them, and they seem to arrange themselves along the skyline, like a set of quaint hieroglyphics. The farther one gets away from them the more fragile they appear, and the more do their domes and pillars take on the semblance of crystal. There is a magic about them that makes them impossible to forget. I do not know any mountains that have the same power of steeping the mind in mystery and casting a spell over the imagination.


The Glasshouses by Vance Palmer
The Australasian 4.6.1927 p. 70 [viewable via National Library of Australia's Trove online resourc ]

Glass House Mountains National Park, Sunshine Coast. PHOTO

Biography of Edward Vivian (Vance) Palmer (1885-1959)
by Geoffrey Serle, 1988, Australian Dictionary of Biography v. 11.

Monday 29 May 2023

Little ship race

The following items from 1952 and 1953 describe the Brisbane to Bribie Island Little Ship Club's race, an annual event which attracted good support from the boating fraternity of Moreton Bay. 


41 Ships in race. 

The Little Ship Club's predicted-log race from Bishop Island to Bribie Island was won yesterday by Mr. K. D. McLellan, a Brisbane hotelkeeper.

Mr. McLellan, owner of the launch Apache, scored 191 points, 9 points below a possible maximum. 

Forty-one ships contested the De Candia Trophy (a barometer and thermometer suitably mounted). 

Mr. R. J. De Candia, secretary of the club and owner of the launch Dalmar, was second with 183 points. Mr. C. L. Persson, owner of Diane, placed third with 181 points, and the Zyris (R. Downes) was fourth.

Alvis in win

The club also conducted a yacht race which was won by Brisbane's crack yacht, Alvis, owned by Mr. F. J. Markwell. Tauranga (I. Morgan) was second, and Cimba (T. W. Early) was third. Alvis also gained fastest time.

The trophies were presented at a ball held at Bribie Island last night and attended by more than 400 people, about 300 of whom had been brought by the competing vessels.

The Brisbane Little Ship Club was formed by owners of vessels which comprised the auxiliary naval patrol during the war. It has a membership of more than 80 small craft, and is regarded as one of the biggest in Australia.

Sunday Mail (Brisbane) 31.8.1952 p.3 


The week-end of August 29 and 30 will be a busy one for members of the Little Ship Club, who will take their families on a joint club cruise to Bribie Island.

About 60 vessels will participate in the cruise, which will be led by the Commodore (Mr E.T. Early) and Mrs Early in Nyalla, the vice-commodore (Mr Joe Manahan) and Mrs Manahan in Mooloola, and the rear commodore (Mr J Davies) and Mrs Davies in Cherooke.

On the Saturday night a dance and presentation of trophies will be held at Bribie Hotel.

Brisbane Telegraph 18.8.1953 p.17 

Brisbane to Bribie Race Highlights
4KQ reports on race progress
Courier Mail 29.8.1953 p.7 

Last Saturday night the 4KQ "Fine and Dandy" Show was heard from Bribie Island in conjunction with Little Ships Club Brisbane to Bribie boat race. A description of the race was given by Peter Clarke, followed by the presentation of trophies and the variety show conducted by Allen Brandt on the lawns at the Bribie Island Hotel.

If you have any photos of the Little Ships that participated in the 1952 / 1953 races, or any other years, please send us an email at 

41 Ships in race. Sunday Mail (Brisbane) 31.8.1952 p.3 

Busy weekend. Brisbane Telegraph 18.8.1953 p.17

Further Reading:

Little Ship Club, Stradbroke Island

article: The Old River, 40 years ago, Memories of Little Ships. By a Skipper. Sunday Mail (Brisbane) 13.11.1932 p.20

Saturday 15 April 2023

Is it just a piece of driftwood or a relic

 The following article was published in the Bribie Times on 21 November 1986 and refers to a piece of driftwood that was found by Bribie Times staff member and photographer Terry Scarborough. The question posed - is it just a piece of driftwood or a relic from an old ship?

When is a lump of wood, not a lump of wood?

by Wes Thomas B.Sc.

Bribie Times, 21 Nov 1986 p. 6

When is a lump of wood, not a lump of wood! When it is a relic - that's when - and, possibly local photographer Terry Scarborough, has found just that. And not just any old relic either. It is in the right place to be a part of Flinder's boat, the "Norfolk" and it is certainly very old.

Now, before we get too involved in this, let us get a few things straight and, with that idea in mind, we turned to Stan Tutt. Stan is a noted writer and an authority on matters such as this (by the way, Stan has a book coming out in a few weeks time and it will be worth having at hand).

Stan Tutt told us that the relic was in the correct place to make it possible to be associated with Flinder's journies in Moreton Bay. Apparently, early in 1799, Flinders set out in "The Norfolk" to explore the northern coastline but ran into storms which created a serious leak in the ship, Stan outlined the story and referred us to the chronicles of Thomas Welsby.

Thomas Welsby's lifespan straddled the last half of the nineteenth century and the first third of this century [20th]. His talents inclined him to the recording of early history and, in particular, the explorations of Matthew Flinders. His records were gathered together by Thomson in the 1960s and published under the title "The Collected Works of Thomas Welsby" (Jacaranda Press, 1967, Edited by A.K. Thomson). In these volumes we discovered the facts.

Imagine the relief of the crew of the "Norfolk"when they discovered the sheltered waters of Moreton Bay after the battering that they had taken along the southeastern coast. On the afternoon of 16th July 1799, they passed into the Bay and anchored off the southwestern point of what is now Bribie Island. In the morning, Flinders and an aboriginal interpreter named Bongaree (from Sydney) and a few others went ashore. There was a party of natives on the Point and communication was at first friendly but, after receiving presents, they made an attack and one of them was wounded by gunfire.

We may be proud to have an important commercial centre on our Island known as Bongaree. Because of the representations by this remarkable man, the relations between these two isolated groups of people became friendly and Flinders stayed over a fortnight. Of course, they were all anxious to repair the leak, so the vessel was brought more around the point to a place where there was a "small beach close to which the depth was seven fathoms".

This, and other references quoted by Thomas Welsby make it clear that the site of these repairs was a locality we now know as ... [see Editor's Note] ...

That is where this ancient timbering in the form of a ship's plank has been found.

The relic discovred by Bribie Times photographer
& Advertising Manager, Terry Scarborough, November 1986.

A sentence from the writings of Thomas Welsby leaps out - "I wonder if any relics of Flinder's visit will ever turn up on the island frontage where thesloop was repaired". I wonder indeed.

Stay with us to learn about the steps that are being taken to investigate the possibility. Stay with us also to find out if we have got our history straight. For example, is the present day nomenclature with respect to Skirmish Point correct? And what happened to the key man in this situation - the man called Bongaree?

One thing I feel certain about - those men of the "Norfolk" enjoyed their stay while the vessel was being repaired. More about that too - Bribie Island's first tourists --- 187 years and 5 months ago.

Editor's Note: Upon the request of the Queensland Museum, we have withheld naming the vicinity of the relic to protect it against vandalism and sourvenir-hunters. Please, if you have sufficient knowledge of Bribie's history to work out its general location, we implore you not to interfere with it until the Museum can get to it once their work on the "Pandora" is finished in North Queensland. Also be advised that the relic has been officially reported to the Museum and now comes under the ownership and protection of that august body. Any interference with the relic will result in severe penalties to any offenders! 


Lifeboat Bribie [backgrounder series of articles] by Wes Thomas B.Sc.
Bribie Times, Friday November 21, 1986 page 6.

Thursday 9 March 2023

Matthew Flinders Exploration

The following article describes the official opening on 16 July 1988 of the Matthew Flinders memorial at Banksia Beach.

A voice from the past speaks

by David Thomas

Bribie Times Wed 20 July 1988

Visitors to Bribie Island are now able to have a short, personal chat to the first white man ever to land anywhere in Queensland.

Saturday's opening of the first of Bribie Bicentennial Committee's 'Talking Monuments' - the Matthew Flinders Memorial on Solander foreshore - is seen as a very positive step in providing a unique service to the Island's tourists.

The monument designed by a young QIT student - Kirsty Simpson - and sculpted by Tom Farrell, was officially opened in true Naval tradition by Lt Commander Don Kidd in front of a large crowd in superb sunshine on Saturday afternoon.

Not to be outdone by Australia's modern Navy, old Matthew Flinders himself (a la local identity Tom Abblett) started proceedings off with a somewhat inglorious arrival when his dory, crewed by three Navy Cadets from 'T.S. Moreton Bay' ran aground and became stuck about 20 metres from shore.

But, for a man of old Matty's skills and aplomb, a small setback such as this was no problem - after all, he managed to start the first and only non-nuclear war ever to be experienced in Queensland when he needed an event to commemorate the name 'Skirmish' for a certain part of the Island (unknown to many is the fact that Skirmish Point was actually named after Matty's second cousin by marriage, Frederick Amadeus Skirmish of Frogsbottom-by-the-Sea, Harts.)

After finally extricating himself from the sandbar by sending his crew overboard to push (one of whom disappeared splutteringly below when they finally hit deep water again), the rest of the impressive ceremony went 'by the book'.

After finally making it to shore, Matthew Flinders was escorted to the monument by members of Bribie's Navy Association.

In her opening address, President of the Bicentennial Community Committee, Margaret Guthrie, paid tribute to the many people who had helped bring about the Flinders Talking Monument.

Matthew Flinders Exploration memorial
Photo: John Huth, 2 Feb 2018

For specific mention, she singled out the Committee's Secretary, Frank Miller; Tom Farrell, the sculptor; Terry Reader, who did the electrical work; Brian Taylor, whose voice tells Matthew Flinder's story; and Vercorp Pty Ltd, developers of Solander Shores Estate, for landscaping, paving and help with funding the project.

Before officially declaring the monument open, Lt Cdr Don Kidd RAN gave a brief history of Matthew Flinders and honoured Australia's first and greatest navigator.

The flats of Australia, Queensland and the Bicentennial Authority were raised by Cadets from "T.S. Moreton Bay' as the audience sang "Advance Australia Fair'.

Mrs Guthrie then handed over the monument to Caboolture Shire Council for maintenance and upkeeping. Deputy Shire Chairman, Joy Leishman accepted on behalf of the Shire Chairman, who have to leave the ceremony early to fulfill another appointment.

Cr Leishman congratulated the Committee and promised on behalf of the Council, that the monument would be kept in good order by the Council.

The other two talking monuments - which will be opened later in the Bicentennial Year - are to tell the story of Bribie's original aboriginal inhabitants, situated at the new Community Arts Centre; and the third will tell of the early white pioneers who settled Bribie Island, to be situated near the Air Sea Rescue in Bellara. Both will be Talking Monuments as well.


Thomas, David (1988) A voice from the past speaks.
Bribie Times v3 no44, 20 July 1988, page 4.

Matthew Flinders Exploration monument, Banksia Beach - entry on Monument Australia
Captain Matthew Flinders, Royal Navy (1774 – 1814) was a distinguished English navigator and cartographer, who made three voyages to the southern ocean (August 1791 – August 1793, February 1795 – August 1800 and July 1801 – October 1810).
Online at