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.