Thursday 28 March 2024

Bribie State School anniversaries and events

In 1907 the Lightkeepers in Charge of the Marine Department's Light Towers on northern Bribie Island requested a half-time school be established on Bribie Island to educate their children. A teacher was appointed and a suitable room found for the 8 to 10 pupils who attended. During 1908-1909 this fledgling school had two teachers, Miss F.E. Emery and Miss Stanieg however following Miss Stanieg's resignation in November 1909, the Department of Public Instruction did not appoint another teacher. [1]

Bribie State School Anniversaries
and Events of Interest

1923 July 21 - public meeting held to elect a School Building Committee : BONGAREE BRIBIE STATE SCHOOL - A Public meeting of Residents and Property Owners of the Township and district will be held at the Kiosk, Bongaree, at 3.30pm on Saturday, the 21st instant, for the purpose of electing a School Building Committee in conformance with the provisions of the Education Act. For and on behalf of the Provisional Committee.– Harry Wright, Hon. Secretary.
Source: The Daily Mail, Brisbane, Sat. July 7, 1923, p. 17

1923 August - List of parents and children residing near proposed School at Bongaree, Bribie, dated July 30th 1923. [Ormiston, Creber, Campbell, Ball, Shields, Parsons, Bastin (their grandfather was H. Wright), Landells, Mountain View, Bribie.] Petition [date stamped received 2 Aug 1923] re opening a provisional school for children resident on Bribie Island – 15 children from Bestmann, Ormiston, Creber, Campbell and Parsons families. [1]

Report dated 27 Aug 1923 by W.E. Benbow, District Inspector re need for school and offer by the Tug Co. to use the local hall until a suitable building is provided for the school. [1]

Bribie Island. The school inspector, Mr Benbow, has made an inspection of the school site at Bribie.
Source: The Daily Mail, Sat 8 Sep 1923 p. 16 

Dance Hall and School on The Hill, 1925.
Photo: Vera Campbell Album / Ted Clayton collection
VC8_012, BIHS Historical Database

On 4 February 1924 the Bribie Island Provisional School was opened by the foundation head teacher Mr. L.F. Diplock in a building owned by the Brisbane Tug and Steamship Company and located opposite the Bribie Jetty. The building served as a schoolroom from Monday to Friday, a Dance Hall on Saturday and a Place of Worship on Sunday hence the term provisional school. A school building was erected in 1925 and the Bribie State School came into being. [2] 

1925 February 16 - building completed so Bribie Island state School established from former provisional school.
Source: Telegraph Fri 15 May 1925, p. 5

1925 November - The State School, which now has a roll call of 35, is in the charge of Mr L.F. Diplock, whose qualifications are so high that Bribie is extremely fortunate in having secured his services.
Source: The Brisbane Courier, Tue 10 Nov 1925, p. 15 

Bribie State School.  Friday last was a gala day for the pupils attending the Bribie State School.  Sports were held during the day, and in the evening a children's party and dance was held.  The school was tastefully decorated.  A bush house, erected under the guidance of Mr. J. Ewing, served as a refreshment booth.  In the sports, Walter Campbell won the championship event and the flat races.  The Ormiston brothers won the three-legged race, and M. Kerr the potato race.  Constance Turner won the championship events and flat races.  D. Shirley and M. Bestmann won the three-legged race, the former also winning the junior potato race and 75 yards handicap.  D. Moyle won the skipping contest, and A. Moyle the senior potato race.  Those in fancy dress in the evening were :- D. Moyle, R. Kerr, D. Shirley, M. Bestmann, A. Moyle, M. Cotterill, M. Kerr, J. Ormiston, W. Campbell, M. Campbell, T. Wright, M. Shields, N. Ison, K. Freeman, L. Shirley, P. Kerr, E. Ormiston, M. Ormiston, J. Creber, R. Creber and J. Creber.  The judges were Miss E. Davis and Mr. Lee.  A competition was won by W. Campbell.  Gordon Shields, R. Kerr and D. Shirley gave entertaining items.  Before asking the chairman of the committee (Mr. W. Freeman) to give each child attending the school a book present, the head teacher (Mr. L.F. Diplock) thanked the donors; the ladies' committee (Mesdames Ison, Creber, Ormiston, Ewing, and Wright) for their efforts to ensure a successful day; Mr. Lee, the Brisbane Tug and S.S. Co.; and Messrs. Ewing, Shields and Kerr for help.  After the distribution of presents, D. Shirley received a gold brooch; J. Ormiston and W. Campbell a gold medal for highest number of points.
Source:  The Brisbane Courier, Wed 16 Dec 1925, p. 19 

1926 September - On the occasion of the opening of a motor launch service between Caloundra and Bribie there was a visit by members of Landsborough Shire Council. ... The officials of the Bribie School Committee were alive to the presence of Mr. Warren and asked him to fix a date for the opening (official) of the school-room lately transported from Toorbul Point to Bribie.
Source: Nambour Chronicle and North Coast Advertiser Fri 17 Sep 1926 p.10 

1926 October - tender approved for 5 chains of new footpath, 6 feet wide, on street leading to school.
Source: The Brisbane Courier, Sat 23 Oct 1926, p. 3

1927 December - Bribie Island State School.  Yesterday was a red-letter day for the pupils attending the Bribie Island State School, the occasion being the annual breaking-up ceremony and distribution of prizes.  The event was held at Poverty Point, which is situated about eight miles up Pumicestone Passage, and approximately fifty pupils and fifty adults made the journey by boat.  An interesting programme of races and various sports was enjoyed, and the following were the winners of the principal events:- 75 yards handicap; Gordon North; Three-legged race, Percy Newton and Willie Kerr; kangaroo race, Willie Kerr and Eric Ormiston.  The function was completed with a most successful and enjoyable dance last night.
Source: The Brisbane Courier, Sat 17 Dec 1927, p.10 

1929 Feb - SCHOLARS INCREASING.  The attendance at the State school shows a steady increase, the number of scholars now on the roll being 44 as against 16 when the school was opened a few years ago.  The average daily attendance is 41.  A meeting of parents will be held during the ensuing week to elect a school committee.
Source: Telegraph Sat 23 Feb 1929 p. 19

1930 Apr - local overseer to set out the track work in the street leading towards the school. source: Nambour Chronicle and North Coast Advertiser Fri 25 Apr 1930 p. 5

The head teacher (Mr C.A. McCahon) and scholars 
of the Bribie Island State School. [3]
source: Brisbane Courier 21.6.1930 p. 13

1930 Jun - in keeping with the progress of the settlement of Bribie, the State School has 25 children and Mr C.A. McCahon as head teacher. [Article has a photo of Bribie School and head teacher McMahon - see above]
Source: The Brisbane Courier, Sat 21 Jun 1930, p. 13

1932 Nov - local health inspector visited the State school and found the water tank in very bad condition and the scholars wash basin missing.
Source: Nambour Chronicle and North Coast Advertiser, Fri 25 Nov 1932, p. 3

1935 Jun - School Committee asked the local council for the road to school be cleared and levelled.
Source: Nambour Chronicle and North Coast Advertiser, Fri 28 Jun 1935, p. 3

1936 Dec - school committee held a euchre party and dance to raise funds for the breaking-up picnic.
Source: The Courier Mail, Wed 2 Dec 1936, p. 14 

1936 Dec - children's fancy dress ball at which Joan Dorsett and Afton Robertson were awarded the prize for the best fancy dress, Violet Coston and Billy Braund won most original costumes. 
Source: The Courier Mail Thu 17 Dec 1936 p. 5  

1937 May - Arbor Day observed, head teacher gave the children a nature study lesson and tended the growing trees, committee and parents provided afternoon for the school and visitors.
Source: The Courier Mail, Tue 25 May 1937, p. 23 

Bribie State School, 1938.
Principal Mr F. Kinne
source: Bribie State School 1924-1974 Golden Jubilee booklet
1974, p. 9

1942 Feb - Bribie State School was one of 506 schools to open again after the Government's closure of schools in the coastal belt since the Christmas vacation. The guiding principle would be: "No shelter, no school".
Source: The Courier Mail, Thu 19 Feb 1942, p. 3

1944 Apr 15 - State Elections held and Bribie Island School was one of the Polling-places.  
Source: Nambour Chronicle and North Coast Advertiser, Fri 10 Mar 1944, p. 2 

1944 Apr - Mr George Robert Samuel McKeown, head teacher, State School Bribie to relocate to Bluff Colliery.
Source: Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton), Tue 11 Apr 1944, p. 2

1950 - Mr W James transferred from Raglan School to Bribie Island School.
Source: Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton) Fri 20 Jan 1950, p. 9

1950 - mobs of 20-30 cattle roaming through Bongaree and concern expressed that children are not safe walking on account of the streets being occupied by "camps" of the cattle.
Source:  The Courier Mail, Wednesday 1 March 1950, p2

Bribie State School, 1951.
source: Bribie State School 1924-1974 Golden Jubilee booklet
1974, p. 4

Bribie State School, 1951.
Mr Walter James with his pupils.
source: Bribie State School 1924-1974 Golden Jubilee booklet
1974, p. 9

1954 Jan - local children received an extra school holiday due to the electricity being "switched on". 
Source: Brisbane Telegraph, Sat 23 Jan 1954, p. 26

1954 Oct - the school has two teachers, about seventy children attend, local population about 500. 
Source: Truth (Brisbane) Sun 3 Oct 1954 p. 27  

1960 Sep - bush fires on Bribie and local residents fought to save Bribie Island school as flames encircled the building.
Source: “Blaze over Bribie” in Courier-Mail, September 29, 1960, page 1

1961 Nov 4 - Water supply switching on event. Mr D McNaught, head-teacher had charge of the pre-ceremony program and the children gave a display of folk-dancing.
Source: North Coast & Stanley District News, Thur 9 Nov 1961, p. 1 & p. 4. 

1965 Sep - The Head Teacher of the Bribie State School was pleased to accept an invitation to the staff and children to visit the Army Field Hospital at Woorim.
Source: Bribie Star, v.4 no. 7, 24 September 1965, p.4

1969 Sep - new school uniform for Bribie State School.
Source: Bribie Star 3 Oct 1969 p. 2

Bribie State School, 1974.
source: Bribie State School 1924-1974 Golden Jubilee booklet 1974 p. 10

50th Anniversary 1924-1975
In 1974 the staff of the Bribie State School consisted of Principal, six staff teachers, two teaching aides and one library aide with an enrolment in excess of 200 wrote Mr C.W. Douglas, Booklet p. 12.

Bribie State School 1924-1974 Golden Jubilee booklet

The 50th anniversary booklet has a photo (page 4) of Staff of Bribie State School - 1974 - PJ Robertson (gr 5); Mrs. Bourke (gr 2); BN Hounslow (Acting Principal, gr 6); Mrs. J. Taylor (Aide); MJ Woolnough (gr 7); Mrs. V. Box (gr 1); Mrs. F. Maudsley (Lib. Aide); Mrs. K. Melzner (Aide); Miss J. Carr (gr 3); Mrs. T. Daamen (gr 4)

Changing visions : Bribie Island State School
75th anniversary 1924-1999.
75th Anniversary 1924-1999
The 75th anniversary Book Committee: Mrs Marcia Cross, Mrs Lesley English, Mrs Deborah Parry, Mrs Sandra Gorton, Mrs Rita McNaught.


[1]. Cheryl Thornely collection - CT01 docs 1-6. BIHS Historical collection.
Item 1: Copy of letter dated 29 July 1907 from Portmaster on behalf of the Lightkeeper in Charge of Bribie Island re undertake the establishment of a half time school at Bribie Island.
Item 2: Letter dated 17 September 1907 from Portmaster re appointment of teacher at proposed provisional school at Bribie Island.
Item 3: Letter dated 27 September 1907 re list of equipment for the proposed provisional school at Bribie Island for a probably attendance of 8 to 10 pupils.
Item 4: Letter dated 24 Sep tember1908 re appointment of Miss F.E. Emery to the recently established school at Bribie Island.
Item 5: Letter dated 18 February 1909 from Florence Emily Emery re resignation as provisional school teacher at Bribie Island at the end of March 1909, as her parents need her at home.
Item 6: Letter dated 16 Nov 1909 re transfer of Miss Stanieg from the Provisional School at Bribie island and not to appoint another teacher at present.

[2]. Diplock, L.F. (1974) The early days of Bribie State School. Bribie State School 1924-1974 Golden Jubilee, p. 2.

[3]. [Article has a photo of Bribie School and head teacher McMahon] The Brisbane Courier, Sat 21 Jun 1930, p. 13 


1974 50th anniversary.
Bribie State School 1924-1974 Golden Jubilee. 16 pages

1999 75th anniversary.
Changing visions : Bribie Island State School 75th anniversary 1924-1999. 160 pages.

The National Library of Australia's online newspaper resource Trove is indeed a wonderful treasure-trove.    

Wednesday 28 February 2024

Cyclone Annie 1963 New Year's Day

In the early hours of 1st January 1963, Cyclone Annie crossed the coast near Noosa and left a trail of damage as it moved south. As noted in the article below, on the half-completed Bribie Island Bridge, one of the temporary huts was blown over into the water.

Campers spent a “terror” night

Hundreds of campers from Woody Point to Bribie Island packed in confusion and fled homeward at first light yesterday after a night of terror.

SHADED AREA on map shows the area in which Cyclone Annie was felt. Lines show how the cyclone's centre – located by the Weather Bureau radar at 3 a.m. yesterday 60 miles east-north-east of Tewantin – split in two. Late last night the bureau said one cyclone centre was still in the Gayndah area, but was filling in. The other prong  swept over Brisbane early yesterday bringing winds of up 53 miles an hours. A total of 34 points of rain fell at the Weather Bureau yesterday.
Courier Mail Wed 2.1.1963 p.1

Scores spent Monday night crouched in rain-sodden tents, holding them down against wind gusts which ripped many to pieces. Crashing trees in some camp areas were an added hazard.

At Beachmere, on the northern shore of Deception Bay, a 3 ft.-thick tree crashed near two tents crowded with men, women and children.

By 10 a.m. yesterday all camping reserves were half deserted. Exhausted people were lying in a watery sunshine, snatching a few minutes rest after a sleepless night, before packing up and travelling home. Redcliffe City Council supplied two trucks with drivers to help campers who were without transport.

The cyclone battered the half-completed £236,000 Bribie Island Bridge, but no structural damage was done. The winds caused a pile-driver to drag its many anchors, and a floating crane was swept 20 yards from its moored position.

Workmen’s huts and buildings housing equipment were blown over and smashed. Part of one hut, erected on the bridge, was blown over into 30ft. of water.

ROADBLOCK caused by one of several big trees uprooted by yesterday's cyclone.
 It was thrown across the Bruce Highway north of Caboolture. The road, which is skirted by timber
from Caboolture on, was yesterday covered with branches and debris. Courier Mail Wed 2.1.1963 p.5

Two die when cyclone rips into coast. Courier Mail Wed 2.1.1963 p.1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 11.
article and photos

Campers spent a "terror" night. Courier Mail Wed 2.1.1963 p.3.

 Cyclone fury rips Caloundra tents as campers flee winds. Courier Mail Wed 2.1.1963 p.5.

Saturday 27 January 2024

The Koopa Estate - 1920 - Toorbul Point - Ningi Creek

Over a century ago, in 1920, 18 lots of land were offered for sale in "The Koopa Estate" which was described as "situated on Toorbul Point, frontage to Ningi Creek". The following advertisements give details about these 'seaside farms'. 

The items below refer to accompanying lithographs - if you have a copy of a lithograph of the Koopa Estate from 1920 please send us an email at 

The Koopa Estate. For Sale.  [Large advertisement] 18 Beautiful Farms, 30 to 85 acres each. Situated on Toorbul Point, frontage to Ningi Creek, within half an hour’s trip by motor boat from Bribie Island.  Ideal citrus, pineapple, and banana land, splendid dairying country.  All subtropical products grow to perfection.  This is an exceptional opportunity to secure a Seaside Farm, in the beautiful locality, easy terms, only 1/10th deposit, 9 years for balance.

The Koopa Estate. For Sale.
18 Beautiful Farms, 30 to 85 Acres Each
The Telegraph 23 December 1920 p. 10

The numerous products of the adjoining lands are well known to the large crowds of Bribie visitors. Buyers can inspect this fine Estate by motor boat, leaving Bribie Jetty at 8 a.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, 29th and 30th December, or by application to the agents from Caboolture. Lithographs, further information and prices obtainable from Morton & Davis, Property Salesmen, 298 Adelaide Street (opp. Howard Motor Coy.), Brisbane and Caboolture or from the Office of the Brisbane Tug Company, and from J. Campbell, Bribie
Source: The Telegraph 23.12.1920 p. 10


Koopa Estate, 18 beautiful mixed Orchard and Dairy Farms, situated on Toorbul Point, handy to Bribie Island, or by road to Caboolture; £4 to £8 per acre. 9 years’ terms. Morton & Davis, Property Salesmen, Caboolture.
Source: The Daily Mail, 28.12.1920 p. 8

The Koopa Estate.
Choice farms, 30 to 85 acres,
each situated on Toorbul Point,
30 minutes by motor boat from Bribie.
Splendid fishing and boating.
The Telegraph Sat 29 Jan 1921 p. 16


The Koopa Estate. For Sale. [Large advertisement] 18 Beautiful Farms, 30 to 85 acres each. Situated on Toorbul Point, frontage to Ningi Creek, within half an hour’s trip by motor boat from Bribie Island. 
The Telegraph Thu 23 Dec 1920, p. 10 

The Koopa Estate. [Large advertisement] Choice farms, 30 to 85 acres, each situated on Toorbul Point, 30 minutes by motor boat from Bribie. Splendid fishing and boating.
The Telegraph Sat 29 Jan 1921 p. 16

Koopa Estate.
The Telegraph Thu 23 Dec 1920, p. 10

Koopa Estate, Toorbul Point.
The Daily Mail Tue 28 Dec 1920, p. 8