Historical Material

1. Reference books available online

Fort Bribie - defending Brisbane in WWII: A Story Map. Explore the fort when it was operational digitally via imagery, GIS mapping and 3D rendered modelling provided by Queensland National Park rangers. April 2019.

Fort Bribie - defending Brisbane in WWII. Queensland Department of Environment and Science, 2019.
37 page document via National Library of Australia's Trove:

Fisher, Rod (1990)
Brisbane : the Aboriginal presence 1824-1860.
Brisbane, Qld. : Brisbane History Group, 1990. 106p.
A pdf file [23.55 MB] of the book can be accessed on the UQ eSpace website at

Lang, John Dunmore (1847)
Cooksland in north-eastern Australia: the future cotton-field of Great Britain: its characteristics and capabilities for European colonization with a disquisition on the origin, manners and customs of the Aborigines.
London : Longman, Brown, Green and Longmans, 1847. 523p.
A pdf file [13.9 MB] of the book, digitized by Google from the library of Harvard University and uploaded to the Internet Archive, can be accessed at

Petrie, C.C. (1904)
Tom Petrie's reminiscences of early Queensland dating from 1837.
Brisbane: Watson, Ferguson, 1904. 323p.
A pdf file [16.78 MB] of the book can be access on the UQ eSpace website at

Steele, J. G. (John Gladstone) (1984)
Aboriginal pathways in Southeast Queensland and the Richmond River.
St. Lucia, Qld.: University of Queensland Press, 1984. 366p.
A pdf file [108.98 MB] of the book can be accessed on the UQ eSpace website at

Steele, J.G. (John Gladstone) (1972)
The explorers of the Moreton Bay District, 1770-1830.
St. Lucia, Qld.: University of Queensland Press, 1972. 386p.
A pdf file [66.74 MB] of the book can be accessed on the UQ eSpace website at

Welsby, Thomas (1937) 
"Bribie - The Basket Maker"
Brisbane, Qld. : Barker's Bookstores, 1937. 146p.
A pdf file [25.9 MB] of the book can be accessed on the National Library of Australia's website

2. Other historical items online

Matthew Flinders (1774-1814)  https://worddisk.com/wiki/Matthew_Flinders/

3. Significant Events in Bribie Island's history

1912 - May - Passengers landed for the first time at the new Bribie jetty from steamship Koopa.

1919 - Mar - Emily Coungeau's poem Evening at Bribie Island published.

1951 - Jun - Brisbane Tug and Steamship Co. Ltd. put the ship Koopa, Bribie jetty and buildings up for sale.

1952 - Feb - ship Koopa taken over by new company, Moreton Bay Development Company.

1953 - May - Last voyage to Bribie by the ship Koopa.

4. Articles from TROVE

The National Library of Australia's TROVE website is an amazing resource.  Below are selected items relating to Bribie Island's history.

1912 - May

Koopa’s Excursions – The excursion steamer Koopa will make a trip to Redcliffe, this afternoon, leaving the Tug Company’s wharf at 3 o’clock to-morrow and on Monday trips will be made to Bribie Island, leaving Brisbane at 9.30, and calling at Redcliffe both going and coming.  It is expected that passengers to Bribie to-morrow and on Monday will be able to land on the new jetty.  [Source: The Telegraph, Sat 4 May 1912, p. 6 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article175233081 ]

1919 - Mar
Emily Coungeau poem – Evening at Bribie Island
A precious draught of beauty where the leaves
For ever croon a tender symphony,
And in its bed as one who lonely grieves
Lies that big jewel, the enchanted sea.
Its facets, charged with liquid, living light,
Lapis-lazuli, jade, and molten gold,
Sobbing or dreaming of some wondrous sight
That never yet to mortal has been told.

Through the green boughs the wind now gently stirs,
And in your hair we see pale flowers blow,
Sheltered so lovingly by slumberous firs,
Dear wood-anemones, how slim they grow.
The birds are singing in the cloud flecked sky,
A magpie chatters to its distant mate,
A gorgeous butterfly flits joyously
From bloom to bloom on downy wings of elate.

Hush ! see unsheathed the velvet wings of night,
Purple and silver-stoled her soft limbs are ;
We feel her presence ere her footfall light
Touches the earth, leaving Heaven's door ajar.
The air is steeped in heavy odorous scent,
The stars are broidered on celestial blue,
Soft, limpid eyes for countless aeons bent

Over earth's book to read the soul of you.
The moon has risen, the filmy moth wings pass,
A strange, new loveliness comes, silver-veiled.
Across the emerald carpet of deep grass.
The dew with diamond necklaces has trailed. . . .
Oh ! cool, dim woods, unknown are yet your ways.
That yearn for eager eyes and hands to press,
What lotus flowers may dream long happy days
In the deep pools of your fair wilderness.
*   *   *
And did not Beauty clothe each living thing,
The man, the tree, the flowers, with breath divine,
Life had no song.   .. Oh ! Master, we must bring
Our tribute to Thy feet, for all is Thine.
[Source: The Brisbane Courier, 29 Mar 1919, p. 12
 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article20250981  ]

1951 - Jun
TENDERS are invited for the purchase of the T.S.S. KOOPA, the Bribie Island Service, Jetty and Buildings at Bribie Island subject to existing Leases, as a going concern or alternatively separate tenders for the vessel, the service and the Bribie Island Jetty and Buildings will be considered.  Tenders close at noon on Saturday 30th June 1951 at the office of the Company.  The highest or any other tender not necessarily accepted.  BRISBANE TUG AND STEAMSHIP COY LIMITED. No 1 Circular Quay, Petrie's Bight, Brisbane. By order A E FARMER Secretary. [source: The Sydney Morning Herald, Monday 4 June 1951, p.6 
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18213523 ]

1952 - Feb
Koopa crashes Redcliffe jetty.  30 escape flying planks.  
Redcliffe, Sat. - Thirty people ran for safety when the Koopa crashed into Redcliffe jetty this morning.  The crash sent four-inch planks hurtling through the air but nobody was hurt. The Koopa was pulling into the jetty on her first trip to Bribie Island under the ownership of a new company.  Her port bow was dented but she will not need repairs.  After five minutes' delay, she resumed her trip to Bribie yesterday.  She will run on schedule to-day.  On the jetty two fender poles, 30in. diameter, were knocked out of alignment, and a 12in. by 9in. bearer was torn out.
Caught by gust
Captain John Marion said when the Koopa reached Brisbane last night that a gust of wind had caught her as she neared the pier.  Her newly-painted hull made her slide through the water faster than usual. [Source: Sunday Mail (Brisbane) Sun 17 Feb 1952, p. 3 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article98350535  ]

1953 - May
"FAREWELL" AT BRIBIE. Last voyage by Koopa?
The pleasure boat Koopa, which has been running to Bribie Island since 1911, has probably made her last trip. The Moreton Bay Development Co. Ltd., which owns the Koopa and extensive Bribie Island assets, has decided to seek voluntary liquidation.
On Monday, the Koopa was given an "ocean liner" farewell by Bribie Island residents. Streamers stretched from the boat to the jetty, and hundreds of residents gathered to see her off as she steamed out for the return trip to Brisbane. Since then the Koopa has been berthed at Evans Deakin's whart.
Mr. H. Jarvis, manager of the company, said last night that liabilities and lack of working capital had forced the decision to seek liquidation. When it became evident some time ago that the company could not carry on he approached the State Government for help in the form of a loan, grant, or subsidy. "Although we had the solid backing of the Tourist Bureau, the Government turned us down," Mr. Jarvis said.
The Koopa was built in Scotland in 1911 and made her first Brisbane River trip on Boxing Day that year, was valued at £44,000, he continued. The 416-ton vessel is 192 feet long, and has a carrying capacity of 1153.
Beside the Koopa, the company owns the guesthouse and cafe at Bribie Island, the jetty, post office, other small buildings and several acres of land. Mr. Jarvis said that Hayles Cruises Pty Ltd would carry on a tri-weekly service to Bribie Island until a meeting of his company's shareholders on May 25. He did not know what would happen after that.  Hayles would run return trips on Thursdays, Friday nights, and Sundays, he added. The only other means of getting to Bribie Island is by vehicular ferry from Toorbul Point. Bribie Island has a permanent population of about 500.
[Source: The Courier Mail, Fri 8 May 1953, page 7 
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article50561936 ]

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