Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Peter Ludlow's Blog

Local historian Peter Ludlow has maintained a Blog since March 2015 and recently posted several items related to Bribie Island.

Below is a link to each post and a brief description of its contents.

Peter Ludlow's Moreton Bay History blog

Koopa Memories [10 Dec 2016]
features recollections by Marilyn Carr and photo of "Koopa" at Bribie Jetty 1920s (photo courtesy of Ian Hall).

Bullets and Beans [3 Dec 2016]
features recollections by Marilyn Carr and photo of Pebble Beach Memorial, Toorbul Point.

The People of the Passage (Bribie in its Golden Era of the 1930s) [17 Sep 2016]
Peter Ludlow's story of life on Bribie Island featuring Dave King and son Eric King, Lottie Tripcony, Freddie Crouch, arrival of the Koopa, Wally Campbell, Mr Freeman, departure of the Koopa and photo of 1) Camping at Bribie in the 1920s and 2) Sunset across the Passage from Bribie Island.

Stories from Bribie Island - 2 [3 Sep 2016]
Peter Ludlow's writing of early Bribie. Also features recollections from Jack Wheeler and Lyne Marshall with photo of 1) a Postcard from Bribie Island - Koopa Jetty, tents, from Marian Young;  2) Koopa approaching Bribie Island from Yvonne D'Arcy and 3) Hauling in the mullet from Lyne Marshall.

Stories from Bribie Island - 1 [27 Aug 2016]
features recollections from Les Bax, Jim Ormiston and Lisa West. Also photo of s.s. Cormorant (hulk at Bongaree) and photo of Ian Fairweather and hut from Ron Powell.

"Moreton Bay People - The Complete Collection" by Peter Ludlow.
A Healthy Neglect – Kathleen McArthur
Settling The Still Water Side – Ian Hall
That Bribie Feeling  – Adrian Dalgarno
A Sylvan Sketch – Lisa West
The House By The Sea – Ian Fairweather
The Road To Bribie  – Dorothy Schulte
Starting From Scratch – Jim Ormiston
Shellgrit And Cargo – Audrey Abrahams [nee Maloney]
The People Of The Passage
The Shields Of Bribie Passage – Don Shields
The Bell Family – Bribie Island 1915 – 1979 – June Berry
Doctor At The Fort – Doctor Noel Ure
Fort Bribie – Stan Muller
Fort Bribie Revisited – John McKenna/Doctor Noel Ure

Nostalgia by Neil Groom

Cover "The Sunday Mail
- Nostalgia Book" 1986
The following article by Neil Groom is a wonderful description of a trip through Moreton Bay on the steamship Koopa.  What an exciting prospect it would have been for Brisbanites - young and old alike! 

A super day on the bay aboard the Koopa
Neil Groom
Nostalgia column, The Sunday Mail, circa 1983.
From "The Sunday Mail - Nostalgia Book, 1986, p. 26-28.

The first tremor of the deck sparked a surge of excitement that sent shivers up the back.  

To confirm the wondrous feeling, eddies swirled from the ship's stern to wash with a splashing sound around the barnacle-crusted piles of the Petrie Bight wharf.  This tingling start of the trip was the joyful start of a day in the bay for the boys and girls of Brisbane — adults, too, when the good ship Koopa steamed to Redcliffe and Bribie Island.

To the young'uns particularly, a Koopa trip held as much wonder as a space age launch of today. The Koopa, in her prime days, was termed "the queen of Moreton Bay".

Her reign began in 1912 when the 416-tonne ship, specially built in Scotland for the Moreton Bay excursion trade, arrived in Brisbane after a lumpy trip from Leigh.  Koopa — Aboriginal for "flying fish"— had a rousing welcome from Brisbane, and the owners, the Brisbane Tug and Steamship Company, established a Brisbane-Redcliffe-Bribie Island run. The ship could accommodate 1600 people, and the joys of a Koopa day on the bay would still be remembered by the senior citizens.

The Koopa left from Petrie Bight. It called at Redcliffe jetty, and then cut across to Bribie Island. It was a regular attraction for the Redcliffe and Bribie folk who invariably turned out in hundreds to watch the ship berth.

Being the sole link with Bribie, the Koopa usually carried a homely collection of holidaying families and their luggage.

One of my clearest recollections about the Koopa was leading the family dog — a noted brawler up the gangplank, and being detailed to tether him in a starboard corner, well away from other aggressive hounds.

The first shivers of excitement for the young'uns would come when Captain J.S. Johnston would take station on deck, supervising the casting off procedure.  Lines would drop into the water as they slipped the bollards, the gangplank would be shipped with a rumble, Captain Johnston, in white uniform and a peaked cap of authority, would disappear to the wheelhouse.  There would be a distant jangle of engine room telegraph bells. Smoke would stream from the funnels. Then that breathtaking tremor of the deck, and the swirl from the stern.
ship Koopa
Source: Groom, 1986, p. 27
And Look! The ship is actually moving! Boy! Here we go on the grand bay adventure. The Koopa was off and away.

Mums would hurriedly stock take on kids, making sure none were still on the wharf, or in the wake of the ship. Some dads would make a navigational estimate of when the ship would pass the Hamilton Cold Stores, for at this point the bar would open.

Then the Koopa would steam downriver, past New Farm and Bulimba, down the Hamilton Reach. A bit of a pong at the abattoirs at Colmslie, and past Luggage Point everyone would gasp "Whew!" and ladies would apply the cologne-dabbed hanky to noses.

Out in the bay it was the high seas. Shrieks as spray spattered over the bows and the folk clustered at the sharp end. Maybe the ship would roll a trifle as a sea lifted the stern. More shrieks.

Timetable for Koopa
Exhibition Week 1947

Source: WMHS newsletter
no. 62 May 2014 p. 4-5
At Redcliffe, there were more jangling bells from the engine room. The ship shuddered as the screw went astern, a surge of foam fanning out and jellyfish turning over in the whiteness.

On to Bribie where the jetty had a great, heavy trolley on rails for baggage. People, hanging desperately on to straining dogs, would be towed down the gangplank, sometimes headlong. Dads and mums would stagger on their way to holiday houses, suitcases dragging at their arms.  Day trippers would fan out for their couple of hours of fun.

This was the Koopa picture from 1912 until 1942 when the old lady of the bay was called up for World War II service.  She served as a mother ship for patrol boats along the northern coasts of Papua New Guinea. While being fitted out for this task, Brisbane was agog with rumors that the old lady was being prepared as General MacArthur's secret weapon in a fearsome assault on the Japanese.

The old Koopa returned to civvy life in 1945, but her time was running out. She made her last bay trip in May, 1953, and the old girl finished as scrap iron on a Myrtletown mud flat.

She brought a lot of pleasure to Brisbane in her long career. Trips, staff picnics, all fun occasions. To small boys and girls she was a wonder ... a real, live, noisy, exciting engine room for all to see. And an impressive real, live captain on the bridge.  Waves, jellyfish, seagulls, the thud of waves on the bow, the boiling wake. Wow! What a day!

Groom, Neil (1986) A super day on the bay aboard the Koopa. In: "The Sunday Mail - Nostalgia Book" by Neil Groom, with contributions by Ken Blanch. 1986. p.26-28.
ISBN 0 949381 07 1

Wynnum Manly Historical Society Inc. (WMHS) Newsletter no. 62 May 2014 pages 4-5

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Apr 2017 speaker

Arthur Morley and Elsie Bates
Lynne Hooper, BIHS president
Guest speaker at BIHS meeting April 2017

At our April meeting BIHS president Lynne Hooper gave a fascinating account of the vaudeville careers of Arthur Morley (Albert Morley Welch) and Elsie Bates (Elsie Tottey).  Arthur and Elsie purchased a retirement home on Bribie in 1934.

Elsie Bates
Biography [online] Australian Variety Theatre Archive
Image Source: Australian Variety 23 May (1915) Cover
By means of a PowerPoint presentation she gave a brief history of Vaudeville in Australia and then moved through the highlights of their careers on stage throughout Australia.  Elsie was a serio-comic and dancer while Arthur was a basso singer.  They met when they worked together at the Gaiety Theatre in Melbourne in 1905, marrying in Sydney in 1907.  Though still singing and taking part in the Vaudeville shows Arthur went on to write and produce songs for revusicals and pantomimes.  His songs were so popular they were published for the music stores. 

By the 1930s they were living in Brisbane and Arthur was working in radio for 4BC.  His first character was Bob Breezy but the one that had new and old fans flocking to listen was the ’Old Timer’. The ‘Old Timer’ recaptured the romance of the stage, he spoke of men and women he knew and worked with, particularly those who graced the vaudeville stage in the days when he himself was a front-rank vaudevillian.

It was during this time they visited Bribie Island decided to buy their retirement house.  Arthur was 65 in 1934 when they bought 2 block of lands where the IGA now stands in Welsby Parade.  They build a high-set house and it was purchased in Elsie’s name.  The annual leave rental was 15s.

In 1935 Arthur passed away and Elsie retired to Bribie Island.  Their youngest son Valentine was registered at the Bribie Island State School and it was at Bribie she met her second husband, John Sabey, and they were married in 1941 – Elsie was 58 as was Sabey. They had to leave Bribie during the war and lived in Brisbane but they moved back to Bribie Island at the end of the War.

In 1947 Elsie sold the lease of the property to Terry Vines who ran his grocery shop “The Duck-Inn” as it had a very low entry doorway.

Elsie and John moved to Mt. Nebo where Elsie died on 28 October 1953.

Elsie Bates biography [online] Australian Variety Theatre Archive

Mar 2017 speaker

Early Maps of Moreton Bay
Donna Holmes, past BIHS president
Guest speaker at BIHS meeting March 2017

At our March meeting past BIHS president Donna Holmes, through a PowerPoint presentation, gave us a glimpse of early maps of Moreton Bay, identifying the change of the spelling of Morton to Moreton and the "moving" of Moreton Bay from the western side of Moreton Island to the bay encircled by Moreton and Stradbroke Islands.

Donna presented some rare maps advising she had purchased them (in digital format) from UK and Australian archives. Donna advised that in a lot of cases she buys maps sight unseen only going by the references made – unfortunately some images are not what she has hoped they would be, but luckily some are gems.

Maps shown were from expeditions by Captains Cook, Flinders, Grant and the 1823 Oxley expedition. An interesting map from 1803, by Eber Bunker, a captain of a whaling vessel was shown.

Donna finished the presentation by showing the earliest images of Australia appearing on Dutch and French maps.

These latter maps can be viewed on the website of the Queensland Lands Museum:
1550 - LaTerre Australle (Desceliers) [French]
1753 - Terres Australes (Bellin) [French/Dutch]

Early exploration maps – available online Queensland Lands Museum
Blair, David (2009) Moreton Bay – the Bay that moved.
Placenames Australia: newsletter of the Australian National Placenames Survey, June 2009, p. 1, 3, 7. [available online at ]
Steele, J.G. (1972) The Explorers of the Moreton Bay District 1770-1830. Brisbane: University of Queensland Press, 1972.

Bribie Lions Club time capsule

History in the making for the Bribie Island Lions Club
Recently the Bribie Island Lions Club members were excited to open a time capsule from 1991.  The following item from old issue of The Bribie Star show excitement was also on show when the Bribie Island Lions Club was formed in 1970.

Bribie Island Lions receive Charter [1970] 
The Bribie Star v.8(24) 12 Jun 1970, p. 1
Bribie Island was the scene of much excitement on the occasion of the newly formed Lions Club holding their Charter Night Dinner at the Blue Pacific Hotel Motel. Much time and effort had been put into the arranging of this function.

Notice of meeting to discuss forming a
Lions Club on Bribie Island.

Source: The Bribie Star v8(16) 20 Feb 1970 p.6
Distinguished Lions District Governor (Dist. 201K), Mort Stevens and Lady Kath; Deputy District Governors, Syd McDonald and Lady, John Crossley and Lady, and Howard Waterman and Lady Shirley; Zone Chairman Kev Maunder and Lady Phyl; District Governor Elect, Roy Miller and Lady Phyl; Regional Extension Chairman, Ted Kilenan and Lady Clare, Extension Chairman of Regions 1 and 2, Lance Lovett and Lady Sylvia and President of Lions Club of Redcliffe Peninsula (sponsoring club), John Rey and Lady Dorothy, gathered at the Blue Pacific, Bribie Island on the occasion of the Charter Night Dinner and Presentation of Charter to Bribie Lions Club, Saturday night, June 6.

Official guests for the most important occasion included Mr. D.E. Nicholson, M.L.A. and Mrs. Nicholson, Caboolture Shire Councillor, Phil Balmer and Mrs Balmer, and Caboolture Rotary Club President, Mr. Keith Renton and Mrs. Renton. . . .

Mr. Nicholson expressed his privilege at being asked to propose the toast to Lions International. He gave a brief history of the Lions Movement, . . . Bribie club, the newest to be formed in the world is the 634th club in Australia. . . .

District Governor Stevens presented a district award for extension to President, Joe Rey of Redcliffe club for its effort in sponsoring the Bribie club and an award to Extension Chairman, L. Lovett of Kingaroy, before making the presentation of the evening that of the Charter to Bribie Club President, Ed Bellamy.  He said that Bribie with the one-time reputation of being the land of the ‘tired and retired’ had now proved a fertile spot for sowing the seeds of Lionism. In advising members that service breeds support and reiterating the Lions Theme for the Year, ‘Unite mankind through Lionism’, he wished Bribie every success for the future. . . .

Sponsoring Chairman, Joe Rey presented Bribie club with a bell as a memento of the occasion, whilst Kev Maunder presented a flag set on behalf of the Zone Chairman.
Lions Lady Yvonne Wright of Redcliffe Peninsula, on behalf of visitors, extended thanks to hostess Jean Piva and the Lady Lions of Bribie for the warm hospitality received.
Bribie Lion, E. Schrag read telegrams and messages, including a warm letter of congratulations and best wishes from International President, W.R. Bryan.

The evening was a triumph for the Bribie Lions and Bluey and Jean Piva. Prior to assembling for the magnificent buffet dinner, elegantly gowned ladies gathered with their immaculate escorts to enjoy pre-dinner drinks in the famed Chrystal Room.  The Diplomats provided excellent background music during dinner, which was livened up on the occasion by the singing of lusty Lions songs, the latter provided music for dancing to suit all tastes. . . .

Charter Night Chairman, Bribie Lion, Otto Fluck performed his duties in a most professional manner and did much to make the evening an outstanding success.

[Bribie Star Ed. Comment – For the benefit of those who are not fully acquainted with the Lions Movement, the initial letters denote Living In Our Neighbour’s Service and the movement fosters an offshoot for the 15 to 21 age group, the Leo Clubs (Leadership, Experience and Opportunity).]

Notice of meeting to discuss forming a Lions Club on Bribie Island. The Bribie Star v8(16) 20 Feb 1970 p.6
Bribie Island Lions receive Charter. The Bribie Star v.8(24) 12 Jun 1970, p. 1
Bribie Lions get ready to dig up the past. By Paston Roth.

Further reading:
Bribie Island Lions Club – the first 25 years 1970-1995. 91 pages.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Historic Campbellville

Historic Campbellville and Campbellville Cemetery Site

by Donna Holmes, 
Past president, Bribie Island Historical Society

In November 2012 a group of BIHS members visited the Campbellville Cemetery Site. 
Campbellville Cemetery Site sign, November 2012.
Photo: Barry Clark

The visit was arranged by Barry Clark, founding president of BIHS and other sites around the Rocky Creek / Roys Road area were visited.

The sign was located near the historic cemetery site and the following is a transcript of the information on the sign.

The photograph in the sign is of a group of mill workers at Campbellville in the 1880s.

Transcription of the Campbellville Cemetery Site sign
To complement the description of the paddle-steamer Mavis arriving at the wharf at Campbellville is the following account by Mr. W.P.H. Harden published in 1940.

Mr. Harden's Story.
"On the night of Sunday, November 4th, 1888, my mother, my eldest brother Ernest, and myself, walked from Clay Street, New Farm, to board Messrs. James Campbell and Sons' steamer "Mavis," which then conveyed us by way of Bribie Passage to their sawmill at Campbellville on Coochin Creek. We left from Campbell's Wharf, known to-day as the Brisbane Tug Company's wharf. As we passed through Bribie Passage, the sun was rising and, shining on the top of Beerwah Mountain, produced a very beautiful effect. We passed the s.s. "Bribie" near the mouth of Coochin Creek. Further along we met a sailing boat on which was Mr. George Campbell who had come to join his father, Mr. James Campbell, Senior, on the "Mavis." The Coochin Creek wharf was reached about noon, the journey having taken about nine hours. My mother and myself remained at Campbellville for two days, and then after having loaded up our furniture and belongings on a bullock team, arrived duly at what was then known as the Peach Trees. . . . "
Source: Harden, W.P.H. (1940) The history of Peachester and Crohamhurst district. Read at a meeting of the Historical Society of Queensland on November 28th, 1939, by Mr. Inigo Jones. The Historical Society of Queensland Journal v.3(2):123-134, 1940. [Can be viewed on University of Queensland Library UQ eSpace]

In April 1966 while clearing a road and firebreak on the eastern side of Mellum Creek, Forestry employees found some old hardwood posts and discovered they had located the old Campbellville cemetery more than seventy years after the final burial took place there.

The discovery of the site aroused an interest in having the area of the graves neatly bordered with white painted rocks and marked with a sign "CAMPBELLVILLE CEMETERY 1880-1893" which was erected in September 1967 and Forestry employees kept the site clear for many years.

Nuggets of information about the history of Campbellville began to flow when the late local historian Stan Tutt wrote a series of heritage articles for the Sunshine Coast Daily and books published by the Caboolture Historical Society.  An initial history was written by A.C. (Craig) Gubby in 1975 published by the Qld. Dept. of Forestry, which was followed by a comprehensive revision published in 1994 by the Qld. Dept. of Primary Industries entitled Campbellville and Cedar Days: a compiled history of the former south-east Queensland sawmilling township of Campbellville and pioneers of the associated timber industry during the latter part of the 19th century.

In Gubby, 1994, p. 40, is noted the names of four people who it is believed were buried in the cemetery:  Mrs. Harry Blake (wife of the saw sharpener and engineer at the mill); Mr. Petersen, probably Mr. W. Petersen; Mr. Frank Lovsey (or Lovesie) and child of Frank Assen, yardman at the mill.

Subsequent research indicates infant child Francis Assen may have been buried on 13 Feb 1867 at Campbellville cemetery.  Newspaper reports indicate Andrew Lovesy died March 1884 at Campbell's sawmill, Coochin Creek "while step-dancing" and infant child George Campbell died 6 March 1886 at Campbellville.

Reference book:
Gubby, Craig (1994) Campbellville and Cedar Days: a compiled history of the former south-east Queensland sawmilling township of Campbellville and pioneers of the associated timber industry during the latter part of the 19th century. Brisbane: Queensland Dept. of Primary Industries, 1994. 42p. ISBN 0 7242 5206 1

Other information on the web:
Backward Glance: Coochin Creek and its history by Sunshine Coast Council's Heritage Library Officers

Wikipedia entry for Coochin Creek

Location of Campbellville as per Queensland place names search

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Bribie's first newspapers

Bribie Island's First Newspapers

by Barry Clark

Masthead of the Bribie Star newspaper
2 November 1962.
Source: BIHS database
The Bribie Bridge was incorporated in
the masthead of the Bribie Star
in 1964.
Source: BIHS database
The first newspaper that was specific to Bribie Island was the "Bribie Star" and was first published in June 1962.  

This was a year or so before the Bribie Bridge construction was completed, and the opportunities for promotion and advertising of Bribie businesses was sent to increase. The newspaper was very popular and was always full of news and views about local issues, community activities and the involvement of Caboolture Council in a wide range of community projects and needs. In those days, the Bribie Island Councillor represented just the growing population of the island, although there were only about 650 residents at that time.

That newspaper was published weekly and ran for 9 years until it closed down in June 1971.  The newspaper continued to be published under the name of simply "The Star", but it covered a much greater geographical area of the Shire, with little if any news about Bribie.  

Cover of The Bribie Islander
Sep 1984 vol. 1, no. 2
Source: BIHS Database
Cover of The Bribie Islander
April 1985 vol. 2, no. 4
Source: BIHS Database
There was no Bribie newspaper for 13 years after that, until a monthly magazine style newspaper publication called "The Bribie Islander" started up in August 1984.  

This monthly publication ran for 6 years until June 1990 when it too stopped. Since then there have been other local newspapers including the "Island & Mainland News" which ran for a few years till early 2000s, and the "Bribie Weekly" that has changed ownership but continues to this day.

Cover of The Bribie Islander
Jan 1988 vol. 5, no. 1
Source: BIHS Database
Cover of The Bribie Islander
Jan 1986 vol. 3, no. 1
Source: BIHS Database
The Bribie Island Historical Society have built a significant Database of historical records over recent years that contains all copies of the 9 years of the Bribie Star, and all but the very first edition of the 6 years of The Bribie Islander. If you have a copy of the first August 1984 edition of The Bribie Islander, we would be delighted to hear from you - our email is 

Cover of The Bribie Islander
Nov 1988 vol. 5, no. 11
Source: BIHS Database
Do you have a copy of the very first issue of The Bribie Islander August 1984? If so, please contact Bribie Island Historical Society