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.