Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Seniors' Week at the Hervey Bay Family History Sessions

Seniors' Week Family History Sessions at the Hervey Bay Library with the Hervey Bay Family History Association Inc
Fraser Coast Libraries ran a Seniors' Week Family History Session in Hervey Bay Library on August 19. Hervey Bay Family History volunteers were available to help people add to their family tree at the drop-in session. Library Staff were also on hand to show how Library Members can access the online databases Ancestry.com and Find My Past for free at all library branches. If you missed the session anyone can get help from the Hervey Bay Family History Association volunteers from 9am to 3pm, Monday to Saturday. Further information is available on the Family History Association website.
Keen attendees at the Hervey Bay Family History sessions.
Library Staff will also be on hand on the 22nd of August at the Maryborough Senior Citizens Mini Expo 333 Alice Street, Maryborough, to go through Family History modules for those looking to do research.
Joining the library is free for Fraser Coast residents and the Hervey Bay Library is at 161 Old Maryborough Road in Pialba and Maryborough Library is at 127-129 Bazaar Street, Maryborough.
Tags #library #familyhistory #ancestry.com #findmypast #beconnected #research #seniorsweek #techsavvy #TSSQld 

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Howard Pool - the History

Fraser Coast Libraries has acquired a fascinating book about the Howard Pool.  The Howard Pool started 57 years ago as a dream by a gathering of locals who wanted district children to learn to swim. The book by Burrum Swimming Club member, China Johnson, assures us the pool has done its job as there are no records of a child drowning in Burrum district since the swimming lessons began.

Jesse James states in the book that "as a pupil of Howard, I recollect the swimming classes being held at the site in Burrum River below 'the crossing', the point at which the north bound roadway crossed the river before the construction of the low level concrete bridge below the railway crossing."(Johnson, 2012). A swimming school carnival was even held at this site.
Postcard of the opening of the Burrum River Traffic Bridge at Howard, 1926. The bridge was opened by the Queensland Premier, William McCormack in November, 1926, on his visit to the Burrum Coalfields. Source: Fraser Coast Libraries Image Gallery
Apparently the dream of a swimming pool was hatched at a school picnic in the 1930s. Following drownings in the district of Burrum, Howard and Torbanlea, it was felt essential that young people learn to swim. The first official proposal was put forth by Matthew Walker as chair to a meeting of the school committee on 4th June, 1957 (Johnson, 2012).  The pool was officially opened on November 17, 1962 (Johnson, 2012) after local coalminers contributed money from their wages to the project. The pool is still being used to teach children how to swim. You can borrow of a copy of the book Howard Pool the history:how community involvement and spirit was able to provide a lasting legacy:50 years on / 'China' Johnson.2012 from Fraser Coast Libraries.

#howard #pool #burrumdistrict #swimmingclub

Wednesday, 14 August 2019


James Davis Source:QAGOMA
James Davis was convicted and transported to Sydney and then sent on to the settlement of Moreton Bay in 1828 ( Monument Australia, 2019). The Maryborough Chronicle states "James Davis was a boy of 16 working in his father's blacksmith's shop in Glasgow....he was sent out to Botany Bay in the convict ship, Minstrel, in 1824. Davis was in the chain gang when he and another escaped." According to the Maryborough Chronicle a certain resemblance to a deceased warrior named Durramboi led to the name. An article in the Maryborough Chronicle (1905) written by By Wargandilla claims that Davis was moving from Tribe to Tribe for fourteen years and was fluent in two dialects having almost forgotten English. In 1842, Mr. Andrew Petrie was exploring the Wide Bay and the Mary River when he found Daramboi. The Maryborough Chronicle claims in his last years he kept a crockery shop in George street, near the Lands Office where he and Mrs. Daramboi resided.  He was also engaged as Aboriginal interpreter in the Supreme Court, "travelling about the colony wherever a native unable to speak English was placed on his trial" (Monument Australia, 2019). Davis died in Brisbane in 1889. A monument was erected at Tiaro in 1961 by the Maryborough Historical Society to commemorate the finding of James Davis.  

The Maryborough Chronicle 30th July, 1905 James Davis the Wild White Man 30th July, 1905 retrieved from Trove on the 15th August, 2019.
Monuments of Australia (2019) retrieved from http://monumentaustralia.org.au/themes/people/settlement/display/100165-james-davis-durrumboi- on the 15th August, 2019
Tags #Daramboi #FraserIsland #MaryRiver

Monday, 5 August 2019

Do you know the meaning of Ululah?

This photograph was created from a glass negative lent to the Maryborough Wide Bay & Burnett Historical Society by Bob Bauer, Maryborough Source: Fraser Coast Libraries Image Gallery
Ululah Lagoon located in Anzac Park Maryborough has stumped some people regarding the origin of its name. A letter received by Council in July, 1977 claims there are two possibilities.
The first is it comes from the poem The Last of His Tribe - a lament for a dying Aborigine, taught to pupils at Maryborough's Central State Primary School in the 1800s when Mr Hercules Smith was head teacher. Contained in the last verse of the  poem was the line
Ululah! behold him, the thunder breaks. 
The second suggestion was that the word Ulooloo is said to mean permanent water in the book Sugden, Joan H & Hodkinson, Frank, 1919-2001, (illustrator.) (1950). Aboriginal words and their meanings. Dymock's Book Arcade, Sydney. The Language group or origin is not listed. A copy can be found in the State Library of Queensland collections GSD 499.6 1954.

An article in the Courier Mail found in Trove was looking for the meaning in 1946. It stated 
"The Courier-Mail's appeal for help on behalf of the Queensland University Place Names Committee, which was stumped over the meaning of the Aboriginal words 'Ula Ula,' brought a swift response. The words mean water-lilies. The secretary of the committee (Mr. Sydney May) said yesterday that a woman solved the problem. She did not want her name mentioned, but he was satisfied the answer was correct. A Maryborough resident, in a letter to The Courier-Mail yesterday, also stated that the name meant water-lilies. Anzac Park, in Maryborough,formerly was named Ululah Park — a corruption of Ula Ula. The park contained a lagoon covered with water-lilies."

State Library of Queensland Indigenous Languages Coordinator Des Crump has suggested some other origins:

Ula Ula on the DNRM Placenames search provides following information:
The name of the parish is derived from an early pastoral run in the district. It can be seen on the western extremity of an 1883 Darling Downs Run Map. It is not known whether the creek or the run was named first. Ula is probably of Aboriginal origin. A.W. Reed identifies 'ulah' meaning a ripple on the water, in use in NSW rather than the local area. [Surveyor-General's Office Brisbane, Darling Downs Run Map; A.W. Reed; ANPS files.]
Trove/NLA indicates the placename was in use n South Australia and refers to “a continuous and permanent stream”; SA Placenames – “The name was applied to a creek 10 km north of Hallett by Captain E.C. Frome, Surveyor-General, in 1843. Aboriginal for 'permanent stream' or 'meandering creek'".
while another Trove source indicates there is a Gaelic origin derived from Uladh [pronounced Ulla] meaning a Cairn or Tomb.
There is a Ngadjuri language in South Australia which includes the placename on their website also with the meaning of ‘permanent and continuous stream’.
"So, the word as a placename was in use in South Australia in the 1840’s and South-West Queensland by 1880’s and most likely adopted for use on the Fraser Coast. This happened quite often particularly by surveyors or settlers moving from one part of Australia to another; for example, there are several Wiradjuri (NSW) placenames in the Cairns district as the surveyor who surveyed Cairns recently completed the survey of Dubbo in Central-West NSW" (Crump, D, 2019)

Do you know any more about the meaning of this place name? Do you agree with any of these suggestions?

The Courier Mail, 8th February, 1946 'ULA ULA' no Poser retrieved from Trove on the 6th August, 2019.

Local History File Ululuh Lagoon LHVF ULUL Maryborough Library

Crump, D (2019) Indigenous Languages Coordinator, kuril dhagun, State Library of Queensland.

Tags #anzacpark #ululah #maryborough #lagoon

Sunday, 28 July 2019

First Female Radio Engineer Graduate from Maryborough

Ebba Wilcox (Source Trove)
Miss Ebba Wilcox was highlighted in The Australian Women's Weekly column Let's Talk of Interesting People on the 4th of December, 1937. She was at that time the only woman radio mechanic in the state of Queensland according to the article (Trove).  She graduated as a radio engineer after starting a correspondence course and then moved to Brisbane to study at a Tech College by day and a Poly-technical college at night. In Trove it details her as achieving Honours in Radio (Preparatory) and a Pass in Radio Communication. She was employed at her father's company doing radio service work. She was also highlighted in an article of Local Enterprise found in the Maryborough Chronicle (Trove)

Tags#radio #Wilcox #Queensland #firstwoman #radiocommunication

Australia Women's Weekly 4th December, 1937 Let's Talk of Interesting People retrieved from Trove
on the 29th July, 2019.
The Courier Mail,10th January, 1936 Many Passes in State Wide Technical Examinations retrieved from Trove on the 29th July, 2019.
Maryborough Chronicle, 21st June, 1941 Local Enterprise Well Able to Meet Local Needs retrieved from Trove on the 29th July, 2019.

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

The Little Hall and Big Hall - Dundowran

The early hall built by Jas Mcpherson and shifted to Dundowran as a community hall.
Through community efforts the Dundowran community were able to raise funds to establish the first of two halls affectionately call the Little Hall or Dundowran Public Hall. The hall was originally erected in the 1880s by Mr Jas McPherson on Torquay Terrace. It was later moved to Torquay Road.

The people of Dundowran needed a hall and when Frank Whittaker heard that his relative Mr Doss was selling the hall in 1917 he suggested this as a solution to the Dundowran communities' hall problem. The Bagnall family donated land on the Lower Mountain Road and the hall was purchased and established there. The hall reverberated with the social and spiritual life of the community. Church services, Brass Bands, the music of accordions and pianos accompanied dancers. Bob Cambell Senior would run monthly evensong services ( Hervey Bay High School, 1988).
The Opening of Dundowran Recreation Hall 1933
The Dundowran Recreation Society was formed in 1929 as the community had outgrown the Little Hall. "The constitution stated that any adult could become a life member on payment of one shilling or 10 cents"(Hervey Bay High School, 1988). Reuben Woods purchased ten acres of land at the corner of Lower Mountain Road and Walligan Road (Hervey Bay High School, 1988). The price of sixty dollars or ten pounds for this land was followed by the community pulling together to put in a cricket pitch and two tennis courts. Once again a building was repurposed to use as the community hall. This time it was CSR Sugar Mill barracks at Childers that was purchased in May 1933 for 100 pounds. Under the guidance of Charlie Churchward and Alf Bromiley, it was dismantled and reconstructed on this site in September, 1933 (Hervey Bay Highschool,1988). This hall was known as the Big Hall or the Dundowran Recreation Hall. The Little Hall was then used as a non-denominational Church and Sunday school.  In January of 1972 this building suffered damage from cyclone Dinah and was donated to The Hervey Bay Museum for use as their first display building. In 1974 The Museum opened and the building housed farm implements and household objects used by settlers (Hervey Bay Historical Village and Museum).

Hervey Bay High School (1988) 1988 - A lighthearted overview of Hervey Bay's History - Hall Home to many Groups.

Hervey Bay Historical Village and Museum.

Tags #HerveyBay #Dundowran #Frasercoast #Hall #community 

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

The Sausage Tree and the mystery of an early death

Sausage Tree located behind the Cenotaph at Queens Park, Maryborough.
Queens Park, Maryborough is the home of the bizarre native of tropical Africa, the Sausage Tree. This tree (Kigelia africana) grows a gourd like fruit that is up to 60 cm long, weighs about 7 kg and dangles from thin stems. This heavy-trunked tree is decorative and produces masses of purple orchid like velvet flowers that are suspended on thin stems. The original tree is known to have been gracing the rear of Maryborough Court house since the 1870s and did so for around 140 years before its demise.
It was a remnant of botanist John Carne Bidwill's (1815-1853) exotic botanic garden he established at Queens Park from his personal collection located at Tinana. A graft of that tree is now in its place. 
The graft from the original Sausage Tree from John Carne Bidwell's collection.
A mature tree still grows in the park behind the Cenotaph.
Sausage Tree located behind the Cenotaph at Queens Park, Maryborough.
According to the Australian Dictionary of Biography(1966) "at his (John Carne Bidwill's) own request he was appointed commissioner of crown lands at Wide Bay. He wrote in 1849 that he had more than £500 a year for doing what was only a pleasure." 

However, his joy was short-lived. Some two years later in 1851, while working on a new road to the Moreton Bay district, Bidwill was lost without food for eight days.  Even though he was able to find his way out, he died on 16 March 1853 at Tinana, at 38 years of age possibly from kidney disease caused from starvation and dehydration (Australian Dictionary of Biography,1966).

According to the Queensland Heritage Register the grave of Commissioner John Carne Bidwill is located on private property near the junction of Tinana Creek and the Mary River.
Bidwill's Headstone Source: Queensland Heritage Register
After his death "his brother Charles Bidwill came from New Zealand to collect his personal effects, all other items of Bidwill's were auctioned. In 1854 Sir Charles Moore and Walter Hill (curator of Brisbane Botanical Gardens) made a collection of specimens from Bidwill's personal garden"(Australian Dictionary of Biography, 1966)

A Bunya Pine from John's original collection is also in Queen's Park, Maryborough. 

#Bidwill #Sausagetree #Queenspark #Maryborough #Courthouse #Botanist

Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 1, (MUP), 1966 retrieved from http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/bidwill-john-carne-1778 on 17.7.2019.
Commissioner Bidwill's Grave from the Queensland Heritage Register retrieved from https://apps.des.qld.gov.au/heritage-register/explorer/detail/?id=601822 on 17.7.2019.

#Bidwill #Sausagetree #Queenspark #Maryborough #Courthouse #Botanist