Sunday, 27 November 2016

Joan McFie - a personal history of the bay

Joan standing on the deck of her house. Below is a picture of the same house in 1910

Joan McFie was born in December, 1928, in a house which is still at the junction of Lower Mountain Road and Scrub Hill Road, Dundowran. “Mum’s sister, Minnie Kinbacher, was the midwife” explains Joan.
Joan has shared her early life living in Hervey Bay. She begins “Dad was the teacher at the Dundowran School, which is now at the Hervey Bay Village Museum.”

Circa 1915 The Dundowran Provisional School opened in 1891, on the sloping road from the Dundowran Hall to Nikenbah, a track locally known as the 'Red Road'. The school was later shifted to about a mile from the Hall in the other direction, near the entrance to the quarry. (Information taken from: Joan Christiansen, They came and stayed, 1991). Hervey Bay Historical Village & Museum  This image is free of copyright restrictions. This image is provided for research purposes only and must not be reproduced without prior permission. Please contact Fraser Coast Regional Libraries or visit for more information.

In 1890, the parents of the small farming community at Dundowran decided they needed their own school. On May 10th 1891, the first committee was elected for the establishment of a school. On August 15th, 1891 the school was completed on five acres of land on Red Road.Water supply was a rain water tank. In August 2004 the school was donated to the Museum and re-erected on stumps near the Goodwood Railway Station. 
Hervey Bay Historical Village & Museum This image is free of copyright restrictions. This image is provided for research purposes only and must not be reproduced without prior permission. Please contact Fraser Coast Regional Libraries or visit for more information. 
Dundowran State School 1935   
“The highest daily attendance recorded at that small one-teacher was 51 in classes from grade one to eight. It was approximately three miles from where we lived and Dad rode his bike or horse or on Thursdays when Mum went to the school to teach girls knitting and fancy work, the family went by buggy.” continued Joan.
“Everybody walked to school, mostly bare foot and some lived at four mile at Craignish, on farms opposite and beyond the Country Club Golf Course which was then Campbell’s farm.”
 Joan explains “Drinking lots of water was not a big deal like it is today. Plastic wasn’t heard of, so glass jars would have been a nuisance. Teachers were required to sweep their school out each afternoon and scrub the floors every weekend. When Mum went to help with that, it was an outing for us kids, to go in the buggy and then play at the school. Teachers had to keep the school paddock clean, so on sewing days when Mum took sewing and knitting, Dad and the older students went out and grubbed suckers – about a five acre area. Dad prepared lessons for the eight classes after tea, by lamplight – no electricity. The last day of the school year, all the desks and seats were carried downstairs and all the kids had a great day, scrubbing them with Lysol and water. How deadly these days, that would be".
She reflects on how safe she felt life was then “It was always safe to ride our bikes, day or night and prop them on the kerb or against the walls of buildings and go to the pictures or a dance and the bikes would be still there untouched when it was time to go home.”
Joan reflects about her life after school. “When I passed scholarship in 1941, there weren’t any high schools in Hervey Bay, so we had to travel to Maryborough. That meant catching the Urangan to Maryborough train or rail motor at Walligan at 7am. I would ride my bike four miles from Dundowran, then leaving Maryborough at 5.30, to Walligan at 6.30, then the four mile ride home.” “We had to stay at school to do our homework until five unless we had a note from our parents to get something from the shops. Trains and railmotors came to Maryborough from all directions of the Wide Bay area, full of high school students, workers and service men and women and day trippers.”
This photograph shows Adelaide Street, Maryborough in the early 1930s. The building in the right foreground is the Commonwealth Bank. This stands on the site of the original fire station tower. This photograph was copied for the Maryborough Wide Bay & Burnett Historical Society by John Hall. 
Original photograph Maryborough Wide Bay & Burnett Historical Society 
This image is provided for research purposes only and must not be reproduced for other purposes without the prior permission of the Maryborough Wide Bay & Burnett Historical Society. Maryborough Wide Bay & Burnett Historical Society 

Joan paints a picture of Maryborough of yesteryear “Most students left school after Junior (grade 10) and started work. There were plenty of apprenticeships available and I got a job at Alston’s printers, eight  to five, Monday to Friday, 17 shillings 6 pence ($1.75 cents) a week, but I enjoyed it. Mr Sid Alston employed eight men and three women and was renowned for the excellent stationary he delivered far and wide. During the years between the mid 1940’s to the mid-fifties – the years I worked and lived in Maryborough, it had everything and very little unemployment or crime.
This photograph was donated to the Maryborough Wide Bay & Burnett Historical Society by S. Hingst.
Original photograph Maryborough Wide Bay & Burnett Historical Society
This image is provided for research purposes only and must not be reproduced for other purposes without the prior permission of the Maryborough Wide Bay & Burnett Historical Society. Maryborough Wide Bay & Burnett Historical Society
There were three picture theatres. The  Wintergarden and Bungalow opened every night and a few matinees except Sunday and the Embassy the same except the City Band ran a movie night on Sunday after Church. Then there were three sawmills, stove foundries, soft drink manufacturers, Walkers Ltd with the top shop and ship builders yard, the General Hospital with its own; kitchen, laundry, sewing room, nurses quarters, cleaners etc; employing hundreds, swift abattoirs, Reids Bacon factory, numerous hotels and smaller businesses. There were hockey fields at Doon Villa, vigoro at Kangaroo Oval where there was a cricket pitch and tin shed, rugby league, tennis and bowls, a skating rink and several dancing venues, open every night and well supported. A popular Saturday night outing was window shopping, when all the shops left their lights on until nine when a man (I think Ernie Twigg) went around with a long stick and turned switches off. The Salvation Army played outside the Town Hall Green on a Sunday night, in the middle of where Kent and Adelaide streets cross was a small mound.” 
Joan has worked as a volunteer at the Hervey Bay Historical Village and Museum and still lives in the same house that she and her husband bought in 1968. More of her reflections can be found in the Fraser Coast Libraries Vertical files.

Tags #Dundowran #HerveyBay #Maryborough #FrasercoastLibraries 

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Maryborough hosts the 2016 Small Museums Conference

The 2016 SEQ Small Museums Conference Storytelling - Reinterpreting the Museum Experience was held in Maryborough from Friday 7 to Sunday 9 October 2016.  The Community and Culture Section of Fraser Coast Council organised the event which was held at the Brolga Theatre, Maryborough, Queensland. The theme of the Conference this year was storytelling and how museums can create an experience that engages visitors, empowers discovery and ignites debate, sparking the imagination in a unique way.

Fraser Coast Council showcased the Story Trail Project.
Part of the Story Trail project which weaves through Maryborough CBD

Fraser Coast Libraries and Maryborough, Wide Bay and Burnett Historical Society Inc were invited to  present the results of their Local History, Local Music project found here 

Ken Brooks President Maryborough Wide Bay and Burnett Historical Inc in Partnership with Kathy Shilvock from Fraser Coast Libraries present Local History Local Music Historypin project.
The variety of speakers powerpoints are available here:
Tags #maryborough #storytrail #localhistorylocalmusic #historypin #smallmuseums #museums

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Johnny Anderson and the Newtown Rodeos

John (Johnny) Lee Anderson as a young man
Today is the anniversary of the passing of John Lee Anderson who is fondly remembered as a rough rider for the Newtown Rodeo and a trick horse rider. 

Newtown Rodeo Team 
Robert (Robbie) Walker
His nephew Robert Walker (Robbie) recalls helping Johnny between 1959 and 1962. “Although I was quite a bit younger, I helped Johnny with the trick roping” recalls Robbie. “We also bought 27 buck jumpers and had them in the 1100 acres which was known then as Jocumsen Paddock – it is now called Oakhurst Gardens”. Valmai Christopher; Robbie’s sister and Johnny’s niece, kept a photo album and a history of Johnny. From this we found out Johnny was born on the 24th of November, 1927, in Maryborough Queensland.  He went to Sunbury School as a child and then to the boys intermediate after which he worked for six years at Wilson Hart Sawmill. Johnny decided to buy himself a cattle truck and worked at carting livestock using an Austin at first and then a Bedford. He lived on his father’s property at Copehagen Bend called the Bar-Line until his death on November the 9th, 1997. He owned another property at Island Plantation. He worked in the collieries, did seasonal work at the Sugar Mill, worked for Matheson and Kindt on a survey team for around nine years and worked for a meat works. 
Johnny getting an award wearing the Newtown Rodeo uniform; Pioch's Paddoch, 1940s.
“Johnny won his first open bullock ride at the age of 12 years and did buck jumping” recollects Robbie. “He was a rough rider in the Newtown Rodeo, winning many ribbons and cups during the mid 1940’s and mid 1950’s” Robbie continued.
Johnny rope spinning on Trigger
“Johnny did rope spinning, whip cracking and entered a number of rides such as Bare Back Riding, Saddle Bronc Riding, Bull Riding , Steer Riding and Bull Dodging.
Johnny and Trigger with lots of happy children at the Pioch's Paddock rodeo.
He lived for his horses and loved children, putting on ventriloquist and magic trick shows,” Robbie reflects.
Although Johnny had enormous amounts of charisma he never married. He was engaged twice but both were broken off.

Johnny and Trigger
Johnny owned and trained several trick horses. His first horse was Trigger.
Johnny and Trigger
He then trained a grey called Silver.
Johnny and Silver number one.
His most famous horse was also called Silver but was a Palomino who lived until he was 27 years old.
Johnny on his second horse called Silver.
Rex was a red and white Skewbald who lived for sixteen years . He trained a Clydesdale horse call Prince for processions. As a final tribute Prince brought his casket to his gravesite for his funeral.

Do you have any memories of the Newtown rodeos?

This has been published with consent from Robert Walker.

Tags: #NewtownRodeo  #PiochsPaddock #Maryborough #Newtown #horses

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

The Maheno – an Icon

The Maheno just beached. These images are part of the Hervey Bay Historical Village and Museum collection. Copies of this image can be purchased from the Hervey Bay Historical Village and Museum . Contact The Secretary.   PO Box 519.  Pialba.  Hervey Bay.   4655. Tel:  07 4128 4804

The Hervey Bay Historical Village and Museum has a permanent display of the Maheno. A replica of the Maheno Bell, chairs beds and wash basins are among the many items that you can see when you visit the museum.

Also among the collection is original correspondence including that  from Captain Tanaka when the ship ran aground.

Captain Tanaka
Original correspondence from Captain Tanaka

John Andersen - President of the Hervey Bay Historical Village and Museum. Behind him is the permanent display found at the Village

John Andersen, the museum president, will be presenting a talk on the iconic ship The Maheno on the 25th of November, 2016 at Hervey Bay Library at 10am.
To see the display you can visit the museum Friday & Saturday
1 - 4.30pm
10.30am  - 4.30pm
The Maheno circa late 1980s. This image is part of the Hervey Bay Historical Village and Museum collection. Copies of this image can be purchased from the Hervey Bay Historical Village and Museum . Contact The Secretary.   PO Box 519.  Pialba.  Hervey Bay.   4655. Tel:  07 4128 4804 

 A fantastic Maheno Display can also been found at Discovery Sphere until the 31st of December, 2016. More details can be found here

Tags: #Maheno #Herveybay #frasercoastlibraries #herveybaylibrary #historical

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Mysterious poisoning at Boonooroo

On March the 6th, 1932 the poisoning of three brothers occurred at Foster’s Camp,Boonooroo.
James Herbert Bayley 29, William Edward Bayley 23 and Henry Walter George Bayley 32 died of strychnine poisoning after eating scones at a Fisherman Hut located at  Boonooroo. The details of the inquest held in Maryborough on the 19th April, 1932 can be found here.

George Greaves and Emil Wegner were also poisoned but recovered.  The boys were heading out for a fishing trip when they met Alfred Dong. Alfred owned the hut. He was a farmer and owned a shop in Adelaide Street, Maryborough. He used the hut as a weekender. He was good friends with the five men. They crossed paths on this fishing trip and Alfred said they were able to use the hut as they pleased. The strychnine was in the flour and it was believed to have been put in there between the time Alfred Dong left the hut and the five men cooked scones.

Alfred Dong gave evidence here He stated that he was afraid of his neighbor and believed the poison was for him. He said   "I have suspicion on Frank Hugh Gormley, for he is my enemy, for putting strychnine poison in the half-bag of flour”("CAMP POISONING - Sensational Evidence INQUEST AT MARYBOROUGH MARYBOROUGH, April 19. - The Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 - 1947) - 19 Apr 1932", 2016).

It was found that despite the evidence “pointing in the same direction”, no arrest was made as “lack of suitable evidence made arrest impossible”("DETECTIVE RECALLED - MARYBOROUGH POISONING - Sunday Mail (Brisbane) (Qld. : 1926 - 1954) - 27 Mar 1932", 2016). This conclusion can be found here

Who do you think did it?

We have some images of Alfred Dong’s sisters but none of Alfred, if you have any images of historical interest we would love to see these.

 You can find the location of the Dong’s shop by taking a walk down Adelaide Street and following the story trail signs. It is on the opposite side to the Town Hall Green. In 1912, it moved to upper Adelaide Street. His sisters ran the shop until 1956 when they retired.

CAMP POISONING - Sensational Evidence INQUEST AT MARYBOROUGH MARYBOROUGH, April 19. - The Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 - 1947) - 19 Apr 1932. (2016). Trove. Retrieved 20 October 2016, from

DETECTIVE RECALLED - MARYBOROUGH POISONING - Sunday Mail (Brisbane) (Qld. : 1926 - 1954) - 27 Mar 1932. (2016). Trove. Retrieved 20 October 2016, from

Tags #boonooroo #Chinese #frasercoastlibraries #fostershut #poisoning #strychnine

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Hyne Timber innovating since 1882

Hyne & Son Timber Mill around 1897
This image is part of the Maryborough Wide Bay & Burnett Historical Society Inc. collection. Copies of this image can be purchased from the Maryborough Wide Bay& Burnett Historical Society Inc. Contact

Hyne Timber has been a cornerstone of Industry in Maryborough since 1882. J.R.L Hyne has written a history of the timber family in Queensland called Hyne-Sight that can be borrowed from the Library.  The mill was established late in the 19th century. An 1883 Chronicle article which details the mill can be found here

Like any successful business, Hyne Timber has always been able to adapt to a changing business environment. Mills were opened in Townsville and Rockhampton. Hyne acquired two sailing ships and they began shipping timber to Sydney and North Queensland and in 1886 the Mayflower Schooner was acquired. In 1889 “the Mayflower nearly came to grief in a cyclone” (Hyne, 1980, p.39). The details can be found here

Hyne was also a very active public figure. Hyne (1980,p. 22) claims “The 1880’s saw my Grandfather prospering in the timber industry and at the same time devoting himself to a wide range of public causes”. R.M. Hyne served one term (five years) in the Queensland Parliament, and aligned himself with the Griffith Liberal camp found here.

Mr Richard Mathews Hyne passed away on the 5th July, 1902 details of which are located here.

Henry James Hyne took over the business at this time, with J. R. Lambert Hyne taking part in the business in 1928. In 1936 Lambert and his three sons have built the business by utilising modern techniques through a responsiveness to technological change (Hyne, 1980).
The Hyne family: James Hyne (Executive Director and Tuan Mill Operations Manager), Chris Hyne (Director), Peter Hyne (Executive Director and Manager of Sales and Marketing), Martin Kriewaldt (Chairman) and Richard Hyne (Shareholder). Richard and Chris are brothers and uncles to both Peter and James who are also brothers.

Katie Fowden, Communications Manager for Hyne timber  states "Today, Hyne Timber is one of Australia’s largest producers of sawn timber products sourced from responsibly grown plantation softwood. We also have an engineered timber plant in Maryborough which supplies glue laminated timber solutions for a range of construction designs including iconic, contemporary commercial buildings". Some of these can be seen here

Just recently an Engineered Timber Bridge Solution has been developed by Hyne experts. A prefabricated and installed timber bridge near Maryborough, Queensland which can be used nationally can be found here

Have you or your family ever worked for Hyne &Son?

We would love to add your images to our local history collection.

Further information can be found in the library vertical files under the heading of Hyne & Son.


Hyne, J. R. L. (James Richard Lambert) (1980). Hyne-Sight: a history of  a timber family in Queensland. J.R.L. Hyne, Maryborough, Qld.
Tags: #Hyne  #timber #Maryborough #Frasercoast #industry


Monday, 3 October 2016

Susan Brandt - Movie Maker and Local History, Local Music

Susan Brandt an enthusiastic historian.

Fraser Coast Libraries and the Maryborough and Wide Bay Burnett Historical Society Inc have been working on a Historypin project called Local Music, Local History. A small group of dedicated contributors have made this the most successful collaborative project yet launched by the Partnership since it began early in 2015. Susan Brandt is one of those volunteers. Susan is a keen history enthusiast who attends all our local events. When we wanted to try and challenge our production of content on the Historypin site she keenly offered to assist.  She also always asks interesting questions which helps complete the story of the pictures we find.

Susan says her interest in history began when she was growing up. Reading biographies about the childhoods of well-known people was one of her favourite past times. “There was a popular series in the libraries at that time.  It was called When they were Young. This fostered my love of historical novels and later history in high school and university” enthused  Susan.
Susan continued “Years later I worked in Aged Care. It was often quite demanding work, but one of the principal enjoyments of it was the reward of listening to older folk tell their life stories”.

Susan claims she has never done any formal research, but when she retired she joined two local historical societies in North West Sydney where she has  lived most of her life. “This area, which centred around Castle Hill, was one of the earliest settled areas of the colony of New South Wales, and the local history groups had marvellous material with which to work, including quite a few folk who were descended from the earliest European settlers” she explains.

“When I retired to the Fraser Coast in 2015, to be near my relatives, I knew very little of the history of Queensland at all. My first connection was discovering the Mary River was named after the Governor's wife, Lady Mary Fitzroy.She had been thrown from her carriage and killed in the grounds of Government House Parramatta, caused by the reckless driving of her husband the Governor. The spot was well known to me as it is very well marked in Parramatta Park”.

“Following that, I discovered the grave of John Carne Bidwill and read about his early role in the establishment of  Maryborough. The early settlers' homes in North West Sydney were often marked by the tree named after him: the Bunya or Araucaria bidwillii. Many still remain. From those connections I guess I just read any local history book I could find and attended history talks in the library. I have found the history of the area absolutely fascinating” she impassions.
Robin Hinricks, Marilyn Jensen and Susan Brandt sharing some music history photos.
“Historypin is interesting because it encourages local people to share their stories, and especially their old photos. Local information of this kind completes the picture that formal histories only touch upon” she continues. “This is especially so, in understanding the life of any community, how they worked, what interested them in times past. I would never have known of the role Alfred Wynne played in the community with his music store and radio station, were it not for the photos and information collected for the recent Historypin project about him”.

Susan Brandt, Marilyn Jensen and Ken Brooks (President of the Maryborough, Wide Bay and Burnett Historical Society Inc) getting the hang of Movie Maker.

We find History fascinating as well!

Do you know anything about the Fraser Coast’s Music History?

Susan Brandt and Marilyn Jensen used moviemaker to create a slide show of historical photos from 4MB. These can be found here

And it is a great effort, especially as it was a first go!

Other contributors include Marilyn Jensen, Peter Groom, Elwin Andersen, Karen Lynch and Robin Hinricks. Please feel free to come to the Historypin chat group on the first Tuesday of the month from 12-1pm at the Maryborough Library. You can also become a member on Historypin and add content to the libraries site.

Tags: #Historypin  #Frasercoastlibraries  #Localhistorylocalmusic