Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Ann Morris - former Councillor and educator

Ann Morris shares her story of courage and self-belief.

Ann Morris, former Maryborough Councillor and educator takes us on a fascinating journey of her life in our interview on our youtube channel found here for our Oral History Series - Having a Voice. She discusses her early years as the daughter of a returned serviceman, her harsh treatment in the education system, her dedication to Indigenous engagement in the Catholic education system, her developing self belief and her dedication to building this in young people in her educational role. Ann was a Maryborough City Council Councillor and still contributes to the community and enjoys being a grandmother.
Tags #oralhistory #councillor #maryborough #education #debono

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Jan Williams, local elder, helps us celebrate Naidoc Week.

Local Elder, Jan Williams explaining how to weave raffia.
Participants of the Maryborough event showing off their creations.
To celebrate Naidoc Week our library assistant and Butchulla woman Frances Gala helped organise a basket weaving event at both Hervey Bay and Maryborough Libraries.
Library Assistant Frances Gala, with her cousin Suzette Gala.

NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee. Its origins can be traced to the emergence of Aboriginal groups in the 1920s which sought to increase awareness in the wider community of the status and treatment of Indigenous people. 

Butchulla Women - Frances Gala, Suzette Gala and Jan Williams. 
Jan Williams, local elder, shared her raffia weaving skills while discussing some of the steps in Australia's reconciliation journey  

National Reconciliation Week (NRW) runs annually from 27 May – 3 June. The theme for National Reconciliation Week 2017 #NRW2017 was ‘Let’s Take the Next Steps’.These dates mark two milestones in Australia’s reconciliation journey: The 1967 referendum and the historic Mabo decision, respectively.

Keep an eye out on our up and coming events found here for future library events.

Tags: #NRW2017 #NAIDOC #Frasercoast #libraries #Maryborough #HerveyBay #raffia #basket #weaving

Monday, 17 July 2017

Yengarie; once a thriving community

Yengarie Sugar Mill, Yengarie, ca. 1874.
The figure in the foreground of the photograph is the photographer, C. H. Moore. 
Original photograph Maryborough, Wide Bay & Burnett Historical Society 

Yengarie district was a busy area in the late 1880s and two events stand out as testament to this. These were:
1. The opening of Graham's Creek Railway Bridge preceding the opening of the rail link between Maryborough and Gympie.
2. The opening of Graham's Creek Siding.

Grahams Creek Bridge was opened on the 9th January, 1880 as stated here  Governor Kennedy turned the first sod of soil for the Maryborough to Gympie railway line on March 23, 1878. The Bridge was opened just before the line was open to traffic. More information about the Bridge can be found here
The opening was a well attended celebration with a picnic and entertainment including violins, banjos, accordions, concertinas, mouth organs and tin whistles. A band and a company of Wide Bay Regiment were part of the opening ceremony. The ribbon was cut after some speeches. The Green Snifter locomotive engine, pulling three carriages crossed the bridge to a 21 gun salute and the bridge was officially open. Mr Robinson became the first stationmaster.

Grahams Creek siding was built around a year later. It was a very lucrative siding for twenty years and handled logs, sugar, cane and farm produce, cream and firewood. The buildings were next to the Officer's residence and included a goods shed and office, four cottages and two tents.

Do you know anything more about Yengarie?

More information is available in our local history files about this once thriving district.

Tags: #yengarie #railwayline #sugar #logs #cane #

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Reverend Philip Thomas Byard Clayton and TOC H.

Tubby Clayton National Portrait Gallery, London ( creative commons licence)
Ian Scougall and Jan Downman presented a talk at Maryborough Library on Reverend Philip Thomas Byard Clayton, generally known as Tubby Clayton, who founded the organisation known as Toc H. This talk will soon be available on the Libraries Youtube channel found here.

The Libraries got a call from Mrs Lesley Cairns some months ago and she told of her keen interest in the subject and her research. They generously offered to present the talk at the library. Ian and Jan have provided the Libraries with a full set of their notes they used for the talk and these can be found in the libraries vertical files.
The following information is a summary of these notes:

Tubby Clayton was born in Maryborough, in a cottage known as Severn at 39 North Street.

With the outbreak of World War 1, he volunteered his services as an Army Chaplain and ministered to the troops on the Western Front. Along with his friend and Senior Chaplain, Neville Talbot, they decided that something need to be done to improve the welfare of the troops.

They rented a property they named Talbot House and this was abbreviated to Toc H.as the letters T.O.C was the code the army signalers used for the letter T in communications and the H just stood for house.

The club was founded in 1915 and was run on egalitarian principle, with all soldiers,officers and other ranks being treated equally. Branches spread to fulfill the need of men returning from the war to England. These branches assisted with medical needs, employment and companionship.

A branch emerged in his birth place Maryborough. Governer of Queensland Sir Leslie Wilson, addressed members and suggested they could assist in a proposed scheme to bring children from western districts to the seaside. The Country Women's Association helped bring groups of children to Oakhome at Torquay, which was owned by them. A local, Dr Whittle and some supporters raised money to buy the house next door called Bondi. After renovations, it accommodated the first group of children in 1938, who travelled from Cunnamulla district. Toc H continued to run in some form until 1985.

At the talk, Mr Graham Ruhle provided photos of a chair that was crafted by his relative Mr. Colin Ruhle, a staunch member of TOC H.   The chair was donated to Reverend Clayton's Church in London. It has the inscription
Fashioned with zest
For your reverent rest
If you find me strong
and thorough
I was made in Maryborough
Mr Graham Ruhle tells us it can still be found in the London church.

Published with consent from Jan Downman and Ian Scougall

Tags #TocH  #WW1 #torquay #Oakhome #tubbyclayton #localhistory

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

The Maryborough Benevolent Society

Lennox Street Hospital; Maryborough, Qld, after 1875.
The following information was put together by our Historypin member Marilyn Jensen about the Benevolent Society as part of our Having a Voice Historypin collection found here 

Early Australian hospitals not only catered to those who had been injured through accident, but also for invalids with chronic illnesses. Gradually these hospitals became repositories for the aged who had no family to care for them, as well as for younger, disabled folk until purpose-built asylums were constructed.
Those who could afford it, received attention from a doctor privately and those who could not afford to pay were not required to do so as some Government subsidy was allocated annually to hospitals to be distributed in charity. However, to gain admission to a hospital they had to be certified as destitute by a reputable person, such as a clergyman or magistrate, and required the word of a doctor that their admission was essential.
The early Maryborough Hospital was no exception. The minutes of the Hospitals Management Committee regularly indicate funds being allocated to those who were deemed in need from their Benevolent Fund. The Committee also referred individuals to other care institutions such as the Benevolent Asylum in Brisbane, orphanages and other shelters. A section of the minutes from the Maryborough Hospital Committee of Management dated 9th March 1875:
….correspondence was read from the Colonial Secretary, stating that the application made by the Hospital authorities for the admission of John Barkley to the Benevolent Asylum must for the present be refused, owing to the crowded state of that institution. The application could, however, be renewed at any future time. A second letter from the Colonial Secretary's office was read, granting application for admission of two children (Wise) to the Orphanage. The Hospital authorities, however, would have to arrange for sending the children to Brisbane. Mr. S. G. Hill said he had sufficient funds in hand on account of the children to pay for their passage down.

But the Government allocation was becoming inadequate as Maryborough's population increased. By the mid 1870s, the greatest burden on the hospital was the number of sick and indigent persons brought to the town by each immigrant ship. Deputations were made by the Hospital Committee to increase the allocation. A public voice for a separate Benevolent Society was also becoming increasingly heard.

See article – Maryborough Chronicle 18.12.1875 – which is the case of Mrs Jones as an example with a call for a separate benevolent association for Maryborough found in full here on our Historypin site.

Article as follows:
We fear that the case of Mrs. Jones, brought before the Hospital Committee at their last sitting, is not an isolated one in this good town of Maryborough. She is the mother of four young children, one being an infant but ten days old. It is possible, or even probable that the poor woman or her children might have perished from want — of absolute starvation — had it not been that her state of destitution became accidentally known to Mr. S. G. Hill, on the occasion, of her registering the birth of her youngest one, and who, noticing her extreme debility questioned and elicited the following facts, reluctantly told. With her husband and family she had arrived in the colony by the Star Queen. The husband had obtained a few days' work, but, as a stranger, had failed to secure any permanent employment. At last he determined to start upcountry, promising to write to his wife as soon as he should be in a position to forward her any money. He has not, however, been heard of since be left. Meantime, the wife has been confined, yet has almost managed to keep the wolf from the door by selling the few sticks of furniture she had collected, and the clothes which she and her children so much needed. Now even this miserable expedient fails her, for she has parted with everything that would fetch money. The Hospital Committee allowed her five shillings a week — as large a sum as they could with justice spare from the Benevolent Fund in their keeping. From this five shillings a week she has to pay rent, and feed and clothe herself and her four children! It surely but requires such a case as the above to be made known for relief to be freely accorded. But this is not enough. It requires an organized committee— an association who will seek out those who 'suffer grief and pain,' and who, like Mrs. Jones, don't know of the existence of the Benevolent Fund, or knowing, refuse to seek its aid. Such an association might, work in unison with the Hospital Committee. There would be no difficulty in collecting money in such a cause. How much money has been collected during the past twelve months to ' grease the fat pig,' and thus to follow the Bible teaching, ' To him that hath shall be given' How much pain and physical distress might have been saved had that amount, or even the tenth part of it, been placed to the credit of a Ladies' Benevolent Association. We repeat, there is no lack of funds for such a cause, for, from the frailest to the purest — from Nell Gwynn to Florance Nightingale — all would subscribe, for ' One touch of nature makes the whole world kin ?' Mrs. Jones vegetates near Mr. Berry's, at Irish Town.

- A thematic heritage study on Australia’s benevolent and other care institutions – Thematic
Study, Commonwealth of Australia, 2016
- Wide Bay Hospitals Museum Soc. Inc.

Published with consent from Marilyn Jensen.
Tags #Maryborough #benevolentsociety #poor #Hospital #committee.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

The Fight for the Eight Hour Day

Eight Hour Day;Maryborough,Qld.Eight hour day procession - Railway Ambulance, First Prize. 5/5/1924. Image from the Maryborough, Wide Bay and Burnett Historical Society Inc collection.

Our Historypin members have put together information on the Eight Hour Day in Maryborough on our Historypin site and this can be found here to accompany the images from the Maryborough, Wide Bay and Burnett Historical Society Inc. Susan Brandt researched this event and this is her information:
Skilled workmen by the middle of the nineteenth century in Maryborough, such as masons and joiners, had achieved an eight hour working day. Poor weavers from the East End of London sponsored as immigrants to Maryborough by the Society for Relief of Distress were reported writing home in 1862 praising the wonderful climate, with no heating bills, and amazed that they were only required to work eight hours a day.
It should be remembered that the working week at this time was six days. However, many other occupations had some way to go in pursuit of this holy cause as it was described by the many Methodists who were prominent in the movement. And much debate also ensued when it was discovered that by working 8¾ hours Monday to Friday, men could finish work at midday on Saturday and have Saturday afternoon off for recreation. Increasingly this recreation would include sports, not permitted to strict Primitive Methodists. Through the 1860’s, 70’s and 1880’s the two issues of how to extend the principle of the eight hour day to all workers and how to celebrate that achievement became matters of public debate in Maryborough. Primitive Methodists, for whom debating was a much loved pastime, early found their voice here, despite the necessity for the compromise alternative slogan 48 hour week.
It took some time for all workers to be included. Railway workers were striking in 1865 over the matter, urging over-exposure to the hot Queensland sun as a health reason for limiting the day’s work to eight hours. Maryborough Council voted on the issue for its workers in 1876, couldn’t agree, and deferred the matter. The Maryborough Chronicle reported in July 1882 that for artisans at all the foundries, coach works and other industrial establishments “8 hours per day or 48 hours per week appears to be now the regular thing throughout the town”.
Float exhibited by Hyne and Son in an Eight Hour Day Procession. Otto Kamradt on the dray at the left on the bench. Image part of the Maryborough, Wide Bay and Burnett Historical Society Inc. collection. 
Though not at Hyne’s sawmill. There was quite a heated State election debate in May 1888 when candidate Jack Annear, who claimed to be the father of the Eight Hour movement, opposed one of the Hyne family and publicly criticised them for standing out on the matter. Jack Annear won the election.
The Maryborough Chronicle was enthusiastic by June 1888 in praise of the coming celebration day for the Movement on Friday 29 June. Sports were described as “the best ever put forward in Maryborough”. And Primitive Methodists could take a trip to White Cliffs on Fraser Island in the “Hercules” instead.
But 1889 was not so harmonious. For a start the Chronicle reported a race meeting (horses) down at Kedron Park in Brisbane on Friday March First in celebration of  the Eight Hour Day. Then on Monday sixth of May working men met in the Temperance Hall to vote on whether this year’s Eight Hour Demonstration in Maryborough on Friday 28 June should be sports or a picnic. Although there was a credit balance of £19 from last year’s sports, the vote was for a picnic. Something to do with a promoter called Mr Hurley taking over the sports for money-making purposes of his own.
By the 26th of June the Chronicle’s advertisements show competing events: J. Harland, secretary of the Eight Hour Committee, inviting workmen to a rail picnic to Mungarr and concluding with a Grand Social Dance in the Town Hall, while below it is an advertisement for Hurley’s Grand Sports on the Showgrounds, and Calcutta Sweeps at the Royal Hotel, J.T.Murray, Secretary.
In another article in the paper, a few days earlier, it appears the picnic supporters had tried unsuccessfully to prevent the Showground from being used for such a purpose. The Movement for an Eight Hour Day clearly did not like money-making adventurers taking over their cause. At the meeting on 6th of May, the reported discussions had been serious in intent. The previous secretary, Mr F. Appel, had been presented with a carved emu egg mounted on an ebony stand with silver spray supports, in recognition of “the manner in which he carried out the now great work thrown on him”. He then made an interesting speech about the state of the Movement so far. It was decided at the meeting to investigate the possibility of setting up an Eight-hour Association or Union, possibly to exclude profiteers.

Eight Hour Day Union Maryborough. Image from the Maryborough, Wide Bay and Burnett Historical Society Inc collection. Image found in Historypin here 
On the 22 October a public meeting resolved on the formation of an Eight-Hour Union in Maryborough, and the contribution of unskilled workers was discussed. In 1890 there is no mention in the Chronicle of any celebrations. Only reports of expected riots in Europe on May Day, which the paper is obliged to deny by May 10, admitting it had been very quiet in Europe.

1891 was a different matter. Friday 3rd of July was gazetted a public holiday in Maryborough and the Chronicle contained the following article under the heading EIGHT HOUR DAY:

To-day will be observed as a public holiday in Maryborough to allow of the annual celebration of the principle of eight-hours work a day now generally established in Queensland. The only event of special importance will be the trades’procession through the town, and the athletic sports afterwards in the Show Grounds. The procession of the trades promises to be a very imposing and interesting affair, and has been organised on a large scale. The various trades will be represented in a series of characteristic tableaux on wagons gaily decorated. A large number of banners, with mottos, will fill in the gaps, and many other novelties will add to the success of the affair. The procession headed by the full Military Band, starts from the labor office, Keith’s Chambers, at a quarter to 9 this morning. The route will be Bazaar street to Ellena street, along that street to March street, down March street to Kent street, thence to Adelaide street, along which to Alice street, and thence to the Show Grounds. The sports should be quite up to previous affairs of the kind, as the programme is a good one, the prizes offered being very liberal, and the events are well filled with competitors, including several strangers. The first event starts at 10 a.m. In the evening there will be a wind-up dance in the Oddfellow’s Hall. With fine weather, of which there is fair promise, the success of the Eight-hour Demonstration of 1891 is assured. An excursion to the White Cliffs in the Muriel Bell takes place to-day. The Maryborough Rifle team left for Bundaberg yesterday afternoon, and will shoot against the Bundaberg team to-day.
No riots expected here! The rifle team will be in Bundaberg.
J.D. Ruhle, Carrier at Maryborough Show Grounds.Image part of the Maryborough, Wide Bay and Burnett Historical Society Inc. collection. 
This seems to establish the pattern of celebration for the Eight Hour Movement in Maryborough for many years to come: a procession, sports and a dance at the Oddfellows Hall in the evening. During the Great War women workers kept the procession going, the sports were for school children, and rather wistfully for the 1916 celebrations, our local bard Bannerman (Cecil Lowell) penned a memorial poem, seeing the ghosts of workers past making up the numbers. The original can be found here

Published with consent from Susan Brandt
Tags: #eighthourday #maryborough #union

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Gail Nancarrow; a humble and generous volunteer.

Gail Nancarrow, on the steps of the Tiaro CWA Hall. She would love to have more volunteers to help.

Tiaro resident Gail Nancarrow was announced Citizen of the Year by the Fraser Coast Regional Council in January, being recognised for her generous and compassionate work within the Tiaro community.

"I lived and worked on our dairy farm at Theebine until I went out west and worked as a governess at the age of 16", Gail told us when we interviewed her for our Oral History Series; Having a Voice.

"My father and mother always helped others and people don't seem to have the time these days" she continued "my husband always gave to the community when he could and so do I, it is a gift to be able to give".

Her work with the Tiaro Country Women's Association (CWA), Anglican Church and Community Centre includes cleaning buildings. Her love of gardening is also put to good use - pruning the CWA gardens and much more.

She has actively participated in the community since moving to Tiaro in 1970. She became involved with the CWA following the closure of the Anglican Church and the Rural Youth Club.

"I host hoy (a card game) at the CWA with some of the members; hearing the women giggle and enjoy themselves is worth any effort I put in” she said.

She said there are many people in the community that are elderly and need more help "We need more volunteers, the trouble is that many people are working so do not have the time. If people could help the older members of the community and others, it would be such a big benefit". Her oral history interview and many others will be published on the libraries' youtube site found here.

Published with consent from Gail Nancarrow.

Tags: #Tiaro #volunteers #AustraliaDay #community #cwa