|Joan standing on the deck of her house. Below is a picture of the same house in 1910|
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.”
|Dundowran State School 1935|
“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.”
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.
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