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

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Donna Johnson; a talented sports star

Donna Johnson and her husband Leon
Donna Johnson tells of her experience being chosen in the state representative basketball team and how she felt so proud of going even though her family could not afford new clothes and shoes for her to wear. This incredibly resilient woman explains "my mother was the most important person in my life". She tells of the influence her Aboriginal and Australian South Sea Islander mother had over her family. After her father died when she was four, her mother raised her and her siblings on her own. As part of the Having a Voice Oral History Series we have recorded her story and it will be uploaded to the Libraries youtube site

Tags: #ASSI #Maryborough #basketball #oralhistory #aborigine #mother

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Queensland’s Indigenous participation in WWI - a State Library of Queensland research project.

DAVIES, Augustus Hodgkinson #3282

Private Augustus Davies, 41st Infantry Battalion. 

DOYLE, Harry #2426

Private Harry Doyle, 11th Light Horse Regiment. 

It is understood around 300 Indigenous Queenslanders enlisted in the First World War, many more than was originally thought. Uncovering Queensland’s Indigenous participation began at SLQ in 2014 in the lead up to the Serving Country Forum, as part of QANZAC 100: Memories for a New Generation.
Since then SLQ’s Indigenous Languages Coordinator, Des Crump has developed a resource guide on researching Indigenous soldiers of the First World War. Importantly, the guide includes an alphabetic listing, by Queensland location, the names of known Indigenous men who volunteered for enlistment and service. The resource guide is designed to get families started on their own research.

You can read several blog articles about Queensland’s Indigenous soldiers on the WWI blog.

QANZAC100 Content Technician Marg Powell is also contributing her extensive research into the QANZAC100 Historypin hub.  A work in progress, Marg is gradually pinning the portraits and stories of Queensland’s Aboriginal servicemen in the collection:-
Indigenous enlistment: Stories and portraits of Queensland's Aboriginal servicemen of the First World War  

The profile in the collection also states – ‘As we learn more about indigenous participation in the First World War, our list of confirmed Indigenous servicemen continues to change. The soldiers represented here are those verified for inclusion up to March 2017. More will be added as they are discovered’.

Do you know any Indigenous Fraser Coast locals who enlisted in the wars?

If you have any further questions please contact the Fraser Coast Libraries on (07) 41905781.

Published with consent from State Library of Queensland.

Tags #indigenous #frasercoast #WW1 #WW2 #Qanzac100 #SLQ

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Bill Kitson - the History of Charting the Wide Bay Coast

Andrew Petrie
Soon after the discovery of the Wide Bay River (Mary River) by Andrew Petrie in 1842, John Eales established a sheep station near the present town of Tiaro. Although short lived, this early settlement paved the way for future settlements on the Mary River.
Mathew Flinders
Previously maritime explorers like Flinders 1802 and Edwardson 1822 had visited Hervey Bay and both had missed the entrance to the river.

The Map of Fraser Island. Edwardson drew this Map in 1822 using the map of Flinders as a base. He captained the NV Snapper and used this map to navigate the water of the Fraser Coast. Doug Waters donated this map to Fraser Coast Libraries and it is hanging in the local history section of Hervey Bay Branch.

Edwardson did however prove that Fraser Island was indeed an island, a fact that Flinders had missed when he called it the Great Sandy Peninsula.
In 1847 Surveyor J.C. Burnett reported on what he saw while sailing up Petrie’s Wide Bay river and soon settlers were to follow establishing their wharf sites and inns on the banks of the river at Baddow.
When Queensland became a separate colony in 1859, its first parliament realised the importance of having accurate marine charts made of its long coastline. To achieve this they joined together with other Australian colonies to have the Admiralty send out proper hydrographic surveyors to accurately chart their coastlines, harbours and rivers by the scientific method of triangulation. Under this arrangement the colony was to bare half the cost (£1500 per annum) and provide a vessel for the survey. The Admiralty for their part would provide the surveyors, instruments and prepare the final charts.
The officer chosen for the survey was James Jeffrey, master in the Royal Navy. Arriving in Queensland in 1862 with his wife, he was soon at work on the survey of the entrance to the Wide Bay port. At this time the port had received its first immigrant vessel direct from England and was fast becoming a port for the pastoral stations in the area as well as servicing the timber getters.
For the survey Jeffrey had a 60 foot schooner built in Sydney which he called the Pearl. He was a man of considerable experience and for the survey he was assisted by Donald Matheson who had served under him on the Scottish survey and who had followed him out to the colony.
Jeffrey saw the potential of the Maryborough area and purchased several blocks of agricultural land on the banks of the Mary river and named his residence, Frankstone. Jeffrey was also a difficult man and in some circles was unpopular as a local Police Magistrate.
In 1865, he was replaced as Marine Surveyor by Edward Parker Bedwell after a very public dispute with William Davidson, District Surveyor of the Surveyor General’s Office in Maryborough. This public airing of their dispute caused the Admiralty to retire him. Jeffrey continued to farm in the area until 1872 when he returned home to England.
After the discovery of the Gympie gold field, the amount of shipping coming to the area increased, which resulted in Bedwell continuing the nautical surveys in the area between 1868 and 1870.
These two men were the first surveyors to chart the Hervey Bay area in any great detail.
Bill Kitson is writing a book on these early marine surveyors who charted our Queensland coastline between 1861 and 1914.

Information supplied by Bill Kitson 
Museum of Lands, Mapping and Surveying
Land and Spatial Information, Department of Natural Resources and Mines
T: (07) 3330 4756
Level 2 | 867 Main Street | Woolloongabba Qld 4102 | GPO Box 2454, Brisbane Q 4000
Published with consent from Bill Kitson

Tags #widebay #survey #maritime #Flinders #Petrie #Jeffrey #Bedwell #Maryborough #FraserIsland #Burnett #Edwardson #Davidson

Monday, 1 May 2017

Family Fun Day 20th May, 2017 celebrating the 130th Anniversary of the Walker Street Hospital Site

Fraser Coast Libraries were lucky enough to be have Maryborough Hospital Museum's member, Marilyn Jensen present the history of the Hospitals as part of our local history talk series. The link to the Libraries' recording of this talk can be found here.
Marilyn Jensen Maryborough Hospital Museum's Member

Maryborough Hospital will mark 130 years of caring for its community from its current Walker Street site, and it is celebrating with a family fun day for staff and the community. The family fun day will take place  Saturday, May 20, from 10am – 2pm.

The following information has been supplied by Marilyn Jensen:

Maryborough's current public general hospital has been operational in Walker Street since 1887 – 130 years this May, but in actual fact the history of Maryborough's public hospital commenced in the 1850s.

By the early 1850s, the fledgling settlement of Wide Bay was becoming quite a prosperous town and by 1856 the move to establish a hospital gained momentum. A committee was formed (known initially as the Wide Bay and Burnett District Hospital Committee) and met a few times but nothing became of it for about three years. Some cottages may have been used during this time but the history is inconclusive.

A second committee in 1859 got things moving and rented a succession of cottages as hospitals. The first was the Church of England parsonage near Walker and Lennox Streets for about six months, then a house (said to be a slab hut) from a Constable Doran, and later a house in Ferry St from a Mrs McAdam. This house was used until the new hospital in Lennox St (between Sussex and Kent St) was built and occupied by July 1864. It was the first purpose built hospital outside of Brisbane.

Lennox St Hospital c 1865. Source: Qld State Archives

Population growth, influenced by immigration saw the expansion of the hospital and its services and after four years, a new wing was added to the Sussex St side of the building. As a result of Polynesians being bought in as farm labour, a Polynesian ward was built as a separate building at the rear of the hospital and a few years later extended. The hospital building had problems with damp which was overcome by cementing and painting the outside walls.

In 1874 with more increases in population growth, an additional wing was added on the Kent St side of the main building. The hospital's first Resident Surgeon, Dr Little, was employed and a residence for him built in the grounds. By 1882 the hospital's first trained nurse was employed and things that we take for granted today such as gas and water supply were added. By this time it was obvious that the hospital was deteriorating and not suited to the continued population growth and land was secured in Walker St for a new hospital. By 1885, building of the new hospital commenced. This was completed in 1887 with the hospital being officially opened on the 20th May with much celebration and after 23 years at the Lennox St site, hospital services were relocated to the new hospital soon after where it remains today. The buildings at Lennox St were handed over for police barracks and later both land and buildings were purchased by the Defence Department.
Lennox St Hospital, after 1875. Source: Wide Bay Hospitals Museum Soc. Inc

The hospital built on the Walker Street site was an impressive complex of two storey masonry buildings linked by single storey covered walkways. The elevated site, on the outskirts of town was suited to the principles of pavilion design and the scale and detail of the buildings reflected the importance of the city at the time. Constructed by builder Robert Taylor for £16,000 to the design of colonial architect John James Clark, it comprised a two storey central administration block with a two storey L shaped wing on each side (a west wing and a east wing) and a single storey kitchen behind in a symmetrical arrangement. All the buildings were linked by single storey covered walkways. A single storey residence for the medical superintendent was also built as well as a morgue. Only one wing (the east wing) and the central block were originally occupied.
 Maryborough Hospital Walker St, 1887. Source: Wide Bay hospitals Museum Soc. Inc

Wide Bay Hospitals Museum Soc. Inc.
State Library Qld
Published with consent from Marilyn Jensen
Tags# Maryborough #Hospital #museum #Widebay #funday