Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Mina Rawson - the first female cookbook author hailed from Boonooroo

 Mrs Rawson State Library of Queensland Negative number: 13555 
Did you know the first female cookbook author in Australia, Wilhelmina Frances Rawson (Mina) (1851-1933), wrote many of her recipes while living in Boonooroo? Mina Rawson was “the first white woman to live at Boonooroo, on the shores of WideBay, Queensland” according to an article published in the courier mail in 1951 found here 

 In 1878 her recipes for early women settlers Queensland Cookery and Poultry Book was published in Maryborough. At the age of 21 she married Lancelot Bernard Rawson (Kingston, 2016). Mina lived on a cattle station in Mackay, Queensland, for some time.  “In 1877 Lancelot became a partner in Kircubbin sugar plantation, Maryborough” (Kingston, 2016). Mina’s respect for Melanesian labourers was fostered at this time. Kingston (2016) claimed bankruptcy struck Kircubbin in 1880 with the property still idle in 1901. Mrs Rawson’s writing provided the only income for the couple at this time. Information about this is found here

In 1880, Rawson’s set up a fish station at Boonooroo  found here   and became the first European settlers in this isolated beach location. It was a harsh environment found here

Using the local wildlife and knowledge gained from the local kanakas she created recipes pioneer women could find ingredients for, One such example can be found here

She had the youngest of her four children while at Boonooroo.

Mina's memoirs, serialized in the Queenslander (December 1919 - July 1920) as 'Making the best', described her life at their Boonooroo fishing station, the cattle station “The Hollows” in Mackay and the Sugar Plantations. She has published many cookbooks which can be found through the state library of Queensland searches found here   and here  
There is also a project to transcribe her book Australian enquiry book of household and general information at the state library of Queensland here

Lyndall Blackley (Mina’s great granddaughter) has commented on this blog that her great grandmother “Mina was an amazing woman. She had a hard life, but met difficulties with spirit, determination, humour and great resourcefulness.”
Wilhelmina Rawson. (2016). America.pink

She died in 1951 at the age of 81 found here

Do you know anything about Mina and the early days in Boonooroo? 

Kingston, B. (2016). Biography - Wilhelmina Frances (Mina) Rawson - Australian Dictionary of Biography. Adb.anu.edu.au. Retrieved 24 July 2016, from http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/rawson-wilhelmina-frances-mina-8163/text14269
Newspapers Home - Trove. (2016). Trove. Retrieved 24 July 2016, from http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/?q=
State Library of Queensland,. (2016). Onesearch.slq.qld.gov.au. Retrieved 24 July 2016, from http://onesearch.slq.qld.gov.au/primo_library/libweb/action/search.do?vid=SLQ&fromLogin=true
Wilhelmina Rawson. (2016). America.pink. Retrieved 24 July 2016, from http://america.pink/wilhelmina-rawson_4787727.html
Tags #Rawson, #Maryborough, #cookery, #housewife, #Boonooroo, #cookbooks  #domestic advice, #settlers, #Kircubbin, #sugarplantations

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Reflections on Nana Rainbow - a Butchulla Elder

Members of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are advised that this blog contains names and images of deceased people.

Chantel Van Wamelen belongs to the local Butchulla community. She is in her final year of university studying a Bachelor of Human Services and is a community support worker at Centacare, Fraser Coast. Through her studies at university she became interested in her family history and researched her Great Grandmother known affectionately as Nana Rainbow. She reflects on how government policies impacted her Great Grandmother and her family’s life.

Chantel and her Great Grandmother Nana Rainbow

“Queensland had a number of policies implemented to manage Indigenous people. In Queensland the Chief Protector was able to enforce protection polices to the effect that Indigenous people could be removed into large, highly regulated government settlements and missions. Children were removed from their mothers at about the age of four years and placed in dormitories away from their families. At about the age of 14 years, the children were sent off the missions and settlements to work” she continued.
"This happened to my Great Grandmother Eileen Rainbow nee Gala". 
Eileen Rainbow as a young woman.

“At the age of 10 she was removed from her mother in Hervey Bay and placed in a Cherbourg dormitory with her sister Maudie” Chantel explains.  She was separated from siblings at age 13 -17 and sent to Blackall to work on a station. She then worked as a nanny and servant for a local lawyer’s family in Maryborough.  She reunited with her mother Emily Gala and with her siblings. She remained close with them until they all passed. She met my great grandfather William Rainbow in Maryborough and married him and they started their own family. They moved to Childers and she worked for a family called the Kingstons".
Nana Rainbow and her grandson Noel (Chantel's father).
Chantel continues “This has had an impact on me by people doubting my identity and our family’s connection with the local Butchulla community. It resulted in deep losses of identity, culture, language, history, family and community. In the face of this hardship, our family have drawn on our incredible strength of character and unshakable knowledge of our Aboriginal identity. We have worked to find all the documentation and oral history to ensure that our links to our country and our ancestors is kept intact"

“The repercussions that this policy had on Nanna Rainbow and her family were devastating and huge” reflects Chantel.  “We may never know the full ramifications of these events as she rarely spoke about what had happened to her. I am not sure if this was out of shame or fear or if the events were so disturbing that she couldn’t bring herself to discuss it.” “My Aunty Annette has said that when my Great Grandmother, her mother and her sisters would get together around the camp fire they would grieve together by crying and wailing. Being separated would have caused loneliness, dislocation, deprivation of affection and love, and created stress and grief.” Chantel continues. “It was thought to have made them stronger women and pulled the family unit closer together.” Chantel said “It changed their ability to practice traditional culture. The woman only carried out traditions amongst themselves and not around others. The trust in governments and mainstream society was destroyed and they lived in fear of this happening again”.

Nana Rainbow and the younger members of the family.

Chantel concludes "Recent land rights success handing ownership of K’Gari (Fraser Island) back to Butchulla people has been a positive step forward to acknowledge Butchulla people. I am very proud to be part of this process and we have great hope for our future”.

Tags #Butchulla #K'Gari #FraserIsland #Frasercoastlibraries

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Local History Local Music – Alfred and Olivea Wynne

The first tower for Radio 4MB was erected at the residence of A. P. Wynne, 669 Kent Street, Maryborough. This photograph shows the pole being transported from the Hyne & Son Sawmill in lower Kent Street. Walkers Limited Shipyards is shown in the background of the photograph. 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 emailmuseum@maryboroughhistoricsociety.com.au
Fraser Coast Libraries and Maryborough Wide Bay and Burnett Historical Society Inc are working together on a Historypin project Local History Local Music found here 

During this project we have discovered that Alfred and Olivea Wynne were significant members of the local area's musical community.

Alfred Percy Wynne and Olivea Jean Wynne were business owners of Wynne’s Music Store in Maryborough. They married in 1913 and established the business in 1919 in the old Chronicle building, Adelaide Street before moving to Kent Street. Details can be found here

Mr Wynne was the secretary of the Philaharmonic Society and Secretary of the Wide Bay  and Burnett Musical Festival Council. Details found here 

Mr Wynne as managing director of 4MB in 1932 was very involved in developing commercial broadcasting in Maryborough. The first broadcast was from the Wynne’s home in upper Kent Street. Details found here  and here

Maryborough Family History  (Pin Interest collection) 673 Kent St - Alfred and Olivia Wynne's house from where 4MB was first transmitted.
It then moved to above Wynne's music store in 1937.

Alfred Percy Wynne died in 1966 and Olivea Jean Wynne died in 1968. They bequested $200 000 to the University of Queensland to be used as scholarships for Maryborough students. The 50th anniversary of this bequest is coming up and the University is keen to find out more about this philanthropic Maryborough couple.

Do you know why they donated this money to University of Queensland?

Have you or anyone you know completed studies with the help of this scholarship and live in Maryborough?

Do you know anything about the musical history of Maryborough?

Please come along to our special Historypin Local History Local Music chat group Tuesday 12 noon on the 2nd of August at the Maryborough Library E Space and help us keep our musical history alive.

Tags: #AlfredWynne #wynnes #musicstore #Historypin #localhistorylocalmusic #frasercoastlibraries #maryborough

Friday, 15 July 2016

Arnie Twigg and Maryborough Gasworks

Arnie Twigg retiring from looking after the Chronicle files 5th June, 1987.
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 emailmuseum@maryboroughhistoricsociety.com.au Identifier: Image CP440 
Arnie Twigg was a well known character around Maryborough. In the days when lights were gas lit and not automatic, shops still wanted lights on outside of their businesses at night. His job was to use a stick, with a hook on the end, to turn the lights on outside of the Maryborough shops. He would return to turn them off in the morning. “He was a little man, often on his own, walking the streets at dusk and dawn” a reader remembers.
Gas was big business in Maryborough. “The Maryborough Gas and Coke Company Ltd was formed in 1878 – the directors being many Maryborough businessmen namely – Henry Palmer, John Walker, John Graham, J.Gilbert, R.M. Hyne, W.Young and E.Booker" (Scougall, n.d.).
If you walk into Bowen Street Maryborough today you can see the brick building which was constructed in 1883.  It was designed by Willoughby Powell, and over the entrance is the motto in Latin Ex Fumo Dare Lucem (Scougall,n.d.). Scougall says, “I am told that the translation broadly means to bring light from smoke."
Gas became the predominant source of lighting from the commencement on the second of August, 1879 through to the fifties. Information about this beginning can be found here 
Expansion plans can be found here
After this time demand for gas diminished, until March, 1965 when “the change over from a coal gas plant to a reforming plant using liquefied petroleum took place" (Scougall, n.d.).
With the reduction in the demand for gas, Arnie’s services were no longer needed. He moved on and worked for a time organising the Chronicle files.

Do you have any more memories about Arnie or the gasworks?

Scougall,I. (n.d.) The Golden Mile, Local History Talk, Maryborough Library. Also found in the Local History Vertical Files.

Tags #Gasworks #Maryborough #Arnietwigg #frasercoastlibraries 

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Lexie Casperson and Foxie - local heroes

Lexie Casperson with his younger brothers and sisters and his little dog “Foxie” 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 email museum@maryboroughhistoricsociety.com.au
Identifier: ImageCP0511
A partnership between Maryborough, Wide Bay and Burnett Historical Society Inc and Fraser Coast Libraries is ensuring images once kept in filing cabinets are now finding new life in digital form. Remarkable animals was the topic of one of our small projects. During this project we found out about a young boy and his heroic dog.
Lexie Casperson, a boy of 12 years was able to save his two brothers Billy (aged seven years) and Brian (aged four years) and his sister Gloria (aged ten years) from their burning home all thanks to their little fox terrier puppy Foxie.The animal was barking wildly outside and woke the boy who found the house was on fire. Lexie woke the other children just in time, with his sister getting her face scorched from the flames that licked her bed. Information about Lexie can be found here and here
The parents had been visiting the neighbours next door and came round the corner on the way home at around 11pm to see the house on fire.“Public recognition was accorded to Lexie and Foxie in the Granville Shire Hall on August 13th 1929, when the boy was presented with a medal and a wallet of money and the dog a beautiful collar (Trove, n.d.)”.The house was the old Bartholemew home which was an historic two storey wooden building at Granville. The details are found here.

Lex Casperson is a regular library customer and is the nephew of Lexie in this article. He was named after Uncle Lex by his father Brian, to honour him for saving  all the children from the fire. Lex now works at the police station. Before this, he spent close to thirty years at Walkers Ltd as a labourer. He is now the proud owner of the medals and certificate presented to Lex senior by the Royal Humane Society of Australia on the 28/7/1927.

The medal says presented to Alex Casperson by Granville residents and friends in recognition of bravery in rescuing little sister and brothers from fire 28th July, 1927 on the back. AC is written on the front.
“Uncle Lex lived in Mary Street for most of his life until his wife Aunty Lottie died. He then moved to Albert Street in 1991 to be closer to me, as his eyesight was failing” said Lex junior."He lived there until July 2015. He passed away on the 2nd of November, 17 days short of his 102nd birthday,” Lex reflects.
“He was always a humble man and never bragged about what he did or what he got. Even his workmates at Wilson and Harts timber mill didn’t know of his heroism even after he worked there for fifty-one years, as he never told anyone of his award or recognition.”

Lex junior said “Uncle Lex lived a happy, simple life and never uttered a hard word about anybody. He worked hard and lived cleanly.” Lex junior looked after Lex senior in his elderly years after he was diagnosed with glaucoma and surrendered his licence, helping him live out most of his senior years in his own home. He is immensely proud of him and remembers the humble and dignified way he lived his life.

Do you know any remarkable animal stories?

Check out his and other images on our library catalogue. We would also love to see you at Historypin Chat, first Tuesday of every month at the Maryborough Library to share your photos and stories.

Published with consent from Lex Casperson junior.
Tags: #bartholomewhouse #granville #maryborough #frasercoastlibraries

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Heritage Leaders Workshop, 2016 State Library of Queensland.

The opening of the State Library of Queensland Heritage Leaders Workshop, 2016.
Fraser Coast Libraries were honoured to be invited by Rachael Browning, Coordinator Projects QANZAC, to present at the 2016 State Library of Queensland Heritage Leaders Workshop.  On the 12th May, 2016  a library representative travelled to Brisbane to share our Historypin partnership with Maryborough, Wide Bay and Burnett Historical Society Inc.  Maryborough Museum curators Ken Brooks and Marilyn Jensen also attended.

Ken Brooks- Brennan and Geraghty's Store Museum;Marilyn Jensen - Wide Bay Hospital Museum and Anne Scheu- Coordinator Distributed Collections State Library of Queensland;Heritage Leaders Workshop, 2016.
The day began with Ian Townsend, author and journalist and Professor Bruce Scates FASSA, Chair of History and Director, Australian Studies, National Centre for Australian Studies discussing the revelation of servicemen’s medical records after the war. The topic was Beyond Gallipoli: New research into the memory of the Great War- What happened when the guns stopped firing? How did Australian service men and women bring the war home with them and what was the cost of that conflict to our entire community?  It was discussed how the medical histories enlarge whilst challenging family and national narratives of war.

A summary of Community projects followed :

Spotlight on recent regional Queensland First World War projects

• Kristine Patterson, research volunteer, Zara Clark Museum Charters Towers, National Trust of Australia (Queensland),Those dratted socks

• Annette Burns, Local History Librarian, Townsville City Libraries, Memories for a New Generation: Townsville Remembers World War 1

• Elisabeth Gondwe, North Stradbroke Island Historical Museum, Stradbroke 100: Remembering North Stradbroke

Islanders Overseas and at Home During the First World War

• Ken Keith, Douglas Shire Historical Society, Douglas Shire’s Diggers in WWI – where to and what then?

• Ashley Reid, Vice President Country Hospital Museum, WWI Local Nurses: Who were they?

Rachael Browning, Coordinator Projects QANZAC, State Library of Queensland.
Connecting the lines and dots was the session attended by the Fraser Coast Libraries representative.

Collaboration, co-creation and the use of data to produce First World War projects with creativity and impact were investigated.

Gregory Cope, Assistant Director Access and Communication, National Archives of Australia discussed the Discovering Anzacs website and challenges of dealing with information that has not been entered in a consistent manner.
Greg Cope, National Archives of Australia.

Margaret Warren, Coordinator, Discovery Services discussed linking things using code to draw information out of other data bases. 
Margaret Warren, Coordinator Discovery Services.
Fraser Coast Libraries' representative presented in the session titled:Learn how you can share your community First World War stories and personal histories on Historypin with Avril Fazel, Community leader, Blackall to Battle and Back and the Local History Librarian Noosa. We had over 40 people in our session.
Kathy Shilvock, Fraser Coast Libraries, Historypin partnerships for digital access presentation.

The final session was Expressions of memory: Creative responses to commemoration:

• Elaine Acworth, Q ANZAC 100 Fellow and playwright, My Father’s Wars

• Daniel Evans, writer and director, One Hundred and One Stories, Queensland Music Festival

• Tom Nicholson, artist, Comparative Monument (Palestine).

It was a fantastic opportunity to network with other heritage buffs and learn about the astounding number of projects running throughout the state.
Tags #Frasercoastlibraries #Historypin #Qanzac100 #SLQ #partnerships #BrennanandGeraghtys #Widebayhospitalmuseum

Thursday, 26 May 2016

David Proctor – the last manager of Burgowan Collieries Pty Ltd.

David Proctor was the last manager of Burgowan Mine.

Arthur Proctor Original syndicate member of Burgowan Coal Co. and CEO and Chairman of Directors
David Proctor is a well  known local and the last manager of  the Burgowan mine. His grandfather Arthur Proctor was the original syndicate member of Burgowan Coal and Co. and CEO and Chairman of Directors. His father Bob Proctor was also mine manager.
David said “The Nagoorin Syndicate (which mined coal near Many Peaks in an area known as Nagoorin) abandoned their mine when it became flooded and formed a new syndicate. This became the Burgowan Syndicate. It commenced mining coal near Torbanlea in 1918 at a mine formerly operated by Johann Bellert.  Bellert had been interned due to his German ancestry during World War 1. At this stage the syndicate leased the mine. It later purchased the freehold on 28/10/1920 and the Burgowan Coal Company Ltd was formed.”

He further details “The syndicate comprised 13 members: Arthur PROCTOR; Henry PROCTOR; Joseph PROCTOR; William HAMILTON (Arthur Proctor’s father in law); Herbert YEATES ( Arthur Proctor’s brother in law); Joseph REHDER (Henry Proctor’s son in law); William RIES; Jock SNEDDON; Stephen WILSON; David KERR; John KERR; James KERR (all brothers) and William MADDERS.”
Representatives of the three mining companies in Burrum District at Coal Owners Association -Lloyd Willey, Bob Proctor, Stan Stafford.
According to David the assets purchase in 1920 included several residences located at the mine site. These were relocated to Torbanlea. Burgowan House was one of these and was converted to a house and a shop. The Company also purchased an existing shop at Torbanlea and built a brick butcher’s shop. “Torbanlea was becoming a company town. The company also built a bowling green at Torbanlea which still exists. It was sold to the Burgowan Bowling Club in 1935 for 140 pounds,” David details.

 Panorama of Torbanlea taken from top of the former water tower in late 1950's early 1960's
The glory days for the coal industry were in the early 1950’s. Coal was in demand “following the commissioning of the Howard Power Station as well as coal sold to the railways for their steam trains and coal sold for coking and steam boilers at numerous work sites in the district. Burgowan employed in excess of 150 men. Coal was exported to Japan via the railway line from Torbanlea to the jetty at Urangan in the 1950’s,” enthused David.
“Burgowan also had its own Company (Burrum Timber Company) to supply mine timber which was in great demand as mine props, crowns underground as well as a lime mine near Dallarnil which provided lime for dusting the mine shaft walls and roofs to reduce fire risk and explosions.” said David.
David is proud of the quality of Burgowan coal “It has always had a reputation as a low ash, high heat value coal with a Specific Energy of 31 mj/kj and a washed coal ash content of 8-10%.”
A. Proctor, D. Kerr, R. Keene and T. Rowston. No. 4 Mine.
David details “The mine purchased from Bellert was Burgowan No. 4 and the number sequence continued until the last mine to be opened 1964. Burgowan No 13 which closed at the end of 1976 following the decommissioning and closure of the Howard Power Station. After a short break in 1977 when the Howard Power Station closed, Burgowan No. 12, which began development in 1961, ceased production in 1997.
Over time modernization of the coal mining process occurred. "Burgowan No. 12 was the only Burgowan mine which was not a pick and shovel mine. All others were generally worked by contract miners who consequently were only paid for their production and even had to pay for their own explosives," said David.

Pit Head with winch wheel and cable from underground via man/materials shaft to Winch Room (red roof);  High structure is roof over the Washing Plant which receives unwashed coal from underground via a conveyor belt, separates coal from stone by use of a cyclone and water and loads the coal and washed stone into their respective bins for transportation by truck to stockpile;   Building on the far right is the bathroom.
David reflects “Pit ponies were used until the 1960’s in the pick and shovel mines with stables located underground. The statewide Cog Strike in 1949 even had office staff working underground to maintain the mines while miners were on strike.  Coal in the Burrum District was extracted by the Board and Pillar method which is antiquated method unlike more modern methods such as Longwall Production Method used elsewhere in Australia.”

Burgowan No.13 MineMan/Materials Shaft No.13
Mining at Burgowan No. 12 ceased in 1997. David is disappointed the site did not become a tourist attraction “The mine site was left intact with the intention that it was an historical site and that it would be developed into a tourist attraction however this did not occur and over time the site becoming almost demolished due to vandalism and theft and eventually the site was cleared and nature has reclaimed it” he reflects.  “The brick chimney stack of Burgowan No 7 mine still remains just off Beelbi Creek Road and the only evidence of the Burgowan mines are the mullock heaps which are overgrown and the dams which were created to supply water to the mines,” David says.

If you drive down Beelbi Creek Road you may spot some evidence of the last mine in the region.

Did any of your relatives work at the mine?

More information and newspaper clippings are found in our local history vertical files.

Published with consent from David Proctor.

Tags #Burgowan #mines #torbanlea  #frasercoastlibraries