1872 TO JULY, 1950
Another very musical family was the Leyshons. Dolph and his brother
were bandsmen, a daughter was a cellist and two others, Mrs. Cliff
Griffiths and Mrs. H. Siemon, are still acceptable soloists.
Of course, mention must be made of J. M. Clark's long association with
the Towers Concert Band, and his impressive list of successes, and
the band's fine war records.
In 1907, the Eisteddfod at Charters Towers was even more successful.
Miss Gladys Moncrieff, now so well known in the operatic world, got her
first taste of victory as a vocalist when she divided the prize for the
"O for the Wings of a Dove."
The Northern Eisteddfod movement was at that time doing a great deal
towards bringing out other successful artists who made their
way in the musical world. For instance, Hope Charters (Miss Lizzie
Brown) went to pursue her studies in England; Miss Bronnie
Fairhall, who was successful in winning the Sydney Conservatorium
Scholarship in 1917; Miss Rosina Palmerson and Miss Agnes Rawes, who
years entertained audiences all over Australia with their vocal
ability; Mr. Richard McClelland, who also
went to England, became a finished artist, appeared with distinguished
success in Sydney theatres, and also led a fine choir there; and many
have become more or less successful abroad.
To-day the Towers Choir is still under the baton of Mr. Fred
Friemann, who works hard in the interest of the choirs and the North
Queensland Eisteddfod work. Mr. Friemann has also done marvellous work
with his High School Choir and has achieved much success with his choir
in the Juvenile Eisteddfods.
" GOR BLIMEY CHARLIE "
The following story was told by Mr. Charlie Downs, who at the present
time is a Blacksmith employed at "Cleveland Foundry," Townsville.
Charlie Downs was a Towersite a long time ago, and one day he got in a
train at Ravenswood Junction (now Mingela) to proceed to the Towers. He
was the.only person in the carriage but soon after another Ravenswood
identity, Charlie Dungavell, entered the carriage.
Not many minutes after, Charlie Stapleton boarded the train. He was on
one of his business trips and was, as many will recall, totally blind
and the lad who was leading him was, by some coincidence, called
This strange business was not to stop at this; just before the train
was due to depart, Mr. Charlie Sills, the painter, entered the carriage
and before the train reached Charters Towers, two other "Charlies" had
entered the same carnage.
It is told that when the last man boarded the train at some very small
siding, one of the occupants of the carriage said: "Your name
wouldn't be Charlie, by any chance, would it mate"? and received the
following reply "and what if it is?" It was! "Gor
Blimey Charlie." Yes, strangely enough, every passenger in that
carriage was named Charlie.