Snippets from the Past 1956-1957





Courier Mail Wednesday 30 May 1956

Yandina has “Ark” Motor

        Cooroy- The North Coast Council of Progress Associations want a new railmotor on the Yandina Gympie line, because the old one “will shortly fall to bits.”

        The association has written to the Transport Minister (Mr. Duggan) reminding him that he had promised six months ago to give priority to this line. At a meeting of the association, members said that new railmotors were going to the South Coast instead. They claimed that the old railmotor is “weird” and “looks as though it came out of the Ark.”

“Rope on Doors.”

        They said that the motor, which travelled daily over the 44 miles from Yandina to Gympie, had its doors tied with rope and that its curtains were in rags. They also claimed that the guard at one end “screamed” to the driver at the other when he wanted the railmotor to start or stop.

        Cream cans, cases of butter and parcels were packed into the railmotor with the passengers, they said. The association Secretary (Mr. D. A. Low MLA) said that he had ridden in the motor to see how bad it was. It had pulled up long before it reached the station because the brakes were faulty.  


Courier Mail 14 August 1956

Is Sidney House haunted?

By a staff reporter

        Is the genteel spirit of Sidney Anne Jackson inhabiting Sidney House, Toowong, in protest at the impending demolition of the place? Several people who have visited the historic and now desolate 74 year old two storied family mansion in Coronation Drive have told me, in effect-

        “I got the most eerie feeling that the place is haunted, and that all those grand old decayed rooms aren’t really empty.”

        [Legend says that the spirit of anyone who has loved a house may return to it on learning that the house is to be destroyed]

Air is “alive”

        Sidney House and its overgrown grounds have been bought by Accommodation Australia, a Sydney firm which proposes to build a motel at the site. Brisbane real estate agent, R. S. Molloy, who handled the sale of Sidney House, said that the building would be pulled down “soon.”

        I roamed in and around the building, among cobwebs and weeds, and I admit that the dead house has a “live atmosphere” about it.

        It was built along extravaganza colonial lines in 1888 by Thomas Finney, a founder of the old firm of Finney Isles and Co., for his young wife, Sidney Anne.

The Mistress

        Young Mrs. Finney (nee Jackson) came from landed gentry of County Monaghan, Ireland, whose crest and family arms included the figure of an eagle.

        She died at Sidney House, which was named after her, one year after she became mistress of its 20 rooms, its cellars, and its retinue of servants. The figures of two “spread eagles” still stand at the front steps, and the eagle motifs preserved to day in the crest of Finney Isles and Co. Ltd.

        Inside the haunted house, at the foot of the cedar staircase, is the mysterious “lady with the lamp,” whose meaning no one can explain (she does not represent Florence Nightingale).


        Queensland Historical Society records describe the newly built Sidney House as a magnificent mansion in which the young Mrs. Finney took great pride.

        Built on stone foundations, the house contained a ballroom and handsome fittings and period furniture and had a name synonymous with grace and hospitality.

        It stood originally in 2½ acres of terraced ground, and beside the river was the famous “Finney Orchard.” Rockeries and trellises surrounded it.

Stained Glass

        Yesterday I studied the great stained glass window with its Australian scenes, and the medieval and Shakespearian pictures in the coloured tiles of the marble fireplaces.

        The building, which once would have rivalled Newstead House (built in 1846) is now just a skeleton of its former self. Sidney House was sold by the Finney estate in 1916 to Mr. Peter Vallely, who sold it again in 1926 to Mr. H. Hatch, a pastoralist from the Gympie district.

        It was converted to a guest house and was occupied by the American Army during the war. Accommodation Australia bought it recently from the former Mrs. Hatch, now Mrs Florence Verney.

        And now for the wreckers…will they be disturbed by that genteel spirit.



Courier Mail 5 September 1956

Letters to the Editor

“Ghost Music at Toowong”

            Until the last 3 months Sidney House, Toowong (“Is Sidney House Haunted, Courier Mail, 14 August 1956) had been my home for 25 years. The only time during all those crowded and hectic years that a ghost would have had a hearing was the last few months of its life when nearly all the boarders had left. There in the quiet nights I often heard music like an Aeolian harp, soft and sweet. I have gone into the room from which the sound came and switched the light on, but there was nothing there. I wondered if Mrs. Finney had a harp. Two years ago a young man from Sydney boarding there, wrote a ghost story around the house. He made the ghost murder a newspaper reporter. Quite interesting.




Courier Mail Spring Hill

It’s Not So Hideous

By Keith Dunstan

Jack and Jill went up the Hill,

To buy a keg of water

But ginger pop was cheaper then

So pop was what he bought her.

        The concrete mixers are chunking up there in Leichhardt Street, and Spring Hill is coming to have mixed feelings about it. Of course, Spring Hill, as far back as most folks can remember, was always hideous. But then it was so thoroughly hideous, it was difficult not to love the place. Like an old wicket keeping glove, it had character. It has been painted so often, Margaret Olley and John Rigby have done some of their best work there, and every visiting artist makes  a beeline for Spring Hill.

Old Building Coming Down

        There’s an old printery at the top of Upper Edward Street that is just coming down now. They say that it has been painted more often than a Hollywood blonde.

        And many more people in the past have thought in the past, that this wonderful piece of real estate, some of the highest land in Brisbane, would inevitably become Brisbane’s Montmartre. But things are happening. The old buildings, with their thick walls, their balconies and their porphyry stone foundations, are coming down, one by one.

        The big bricks, with their lovely yellowy red tones, are being whisked off and used as paving stones in gardens for the nice houses out at St. Lucia.

The Hill has seen the lot

        Yes it is an inevitable trend for a young city that is growing out of its first pair of long pants. Office space is scarce and costly in Queen Street, so now the offices and small factories are moving up on to the Hill.

        In the last 12 months six architects, three engineers, assorted surveyors, accountants, business organisations, and others have moved in around Upper Edward Street, Leichhardt Street, and along the Terrace. It happened in Jolimont, Melbourne, and now it is happening here.

        Spring Hill, no doubt, can stand the change. It has seen everything in its time. The first building was the old windmill or observatory that is still there now. The convicts built it in 1829 and in the old days Wickham Terrace was a dusty track that wound up the Hill. But right on into the late 1850s, Spring Hill and most of the Valley was covered with thick scrub and Queen Street came to an abrupt end somewhere near Petrie Bight.

        But upon the Hill you could smell the wattle and it was a favourite hunting ground for the blacks. Tom Petrie records in his reminiscences that one time a general gathering of tribes occurred to witness a grand new corroboree put on by the Ipswich blacks.

        After the ceremony, “a free for all fight brought the proceedings to a highly successful conclusion.”

        The Bribie, Mooloolah, Maroochy, Noosa, Durundur, Kilcoy and Baramba blacks fought the Brisbane, Ipswich, Rosewood, Wivenhoe, Logan and Stradbroke tribes. Brisbane won hands down.

        In 1855, an aboriginal called Dunalli, was involved in the murder of several white people at North Pine, so they held a public hanging at the Post Office. All the blacks from the Brisbane and Bribie tribes came in and silently they witnessed the hanging from the slopes of Wickham Terrace.

        Naturally Spring Hill became Spring Hill because there was a spring there. It was down in the hollow between Leichhardt Street and Gregory Terrace.

        In 1859 it was Brisbane’s main water supply. The water carrier used to haul their wagons, maybe along Water Street, and they sold the precious stuff for 1/6 a keg.

Smart Place in 1856

        They surveyed Wickham Terrace in 1856 and Spring Hill was parceled out in acre lots. It was a smart place for the nice people of Brisbane. Apparently the first doctor on the Terrace was one Dr. Fullerton.

        By the 1870s, there were shops all along Leichhardt Street. Mrs. Brown’s grocery store was rightly famous. She sold ginger pop at a penny a bottle.

        The City View Hotel was Parish’s Hotel and at the corner of Robert Street, there was an old lady who kept goats. Those goats used to wander up and down the Terrace eating the daylights out of any garden where the gate was left open.

        The Berry family owned the biggest house on the Hill, “Richmond Cottage,” and Berry Street is there to this day.

Crowded with Houses

        In the 1900s everybody wanted to live on Spring Hill and it became crowded with every type of dwelling place. You can see them pretentious wooden houses, with stained glass windows, funny little places with pagodas, like miniature Kremlins, and weary, sad, old buildings, tilted at crazy angles on their sunken stumps.

        There’s a once fine old house with a large garden, now completely overgrown. The curtains are rotted and it would make a wonderful scene set for Miss Haversham’s house in a screen version of “Great Expectations.”

        The streets are full of dogs, washing hangs on a thousand clothes lines, and bedraggled papaw trees grow within hundreds of yards of the most expensive real estate in Queensland. Archbishop Duhig once had a fine scheme for clearing away most of it and making Spring Hill a new Botanical Gardens with Leichhardt Street a lovely boulevard. But now, no doubt, it is too late. Yet before Spring Hill becomes too much of a business area take a look around. There are still a few gems.

Yellow and feet thick

        For my money the loveliest of them all is a little stone cottage crammed between a car park and a dry cleaners at 157 Leichhardt Street. The walls are a rich yellow and feet thick. Nobody knows how long it has been there. The owner, Mr. Don Vericelli, believes that it was built by the convicts and perhaps it is 90 years old. Let us hope that the old place stays there forever. These concrete mixers are getting nearer and nearer.


Courier Mail Saturday 16 June 1956

Tin Town Refuses to be a Ghost Town

In Irvinebank This Week

With Annette Moir


Hidden away in the rugged mountain spurs of the Great Dividing Range south west of Cairns is the old mining town of Irvinebank.

        It’s cut from the familiar ghost town pattern- a town that knew a brief glory during the hey-day of the mining booms and then faded away before it could be remembered.

        Irvinebank once had a population of 3000- today it has 120.

        What it lacks in numbers however, it makes up for in dogged determination- for the entire town still lives by its old tin mines.

        “And we do pretty well,” the townspeople will tell you. “There are nearly as many cars as there are people- and we’ve got a Humber in the town.”

        Everyone has some sort of interest in the mines- even to the schoolteacher, William Marsson, who puts a plug of gelignite into his pocket and goes off into the hills every weekend.

        Private tin mines still operate, and the State mill grinds away far into the night.

        The future of a town like Irvinebank seems rather chancy, in spite of the fact that the locals claim the hills are made of solid tin.

        Old timer John Kirkman, 62, who has lived all his life in the area, said: “Irvinebank has gone back to the bush. people come and go, but they mostly go.”

        “Of course,” he added, “it might come good again when tin is needed.”

        Along with many other old mining towns in the far north of the State, Irvinebank has a fierce local pride which is easily hurt by the casual remarks tossed off by visitors.

        They all know, and reluctantly admit, that it is a ghost town, but they don’t like to talk about it.

        Once a Bishop visited the town to take a confirmation class. In a church magazine he wrote later that the hall had to be cleared of bats before he could start.

        Irvinebank has never forgiven him.

        Most of the people lead simple, uncomplicated lives and almost everyone has a warm affection towards his fellow man.

        Said Mr. Kirkman, for instance: “You must meet Mr. Newburn at the hotel. A fine man, he is. Why he’d give a whole ham away to the children, and think nothing of it,” and then Mr. Newburn: “You must meet Mr. Kirkman- been here all his life. A grand fellow.”

        According to Mr. Kirkman’s sister, Mrs. Dorothy Kirkman, 58, who is the Irvinebank postmistress, life is never dull for the women.

        “Everyone knows everyone else…there are afternoon tea parties, and we all do our own sewing and knitting,” she said.

        As long as Irvinebank exists, the name of John Moffat will be remembered.

        He was so much a part of the town in the old days that when the children said their prayers, it was always: “God bless Mummy, God bless Daddy, and God bless John Moffat.”

        A Scot, he came to Australia in 1862 at the age of 21. In 1880 he went north to Gibbs Camp, a rough mining settlement, which he renamed Irvinebank, after the river Irvine in Ayrshire, where he was born.”

        “ A proper gentleman he was,” said Mr. Kirkman, “and a kinder, more generous and honest man never lived.”

        John Moffat is generally recognised as the father of tin mining in North Queensland. He owned a crushing battery and smelter works at Irvinebank, and he assisted in the development of the famous mines at Chillagoe, Mt. Mulligan, Mt. Molloy and Mt. Garnet.

        In conjunction with his mining enterprises, he built railways which were taken over by the Government in 1919. The nearest approach to a railway that Irvinebank got, however, was a narrow gauge canefield type tramway which ran from Stannary Hills.

        At one rather rickety crossing on a sapling bridge, the driver and the guard always jumped off to let the train make its own way across.

        The huge old Irvinebank railway station is now the home of Mr. and Mrs. W. Cross.

        John Moffat also left his name in the sheep industry. With the assistance of a Mr. Virtue, he invented a power sheep shearing machine, patented under the name of Moffat-Virtue.

        He had a profound faith in the oil potential of Queensland, and he “imported” a prospector from America. He readily backed local prospectors in their search for tin.

        He died in Toowoomba in 1918, and a memorial was erected to his memory in Irvinebank in 1950.


Courier Mail 14 June 1956

Foundation Teacher at Old Normal School retires

Teacher at 13. He retires at 70.


        A foundation member of the staff of the first practising school in Queensland retires this week, five years past the normal retiring age. He is Mr. Arthur Bradbury, 70, who began teaching when he was 13 and taught in Queensland schools for 57 years. Yesterday Mr. Bradbury said that he had a good opinion of school children today and had no trouble controlling them. Mr. Bradbury was a pupil teacher at Nundah State School, and remained there for 22 years. He opened the State School at Virginia, taught at Eagle Junction, and was a foundation member of the staff at the “Old Normal,” the first “practising school,” where student teachers received their practical training.

        He taught at the Central Practising School for 29 years. Three of his pupils won the Lilley medal. Last night the Central Practising School committee farewelled him.


Courier Mail Friday 15 June 1956

Letters to the Editor

Wrestling on Trains


        The St. Lucia resident (Courier Mail 11 June 1956) who protested at the conduct of some secondary school pupils on the St. Lucia bus should be thankful not to be a passenger on the trains and rail motor to and from Manly. We are subjected to wrestling, falling and trampling, no one takes any notice if you object to stockings being torn. Ports are a danger. These children are noted for their bad behaviour and I wonder if there is any home training.

“Constant Traveller,”

Wellington Point.


Courier Mail Saturday 16 June 1956

School scramble in the 3.52pm train

By a Staff Reporter


        Only for a large sum of money would I travel again on the 3.52pm train from South Brisbane to Cleveland. This is the train that takes the Cleveland line schoolchildren home from Brisbane. “Constant Traveller” of Wellington Point, protested about the children’s behaviour in a letter to the Courier Mail yesterday.

        Yesterday I travelled with the students, and returned with a lot of sympathy for regular travellers. Compartments of both boys and girls wrestled among themselves. They clambered over seat leaving dirt smears and heel marks on upholstery.

Crude talk

        Both boys and girls kept up a nonstop din, shouting often at the tops of their voices. The language from both sexes at times was crude. But the children kept to themselves and did not physically annoy adult passengers. Before the train left South Brisbane, a railway official requested that the children behave “in view of that letter in the Courier Mail.”


Courier Mail Monday 18 June 1956

Letters to the Editor

Rail Smoke Intolerable


        Sir Raphael Cilento (Courier Mail 15 June 1956) has performed a public service by drawing attention to the intolerable smoke nuisance emanating from Central Station. Having lived for three years at All Saints Rectory, Wickham Terrace, I am in a position to state unequivocally that the constant inundation of the city by clouds of smoke is  a threat to any form of civilized living or work in the area. For a city of some 500,000 people to tolerate our antiquated, unhygienic and unprofitable steam train service to the suburbs, is a matter of amazement to southern visitors. Melbourne and Sydney electrified their suburban train services decades ago. The whole matter reflects little credit on a government that has had the continuous administration of the State for nearly a quarter of a century.

(The Rev.) A. P. B. Rennie,

All Saints Church,

Wickham Terrace.



Courier Mail 

Saturday 13 September 1956

First Television

        Sydney: Australia’s first regular television transmissions will start in Sydney tomorrow, (Sunday 14 September 1956) 7pm.

        Station TCN9 will begin its transmissions, Scores of people in and around Sydney with TV sets are planning special parties to watch the first programmes.

        The station will transmit for 3½ hours nightly for a start. Later this will be extended.

        Tomorrow’s programmes will include sessions by Australian and top ranking overseas artists. Sydney’s other commercial station, ATN is expected to start transmission in December, and the Australian Broadcasting Commission’s station in November.

        First regular TV transmission in Melbourne will be from station HSV (the Herald-Sun station) on November 4. HSV is transmitting test programmes every day except Saturday.

        TV is expected to begin in Brisbane in about 2 years.


Courier Mail Saturday 13 September 1956

Applications for new theatres

        Six applications for new theatres are before the Picture Theatres and Films Commission- the applications are for new theatres at Wynnum, Wavell heights, Upper Mt. Gravatt and Camp Hill, plus an application for the reuse of the Mayfair Theatre at Sandgate, and a drive in theatre at Kawana, Rockhampton. Two new applications have also been made for drive in theatres in the Burleigh area.


Courier Mail Saturday 13 September 1956

        With reference to a wife swapping cult on a farm at Kuraby who had not sent their children to the local school, the Education Minister stated that the Education Act provided that children under 10 must attend school if there is one within 2 miles of their home. For children over 10, the distance was 3 miles. The cult’s farm was within one mile of Kuraby State School and officials and police will enforce the attendance at school of children residing with the cult.



Courier Mail Sat 22 September 1956

The Man Who Out Hit Trumper is still in business.

“Poley” Evans Mr. Kangaroo Point

By Arthur Richards.

        There must be some preservative quality in the air at Kangaroo Point, just across the river from Town.

        The traffic that rushes across Story Bridge and down Main Street has made small difference to the “old” Point on either side of it. The little streets running down to the river have aged gracefully, enjoying their memories. Kangaroo Point used to be able to claim to be first with the newest. It had Queensland’s first export industry (salt beef and tallow), one of her first ferries, first shipbuilding yard, first locomotive builders, one of the first stone churches. Now, in the Point’s maturity, it claims to be one of the oldest residential suburbs to have the oldest major industry (engineering) and one of the oldest active businessman. The businessman is worth meeting. You can find him sitting in his office in the shadow of the Story Bridge- 80 now, but still alert and active.

        If you’re over 50, you’ll recognise his name from the past. He is the famous “Poley” Evans, once the greatest name in Queensland sport. Maybe you remember him. He captained Queensland at cricket and Rugby Union, was an Australian Rugby selector, a State cricket selector, a State bowls selector, and is a life member of the biggest sporting associations around town. In his spare time he became one of the State’s best players of bowls. And he is now chairman of one of the State’s oldest engineering firms, Evans Anderson and Phelan of Kangaroo Point.

“A fairly busy life” he says.

        Poley Evans (christened William Thomas) has seen much of Kangaroo Point’s history being made. He was born at Indooroopilly in April 1876 when the Point was in its infancy. In those earliest days Kangaroo Point was a tongue of heavily wooded land, bright with native wattles. Its main usefulness was in carrying the main road from the swamps of Woolloongabba to the ferry at the tip of the Point.

The road from Ipswich

        Traffic from Ipswich and the South used this approach to the City in preference to the swampy road around through South Brisbane. Bullock drays and Cobb and Co coaches from the Downs were ferried across from the Point to a landing near the present site of the Customs House.

        Pedestrians travelled by row boat ferries, a nice slap dash procedure. If the ferry was on the other side of the river, you whistled to get attention. The loading regulations were easy- if she floated, she was safe.

        Industry first touched the Point in 1843. Graziers in what is now South East Queensland found that they could breed and fatten cattle on their new pastures. But their export problems were appalling. Rather than walk the cattle overland to Sydney they decided that it would be better to kill them in Brisbane and pack salted beef into barrels.

Boiling Down Works Failed

        A Mr. John Campbell was put in charge of this venture at Kangaroo Point in 1843. The salt beef venture had failed, so the graziers decided to boil down the carcasses instead for their tallow. Kangaroo Point endured the smell for a few years until this venture too failed.

        The homes built by Campbell’s workmen however, gave the Point its start as a residential suburb. Two hotels were doing a good trade by 1850, and the ubiquitous Mr. Petrie opened a quarry on the river bank slightly upstream.

        By the time Poley Evans was born in 1876, Kangaroo Point was a thriving young community. Homes had begun to cluster along Main Street.

        A year after Poley Evans’s birth, his Welsh engineer father, John Evans, formed an engineering company with a factory in Bowen Street. A year later, he was joined by a Scotsman, James Anderson, and, in another two years, by an Irishman, Edward Phelan.

        In 1878, by which time inevitably the firm had been joined by an Englishman, Mr. Andrew Chapman, the expanding young engineering business moved to the tip of Kangaroo Point. You can still see the red iron buildings of Evans Anderson Phelan Pty. Ltd., there now. [Ed: 1956]

        Throughout Poley Evans’ childhood in the 1880s and 1890s, the firm was turning out the engineering work that helped build Brisbane. They did a lot of metal mouldings for the young city. You can see some of this old work still. [1956]. The iron railings ornamented in the Victorian style which enclose the National Bank Building (Creek and Queen Streets) are stamped for passers-by to read with the letters “E.A.P. 1885.”

        The old red cast iron P.M.G. letter boxes perched on posts in Brisbane’s streets, came from the same foundry and bear the same letters. Mine and sugar machinery for Queensland’s young industries came from the same source.

        The firm early established shipbuilding as an important Kangaroo Point industry.

        In 1886 they launched the dredge Hydra, which was to play a large part in deepening the port of Brisbane.

The firm built a warship

        The firm also built the historic vessel Miner during the Russo Japanese war scare, as a defensive naval craft for the Queensland Government. Miner’s main mission was to mine the approaches to the port of Brisbane.

        The same workshops repaired the steam yacht Lucinda on which the Federal Constitution was drafted (in 1899). Later (1923) Mr. Edward Phelan bought her for £400 and dismantled her. Her rusting hull now lies half buried in ooze at the mouth of the Brisbane River.

        But it is as locomotive builders that the E.A.P. workshops made probably their greatest contribution to Queensland. More than 190 of them have come from the tip of Kangaroo Point, and they are still [1956] hauling wheat and wool and cattle along the States’ lines. Locomotive delivery days used to be big occasions in Kangaroo Point, Mr. Evans recalls now. All the neighbourhood would turn out to see the fun. The problem was to get the locomotives from the riverside, where they had been built, to Woolloongabba, where they could be placed on the Railway Department’s lines. There was no rail connection between the two points. The elder Mr. Phelan used to take charge of proceedings with Mr. John Evans at the controls of the locomotive.

        They always dressed formally for the occasion, even to white shirt and hat.

        E.A.P. workmen used portable sections of rail, about 100 yards long. As the locomotive came to the end of the rails, a crew of workmen would take up the line behind it, re-lay it in front. The locomotive would then steam forward again.

        So it would go on down Main Street. The young men of the firm (including Mr. E. G. Phelan, the firm’s present engineer and director) were kept busy packing up the rails with timber to give a level roadbed.

A toast to a locomotive

        Local residents would turn out to see the fun; parties would drive up in sulkies and buggies. At the end of it all, with the locomotive safely delivered, the workers would adjourn to a hotel at Woolloongabba to toast the occasion.

        Poley Evans recalls it all now, in his office, on the same old site at the tip of the Point. While Kangaroo Point was growing, he was adding to its legends in his own way. Playing cricket for Queensland against Victoria, he became the local hero when he hit 84 in 39 minutes. And he has hit balls clean out of the Woolloongabba ground, one from each end of the wicket. A feat that is still unequalled.

Played in Two Rugby Tests

        Victor Trumper has hit a ball out of this ground only once. Only Evans has done it twice.

        Evans played in the first two Rugby tests against Britain in 1899 and scored tries in the first of them. He was every Brisbane schoolboys’ hero that year. After he retired from football and cricket, he started a new sporting career. He became one of the State’s leading bowlers and still takes a keen interest in the game.

        Maybe, as we said, it is something in the Kangaroo Point air. Poley Evans, now 80, and the company he heads, now 81, both look as if they’ll have no trouble at all getting to the century.

Courier Mail Saturday 22 September 1956

Gulfites Reunion

        Old timers would weep “tears of blood” if they saw the formerly prosperous towns on the Gulf of Carpentaria today, former Police Inspector Mr. A. A. Bock, 73, said yesterday.

        Mr. Bock was stationed at Croydon for several years from 1900. Yesterday he attended a reunion of 150 “Gulfites” at Newstead House. Organised by Normanton born Mrs. Gussy Sommer, Gulfites have been meeting twice yearly since 1941. The Gulf country was known as the Siberia of the Queensland Police Force, but there were 20 hotels there at the turn of the century, Mr. Bock said. Only one remained. Golden gate, a prosperous mining town, with eight hotels, was a deserted ghost town now, he said. German born Mr. Fred Schipke, 83, said “Everything is different from the old days but the changes are to the good.”

        “One difference is that everyone used to be everyone else’s cousin up north.”


Courier Mail Monday 15 October 1956

Sunday School on Scott’s Beach

        Fifty children in bathing suits had Sunday School taken to them at the beach at Scott’s Point, on the Redcliffe Peninsula, yesterday. Two men, who “want to see all children given the opportunity to receive religious instruction,” set up the Sunday School on the sand.

        The men, Jack McMurray, a school teacher, of Chermside, and Handley Shakespeare, a carpenter, of Toowong, are members of the “Open Air Campaigners” which they described as an “interdenominational religious group.” They said that “most of the children who come here don’t attend church, so we are bringing religious instruction to them.”


Courier Mail Wednesday 21 November 1956

        The Duke of Edinburgh will declare the Olympic Games in Melbourne open at 4.25pm tomorrow.

Courier Mail 3 January 1957

Letter to the Editor from Mrs R. Ansell, 87 Kuran Street, Chermside:

There’s no Beach like Beachmere.

        “We read of the North and South Coast but I like a little ‘one horse’ beach that is seldom mentioned. It is Beachmere at the mouth of the Caboolture River in Deception Bay. We have no cinema, hotel or chemist, but we have a hall and a shelter shed and septic for campers. The camp site is a sheltered reserve with couch grass underneath and pine trees overhead, and good drainage. We have no surf, and a safe beach for children. There is fishing, and crabbing, and a bitumen road runs right to the beach.”


Father of Lady Francis

        “In referring to Lady Francis in the Social page (Courier Mail 1 January 1957) you state that her father Jim Cribb had been a member of the Federal Parliament. Actually my father, the late James C. Cribb [Cribb Island] was a member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly from 1894 to 1916, representing the electorates of Bundamba and Bremer.

Eric C. Cribb, 21 Bonney Ave., Clayfield.

Friday 4 January 1957

        Whispering Giant Bristol – Britannia turbo propellor airliners will make their first flights on the London- Sydney run early in March (1957). British Overseas Airways Corporation will fly Britannias from London to Sydney on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. The first will take off from London on March 2. The 400 mile an hour 80 ton 100 passenger Britannias will slash the London- Sydney trip time from 75 to 47 hours. Boeing 707 jetliners scheduled for operation by Qantas in 1959, will cut this down to 28 hours. Qantas will replace Skymasters with Super Constellations on its Sydney- Hong Kong route starting Sunday. The Super Constellations will leave Sydney at 4.20pm and reach Hong Kong at 11.25 next morning. They will take Laouan (Borneo) from the route, stopping only at Darwin and Manila (Philippines).


Courier Mail 17 January 1957

Week delay in Free Milk for Schools

        Free milk will be delivered to Queensland’s schools one week after they reopen this year. Before supplies can begin, schools must notify the Education Department of their enrollments. The Education Minister (Mr. Diplock) said yesterday that at the end of the 1956 school year, 163,870 children were receiving a daily supply of milk under the free milk scheme. This was an increase of 13,320 on 1955, he said. At present 908 schools were in the scheme- 286 in the metropolitan area, and 622 in country districts. Children under 13 receive free milk. It is pasteurized, and issued in individual one third pint bottles.


Courier Mail 31 January 1957
Brisbane’s third drive in theatre


        The £100,000 Starlight at Aspley was officially opened by the Premier (Mr. Gair) last night. The Starlight, reclaimed from 25 acres of farmland, 12 miles from the Brisbane GPO, is the last word in Drive-In streamlining. At least one acre of the new Drive-In is devoted to a children’s playground. A concession bar, staffed by 16 blue uniformed girls, last night did a roaring trade in everything from pie and peas to southern fried chicken. Opening the Drive-In, Mr. Gair said the owners, the Sourris brothers, had shown enterprise in giving the public such a splendid theatre. Films to be screened at the Drive-In will be mostly “big” films from Metro Goldwyn Mayer.


Courier Mail Thursday 31 January 1957


        Allan and Stark Limited’s drive in shopping centre at Chermside is expected to be open about Easter. Business circles claimed yesterday the 28 acre  site would be the first drive in shopping centre to be completed in Australia. They said about 100,000 people in 28 suburbs lived within a 3 mile radius of the project.


New Victa Available

        On Saturday 2 February 1957, advertisements appeared in the Courier Mail announcing the release of the new Victa 18 inch Rotomo for £49/ 18/-.


Courier Mail Monday 11 February 1957

“For 15/- a ride on an historic railway.”


        Cooktown- For 15/- you can buy a ticket here for a bumpy, jolting ride on Cooktown’s most historic railway. It will take you 67 miles from Cooktown to Laura, a tiny decaying township which sprang up with the hopes of gold rush days. It is Cooktown’s only railway line. There is no rail link to the south, and none other on the Cape York Peninsula. Revenue falls far short of the station- master’s wages alone, and there are 11 other railway employees to pay. But Cooktown people would fight to keep their public railway. They have an affectionate regard for the rail motor. To them it represents one of the few tangible signs that the State Government still realises that there is a place called Cooktown. Closure of the line will rob the town of its hope that one day it will come vigorously to life again.

83 bridges

        Once a week, Cooktown’s station-master Bill Gladwell, drives his battered old rail motor out of the station yard for the three and a half hour trip to Laura. On the way the line crosses 83 bridges- more than one a mile. They straddle creeks, gullies, and rivers which flood quickly in this high rain fall country, and often force the rail motor back to Cooktown.


        Most of the bridges have been there since 1880 when optimists pushed the line out to Laura, on the crest of the gold wave. Today they keep fettling gangs constantly busy strengthening and maintaining them to keep the line alive. Biggest bridge is across the swift flowing Normanby River where the rail line takes a sudden 40 foot dip over 250 yards. It is peaceful, fertile, and picturesque country any young farming pioneer could bring to rich productivity within a few years if he had the capital to back him, and assured transport to market his crops. But few people see it these days. In its busiest period, the railway only carries 55 passengers a month. Last month it was down to 35. Station-master Gladwell has been here since 1939. Today he is traffic superintendent, maintenance officer, administrative chief, and mechanic, all rolled into one. He also sells and collects tickets and drives the train. At present Cooktown station, battered in the 1949 cyclone, is being remodeled. Local people see that as a sign that there is still hope for the railway. And out at Laura, people often look at a sturdy masonry bridge built years ago to take the railway line beyond the town. They are hoping too.


Courier Mail 18 February 1957

        Last Annual report of the Railway Commissioner shows that the Department is running 28 diesel electric locomotives, as compared with 791 steam locomotives. The ratio of diesel to steam will increase as new diesel locomotives, now on order, take to the rails. The States diesel strength is expected to reach 50 locomotives by next year.


Courier Mail Wednesday 20 March 1957

Tasmanian Tiger David Fleay


        The recent report that an A.N.A. helicopter pilot had shepherded a Tasmanian tiger four times round a sand dune at Birthday Beach, 30 miles southwest of Queenstown, raised hopes that one or more of these vastly interesting creatures might yet be obtained for breeding and study. With  commendable foresight, the helicopter crew took pictures of the strange animal running below them, and described it as a black and tan dog like creature with a long tail. However, in view of actual experience with living tigers, and after a critical examination of the interesting photographs, I am quite unconvinced that the mystery animal was a marsupial wolf or tiger.


        This phantom of the island state is correctly tawny grey with a stiff rigid tail, low ears and transverse black stripes, but the helicopter’s quarry- in the pictures at any rate- appears to be a prick eared black dog or even a Tasmanian devil. Some elderly devils are quite large and heavy, and, of course, all black. The bounding gait in which the subject was “frozen” is rather more suggestive of a dog. The locality is a particularly likely and interesting one, as only 11 years ago, and 25 miles from it, we narrowly missed capturing a “tiger” on Poverty Plain.


        In spite of a gap of 24 years since the last Tiger was seen in captivity, there is still some hope that this vastly interesting creature, which is alone among the marsupials in so closely paralleling wolves and dogs, will not slip away forever without a chance of perpetuating it in some benign form of kindly captivity.


Courier Mail Thursday 21 March  1957

Teddy Boys are Sad and Lost

Other Young Englishmen are Worried

The Troubled World of Youth

Part 4


By John Williams


        The Rock ‘n’ Roll film “Rock Around the Clock” was showing that night at a small London suburban cinema. The cinema manager quaked in anticipation and with good reason. A half hour before the show was scheduled to start, the manager’s worst fears were realised. For here came the Teddy Boys.


        The Teddy Boys name is derived from the clothes they wear in shabby, pathetic imitation of the grandeur of dress in the early twentieth century era of King Edward VII. The Teddy Boys- thin, cocky teenagers- wear “drainpipe” trousers (related to American peg leg pants, and tapering, heavily padded coats. Their hair is long, often greasy. Many are organised in shady teenaged gangs. The girls match the boys, raucous voiced, shallow, talking of little beyond third rate films and reading little beyond romance novels.


        Rock ‘n’ roll’s fame had spread wide, so here were the Teddy Boys pouring into the cinema. The film started and the first boops of rock ‘n’ roll exploded in their ears. The cinema went mad. Boys jerked girls to their feet. They stamped and yelled, danced in the aisles, on seats, even on the stage, blocking the film. The manager stopped the film. He broadcast for quiet. He was met by a sea of shouting, picked up, carried from the cinema, and deposited in the street. The police were called, and the night’s fun was over. After that, many areas banned “Rock Around the Clock.”


        But they couldn’t ban Teddy Boys and their girls, for this is the sad lost generation that grew up with the crump of German bombs as background and the floors of dingy air raid shelters for beds. The new glass and glitter imitation Italian coffee bars, dance halls, cinemas- these are the homes for many Teddy Boys and girls. They neck on the platforms and in the carriages of the roaring underground railways that honeycomb London.


Grimy Cafes


        They are pale, these young East End Londoners, from lack of sunshine, lack of fresh air. The Teddy Boys eat badly too- in grimy little cafes where the menu runs to fried fish, bready sausages, and greasy eggs, always with potato chips.


        This is a black picture. But, of course, only a section of London’s youth are Teddy Boys. In this huge city you probably would find as many young people who love Beethoven as love Rock “n” Roll. Many of these serious minded young people, coming to London from provincial homes, live in tiny, rented rooms, cooking meals over gas rings, perched near their beds, pushing pennies and shilling pieces into meters to get a little heating for hot water. They work hard, study hard, and save hard, except for tickets, maybe two or three nights weekly, to West End plays, ballets and musical recitals. It is these gentle, friendly young Londoners who seem to worry most about their nation’s future, who ponder the rights and wrongs of migrating to new, energetic lands. A young man who wanted to marry and then take his bride to Australia, told me: “It sounds unpatriotic, but this country is finished. We reached our natural limits many years ago. From now on we go down hill. The Empire, as was right, has broken up. It will need tremendous effort to maintain even our present standard of living. I think that our crippling income tax is at the stage where it no longer pays to display incentive, to work hard. There is no top to get to. You have seen the new Government built houses- row after row of boxes with pitiful little gardens. They’ll all be slums in 20 years. I love England but I wanted a new life while I have a chance to earn more than £15 or £20 a week, while I can own my own home, and car and save a little money, where my children can get good food and grow strong in the sunshine. The war took too much out of Britain. Germany has rebuilt. In some areas we are still planning to rebuild. You can see our tiredness in our faces in the way we uncomplainingly accept any inconvenience as if the war was still on. We are more and more content with less and less.”


Courier Mail Friday  22 March  1957

French Girls and Boys Are Fed Up

They Don’t Go Mad over Rock ‘n’ Roll

The Troubled World of Youth 

Part 5


        “You can see how the French revolution began,” said my Australian friend, nodding from our restaurant table to the screaming, furious crowd jostling in the street outside. It was Paris, a mild night last November. A mild night when, for the first time in a generation, the youth of Paris was stirred to real fury. The day before Paris newspapers with deep headlines, had announced the return of Russia’s tank cordon to strangle free Budapest. Now the electric tension of two days was broken. In the streets the young men and women of Paris were digging up stones and huge chunks of roadway for use as weapons.

Fought Reds

        They joined groups of other young Parisians armed with broken bottles and nail embedded wooden fencing. Carrying Hungarian flags with Communist emblems torn out, they swept down on to the Communist party’s headquarters.

        Police, alerted for trouble, had a strong armed cordon around the building. The youth of Paris swept aside the cordon and stormed into the building. Communists, entrenched on the top floor, threw home made bombs into the crowd below. Two or three young anti-Communists were enveloped in flames and later died.

        Meanwhile, the rioting youths on the lower floors threw office chairs, files- everything and anything- through the Red Headquarters shattered windows. Eager friends below piled it all on a huge bonfire. A second, hastily armed crowd bore down on the Communist Party’s newspaper, L’Humanité, which earlier that day had hung Russian and French flags side by side from its windows. Bottles and bricks crashed into the building, several rioters stormed inside and were “captured.” by the newspaper staff. Street fighting mounted to such fury that police sealed off the whole area. Even the underground railway stations were closed as the bloody battles swayed over Paris. For five hours the youth of Paris showed what they thought of Communism.


        My friend and I had mingled with the crowd and were stupid enough to talk English. A group of young men heard us, waved their sticks and bottles, and shouted “Americans.” We dived into the safety of the nearest restaurant, not waiting to explain that we were not Americans. For this was the time of the Suez crisis, and the popularity of Americans, never high, had reached an all time low. All things American are, as a rule, ignored by young Paris, probably the only city in Western Europe not to go mad over Rock ‘n’ Roll. The only signs of Americana in the student quarters of Paris are pin ball machines- clanking and jingling up the scores while the Parisians whoop with delight.


        Days after the riot when tempers were back to normal, a young Frenchman explained his dislike of Americans.


        “The typical American comes here wearing loud clothes, loaded down with cameras, and stays three or four days firmly convinced he is seeing Paris. He is usually with a party of fellow Americans and so is relieved of the boredom of spending any time with the French. He has the boyish belief, apparently given him in America, that Paris is an excitingly naughty city. To most people, Paris is so very much more. Finally he can’t understand why we don’t all love Americans and want to live in America. Politically we think that the American nation is naïve. The Suez crisis was partly the fault of their lack of Middle East policy. But all they do is act like hurt children. If a dictator seized the Panama Canal, of course, they would fight for it. And how would they feel if we voted in the UN with Russia against them? That is exactly what they did in reverse. We are fed up with their morality.”


        Fed up, to put it plainly, the youth of Paris is fed up with almost everything. Fed up with the bewildering number of political groups that is reducing the economy to chaos and France’s position in the world to a second class power. Fed up with all religions, which, they feel, offer no solace, no solution to their problems. And above all fed up with respectability, with the uniform drabness of modern life.

        Poor but…

        There is certainly nothing uniform about the students of Paris. “I could walk in the streets wearing purple pajamas and leading a green monkey, and no one would notice,” a Parisian told me. For clothing, anything goes- roll neck sweaters, leather jackets, shirts of every possible hue, frayed trousers, all mixed in with long hair for both men and women.


        Boulevard St. Michel, heart of the student race, is a broad street ablaze with light far into the night. Here and in the side streets, and underground jazz clubs, you see students of every nationality- Moroccans, Chinese, Brazilians, Americans, crowding the students’ cafes built into old cellars. Many are so poor that they eat only once a day- perhaps steak and potatoes, and red wine at night. They sit packed in their cafes, the windows steamed, petting their dogs, looking at each other’s paintings, holding hands, eating pastry, and talking of philosophy, poetry, plays, history, jazz, and love.

Sex Code

        Their knowledge and love of the arts is deep. Apart from the riots, I saw young Paris excited only once, at a cinema. As the film ended, they stood and shouted applause. The film? An award winner showing how Picasso, the master of modern art, builds up his paintings, stage by stage. Their sex code is their own. Most shabby student quarter hotels wouldn’t dream of questioning a young couple sharing a room. They object only if both are not registered at the hotel desk. For if only one is registered, and the police raid, the hotel keeper can be charged with overcrowding. Young Paris goes its own way, disdaining the world it feels allows it no real place. “Yes many of us are brilliant,” a young Frenchman told me without a blush, “but our brilliance it is harnessed to nothing.”


Courier Mail 6 April 1957

        The foundations of the new Chermside Municipal Library were laid at the corner of Gympie Roads and Hall Street, Chermside.

        Work was progressing on the new APM paper mill at Petrie, the biggest in the southern hemisphere.


Courier Mail 9 April 1957

From Scrubland to Lavish Playground

        The new £200,000 Skyline Drive In at Coopers Plains is to be opened this Thursday night. Hoyts Queensland Pty. Ltd. said that the theatre would bring to 15 the chain of Hoyts Skyline Drive In throughout Australia. It is the first the company has built in Queensland and will be Brisbane’s fourth Drive In. Bordered by Musgrave and Troughton Roads, it has been carved out of scrubland. There will be two sessions daily at 7.10pm and 9.30pm. The first film will be “Broken Lance” starring Spencer Tracy, Richard Widmark, Robert Wagner, Jean Peters, together with special cinemascope shorts and newsreels. Other cinemascope features to follow will be “Carmen Jones,” “The Racers,” and “Soldier of Fortune.”

        [To those who have forgotten the location of this rendezvous, this Drive In was located on the southeast corner of Musgrave and Troughton Roads. Cluster housing has taken its place, as time marches on and Drive Ins fade into memory as a thing of the past].



Trivia Time

What were the Australian Rules and Rugby League Clubs in 1957?


The Australian Rules teams in the Brisbane area were-

Mayne, Windsor, Wilston Grange, Sandgate, Coorparoo, Kedron, Western Districts, Yeronga.

The Brisbane Rugby League teams were: Valleys, Easts, Souths, Norths, Wests, Wynnum Manly, Brothers.

Now take a tour of Brisbane and see how many of these Clubs are still left.


Courier Mail 10 April 1957

Letters to the Editor

A Slap Happy Express Makes Workers Late

        We regular passengers from Petrie, and all country centres from Strathpine to Caboolture, are losing wages due to the late running of the “Slap Happy Express,” which should leave Caboolture at 6.28am. The express is a workers train but it is seldom on time. Regular passengers are late for work at least three times a week. I am reliably informed that the engine crew and guard get overtime in the same circumstances. Often the guard blows his whistle and waves his flag at least three times to get the train moving. People are leaving the outlying centres to get closer to town. One Caboolture man who travelled into Brisbane to work for a grocery firm had to buy a home at Redcliffe or lose his job. One day one passenger was arguing with the guard at Northgate. The passenger said that the train was four minutes late. The guard said that it was only two minutes late. The train is timed to leave Northgate at 7.25am, but while they were arguing, the starting whistle of the MacKenzie and Holland (Australia) Pty. Ltd. engineering works at Northgate blew at 7.30am.

        Often the train loses time between Bald Hills and Zillmere, a naturally fast run without curves or grades.

        The “Slap Happy Express” is packed after it leaves Zillmere; a second workers’ train is required. The 6.55pm train from Zillmere could be extended to Petrie and leave Petrie at 6.45pm to allow workers to get to work on time.

M. Morgan,

Gympie Road,


(Railway Department Secretary Mr. K. Lingard said he could not comment. He said it was very intricate affair and he would investigate.)


Courier Mail 17 May 1957

Billy Graham Crusade

        New York May 16 (AAP)- People streamed from the balconies and surged down the aisles to the platform at the Madison Square Garden meeting last night when Evangelist Billy Graham called for those who would “make decisions for Christ.” Dr. Graham said after the meeting, the first of a scheduled six week mission in New York: “It was the largest first night response I have ever seen from the pulpit. It was overwhelming. It was beyond anything I had anticipated. Prayer,” he said, “was responsible.”

        About 18,500 passed Dr. Graham. Many had lined up for hours for admission. One hundred police were stationed outside the building, and 80 inside, but the meeting was orderly. The auditorium was draped with flags and the platform from which Dr. Graham spoke was banked with flowers. For his sermon, Dr. Graham took his text from Isaiah 1, 1-20 which includes this passage:

        “Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evil doers children that are corrupters. They have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backwards.”

        Dr. Graham stabbed his finger at the huge crowd as he said: “The times in which we live are parallel to the times that Isaiah lived in.”


Courier Mail 17 May 1957

Wage Case

        Case opened before the Industrial Court seeking a £2 a week increase in the present Storemen and Packers wage of £13/9/-


Courier Mail Sat 18 May 1957

Dr Graham says New York morally ill

        New York: May 17 (AAP)- Dr. Billy Graham told 18,000 people in Madison Square Garden last night that “New York was crying for cleansing from its evil.” It was the second night of his spiritual revival campaign. The audience was 5,500 fewer than on the first night.

        “Jesus puts his finger on the trouble in New York when he says that we are morally sick,” he said.

        “I am appalled when I hear of murders, the rapes, the assaults, and robberies that are taking place in this city; nearly a million crimes committed here last year.”

        But he said that what troubled New York troubled the whole human race.


Courier Mail Sat 25 May 1957

Our Gem Hunters have Fishermen’s Luck or better.

By Keith Dunstan

         The American hobby of “rock hounding” has come to Brisbane. Maybe we are paying too much of a tribute to America there. Rockhounds have been in action since the beginning of time, but it took the Americans to make it a popular hobby. In America, there are now three million enthusiasts who spend their weekends scouring the countryside looking for precious or semi-precious stones. They can buy make-your-own jewellery kits at the corner store. As a hobby it ranks second only to stamp collecting. Our “Rockhounds” however, come under the impressive title of The Lapidary Club of Queensland, and just so that you won’t reach for your dictionary, a lapidary is a gentleman who cuts and mounts semi precious stones. The President of the Club in Brisbane is Mr. Doug Robinson, a local jeweller. There are 50 in the club, and soon Mr. Robinson expects to have 400. He believes that no similar areas in the world holds such opportunities for the Rockhounds as Queensland. We have the opal, turquoise, topaz, sapphire, amethyst, jasper, chalcedony, ruby, garnet, almost every stone you can think of, to the precious diamond.

        The Lapidary Club every so often holds picnics and members go off together and camp out in the open near places like Stanthorpe, Canungra, Dayboro, or even as close as Ipswich. They look for rocky outcrops, dawdle in creekbeds, and wander like schoolboys looking for three pences. These people have a touch of the urge that drove the old time prospector- the hope that any minute they might stumble on to something tremendous, the thrill of finding something for nothing.

        From what I have seen, these rock hounds have better luck than the average fisherman. For example, around Canungra and Tamborine, they have been finding the lovely amethyst, which varies in colour from light to deep purple. Amethustos means “not drunken,” and the story is that the ancient Greeks wore amethysts around their necks as an aid to sobriety. These days they are worn very often by bishops. It is an ecclesiastical gem.

        Then jasper, a rich, reddish brown stone they find around Miles. It was very popular in the 16th century. In those days doctors used to tell patients to hang it around their necks in order to strengthen their stomachs. As for garnet, Mr. Robinson says that the Club finds that on farms near Lowood. It is best to wait until after good rain and a farmer has ploughed up his field. They sometimes turned up in the soft earth, they find the stone, garnet, a beautiful blood red.

        The diamond, small and for industrial use, more than anything else, can be found near Stanthorpe, and on the Atherton Tableland. The stones, when first gathered from a prospecting dish, looks anything but promising. A diamond looks like a piece of washing soda.


Courier Mail Thursday 20 June 1957

        “Dead Eye” Beryl Andriske, 9, whose skill at marbles has routed all comers at Geebung State School, girls and boys. So far she has won 1002 marbles in the current season, and does not look like being beaten.


Courier Mail Friday 21 June 1957

        If you were one of the hundreds of readers who telephoned the Courier Mail yesterday regarding the picture of Geebung’s marble champion, the name definitely is BERYL despite the boyish look. To clarify the position, here’s Beryl Andriske and her nine year old twin sister Glenda, who is one of the victims of her “dead eye” shooting. Meanwhile Beryl is going merrily along to lift her winnings to the 2000 mark.


Courier Mail Saturday 25 June 1957

Billy Graham Battles with the Devil

Young Man with a Bible packs Madison Square Garden


        New York: If the ghost of old Billy Sunday is stalking Madison Square Garden these days he must be learning a lot about latter day evangelism.

        Gone from the big arena are the gory pugilists, the grunting wrestlers, the circus clowns, the ice hockey heroes, the hot dog vendors, and the screaming fans.

        In their place is one remarkable man, standing on a stage against a solid white backdrop of a 1500 voice choir.

        Every night since May 15, 1957, he has been packing about 17,000 people into the Gardens. Nothing less than Ringling Brothers’ circus has been able to do that.

        The tall, broad shouldered athlete under the high spotlight is BILLY GRAHAM.

        If he wasn’t the world’s best known evangelist, he would not seem out of place as a high priced advertising model for anything from well cut clothes to toothpaste- or perhaps in a movie role as a college football star.

        Billy isn’t selling suits or toothpaste, but religion. But Billy himself says that, since he’s selling the greatest product in the world, why not give it at least as much promotion as a bar of soap? And that’s what has happened.

        The Billy Graham organisation has handled the New York invasion with all the high powered efficiency of a national sales promotion campaign. And it’s running with the smoothness of a well oiled railway system.

        It is a far cry from the days of yesteryear, when evangelists thundering hell-fire and damnation depended chiefly on lung power and rhetorical fireworks  to convert the hordes of sinners.

        About 40 years ago battling Billy Sunday stormed into New York. In a hastily erected building on upper Broadway, the small, lithe man pranced and shouted, shadow boxed, and wrestled o the floor with the Devil, and mesmerized his flock with fishwifery dramatics. New Yorkers in general he described in one burst as “vile, iniquitous, lowdown, groveling, worthless, damnable, rotten, hellish, corrupt, miserable sinners.”

        And all liquor sellers, he said, were “a weasel-eyed, butter-and-milk, white-livered, whisky-soaked gang.”

        The country boy from the cornfields of the Mid-West was the idol and joke of a whole generation.

        He had been a star in the Chicago White Stockings before he abruptly left baseball to enlist his energies in God’s cause.

        At his meetings he always told the story of the country boy whose downward path began at a “fancy undress ball” when he met a jezebel with “hair like a raven’s wing, a neck like a swan, teeth like a ledge of pearl in a snowdrift, wearing just enough clothing to pad a crutch, who, with difficulty, persuaded the young man to take his first glass of champagne.”

More Guns than Billy Sunday

        Billy also introduced a good measure of jingoism. He would yank an American flag out of its holder, and whip it back and forth overhead, shouting, “We are enduring it now for the cause of justice. It has never flown for anything else.”

        Then the entire audience of 20,000 would rise with a roar and launch into “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” as Billy capered with joy at having won the first skirmish in his “battle with the Devil” in New York.

        Well, there are no more Billy Sundays but the Devil is apparently still around these parts.

        His current antagonist is doing battle but with greater weapon power.

        Billy Sunday used a cannon; Billy Graham uses push button warfare.

        Every 40 years some fierce eyed revivalist storms New York to brand it the citadel of sin.

        It doesn’t happen more often because New York is a name that strikes fear and trembles into all the most stout hearted evangelists.

        They call this city the “revivalist graveyard,” which isn’t as contradictory as it sounds.

        Many a good missionary has floundered here. Evangelists steer away from its shores, until they are at the peak of their careers.

        Whether this is such a Devil ridden city is a debatable point; it has been pointed out that New York has the highest percentage of church-goers of any city in the United States.

        Broadly two factors do most to keep the evangelists away.

        For one thing, it is hard to be heard over the hurly burly of all this city’s distractions.

        For another the population is 45 per cent Roman Catholic, and 25 per cent Jewish.

        Neither faith has any use for the mass evangelism these visitors practise.

        Roman Catholics have been told by spokesmen of their church not to go to Billy Graham’s meetings. Some of his preachings, it is said, are heretical.

        Jews have been told that the meetings have nothing of value for them.

        Among Protestants, there is not complete unanimity about Mr. Graham. The critics concentrate on the “emotional excesses and commercialism” of the Graham crusade, and express doubts that many people would be permanently “saved.”

        But Billy Graham managed to win the cooperation of 1500 local ministers in this crusade.

        This points to an important feature of Graham crusades. He first makes sure that he has a strong body of clergy behind him before he moves in.

        The churches are involved in an integral part of the Graham evangelical technique: an elaborate follow up system.

        The converts who hit what Billy Sunday called “the sawdust trail to salvation” after each meeting are handled by a small army of “counselors.”

        The converts fill in cards. The information is passed on to the appropriate churches which are expected to follow up each convert.

        Of the 300,000 people who had been to Graham’s meetings in the first two weeks, about 12,000 stepped forward and “declared themselves for God.”

Ad. Men in Action

        Mr. Graham’s preparations went a long way beyond the churches. His organisation used all the promotion techniques of Madison Avenue- hub of the advertising world- in the assault of his toughest proving ground.

        The same methods will be sued in Australia if Mr. Graham goes there- as he hopes to do.

        For a year before the crusade began, his organisers set up office near Times Square and started preparing the ground.

        As a result. long before Billy himself arrived, New York was plastered with posters, the crusade had time spots on radio and TV, convoys of buses- as well as planes and trains- to bring adherents from every corner of the country had been organised, the clergy had been organised, classes for about 5,000 “counsellors” had been organised, the nightly roster of 1500 singers for the choir had been organised, round-the-world all night prayers for the eve of the opening had been organised, and funds were pouring in.

        Plenty were needed. Cost of the campaign will run into over a million dollars, plus extras, such as the televising of a recent Garden meeting, which cost $200,000.

        But this was underwritten by Graham’s wealthy backers, of which he has many.

        One Texan has left his chain of supermarkets to help Graham in New York.

        His campaign committee includes men like newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst Jnr., and Henry R. Luce, publisher of Time and Life.

        Bank presidents, heads of corporations and business houses are among the backers.

        When the helpers take up the collection in the Garden, they pass around paper buckets, which are promptly stuffed with dollar bills. But that isn’t enough to take care of the Garden rent.

        Graham himself gets nothing extra for coming to New York. His organisation pays him a flat $17000 (about £8,800) a year which is not excessive by local standards.

        On the credit side, the Graham crusade has received a spate of publicity unprecedented here and immeasurable in terms of dollars.

        Almost every local newspaper and national magazine has run feature stories on Billy Graham.

        No other individual apart from his friend President Eisenhower has had such a concentrated wealth of publicity.

        This has helped to make Billy Graham one of the best known men in the United States.

        A recent Gallup Poll showed that 90 per cent of the population could identify him, an honour accorded few Americans, other than the nation’s chief executive in government.

        More than four million adults said that they had seen him in person. About 50 million said they had seen him on TV or heard him on the radio.

        With the great pre-Crusade build up, there was not much for Billy Graham to do but get up on stage and preach. He does just that.

        He has no use for the physical and vocal acrobatics of Billy Sunday. He is urgent and articulate but not emotional as evangelists go.

        A miniature microphone in his lapel, he speaks with a smooth, driving delivery.

        Occasionally he shakes his fists, shouts, or points heavenward and hellward, but he keeps away from bygone histrionics.

        Even the most misbegotten old sinner would not deny that he is one of the most dynamic speakers ever to set foot on a stage.

        The soft pedal influence is seen throughout the meeting. Applause is banned. “If you want to applaud, do it deep down inside you,” one of his aides tells the congregation. “Treat this place like a cathedral.”

        The whole meeting runs with the precise efficiency of a TV “spectacular”. The timing of the speeches, the organ music, the songs, and the silences, is superb.

        It seems that Billy Graham prefers to associate himself with the respected memory of the 19th century evangelist, Dwight L. Moody, rather than that of Billy Sunday, who was called by his official biographer “A Gymnast for Jesus.”

        The Graham technique is working the “Miracle of Madison Square Garden.” His seemingly impossible six week run has just been extended to 21 July (1957) three weeks beyond the original closing date. And his aides say that there is every possibility that he will continue battling with the Devil at “the Garden” until the end of summer.


Courier Mail 1 July 1957

        New Paul’s Hav-a-Heart with Grilled Nuts now available, and still only 6d.



Courier Mail Wednesday 24 July 1957

Ghost Appears on Road


        Melbourne: A “ghost” has appeared to seven people on a lonely dirt road outside Warrandyte, an outer suburb, in the last month. One man said last night that his hair stood on end when he saw the “ghost.” Another was so shocked that he had to stay home from work next day to recover. Three dogs which live near the spot where the “ghost” appears now make a detour through the bush rather than pass it.

‘It Exploded”

        Mr. David Kent Briggs, a journalist said: “A friend and I were driving down the road when we saw this odd thing shaped like a long drawn out triangle. I drove into it and it literally exploded around the car. Shining fragments seemed to cling to the car for the next 100 feet or so and then disappeared. The whole shape suddenly re-appeared in front of the car and then drifted into the bush. It was about 6ft long and silvery yellow.”


Courier Mail Thursday 5 September 1957

Brisbane to Get TV by end of 1959 or early 1960

        Canberra: Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, and Hobart will have television in late 1959 or early 1960. Federal Cabinet’s decision to proceed with this second phase of television in Australia was announced in Parliament yesterday by the Postmaster General Mr. Davidson. The four cities will have both commercial and national yv1. If as in Sydney commercial TV stations open first, Brisbane and Adelaide could have TV about the middle of 1959. Each of the four capitals will have a national TV service and at least one commercial service. There will be a public inquiry in each of the four capitals before the Government grants commercial licences. Country television will be the third phase in the Government’s TV extension programme.


Courier Mail 21 September 1957

Bald Hills Celebrates 100 Years

They Feared Blacks at Bald Hills 100 years Ago

By Noel Turnbull

        One of Brisbane’s thriving “bush” suburbs, Bald Hills (population 1413; 12 miles north of the G.P.O.) will celebrate its centenary next month, October 1957.

        On 6 October 1857 three families of the relatives arrived at Bald Hills to settle after a long trek through thick scrub from Brisbane.

        Now, descendants of these families and later settlers in the district are preparing to celebrate the 100th anniversary  of their arrival. The history of their community is told in a booklet prepared by a great great grandson of one of the early settlers. He is Mr. Garth Carseldine, who is accountant and personnel officer at Brisbane radio station 4BC.

        How the name Bald Hills originated is not definite. Most popular theory is that it was so called by cattle duffers because the hills, with their sweet grasses, stood out from the impenetrable scrub of the South Pine Valley.

        It made an ideal resting place for their sojourn. Aboriginals called the hills “Borlil,” but it is not known whether this was an imitation of the white man’s name.

        The three main families in the early settlement of Bald Hills were the Duncans, the Stewarts, and the Carseldines.

        One man who never lived at Bald Hills was responsible for the heads of these three families coming to the area. He was Thomas Gray, a bootmaker with a business in George Street, Brisbane, near the intersection with Queen Street.

        The building on the site of his shop continued to bear his name, as Gray’s building, up to the present time of writing (1957).

        Thomas Gray left Dundee, Scotland, in September 1841 in the migrant ship, Ann Milne. On board also were Angus Duncan and his family, and John Stewart and his two sisters. The Duncans and the Stewarts settled in the Hunter River Valley of New South Wales, while Gray worked in the Lower Burnett District (also then part of New South Wales) before buying the land for his shop in George Street.

        In 1845, marriage linked the three men. John Stewart married Angus Duncan’s daughter, Jean, while Thomas Gray married Janet Stewart.

        Twelve years after arriving in the Colony, disastrous floods struck the Hunter valley. Many of the settlers moved from the district either to New England or to Moreton Bay.

        Gray had seen the Bald Hills locality earlier and so advised John Stewart to come to Brisbane. With his brother in law David Duncan, Stewart looked over the area and bought land at Bald Hills. They returned to New South Wales, collected their wives, belongings and another member of the family, Charles Duncan, and arrived back in Brisbane in the steamer Yarra Yarra late in September 1857.

        They immediately began the slow journey in horse drawn drays to their new intended homes. Their route crossed Breakfast Creek by the old punt near the mouth of the creek (capable of carrying ‘one horse and a cart and about half a ton of load’), to the high ground at (later) Albion, then out along roughly the course of what became known as Sandgate Road to German Station (later Nundah), to Zillman’s Waterholes (later known as Zillmere), where they turned west going up the route now occupied by Zillmere Road to Cabbage Tree Creek (now Aspley). There they crossed the creek, proceeding along the later course of (old) Gympie Road to Bald Hills.

        Years later one of the Carseldines cut a shorter track which approximated the later route of the present Gympie Road. He left Bald Hills along a cattle path, went through Aaron Adsett’s property (now Chermside), and then out through dense scrub to Kedron Brook.

        On 10 October 1857, the ‘Moreton Bay Courier’  recorded that “three families from the Hunter River district bringing with them three superior draught horses, settled on Tuesday last on freeholds on the Bald Hills, near Sandgate.”

        The following year, 1858, William Carseldine arrived at Bald Hills as a fencing contractor for John Stewart. He liked the area, and decided to settle there.

        He was first led to the settlers by bootmaker Thomas Gray, whose talk of Bald Hills greatly impressed him.

        The early settlers camped together on the top of the rise. The homes were made of wattle bark, and daub (mud) within sight of each other because of the fear of hostile natives in the area. Bald Hills oldest resident, Arthur Carseldine (80 at time of writing, namely 1957) remembered how the walls had special “peepholes” in them for the rifles in case of attack.

        The first 40 years after 1857 were noted by a series of “booms” encouraging closer settlement and development of Bald Hills.

        The first stimulus was the land boom in the 1860s, when and was auctioned, first in Sydney but later in Brisbane Town.

        The Gympie gold rush in 1855 provided another stimulus to development of Bald Hills. The community had begun simply as a farming and dairying area, but settlers had some difficulty in finding a market and getting their produce to it.

        Until the 1880ss the settlers did not realise the value of the rich soil down on the flats just north and west of the Hills, bordering the South Pine River. These flats were covered in dense scrub and the settlers considered that the cost of clearing the thick scrub too much for what they saw as a projected small return. The rapidly growing town of Gympie, with its demand for fresh food, provided a market, provided transport could get the produce there. Thus came a demand for better transport to and from Bald Hills.

        This led to Cobb and Co surveying  a route to Gympie, traces of which can be found by thinly following what is still in parts known as “old” Gympie Road. In 1867 the first coach of Cobb and Co passed Bald Hills. This provided a great stimulus. The first shop was opened at Bald Hills a year later in 1868. Then in 1872 the first direct mail service from Brisbane to Bald Hills began, the shop becoming the Post Office It continued in that role until the late 1930s. The residence of the owner of the shop, James Carseldine is still standing (at the time of writing), having been given a somewhat modern touch up, but still the oldest surviving residence in Bald Hills. Part of it is occupied (1957) by “Johnnie’s Snack Bar.” The second shop opened in the late 1880s when the construction of the North Coast Railway brought further stimulus to the area. From then on a steady little community began to grow, and the service community gained a blacksmith, saddler, butcher and even a fancy goods store.

        The Railway itself was opened in 1888, with Bald Hills having its own railway station, next being Zillmere about three miles away. (The station Carseldine was added between these two, decades after this article was written). The first station master was Edward Louis Moriarty, father of the Railway Commissioner in 1957#.

        Between 1905 the first telephone line reached Bald Hills. It was a party line shared with Strathpine and Petrie. Today Bald Hills is part of the greater Brisbane automatic distribution system.

        The Bald Hills State School was opened in 1866. It was the fourth to be opened in Queensland. Children came from as far away as Sandgate initially. Classes had actually begun in Bald Hills two years earlier when the Presbyterian Church, one of the first in the State, was used as a school. Now 219 children are enrolled.

        The Carseldine family claims a unique record for attendance at the school. For 75 of the 91 years that the school, to 1957, has been open, a Carseldine has been enrolled and for 48 years there has been a Carseldine on the teaching staff. There has never been a year to 1957 in which there has not been a pupil or teacher from the Carseldine family at the Bald Hills School.

        [Footnote: The suburb now located between Zillmere and Bald Hills was named Carseldine after the Carseldine pioneering family. This closely settled suburb has its own railway station, Carseldine and also the Carseldine Campus or College of Advanced Education.]


Courier Mail Wednesday 6 November 1957

Ancient Railway Carriages

        Seven metropolitan railway carriages still is use in the Brisbane area were more than 70 years old (i.e. 1880s vintage) State Parliament was told yesterday.

        Twenty four (24) more carriages were more than 60 years old (dating from the 1890s), 154 more than 40 years old (1910s vintage) and 234 more (the Evans cars) over 30 years old.


Courier Mail December 1957

        From December 14 to January 13 the railways will carry passengers from Ipswich, Corinda, South Brisbane and Pimpana to Southport for a flat return fare of 6/- adult, 3/- child. This drive to recapture passenger traffic to the South Coast from buses was announced by the Railway Commissioner (Mr. Moriarty) yesterday.

        Normal excursion fares from South Brisbane to Southport and return were adults 12/- and children 6/-. Day of issue return fares are South Brisbane to Southport adults 19/-, children 9/6, from Ipswich to Southport £1/ 7/- and 13/6, and from Corinda to Southport £1/ 4/- and 12/-.

        Bus fares from Brisbane to Southport Are 18/6 each way or £1/ 17/- return. The 64 mile bus journey to Coolangatta occupies 2 and a half hours.

        A vacation special train will leave from South Brisbane at 8.20am and arrive at Southport at 10.8am, 1 hour 48 minutes for the 50 mile journey, stopping at Yeroongpilly. A train will depart Southport at 4.50pm and arrive at South Brisbane at 6.46pm. On Fridays during the period, the return train will leave Southport at 6.27pm and arrive at South Brisbane at 8.31pm. The return train will stop as required to set down passengers between Kuraby and South Brisbane.

        Additional services to Townsville and Cairns will leave Roma Street at 6.45pm during this period, preceding the usual Cairns Mail which departs Roma Street at 9.30pm