Music affairs, Historic Libel Cases, Humpy Bong, McIlwraith





          The Brisbane Musical Union just a few years ago gave us “Tannhauser,” one of the great music-poems of the great Wagner- one of the greatest of men and so different from the other German, Mendelssohn, whom the English people love better. I always regard Wagner and Mendelssohn as one might comparatively regard the English Watts and the French Monet, and yet that is not altogether a good comparison, for Mendelssohn gave us defined things, and Monet was an impressionist.

          It was at about May or June in 1881 that I went to a Brisbane Musical Union Concert at the Exhibition, and Mr. R. T. Jeffries, of most esteemed memory, gave us the “Tannhauser” Overture. The Union had a series of three concerts, and, so far as I remember, the later two were in the Theatre Royal. Either Walter Woodyatt or “Toby” Bushelle wrote the “Observer” notices.

          Though Wagner’s great overture was as “caviar to the general” in the wider public sense, there were enough musical people in Brisbane – and some came from Toowoomba, Ipswich and Gympie to hear it – to make up an audience with understanding. Yet the “Tannhauser” Overture was not the best loved of the word done, for Mr. Jeffries gave us a delightful reading of the wonderful “Hymn of Praise” of Mendelssohn. Perhaps it is old-fashioned, perhaps want of advanced knowledge, but that “Hymn of Praise” always stands to me as a thing incomparable in symmetry and simple power. It is like Oliver Wendell Holmes’ “Poet at the Breakfast Table,” perhaps not up in the clouds with the great masters, but a thing of beauty and joy for ever.

          Did any of us fail to notice the inspiration of the Andante in C when Kreisler played it here? However, we must not substitute a disquisition for memories.

          In later years under Jeffries, Seymour Dicker, and, I think, Sampson, my wife sang the principal soprano music of the “Hymn of Praise,” and next to that of the “Creation,” I think it the best work she ever did. She sang the “Creation” music once for Sampson in an emergency, with perhaps, one rehearsal, just as for Benson, with the big Philharmonic, she took the Marguerite music in Gounod’s “Faust”- only one rehearsal- the Sydney soprano having failed to live up to her reputation with the orchestra. But that sounds like a family puff. However, it’s there.

          During the Musical Union series with which I began, the overture of Gluck’s “Iphigenia,” was also done. How did Jeffries manage the orchestral music? Well, he had help from the Austrian Band, which, one way and another, made a sensation in Australia.

          As another famous writer said, “That reminds me!” The Austrian Band was rather more than its name would imply. It was largely composed of very fine instrumentalists, most of whom were acceptable to the people of Vienna when they passed out of the Conservatorium. Kreisler, also, is an Austrian, with, I think, a very big splash of Hungarian blood and temperament. I take off my hat to Kreisler, not only as a musician, but as a man, and he is an ex-enemy. I wonder if he had to get a permit to land in Australia. When the war came, he did not, like some other great men, get into a nice “cushy” job, but joined up in the ranks, shouldered his rifle, and went off to fight for his country. For his country – and to die for it if necessary. “Why do people cheer and praise men who march out to fight?” asked a pacifist. A philosopher replied” “They do not cheer and praise them because they march out to fight, but because they march out to die!” And another said, “The art of successful war is to always ensure that the other bloke dies for his country, not you.”

          The Austrian Band had some fine soloists, and the greatest of these was Patek, who, as a ‘celloist, became very popular in Australia, and he was later a much valued soloist and teacher in Sydney. And Raimund Pechotsch, the violinist –was just a lad when he came out. He settled in Brisbane later for some years and played at concerts and taught, and his wife was a very good contralto, an Englishwoman. Then there was Kebraschek, with the clarinet, Kuhr with the French horn, and a wonderfully fine double bass and useful violinist, Hage. Of the lot I know only of Pechotsch today, and he still teaches the young idea how to “tickle the strings” in Sydney.

          One great affair given by the band was a fancy dress ball in the Exhibition Building, with a great array on the programme of patrons whose names in 1881 carried weight – Lord Henry Phipps, a son of the Marquis of Normanby (a former Queensland Governor), Sir Ralph Gore, Bart., J. C. Heussler, George. Edmonstone, F. H. Hart, J. R. Dickson, J. F. Garrick, Colonel E. D. Ross, Lieutenant Barron, formerly of her Majesty’s Indian Navy (the father of Mrs. Cecil Palmer), P. Pinnock, P.M., F. R. C. Master, J. Ranniger, J. Hamilton Scott, T. H. Paige, Gilbert Wilson, Robert Wilson, John Guthrie, Thos. Bird, R. T. Jeffries, Edward Taylor (Taylor and Elliots now), Sam Davis, and Peter Macpherson. The manager of the Austrian Band was one Heller, a sharp, much-travelled person, who was favoured by the “heads” in the newspaper offices.

          The Rev. Chas. J. Fletcher, of Priorslea, Taringa, wrote concerning Raimund Pechotsch:- “I have a vivid recollection of the name in connection with an incident which occurred while I was a pupil at the South Brisbane State School in 1888. I was a ‘new chum’’ and fell foul of another new arrival- a boy about 10 years of age of the name of Pechotsch (whose father I understand was a teacher of music and the leader of the orchestra at one of the Brisbane theatres). I don’t recollect what our quarrel was about, but it ended in a fight in which I got worsted, but what I remember most keenly is the culmination of the affair, when the head-teacher gave me a good caning and let Pechotsch off scot-free. I often wonder if that other boy is identical with the well-known musician of the same name who conducts the choir at S. Canice’s Roman Catholic Church, Roslyn Gardens, Sydney. Perhaps you can help me? At the time I refer to, Mr. ‘Micky’ Synan was head master. Mr. Higson and one of the Brennan brothers (in turn) chief assistant, and Messrs. ‘Tommy’ Dodds (afterwards Colonel and D.S.O.) , Tom Martin and Alec. Singer amongst the assistant teachers. Amongst my school fellows were the following:- J. B. S. Shrapnel, (now a dentist at Kingaroy), Hubert King (son of the late T. M. King), and his cousin, R. H. Macdonnell, Jim Reeve (now farming at Balgowan), the sons of Mr. Edward Taylor (who is mentioned in your article), and Ed. Nixon, son of a Queen Street jeweller. Playmates of mine at that time were Jeanie and Gertie Wigham, the daughters, by a former marriage, of Mrs. Maclurcan, now of the Wentworth, Sydney, Regulation. Hurd, Ted Sayce, and Will. Horsley.”

          It is likely that the Raimund Pechotsch now conducting a church choir in Sydney is the original of the name and not the son. At any rate, the original is still in Sydney, teaching, composing, and generally like our friend Mr. Johnnie Walker.

          “Do you remember the Bowen Hills Musical Society?” That was put up to me quite recently. Of course, I remember it, and was at one of the concerts about 44 years ago, when William de Fraine conducted the orchestra and Romberg’s musical setting of Schiller’s “Lay of the Bell” was done in a not-bad-amateurish sort of way. The leader of the orchestra was Herr Rosendorff, who may still be seen in the orchestra at His Majesty’s Theatre, and who has been teaching here since 1881. He and Pechotsch were rivals in later years.

          At the concert, Peter McRobbie sand Gounod’s “Nazereth,” and everything else was by “Lady Amateur” or “Gentleman Amateur.” If I’m not mistaken, Mr. George Down was the pillar and mainstay of the Bowen Hills Musical Society. I remember him well as a church choirmaster, and in the later eighties (1880s), he was very keen on training choirs for Eisteddfod competitions.

          Mr. and the late Mrs. Prideaux, of Wooloowin, well remember the great services to music by Mr. George Down, and they have been for many years associated with musical work. Especially they referred to Mrs. “Charlie” Daniells, who, as Miss Lily Down, was a very popular soprano, and who, later on, with her husband, a lyric tenor, helped in many Brisbane concerts.

          Mr. Albert J. Powell chaffs me about the win of Baynan’s choir in the Eisteddfod, when he sang the tenor solo in the “Quarrymen’s Chorus,” and I sang for George Down’s choir. Mr. Powell says: “The impression on my mind is clear with regard to the Eisteddfod of over 30 years ago, in which you and I were tenor soloists for the two rival Brisbane choirs in “’The Quarrymen’s Chorus.’ Blackstone was in it, and came third. The two Brisbane male voice parties – Baynan’s and George Down’s- came first and second. Could you find sufficient male voices in Brisbane at the present time to produce similar choirs, with twice the population? I remember George Down’s choir singing just before Baynan’s and, as tenor soloist, I considered you were setting me a stiff jump, because you were putting in your best work. The adjudication was some what unique. The adjudicator gave the two Brisbane choruses equal points, but gave the tenor soloist of Baynan’s party one more point than the soloist in George Down’s, and so Baynan’s choir got the principal cheer from the crowd. If you remember, the last note in the solo was a high B flat, coming on the word ‘fire.’ As I evidently only just beat you on the post, it is difficult to think where I excelled – unless it was the delight of getting up to the fire.”

          I do remember that it was no disgrace to have got so close to so fine a tenor as my friend Powell was in those days, and still is.

          Mr. and Mrs. Prideaux reminded me that it was Phillips – now gone to the great majority – who conducted the Gounod’s “Faust” performance by the Philharmonic when my wife with one rehearsal sang the Marguerite music; and they say they will never forget the brilliant rendering by the good little woman of the famous “Jewell Song.” Also, they said, as others have said, that I did not speak with enough appreciation of Mr. George Down. Well, if I expressed all the good things which I feel regarding him as a musician, and as a citizen, I’m afraid it would be too much for his modesty.

          Often we old-timers talk about musical events of over 45 years ago, and we smile when comparatively newcomers tell of all the good things that have been done to encourage good music. Please don’t think that I am not appreciative of the work Mr. George Sampson has done for music in this State, but we had a devoted worker in R. T. Jefferies, and also in Seymour Dicker, and in the Jefferies days we had the Mendelssohn Quintette. This was not a combination of devoted amateurs, but of very fine musicians. The organisation was established in Sydney, and, through the enterprise of a concert manager, whose name for the moment I have forgotten, was brought on to Brisbane. The concerts were given in the Albert Hall, and were fairly well supported. Isidor Schnitzler, a pupil of Joachim, was violinist; Giese, the ‘celloist, and a wonderfully fine artist he was. Ryan took the clarionet, Thiele the viola, and Schade was the flautist. It was not ordinarily a string quartette, but on occasions Ryan and Schade could drop the wood wind and take up strings. I attended and greatly enjoyed all the concerts, and the papers – as papers will- set out to make the people understand how valuable was the educative work given them.

          We were given “good stuff,” though we had not in those days the works of the advanced French, Norwegian, or Russian schools. Beethoven, Bach, Handel, Mendelssohn, Cherubini – these, however, were not bad, considering the times. Mr. Sampson will, I am sure, tell us that they are not bad even today.

          It is good to remember the men of from 40 to 50 years ago who dared the gods with what even today is called “classical stuff.”

With the Quintette was a very delightful soprano, and to this day I remember with joy her singing of the Cherubini “Ave Maria” with clarionet obligato, or the rather cloying “Angel’s Serenade” of Braga, with Schnitzler playing the violin’s obligato. Miss Miller also sang some of the old songs, which should be prohibited unless given by artists. Those beautiful and artistic old things will never die unless some of our modern half-trained singers “murder them beyond recovery,” as Pat would put it. Does the jazz band educate our young people, or just amuse them? But, talking of jazz, let me say that so estimable a musician as Arthur Benjamin once said in my presence that there was something fascinating in the quaint rhythm and barbaric “noises” of the jazz bands.


The Press and the Law

Some Historical Libel Cases

The Man who goes to gaol

Bishop Hale and the Rev. James Love

          The first State prosecution of the Press was long before my time. We have it recorded that the Parliamentary attempt to crush “Courier” independence failed and T. P. Hugh, the editor, received a very remarkable ovation. But a second action against the paper was when I was editor of the “Observer,” the other morning daily.

In this second case, Sir James Garrick, Q.C., with his customary good humour, applied the phrase “The Man Who Goes to Gaol” to Mr. Thomas Woodward Hill, who was technically and for legal purposes only, the publisher of the “Courier” and the “Queenslander.” The papers had published a statement by Sir Thomas McIlwraith in connection with the famous steel rails case, and the suit, Miles v McIlwraith, which was “a pup” of the big case. The other papers had published it, but it was the “Courier” especially that the Griffith-Miles element wished to punish.

And, in passing, it may be remarked that the “Courier” was, as now, really the paper that counted. William O’Carroll, the editor of the “Courier,” James Butterfield, the editor of the “Queenslander,” and T. W. Hill, “The Captain,” as the composing room staff called him, were up at the Supreme Court to submit themselves. Charles Hardie Buzacott, who was managing director and editor in chief, was not brought even within coo-ee of the dungeon cell.

Garrick, Q.C., with whom was Rutledge, with Chambers, the founder of Chambers, Bruce, and McNab, and later, Chambers, McNab, and McNab, as the instructing solicitor, moved that the rule calling on the “printer and publisher” to show cause be made absolute, but said it was not desired to send Mr. Hill to gaol, only to have him restrained. This was done, and I fancy a fine of £100 imposed, or £100 in cost to be paid, or some other iniquity.

Pressmen generally very much resented the action, and especially the circumstance that the “Courier” was singled out after “Hansard” had circulated the statement complained of. Mr. Buzacott sent out a circular to all papers setting out the story, pointing out that any publisher in the country might be sent to gaol without even a trial at the caprice of a judge, and asking for a united effort to secure the freedom of the Press. As a fact, the Press then had not a very keen sense of unity. We have improved upon that condition. R. J. Leigh reported the case for the “Observer,” and either W. J. Morley or Richard Newton for the “Courier.”

The action Meston v Isambert and others was a cause celebre. Archibald Meston was member for Rosewood in the Legislative Assembly, and had been described as “the idol of the German settlers”; but in several matters, and especially in connection with the Steel Rails Case, he had taken the liberty as a Liberal of going against the main body of that party after the report of the Royal Commission had been received by Parliament. This led to a sharp attack in the “Nord Australische Zeitung,” of which Mr. Isambert was one of the proprietors. The article appeared in 1881, and, amongst other things, said that Mr. Meston, the member for Rosewood, “bought (as plaintiff’s translation put it), by a Minister, Mr. Macrossan, voted with the Government.”

The offending word in the German paper was “besoldet,” and the man in the street very wrongly interpreted it to mean that Mr. Meston had “sold” himself. The evidence of the plaintiff’s witnesses certainly did not strengthen the case. Mr. Carl Theodor Staiger, the Government Analyst of the day, said the meaning of “besoldet” was paid or salaried, but, in cross-examination by Mr. Rutledge (afterwards Sir Arthur), who was counsel for the defendant, said it did not mean dirty work or a bribe. It may be remarked that a later article referred to Mr. Meston as editor of the “Townsville Herald”- of which I, at the mature age of 21, had been editor- which was “well known to belong to Mr. Macrossan.” As a fact, Mr. Macrossan did not even own a sidestick in the paper. In the second article the word “salaar” or salary was used, and Mr. Staiger said it had the same sense as “besoldet,” and so used did not imply “bribery and corruption.” Mr. John C. Heussler also said that “besoldet” came from the same source as soldier, and might refer to anybody in the employ of the Government. Mr. “Barney” Simmons said the meaning was that Mr. Meston was working for the Government as a paid man.

It was on the first day very difficult to see how Mr. Meston could win, especially on the evidence of his own witnesses, though F. N. Rosenstengel put it that “besoldet” was equivalent to a mercenary soldier. However, Mr. Herman Schmidt, of the Brisbane Boys’ Grammar School, and a well-known philologist, said for the defence that the meaning, taken with the context, was highly paid, or professional literary services, and certainly did not convey the impression that Mr. Meston was bribed. However, there was linked up with the statement the insinuation that Mr. Macrossan owned the “Townsville Herald,” and that the plaintiff was paid by him. The 12 jurymen surely could be trusted to give a sound decision. Of the number were R. A. Jordan, R. S. Warry, J. Ferguson, R. Gailey, Joseph Baynes, and other well-known business men. They found that the articles were not defamatory, and that they were fair comment.

During the discussion of a point of admitting evidence, and in the summing up, in Meston v Isambert and others, the Chief Justice, Sir Charles Lilley, made deliverances which caused a good deal of discussion in Press circles. One statement from the Chief Justice was that in the state of the law if he had a paper he would be able to do almost anything with it- a statement might be absolutely false as long as the comment was fair. Also he said that errors of judgment – presumably of fact or in comment – were not to be punished. This last-mentioned statement provoked the suggestion from another well-known lawyer that the view of the Chief Justice did not take into account the feelings or the character of a person assailed in errors of judgment; and, as far as the papers generally were concerned, not one accepted the view that so long as they were honest, they might have and exercise the judgment of asses.

Even those of us who were in it all would not like to see a reversion to the political bitterness and the journalistic “slogging” of the early eighties (1880s). My paper, the “Observer,” and the “Telegraph,” and a morning paper run by George Keith in the Griffith interest, were all red hot; but the hottest pot of all was the “Evangelical Standard,” a religious weekly edited by a sort of commission of parsons and managed by our good old friend, Richard Phil. Adams, now only a friendly memory, but whose son, John R. P. Adams, still lives and flourishes down at Sydney.

The “Courier” held itself aloof from the charges and counter-charges of the more militant Press, and no doubt it had as much influence as all the others put together, because of its catholicity of spirit. The “Courier” often indulged in straight talk, but was never bitter or abusive. I’m afraid the rest of us were. O’Carroll, like my old mentor, “Tiger” Inglis, believed in strong argument and moderate language, and Charles Hardie Buzacott, who laid down the lines of policy of the paper, was scrupulously honest.

All this is leading up to the libel action brought by the Honourable Patrick Perkins, Minister for Lands, against the “Evangelical Standard.” It was said in those days that Mr. Perkins had tried by a very cleverly arranged stroke to buy- through a third party, of course- a controlling share in the paper, but I do not think that was correct. The libel was a very palpable sort of thing; a regular “tomahawk” job, the Minister being accused of sacking all the Protestants out of the Ipswich workshops and retaining the Roman Catholics, and a lot more besides. The “Evangelical Standard” published a sort of apology which the Hon. P. P., in his evidence, said “aggravated the offence.”

Pope Cooper, afterwards Sir Pope, appeared for Mr. Perkins, and Mr. Griffith, later “Sir Sam,” and Arthur, later Sir Arthur, Rutledge, for the defence. The case was bitterly fought, and the jury gave a verdict for the plaintiff (ho claimed £2000) for £3, including £2 paid into court, and costs were allowed. The case had one good effect. It modified the transports of the bravos of the Press, and we got to a more respectable and more reasonable frame of mind – all of us.

The action for libel brought by the Hon. F. T. Brentnall, M.L.C., against the “Boomerang,” was a much later date. A correspondent wonders that I did not refer to it when dealing with the various newspapers. As a fact, I did, but very briefly, as it seemed out of chronological order. The genesis of the affair was in a speech made by Mr. Brentnall in the Legislative Council, when there was under discussion a Bill designed give better protection to young girls. The Bill had passed the Legislative Assembly, but some one got hold of William Brookes and others in the Legislative Council, and filled them up with ideas as to the danger of designing females, and Mr. Brookes asked what would be the situation in a case of a girl being really the villain of the story, tempting the innocent man to impropriety.

Mr. Brentnall was an extremist where morals were concerned, and he fulminated in thundering tones at the “wretched excuse.” He got to “I would like to see a woman who would ever tempt me to do wrong,” and when the scoffers laughed, and got a verbal scorching for their indifference to the higher side of human life. But the phrase stuck, and certain ribald journalists sought to twit the great-hearted Christian man, who has lately gone from this world. It is always so, of course. The “boomerang” came out with a cartoon representing Mr. Brentnall as St. Anthony, waving away the particular form of trial which was imposed as a test upon the good saint. Really, it was not a bad cartoon, not vindictive or gross in any way; but it hit our old friend a sense of the fitness of things, and he was ill-advised enough to bring a libel action. He lost it; but the “Boomerang” refrained from any exultation upon its victory.

This paper was started by Gresley Lukin, William Lane, later of New Australia renown, and J. G. Drake, the barrister, who was afterwards one of Queensland’s first senators and Postmaster-General in the Commonwealth Government. It was a smart paper, with Monty Scott, and later Cecil Gasking, at the head of the art staff, and was in no way salacious. It was not a paper which would tolerate any grossness. That is briefly the story.

The “Worker,” too, was once prosecuted for the publication of an allegedly indecent picture. It was a vindictive try-on, for, as some of us pointed out at the time, the “Worker,” though somewhat extreme, and the sort of paper of which no “right thinking person” approved, was never indecent in the sense usually understood; on the other hand, morally it was inclined to puritanism. That was in the “Billy” Lane’s time, of course. I don’t read the “Worker” now (with a wink) or any other of those “Tory rags,” but I do hope that it is still as morally clean as when Lane was at the head of affairs. Perhaps we may safely trust its morals to the editor, Mr. “Jack” Hanlon, one of the keenest of Labour men, and one of the most high-minded of citizens.

Another important Press case was in New South Wales, but we Queenslanders were very much interested in it, because it had some connection with the reported discovery by Skuthorpe, a brother of my friend, Lance Skuthorpe, of certain “remains” of the explorer Leichhardt and his party. The “discovery” created a sensation at the time, not only in Australia, but overseas as well, but the “remains” did not materialize, and the whole thing was a delusion or a hoax, or had in it elements not quite honorable.

I was in the North at the time, but Feilberg gave me the history of it, and there were some funny phases, including a big libel case, which hit the Sydney “Bulletin” very hard. It was in this way; Henniker Heaton, later a son-in-law of Bennett, of the “Evening News,” of Sydney, and also the hero of the “Empire Penny Post,” and later again a baronet, was connected with the “Bulletin,” and offered a reward of £1000 for the discovery of evidence of the fate of Leichhardt and his party. This led Skuthorpe to make his “discovery,” and before making sure that the pig was in the bag, Sydney pundits were going strong on the subject of the ownership. Henniker Heaton contended that, as it was his £1000 that caused the “remains” to be discovered, they should belong to him, but a reputable solicitor named Robertson gave the opinion that they belonged to the representatives of Leichhardt, or to the New South Wales Government.

Then as it was shown, Heaton went for Robertson in the “Bulletin,” and engaged a literary bravo, “Harold Gray” – reputed to be a brother of “John Strange Winter,” the novelist- to help in the attack. “Harold Gray” was brilliant, but unscrupulous, and had something of a “record.” He wrote some stuff called “An Australian Pastoral in Prose,” hitting unmistakably at Robertson, and stating that the well identified hero had “worked in a claim gang at the Cape.”

Robertson went for the “Bulletin,” blew out “Harold Gray’s” story altogether, and got £1000 damages. Feilberg wrote one of his clever leaders on the subject, admitting the smartness of the “Bulletin,” but asking, “Does it pay to have a low standard?” That was the sting: “Does it pay?” Feilberg had a rapier thrust where others would use a bludgeon. Skuthorpe and the Leichhardt “remains” passed into the limbo of forgotten things, but they formed a nine days’ wonder.

Our old friend, George Kirk, of St. George, knew a lot about the Skuthorpe affair though in perfect innocence of any “fake,” and Mr. George Story, formerly M.L.A., also could tell us a good deal historically of the fraud. Morehead quoted the St. George opinion in the Legislative Assembly.

It is a long cry from Boulia, but an old friend who is out there interested in droving asks if I can tell him what the Leichhardt “relics” alleged to have been discovered by J. R. Skuthorpe comprised. By a happy coincidence, I was talking recently with an old St. George resident who desires not to be mentioned by name on the subject, and he showed me a cutting from, I think, a St. George paper. This gave a lot of detail gathered from Skuthorpe personally. The “relics” in the main it was pretended were Leichhardt’s and Classan’s diaries, the first mentioned being alleged to be written on parchment sheets and rolled in leather, and Classan’s on ordinary paper. Both were written in English. Also there was a telescope and a compass both inscribed. J. R. Skuthorpe said these things were found by the blacks about 190 miles as the crow flies from the nearest settled country, and that all the things were in a good state of preservation. The party, with the exception of Classan, had perished through absence of water. Classan died with the blacks, and it was said that his body had been packed in reeds and bark, and that the skeleton was perfect, the beard being nearly down to the belt. Of course, that was the story as told, and Skuthorpe was reported by the paper to have said that he would give up the “relics” if he received cash on delivery. My friend out at Boulia may take the whole story for what it’s worth. I may add that he is a very old south-western man, and he always held to the view that whatever the fate of the Leichhardt expedition may have been, it is easy to understand that all traces were destroyed, washed away by floods.

After I had written upon the death of the Rev. James Love, of Trinity Church, Fortitude Valley, I was reminded that on the Sunday following his death Bishop Hale preached a very effective memorial sermon at the bereaved church. The bishop was a very remarkable preacher. He was of what is often described as the evangelical cult, yet he objected to being termed a Protestant. He was a staunch Catholic, and I well remember an occasion on which he referred to the Apostles’ Creed, or “The Belief” of the Church of England, and the phrase, “I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints” etc. He said, as a grandson of his lately said to me, that the Church of England was the Holy Catholic Church of our State, and that the prefix “Roman” was correctly applicable to the Church of which my revered friend Archbishop Duhig is the head in Queensland. Let me say that I hope this will not start a controversy. I don’t want Father Little, S. J., or the Rev. MacKillop grinding my remarks and myself under their mighty controversial heels.

Mathew Blagden Hale’s family came from Gloucestershire, with a clearly traceable descent to Charlemagne. A relative of the bishop said to me some months ago- “I fancy the one T business in the first name was due to one of our earliest ancestors, not knowing quite how to spell his name.”  Another explanation given by Dr. Wilkinson, for many years rector of Birmingham, is that the Hale family dropped the T in an endeavour to prove that they were not “publicans and sinners,” like the Matthew of the New Testament.

It may be remarked that “Alderley,” the Hale family place in Gloucestershire, and which was built by Sir Mathew Hale, Lord Chief Justice of England in the time of Charles II, and predecessor of “Bloody” Jeffreys, adjoins the seat of the Earl of Ducie (the B. B. Moreton people from Queensland).

We have descendants of both the Hale and Wilkinson families in Queensland. A daughter of Bishop Hale married a Wilkinson, a nephew of Archbishop Wilkinson, who was chaplain to Queen Victoria, and so we have the Hale-Wilkinsons, one of whom was well known to polo players in the pre-war days.

One hears very little of the work of Bishop Hale now, but I believe he left a very interesting diary, setting out the early work in this diocese between the going of Bishop Tufnell and the coming of Bishop Webber. Should we not have it in Australia? He was an unassuming Christian, and the sort of stuff that martyrs are made of- absolutely uncompromising in matters of the faith, and in that respect he and the Rev. James Love were in the closest sympathy. Peace to their memories!

The Rev. James Love was an Ulster man, educated at Monaghan and Belfast, being ordained to the Presbyterian Church. He came to Queensland in 1862 by the Young Australia on her first voyage, and was for some years minister of the Wickham Terrace Church. In 1871 he was ordained to the Church of England, and held the incumbencies of Toowoomba and Warwick before his removal to Brisbane. Forty years ago, at a service at the beautiful little church at Warwick, I was told that it was a monument to the energies of Mr. Love. He died on July 10, 1881. Several members of his family of nine are well known in Queensland and in other States. At the time of his father’s death, Dr. Wilton Love was studying at the Edinburgh University and is now one of our most prominent medical men. Mr. R. R. Love is manager for Queensland of the National Bank of Australasia after service in Queensland and in London as manager of the Bank of North Queensland and the bank of Queensland formed from the Royal and the North Queensland which were acquired later in the amalgamated form by the National Bank of Australasia. Another son is Mr. H. W. Love, manager of the Stock Exchange branch of the National of Australasia, Collins Street, Melbourne, and formerly served in the Bank of North Queensland and the Queensland. Perhaps better known than his brothers is that prince of good fellows and loyal Australians, Mr. James Love, of Isles, Love, and Co. Ltd., who is a director of the Queensland National Bank and a leader in many big public affairs. Others in the family there were whom I knew but slightly or not at all, but some of the daughters of the good old parson- and he wasn’t old when he went to his rest- had distinguished school careers. I’m glad to have been able to add something to my former reference to the Rev. James Love, and to pay a little tribute to his great strength of character and his worth to Queensland as a Christian missioner. I happened to meet him often, and well remember his earnestness and unselfishness.

A correspondent wrote to me in reference to my mention of Mr. Sylvester Diggles as the first conductor of the Brisbane Musical Union, adding: “He should have a claim to some fame as a naturalist and artist. Quite recently I saw a book of drawings in water colour, 126 specimens of Queensland butterflies and moths, from nature, and painted by Sylvester Diggles and Miss Rowena Burkett. The lady was a niece of Mr. Diggles, and was taught drawing and colouring by him. She did the majority of the pictures, but it is only by the signature that one knows the artistic hand was changed. The pictures show the caterpillar and male and female of the species with the foliage on which they fed, and in one instance a parasitic insect that bored into and laid its eggs in the cocoon, feeding on the rightful occupant of the nest. I understand that a series of Queensland birds were also done; and that one picture of a lyre bird is truly a work of art. Miss Burkett married Mr. W. Cummings, of the Queensland National Bank, and my acquaintanceship with her in North Queensland is a treasured memory of a gentle and gracious lady, who in other circumstances would have made a name for herself as artist or musician. She passed to her rest some ten years ago at Sandgate.”

My correspondent, if a careful reader of my “Memories,” would have found a good deal about the work of Sylvester Diggles as a naturalist and artist. The ornithological work of Mr. Diggles is well recognised in Australia. Miss Burkett’s work also was referred to, and having had the honour to know that lady in Townsville, I have a full appreciation of her genius as a painter and musician. I also mentioned Mr. George Diggles, a son of Sylvester Diggles, who is well known in the Post and Telegraph Department in Brisbane.

During the currency of these Memories in the “Courier,” I was shown a copy of the will of the Report. Rev. Dr. James O’Quinn, who described himself in the doc as “Roman Catholic Bishop of Brisbane.” It was a simple doc. The great Bishop’s library and personal effects at Dara were to go to his successors and to be handed down, while his real estate, land and the like, was to be placed in trust with the Right Rev. Dr. Quinn, Roman Catholic Bishop of Bathurst, and the Rev. Father James Murray of Maitland, to be used for the purposes of a “Benevolent Asylum,” which term, the will said, was intended to mean and include educational and charitable objects except building, or the maintenance of churches, or the support of clergymen. The witnesses to the will were Robert Dunne, who was to succeed Dr. O’Quinn in the bishopric, and E. J. May. I remember well when Roman Catholics in Brisbane met and decided to put a decent roof over the local head of their Church, and that is how we got the present Dara. Poor Dr. O’Doherty was the moving spirit in it. It will be remembered that Bishop Quinn died on August 18, 1881, at the age of 62 years.


Other Mixed Memories – Miles McIlwraith

The Town Hall- “Policy and Passion”

At Humpybong- A Boating Tragedy

The important suit, Miles v McIlwraith, was an offshoot of the famous steel rails case.

Of this last mentioned I shall have something to say later on. In the cause now mentioned, there was intense interest at the time. William Miles was a member of the Legislative Assembly, and later a member of the Griffith Government. He was Minister for Works and Railways, when the £10,000,000 loan was raised, and consequently was the political sponsor for the cairns- Herberton Railway, which for some years, and especially during construction, was regarded as a white elephant. However, it has justified its existence and has given to Queensland all the benefit of the development of one of the fairest provinces.

William Miles was a pastoralists, a bluff old chap as I knew him, but honest as the day, and of very considerable ability. Of very considerable wealth also. A matter of the charter of the ship Scottish Hero to bring immigrants to Townsville, had been mentioned in the petition by William Hemmant to Parliament, which was the beginning of the steel rails case. It was alleged that when the charter party of the Scottish Hero was signed, Thomas McIlwraith held an interest in the ship, and Saturday and voted in Parliament on the immigration question for five days before the immigrants were landed and the charter completed.

Under the Constitution Act, it was alleged that Mr. Thomas McIlwraith, later Sir Thomas, was liable to a penalty of £500 a day for each day on which his vote was given, or, in all, £2500. The charterers were McIlwraith, McEacharn, and Co., and they and others were the owners. McIlwraith was a brother of the head of the firm, and at the time was Premier and Treasurer of the “Colony.”

The case was heard by Mr. Justice Harding and a special jury of twelve. For Miles, S. W. Griffith led, supported by James Garrick, and Arthur Rutledge, all of whom were knighted later on, while the Attorney-General, Pope Cooper, and P. Real defended.

So far as I remember, the defence set up was that the charter party was without the authority of the owners of the vessel; and that it had terminated before the first of the days on which McIlwraith was alleged to have Saturday and voted. The evidence was pretty lengthy, including a good deal taken on commission in England; and Mr. Justice Harding put up a long list of questions to the jury. The answers were clearly in the defendant’s favour, and Mr. Justice  Harding gave judgment accordingly with costs. The Miles party gave notice of appeal, and there began another and even more protracted phase of the case, which eventually ended at the Privy Council in McIlwraith’s favour.

It may be interesting later on to refer briefly to the proceedings on appeal’ but just now I may say that the views of the public at the time were coloured by their political feelings. The McIlwraith followers held him to be innocent as the unborn babe and the victim of a malignant prosecution. The Griffith element considered that McIlwraith had been a participator in profits under a contract with the Crown in which he, as a Minister, was interested for persona profit.

Looking back over the 44 years which have passed since the hearing of the case – which was in August, 1881- and with a correct perspective, it seems abundantly clear that Sir Thomas McIlwraith was not a party to any impropriety. It is very difficult for a man with big interests to miss having some personal concern in contracts with the Government; but the whole hearing of the Miles v. McIlwraith case, though showing an interest in a contract, was absolutely clear of anything sinister. It was no secret at the time that McIlwraith was very angry when he found out that the contract had been made, and considered that he was in a sense compromised; but it was also well known that he had no part in making the contract. He said on one occasion that his relatives and friends, who were responsible, had acted very foolishly. The occasion gave his political opponents an opening for attack, and in those days, there was a very bitter feeling between the parties.

How plainly are we what Thomas Hardy calls “Time’s Laughing Stocks”? McIlwraith and Griffith developed, grew wiser, more tolerant, and they found it in their hearts to coalesce in Parliament for the sake of their country. As their knowledge of one another increased, there came mutual respect, for each in his way was a great man; but they were never more than colleagues, never real friends.

Of course, after the Steel Rails Case had been disposed of, the Miles v. McIlwraith case was opened, and the Parliamentary bitterness continued to be acute. One night, William Rea, of Rockhampton, made a bonfire and Lumley Hill put a match to it. Perhaps some people today may remember William Rae- a rather tall, very lean, English Radical, with a bitter tongue, and no small amount of vitriolic eloquence. He was not a power in Parliament, but he could sting, and he did not mince matters. One night, I had gone up to the Press Gallery to see Waldron, who was doing notes for the “Observer,” and I stayed listening to Rae. He was very warm, and suddenly upon some statement, Lumley Hill roared out, “That’s a lie!” Now, Lumley Hill had his friends, but he was what even in this day is known as a Parliamentary nuisance. Further, he was a Western pastoralists who had made money, and to a natural personal arrogance there was added the quality which is described in the homely phrase of “purse proud.”

Griffith was on his feet in a flash, and moved that the words be taken down. Hill made an explanation that the words were a quotation, and did not apply to Rea personally. It was a poor subterfuge, but in the heat of the occasion McIlwraith moved that it be taken as satisfactory. This was carried, and as Feilberg put it in “Political Froth” in the “Queenslander,” the motion was that a man might say “That’s a lie” without having to offer an apology. I remember Feilberg also saying that the scene was after tea, and that tea produced the same effect on some people as supper did on dancers at a ball- after it the fun set in!

Various speakers very innocently trespassed with language, and the Speaker at one time had half a dozen cases of words which were considered worthy or unworthy to be taken down.

Meston, the incomparable, rather got the House into a decent humour with a story of the founder of the sect known as “Eclectics,” who termed themselves “Lovers of Truth,” and he suggested that on future occasions, when a member thought something untrue was being said, there should not be the elementary roar of “That’s a lie,” but the formula, “I’m afraid the hon. member would not have qualified as an Eclectic!”

The new Town Hall of Brisbane is taking shape, rising from the street level, or the foundation level so well set down and up by Mr. Arthur Midson. Passing by the other day, I reflected upon the fact that we very nearly reflected upon the fact that we very nearly had markets there, instead of the great building which Messrs. Hall and Prentice as architects, and Mr. Carrick as builder, are giving us. Shortly after I came here, in 1881, an endeavour was made to utilize the site, the Market Reserve, it was called, but there were two points of opposition. One section urged that a better place for markets would be the saleyards, the site of the present State Produce Agency; and Mr. Benjamin Babbidge, later on Mayor of Brisbane, stood for selling the present Town Hall and site, and building on the reserve.

“Ben” Babbidge was a builder of railway rolling stock, agricultural machinery, and many other things, with a workshop somewhere about the South Brisbane Railway Station. A keen, stubborn, stalwart Englishman, and, with Arthur Midson, “Tom” Farry, Charles Reese, and a few others, a leader of the Protectionist movement in Brisbane. Babbidge and Farry have gone to their rest- good citizens, and warm-hearted, charitable men. They were great friends- one a very strong English Protestant, and the other a devout Roman Catholic. It would cheer “Ben” Babbidge’s heart to see the new Town Hall being built on the old Market Reserve, for he was one of the old aldermanic fathers of that idea. Probably he knows all about it- that is, if the departed take an interest in our little mundane affairs; and I’m sure he would be glad to see the tower and dome included in the job.

Mr. Arthur Midson, too, was always a keen advocate of a worthy sort of Town Hall, something that the Brisbane-ites of a hundred years hence might regard with pride. We should build such places forever. Posterity will get the benefit, so let posterity foot its share of the bill. Whenever I pass the new building, I visualize the short, sturdy form of “Ben” Babbidge standing four square and battling for what he considered the right thing. Probably some of his folk survive in Brisbane. If so, it may please them to know that he is not forgotten.

I was in Brisbane when Mrs. Campbell Praed’s book, “Policy and Passion,” came out, and wrote a review for the “Observer.” It was considered then rather a hot ‘un, as little R. J. Leigh put it. The best review was in the “Courier,” written by Brunton Stephens, who, with his eyes to the heavens, saw only the glory of the stars. He gave over a column of it, and no wonder, for it was a fine work, and it had a local habitation if not a name. Leichhardt’s Land did not attempt to disguise the fact that it was Queensland, and the local colour was very strong, but not so strong as some of the yarn. Mrs. Campbell Praed was a daughter of Thomas Lodge Murray-Prior, of Maroon, between Boonah and Beaudesert, who was a member of the Palmer Government, as Postmaster-General. He was a very fine man of the good old “pure merino” type. Mrs. Praed, after her marriage, lived mostly in England, “a charming woman with a beautiful mind.” That was how a mutual friend described her. Another of her books was “Nadine,” which was a very vivid thing with a lot of sex in it, and which girls were not supposed to permit their dear mammas to read. Still another book was “Christina Chard,” and probably the best of them, one scene where the unmarried Christina calls its father to the bedside of her dying child, being intensely dramatic.

Mrs. Campbell-Praed put lots of Australian colour or Queensland colour into her work. I think I wrote the reviews for the “Courier,” of all her books after “Policy and Passion.” The Murray-Priors were a brainy family and, as I remember, all were of a charming temperament; but the head of the house, I remember best- Thomas Lodge Murray-Prior- and don’t you forget it. It was he who, when driving his own bullock team into Ipswich, was coarsely chaffed by a “common bullocky” whom he fought, a really fair “go” and badly walloped him “for your obscenity, dam’ you!”

From Northgate after the foregoing appeared, (Mrs.) Mary Guthrie sent the following: “I was delighted to read in this morning’s ‘Courier,’ your references to a Queensland novelist of the last generation, Mrs. Campbell Praed. There was only one fault, as the schoolboy said of the pudding- there was not enough of it. As a writer of stories, many of which have appeared in the “Queenslander,” I am very much interested in her. As she was before my time, many of her historical references to “Leichhardt’s Town” are obscure to me, and none of our histories have enlightened me. Were the Queensland Premiers really housed in a mansion in the Botanic gardens? And did a Premier shoot himself, as depicted in one of her novels? I understand she is still living in London, where, in conjunction with Justin McCarthy, she has given us several fascinating books.”

The Premiers of Queensland certainly were not housed in the Botanic Gardens, and not one of them had the good sense to shoot himself. This last remark is on the assumption that it would be good for the country if all politicians could be tempted or driven to what the Japanese used the term “happy despatch.” Mrs. Campbell Praed’s “artistic verisimilitude” must not be mistaken for history. The younger generation has not read Mrs. Campbell Praed, and that is their loss.

It should be made clear that the whole peninsula, from the Deception Bay shores of Reef Point right round to Clontarf, or Hayes’s Inlet, used to be known as Humpy Bong. That still is the name, though in the beginning, it was Umpie Bong, and Redcliffe was the actual site, vide “Courier,” of the early sixties, and we now have Clontarf, Woody Point, Scott’s Point, Margate, Redcliffe, Queens Beach, and Scarborough.

As said on an earlier occasion, my knowledge of Humpy Bong dates back to the early eighties (1880s), when along the frontage there was Mrs. Bell’s house on Bramble Bay, Robert (afterwards Sir Robert) Scott’s cottage at the point named “for him,” Tubbs’ slab log place where Orient Place is now, Sutton’s shack, also of slabs and logs, where Hurley House stands, O’Leary’s Redcliffe Hotel just then built, Landsborough’s rambling old place just between Redcliffe and Queen’s Beach, Scarborough Hotel just completed, and a run by a good chap named Pollard, and the charming seaside place of Dr. Hobbs on Reef Point, which Mrs. Jocumsen recently rebuilt and improved.

On the back track from Woody Point to the Brisbane road were the Adams family, Mr. Snooks, who had been farm manager for Dr. Hobbs, and Haskins. The last named is the only one of these old hands still knocking about, though the widow of Mr. Adams is at the time of writing, cheery, and well in her eighty fourth year, and I am told that Mrs. Snooks also survives. Stubbins was more at the back of Margate, and that fine old pioneer, Cutts, was at Bramble Bay. Out on the old Brisbane road, was the post office kept by Mitchell, just three miles from Redcliffe, and there we had to go for our letters; while further along towards the upper water of Hayes’s Inlet, now known as the Saltwater, were the Duggan and Sparkes homes.

It is about 46 years since the hotel at Scarborough was opened. At the opening, there were “great doings.” S. W. Griffith, W. Horatio Wilson, “Tom” Bunton, and others were concerned in the company, but they had not then a profitable undertaking. Access was the difficulty. People don’t appreciate how big a part transport plays in Queensland affairs. A steamer brought the party down from Brisbane for the celebration. The vessel anchored out, and the visitors were taken into boats, and then carried pic-a-back on the beach. Afterwards people went to Scarborough for the day, or for a week-end or longer. Fish and oysters were plentiful. Once “Tom” Bunton sent down a message – that was in the early days of the Walshs- saying, “Ten coming down on Friday. All Holy Romans!” Of course, that meant a good supply of snapper, crabs and the delectable oysters fresh from the rocks in front of the hotel.

In the early eighties (1880s), the road from Brisbane to Redcliffe was not at all bad. Of course, there was no heavy traffic, and we had no motor cars to stick in the sand or the mud. Often I drove Pollard’s four-horse coach up to Brisbane, and we had no difficulty. Now the road from Petries has been made good for all traffic.

In the old days, Dr. Hobbs had his own track to Scarborough, turning in about three-quarters of a mile from the Saltwater Crossing, running across the Kipper Ring flats, then over the neck of the swamp between the Freshwater and the Kipper Ring, and so along to Scarborough.

The old corduroy across the swamp neck is still there, and in use. It was formed of ti-tree saplings and swamp mud. Some of the surface saplings have gone to dust but the parts in the water and mud have become ebonised, and are as sound as the day they were put in, and that is well over 60 years ago. The corduroy was put down by Captain Douglas Hamilton. Recently out on the Kipper Ring flats, I saw some of the old railway survey pegs- the survey from Narangba to Scarborough, which between ourselves, was propaganda, or advertising, for a land scheme. Please note: Having known the place for so many years, and having seen a thing or two in other lands of pontoon railways, I believe the best way to get by rail from Brisbane to Humpy Bong is via Sandgate, with a punt moving by its own power, and carrying the train backwards and forwards across Bramble Bay. People generally do not seem to understand that these train carrying boats are in use in many parts of the world, and notably from Harwich on the east coast of England to Ostend, on the Belgian coast.

Of the family of captain Douglas-Hamilton, Mr. Fred Douglas-Hamilton of Toombul is, I think, the only surviving male member. Captain Douglas-Hamilton was one of a distinguished Scottish family, and came to Queensland over 60 years ago, making his home between Humpy Bong and Caloundra, and had property near the present Toorbul. He was a splendid man, and I remember that he was a fine swords-man as well as generally athletic. “Sandy,” the elder of the sons, was a tall, dashing chap, and the other brothers were under middle height. “Sandy” died in Brisbane, I think, and another son passed out at Croydon, while Fred. Paddles along comfortably at his quiet home, with a few cows and some poultry, and a bit of fishing for sport up Caloundra way. I met him a few years ago up at Beerburrum, and heard from him a very plain opinion of the prospects of the returned soldiers there. He was quite right in his estimate of a dismal failure.

The Douglas-Hamiltons were friends of the Landsboroughs, the Waughs, the Wolfes, and others of the old settlers on Humpy Bong. My old friend of Toorbul gave me a graphic description of the narrow escape from drowning of Landsborough, who dashed overboard from a boat to the assistance of a young fellow who had fallen out of a punt. The lad clutched Landsborough around the neck, and when the last-named broke free, he was too exhausted to give further help, and the lad was drowned.

One of the worst boating tragedies in Moreton bay was that which led to the deaths of W. J. Sheehan, of Milton, Herbert Slaughter, of Sandgate, and the two fine lads of Mr. E. A. Bulmore. Of Oakwood station, out Charleville way. Another of the pt, Mr. Llewellyn Best, of Sandgate, was saved. All three of the men were married, and with families. The sad event cast a gloom over Sandgate, where all were well known and esteemed. Mr. Bulmore’s boys were holidaying at Sandgate, and they joined the men on a fishing trip in a sailing boat, the Alarm, to the Scarborough reefs. They left the fishing ground early in the afternoon, and were seen passing Woody Point, but as they did not return to Sandgate, either that night or the next morning, inquiries were made. The boat evidently had capsized between Woody Point and Sandgate, probably near the first-named, and drifted back towards Scarborough, where it was found bottom up, and Mr. Best alone on it. The others had fallen off during the night, Mr. Sheehan had made a gallant effort to save one of the boys, holding him up as long as possible, but at last was washed off the boat and both sank. Mr. Pollard, who was then landlord of the Scarborough Hotel, got a horse, galloped down to Woody Point, got a boat and rowed over to Sandgate with the news. It may be remarked that a pretty stiff breeze had sprung up in the afternoon of the accident, the water was rough and cold, and that when Mr. Best was rescued, he was in a very exhausted state.

Mr. E. A. Bulmore was at one time a member of the Legislative Assembly for Ipswich, I think. The Humpy Bong peninsula in those days, and for many years after, had no telegraph or telephone, and the communication with Sandgate or Brisbane was by small steamers or the small sailing boat in which those fine old citizens, Mr. Cutts or Mr. Adams, used to run us backwards or forwards occasionally.

Beenleigh is a comfortable and prosperous town which nestles on a gentle slope between the Logan and Albert Rivers. I went there first about June, 1881, in connection with a Kanaka labour case. The “Observer,” which I was editing, was very much interested in the subject, and I was asked to go down. The defendants were Mr. Mat Muir, the manager of the Queensland National Bank’s Logan River mill, and Mr. G. Hausmann, of Hausmann and Sons, who were down on the Albert. The charge was that they had neglected to pay in return passage money for kanakas, four in each case. The kanakas had elected to remain in Queensland, when their time had expired, and no one knew whither they had wandered, but the money had to be paid in all the same, and if the boys did not appear, it went into the Consolidated Revenue. That was a rather peculiar way to collect revenue, but it was the law; and the Police Magistrate, Mr. Alexander, gave evidence of having warned the defendants. The bench was composed of two local justices, who later were very good friends of mine, J. Savage, who had the stores at Beenleigh, and Hinchcliffe, a newspaper man, both of whom are survived by well-known families.

On the next afternoon, we went out to Davy and Gooding’s plantation, and saw the kanakas, who were taking their Sunday rest. Some of them were practicing with bows and arrows, and were fine marksmen, but they were to me, after experience of our Northern aboriginals, very poor at throwing spears. I was no dab at it, as my old friend Archibald Meston was, but I could give the Kanakas a stone and a half and a beating.

Mr. Gooding was a most kindly host, and I remember well our walk down to the Albert River, and looking upon the glorious slopes of Yellowwood Mountain with the afternoon sun hammering out its bronzes on the scrub foliage and on the pale green cane of the clearings. Phil. Agnew did me a very much prized sketch of the river and the mountain, but it went away with many others years ago. He was then in charge of the Post and Telegraph Office at Beenleigh. Beenleigh is a quiet little town, but to me it has memories worth all the gold of the biggest wool grower of our continent.

‘There’s a light in the East and the dawning

Is flushing the sky…”

And the district is full of healthy, honest farmers. Waterford and Yatala each has an interesting history, and the last named was, in the days of Mr. Whitty, one of the most prosperous of the Logan sugar centres. The Waterford Hotel was a favourite halting place in the old days, and lately we had its renaissance under a gallant Queensland soldier, Major Righetti, who served both in the South African and the Great War, being badly wounded in the first, and losing his fine son, Allan, in the second.

North Queenslanders were very much interested in the distribution of the £8000 reward for the smashing up of the Kelly Gang of bushrangers and murderers. This gang has almost had an apotheosis in the minds of some young Australians by means of mischievous printed stories, plays, and screen pictures. They were a rotten crowd, cradled in crime, of bad convict stock, and without the least respect for human life.

The head of the Queensland contingent of police was a Northerner, Sub-Inspector O’Connor, and a relative of the Governor, Sir Arthur Kennedy. He was a very distinguished looking chap, a splendid bushman, and well experienced with the Native Police. With him was “Tommy” King, then a sergeant, and the native troopers, all of whom were wonderful trackers. “Tommy” King told me, “Any one of ‘em could track a bee!” It is well known that the Queenslanders did not get “a fair go” from some of the heads of the Victorian police, who resented the intrusion, and when it came to the “cut up” of the reward, it was much the same. O’Connor, though a poor man, said he would not take any of the money but insisted on fair play for King and “the boys.” The Colonial Secretary took the matter up, pointing out that the Kellys admitted that the trackers kept them in bounds for months, and Mr. Palmer characteristically put it, “They were the worst treated of the crowd.” The fear of the Kelly Gang was that, if once they came out from the ranges, the trackers would follow them down, and so the whole of the district where the gang operated was for a long time without serious trouble; that was until the last fatal stand at the Glenrowan bush hotel, and there one of the native troopers was wounded. O’Connor married a Victorian girl, one of a big brewery family, retired from the Police Force, and later on went for a trip to England. I believe that he died while in his native land overseas.

I had published in these memories an account of the fatal spearing near Woolgar of Sub-Inspector Kaye, taken from a rather unauthorized version. Mr. R. S. Hurd, whose knowledge and sources of information are always very sound, writes giving a variation of the statement which I published, but it may be observed that in my article, I said: “The main report on the episode was made by Mr. J. A. Holmes, of Oak Park, Dalrymple, who had been a chum of Kaye when they were lads in England.”

I was not in the North at the time of Mr. Kaye’s death, but followed very closely the report of Mr. Holmes which was published shortly after the sad event. Mr. Hurd, in a letter to the editor of the “Courier,” says: “I was much interested in General Spencer Browne’s account of the sad end of Sub-Inspector Henry Pollock Kaye (son of Sir John Kaye, author of ‘History of the Indian Mutiny’), but the account differs in a material point from a statement given me by the late Mr. Eglinton, P.M., who was camped a few miles away at the time of the tragedy, and held an inquiry into it. The evidence showed that after the blacks had been dispersed, Kaye was riding alone through a scrub, leading a packhorse, on which were his firearms. The blacks ambushed and speared him. I must confess I could not believe that Kaye would have been so careless, considering his experience of the blacks, but I had no doubt as to Mr. Eglinton being correct in recalling the evidence, as he was a very careful man in such matters. He told me he had previously cautioned Kaye not to camp near his fire, as the blacks were very treacherous, but I think no experienced bushman would do that in strange country. I knew Kaye very well, as he, with a younger brother, came out in the Flying Cloud with me to Brisbane in 1868, and shortly after arriving we made up a party to go up to the Gympie goldfield and do some prospecting for gold. We went up by the newly marked tree line, the other members of the party being Dawes (a brother of Bishop Dawes), and Walter Buchanan, who had helped to mark the line. The trip was a very interesting one, the heavily timbered vine scrubs and scenery from the hill country, by the cedar getters’ camp, were worth the journey. The blacks had a large camp near Gympie, some 200 of them, and some had been fighting, and were badly scarred.”

Some people complain, the people from whom we suffer many complaints, that the State stations and other stations employ aboriginals. With a hypocritical affectation of being wide-minded, they say they do not object to black brother being given a job, or even the ebony Mary, provided that the award rates of pay are given. Of course, that is the equivalent to a declaration that black brother and his spouse, or sister, or mother may “go walk-about,” and live on ‘possum, from which the fur chaser has taken the pelt, or even work for the fur chaser, without an honest pay. It’s the station employment that raises the ire of the gentlemen of complaints. In the early eighties, (1880s), philanthropists were discussing the subject, and some of them even then favoured aboriginal segregation within reservations upon which the white man, withal his corrupting habits, would set foot at his peril. I remember Mr. Robert Christison, of Lammermoor, saying that he had 150 aboriginals working on his station, and that they were “good servants”- the horror of the term!- considering their nature and training. But Mr. Christison “saw good in everything.” However, we may be sure that perhaps 50 of the 150 were working, and probably a dozen worked regularly. The balance would live peaceably, assured of a fair run of meat of sorts when a beast was slaughtered, and with all rights of hunting and fishing reserved to them.  Mr. Christison had four aboriginals in England for education, and he held that they were capable of a fair degree of civilization. A little while ago, I had a full-blooded aboriginal lad working for me, and later he went away to learn farming, as he intended to go on the land. He was one of the most intelligent lads, black or white, that I have ever known. When last I saw Mr. Christison, early in 1888, I forgot to ask him how his experiment of educating the four aboriginals in England worked out. The trouble with the educated aboriginal has always been, and always will be, that the world has no place for him, and no suitable wife. In these days a lad ay go to Barambah, or other settlement, and find a wife. In the old days he had, if he married at all, to take an uncultivated uncultured Mary, with all the reek of the race about her.