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CHILDHOOD IN EARLY MOGGILL (Bert Shield)


I do not remember my father, William Leonard SHIELD, so my recollections of childhood and youth centre around my mother Eva BEARD, the eldest child of Henry and Eva Beard. Born in 1883, in England, she came to Australia as a baby and was raised mainly in the Bald Hills area.

Widowed at 34 with 5 sons aged from two to ten years, with a small farm and a small quarterly allowance from her husband’s estate, my mother lead a perfectly heroic life. As Paterson said of the man from Snowy River, she was “hard and tough and wiry”. The house was old, large and with detached kitchen separated from the house proper by a “landing”. She worked systematically to maintain it and her family. The outside boiler, the wood stove, the Potts irons, the butter cooler and the meat safe etc.

Sunday morning was given over to Sunday School and Church service. She was Sunday School superintendent during most of my childhood. Our ministers and “local” preachers came from Bundamba and it suburbs. I remember Rev TEMPEST, PROUSE, HARRIS, ELLIOTT and HEATON.

Those were horse and buggy days until the arrival of the first cars and one ton trucks - Dodge, Overland, Rugby, Buick, Hudson, Cadillac, Ford and Chevrolet. I learned to drive on brother Will’s 1927 Chevrolet. I remember how, as primary school children, we ran to the fence, on the sound of an approaching car, to watch it drive past. At home, we watched the first mail planes, DH 86s, fly over on their journey from Archerfield to Longreach and Darwin.

The Moggill Primary School was always, in my time, a one teacher institution under Mr HARRISON, Mr MORRIS, Mr YOUNG and Mr GUYMER, in that order. I imagine rag hats, braces and bare feet were the order of the day. The school and the church were the only public buildings in Moggill.

I can recall the cricket played in ANSTEAD’s paddock, the tennis at “Kareellaa” fostered by Ted LATHER (whose favourite shot was a vicious top spin forehand), the pipe line trench dug with pick and shovel, the coming of the telephone (Mrs APLIN ran the exchange) and the advent of electricity.

I can recall, too, my departure at the age of twenty to begin a teaching career in the Bundaberg area, a career that took me over a very large part of the State. Of the three remaining ‘sons’, Will is in Caloundra, and Jim and I live active lives, in retirement in Mackay and the Sunnybank area respectively, choosing to live on at the sites of our last secondary schools.

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Moggill - History - Childhood in Early Moggill
This page created and maintained by Bruce Sugars
Last updated 16 January 1997
Copyright ? 1996 by B. Sugars

 

 

 

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