Backward Glance - Father's Day
  • Wednesday 29 August 2018

The first Sunday of September is celebrated as Father’s Day in Australia.

It is a day to say thanks and show appreciation for fathers and father figures who inspire and support a child with guidance and kindness. 

Interesting facts show that Australian fathers are quite diverse and there is a trend to more stay-at-home dads.

In the new breed of modern families in Australia, fathers, grandfathers and guardians all play an important role in caring for those they love.

Just what is the perfect present for a dad or a carer? Perhaps a handmade card, a special drawing, or even just a big hug.

There are lots of activities many dads enjoy on their special day, like playing football in the park, where dad can pretend to kick goals just like JT.

As many fathers or grandfathers grow older, stories of their life and experiences can be captivating to young ones.

You might think about keeping these memories alive by recording them for future generations to enjoy and treasure.

Some memories may tell of hardship and adventure, of times when men would leave home often travelling to find any type of work to support their families.

Today, many fathers and mothers still travel great distances, like the hard working FIFOs, who work away from home and family for weeks at a time.

Some fathers or carers are rostered to work on Father’s Day, including members of the emergency services.

Nurses, doctors, police officers, ambulance officers, firemen and Australian Defence Force members, must go where they are needed – it’s the nature of the important job they do.

Many dads volunteer for the Rural Fire Brigade, as surf lifesavers and with the SES or other community groups, and are always ready to help in emergencies, but are sometimes called out to work on special days, including Father’s Day.

Descendants of early pioneer families still live in the Sunshine Coast region.

Many of the early pioneers had large families, so there was always a brother or sister to keep you company, or check in with, if dad was working away. 

Sons often followed in their father’s footsteps, taking on the family business or trade to support themselves and the generations to come.

Renowned Sunshine Coast surfer Trevor Tripcony seems to have saltwater running through his veins from his early pioneering family members.

Percy Tripcony, son of Constantine, was one of 10 children and the grandson of master mariner Thomas Tripcony.

In 1861, Thomas selected “Cowie Bank”, a large parcel of land on the mainland shore of Pumicestone Passage, opposite Bribie Island.

The water men of Moreton Bay, brothers Percy, Thomas and Hector Tripcony, built a number of passenger and cargo boats at their boat yards near Brisbane.

Percy and his wife Euphemia raised four children during that time.

In 1892, Edward and Elizabeth Lawley married and immigrated to Brisbane from England.

They departed Brisbane after the “Great Flood” of 1893 and travelled to Maleny.

Elizabeth carried baby Ernest on horseback up the steep rough range track, led by husband and father Edward.

They initially lived in a house opposite the original site of the first Maleny School but later bought land at the top of the hill, overlooking the town, where they raised their four children and made their living dairy-farming.

Beachgoers Doris and Victor Suosaari met at the Maroochydore Surf Life Saving Club in 1930.

They married in 1932 and lived on the Suosaari family cane farm at Bli Bli.

Victor was born in Finland, one of six children of Basilus and Anna Suosaari. 

The family had immigrated to Queensland in 1916, after brief stays in Brisbane and the Gympie district, they settled in the Bli Bli region.

This hard-working family worked the property as a cane farm, which Victor took over following the death of his father in 1939.

Peachester’s Jim Hall was known as “the Whittler”.

He was born in 1920 in Woodford, where his father was a farmer.

The family later moved to Beerwah and Jim started whittling at the age of nine.

His mother and father did not mind the chips of wood on the kitchen floor and encouraged Jim with his craft.

One of seven children, Jim attended Nambour Rural School.

Jim Hall's collection of wooden carvings has been donated to Peachester History Group and is currently housed in the Woodford Museum until Peachester’s new museum is complete.

In a time before Father’s Day was even thought of, fathers were very important to their families in many ways.

Their tenacity to provide for their families and make a home for them in tough times was often taken for granted. 

This Father’s Day is a chance to say thank you to all the men in our community, whether it be your father, grandfather or those who help us out in times of need.

Thanks to Sunshine Coast Council’s Heritage Library Officers for the words and Picture Sunshine Coast for the images.

 

Image details 

Hero: Frank Foster and son with a truck load of furniture, 1930s. Frank established a sawmill at Cooloolabin with his brother Victor and father Albert John. Foster.

Image 1: Maroochydore Volunteer Fire Brigade with their fire truck, Maroochydore, ca 1940.The brigade was inaugurated by the Maroochydore Progress Association in December 1937. 

Image 2: Twin brothers Eddie and Ossie their sister Doris of Conondale, ca 1930. The Tilney twins helped their community minded father George construct the first Conondale School which opened in 1915.

Image 3: Group of campers enjoying a meal in their tent on Pincushion Island during their annual fishing trip to the Maroochy River, Maroochydore, 1906.

Image 4: Harold Took with his father behind the counter of their Took's General store, located on the corner of Bulcock Street and Minchinton Street, Caloundra, ca 1939.

Image 5: Edgar and his father Edward ‘Ted’ Lawley cutting sugar cane for cattle feed at Maleny, ca 1920.

Image 6: Percy Tripcony celebrating his eightieth birthday in Brisbane, 4 August 1991. Percy was a boat builder and a member of a Pumicestone Passage pioneering family.

Image 7: Tripcony Brothers in sailboat, ca 1892.

Image 8: Jim Hall known as ‘the Whittler’ of Peachester, 2000.

Image 9: Group of men from the Glass House Mountains camping at Caloundra Headland, 26 December 1940.