Interview with: Mary Schulz (nee Tutt)
Date of Interview: 4 August 1987
Interviewer: Tapuitea Hartogh
Transcriber: Felicity Nappa
Mary talks about her father Herbert Tutt (Bert) born 1885 and died 1961 and her mother Lewis Catherine Tutt (1887-1972) married in 1913 and their five acre banana patch at the base of Mount Cooroy in ca 1914. Mary had three brothers Herbert Stanley 'Stan' Tutt, Charles 'Charlie' William Tutt, and Nigel Reid Tutt. The Tutt family moved to the Kenilworth district from their property at the base of Mount Cooroy late in 1923. They initially lived at 'The Camp', a pioneer slab hut with a shingle roof located close to the Mary River. They subsequently relocated their home to the foot of the ridge running up to the Kenilworth Bluff in order to have easier access to a banana patch Herbert Tutt had purchased. The family remained on the Ghurella property until late in 1939 when Herbert bought two blocks of land in Landsborough from Henry Allen late in 1939. Mary's father built a fibro cottage, on Old Landsborough Road which Bert Tutt named "Woodnook" after a locality he knew in England. During WWII Mary was a hostess at dances held as recreational exercises for troops stationed in Caloundra during WWII. Mary also relates her and her husband Percy Reynolds' involvement in the establishment of the Landsborough Historical Museum.
Image: Mary Tutt in fancy dress for a theme dance 'Song of the Islands', 1942.
Tape 1/Side A
FN Good afternoon Mary. I'd like to thank you on behalf of the Landsborough Shire for allowing me to interview you.
Oh, hello Felicity. Nice to see you. No, it's a pleasure.
FN I'd like to ask you a little bit about your parents. Their names and dates of birth and where they were born.
My mother was born Louise Catherine Annie Doris Grey up at Yondin, Queensland. Father was an inspector of stocks up there, that's right, and they both, 24th January, 1887, that she came back down to Sherwood, Brisbane, and spent all her childhood there with her Grandparents. Her grandparents are buried down at Francis Lookout. My father came out from England. I'm not quite sure, but about 1902 on that S.S. Nineva; S.S. stand for steam and sailing, they used to tell me. He was born on the 12th August, 1885, at Bowen, Lincolnshire, England. He came from a big family of nine, and three brothers came out as migrants.
FN You were saying your mother was a school teacher. Where was she teaching when she met your father?
She was teaching at Wooroolin, it's up near Kingaroy in Queensland where they grow all the peanuts now. But I believe it was a big area for growing maize, I suppose, and Dad and his brother had a farm up there. And she had been teaching school at Boona which is in the ...............Valley from 1905 to 1911. Oh, she just loved Boona. Some of the happiest memories she used to talk about, and I suppose she went from Brisbane up to Ipswich by train, then they had a train mine out from Ipswich to Boona which I don't think they have now. And she had to board with some of her pupils' parents, but they'd be about five miles away, so she had to buy a pony and a side saddle, oh, it's a lovely photo of her.
FN Your parents met, where did they get married?
After a short transferred to Wooroolin, that's where she met Dad. And then her people lived at Redgate, Murgen, which is about, if I remember right, about five miles down from Murgen. So Mum was married on the 16th July 1913 at 1 Georgie, Redgate, Murgen at her parents place, Mr & Mrs Grey. Oh, it was one of her sorrows, I suppose, there was no photographer, because it was too far out, the minister had to ride out to marry her, and she carried golden wattle because around there, all the golden wattle is beautiful, it should be out now.
FN What was your father's occupation?
Well, of course that's when Dad was a farmer growing corn then, maize.
FN What made them leave that area?
I believe it was a great big drought. Very, very severe drought.
FN Was that in 1917?
No, 1913, they were married. And Mum told me, Stan was born in 1914 in Murgen, or rather Stan Tutt. They must have come down after that.
FN And where did they move to?
They moved from there to what's called......................and went on to a dairy farm. And that's where next brother Nigel was born at Nambour, but not at the Nambour Hospital as you know it now. It was just called Nurse Dolly's and then my next brother Charlie was born there at Nurse Dolly's and then when I was coming along, they had moved definitely from there over to .............. at the bush Mt. Kooroy and Mum wasn't very well because there'd been a lot of Asian flu. Big epidemic they told me, this was early 1919. And so she went down, Nurse Dolly had shifted down to Cleveland in Queensland, the other side of Brisbane and Mum was driven in by sulky and got the train at Eumundi, and then train down to Brisbane and then she took down to Cleveland.
FN All the way to see nurse Dolly?
Oh yes, to have me.
FN What year was that?
1919, 23rd September.
FN Where did you spend your early childhood?
Well, I don't even remember being at Sunrise..... Cooroy to Lower KenilworthFN And what was your father's occupation when you were at Lower Kenilworth?
Oh, that's when he was cutting sleepers and girdle for the railway, timber worker.
FN And you were telling me he was away a lot? ......your mother to do a lot of the rearing of the children?
Yes. I remember him being away a lot you know. Oh, it was hard, really, I suppose. Now I look back on it for Mum. And our supplies used to come out three times a week with what we called the Mail Coach from Eumundi to Kenilworth, that was the only way. You rolled up your sugar bag and you put your order on the outside of it, and that was sent to the butcher. And you just write a little note, I remember Mum writing them, what she wanted and sent down to the Co Op. Oh, the first shop I remember sending to was Fred Arando. And then of course your mail came out from Eumundi too. And if you want to go anywhere, you had to catch this old Cream Coach. There was a big Butter Factory in Eumundi in those days and that's why cream trucks used to go down. But I do remember Harry Gordon in the first place having horses and coach and when it was wet weather, they used to just take what was called the little coach to get through Belli Creek because there was no bridge.
FN How many horses did you have on the little coach?
Four. I've only got one recollection of being on a coach and horses. And my Grandmother used to live at Maroochydore and it was marvellous to go for one holiday when Mum went once a year to see her. And it must have been a wet season in January and I remember it was night. It was dark because it had been raining and raining and the Belli Creek was up and I remember us sitting up in the closure of this coach and Mr Gordon, he wasn't a tall man; such an honest man he was, one of our neighbours. And he took a lantern and he got down, and he...... I can still see, oh, spooky! He waded across the creek holding the lantern up, while we sat there and waited to see if he could get the horses and coach across or we'd have to stay there all night. And then I remember coming back in...........we got through. You know I can't remember another thing of that trip but oh, that always stayed in my mind.
FN And he was a neighbour of yours?
Yes Harry Gordon.
FN Did he use to bring you the supplies? And he came from Eumundi?
Yes, run accounts in those days.
FN What does that mean?
That you didn't send any money down. You got your bill at the end of the month and you paid your butcher and your baker too. Oh no, Mum made all our own bread, so we didn't have to pay any baker.
FN What sort of meat did you get? Did you get salted meat to meet the situation?
Yes, a lot of salted meat and also Gordon, he used to kill a calf or a bullock and the boys used to go and help or rounding up the odd jobs and cleaning up everything. And so we used to, they worked him like the golden neighbours, like Pequins or something and each one would have a quarter of the beast, so if there's no refrigeration, they ccould manage to eat that because they all had big families. And we used to get some.
FN Did you have your own house cow?
FN And who would churn the butter? Was that your job being the youngest girl?
Yes. Oh, I didn't really churn the butter so much as when we went up to Murgen, and it was hot up there and no refrigeration. And we went up to Mum's old place where she'd been married; her parents had been; oh Felicity, we used to churn and churn and churn, and that's what had happened. Another thing came good was I learnt to be a good speller.
Because I used to have to learn my spelling while I churned and you weren't allowed to get up and run away. And that was the other good thing I think that ever came out of the butter making.
FN You were telling me you had three older brothers. Have you got their dates of birth?
Stan Tutt, the writer, the 16th May, 1914. He was born up at Murgen in a cottage hospital. And then Nigel was born up nurse Dolly's hospital at Nambour on 26th February, 1916. And then Charlie was born on 20th December, 1917 at nurse Dolly's hospital. So you can see that's where I went, and that's where I got Ethel in my name, after nurse Dolly; nurse Ethel Dolly.
FN And you were the last born and the only girl, you were born in 1919?
FN Where did you go to school?
I went to school at what was called Lower Kenilworth.
FN Is that building still standing today?
Yes, not in the school ground though. Stan and I have gone up and looked. The old school ground is there and the big old horse paddock on the hill, I believe this pioneer Bill Hilker gave the land down at his big paddock for a school to be built there many years before. And then when it was closed, it's been transferred up to what we used to call Top Kenilworth and it's used just for scouts then. So it's lovely to see it. It has preserved, you know.
FN Yes. You were telling me a funny story about Stan and the old grey horse going to school. Do you want to tell me about that?
Well, this is what I've been told because I wasn't old enough to remember. Over at Cooroy, they lived way out of Cooroy.
FN What year did this approximately. Stan was nine when he first started going to school I think, so it would be about 1923.
Yes, about 1923 that Mum having being a school teacher; she was very good teacher too on her English. They taught Stan until he was nine and Nigel until he was seven and then, they thought that Stan was old enough to watch, but first to steer the horse. Nigel used to belt him a lot. So there was an old drover and they had this grey horse and the drover's name was Billy Pike, and that's what they called the horse.
FN They called the horse Billy Pike?
Billy Pike. And Stan was always telling about Billy Pike, how he used to open the gates through the paddock and steered him through. And I believe that this horse, if a man goes on his back he'd move, but when children got on him, they could hardly make him go, so that's why Nigel had to to have a stick at the back and get him going.
FN Stan................Nigel. Doubling?
Yes, doubling. And then we left there, Cooroy, which I can't remember and went up to Kenilworth and that's where I started. And Mr ...................was the teacher when I went there, and he was the teacher when I left.
FN Did you still have..........................?
FN So how did you get to school?
Walked. Walked across the paddock because where we were, was this side of the Mary River. When I went with the boys, we'd shifted up onto a mountain on the .........., nearest bananas, Dad was growing bananas by the time I was about twelve I suppose. And then I used to have to wade across the Mary River and get across. And then at flood times you didn't go at all.
FN You didn't go to school?
You couldn't, the floods from the Mary River, they'd come down and they used to flood Gympie. And the time when the boys and I were going, we were on the side nearer to school, but at the pedestrian, so we used to cut through Alec McKenz's paddock and there was the maize on these lovely mornings, the corn tops were up and all the cockateers, wow, they used to come up and play out. The farmers weren't very thrilled about them but we loved them. But we used to play out with Pequin kids and Stutan kids and we'd go off to school and my friend............ Oh, just as well because I still remember meeting black snakes and that on the way to school. The boys used to despatch them.
FN How big were they?
Big. Of course they were country kids and our little school was only about twenty seven to thirty three there. Oh, it was a happy little place, you know. You could only see one house in a distance, one house. And there was a corner of the Mary River came down, and the Cherela creek came into, and Yahu creek down. ...........Pioneer Park in Lower Kenilworth, they call Pioneer Park now, beautiful place. Well, in summer time, of course they could all swim. The girls used to go swimming two days a week at dinner hour and the boys had three days a week. I remember we used to be a bit sour because the boys had three days. And I could be allowed to go down to the big swimming pool and, it's deep, but you had to be able to swim otherwise you couldn't go.
FN That's how you spent your lunch time?
Yes, at summer time. But I don't know, we used to play lots of games like rounders and twos and threes and hide and seek down our playground. And I would say that our teacher then, when I look back, he did take an interest on any kids playing around or something and seeing that there wasn't a lot of squabbles and bulling going on. In those days, the teacher, had to be a married teacher, they had a house only a few hundred yards away from the school.
FN So what are some of your earliest memories of growing with three older brothers and you being the only girl?
My first memories were that I was allowed to go down the creek and go canoeing in the Mary River. And I wasn't because I couldn't swim.
FN How old would you have been then?
Well, I learned to swim before I went to school because I was told I could go, I had to wait for either Mum or Dad to go too, which didn't always work in, until I could learn to swim. And it's marvellous watch you learn to swim. And then my friend Elva McKen, she couldn't swim. She soon learned, we learned together. Dad taught us in the ............somehow. And one of my very earliest memories was that I had been given a little duck and one tin bucket for Christmas which was marvellous when I had to get something like that for Christmas in those days.
FN A live duck?
No, a little rubbery sort of duck. And I'd taken it down, I suppose it would be celluloid, now I think of it, and I'd take it down to the river and the boys have these home made canoes and we were picking these little water things, Mum used to make jam out of them. Everything was used in those days.
FN Mmm, that's interesting ........... figs.
Yes, well that's what we called them. They were little brown things and my brother Charlie, I was in the canoe and we were using this tin billy, and he leaned over too far and out I went clothes and all. We were under the, you know, and the only thing I was so sorrowful about was the fact that I could never get my billy. They dived and dived for it.
FN What about your duck?
Well, it seemed to, I think they must have got it because I see it later on in photos but I still remember that really.
FN So your three brothers were a bit wild or were they just..
Oh no, no. They just learned with Dad away. Stan used to go and catch cod fish. He used to dig for the worms down in the scrubs down near Pequin's crossing. I've got photos there that was no bridge across to Pequins and they were a big family. Four of their girls were picked for the Queensland hockey team as they grew up. Oh, they went many a times with Queensland hockey team, they were great hockey players.
FN So with your father away, what duties did the boys have to do around home?
Chop the wood. For your fresh vegetables, Mum was a great gardener and she had a corner just fenced off so cattle couldn't get in and horses, and they used to have to go up to McKenz cow yard to bring home little billy carts full of cow manure, and that was for your fresh vegetables; cabbages, carrots, and strawberries to make jam.
FN What about fresh water?
Fresh water, you have no idea Felicity, I'm still thankful to have running water. I've only been on what you call town water since 1976. Water was always a problem. We only had a five hundred gallon tank and oh, there was this little sort of hand cart and it was a distance from the Mary River, that the boys used to have to put two kerosene tins and go down and they used to drag this back. There are photos of them. One each side of the little shaft in the front......
FN It must have been hard work for them.
yes, and Mum used to have to boil up kerosene tins on the stove and then there was big stones put outside with two bars across.
FN Why would you do that, with the two bars across? Was that to boil up the kerosene tins?
Yes, they had fire underneath. That's how she did her washing. She had a wood stove inside. But we only lived in a small place.
FN What sort of place was it?
It had shingle roof. Well, it turned out, now I'm older, I didn't appreciate it when I was a kid. It was made of slabs, it had a slab floor, it had a shingle roof and it had like a scullery, they called kitchen.
FN What does that mean?
Oh, a sort of little put on piece. And it had been the first building on ................where, when the pioneers went up to Kenilworth and they pioneered their properties. And housing was hard to come by evidently in those days, it was. And we went to live in it and there was another room put on for the boys as a bedroom. And Mum kept it nice. I remember she even wall papered it, and it was the nicest paper she could get down in.............She could lie in her bedroom and read.
FN Lovely, that's a good idea.
Possibly, that's why Stan is so good in his writing.
FN Can you remember any other stories of Stan or your brothers when they were growing up?
Oh, swimming in the river and waiting for the water melons to come in. Oh, it just seem so, all happy time.
FN Very happy time.
Yes, it does. And we used to have sing song. You might think what did we do as we were growing up. Well, we had a piano. Gordon's had a piano. Chrisy Adams' had a piano. It seemed to me, well I learned a bit. Mum could play and somebody always played the piano. So we used to go about once a month to these peoples' places and they'd come to us. Oh, this when we'd shifted to a bigger house, up near the bananas later, and it was out sing songs and Dave Gordon used to play the saxophone and Nigel had taught himself the picolo. And we used to have musical evenings and then other boys from all other farms used to ride over and they'd hitched their horses up on to the trees.
FN Sounds like a wonderful time. Stress free.
Oh, it was. And the other ladies, people that used to come over, they'd all bring cakes, all great cooks, plenty of eggs, plenty of butter.
FN So all the community all worked in together to help.
Well, just in our little encampment part, in our immediate area. Oh, on the picnic..............of Kenilworth. Oh, it was the old picnic ground. You'd have to walk over at Jerilla creek and then up on the other side to see where it was. And they played cricket, they were terrific on their cricket. The boys, the three of them in their whites. That's how I know Jack Beausang and all these, they used to come down from up Maleny and play cricket against the Kenilworth teams.
FN Would you have picnic on that day? Would everyone bring food?
Oh, yes. It was a real basket picnic. None of this sitting off by yourself. And at Jerilla Creek, even to this day, we used to go down in the hot weather and under the shade of these big trees just near the creek and they'd put in our boxes, they'd put seats between the trees, just planks, and they'd put boxes, and they'd put the cups in them, no sauces. All these big white cups, and do you know, nobody ever stole those cups. And I went there year after year and they were there for the use of the ones who had picnics there. And these great hockey players, the Pequins girls, that man, the one from Brisbane came up, taxation officer used to come; what they called varsity girls, university girls; and we used to have these big hockey days. I did learn to play hockey and played ..............as I got older. But the cricket and hockey, and tennis; we all learned to play tennis. Mr Beverly, our teacher was a great tennis player, so he taught us.
FN Did you have tennis court up there?
FN What were the courts made of?
Ant bed. It must have taught the committee I suppose it was, who were all very busy men with farms and to bringing all these ant beds and putting up the posts round...................and we used to walk out from the school grounds into this paddock up on top of the hill.
FN What's a good thing about ant bed?
Oh, it's lovely and hard. It seems to have a beautiful striking surface for the ball coming up to you. They were all ant bed courts in those days. Oh, no. You had to learn to play tennis to be in it up there.
FN What about your mother. Can you remember any of the food or the things that she used to cook because you'd always have to make do, wouldn't you?
Yes, well, having army getting your supplies three times a week from down at Eumundi, well, I remember one time when we were on one side of the river, Mary River when we were living there, that for six weeks, they couldn't get through from Eumundi to us.
FN Why was that?
Because of the floods and there were no bridges. What bridges were, were......
FN Do you remember what year round how old were you then?
I must have been about nine I'd say, because I always remember we didn't have any sugar for six weeks. Mum used to get a sack of flour, a big sack, this high, and she got a great big box, and I'd help her. We lined it with brown paper, thickness and thickness of brown paper and we used to empty the flour in that and it had to sit beside the stove where it was warm so it wouldn't go mouldy in the wet weather. And the boys used to shoot wallabies. What Stan is saying now is so.....
Yea. And they used to skin them and those were our mats on the floor, and on top of it, big box. Mum had a lovely big grey wallaby skin, and the cat always wanted to sleep there of course, and the dog.
FN But then, what would you do, would you cook the wallabies?. I was looking at a recipe book that there's...........wallaby and publicity book you gave me.
That's right. Just occasionally. I remember we did have wallaby tail soup.
FN What did that taste like? Do you remember?
No. I didn't like, rather like ox tail, and I'd never been keen on ox tail soup whether it's because you have a like for that type of soup. But the haunch of a young wallaby was quite nice when Mum used to, she used to bake that and we always had mint. Her being a great gardener, though water was a problem, that's was the thing, oh, how lovely it is to turn your hose on. We used to keep, there was an old kerosene tin, and when the boys washed their hands in a little enamel basin, you didn't throw the water out, they all washed their hands in that. You used to tip it in the kerosene tin and then late in the afternoon, Mum used to go around and she used to dig a little hole beside her plants and she'd tip in a little tin full and she'd cover it with old dry grass and that to mush to keep it in.
FN So you didn't waste a thing?
No. And she always had mint and shed used to have mint sauce with this leg of wallaby which made it quite nice. Probably they've served it up nowadays in a restaurant with some commercial name and we wouldn't know. Now when I look back in those days, riding the horses and that type of thing and the old shows, everybody give their hand work for the shows.
FN You didn't have any electricity of course in those days. What sort of lighting did your mother and father have?
Mother had a very lovely students lamp which was given to her for her wedding present from her brother.
FN What's a student's lamp? What's it run on?
Well, it's run on kerosene. Ah, I can't think of..........
FN It would be about two foot high.
About two foot high and it had a stem on it made of medal. And it was most uncommon. It would run up the stem and it had a, where you fill with kerosene, and a tank made of medal on one side and the kerosene run down. And then on the other side, you could swiffled it round like on the stem with this lovely mantle and a lovely white globe. Mum gave it to one of her Grandsons, he's got it to this day.
FN What other lighting did you have?
Well, otherwise it was mainly I think we had one glass lamp and hurricane lantern, that was all.
FN Did your mother do sewing and that at night?
Well, not particularly, no. We used to try and do all our sewing in the day time. Stan, when he was trying to do his writing, even in those days, he used to knock off work on the bananas early, you know, have his wash, and there weren't showers and bathrooms. And in the dry weather, we have all our baths down the Mary River.
FN And so you'd take some soap down the Mary River?
What Dad called de rubber dub. You wash and you soap and washed out some of the Mary River. And in really dry times, Gordons' women,......... and Ruby and Mrs Gordon, Mum and I, would get together, and they used to take their washing down and their copper on a slide, a horse and slide, and set up. The men would do that for us and then they'd boil out down beside the Mary River, and these round tubs would be taken down and they used to hitch your line right across among the trees there to hang up the washing. But that was over the water problem. Still I think we had more fun.
FN Appreciated it, probably a lot more.
Yes. Of course we swam everyday when it was summer time. That was the big thing. Swimming parties, canoeing parties, water melon parties and these sing songs. Oh, well, there were dances I believe over in the little old Kenilworth hall, but I hadn't sort of really I suppose got to that age.
FN What if someone was sick. What would happen? Did you have any experiences where a doctor was needed?
No, never. Healthy lot, must have been, had to be. The only time I can ever remember, I suppose I should have been taken to a doctor, going to school, somebody came along with their pony and said to me "Get up for a doubler instead of walking this morning." I scrambled up behind him and the flimming horse butt and I shot up in the air and I wasn't far from home. Oh, I still have trouble with my left wrist. It must have been broken, but Mum just patched it up and put cold compresses and I wasn't able to use it for about six weeks. But no, we must have been healthy, like I don't even remember with other families.
FN No. very lucky.
Yea, although I do remember a little sister of a friend of my mother's.............dying. I think she might have had what they call tetanus now.
FN They wouldn't have known about that, that much in those days?
No. She wasn't going to school but I remember Mavis being upset.
FN You would have been too young to remember the Prince of Wales visiting.
No, I don't remember anything about the Prince of Wales. I vaguely remember about Hinkler coming in.
FN Who is Hinkler?
Burt Hinkler, the great aviator that flew that little plane which you see down in our Museum. I don't know if they got it up in the new Museum, but in the old Museum of Brisbane, it used to be hanged from the ceiling.
FN Where did he come from?
FN Where did he fly?
From England to Australia. Yes, Burt Hinkler. And they had these songs, "Hussling Hinkle". I can remember quite well.
FN When would that have been? About in the late 1920's?
I suppose it would be.
FN You would have been taken notice of things then?
Yes. So I finished my schooling at Lower Kenilworth in 1933.
FN What did you do then?
Well, I just helped Mum at home because the three boys were home on the bananas.
FN What age were you when you finished?
Fourteen and three months.
FN And you helped your mother at home?
Yes. So I had to do so much of the cooking and general helping. So you learned to cook then. Oh, you were saying about what did Mum make........ Well, I remember the wallaby, oh, it was lovely stew since she was great on putting dumplings in stews too. And made extra lot of dumplings and then just boiled them up and have them with golden syrup.
FN What about Christmas time. How did you celebrate? Can you remember any Christmas' when you were young? It might not be the same as today but do you want to tell me about one of your Christmas'?
Well, I always used to remember.........., well I realized we were pretty poor, see, we were. Everybody was, we weren't the only one. And this was going in to the depression years of course. And we didn't have decorations. We couldn't afford to buy them. And I remember once that ................ and I went down... the coach to Eumundi. We went down the school holiday, her mother went, so we were allowed to go down. It took all day, you know. Oh, gee, it was a long trip. And buying a few things with this little bit of money I've been given. But the main thing I always remember every Christmas now is that Stan was allowed to take; well he used to chop the wood, the boys chopped all the woods, you see, they axed. And we'd go down along the Mary River and we used to pick out lovely green leaves and vines and that was the one time of the year we used to bring it back and we were allowed to put it over; Mum always had pictures and thing round nice; and we were allowed to decorate with all these green leaves. And we always seemed to get one of those sacada....ones that .......................And I always think in my mind when I hear that it's Christmas. We used to love to go there.
FN Did you have special food at Christmas?
Yes. We always have rooster because chooks weren't............you can't get a what you call a chicken in these days. You had your own chooks and Charlie was the chook man.
FN That's your, the third brother.
He was so keen on fowls. And would you believe in later years when he came out the army after the Second World War, that he was able to do a course and he became a poultry inspector with the primary industries. And that have been sort of the one thing....
FN And you were telling me, Stan has always written, he has always been a writer? Always been interested in English?
Yes. And his grandfather in England was too.
FN Oh well, it runs in the family? Do you love writing?
Yes, I do, I love writing. ........................State School that you ............
FN You have a good way of expressing, you can't learn that, it comes naturally I think.
Oh! no, they were happy days, and then the war came.
FN Go back to the late say 1920's. What happened to your family to move. Did they move from the banana plantation? Something happened to the bananas during the depression?
Oh, yes. We had beautiful bananas, acres and acres and you wouldn't even get the price of what you paid for the case, they were in big wooden cases.
FN So the price dropped out of the banana industry?
FN What did your father do then?
Well, seem to me he used to pick potatoes for the some of the farmers like Bill Hilder and, well I suppose Charlie would be just finishing school. No, Charlie would have been finished. But even when Charlie was finishing school, he'd be kept home on days to help pick up the potatoes. They were all picked up by hand. They were all dug with the fork by hand and it's a bit of a joke in the family. The fork ones, you can put in a big sack and they were part of the pay. They weren't paid a lot in money in those days, once it became so bad in the depression they were paid in potatoes. And Dad, it's a joke now to say, "He made Cherry .............caught a few during the day," because that was his pay and Charlie had to pick up the potatoes.
FN So the depression hit everyone pretty badly, especially in some sort of industry, like the banana industry?
Oh it did, yes. But we used to, on the burns for bananas, we used to go out and watch some settlers on Sunday afternoons.
FN What are the burns?
Well, they fell the scrub, and then it was dried off, and then they'd put fire through it and burned it out, but it'd still be logs, and for some reasons, the birds must have carried the cape goose bush. I don't know if you know what cape goose bush are? It's down south. They're beautiful little things. Well, they'd come in the thousands, and you'd go and, oh, Gordons and we lot, be a Sunday afternoon sort of picnic thing, and we'd pick them by the sugar bag full. And well, we sold those and made jam and, oh, everything that was, we had pawpaws growing and the bananas and we grew beans as a side line..
FN This is your family?
Yes. And then the boys used to, Nigel particularly, had a nice horse. What we called a split bag which put over the back of the horse with a split on each side and carried, we used to take them around Lower Kenilworth and sell the beans to get a bit of cash.
FN Do you remember any swaggies coming through when you were a kid?
No, I can't. We were well off the beaten track at Lower Kenilworth. One thing I can remember, our school might have been even on the record score in Gheerulli, and the diphtheria was bad at one stage. And two children from our school, Laura Sutton and Archie Burton were taken into Gympie hospital because they'd been proved to be carriers one way or another. They had been in contact. So they sent a doctor out to Gheerulli school. We'd never seen a doctor in our life, uh! ....................We were all petrified, you can imagine. And it rained, and Mr Burley came down here and he was laughing because he had the one and only phone. And he'd got the phone message, his wife had come and called him that the doctor couldn't get through to swap the gorilla children. Ha! ha! ha! See, how he got it mixed up.
FN So Mary, this time we're talking about 1930 1932, and you were telling me that your father decided to give up the bananas. What was the story there?
Well, he was still on the bananas when I left school, I know it. And that was 1933 or 1934.
FN You were saying the bananas gave you away rather than you gave.....
Well, we still have them, but then the boys were growing older and they took up, they were good with their axes, they were called good axed men. So they took up falling scrub and a lot of that where forest station..............over past Dimbo out to the Baranga dam; have you ever been there?
FN No, I haven't.
Lovely trip. Stan could tell you. He still likes to go out. And hundreds of acres they fell there for the forestry. They put in tenders for contracts for scrub fellers.
FN So they would only have been seventeen and eighteen then? So what age were you when you first came into the Landsborough Shire?
Nineteen, I think. Well, we were still over in Kenilworth, but we'd bought this piece of land at Landsborough.
FN Where about in Landsborough was it?
Where Stan Tutt now lives.
FN Where is that?
About half a mile down at Landsborough going down towards Brisbane but on the old, what's called the old road. The first Brisbane road went past it,..............of Landsborough. But Mum and I worked still up at Kenilworth and I distinctly remember when war was declared. .................I think to this day, still has agricultural shows and I'd gone over with .......Gordon, my friend, out to ............show. And we knew that things weren't good in the news. Not that we had a radio, we didn't then, at all. And while we were over at the show, the news came over that war had been declared. Because I remember that we were all young girls talking about it and, oh......
FN The news came over what, a loud speaker?
Yes. It was announced there.
FN Did you have a radio in those days to follow events prior to the war starting?
FN So what you heard was word of mouth prior to that announcement?
Yes. Well, the paper, the Daily Mail used to be sent out, we shared with Gordons one copy between us. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday on the cream lorry from Eumumdi. And Dad was always an ...........reader of world affairs. So I suppose I was kept more up to date with it.
FN What was the reaction when the war was announced?
Well, as I say we were young girls, you don't seem to realize this would be such a terrible thing. Although Iwas only thinking of how it would affect you personally. And I suppose the change in your life, we didn't realize it would change our lives so much but then the boys.......
FN You were saying when you heard about World War II, you didn't realize how it was going to change your life. You were still living up at Kenilworth and you were going to tell me about your father?
Well, when Dad went down to Landsborough, and I've got some photos, there was no house there, and they put up two old tents, which they had, where they camped down when they were timber felling down ...........creek out from ............... And the boys had to go into the army at three months at a time. They were called up. They had to go three months training at the time. Well, the three boys all went in, and they went to Brisbane. I think it was their sight of Brisbane.
FN It must have been excited for them in a way?
In a way it was, but they were trying to make a living too at the same time because for salary I think in the first place, it was about six shilling a day. There was only eight shillings a day when they came out. So Dad went ahead down at Landsborough and he grew beans and lettuce and things. And then the boys put up a small cottage there.
FN Where were you living then?
Mum and I were still up at Kenilworth. We were right up on this bluff, the house on the bluff, and it was the highest house in Kenilworth. And oh, I've always been frightened of snakes. I know, twice, once there was a big adder in the house at night time. And we only had this old oil lamp and Stan would come in and Mum said, "I think something brushed down the side of my foot under the table," And Stan, oh, had just come in, it was after dark, with his cricket bat. And Mum lift lamp, she said, "What's the dog looking at?" And she lifted the light off the table and looked under the table and she said, "I believe it's a death adder." And Stan, he'd just grab the cricket bat and he'd kill it. And I know another time, we had a calf tied up outside and Mum was bringing it in because there were dingoes around. And there was another death adder she'd put her foot against, that the boys got. But I was always scared of snakes.
FN So when did you finally join your father down in Landsborough?
I'd say about Christmas. It was so funny coming over. The boys
had bought what was called the model "A" Ford, this is how they used to transport their camp up where they were cutting timber, the scrub. And most of our goods came ......................we did have some........................transport some over in his big truck. But Nigel had come back down to the army, and we had two horses and two cows to come over and you didn't transport them in how they do in stock trans and things now. And they had to be driven over the range from Kenilworth up through Wootha down past Maleny. So he saddled up his horse ....................Nigel, and he drove the two cows, and when he got somewhere up Conondale way, everybody as I say was friendly, he asked some farmer who saw him, and he said , he could put them in his stock yard, cow yard for the night. He didn't know the person.
FN It would have been quite a trip?
Yes. And he put them there overnight and they gave him a bed I believe. He drove them down to Landsborough the next day. Well, I don't know which boy it was, took Mum and I, and we had a crate of chooks on the back and the wirenetting. Talk about olden days with our selection. All the live ...............we took with it, the cat the dog. So then, we just got to Landsborough, a few weeks, oh, we had the most terrible heatway. The worst I've...
FN What year was that? Still 1939?
No, that would be 1940 because we're going into January. It was nine days in a row I know, it went over a hundred degrees and you must realize that we didn't have any water because the tank hadn't caught any water. And there was only this little creek. And we used to have to boil all the water and I still remember getting so sick with them. I can't put savaloids in my face, somebody went up and got savaloids. Oh, dear, was I sick. So then of course.....
FN That would have been in 1920 then?
Yes, and then the war, shall I say touched the small..........
FN How was that?
Well, the three boys went away.
FN Where did they go?
Up to New Guinea. Well, they were at different places of course. They went up to.........................and Townsville, and then they got leave coming back on the troop trains. And then they were taken, of course they weren't allowed to say where they were really.
FN Why? Was there a lot of secrecy involved?
FN Even with the family?
Well, they could tell you when they saw you but they couldn't in their letters because the search would cut it out. So we'd know we had a good ordeal because someone here attended. But they went over. They were sent up to New Guinea to Mellun Five and when the first of that big bombings were on, and they were there twenty two months without leave.
FN That must have been a worrying time for your mother?
I should imagine so, you know. And that's, well the troops had moved in round Landsborough then.
FN Did they come into your houses or did they live in tents?
Well, around Landsborough, they lived in tents. The only houses I knew that were commandeered were opposite what's called nowadays Peach Park, it was Memorial Park on the Maleny road, going up to Maleny, outside Landsborough. And there was a big convalescent camp put up there. It was big marquees all over that area, near the tennis court, and they commandeered a few houses on the other side for the doctors and the staff like that. Because I remember so well, you couldn't buy rubber sole shoes.
Because all the rubber was used for the army, for tyres for the trucks. So, when all these troops moved in, there was ten thousand in the area, moved in with separate partition between, I'd say Caboolture and Yandina, that's a lot of men. Well, they came and asked us, I had to be secretary of the town's clerk. I became secretary soon after I got frankly up to Landsborough and I've been trying. And Arthur Lawson, Jes Dunken and I and Johnny Whitlam, I can remember those four. And they came and asked us they wanted some entertainment and sport for their convelescing soldiers. They had come back from the Middle East, and could we possibly like organize all rackets and four sets of sandshoes because the soldiers only had those big .............boots. And I know that we got four rackets given in and got them restrung, Arthur Lawson saw to that. And they asked us would we go out on Saturdays afternoons and Jes and I always used to go up. I used to ride a bike and she'd walk, and we'd walk together on the pathway, and then we used to organize those two courts then, they took one away later. Tennis and then when we got it done, we left the rackets and the shoes with the soldiers and some of them who came from South Australia knew they were going to be there for a few weeks sent down to South Australia for their shoes.
FN Out of ten thousand soldiers, were they all Australians or would they all be from different countries?
No, they were all Australians, that's a division, the seventh division. That's made up of a lot of battalions and a lot of companies. Companies made the battalions too.
FN So what were the ten thousand men doing in the Landsborough Shire? Were they training, resting?
Well, they were doing both I gathered because the Middle East type of warfare was much different to what they were going in to jungle warfare up in New Guinea. And you must remember round here wasn't all houses and cleared like it is now. For instance; where the second twenty seventh camped back on I think they call it Malton Street, that was all covered and sort of scrubby stuff. You couldn't see a thing. Well, that was just four little tents under there, helped to allow through.
FN Did you know anything about an underground hospital in Maltman Street?
I'd heard rumours of it but I can't say that I ever knew. Well, you were warned in those days, everywhere in railway stations, everywhere, they had the posters up that said, "Don't talk, walls have ears."
FN What did it say again?
"Don't talk, walls have ears."
FN Posters everywhere?
Yes. What they called the third con, it was somebody that you wouldn't realized would want to know about troop movements and then they could pass it on to the secret service on the other side.
FN So there was a lot of secrecy and undercover work?
Yes, there was. I don't whether I should put it on tape, but it came home to me as a girl, yes, well you'd think it's a little bit far fetched, don't you? But the reverend Lamb goes in with this story. The Manze, this Manze was in Landsborough in those days, not down here in Caloundra. Well, they had started what we called the Presbyterian Methodist Recreation hut up at Burnice house at Queen Street, at Caloundra, which is above the Primary School. And he came and asked, would just Dunken and I, (we went to that church) be willing to come with his wife on Monday afternoons or evenings to dispense, hospitality and went as a hostess right up in that area, Caloundra supplied ladies some of the other nights. And the ladies round Landsborough, that was their afternoon. He went round and collected up homemade cakes and pikelets and, well, we gave them milk. I remember riding my bike out from Woodnook.
FN Where is Woodnook?
West of Hadley, and oh, I was real good. I could the cakes in a bag on the front and a billy of milk on each hand bar in those days.
FN You rode from Landsborough to Caloundra?
No, up to Landsborough and take milk for the cocoas and coffee down here. Well, you must realize that they couldn't just go ahead and used sugar and butter and that because everything was rationed. But we had three house cows milking well. Generally, we wouldn't, we would only have kept one, but seeing it was war years, we kept the three milking and we gave butter, (homemade butter) managed to churn it in the churn, to Mrs Icenburt and Mrs Dunken, and Mrs McCorre and Mrs Dam had cows, and she was our first Red Cross..........., she was second Red Cross president, but she was in for all that thirty years. And her husband was a soldier, he'd been to the first World War too. Well, you see, you saved up your bit of sugar and you gave them butter and that was our evening spring down here to Caloundra.
FN How would you get down to Caloundra for the evening?
Well, the reverend Lamb had an old car, it had running boards from the local saw. It wasn't very reliable. And his wife had two little children, look, she was marvellous, now I think of it. You remind me of her. Yes you do.
FN What was your job at the recreation hut?
Well, we had to pass the guard and you weren't allowed up past that road that goes up lighthouse hill. I'd been married and moved in there and that was all cut off and the Methodist church used to stand on the side there. It was a little building with great big high stumps at the back of it. I remember Jessie and I waiting in the car while he had to go to that church, but we couldn't go through.
FN You were showing me your special, what do they call it again?
The pastors. Well, then we went around up past Kings and up Queens Street that way, well, there was one set of guards and then another set of guards. And every time one battalion moved out, the commanding officer from headquarters would come up with another typed out paper which you'd have to sign and you had to show that.
FN And they were very strict about that?
Oh, yes. The only reason I ever was up there on the camp was that reason. And you can see where it's written on, where they'd extend it for a duration. And of course the Primary School was their headquarters. It had been taken over by the army here at Caloundra. And the kiddies had to go to school at the Scouts then and it wasn't, well, lots and lots of people had gone because this was a battle area, battle ground too.
FN So lots of people left Caloundra for a year?
Oh, yes. But they still couldn't accommodate the number of children I believe in the Scout's hut. So, the young grades would go in the morning and the old grades would go in the afternoon. Heather McBrides can tell you, all of it, because she remembers the children and she's got vivid memories of it.
FN So, all these soldiers coming in, two thousand coming in to Landsborough. How would you go about feeding them? Did the army have their own.., did you ever get rations from the army at all?
No, but of course they weren't all in one camp.
FN No, they were scattered around?
Yes, Peachester had them, Yandina, Woombye, Landsborough, Caloundra, Glenview and you wouldn't really see them. But at the three ways to Landsborough, the road used to run right through Landsborough before those new roads cut it off, they'd erect sign posts and they would have military police and donas, they were on motorbikes, dispatched riders, and they'd have big sign posts and big signs out, and it had only numbers on like "61" and a little picture beside it, say a swan or a kangaroo, or a koala, and that meant a certain battalion.
FN And that was secret as well?
Yes. But we girls got to know, you know, which one meant, and yet you could pick them up on the back of their trucks. It won't belong to that unit, it was on the back of the truck. But it was something that you just learnt but you didn't talk about it. Well, I was going to say what made me aware of talking, there was only the old hotel Francis here at Caloundra in those days, not ..........curious about and I knew a leutenant. And when we were up there in the serving at the P & M hut at Caloundra..
FN What's P & M?
Presbyterian and Methodist. Well, we were there, the first hostesses, there was writing papers supplied for them, there was no electricity, you know, it was just glass lamps. And we had to organize games, there was a ping pong out on the front verandah. I learnt to play ping pong to help them there, Chinese checkers, oh, and the musicians we had come in. There was a piano, and organized a sing song, but before that, you were on call, and you were behind like a little counter in the kitchen. And you served a cup of tea or cocoa. The army had to supplied the cocoa because you couldn't buy it and one pikelette, one piece of homemade cake for sixpence. But, now sixpence was a lot because they were only getting eight shillings a day.
FN So that was a treat too, wasn't it?
Oh, yes. We served up to five hundred in one night. I'd say it was the record but it was the only night that girls were on so I suppose there was something to that. And you had to wash up in the washup dish and throw the water out the back. I always remember one night. I said,...............and I flew out to the back verandah and I went woosh with the .......dish and I heard this yell out to me and I looked, all the washup water had gone over a couple of sergeants. They were always very well mannered toward girls. There was never any troubles, you know, at all. And then, it was cold winter. And then when we used to come back through the guards, Mrs Lenin used to brew up more cocoa. Coffee didn't seem to be in, I don't think we could get it. And they used to put in one of the billies that I'd had, seven pounds...............and some cakes, and oh, these guards would be there and it used to be raining and it would be cold and this little old car would pull up and they'd come forward, the rain dripping off their ground sheets, and they used to be so grateful to have this hot cake up.
FN That was probably one of the highlights in their training to get just that little bit of sustenance and a bit of care.
A bit of care, and that's why we had to go round and organized games.
FN Lift their morale up?
Yes, and the Chinese checkers, you played six. I never won a game ever, because there'd be about six behind you and you should be the same. But that went on through all the winter.
FN Did you have dances? Did you organize dances?
Yes. Well, straight away when the troops came in round Landsborough when I got there, I'd joined the Red Cross, and Jes was the secretary of the Red Cross, that's why I went and joined and I got......
FN Who was she?
Jes Dunken. Her father Pursey Dunken was the manager of Hancock and Gorse Bigg's sawmill in Landsborough. And he was an aerate warden through the war here, we've got his helmet and his certificate up in the Shire of Landsborough Historical Museum, and his daughter Norma Cooper, but Dunken she was, she goes with me, she is our friend. And she was only telling me last night about how father used to have to keep the steam up in the mill twenty four hours a day during the war years because pulling the whistle, it was aerates.
FN So you'd always have to be on stand by?
Yes, there was no electricity..............There was no electricity in Landsborough till 1941 about August, and there was none here in Caloundra until 1941. And so, he used to pull on his boots and go and stake up the engine so the speen would be there, and it was used three times. I can remember distinctly it being used one day.
FN Where were you then?
At Landsborough at the day time. And we'd all been told that we have to take our places and take shelter somewhere.
FN Where had you planned to take shelter?
Well, we went up the back paddock what's called the old race course. And I remember Mum and Dad and I sitting there under some trees.
FN Where, up rocky creek?
Up that way, yea, between Stan's place and rocky creek, quite a nice place to sit. Oh, no, the dances, oh, well, I straight away went across, booked the hall, the big memorial hall at Landsborough, and for every Friday night, and trully, oh, the dances used to; I don't need any more notes; well, the dances would start at eight oclock sharp and closed at twelve oclock sharp. And the soldiers had to leave at twelve oclock sharp, the big trucks came for them. Like Cinderella, at the stroke of midnight, and you never sat down, like only between, because I even remember I used to ride my bicycle up and Heather McKay, her father was Eric McKay who was a night officer on the railway. And I used to stay the night there because I lived a bit out or I'd stay with Jes Dunken, and we girls in those days, we used to walk round. Heather and I would walk over and get Maureen McKoster, and then we'd walk and get Jes Dunken and then we'd all go together.
FN That sounds like great time.
And you know, we never had any troubles like they have now about the girls being knocked out, and yet there was all these men around. So, down we used to go to the hall, and oh, my goodness!
FN Did you have special dresses that you,...did you make your own dresses?
Yea, well, for a start off, long dresses seemed to be in and I hadn't danced much but you soon had to dance.
FN Practise in one night.
And the sergeants, they didn't worry whether the girls could dance or not. But you soon became a good dancer because you'd have plenty of practice. And I will say that the southerners, see they had come from Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales, most of them were southerners that had come, being sent up. Well, I worked with dancers. We always had a pianist and drums but then once a battalion had been in for a while, a few couple of weeks. They often would send in some of their own musicians.
FN What sort of music would bring?
Oh, they had their own band. In that old hall in Landsborough I have seen a hard pipe band or a brass band. And then once they did get their leave, one might play the saxophone, one might play trombone. You might just get two that night but with the piano. And some of them turned out to be really good players from down Melbourne.
FN What about your dresses? Did you actually buy, during the depression, how would you get your material?
Oh, well, during the depression I wore either cut me downs from cousins or aunties and an old lady Miss Nosworthy from Sherwood, used to send me one piece of material and a necklace and a broach every Christmas. So that was one new dress.
FN Well received.
Yes. And then when the war claimed like that Russians had come in, well, they seemed to be wearing long dresses. Well, I would my cousin, she got married, she bequeathed me a couple of her long dresses. And then the girls did it this way, that they borrowed from a cousin say up in Townsville or somewhere else, they went around. Well, then, long dresses went out because material got scarcesome and, well, you just bought now and again a piece. Jean MacBride used to sometimes make one for me, and made one myself. But you didn't have a lot of new clothes. Oh no, those dances, well, they had one every Friday night and I remember one night, Heather and I were looking out from McKay's place near the railway and before we were ready, Mrs McKay ran in, she said, "Girls, I'm just counting, come and look, there are seven trucks here and it's only about seven oclock." Seven truck loads came down from Peachester camp alone, who got there early.
FN The McKays used to live just behind the railway station....
Yes, they've taken the house away, it was the railway house. It's only been gone in the last three years.
FN So seven truck loads, 7 p.m.?
Yes. And then the others rolled in afterwards. And they really used to put on the dances. I've got a photo, I must show you, where I went as a....
FN ...where you went to some of the islands?
FN Where did that grass skirt come from?
Oh, brother Stan had sent it down from New Guinea and he said it was a very good dancing girl skirt and it was all coloured grass. I'm so sorry I didn't keep it.
FN Yes, that would have been nice. Now, you were telling me about the Sunday Mail war time swim suit competition?
Well, that was in December 12, 1943, and the Sunday Mail had a war time swim suit competition and everything was rationed. Elastic was unprecurable because they had rubber in it and you had to make it out of a small piece of material even if you recycled some other garment. It was well done in those days. Well, I've got, I think it was a yard and a quarter of material up at Bundaberg, I'd been on a holiday, and I made this play suit and it had four buttons, white buttons down the back because they were in Mum's button box, and I got highly commended, section two without photograph, award to Miss Mary Tutt, ..........of Landsborough.
FN You were telling me about the elastic. You had to explain where the elastic came from? Why was that?
Oh, well, bloomers were worn mainly in those days and you had to say, or show that it came out of like a used garment.
FN Used garment because the rubber was fairly restrict then?
Yes, and of course, Malaya, it was in the Japanese hand, and that's where your rubber came from, the rubber the plantation. And so they weren't getting any rubber in, and they would just have them to recycle. Even soldier's boots and shoes were recycled tyres of cars in those days. If you had one pair of shoes for dancing, you made sure you kept them.
FN What other things that we take for granted today, that were heavily rationed?
Oh, chocolates.......... terrible, lollies..........terrible. China, yes.
FN You couldn't buy any little nig nag or..?
You couldn't buy cups, you couldn't buy cup, plates, anything. They were even serving cups of tea, I've seen it in restaurants in Brisbane, in what we called polly cups, no handles, they got knocked off in the washing up. As long as they weren't cracked, they didn't allow anything cracked because of disease. And then they brought in glass cups. You've seen glass cups, have you? Little ones, we've got one in the museum.
FN No, I haven't seen them. I must come and have a look.
Yes, glass cups. There was none of that, that you could buy at all.
FN So all those things we take for granted.
When Jes Dunken got married after....................two years away up at Thursday Island in the forces, she couldn't even buy any cups to start a home or saucepans. She started with the billies for saucepans.
FN What year was that? Can you remember approximately? About 1944 you were saying?
Yes, about 1944.
FN In 1943, the Australian hospital ship the Centaur, was torpedoed and sunk. Can you remember anything about that? Do you want to tell about that?
Yes, because we were having a dance at Landsborough and Jes Dunken, and Blanche Cooper was the nurse down at the hospital in Brisbane, she became a nursing sister in an army hospital later, and I remember Blanche came up, we hadn't been told anything here, hush, hush, and she came up and she was on casualty when they were brought in, the survivers. And that's how I got the first hand account of the sinking of it, through Blanche.
FN Did you know anyone or know of anyone in the area, because it was a hospital ship, wasn't it?
Yes, you know, I realize I didn't finish that about not talking.
FN Right, go back to that, that's interesting, very interesting.
Well, they used to have a password on the camps and when we were going up there, it became a bit of a joke, that they were saying, not a lot of soldiers but just you heard, that the drink was getting weaker every week but we can't, and they were going through drinks as the password; like lemonade, coke cola, but what it was. And then one night it came that they were getting stronger and it got to whiskey I think it was. And this leuteneant came in and I said something I knew about whiskey, you see. Well, he never said anything there, but he took me aside quietly after, and he said that, not to know the password, and that really told me then that over at the hotel Francis that one of the bar maids, it must have been, always knew the password, and before some of them knew the password, and that she was being watched. Because she was in the position to be passing, and getting a lot of information. So, he said, "Just in future," very nicely, "even if you hear it, never say it."
FN So things were that hush, hush?
Yes, and I realized then, so what you heard you kept to yourself.
FN You must have had some fantastic experiences even though it was war time? Do you want to tell me about some of that?
Yes, well,........was dance down here in Caloundra on Saturday night.
FN Where were they held?
Up in the old School of Arts. I've got a photo of it for you. Well, theirs was Saturday night, so it worked in, I could go Friday night to Landsborough and if I could get to Caloundra, you realized there was no transport, I may, what did they call it,the service bus, up to the train at Landsborough and the service bus came down from Maleny to Landsborough, Landsborough was the big center, there was railway refreshment rooms on the end of where the station was, they'd been pulled down. The Post Office was there, and there was the hole in the fence beside the Post Office.
FN What was the hole in the fence?
Well, it was done with that wiremesh, and the soldiers getting off trains, they had to pay, which I think was a shame. When they came home on leave and they got so little time at home and they got so little money, why should they had to pay for their transport to come home before they went to New Guinea or somewhere. So, everybody had to turn a blind eye if they could get off that train and over the fence, not pass the ticket inspector. And the hole in the fence was where a toe of boot first went in and then many toes of boots went in, and it became even a hole that you could crawl through if you weren't too big. It was a great meeting spot. If you were going to meet somebody, you'd say, "Well, I'll meet you near the hole of the fence."
FN So the Landsborough railway station was really a bit of the centre of..
Oh, it was the centre, the heart. It was the heart. It really was, the troops trying to change through, the change of loaded with guns, brand guns, artillery, yanks, all the trucks.
FN Going up north.
Yea, our little railway line. They might have changed all that, but gee, it was the lifesaver.
FN It did a service during the World War II?
And I know, knowing Eric McKay who was one of the nice officers there being friendly with Heather, his daughter, and those men, they weren't young men then because all the young men were taken. And do you know, they used to have to pore all those points by hand and changed light signals by hand and walked down to the points and then walked back. And they'd have so many trains at night going through that he couldn't say what they had on, that was hush, hush. But they just worked like slaves, those older men to get the trains through. I remember one night when a yankee troop train broke down, the Sunday, 26th July, 1942 because I've got a souvenir of it written by a yank that was on it with his address, wanted me to write to him and I've kept it. Well, while the seventh division was in, our troops, their Pardry, Pardry Frank Hartley, he was a wonderful man. He wanted something for his troops to do at week ends when they had leave. So, he went round and first of our little church, he used to have to train them underneath the little hall, but it was too small, it became absolutely packed. And when we were having wine, you couldn't have them outside. On Thursday nights there, we had what was called, The Girl Comrades and the ..........the order of knives, and we were allowed to have as a social every Thursday night. Well, it didn't matter church they followed, they were all welcomed, and you can imagine they were all rolled up and they got a cup of tea and they had games and, oh, we had telefortunes and all sorts of games there. But, anyway, he could see it was too small, so he approached the big hall, our hall was the biggest one on the north coast at that time and he went round, all the different battalions. I was in Mackay one day, when Mr Lenin went into different sports and Pardry Hartley was with us, they were his troops and Pardry was the captain.
FN I thought he was a priest.
He is a priest.
FN But a captain as well.
He is a captain, he is an officer, yes. So he has the right to go in, being the ...............They called any denomination a ..............in the army.
FN So, that was the universal army too, the............religion.
Well, he organized the entertainer. He had bands and singers and ones that did musical instrument that he went to the ladies in Landsborough, and he asked would they put on enough food. He would supply the bread because you couldn't buy that much and the girls at the railway work, refreshment rooms, they had a bread slicer. No bread slicer could slice bread like you get nowadays. And they offered to slice all the bread by hand with their bread slicer, these big loaves, and we would have hundreds of them, like two sittings, and the ladies would supply the cakes and the pikelets. So I became so good at making pikelets, and milk, and they would come in for what would they call, their high tea on a Sunday evening. And he went and he asked the younger girls, would they wait on the tables. I suppose you could see that ..........soldiers, looking at it now. The older ladies buttered and cut up and all that. Well, we gave them a hand, but we served for the pots of tea so there was Jes Dan, Jes Dunken, Heather Mckay, Betty Lambton, Betty Lawson she was then, and myself, that I can remember. Like we were five that went all the time.
FN And this was the Thursday night?
FN So you socialized Thursday night and Friday, Saturday night in Caloundra and then Sunday, sometimes?
I didn't come to Caloundra. They had a picture show at Landsborough. It was a travelling Picture Show.
FN Oh, yes. Do you want to tell me a little bit about that? Was that the Carbide Pircture Show?
Yea, will I go out and finish there while it's in my mind?
FN Yea, sorry. Go on.
Well, then I went upstairs and he had a church service. And I know that there was all denominations because you learned that, the main one. And do you know they had those old wooden seats and those campus seats, and that hall used to be overflowing with them. And they all attended that service that he gave and then when that was finished, it was an hour or so of entertainment. I've seen a half full...........in that hall, so I wonder what, and a whole brass band, like at different times, second thirty first brought in their bands, second twenty seventh, oh, they had some terrific, Harry Mainzer could play the violin.
FN Who was Harry Mainzer?
He came, he was in the band. Some of these had their own bands, you see, second twenty seventh band. But they'd also be a stretcher bearer, or medi command, but they played in the band. Oh, and the singers that they had, but I've heard since and told afterwards, some of those were on air down in Melbourne after the war, they were. But then he didn't only want soldiers getting up because he said that didn't bring the boys. He wanted them to come in and have contact with people and.....
FN boost their morale up?
Yes, so he asked, there were some, I can't remember her name, one school teacher. She adept recitation and I used to put these evenings up at Kenilworth, you see, years before. So, I scratched round, he said, "Couldn't you do something?" Oh, no I became quite good at it you know. I have some of these.........
FN What sort of things did you do?
On the girls night off?
FN Can you remember that? No.
And then, oh, different ones. And then soldiers that went away used to write back, and if I came across a topical one, like a soldier, see, you know, ..............., somewhere I got that, like I would send the ...............back and I'd learn it for the next night, the next Sunday night. Then Heather McKay and Jean Icenberg, they were quite good on the piano. And they played piano duets and Mrs Lenin used to sing. There was quite a little bit of talent. They used to enjoy that, and then when it was over, they used to go back down and they'd have supper, which was just one piece of something, cake, and their cuppa. Which was I mean, that was a talk around, and the Mums and Dads, anybody in Landsborough was free to come to that service which they did, and to hear the soldier's concert. Oh, it became quite a big thing. So, on this Sunday, 26th July, I'd seen this troop trying to go up very slowly, about midday passing our place. Then when I went up in the afternoon to help, here it was in there back to about four hours later. And refreshment rooms were only allowed so much. They did have a place at the back where they cooked their own pies, but they couldn't, they'd have more troop trains coming that they would have been told, they had to have so much supplies for the government, from the army. And the little, there was one little bit of a cafe, well, it was sold out of everything. Not that it had much to sell anyway in those days. And I know it was Harry Mainzer from the second twenty seventh and a couple of his mates, and they had been talking to some of these Americans and they had, had nothing to eat and they didn't know when they'd be going again. And they came down and they put in an application to Pardry Hartley that they would be willing to go without their tea. And they would just have their supper, like what we would serve in the one piece and the one cuppa, what would have been their supper, they'd have that for their tea. But the Amecians could have their tea before the supper time, if that was alright with the ladies. So, Pardry put it to the ladies and everybody was in agreement. So, the Australians had a quick cuppa you might say, and disappeared until time for service and they brought the Americans downs. Of course everything was disciplined, like they don't just rush down, they marched down. And he said, "You girls go out to the door to greet them, underneath the hall it was, not upstairs, the old supper room, and they'd come in. And when they saw the Pardry and that, quite a few asked to me, "Did they have to be Catholic or that?" and I said, "No, it's not." Well, it wasn't Catholic, but I said, "It doesn't make any difference." Undenominational, and also it was for welcome. And they took their seats round there, you know, and oh, they were so well behaved. Of course, a few of them were wanting us to write to them when they were going away. Well, time went on, and their train wasn't fixed and Pardray came and he asked them to join with the service upstairs. Well, I could see that they were that way. They were only too pleased because they had enjoyed the hospitality, whatever denomination they were. So they all filed up, oh, that night, they were sitting on the floor sometimes. And he was giving the service and up there at the station, you could hear the buccaller, he had started up. And he played the buccal for them to go back up to the train, it was fixed at last evidently. And you'd have seen them get ..........as he was giving his sermon and they didn't like to, and then the buccal came down, and he played it all the way. Oh, Felicity, I'll never forget that, on this cold winter's night, you know.
FN Quite eery.
Yes, oh, it really made you feel the wall was closed and he played, sort of outside and round the office. Pardry stopped and he was an understanding man, he said, "Well boys, looks like your train is fixed and you'll be saying goodbye." So the opposite got up and thanked us all very much for our hospitality and they filed down the hall. I'll never forget that, you know. It showed a good feeling between the Australians and the Americans at the time.
FN That's right. Well, those little things, they do show, don't they?
TAPE TWO SIDE ONE
FN So Mary, we were talking about the World War II and did you feel that there was any animosity between the Australians and the Americans during those years here?
Well, not here in Landsborough or Caloundra. I never came up against it and there is an example I just told you about the Australians soldiers offering their tea to the stranded yanks on that train which was a good show of being togetherness.
Yes. So, I believe in other places there was some animosity but not when they got from New Guinea and they were really in it together.
FN That's when the animosity started or, where did you hear the animosity?
Well, I have heard tales from Perth, my husband and my brothers, Stan, Nigel and Charlie, up in Townsville particularly. I think partly, there weren't enough girls to go round and there wasn't enough to do and that type of thing. And the Americans, there was no doubt they did have much more money than our boys did to throw round, and they cut a big dash................with it. There were Americans down at Caloundra but I danced with some at the dances here and they were quite good but I will say most of we girls round here used to say we'll stick to the Aussies.
There was as well, a big contingent of black ones camped down somewhere at Caloundra. I don't know where but they used to use them to bring them in to Landsborough and all the provisions were brought by train. There was none of these big trucks as you know them now bringing, there would be some of the army truck, they weren't so big except for A.A.S.C. Army Service Corps, who delivered supplies to each camp. And the main supplies were brought into depots and at the Landsborough Railway Station, they had put up a great big shed, opposite the railway station itself, a little bit up towards the gates. It's gone now, and it's down on Gown's farm, they bought it for a chicken hatchery after the war was over. They used to use these blacks, ones from America, were brought in to unload the trains, and then to store it into this depot. And this was guarded night and day and there was a garrison, they called it in Landsborough. And you know where the Post Office is now, well, it wasn't. The Post Office was on the end of the refreshment rooms, on the railway station.
FN On the Landsborough Railway Station.
It was a little room right at the end, down towards the gate then.
FN Well, that would be practical actually for the trains coming through ....
Well, they used to have to close it because all the mail came up from Caloundra and all the mail from Maleny, and when the half past ten train came in, it didn't get any mail because it was just full of bags and they used to lock the door because the whole, it was only a small little place, it must have been hard to work in, I'd say.
FN So were the blacks segregated in their living quarters........
I'm afraid I can't tell you that but I know that they used to bring them in, in these truck loads, and they were only unloading of the heavy things and stored it in there, and there was a baker shop, Mr. Hunt's, in Landsborough then, the building is still there. And Because I remember riding my bicycle up and trying to get the bread, oh, and it was just jam packed with American Negroes. But they didn't just let them run across the street, they went under officers, that they have been taken over there. Acturally, I remember it so well, and I was going to get on my bike and ride home or wait.
FN Were you a little bit scared of them?
No, but I wasn't exactly scared, but, well, they weren't used to seeing very many girls then, there weren't many around, and you were the object of attention.
FN How old were you then?
About twenty, twenty one, but I remember they all opened up. It looked like a guard of honour to go into the baker shop. But, no, it wasn't, it was just that eerie feeling that you were an object of great interest to them.
FN At that age, it would be very difficult.
Yes, the garrison, it was started mainly by men who were what was called "B"2, not "A"1, or the older one, older men were put on garrison duty to relieve a younger man to go to the front. And the garrison quarters were over where the Post Office is, there were huts in there. And one New Years eve or Christmas eve, it was that time of the year, one of the garrison ones went back off his guard and then the guard that was coming on, I don't know whethere he'd been embibing a bit Christmas cheer, but he shot the other one.
Yes, I remember there was quite a commotion in the place.
FN You were telling me about the bun fight, that's interesting.
Well, Pardray Hartley, he always just lumped everything together, "We'll have the bun fight on Sunday night." And that was his term for them.
FN That was the high tea?
That was the high tea, the church service and then the concert afterwards, and then the little supper they were given. And this went on all that winter. Oh, it was cold and wet and one person I'd like to mention, we had got power through into Landsborough in 1941, but, oh, it seemed to be very poor light. There would only be one point in that and they couldn't well up enough inside. There was only one little bit of an urn, so there was what was called a galley. Do you know what a galley is?
FN A kitchen, long kitchen.
Well, it was apart from the hall. It was just a few sheets of corrugated iron and a few start things, and then an open fire under this and two fork sticks put at each end and a big bar across that wouldn't burn through and then this old chap called Daddy Dayman...
FN How would you spell his last name?
D a y m a n, that's what we all called him, or Grand
daddy, one or the other. He had been a World War One soldier and he had married a lass in England.
FN Was he a residence of Landsborough?
No, I'm wrong, his son had been a World War soldier and he was that old so he hadn't been able to go. Well, he was a great old resident of Landsborough.
FN I haven't heard that name.
Oh, I can't think of his first name because to me, he was always Daddy or Grand daddy. Well, he took on the job with his kerosene tins of boiling up for all those troops. And we, oh, we had about five hundred a night and he would chop his wood and bring it along and there'd be grand daddy Dayman, and he had these two kerosene tins, and he'd boil one lot, and they'd make the pots of tea and he'd trot out with his flannel shirt and his old cardigan over the top. I remember his pants used to be sort of baggy looking old ones and it was a cold wet winter. Well, we got tired, like when we were pouring out tea, we used to whip out there and warmed ourselves over his fire. And then quite a lot of the soldiers found that we've disappeared for a while. Oh, it was lovely, you know. Well, you know the last night, that the seventh division were in, well, they weren't allowed to say where they were going but we all had a good idea where they were going. They said that one person they wanted up on the stage to say thank you to, was grand daddy Dayman for all the lovely cups of tea he had boiled up for them. And they got him to come up there with one of his kerosene tins. I remember that. Oh, they were lovely evenings, but, oh, it was sad that last night. They got up and they sang to us "Goodnight Ladies". Have you heard it?
And we knew that we wouldn't see them again, so many of them. And there was, they lost I know five hundred out of the one unit there.
FN It must have been sad night.
Yes, well, we knew that they were going and when they sang "Goodnight Ladies."
FN So lots of the older residents really pitched in. You were telling me that Landsborough Station, the old residents, but then there was a time during World War II, they started calling up the older men. Why was that?
Well, I'd just go back to other part, you were saying about the older residents. Well, most of them had some brothers or their own husbands at the war. And it made you that feeling of comradeship and I know my mother was one, Mrs Dunken was one, Mrs Damp was another, Mrs McKay was another. They entertained soldiers in their homes night after night, two different, four this night, and four another night, and as well as that, they were having to work in the day time, like it was producing food mainly, what you could produce because of Mum being the father, apart from having to feed troops. They'd have them come in, that's what Pardray had this idea for because it made the soldiers come in contact even with the older women. And they'd come in for a game or cards, a game of drugs with Dad, Chinese checkers and Mum had put on, on our ones, that at ten oclock, they always got a cup of tea and some homemade pikelets, something like that.
FN Just to bring some normality back into their lives?
Yes, she put on that they went at oclock because you couldn't keep up. Oh, the women were wonderful, like the older ones .....Gibsons. And I'd just like to say there, that one from South Australia, a young married man came back to find my mother forty years afterwards.
FN Isn't that wonderful?
And he found my brother Stan Tutt at the museum. Now, Stan had been in New Guinea when this one had been here so he had never been in contact with my brothers but it was the name Tutt and Stan invited him down to his place. And he rang me from Landsborough to where I was living in Brisbane and I was able to say Stan.......Roberts, and he knew then I'd really remembered because, he told his wife that she does remember me because everybody else calls me Stan, and she remembered my full name was Stan........Roberts. And they came to see us, and then when we went to Adelaide the year after, they came and got us from our Motel and gave us a lovely tea and the whole afternoon was at our disposal, where did we want to be driven to. But the one thing that stayed in my mind was, I wanted to ring my daughter back here in Caloundra for birthday and I said,"I'd have to go and find a public phone," and they said, "Oh, no, you have to ring from here." And I said, "Oh, it's a long way." And when I had rung, and I wished to pay, he said to me, "No," he said, "you are not paying," he said, "I took that out in your mother's strawberries in the war year."
FN So, wonderful friendships were formed, ongoing friendships?
Yes, and the appreciation. And his wife, young wife, well, she is older now, and she said to me, quietly after, she said, "What your mother did for my Stan when he was up there was marvellous." He used to write me and told me all his life.
FN He never forgot the kindness?
No, the kindness. And it was like having another mother.
FN They all probably needed that friendship?
Yes, and we didn't seem to have any trouble of all this raping and what goes on nowadays. I will say that there were quite a lot of military police around and they had what we called the pickets.
FN What are the pickets?
Well, they're special police for the night. Different ones are picked under a sergeant and a leutenant and they wear a band around their arm and would have S.P. on them, and any soldier that they think had a good name and that, that he was assigned that duty. And it was to keep order, pick up the drunks and take them home and keep the town quiet and orderly.
FN Discipline would have been very strict in the army of course?
Oh, it was. I always remember a Mrs McKay and moscode in her younger days, and when they'd all be parked down at the hotel in Landsborough, some of them, she could here on the horn, and they'd spell out cops in moscode. The signals to her, see.
FN And your father was called up, now, why were the older men called up?
Well, because things were getting so serious then. All the younger ones had gone and, well, as I said to Dad, "Oh Dad, things must be serious if they're calling ones from your age group up."
FN What age was he?
Well, he must have been in his 60's. I haven't worked it out, that's one age I haven't. But I remember him getting dressed and going up to the hall..
FN The Landsborough hall?
Yes, that was the big centre, Caloundra wasn't a centre at all in those days. And the doctors would come, the army doctors, to the hall and they'd all be given their medical there. That's where my three brothers were given their medical. Stan had the measles on him but he was still passed.
FN Oh, no.
Yes, they get him in then he spread it down among, he went into the camp and gave it to everybody else. He came home, sent home sick. They knew I think that he did, but they want, he was picked otherwise. And of course our background up there at Kenilworth, we hadn't been in contact with measles and chicken pox, none of those things. Oh, did he give us a go, so I was well and truly...
FN The older you get, the worse the condition is?
Ah yes. Charlie ended up in the Military Hospital and Nigel, he'd got down to go for a few weeks, special leave to finish the scrub falling out at the Forestry, and he was left there by himself with the measles while Stan came home, couldn't shift him.
FN So when your father went for his medical, was he accepted for the army?
FN Why was that?
Well, possibly he didn't pass his medical, but as well as that, he was getting on, and we were on a farm, or what was called primary industry, primary produce and you realize that we couldn't import food in those days and everything was so short. Sugar was rationed, tea was rationed, meat was rationed and it was a very small, petrol was rationed. It was a very small rationed, here are some of the rationed cards, by the way. Clothes were rationed, we'll look through them after. Well, we had a thousand fowls by this time, and that's what I helped on. You had to pack it, collect the eggs, packed the eggs, harness up the old horse because the model "A" Ford had been put up on blocks because petrol was too scarce.
FN Where would you take the eggs to?
We took them from our farm at Landsborough which is down on the old Brisbane road, about half a mile out or three parts of a mile up to, opposite the Railway Station. There was a great big Goods shed there which have now been removed. It was a huge shed. That's what the American Negroes.....there. And I used to have to go out with the horse, it was a jinker, made of rubber wheels especially for the thing, to take the eggs up and Dad had drove up. Well, he went over the line to consign the eggs. I had to hold "Star" because there were a lot of army trucks and these Negroes trucks and they'd all...
FN "Star" was the horse?
Yes, and she was a lovely animal but she was a bit nervous. She wasn't used to this being brought up at Kenilworth, no trucks at all. So, then we used to have to pick up the empty egg boxes. They weren't cartons, they were made of wood in those days, and bring them back again, and start again. And every egg was valuable, even the ones that were, what we called dirty eggs, they had to be washed by hand and all wiped and put into a special box that was marked. The food, the home grown to feed the troops. We grew beans down on the flat. We got a rotary hoe up and Mr. Cirshner from up on the mountain came down.
FN So your father didn't go to the war because he was needed, more important to for him to do the primary industry?
Yes, and that's........... By the way, talking about feeding the fowls, even fowl feed became in such short supply that you couldn't buy it. You couldn't buy the grain. It was having to be used to make bread and meals and that. The troops came first, and then when the Americans all came in, they couldn't get anything over here. Everything was convoyed, the ships. What I was going to say, one winter there, just to keep the chooks alive, all we could do from the markets in Brisbane, we had these big sacks of pumpkins brought up, and it was at that wet winter I was speaking of, and utilising the copper outside, Dad used to chop wood and we used to put these pumpkins in. And we'd boil them to so much and we'd have a little of mash, only a little bit. And we used to mix this hot mash in with the pumpkins so that the hens wouldn't lay on it. But it kept them going and it was just the hand of providence. Another lot after the seventh division moved out, the third division from down Victoria moved in and they put in a new different camp, a hundred and thirty General Transport Company, it's down the road, the old road, half way between Beerwah and Landsborough.
FN The old Brisbane road.
Yes, the old Brisbane road. More over towards what we called the old race course, where the scouts have their ..........
FN Rocky Mountain creek?
Yes, but it was facing the old Brisbane road and the railway line. That's the area. Well, it was perfect for us because who should come in but one of the officers, because they had seen that we had fowls. I think they'd asked round. And they asked would we be willing if they deliver them every morning, to have all the scraps from their camp for our fowls. You can imagine how Dad felt.
FN He must have been ecstatic?
Oh, yes. So, they used to bring him what was called the hygiene truck every morning. And then they found we had three cows and "Star" the horse, that who we were using, and these thousand fowls, and we used to get chickens in too, day old chickens. Well, then they'd drive over, well, our cows got to the stage that they could see that truck coming. They used to wait there and the horse. And when they'd drive down in through the paddock, they used to run after it. And so they'd stop there and they'd unload them a heap of, oh, like cabbage leaves and outside of lettuce leaves and at one stage, they made a lot of porridge and the boys didn't like it because it was thick and gooey looking stuff. Ah! but the cattle, did they milk well on it. And the horse, she got dabbles shining under its skin. And then they had meat, it was all fresh, like the bones, over and porridge and scraps, and oh, they had chooks, did they like that.
FN But they were very considerate towards you as civilians?
Oh, yes. Well, I suppose it worked both ways because Mum at once supplied them with cakes and pikelets and homemade things in the morning and the sergeant wondered why the hygiene truck became so popular because I believe in other places, nobody ever wanted to volunteer for it. They always had to be detailed as they called it. See, you'd be able to get people always wanting to volunteer for things and keeping everybody else here. So, he came one morning himself to find out why; he told us this. He couldn't make out, and he found that there was a girl there, that was me. And Mum was supplying them with, we had plenty of whip cream too and she had strawberries because she grew them. We grew all this sort of staff; and cream, which they hadn't seen for so long. So, he wondered then, he could see why they took an hour to take a little bit of porridge in.
FN Why it was such a popular job too.
Oh, but that was really great, you know. It saved our fowls and by the time they had gone, it was back to normal in buying food again.
FN So, getting news from the troops and the soldiers was very difficult. What were some of the ways that you got information that the troops were coming home or news from soldiers?
Well, of course, all the letters were censered. It didn't matter whether it was in Australia or in New Guinea but they were more particular about ......battle area of course. So, they weren't allowed to say when they were getting leave, or even when they had left or when they were likely to leave. So, the way we got was that the troop train used to go past.
FN Through Landsborough?
Through Landsborough. That Railway did a mighty job. It was only a narrow track but it was the only Railway in Australia that had so much railing stock on it, in the war. And the men that manned it too, because there were older men this time to let the young ones go, oh, they worked at night time, day and night because I know my friend Heather McKay's father, Eric McKay was a night officer.
FN Yes, you were telling me he used to work.......hand pull.
Yes, you hand pull signals and point by hand. So, I was going to say, so when the train would go through, the Raine Brothers or friends Cobbers, if there was one on, they'd give them a pile of piece of paper and they'd throw it out onto the platform and whoever got it on the Landsborough platform would see that it was delivered to that person's relative, who it was to.
FN That's wonderful. Did you ever get any messages delivered to you?
Yes, I always remember when my brothers were away. They were in New Guinea over twenty months and that was when the war was pretty bad too. ................bombing, all through that. Well, when they were coming home, my brother Nigel who had been married in the war years, he had to get on a different troop train from Townsville. They'd come over by ship, and they used to name them the..............different ones coming back, and then they'd wait for troop train in Townsville and the trains were so chock a block they used to sleep in the base of luggage racks.
FN Luggage roof racks?
No, the old wooden trains you realize, and steam, steam trains. So, they used to have to wait turns and Nigel was on the first train that was going to go through to Brisbane to his wife. And we heard this, oh, yelling. He got all his comrades to yell out the window. And they were set back quite a distance from the line and that night, we had said, "Oh, it sounds like Nigel and his Corps." The next thing, Dave right away rode up on his bush bike and Nigel had thrown this little note out and Mr Tom Maddock, he was the Post Master at Landsborough then, he had picked up on the platform and he knew, and he said, "Mr and Mrs Tutt have got to get this tonight because I know it's their sons coming home."
FN That must have been wonderful news to get.
Oh, it was but they............to say just when, well, I don't knew because they just had to wait on when they were detailed to a troop train. But oh, I do remember when they came home.
FN Yes, tell me that story, it's a lovely story.
Well, we were sort of keyed up thinking that they'd be home. And all day went by no sign of them, and it was rather late in the evening and dampish, damp grey weather.
FN What year did they come home?
Must have been in 1944. Well, I'm out milking the house cow, a little jersey beauty, it used to just stand in the paddock and you had a paint billy and turn it up side down and sit on it and just milk it there. And our beautiful big dog Chess, a big black gulpy it was, loved meat.
FN I think I've seen a photo of Chess.
Yes, lovely dog. And you know, he hadn't seen those brothers of mine for over twenty months, I think it was twenty two months by the time they got home. And he suddenly creeped up his ears and looked and it was so dull and dark you couldn't see. And he never used to play up and out of our paddock and down the road. And he just.........Felicity, he just took off and I knew, I jumped up and I ran and he went right round and there was Charlie and Stan walking home from the Station. And how he ever knew their smell because they have the New Guinea smell from ......... and their clothes were all, oh, such a horrible smell from being in the jungle and always wet and never dry.
Damp, and they were laidened with all their gas masks and gear and rifles, like that, the whole works, and that dog still knew. And I ran too and from that day to this, I don't ever know if I finished milking that cow.
FN That must have been a great day. What other celebrations went on Landsborough, were there dances, coming home dances?
Oh, well, I think I did the dances, did we?
FN Yeah, but after the war ended, how did you find out that war had ended?
Oh, well, the V.P. day.
FN What's that, the V.P.?
"Victory Pacific". I think it was in the.........before had been what we called V.E. day which was "Victory Europe". But we were still fighting over here in the Pacific.
FN Still at war?
Yes, well and truly. And things were coming to a head. By the way, today is the day the bomb was dropped in Hiroshima.
FN Is it? What date is that, the 6th, August?
Yes, that's what ended our war. I heard that this morning, 1945 it ended.
FN Forty two years ago today?
Yes, today. Well, that would be approximately forty two years ago that I'm talking about. I was going to say, so, they didn't know what was going to happen and I remember my friend Heather McKay came riding down on the bush bike, all excited, that they were going to have this meeting up in the Three Way Cafe, at Mrs Bidler's, the name Bidler down here?
Well, her sons. And she and her daughters, Edith, Mary, I can't think of the other one's name, privately rent cafe. And that they were going to quickly hold a meeting there and that we'd have a dance that night. So, I said, "Wait, I come up too." So, I got on my bush bike; we rode bush bikes all the time then. And up we went and they held a quick little meeting there. Oh, yes certainly they'd have a dance. They'd have a lady, a Mrs Leach that played the piano; she played all through the war years, and she was very good too and a Tony Richard from the garage, he was a good M.C., (Master of Ceremonies) and that he'd see that the floor was done up. He'd get some of the school kids after school and they'd get wizzed down and they could have their sacks and they put this sort of paps on it and then they used to drag the others all round and round and make a lovely circle for dancing.
FN So, the children would go on the sacks and they'd be dragged around to polish up the floor.
Yeah, by their mates.
Oh, we had a terrific evening.
FN Was that to celebrate the end of the war?
FN What was it about the story about the Station bell?
The bell? Oh, well, that was the one time that we were ever allowed to have that bell off the Station. It was a mighty bell. You'll have to see it in the Shire of Landsborough Museum next.
FN I think Stan did an article recently, didn't he?
Yes. So, Heather and I and Jess......., we went up to the Station, I think some others were with us but I remember those. And we asked, "Could we have the bell to make a noise?" Everything was making a noise. They blew the whistle from the steam engine from Hancock and Gore's mill; like everything was turned on, and we could have lights again when the lights came on again, everything had been so blacked out. And we got this bell and we clang up and down the Station and then we went down the whole main street clanging, and everybody was saying, "We know that's the Station bell," they were yelling out. And we went right up the steps of the hall and, oh, we had the hall clanging the whole bell.
FN Obviously there would be a feeling of euphoria, everyone would be in very high spirits.
Yes, oh my word! It was really a hilarious time. And I always remember Mrs Mawn who was the sergeant's wife, .......sergeant's wife, and she said to me, "You know", she said, "another lady said to me, fancy, Mr and Mrs Tutt are here. I haven't seen them in a dance here in Landsborough. I have seen them at the bun fights and helping the church things and everything else, Red Cross; I've never seen them come to a dance. Fancy them coming to a dance." And Mrs Mawn said, and I said to the lady, "I should imagine that Mr and Mrs Tutt are the two people in Landsborough that are celebrating this the most of anybody because they have got three boys away at the war and they haven't seen them for so long."
FN Did the three boys come back safe?
Yes, and they are still alive.
FN That's great!
It's great, isn't it?
FN So, you were telling me, let's go back to, going back a little bit into World War II about the light in Caloundra at the dances, now, they had to be blacked out.
Now, when I first came to dances in Caloundra, there was no electric light. Can you imagine that now?
FN No, I can't.
Because I remember going to stay with Mr and Mrs Tom McBride and they used to have these lovely aladin lamps. And up at the dances somebody used to go before hand and light these lights. I'm afraid being a girl I didn't really worry who would lit the lamps. But I remember when the power did come through and that was oh, about, I'd say end of 1941. Landsborough had it in about August, 1941. But we'd still go round the.........And they used to have these little, just the ordinary electric bulbs in the hall, the old School of Arts. And they used to paint them out and just leave one dot in the middle that was clear.
FN It wouldn't have thrown much light?
No, well, you didn't know what your partner looks like till you got to the next dot. And when they came to ask you for a dance, their uniforms make everybody look much, much alike, they do, there's no doubt about it. It was a real joke. I remember, it must have been 1942, my friend Heather McKay and I were to come down to Mrs McBride and go to the New Year's Eve dance, the soldiers were all in here. One year, they weren't having anything in Landsborough, and there was only a service car around at certain times. Of course they were on petrol rationed so they couldn't extra trips, and Heather came down to tell me that Mr Watson's service car wasn't running so we couldn't come down to Mrs McBride who invited us. She was very, very kind to us. She seem to always enjoy our company. Mr McBride was marvellous too.
FN He sounds like a Grand old fellow.
Yes, and Heather was, oh, she was only about twelve I suppose, and a lovely kid, bright kid. Anyway, Heather was that disappointed and she said to me, "Mum said, she doesn't mind if we ride our bicycles all the way to Caloundra."
FN How far would that be?
Well, in miles then, it was twelve miles. So, we had to carry what we were going to wear. So, we took I remember one dress and we went to two dances but we washed it down at Mrs McBride's, and our shoes and a change of underwear and we just wore a shirt and shorts. That's some of our photos here. And our towels I think we took because towels, you see, people couldn't afford to; you'd be having their towels for the time because they couldn't buy them. You couldn't buy towels even if you have the coupons for them.
FN What would you dry yourselves with, or did you have a few towels?
Well, we had a few towels and the war went on and on you began to feel it was never going to end. And khaki became so common that to see somebody in sivys they really stood out. But I don't know, it was men who made it in those days.
FN Now, what about stocking. Did you get stocking for dancing?
No, we didn't. So, we used to get what was called leg........very like that leg long match maker out now, very like that. And you used to wipe your legs all over nice and smooth to get them a nice brown look. But stockings had a seam in those days and you were suppose to have your seam straight and it was very hard to bend around and try with a good hard lead pencil to make this mark. So, you get dressed and; they always seem to go in twos or threes, the girls, from each other place in those days. And you do your friend's seams and she'd do your seams. Well, I remember one day the dance down here. When we got down here we found that there was a dance that night and dance the next night and Mrs McBride said, oh, you can't go back the next day, you've got to stay, it was holiday time.
FN Excuse me for interupting, Mrs McBride, she was a Tripcony, she was Andrew Tripcony's daughter?
Yes, that's right, Grace McBride. So, she said, "You can't go," she said, can't word back to your parents?" Well, there was no phone much. But Heather's father being on the Railway Station, see, we went up to the old Post Office.
FN Where was that?
It is situated on the same place. And she rang the Railway Station to give her father a message and that he had to take a message down to my people.
FN So they wouldn't worry?
Yes. So, we got up early in the morning and went surfing and then we rinsed all our clothes. Mrs McBride wa so good, just like another mother and we had to wear the same dress but it was clothes rationed, it didn't make any difference. So off we went and it must have been the next night was New Year's Eve and I always remember these lights were still blacked out like that, that's what it was and in suddeness we all joined hands and sang the 'Old Lang Syne" and then we were so taken aback because down there they kiss everybody at twelve o'clock, and all we girls were taken aback because every soldier went round the whole circle and you had to stand there to be kissed.
FN You didn't do that up here?
No, we didn't. Then we had to ride our bicycles back but we were lucky. When we got out, about where the BP station is going to Landsborough now, along came a Military Ambulance and there were of the men, one was South Australian I just I spoke of and his driver; but he was the driver Dave MacRoberts and Jack Gordon was the Ambulance bearer and they saw Heather and I. They used to both go McKay's place and our place, and they said,......................you two. See there were lots and lots of convoys but you weren't to bring your motor bike in, you would be now.
FN Oh, yes, definitely.
And yet there were men by the thousand; seem strange, doesn't it?
FN We're at different times?
And we told them that we've been dancing two miles down there and now we were coming back and they said, "Yeah, just wait till some of these other Army trucks get past and just get ready." And they opened the back of their Ambulance and they threw our bikes and we hopped in too and sat down. They gave us their hats in case anybody saw a head through the window and we were two soldiers who got a ride to Landsborough. I don't know if I should be telling those things.
FN So, what about your rations, how much meat would you get? How did the system work?
Oh, I've forgotten about how much.
FN Was it per family?
No, it was to each person. And if you went to stay with somebody in Brisbane you took your ration card with you and it was so much a week. I think it might have been; it was half a peanut butter a week. I think it was a pound of sugar a week, and possibly it was two pound of meat a week per person. But it was hard for people if they were living by themselves. A family could put theirs together and be a bit better off. Sugar was the main thing with us because we had the cows, that's why we kept the three milking then so that we could give friends butter.
FN I wonder if the sugarcane was given to the cows?
Yes, up Nambour way, those sort of places for food to keep them going. And the clothing, these are the clothing ones (indicates to clothing coupons) it went to 1947 you know because they still had to get back the cotton going into the textile business.
FN Yes, I was going to ask you about that later. But, what about when you came to Caloundra, did you see any barbed wire on the beaches. Were you allowed to go on the beach and have a swim, you said you went surfing?
Yes, well, in the early part of the war, those photos I've given you, they were allowed to walk around as far as Two way Lake, they would go there. But then as the war progressed and then different ones came in, especially when.............came in, they were practising over there. I distinctly remember later in the war when what was called the Anti Aircraft, but we called it Agog it seem to make that agog voice. They used to have an aeroplane, you could see from this part of Caloundra or from down on Bulcock we called it and they had like a big baloon thing behind it. And for a start, it was a long way behind it when they were first trying to hit that and then you'd know when the soldiers were getting better because they'd draw up closer to the aeroplane. And that's how they were training them for Anti Aircraft.
FN So, did you see any .................?
FN Later on.
Yes. Well, this became I think what they called the battle area. No doubt there was a Brisbane line because they asked people to evacuate. I remember us getting a letter and Mum and I were asked to evacuate down pass Warrick.
FN Where were you living at this stage? Still at Landsborough?
Still at Landsborough all through the war.
FN How did your mother feel about that?
Well, we had to have our port packed to get out. I remember that letter and it meant at this stage they want the women and children to go but we stayed. And Caloundra here, so many went. And with the black out, walking up the Streets, Mrs McBride lived down, pass Palm Breeze motel, it's the other one. I almost got the............for you. Well, to walk up and down in the black out, it was just absolutely black. And a Miss Burgum had a; have you heard of her?
FN No, but I'm interested in her. I've only got a little bit about the Boarding House.
Yes, she had a Boarding House where that cafe is on the corner.
FN Glen Innes?
FN The corner of Bulcock and Minchinton Streets?
Yes, and where the BCC is now, that was where this Mr Watson had his service car and his truck to bring the supplies for civilians to Caloundra. And that's where it was, out there.
FN Oh, this is interesting.
But I remember walking up pass Miss Burgum's. There was the Rinaldi's store and then Miss Burgum's.
FN Going up towards the Post Office?
Yes, going up to the dance at night time. They always seem to be ....................inside of these buildings flat because, it was oh, spooky, but the funny part was we went through it those days. And then I will say that, generally, a couple of soldiers would always come home like two or three girls together and they accompanied by some soldiers that you would have met there; it was that type of life but you couldn't wait to get to know there's somebody for three months, they'd be here and gone again.
FN They'd transit?
Yes, they were coming in and out.
TAPE TWO SIDE TWO
FN During Second World War Mary, was there such a thing as a consciencious objecter?
Well, I didn't realise until after the Seventh Division had left this district, they had come back from the Middle East and they made junk of warfare training here and then gone on to New Guinea. Well, then, what was called Third Division, very young boys came up from Victoria and it was well known fact, some of the older ones used to call them "The Conscious".
Yes, that was the name. And you ask any returned soldier today, oh yes, he knows the Conscious, who the Conscious were. Well, a lot of these boys that were against war and killing, could see their point. But the lack of man power that there was and having to try and save Australia, well they were drafted into the Forces. Well, that's when up there, their.........kept on the bun fights and also our church services, we had so many of them come into the church; very good singers. The number one boy with the superano voice singing "I knew Thee, I knew Thee every hour". And that was because they were Consciencious of.........they had all those church voice in that Division.
FN Were they given any sort of special duties because they were Consciencious Objecter, were they recognized as such?
Yes, they were recognized as such and they weren't forced to be infantry men or to bear arms or artillery. They were given the jobs of being medical. They were all trained in Ambulance, medical, in the hospitals and stretcher bearers.
FN In those days, they liked you to do a little bit of First Aid too. Why was that?
Well, we were all given what was called an Air raid casualty's book, instructions to First Aid persona, issued by the Brisbane hospital, I've still got mine here. And they made quite a big thing of it because of in the event of an air raid, of people knowing what to do, and to emphasize that there could be an explosive bombs and the type of injuries from explosive bombs.
FN So, you were given quite an explicit book about what to do?
Yes. So, they asked us in Landsborough; the local First Aid man from the Railway was approached, Danny McCosker who was doing a great job putting the trains through.
FN What was his name?
Danny McCosker, they never called him Dan because always Danny McCosker; would he take us for a couple of evenings or even one evening or night a week because men were working. I think his name was Ken Burgess; was the Shire Clerk up there at the time. Well, they asked us to go to the hall and they used to shut the door because all these creeps were around. And this was very early in the piece we did this; and I remember the first night there were forty of us turned up there. And nearly all of us went through on the first course and they had to practise on each other. And I remember my partner was Maureen McCosker.
FN You practised on her.
Yes, she became a sister later on and then she became a nun and she was the, what you call the Matron of the Holy Spirit hospital once.
FN That's lovely.
Yes. A lovely girl and..............worked at the Shire office, she went with Jessie Duncan, and Jessie Dan and Laura, Heather McKay, Ken Burgess, Tony Richards. I just can't recall but I know there were forty of us.
FN You've got a good memory with the names.
Well, then we had to pass our exams and one was from the Railway and the other was from the Ambulance, Q.A.T.B. So, they sent a man up to test us, and I remember we had to have your mate that night we were together, trying tying up legs and broken arms and what you did after explosion, the bomb causing .............fragments and splinters which spread out.........and a horizontal direction with low............., and all about the larger fragments and what you did.
FN And how to cope with some of the disaster?
Well, then I remember they asked to go on. We passed and they asked some of us if we'd go on and take the second certificate. So, by the this time, the Third Division moving in, they had erected a large tent near the Landsborough hall and they had the commandeered it for most nights except for few things like Red Cross and the dance, and the Travelling Picture Show man on Saturday night; which I never told you that, he'd come in. And they were using it for their entertainment committee to practise in, and like it was the troops entertainment committee and they used to use it for practising. So, then, they couldn't have the hall at night time then. So, they had to find another place, and I should imagine that Ken Burgess; the Shire Chambers were there; which is now the Shire of Landsborough Historical Museum. And there was only, I'd say by that time about eighteen of us going for the next one. So, we used to go into the Shire office, it was allowed because of the war; not that often. It was only just if they, it was unavailable. But we had to do our exams there, our written exam. I remember sitting round this big Council table and these great big chairs with arm rests; we girls; what we did, we had to giggle through the Council ..........so he cancelled somebody else,............ So, that's why they wanted us to do First Aid for bomb casualties. By the way Landsborough still got its old Air raid shelter. It's the only one left in Queensland.
FN Where is that?
It's on the Railway Station and we hope it will remain there.
FN Yes, we hope so.
I believe since they have been putting the electric through that they have left there because it is quite.........
FN Yes, I've seen there, Stan pointed out to me.
Yes, it has become the tourist attraction now. It is.
FN So, it should be too. Now, after the war, you were saying that it took a long time for things to get back to normal. Can you tell me why?
Well, talking about sheets, pillow cases, clothing, all the cotton had been used for ammunition, soldier's clothes, leather had been used for their belts and that type of boots, boots it was. And there were thousands and thousands of them to be outfitted and then what they used, so it took a long for them; when they came out they had to get back to till the soil and grow all this cotton and weed and things again from the farms. And then it had to be all the factories that had been turned out to making things for war time.
FN Had to go back to...
They had to get their machinery back to going as peace time to make the things for peace time again.
FN For the civilians?
For the civilians, so it was 1947, they still had clothing rations.
FN Can you remember when you got your first pair of stockings after the war or things like that, something that really impressed you that you did without during the war that...?
Well, I think what impressed me was the fact that I got married on the 13th April, 1946, at the Landsborough Methodist church as it was then ...........church.
FN What was your husband's name?
Percy Reynolds from Maroochydore Road, Maroochydore, and his father was the second white boy born at Cobb's Camp which is now Woombye in the Maroochy Shire. His name was George Alfred Reynolds and he was a councillor on the Maroochy Shire Council for many, many years. So, they were a very old family.
FN Would you like to tell me how you met your husband, Percy Reynolds?
Yes, I would. My brothers when they first went into the Army, went with a lot of ones from the North Coast up here for three months at a time, they did training. This is when the war just began, they used to do three months training. Well, I heard them talk about their comrade, Percy Reynolds but I'd never met him for all I'd met lots and lots of the others. Well, when they went up in New Guinea about twenty two months, their unit was split up, up there and Percy was sent to a different unit and so he was granted leave and they weren't being in this other unit. But he must have come back oh, about eighteen months; they went on. So, when I knew he was coming back I asked him if he would come and see Dad and Mum down at Landsborough and give them word........on how they really were because you couldn't say too much in those days. So, he lived up Maroochydore Road and left it till the last day of his leave to come down.
FN And how old were you then?
I think I was about twenty three. So, when he came down and my cousin George Bryce, he was with the engineers and he'd been right through to Darwin bombing with the engineers. He was home on leave because he used that his home for base for leave his mother being dead, like another brother. So, this soldier came walking in and it was Percy, and, oh, I don't know, it just clicked and then he stayed the night with George. And then he had to go back because his leave was up. He was going back up to New Guinea.
FN And you only saw him for that one day?
No, I came down to Mrs McBride on the weekend, I promised to come down. And who should come on the Sunday, young Heather comes running in from the outside, they had a porch on the front. And she just comes running and then she said, "Mary," she said, "there's a sergeant out there, he wants to see you." And I said, "How do you though?" She said, "I never spoke to him but," she said, "I knew it would be you that he'd want." So, anyway I was surprised that it was Perse and he had gone down to Brisbane and he had another seven days owing to him and he'd made the trouble of going to Brisbane and applying down there at the Leave and Transit depot to get his seven days and then he came back up.
FN Oh, that's a lovely story.
Yes. So, then he had to go back to New Guinea of course. And I still remember because whenever; he did see the boys; they'd gone on to ...........................and he was able to give them of course they were always writing teasing letters down, I know them.
FN Brothers for him?
Yes, they went on to fly in the biscuit bombers.
FN What are the biscuit bombers?
Well, they flew in what was called the D.C.3's, the American ones, they were duckless planes and they had all the inside, from what they tell me, taken out and they used to load with food for the forward troops where they couldn't in, like up the Marcum Valley and the Ramew Valley, and because they were in the Australian Army Service Corps, they were chosen to man these. And they used to have to load up at dawn and before dawn and be taken out and then dropped their supplies with little parachutes attached day after day taking it up, but they all came home safely so, that's great. That was the only thing in the war years are three brothers, they had a numbers one and one after another, they called them the machine gun family, Tut, tut, tut. That was the one thing asked that two of them woudn't be sent up as a team together. I believe they were allowed that because if the plane had come down, Mum would have lost two sons at once.
FN That's right.
So, they flew them in separate teams those days.
FN So, after the war finished, Percy came home?
Well, he did come home befroe.
FN On leave?
His father became very ill and it was only a young brother. The other brother was away fighting, and there were only two young sisters and a young brother at home and he got compassionate leave. And the father wasn't expected to live and they flew him to camp. His father did make a very slow recovery once there was somebody there. So, then we got married as I say.
FN Where were you married? Which Church?
Well, it was called the little Methodist Church in Landsborough.
FN Is it still standing?
Oh, yes. They call it the Uniting Church now, and it looks different from the photos I've got. The steps were in a different way, I've got photos. Oh, a lovely day we had too. By this time, Stan had come back from Wewack on the H.M.S. in Blackaboo at Christmas time. Nigel had come back, Charlie was still in uniform, Dave Rinald's, with his brother; he was still in uniform but he wasn't going to stand as bestman in his uniform. I'm sorry now.
FN What did you wear on your wedding day?
That's the thing that I noticed. We couldn't get wedding dresses. The materials was unpreparable. There was a lot of borrowing going on, you can imagine and that. So, there was a place called................, and they used to send up this catalogue, and oh, that was how you ordered a new dress if you had the coupons. So, about six months before, I had, had this wedding dress advertised for five pounds and ten shillings which was quite a lot of money in those days.
FN Was it?
Yes it was. And I ordered the dress and it was from Waikes I always remember the thrill of getting that dress and what we call the going away frock.
FN That all came from down there?
That all came from Waikes.
FN You couldn't get anything from Brisbane, or you just particularly liked that dress you saw in the Catalogue. Did Birsbane have the same Catalogue system?
No. They had, had prior to the war, T.C. Burns and........in those days, but I think possibly up here, there had been such a big influx of soldiers and Americans; thousands of Americans; that there was just nothing left. There was just nothing. If you went to Brisbane to get, I remember going to get a pair of shoes once, eight coupons. But you had to be there when the door is opened because their quota was sold out in twenty minutes and they were not allowed to sell any more shoes.
FN Than their quota?
Than their quota because that meant that they would have been out of stock anyway.
FN So, after you were married, where did you live?
I've pointed out the farm out on Lindaman's Road, Pine Coochin, Beerwah, for two years. Now that's different, we were managing the farm for this Brian Lindaman. The road's now called after him.
FN Lindaman Road?
Yes, it's called now. It was all scrub and covered in bushed and all the rest of it growing up and all that there was an old Chev truck that we used to cart the pineapples in. There was no phone, no good roads.
FN Did you have electricity out there?
No electricity, very primitive; old two storey sort of home it was with the kitchen downstairs and a couple of bedrooms upstairs.
FN What was the house made of?
Oh, just a timber house.....................and the stove was underneath and the living area and the pineapples; very good healthy life. They were still having to use the two cart horses to plough because petrol wasn't in abundance then. See, in early 1946, the soldiers were just all getting what was called demobbed and getting back into civil life.
FN "Demobbed", what does that mean?
Demobilised the, going back into civil life, they were issued with one suit and one hat and one pair of shoes and one shirt like in cities. I still got Percy's suit here.
FN Have you? So you have how many children?
FN What are their names?
FN Is she the older of the two?
FN Where was she born?
General hospital, 27th August, 1950. And then Julie Helen Reynolds born at Nambour, 27th March, 1952. So, that was the two of them. Well, in those days, that doesn't seem so long ago, but it was doctor Moffat who was up there, and I remember when I was going to have the second baby which was only nineteen months apart. There had been such a lot of bad weather and I was taken up on a Tuesday.
FN Did you go up by train?
No, Perce had say, about four hours off once a month to take me...............there, I did go by train early in the piece.
FN Were you still living at the Pineapple farm or somewhere else?
No, we had moved in; we went to work in the Wilson's mill down at Beerwah, and then we moved up to Landsborough.
FN Where about in Landsborough did you live?
It is now called 57 Caloundra Street, Landsborough, but it didn't have any name though. It was next door to what is now........................this side. And we had twenty three acres there and where what was called Henry's Road House was, we sold him part of our land.
FN What did you do with your acrage? Did you work it or was he too busy at the mill?
Oh, yes. He was too busy at the mill but then, oh, we ran a couple of cows and those days everybody did have a few acrage. We had some orange trees and vegetables and quite a lot of cane to feed the cows and a couple of horses. And then he went into the forestry and he had a big drought horse then we had to feed and he ended up on the railway line. And that's how it went.
FN So, how did you manage with, you were still without electricity?
Yes, well, that was a strange part about Landsborough. Down at mother's place, Mrs Tutt, they may used to get electricity through before 1950, see. But, although we only lived, look, it's only what I would call a quarter of a mile from Landsborough Post Office. When we went there, we could not get electricity. And we never got electricity there (I know because of Julie's age); I went until 1954. We ......................we applied we applied, we applied, and they just would take no notice of you. And then when Henry's; they were going to build this big cafe; all night cafe, which they did before the road was cut, cut the war, they applied..
FN This was sort of early 1950's, like 1954?
Yeah, 1954. And when I applied, at long last, we got the power through and our installations had been sitting there for over two years, they had to come and test them again.
FN So, what did you do when you first got the power? Ran around and turned on every light?
That's what we did that night; turned on every light, went outside to look at it all. Oh! it was wonderful. Oh, it was so irritating; everybody else around had power but we didn't.................oh, I was so frightened of those petrol irons. Have you ever used one?
FN No, I've heard about them and they are quite dangerous.
FN They can explode, can't they?
Oh, yes. Of course this place down at the pineapple farm, the downstair's kitchen; on the ceiling, there was a big black ring like this, and I said to the lady who was there before, "Where's that from?" "Oh," she said, ..................when my iron blew up." I said, "What did you do?" "Oh," she said, "I knew it was going to blow up," she said, "it all glared up and all the methylated spirits and that," so, she said, "I just shut the door and I walked outside and waited till it blew up." And I had a couple of times when it all glared up and I remember throwing it out the door once. So, I went back to using some old flat irons.
FN It's so much safer.
Mrs Kelpt, she walked out on Glenview when she heard I was so scared of it and I still didn't have the power on. She gave me her second mother pots, those are the ones you clip the handles in.
FN They sounded quite good but very heavy. Weren't they, and your arms aching after ironing.
I've always hated ironing.
FN Well, you and your brother Stan Tutt, have been very active in the Landsborough Shire Museum out at Landsborough. Would you like to tell me how that came about?
Oh, yes, it's been a delight to work there.
FN How long have you been working there?
Oh, before it opened because my husband Perce Reynolds, when he retired.
FN What year was that about? Do you remember?
No, I can't, you'd have to work that one out. Yes, sixty, because he'd been a soldier and he wasn't keeping well then.
FN So, he was here sixty years?
Yes, I was only fifty three. Well, he was very interested in the history of the area, as you can tell; and we had joined the Shire of Landsborough Historical Society which had started down at Caloundra. And everybody that had joined was looking for somewhere to make a Museum, because items were being given in all the time and people had them in their houses. Well, the old Shire Chambers at Landsborough have been lying empty for, oh, I'd say for about seven years then, and they couldn't shift them or do anything much about them because there's a great big safe that's got walls about two feet thick and they all concrete and it goes right down and if they shifted it, they had to blow it up.
FN So, they couldn't move the building at all?
They couldn't move the building at all. So, Perce really got the idea how ideal you could do it.
FN This is Percy Reynald, your husband?
Yeah, Percy Reynald. And councillor Dave Hankinson who came from Maleny and was very, very interested in history, having been descended from the first white woman Jane Dunlop who came to the range; I think that he must have spoken to Dave; they were good friends, about it, and I'd that say Dave got moving, and the rest of the historical society thought it would be a wonderful idea. So, we called the public meeting and oh, we had about forty to fifty people turned up that night from round about. And they were all very interested, and it just went from there and we went around collecting items. People used to ring up and send words and Dave Hankinson was a tower of strength. We'd go to Maleny, Percy would take the car with the trailer behind and we'd pick up Dave prearranged, and while we're going up to the name Bergums, it's different to Bergum I believe, and all these old farms, oh! out...................Maleny places, for all I'd lived in the district many years and I hadn't been to all these. And Bill Aplins's place, they'd been there since 1903, and everybody was marvellous. They'd sent word they had this, and ..........................and that and I used to sit on the back turned old cream can or something and I would write them all on this little book, recording.
FN So, you were doing a lot of indexing and recording?
FN And what was Percy doing?
He was doing the hard work with Dave Hankinson collecting the stuff, transferring to the Museum.
FN And cleaning it up. I believe they spent a lot of hours cleaning them?
Yes, there was a really good gang of them. It was a great fellowship.
FN Who were they?
Jack and Mary Ferris from Bankfoot House, Glasshouse Mountains, wonderful old couple. Jane Maroney, I couldn't wish for any better person to work with. Anne Wensley did curtains and what she could, Ray Tilney, and Percy Reynolds of course and myself. Conny Cawley from Beerwah, she was a great one. And I must say that two new comers to Landsborough, Bill and Edith Lanham, they worked too. They were only new comers and she showed us how we should record it, all suggested nicely by the books, how to do it.
FN So you put in a lot of hours.
And Dave Hankinson and Ted Hankinson, used to come down, and Meg Hankinson too, we mustn't forget her.
FN Who is Meg Hankinson?
Meg Hankinson is Dave Hankinson's wife.
FN How many days a week would you go to the Museum to work?
Oh, I would say, at least three half days, and then we used to have working bees at night for those that were still working in working hours. And it used to smell of paint, varnish, floor polish, everything. And when we first started, oh, the rooms were just cluttered because the men had brought the stuff in and just laid it on the floor. And I remember Edith Lanham saying one night, "This is no good," she said, "take some of that stuff out the front underneath the trees down the front and we're going to create a bedroom. Come on, we'll put the bed up, lots of bits lying on the floor." And then we started creating the rooms then. Then we had the Opening Day, which was a big day.
FN Do you want to tell me about that?
Well, Perce was President then of course. And I organized twenty two people in their costumes, and I think except for two, they were all original costumes. And old timers who had lived at Conondale and that, but had shifted so we had not heard about it, and wrote letters and asked could their grand daughters be in.................for the old clothes that they already had, and they brought them up from Wynnham. Oh, it was wonderful day. Mrs ..............Newstead had been a great citizen at Landsborough.
FN Was that the Newstead House?
No, different. They'd come there and had taken the store over in about 1950. And she and her husband who was returned soldier; they'd always worked for the community of Landsborough and so she, he had passed away by this time and she had gone away. But we got in touch with her. She's one of those people that is a natural person for a compere, she has always been in public life and she came up..
FN Lots of confidence?
Yes, she compered it for us. And Miss May...........opened it.
FN Jessie May..........?
Yes, because she had worked in that building when it was the Shire office.
FN What was the date of the opening?
3rd April, 1976. I've written that down quite a few times. Oh, they were very happy days.
FN It sounds like you were very happy lot and very enterprising, all working together and sharing the experience.
Oh, we did. It was a shared experience and what was turning up and known all these old things; it was a source of wonder; I found this and I found that. I should say there that an old couple from over Toowoomba, her brother had been up at Conondale, a Mr and Mrs Nickel's.............. and Bill Nickel, they were marvellous, they just turned up. They had heard that this was going to be, and they had this big collection of bottles that her brother from Conondale had collected and have there. And she got in touch with the councillor, councillor ................and they went over and got these bottles and then one day, this old couple turned up at our place. They'd come up to offer to help. That they'd booked in at the Caravan Park and they came over regularly. And they were really good, they cleaned and he moved things. Oh, yes. So, we always keep in touch with them.
FN So, all the cases that everything went in, they all had to be constructed, didn't they?
Well, quite a lot of them did. First, put all the vase on the windows and you construct those wire netting type of cases where all the bottles are behind. And all those shells to put the bottles on. And we had wire netting round in front of the tools there. Oh, another one turned up, Roger Leach, because he was the fifth generation of Leach's to be around. He was a young man and he asked if he could do something. It was work and he constructed the case for us with glass in it.
FN You all did a very good job.
Yes. So, the day of the opening, he asked, could his little boy be in it, because he was a descendant. So, he and Jack Ferris in his old flannel shirt. Jack said, "I've got no clothes to get dressed up in." I just said, "You wear what you've got on today Jack!" Because he always wore these old flannel shirts, grey flannel. And he and Roger Leach and the little Leach boy, carried the axes and the cross cut saw, because that was why Landsborough was opened up, the timber, the red cedar in the early days.
FN That's what opened Landsborough?
Well, it came down really from Maleny, all the red cedar. And then down McCarthy Chute, and down what's Hardwood Road now, it was taken down to Campbellville. That's how the connection is.It's really good to have pioneers turn up, ................like younger ones, and ask could they be in it.
FN So, we were talking before about the time in Caloundra during the Second World War, and you emphasized that there was no fear even though there were probably ten thousand soldiers in the area at the time. There wasn't that fear, how do you think things have changed; say in the eighty's, would you be scared to walk down to Golden Beach shops at night to get something now?
Oh, yes, I would, definitely. And my Grand daughters who now live in Landsborough, on...................oh, I wouldn't dream of hearing of her riding a bicycle down to Caloundra. Not at the actual riding but just for the safety with a girl friend. You wouldn't know what would happen to them on the way.
FN That's right. You were saying that things were never the same after World War II.
No, they weren't because I think that we had all got mixed up with other States, before that we never travelled far. And the soldiers from down south had been here, a lot married girls from here. And some of the girls went back and some of the soldiers that I know of; I had a brother in law; my husband's sister married a man from Victoria, so.................he came back here. And I knew others did that, and it seem to mix Australia up for the first time, and it's never gone back. Well, of course, transport became much easier too, didn't it, later.
FN That's right. Do you think Televisions play a big part in our sense of morales, morals?
Yes, I do and I think possibly, they don't have as much to do as we have after school. We all had jobs to do. Ask any of my age group because it was all wood stoves.
FN So, you think the younger generation haven't got the responsibility to, they don't take responsibility the way you did?
No, I think it is. They can't help it, that it's just a different life, that there aren't those little jobs around the home that needed doing because the ...........................and everybody, even if they lived in the town, seem to have a few chooks and a couple of ducks. There was always those, those things have to be fed and watered and cages cleaned out. It mightn't sound right but for a child it was a continuing job. And of course Mum and Dad in those days, if it wasn't done, it had to be done.
FN Did you find that your parents were a lot stricter with you than say your daughters are with their children?
Well, I don't think so. I think because we're a loving, happy family. But you were made to finish your job, like that making the butter.
FN Even though you hated it, you still had to do it?
Yes, you had to do it. And if I was late getting the chooks off .......................played too long with Alfa McKin, got home late, I still had to go and get it in the bucket to light the fire in the morning.
FN You were never let off a job?
No, unless you were sick. And you grew up knowing that you had to finish that job.
FN That's good grounding I think for anyone growing up.
I guess it is, now looking at it, but it's the young ones now, they haven't got the opportunity of doing that; that's how I feel. And I also think when you asked that television, that there are so many violent things that we would have never heard of or seen. I suppose the first violent we came in contact was the war although we were sheltered back here. And I'll admit, we girls, we enjoyed those years. You had your worried moments and sadnesses too but, oh well, it seem to be that type of life that you had to make the most of what was there.
FN Yes, what you had.
It went on for so long, and different wars who'd been killed and ones who'd come back and were injured.
FN You were lucky that your three brothers came back alive.
The only sadness I had was when that Richard Walker from Kilcoy was killed up at ...............
FN And how was he killed?
Oh, I met one of his friends in Brisbane when they'd just come back with Heather McKay and I; she'd moved away to Bundaberg by this time. She came back in the Seventh Division. We were given a march in Brisbane, it was a very, very big thing. I've got a paper cutting of it, the remnants of what was left. And we caught this train down. We got up early in the morning and you got on the Rocky mail, and we stood nearly all the way because it was full of soldiers and people like that and got in there and they marched through the streets. Well, later on, met one of his friends and it was when they went out. Padray Hart has written a poem and that on it too. On the ..................from the perimeter at Christmas time, that's when they were Christmas in New Guinea, and they were surrounded and he was hit in the head by the machine gun from the..........And what this boy always said was what got them was they got seen there, and he was trying to crawl; they knew he was alive, and the Japs just turned the guns on him.................it stayed with me, that.
FN Terrible thing to happen?
But I think that the relative things was the fuzzy wuzzy angels of the Arms Stanley Range. Have you ever heard of that?
FN No, would you like to tell me that? I have no idea.
It was attribute to the devotion and endurance of the fuzzy wuzzy angels of New Guinea. And they'd have carried us on the jungle track of the Owen Stanley Range. This brave born Australian soldier following first which he sent to his mother. Many mother in Australia when the busy day is done, sends a prayer to the Almighty for the keeping of her son. Asking that the angel guide him and to bring him safely back. Now we see those prayers are answered on the Owen Stanley Track. Though they have many hallos, only holes slash through the ear and their faces marked with patties and with scratch pins in their hair. Bringing back the badly wounded just as steady as a hearse. Yes, and we have to keep the rain off and as gentle as a nurse. Slow and careful in bad places on the awful mountain track and the look upon their faces make us think that Christ was glad. Not a move to hurt the ............as they treat him like a saint. It's a picture worth recording that an artist get to paint. Many a lad would see his mother and the husband ..............and wise. Just because the fuzzy wuzzy carried them to safe their lives. From mortal or machine gun fire, or a chance surprise attack to safety and the care of doctors at the bottom of the track. May the mothers in Australia when they offer up a prayer, mention these impromptu angels with the fuzzy wuzzy hair. Now I'd like to do a reply of it. The now famous verse fuzzy wuzzy angels was written by a dicker as our troop was advancing over the Owen Stanley Ranges last October in the war. It ended with the lines May the mothers of Australia when they offer up a prayer, mention these impromptu angels with the fuzzy wuzzy hair. Heros must go to mother's answer which was written by the mother's of...............that attribute to the natives of New Guinea. His loyalty and endurance inspite the .............verse. Her answer is: We, the mothers of Australia, as we kneel each night in prayer, will be sharer to ask God's blessing on the man with fuzzy hair. And may the Great Creator who made both black and white help us to remember how they helped to win the fight. For surely he has used these men with fuzzy wuzzy hair to guard and watch our wounded with tender loving care. And perhaps when they are tired with blistered aching back, he'll take the young upon the himself and help him down the track. And the God will be the artist in this picture He will paint of a fuzzy wuzzy angel with the hallo of the saint. And his presence shall go with them in tropic heat and rain. And He'll help them tend our wounded, in sickness and pain. So, we thank dear fuzzy wuzzy for all that you have done. Not only for Australia but for every mother's son. And we're glad to call you friends,.............might be glad. For we know that Christ walk with you on the Owen Stanley Track.
FN That's lovely, they're both lovely. Attribute to the New Guineans who helped the wounded soldiers?
Yes. The fuzzy wuzzy angels of course is well known. And the strange part I found out after the war that it was a native Stans................who wrote it.
FN That's interesting.
Yes. I never knew at the time when I cut that out.
FN Well, thanks Mary. Is there anything else you'd like to say. We're running out of tape.
FN It's been a pleasure interviewing you. You've been most informative.
Well, I'm very pleased to have been of any assistant, you know.
FN You've been a great asset towards the Landsborough Shire Local History Project anyway. Not only with this tape but the photos.
Oh, you can thank Percy Reynolds for the photos.
FN Thanks a lot Mary.