1900-1949 on the Sunshine Coast

Nambour Rural School, Carroll Street, Nambour, ca 1935 | Picture Sunshine Coast


Maroochydore was still a very quiet little village - some fishing, campers at holiday time, no roads in.


Maroochy Divisional Board became the Maroochy Shire Council.


Maleny was a very busy town due to the timber and dairy industries. Maleny Co-Operative Dairy Association formed on 3 May.


Butter factory built in the main street of Maleny.

George Bury elected chairman of Maroochy Shire Council.


Hotel Francis is built by Mr David Rooke on land near the corner of Albert Street and Stewart Way, Shelly Beach.


Lighthouse Brand fish cannery opens near the northern end of Bribie Island.


18 July - First land sale in Maroochydore. Thomas O’Connor (surveyor) purchased Pettigrew’s 2000 acres. Between 1908 - 1920 he subdivided and sold areas at Maroochydore, Alexandra Headland, and Mooloolaba. This made the development of these seaside resort towns.


Worm infestation almost destroys the oyster industry in Pumicestone Passage.


Two teachers drown at Kings Beach. Following the tragedy Caboolture Divisional Board places life lines and two life buoys on Kings Beach to assist with rescues. People visiting the seaside were expected to perform their own rescues.


Landsborough Shire Council held its first meeting on 22 February in Dyers Hall. The shire was formed after separating formally from the Caboolture Divisional Board. Landsborough Shire Council’s first chairman was Mr John Tytherleigh and H. J. Hooper appointed as clerk. Landsborough Shire Council’s first shire office and shire clerks’ residence was built high on the hill overlooking Landsborough Maleny Road and the future Peace Memorial Park. Telephone line was extended from Landsborough to the lighthouse keeper’s house in Caloundra which also housed the telephone exchange. Postal and telephone services continued from the lighthouse until 21 November, 1934.


On 17 June Landsborough Shire Council held its first meeting in the newly built shire office.


Shire Chairman and storekeeper John Tytherleigh opened a new store in Landsborough on the corner of Cribb and Maleny Streets. Between 1914 and 1916 the Mellum Club Hotel at Landsborough was moved on skids from Old Gympie Road Cribb Street.


Caloundra Lighthouse control passed from State to Commonwealth control. Conondale Provisional School opened on its present site in a building made by George Tilney and his sons Eddy and Ossie using local pit sawn timber.


"Maroochydore" was established as the name for the area previously called Maroochi or Marutchi. Suggested by Thomas O’Connor.

Maroochydore Life Saving Club and Swimming Club was formed making it only the second life saving club in Queensland.

Governor of Queensland Major Sir Hamilton Goold–Adams, and his wife, visits Beerburrum to inaugurate the Beerburrum Soldiers’ Settlement. They arrived by special train with T. J Ryan, the Labor Premier of Queensland. The governor’s wife drew marbles to allocate the first farm plots of 20 to 40 acres (8 -16ha) The Soldier Settlers Scheme was designed to give repatriated soldiers an opportunity to start a small farm and assist to populate areas where growth was encouraged. In September Glass House Mountains School of Arts opens.


Unveiling of honour board at Landsborough School of Arts on 19 February which listed the names of the fallen soldiers and those wounded during WW1 from the surrounding district. This included the names of the three fallen and three wounded Gilvear brothers from Glass House Mountains. Robert Bulcock Jnr. commenced subdivision of the Bulcock Estate which extended from Black Flat to Dingle Avenue. This was the beginning of housing development in Caloundra.

First rural school in Queensland opened in Nambour.


Failure of experimental farming of sheep at the Beerburrum Soldier Settlement due to dingoes attacking the sheep.


September of that year the Nambour Chronicle reported on the relocation of a building from Woodford to Bulcock Beach which became Caloundra’s biggest guesthouse. The imposing two storeys wooden building was renamed Caloundra House. The lighthouse keeper’s wife was appointed postmistress in Caloundra. It had 34 bedrooms and held up to 100 guests at Christmas and Easter. Diphtheria outbreak in Maleny.


H. R. H. Prince Edward stopped in Beerburrum on Tuesday, 3 August after visiting the North Coast.


Bubonic Plague is registered in the district.


Landsborough – Maleny Road under construction. Rinaldi’s Store opens in Bulcock Street selling everything and anything. This store was also an agency for the Commonwealth Bank.


Landsborough Ambulance Station officially opened in April which brings welcomed emergency first aid assistance to the district. Cream of Boats boat hire service opened by Alf Round at Bulcock Beach. The hire of boats catered for recreational fishermen.

On 14 July, the Landsborough Shire Council Chambers were officially opened by Shire Chairman, Councillor John Grigor of Maleny. The same building now houses the Shire of Landsborough Historical Museum. The building, constructed of native hardwoods, hoop and bunya pine, was built by A. E. Round at a cost of 824 Pounds. The architect was W.C. Voller. These chambers were used for 44 years until 1968, when the Landsborough Shire Council moved to their new chambers in Bulcock Street, Caloundra. Fire destroyed shops in Maleny which included the shops of Jack Grigor’s butchery, Alderdice Bakery, Fred Knott’s grocery store and the tailor’s premises. Bald Knob Hall officially opened as well as Landsborough School of Arts Memorial Hall on 8 May. Landsborough School of Arts opening was a grand affair opened by the Queensland Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable William Lennon, followed by a parade of vehicles and floats to entertain the local crowd. John Tytherleigh donated the land and stumps for the Landsborough Memorial Hall.


5 January - Nambour fire - 17 businesses were destroyed in Currie Street.


Australian writers Vance and Nettie Palmer move to Caloundra. During their time in Caloundra 1925 – 1929 Vance Palmer wrote the book titled ‘The Passage’. Most of the needs for Caloundra still came by boat through The Passage.


First plane lands in Caloundra when it nose dives on soft sand at Kings Beach.


Metropolitan a Brisbane based life saving club as well as Royal Life Savers from the Mooloolah area start beach patrols on Kings Beach. William Farlow’s store at Kings Beach opens for the first time on Christmas Day.

Nambour - Electric power was first made available and administered and operated by Maroochy Shire Council.


Golden Beach Estate subdivided for housing from land located on Black Flat. The name was selected because of the golden blooms of the wattles and other native plants which flowered abundantly in the Wallum country. Bert Hinkler passes over Caloundra on his England to Australia flight.


23 October - Nambour fire - number of businesses, Town Hall and its picture show, Town Library, and bank destroyed.

Grigor Bridge which spans the Mary River at Conondale is officially opened in October. It was named in honour of Jack Grigor, a chairman of Landsborough Shire and a member of the first council formed in 1912. Landsborough Shire Council decided that bullock teams would no longer be permitted on council roads, which were primarily gravel based.


The largest Soldier Settlement scheme of its sort in Australia located at Beerburrum fails. Due to the worsening financial climate local business people in Maleny produced a booklet to promote tourism. This booklet was a forerunner to real estate and tourist advertising and promoted scenic, social and health virtues of the area. The first aeroplane lands near Maleny.

29 January - Maroochy District Hospital (now Nambour General Hospital) opened.


Caloundra School of Arts and library were officially opened on 28 March by Queensland Minister for Education, the Honourable R. H. King. Conondale National Park is gazetted and the first stage is an area of 640 acres (259ha). Tidal surge in Pumicestone Passage the wave came from Pumicestone Passage side of Bribie Island and partly covered Bribie Island.


Minister for Agriculture, Mr Bullock, introduced a Tobacco Settlement Scheme in an attempt to create work for unemployed farmers on the abandoned pineapple farms at Beerburrum.


Queensland Government sponsors plantings of slash pine about ten kilometres from Beerburrum Township. Police officer George Weldren patrols by horseback from Landsborough district to Maleny and Caloundra. Maleny Show is postponed due to the influences of the Great Depression.


Great North Coast Road later to be known as the Bruce Highway is constructed and opened parallel to the Gympie Road. The Bruce Highway was named after Mr Henry Adam Bruce, the Queensland Minister for Public Works on 27 September. Shire Clerk and secretary of the Great North Roads Committee, Herbert Layt documented in the Landsborough Shire Chambers the resolution which was carried, naming the Bruce Highway. Landsborough Shire Council advocated strongly for Landsborough Shire to be connected with Brisbane by an all weather road. Layt Bridge, just south of Landsborough Township on Steve Irwin Way is named after Herbert Layt.


All weather gravel road is built from Bruce Highway to Caloundra by Queensland Main Roads. As well, a project linking the 48 kilometres of roads being Landsborough, Maleny and the Mary River is officially launched in Maleny on 1 November which assisted local men find work. Norfolk Pines planted along the shores of Bulcock Beach. Amusu Theatre, a picture show theatre was opened as well as John Tytherleigh’s store in Bulcock Street, to cater for the growing number of residents and tourists.

Roy Henzell and partner Bill Farlow establish Farlow and Henzell Real Estate Agency in Bulcock Street. Collapse of the sand dune at the northern end of Bribie Island causes erosion at Golden Beach.


Caloundra Road has a bitumen surface applied ensuring a more reliable access to the seaside township. The fashionable Spanish style architecturally designed Kings Beach Pavilion, with kiosk and changing sheds is completed to cater for the influx of tourists enjoying the first surfing beach north of Brisbane. At this time the sand dunes close by were levelled to make way for a car park. Currimundi House near Caloundra was built for the Queensland Governor, Sir Leslie Wilson. The Governor had bought four blocks on the corner of Neill Street. His large stately house was called Currimundi. ‘Semloh’, Holmes spelt backwards was built at Dicky Beach for Mrs Holmes of Landsborough. ‘Semloh’ a café and guesthouse was operated by Mrs Holmes till 1957.


Caloundra’s first police station opened in King Street, manned by police officer John ‘Jack’ Kann his official police transport being a bicycle. Bulcock Street has a bitumen surface applied in November. Ambulance Station opened for business at Kings Beach. The very popular Glideaway Hall is opened and featured as a big event for Caloundra. Fancy skating demonstrations were held as well as dancing. Permits were required to enter Caloundra as it was a restricted zone during the war years. Currimundi at this time is gazetted for training, manoeuvres or other military purposes as part of a Federal Government designation as a ‘Controlled Place or Area’. Late 1939 Caloundra Artillery camp is set up at Battery Hill. The Commanding Officer of the Coastal Artillery in Caloundra was Lieutenant Colonel A. G. Thomson. In Caloundra a private house Buena Vista is commandeered and used as Observation Post for North West Shipping Channel for defence from sea borne attack of Caloundra and the approaches to Moreton Bay.


The Royal Australian Navy establishes No1 R.A.N. Signal Station on the curve in Victoria Terrace on Caloundra Headland on 9 September. In front of the signal station a three storey signal tower was constructed of 300mm thick concrete. Here the signallers checked all shipping. Ships on the eastern sea board travelled in convoys protected by warships and destroyers and vessels lined up off Caloundra Headlands. Many of the local men who signed up late 1939 early 1940’s and trained in the area went to the 8th Division which was captured by the Japanese in Singapore. Electricity came to Maleny town centre in February of that year. Mrs Edney later to be known as Ma Bendall purchases Harmony Court flats located on the Esplanade, Bulcock Beach.


Land titles are transferred to Landsborough Shire Council from land owned by Thynne family of Maleny to preserve the original nature of the scrub which later is to be known as Mary Cairncross Park. Electricity is brought to Caloundra. Caloundra Lighthouse is connected to electricity at the start of 1942. Landsborough Queen Competition is held on 29 September to raise money for a training plane. The venue was the Landsborough School of Arts and the hall was packed with locals and defence force personnel wanting to assist the war effort.


During World War II - Military authorities considered Noosa to Caloundra a logical beachhead for an enemy landing. A great number of soldiers, many returned from Middle East, were camped in the area.

From 1942 to 1944 Currimundi and Kawana areas were used primarily for live firing practice by the military, Army engineers built a bridge over Currimundi Creek to gain access to those areas. Thousands of troops camped and trained in the local areas. General Douglas MacArthur visited Fort Bribie during this time. Mrs McArthur pays a highly classified visit to Caloundra to see American refugees rescued covertly by US Special Forces and taken by submarine from the Philippines to Darwin. These American families were then housed by the Red Cross in guesthouses such as Strathallen in Lower Gay Terrace, Caloundra. The children attended school in Caloundra and were sworn to secrecy as it would endanger those left behind until they could be rescued. Throughout the Caloundra district there were many military installations including two Vickers machine guns mounted at either end of Kings Beach. Caloundra State School is commandeered for Australian Military Headquarters. The children received their lessons in split shifts at the local scout den. Glideaway Hall was taken over by the army for their bulk store. Francis ‘Frank’ Nicklin, M. M. was made commander of 6th Battalion Volunteer Defence Force in an area from Mount Cooroy and Noosa in the north to the southern areas of Caloundra and Caboolture, and included Kilcoy and Kenilworth in the west. Nicklin was responsible for planning the evacuation of civilians at short notice as well as organising local defence. Peace Memorial Park at Landsborough becomes a convalescent camp run by the 2/6th Field Ambulance. The Shire Clerks house was converted to a hospital and nearby houses accommodated the doctors.


On 14 May, the fully illuminated Australian Hospital Ship (AHS-47) Centaur en route from Sydney to Port Moresby was torpedoed and sunk by Japanese submarine 1-177 somewhere off Moreton Island. Two hundred and sixty eight people were killed.


Cyclones cause erosion to coastal beaches. At Kings Beach the Metropolitan Caloundra club house is moved back by bulldozers and locals to stop the building falling into the sea.


Real Estate agent Roy Henzell purchases William Landsborough’s Portion 27, some 2372 acres (960 ha) being sold to cover unpaid rates. Today this property is Golden Beach and Pelican Waters. Electricity is turned on at Witta and Reesville five years after Maleny. A massive works program was decided upon after the war years to bring the coastal town up to date. Little had been built due to the shortage of building materials after the war and lack of labour. Army huts from Bribie Island were used extensively for housing after the war years while building restrictions were in place. Caloundra’s first postal deliveries started in December with two deliveries on weekdays and one on Saturday. Rough seas and high tides cause severe erosion to Golden Beach foreshore.


Dicky Beach is developed for housing. A surf life saving club and patrols is established at North Caloundra (Dicky Beach) after a drowning. First newspaper for Caloundra, known as the Caloundra Topic is published with a cost of one penny (1 cent). Golden Beach Progress Association is formed.


Mayes Estate off Bowman Road is developed into housing blocks. Caloundra Cricket Club is formed on land donated by Roy Henzell. Whitecliff Hospital opened on 13 May in the former naval signal station on Wickham Point. Byerlee’s Caravan Park known as Tooway is opened. The caravan park one of the first in Queensland was of a very high standard. A new store and post office facilities was built for Mr J. Arthur at Moffat Beach. Landsborough Shire Council takes over responsibility for Military Jetty, Golden Beach from the Commonwealth Government.

25 April - Nambour fire - Maroochy Shire Chambers in Station Square severely damaged.