John discusses Mayes Estate, his house building days and fishing in the Pumicestone Passage
Interview with: John Mayes
Date of interview: 18 July 1994
Interviewer: Louise Bauer
Transcriber: Sigrid Stone
John talks about his family who bought land that was known as Mayes Estate. Farming the property. John also talks of his house building days and well as fishing in the Pumicestone Passage.
Image: John Mayes displays a good catch of blackfish at his home in Bowman Road, Caloundra, ca 1935.
John Mayes oral history - part one [MP3 45MB]
John Mayes oral history - part two [MP3 45MB]
This is Louise Bauer, I’m recording an interview with John Mayes on the 18th of July 1994, interview number OH034.
LB. Good afternoon Mr Mayes, thank you for coming to chat with us this afternoon. I was wondering if we could ask you some questions about what’s now known as Mayes’ Estate …….?
JM Yes, well we lived in Bowen and our Dad came down here looking for some land… in Caloundra and spoke to his brother-in-law, Ben Dennis. He told him about the …..that land out at what was known at Bowman’s Ridge was for sale. So Dad made some inquiries, he had to go to Beaudesert if I remember and do something about it. But it was up for sale for the arrears and rates and he bought the forty acres for 64 pounds in 1933.
LB And was that considered a good price in those days?
JM Oh well nobody knew anything about it you see, it was cheap really. It was cheap but the others, some of the others here, found out about it after and were kicking themselves they missed it but we came and Dad, well they arranged to have a chap, Alec Ritchie, who lived here, to clear some land so we could build a house, this was when we still in Bowen, of course this was in Depression years and it was a bit hard to sell our Bowen house then so we sold that eventually and anyway this Alec Ritchie he didn’t tell him where to clear it and he cleared land up around behind (a long way behind ?) where the Hospital is now, which I think is outside our property anyway.
LB He cleared the wrong block?
JM He was in the wrong place, yes. He chopped some big trees down and cleared that so when we got here we had to start all over again. Find our own spot to build a house which we did and got a carpenter named George Godwin to build a house, that was in 1934.
LB And how old were you then?
JM I was 16 in 1934, in November 1934; I was 15 when we came down to Caloundra.
LB So did you move straight on to the property or did you rent?
JM We rented a house, 10 shillings a week, just somewhere near where the Commonwealth Bank is now, I think. Our uncle Ben, Ben Dennis lived just up from that a bit, and this old house was a shaky old house because I knew we had a big wind at the time and you lay in bed at night and feel it rocking but anyway we stayed there until George Godwin had time to get onto our house, he was busy beforehand (we had to?) wait a little while, I remember helping him put the top plates on for instance. Anyway we got that done, the house was built and we moved out there.
LB And do you know who owned the house in Bulcock St.?
JM A chap named Charlie Eaton, the one we lived in.
LB He was the butcher wasn’t he, (was it?) the same gentleman?
JM Ah, I don’t know where he came from, no I know he owned that house - 10 shillings a week we paid for it.
LB And so when you came to Caloundra, can you tell us a little bit about the trip down from Bowen? That must have been a fairly major move.
JM Yes, well ah, had to sell up, or no, a lot of furniture and stuff was sold in auction, the rest was packed and sent down by train to Brisbane. It was sent down to Thomas Brown and Son, Short St. Wharf in Brisbane and there was a carrier called (Bayonet?), he had a boat carrying business from Brisbane to Caloundra. He used to come with a big boat with, oh, 50-60 footer, with all sorts of goods and chattels, anything at all he’d carry. Goods carrying boat come through Bribie passage (until?) he got to the lime pocket and then Paul Barner had a big barge this end used to go up and meet him they’d transfer it all. The barge only drew a couple of feet of water but the big boat probably drew 6 or 7 feet of water you see? And anyway he worked for years but that’s how we got the furniture we brought.
LB Can you remember the name of the boat?
JM Ah, I recall the barge, the big old barge was called the Droga (at the work life stage) but the big boat, oh I did know it - no, I think I’ve forgotten.
LB So they would have swapped around about, you said lime pocket, was that around about where the skids are or a bit further up?
JM Yes, the other side, a deep water hole at lime pocket, the shallows are this side, possibly may have come to the shallows sometimes, that’s up to Roy’s but lime pocket is a good deep hole a good place to transfer.
LB And was there a jetty or anything?
JM No, no they just transferred from one to the other. Same as Tom Maloney he use to do the same thing you see. They had a big boat that used to come through here, working the same business, the Maloney family. And Tom used to go down on the beach and collect shell grit, and he had an old horse and buggy and down on the beach, mostly Shelly Beach I think it was, and he’d collect the shell grit and bag it up and it went back as a back loading. He’d take that up and put that on the boat, take the goods off onto the, what they call the water hen. It was a barge but it had a bow, a sharp bow, and a broad stern with a paddle wheel on the back of it and he use to take the shell grit up, I just read in the paper, just today somewhere about Maloney’s getting shell grit for their chooks, well he didn’t get it for his chooks he used to take it to Brisbane to sell it.
LB And who did he sell it to?
JM Well people who had chook farms, anyone who wanted shell grit for chooks, you see. A lot of people had fowls I suppose in Brisbane then, but that’s what it was sold for, for shell grit.
LB So the boats earned their keep on the way up and then took something back?
JM Yes, that’s (what) it was. Well one didn’t, the barge didn’t take anything much back but Maloney took the shell grit back.
LB And they both took passengers as well?
JM No, no I don’t think so. There was no passenger accommodation. I did go through and (Bars) once when he was, it was early in the (winter), I think he was putting in a charcoal burning, what do you call that? - running the motor, charcoal burning things, I forget what they call it now, some combustion or something or other and they were getting it converted, Dad and I (went through with them) and came back and the winter’s night was cold.
LB Ok, back to what we know as Mayes Estate. What did you father want to do with the land? When he bought it did he want to farm it or….?
JM Yes, well we ah, we didn’t have implements these ….., we chipped everything up with a hoe and planted some tomatoes and an orange grove of citrus, mandarins and various oranges and of course he planted the mango trees that are still there which we bought down in the train with us, I told you that before, the train ………….
LB How many did you bring?
JM I forget now. Whatever there is there, half a dozen or so we bought down and planted but he planted them too close together and they jammed up, I think they’re still there.
LB Yes, they are still there.
JM Well, they were planted in 1934, those trees were planted there. Yes well, chipped up the ground, planted some tomatoes. The tomatoes grew up and produced to a certain extent but he didn’t have the knowledge. At Bowen at that time they didn’t use fertilisers and this land here wasn’t good enough to really do a good job of tomatoes. We used to sell the tomatoes round; I would take them around on my push bike and sell them around Caloundra, just around town. And the oranges then the mangos, people used to come and buy the mangos.
LB Were the mangos really popular, because they must have been….?
JM Well they were the first mangos as far as I know, I don’t think there were any other …… of prime mangos down in this area when they came down because they were only just sort of getting going in Bowen when Dad got hold of them and he brought them down, they were a beautiful mango. Well, that was all the farming until, or trying to farm tomatoes and things I think and then in 1937 I got a job with a chap (called) Les Dean, working on the house that was beside Caloundra House, ah, (Strathaird) they called the house Strathallen was the other, the guest house but (Strathaird) they called the house, that was the first house I worked on.
LB And what year would that have been?
JM I think that was 1937, because I went to Ipswich in 1938 with Les Dean, so I think it was 1937.
LB So you would have been in your early twenties at that stage?
JM ’37, yeah about 20, well 1918, yeah about 19 when I started working with Les and he got a job in Ipswich working for the people in (Barnett) with the bus run, so yeah, stayed there for about 6 months with about 3 hours…. …..summer, right through the winter, it’s hot and it’s cold, it’s from one extreme to the other.
LB So the property used to be called Bowman’s Ridge?
JM Yes that’s right, Bowman, yes a man named Bowman owned it and it was the dumping ground for Caloundra, everybody that used the dump drove up and there was a road that went diagonally through the forty acres. Of course Dad knew a little bit about that sort of thing, he knew that if a road was used continuously through a property for years and not blocked off would become a road and you couldn’t shut it. So he smartly got around to the powers that be and got it closed, got it wiped off the plans and that was the end of that and we fenced the property in and no road.
LB That would have been better for you wouldn’t it? Otherwise you could’ve ended up as you say…
JM Oh, you didn’t want a road cutting diagonally through from one corner virtually to the other, you see up somewhere where the RSL is, up in that area.
LB So where did everyone take their rubbish then?
JM Oh, suppose they had to go to the rubbish dump then ….changing a bit. But we found dumps of tins and bottles and cans and everything all over the place up in the scrub, it disappeared eventually. Somebody’s dug a well there ….. built the house. Wonder what it was for, it was down about 20 feet or so, (you wouldn’t) think you’d use it to get water out of it …the garden.
LB So what was the vegetation like on the property, was it all tall gums or…?
JM Yes, there was a lot of black butt, big box trees and that sort of…
LB And you just cleared it, you couldn’t…?
JM We cleared a fair bit of it and we cut the - Dad of course working in that sort of business knew how to cut the fence posts and things, and we cut all the fence posts and fenced the whole 40 acres in. But we had quite a job finding some of the pegs that was the trouble; you know getting the lines through. But we got pretty close to it anyway; we might have been a bit out.
LB Where did the timber come for the house? Was that local or..?
JM That would have come from (Tesch) Brothers, George Godwin got that and he got the last of the second grade, what they call the second grade pine at that time. It was all VJ pine walls you see. I remember George saying, “I got the last of the second grade pine and there wasn’t a knot in it”, but it was classed as second grade pine. All beautiful timber - that house is still there.
LB It’s still standing today isn’t it?
JM Yes, weatherboard house.
LB So the timber has stood the test of time, hasn’t it?
JM Oh, yes, yes. I think it did that further down…put the roof on right; I don’t know if it’s been re-
roofed or not, it may have been, I couldn’t say.
LB So that house would have been there nearly 60 years.
JM Yes, yes 60 years this year, about, somewhere possibly about this time of the year it would have been - April, May, June, July - might’ve been a bit later than this….’cause we had to wait for George Godwin was doing old alteration on the shop on the corner opposite (Henzell’s) that Harold Cook had. He was doing some alteration on that at that time, he had to do that first then he could come and build our house.
LB And was he the main builder in town at that time or the only builder?
JM Ah, Ernie Renaldi, I think he worked for Ernie Renaldi who had the shop just below there. Do you know where that shop was? Well, Ernie Renaldi was a builder, I think George worked for him but Ernie Renaldi wasn’t working as (partner with him). But I think, yes I would say that George would have been, as far as I know the only builder in town.
LB And you and your father helped him with little…?
JM I helped him put the top plates on, things he found difficult to do on his own you see. And I remember doing that, might’ve been where I got a bit interested in building. I was always interested in making things anyway, I remember helping George put the top plates on and I might have helped him do some of the roof, I just don’t remember, I distinctly remember helping him put the top plates on anyway.
LB And a little further down the track he built another house on the property did he, when you subdivided it, is that…?
JM Oh, I built one, two, three houses.
LB You built them?
JM Yes, that was in weekends, after we came back from, after I was discharged from the army we were married and I went to Brisbane. I was, well I thought I wasn’t supposed to get out in the sun really, I was supposed to keep in and I got a job with the Yanks in (Wick) in Brisbane. I bought an old house in there in …. in Red Hill and we lived there when were married in ’43 ‘til ’45. I left and came back up and started with Harry …. and started working with him.
LB And what were you doing with him?
JM Carpentry - building. That’s how I learned, see we weren’t apprenticed, none of us were, even (Gordon Olin) over here was never apprenticed. At that time it was a bit hard to get an apprenticeship and anyway I was 19 before I started and I can remember one day riding up the street and somebody met me up the street, going home after lunch you see, going back to work and “go on get back off home the industrial inspector’s in town”. So I went home and you didn’t dare go near the work because you weren’t supposed to be working.
LB Because you weren’t actually an apprentice?
JM Because I wasn’t an apprentice, yes. That’s the only way I learned the…
LB And did that happen very often, did people come up to Caloundra, such as that industrial inspector and check on that sort of thing very often?
JM Not a lot I don’t think. I don’t remember much, no, I only remember that one time, I can just remember that because something happened that I can remember.
LB Because the coast would have still been considered quite remote from Brisbane.
JM Oh yes, well there was a - that’s right when we first came here you could get a car, seven seats a big car and it took the visitors to town.
LB And that was run from Caloundra?
JM From Caloundra to Brisbane and back to Caloundra again, yeah. And then they got a co-coordinated service when you got a bus that went to Landsborough, picked up the train, went down to Brisbane an come back to Landsborough and got the coach again and come back down to Caloundra.
LB And who ran that? Can you remember? Was it the one firm that did both services?
JM I can’t remember….
LB It would have been pretty well appreciated by the people in Caloundra.
JM Oh, yeah. Well they tried to get all sorts of things; they tried to get bus services through here after that too. No I can’t just remember who ran that now. Before that though, a chap named Ken (Allen-Waters), the brother of a sister who owned the Caloundra House down where the (Manchester Unity is now.) Then they built the Strathallen and he used to tell me he used to drive a vehicle through too. But that was some years before that…came through. But I can’t remember who, I should remember who ran that co-coordinated service.
LB It wouldn’t have run every day though, would it have been weekly?
JM It met the trains, oh yes, I think so I think it possibly bought mail in you see, I think so. That’s right an (Italian boy/born)…… a wood chopper on the train (and he was) coming home one night, talking to him, told me who he was, and when I got home Dad said, “who were you talking to?” and I said, “oh, a chap named Charlie (Winkle). “Ooh, that who it was?” Charlie Winkle was a top line wood chopper and Dad knew him, knew of him, you see. So, I went and saw him and I told him that I knew of people - he wanted to get somewhere where he could stay for a couple of weeks, this is before the exhibition and he wanted to get somewhere he could stay and good home cooked meals so I took him up to my mate’s family, (Lowsbys), who… in Terrace then and introduced him there and he stayed a couple of weeks and he came out to our place and we had firewood for a couple of years after that ….all the … around, he practiced, he kept his hand in you see wood chopping, chopping under hand, he was fantastic.
LB And did he live around here?
JM No, Mt (Mead), Mt (Mead), he was a timber cutter you see.
LB Right yes, of course so he wouldn’t be on the coast.
JM He and Marshall and that were timber cutters. Oo, he was a big man and was powerful
LB And did he win at the exhibition?
JM Oh, nothing to touch him… tree climbing, anything. I watched him and Marshall doing the 30 inch Sunday and chop there and they’re both on each side and then one ….. round the other side then they’d go hit for hit and then put their axes down and stand there leaning on their axes watching the others finish.
LB And who was Marshall?
JM His brother. When they were working two, sawing or two handed chopping, you see Charlie … he was world champion, nothing could touch him. Wonderful, wonderful chap too, nice bloke, couldn’t meet a nicer bloke than he was. We had his saw for years afterwards. I got to help him with the saw and he dragged me…. take me right through the log.
LB Ok, well just going back to Mayes Estate as we know it now. When did you actually subdivide it, that was fairly late in the piece wasn’t it?
JM That was, sold to Roy Henzell, Dad sold the … to Roy, well Dad ….. Ah, before Roy died, Roy died in 1962, that’s his Grandfather I’m talking about, came here in 1935, F….. Henzell, then F…. disappeared out of it and Roy Henzell ….. the real estate business you see. Roy was very quiet …. Stand up like … and speaking …… …… Yes, Roy, Dad sold it to Roy and Henzell’s and he cut it up. But there was no curb and channeling, no bitumen seal just roads made and so forth. Roy Henzell, I’m a bit inclined to follow his thought, he believed that - cut it up as cheaply as you can so that people can afford to buy it - that was the thought then, and let the people from then on do the improvements and anyway, right or wrong that was his idea of it. Of course some people didn’t like him but I always found him very helpful and if I wanted to talk to him he’d always help me anyway.
LB And he was in Caloundra right until he died, wasn’t he?
JM Oh yes …. He was.
LB So you had built the three houses before then or did you….?
JM Oh, after that, after we came back from Brisbane, oh three on that place, but I built one just near the, right against the bowling green, ah the place in the other street, ah the street on the western side, what’s the name of that street.
LB Bingera, is it Bingera?
JM Bingera Terrace, I think so. What I did first, I got a bit of material and Dad cut some posts, this is 1945, out the yard and got them up there somehow or other - I can’t remember how and little short stumps and got a little 24x12 shed. That’s what I built first, of course you weren’t supposed to live in anything like that but nobody’s going to worry much about it and we moved into that. We only had Eunice then, the eldest daughter, and we moved into that and then lived ion that until I built the other house, the proper house. That would have been in (’46, ’47) with the other house and then we, I got the land from the ….. and the Mayes Estate, a fairly big area there. I built one house there, a fibro house and that’s when I had plenty of energy, plenty time to work you know and then I built another. The family was bigger then, we had four children and built a bigger house with four bedrooms, high up because Mackenzie’s lived in - ah right against the fast food place, is Macdonald’s there? I think Macdonald’s pulled down the old house…house built, a brick place there and built Macdonald’s there and Mackenzie’s house is still there, not double story but up high enough to walk underneath.
LB And that was the Mackenzie family?
LB What was their name?
JM Bluey, oh, the son was Bluey Mackenzie, I forget what the father’s name, (they were) mechanics or something or other.
LB They were there for a fair while then, were they, in Caloundra?
JM Oh, I think they’ve left now, I don’t think they’re here now; I haven’t seen Bluey for years. They bought that anyway when we moved into the other low brick house, you see. And then in 1973, yes ’73, we sold out the whole lot and had 132 feet of the frontage with the house on there and we sold that, through Henzells and we sold that ……were, and moved up to Burrum Heads. Before that, I’d bought a place up at Burrum Heads, an old house up there, where we are now and we moved up there and pulled it down and built a little brick place up there.
LB You’ve been very busy haven’t you?
JM Oh, well when I was young I was, that was no trouble then. When you’re young like that well it’s just part of an adventure or something I suppose. We used to go out fishing off the rocks, the boat down …the rocks around…., no way would I do it now.
LB You mean the rocks off the headland?
JM Yeah, this side of the headlands, the basin, what you call near the basin. There were sheds there, old boat sheds - I don’t know if they‘re still there, but there were there. We bought one of those old boat sheds …..
LB But they’ve gone.
JM Yeah, they could be, that’s right, but we bought one of them from a chap named, oh what’s his name now, I can’t remember his name for sure but we bought one of those there and we used to go out fishing from one of those.
LB And you kept your boat in there, is that the (done form)……
JM Yeah, yeah, you kept your boat in there and fish them out, they were partly sheltered you see you could get in there.
LB And there’s a few, a bit of a ramp?
JM Yes a bit of ……, not a built ramp, just a natural stud ramp there, that’s right.
LB And did many people use that area for fishing?
JM Oh yes, yeah, quite a few people used to go off there, not a lot but a few used to out.
LB But would that be better than going out through the (bay/bar).
JM Oh yes, oh yes, that’s shorter. Oh, through the (bay/bar), a longer run, there’s all sorts of things, but there all you had to do in the black dark of the morning you could sit and hold the boat with the bow in the water just ready to go and counting the waves coming in and (I) think you had several good ones then ‘right go!’ you’re in the boat, paddles and all. And you didn’t have far to go to get past the break you see.
LB And was the fishing good.
JM Yes, we used to get some nice big snapper up along what they call the, hmmm, the cross. You know about the cross.
LB I have heard it, I’ve never been there but I have heard that name.
JM The cross, yeah, that’s where the young people that came to Brisbane - the story I know, is something about - they came to Brisbane by boat, I think there was four of them, they pulled into the blue hole, they went across to the surface and they hit the …… they never ever saw them again, they disappeared, you see. Well they don’t know why, how or what, it was a mystery they never know what happened. Somebody must’ve got into difficulties and others went to save him that’s the most logical thing they could think of and anyway they were lost but that’s before we ever came to Caloundra. That was early in the piece but they had a cross up there and we used to use it as a marker with a tree behind it but eventually the sea got in and took the lot away.
LB. Took the cross away and the cross was in memory of the people.
JM Yes, the cross was in memory…being used at that time. See, four young people getting drowned, disappearing was very tragic, quite….. I don’t know what they did, the year that would be - oh, you could possibly find out going back through the archives in the Courier Mail or something.
LB Or the Nambour paper, maybe?
JM Possibly, but sometime in the 20’s I say that would’ve been, I think, but sometime…
LB And what about fishing in the passage, did a lot of people fish in the passage, just professional as well as recreational?
JM Oh, hundreds of recreational fisherman, yes.
LB And what was the fishing like?
JM Fishing was good, yes.
LB Not so good now, I mean the fishing in the passage?
JM Oh no, but you could catch bream in the passage there and flathead and whiting. I used to go up out from where the military jetty is now, there was a bank out in the middle there and …. got out from that and oh there was some beautiful whiting there and bream. The fishing clubs from Brisbane used to come up and Alf (Round) had a fleet of boats down at, straight down by the shopping, straight down …
LB Bulcock Beach
JM Bulcock Beach, that’s right, and where we built the spring board there, he. He had the fleet of boats there and he used to let them out to these fishing clubs and this mate of mine, Godfrey (Lowsby), and I, we used to go down early in the morning and help him clean the boats out and we got all the spare sinkers and bits of bait and odds and sods in the boats, you see. And when we finished we’d go fishing then. We had worms…
LB You had the lot.
JM Oh yes it was good. But there were lots, oh, you could go over there and look down in the water and you could see the brim just like your fingers. Thousands and thousands of bream on the bottom. Brieam come inside the bar, you see, they swarm inside the bar you see that’s what evidently happened.
LB What about the bottom of the passage because I notice now there’s not very much eel grass or anything along those lines? Was that there at any stage.
JM Not down this end, not right near the (bar/bay). Up around the oyster banks, up to ah, Bell’s Creek, Hall’s Bay, all those places, you might know Hall’s Bay but that’s up further. Yes, that was all - out from the beach there was grass until you got to a certain depth of water then it would stop because it would grow in a certain depth. That’s swan grass (it’d) always grow up like that. See, I went fishing with Dave Manners in 1936 I think it was, just before I started …. it was, that’s right and you had to have back net sticks, you had to land your net outside that grass. If you pull your net over that grass it would roll the net up, in fact they had big hoops, wire hoops on the net like that hooked onto the nets to stop it from rolling. Have you tried Lloyd Clark at all?
LB No, we haven’t talked to Lloyd Clark but there has been an interview done with Lloyd Clark. The maritime people down in Tasmania, the Maritime College I think, they did an interview with him and that’s why we haven’t got to him.
JM Well he doesn’t live here now, you know. Somebody said he lives out at …ford, the other side.
LB I’m not sure where he lives.
JM Yeah, Gordon just told me, Gordon Oliver.
LB So, that was professional fishing?
JM Oh yes, I worked with Dave Manners for about six months over that time, professional fishing like.
LB We’ve got very sketchy details on who were the professional fishermen.
JM Manners, Clarks, Chaplins - Chaplins and Clarks were all good sorts, see eye to eye with one another. (A bit of) competition there with (them) and some of the others, they weren’t real friendly like and yet I can remember once the Clarks, yes that’s right, they must have decided to get together because they had a cricket match at Beerwah, yeah Beerwah.
LB This is the Clarks and the Chaplins?
JM Clarks and the Chaplins had a cricket match, all got together, got the fish, Gordon Roy was there too that day, that’s the cousin that’s very ill now and they had fish there had a wonderful day. We were all friendly and yet next thing they were not so very friendly.
LB So how many boats say - you worked for Dave Manners? How many boats did he work?
JM Oh, he had well a lot of the time we were rowing and then he had somebody else with a motor boat and we’d work a double-(bank/back), what they call a double-(bank/back), two (butts/boats) put together. You tow them, you could pull ‘em round and tow them (barrels) behind the motor boat together but they were hooked together with a net at the back. So, that when you let go, you took off, and one boat went one way and one went the other way and you shot the net, great big nets, two nets out. And there’d be four of you on the end pulling, like the blazes to get these nets in.
LB Because they were so full?
JM Oh no, so heavy, the water they were in …….. you see and they were heavy nets, a hundred and hundred and fifty (metres/measures) of three inch. You would have to go out up to your neck and pull it, (and flew out) and decide …. you see.
LB And can you remember the name of the boat?
JM No I don’t think (they’d) know but…
LB They mightn’t have had one?
JM Well, (Lloydie) had a grey boat, no I can’t remember it now, I did know it too.
LB And did the Clarks have as many boats, like did everyone work a couple of boats?
JM Oh Clarks were the (main/most), Dave Manner’s originally had worked with Clarks before you see, before he got his own. He had a few of us work together, he had a few other different ones, chap named (Cliff) Osborne and a couple of others worked with us at different times.
LB And what did you catch mostly, brim?
JM Oh, mullet and brim yeah. Mullet, sometimes we got brim, we hated brim, we ……..
LB And who built the boats, did the fishermen build them themselves?
JM Clarks I think built one of their own. The Grey Doreen, that’s it, I’m sure it was the Grey Doreen, the boat that they had, Clark’s had, it was a grey boat and I think it was the Grey Doreen. Yes, they had that and I think probably lost one up in the passage there one day too, it burnt out, but I can’t remember whose it was now.
LB But most of them would have been just …
JM Oh we rowed a lot, yeah, yeah……..
LB And were the boats really different from the way they appear now?
JM Well, I haven’t been up the river lately, it was all weed you see. Because after the war when the ………… and they started using insecticides and fertilisers and pesticides and all that sort of thing. All the grass died off in Bribie Passage. All the grass died off in Burrum Heads, same thing happened.
LB You think that did …..
JM Oh what else? It had to be.
LB I’ve heard stories of that before too in Hervey Bay as well.
JM Oh, yes, I tried to tell a cousin that before we left here, he was the one who had the farm. “Oh no it’s not our farm doing that, no!” he admits it now.
LB It has to end up somewhere, doesn’t it?
JM Of course it does.
LB I’ve also heard that it contributes to fish having Ciguatera, that disease that makes people very ill.
JM Oh I don’t know about that, the fish get…
LB That’s just what I’ve heard about Hervey Bay that the farm…..
JM Of course near Fraser Island they get Ciguatera poisoning but that’s mainly the big predator fish, big mackerel, big trevally, big fish are dangerous with that.
LB And did people fish professionally over the bar like trawlers?
JM Oh, yes, not very early in the piece, I don’t remember trawlers but after we came back here in ’35, there were these big trawlers working out here, yes.
LB A handful of them, like half a dozen?
JM Oh yes, there was a few trawlers. They used to tie up down at Clarks, down at Trevor Lloyd’s there. Quite a few trawlers used to go out there, you’d see going out of the evening. Then it sort of died off a bit after that….
LB And you worked for Dave Manners for six months?
JM Yes, about six months.
LB But over all they would’ve worked for years?
JM Oh, yes, yes. He was a fisherman, of course Clarks, Lloyd worked (for) all his life you see.
LBAnd Tom Maloney, he didn’t fish did he?
JM No, Tom Maloney ran this shell grit and his brother, him and his brothers I think owned the (Kauri), (Kauri), that’s right, that’s the name of that big boat.
LB It’s quite a nice looking vessel.
JM Oh, it was, lovely big boat.
LB And where was that built, do you know?
JM No no, that was there when we came to Caloundra.
LB So they probably weren’t locally built, there was a boat building shed here at one stage but - down near where the ice work was, I think in about the ‘60’s.
JM Down the mouth of the Pumicestone Creek there was a boat built there, I don’t know whether it was a big boat or not, I can’t remember if it was a big boat built there or not. But, Vance Lee, a chap named Vance Lee, built boats down there I think. I think that’s his name, Vance Lee. He had something to do with something on black, on ah caravan park, Black Flat down there, what they call Black Flat.
LB And have you ever heard of a boat called - he built a lot of surf boats - called (Claude Boyd)?
JM Oh yes.
LB He was based out at Landsborough.
JM No no, he was based out at Little Mountain. He built one for me.
LB We’ve got one of his too.
JM Have you? ….boat, but it wasn’t quite right, it picked up water too much in the bow. Anyway, it was beautifully (made, it was much like) a stepper craft. I don’t know if you know a stepper craft, it was a rounded hull and rounded bow. And anyway, I bought a stepper craft after that too.
LB And did he sell a lot of boats to people in the area?
JM Oh he built surf boats, he built boats for Roy Henzell, for Bevan Henzell, he built a lot of them. Lot of those type of boats. It’s a ….laid veneer type thing, a layer glued all together and another layer the other way - the surf boats are built like that. It was just out of the mountain, just out up the mountain and down to the left somewhere there, probably where there’s a caravan park there, it might be. He had a place there, out on the way there, oh yes he was there for some years.
LB Well, I know he’s fairly recently retired because of that’s where we got our boat from. Now just
some of your memories about the beaches themselves. Where did everyone surf?
JM Mainly, ah, Kings Beach and ah, oh in around Dicky Beach way, but nobody surfed in Shelly Beach, it was dangerous. Nobody surfed there, it was regarded as dangerous, I think it dropped off a bit much or something.
LB It is quite dangerous, people don’t surf there much.
JM Of course, when we first came to Caloundra the sea was way back this side like it has been lately.
LB. Closer to Happy Valley you mean?
JM Yeah, Right near Happy Valley, yeah, a way back close there. And I just heard something today about it that it’s going back the other way again now, I don’t know whether it’s (not).
LB They’re doing some studies and I’m not sure entirely which way it’s going but I know it’s come very close to Happy Valley.
JM Yeah, yeah, came right in.
LB And that’s how you remember it is it?
JM Oh yes, when we first came here it was right over this side, it was all rocky bottom and …
LB A rocky bottom?
JM Oh yeah, there’s rock out underneath there. Oh sure, yes because (out here) the grandson did some diving and when I came down he had an ice-cream can full of sinkers. …you know to melt ‘em down, I could pull (little ones) out that didn’t have to be melted and melt them down and make sinkers. And about 1935, there was a plane, aeroplane - oh I might have told you this before - aeroplane crashed straight down, well didn’t exactly crash, it crash landed off Caloundra Heads, before you get to Kings Beach, between the bar and Kings Beach. And ah, some lady from up on the top, racing down and see if everything was all right, fell over and broke her arm. And we got down there fairly ….and went down there and all the pilot had was a bit of a scratch on his leg, I think.
LB So, that was virtually on to Kings Beach?
JM It was the bar side of Kings Beach. In between the bar and Kings Beach where the plane came
down. I think it was in the water, partly in the water, it’s a long time ago.
LB Just the pilot, no passengers?
JM No, only a little plane with the pilot, that’s all.
LB And the poor lady got a broken arm?
JM Yes she fell down and broke her arm….well it drops off you see, we heard anyway, didn’t see it, we heard that some lady had fell down and broken her arm.
LB So what do you remember about Kings Beach, because you would’ve been there when the pavilion was being built?
JM Oh yes, before pavilion was built. The lifesavers used to have a place up on, just along form what they used to call Frog’s Hollow, you know where Boronia Court is? Yeah, well that was the old hotel from Mooloolah, Boronia Court, and it was pulled down and rebuilt there - (Aylum/Haylett/Aylett), built it, chap named (Aylum) yeah, I remember him, I remember when it was built. And the lifesavers had a lifesaving place on, where this side, you know where the pavilion is now? Well come around onto the mainland side, in front of the big houses and all the flats and things on the front road there, along from the - what’s that thing ah, restaurant thing there, (Rolling) Surf - along from that, that’s somewhere near Frog’s Hollow, what they call - all it was, was a, all dunes and a (sloppy) sort of area behind it and they called it Frog’s Hollow. Well the lifesavers had a building along there and anyway - and that must’ve been after 19…, that’s when Gordon and I was working, we started in 1949 - somewhere in the early 1950’s they had some bad surf and …. chopped the beach away and we went and helped them shift the thing back, it had to be pull…. some stumps and old surf clubhouse back there, you see …club …..
LB They actually moved the whole clubhouse back then?
JM Yes, moved the clubhouse back a bit and then I think it was removed all together after that, I just forget what happened there, but the sea kept on biting pieces off the land there.
LB I heard stories of there being a lagoon behind the dunes, at Kings Beach?
JM That would’ve been Frog’s Hollow, I think so, a bit of a lagoon there. Yeah, it held water, yeah that’s right.
LB And the school used to go down there and swim in it. Would that be right or would that maybe be a bit of an exaggeration?
JM Oh, not as far as I know, no. The schools, the school kids used to go out to Twoway Lake.
LB Did they? And they’d swim in Twoway Lake?
JM Oh, oh I never (forgot) people telling me they used to go out and skinny dip out there.
LB. Oh did they?
JM (True), yeah, he was going to school when I first came to Caloundra you see. He was my - oh we used go to the pictures, go to the pictures from ….. (because) we were friends, then he joined the navy. Well, it was Alf Brown really, Alf Brown was a navy man, you see, and talking about the navy and he got keen on the navy and he joined the navy and ah, he was lost in the Yarra. ……. I went in and saw his name up on the wall in ah, Canberra just a couple of years ago when we were down on a tour. I don’t go there any more now, it’s too depressing.
LB. Yeah, it’s true, there’s a lot of names there, isn’t there?
LB And what do you remember about Dicky Beach? Do you remember the actual, the wreck being on
JM Oh yeah, I walked around on the top of the wreck when we first came to Caloundra.
LB So it still had a deck?
JM It still had a deck. You could walk on it, carefully, yeah, yeah. A bit of concrete and wood and that it had a deck on it, yeah. The ah, army or somebody shot it up during the war. They used it as target practice I understand.
LB Did they, oh?
JM I remember them just blast, ah, I don’t know if it was aircraft, I think it was just, so I’ve heard.
LB Just firing (range).
JM Yes just firing…
LB And I’ve also heard stories about there used to be dances in the Dicky? Do you know anything about that?
JM Beg yours?
LB In the Dicky, there used to be dances around the Dicky and..
JM No, that must’ve been very early before we came here.
LB We’ve never known whether that’s entirely true.
JM Well, I don’t know, I never even heard it but ah, I suppose the wreck would’ve been still all right
there for awhile. I know when we first came to Caloundra you could walk, someone could walk on the deck, part of the deck.
LB But there was nothing much else except the open shell and the deck.
JM Oh yes, just the shell, yes.
LB No mast or..
JM No I don’t think so, I think there was only the deck there. Yes…
LB And did people swim at Dicky Beach or was Kings Beach far more favoured than Dicky Beach?
JM Kings Beach, well, they swim at Dicky Beach but Kings Beach was sort of the favourite….. I think. I never, oh, I don’t think we ever swam at Dicky Beach, we used to always go down - well it was closer anyway.
LB And you went to Kings. And what about the War Years? I know you were away.
JM Only for a little while, 1942 I was, I was ah, up in the ah, sent to ah, it must have been about June, July or something I was put on a boat and sent to …..Bay. I got most awfully sea sick, I’ve never been so sick in my life. But you soon get over that, once you got there and ah, the Japs landed 25th, the 25th of July or 25th of August, I don’t ……………but ah, we went out one way and they came - that’s I told you before. They were supposed to come in right into where we were. We were right at the end of the bay ….you can see it on the map in this book, I know that’s where we were and they landed miles away up near Cape …… , miles away, we never heard it, but we heard the next day or sometime, that the 61st had copped it. You see we came in and went to where they were up near the strip and ……..
LB There were a lot of houses used by the army in Caloundra during the war and do you anything about …?
JM Something round where the hospital was on the headlands there, there was a hospital there. …. or something, they had something there.
LB And what about the fortifications on Bribie? Did you ever go and have a look at those?
JM Oh I was over there, yes but oh they were ……. the first shot they fired at the gun blew it off its foundations or something… well it went out of alignment, I don’t know exactly what happened but it went out of alignment. They were just something that people did, they did it in lots of places but they were completely useless because the Japs wouldn’t have (run in front of them) anyway because the war, the war changed altogether. Look how into Singapore, you see, Singapore was (impregnable), they came in the back door, that’s all so, that’s all. No, that was just a - millions of dollars, goodness knows how much money was wasted up there and not only there, other places too.
LB And what was the feeling in the town, after quite a lot of local people went to war?
JM Oh, they weren’t very happy, no, I remember the people saying, “Oh you think the Japs are going here”, and that sort of thing. You see, we didn’t know they were bombing Darwin, we knew they, I knew they hit Darwin alright but we didn’t know to the extent ‘cause that was all secret you see because we didn’t want the Japs to find out just how much damage - they would’ve known how much damage they did anyway. But ah…
LB So people were, were a bit frightened. A bit unsure because of the position of …..
JM Oh, yes, for sure, because of their position, yeah, they’d barbed wire all around the beaches and out there and all over the place.
LB But was people’s movements within the town restricted very much? Not really? Didn’t bother you in any way?
JM No, no, blackout that’s all. Keep your windows blacked for the night, don’t show lights……
JM About 1935, I think so.
JM No, no, he didn’t build that ah, no, I would’ve known at the time. I can’t remember now.
LB And was it popular, did people go …..?
JM Oh yes, yes there was packed houses always.
LB. Always, and did they show pictures every week, once a week or….?
JM Wednesdays, and ah I think it was Wednesdays and Fridays and Saturdays, right at the start….. Saturdays, I can’t remember. I know it was Wednesdays and Saturdays later on, um, the Saturday night anyway. No, they built it and ah, they added, I don’t know why they did that, they added a little bit on the top from the plates up. They put another little lot up and eventually it bent there, started to - it shouldn’t have been done like that you see. And through the war years they had 66 (poles/posts) up on the top side of it to hold it up so it didn’t fall over, and then of course eventually it was all pulled down. We did a, we did a bit of a job on it there at one stage when it was changed, when Ben Bennet owned it. Pulled a lot of the roof of it and changed the front, that was Gordon and myself and others that were working with us.
LB And was it still called the ????
JM The Strand, and then we built the (blocks) there for Ben Bennet.
LB Oh, did you. And when was that?
JM Mmm, 1956. I can remember that because that was when they had the Olympics at Melbourne - 1956 we built that there, yeah.
LB And was there anything much else at Moffat Beach at that stage?
JM Not a great deal, no.
LB Just the theatre?
JM Is the theatre still there?
LB It’s still there.
JM I haven’t been around to look lately.
LB It’s a second hand shop now. It’s a second hand shop, it’s still going strong.
JM Oh is that what it is? You’ll …..
LB Yes, it’s very large.
JM Yes, we built that, we had to get a crane to lift it - cranes up and then the chap they, ah Eric, ah Harry Little’s brother, he worked with us, with Gordon and I, and I remember us doing the, the wooden floor and doing the concrete stumps. We used to do a row in a day, get the row of stumps done and poured, you see, and take the boxing off the next morning and get the next row done. Eric was a great worker, a bit of a pessimist Eric, he always saw the bad side of everything but oh, he was a fantastic worker, fantastic, good bloke to work with.
LB So you always had plenty of work building when you were in Caloundra.
JM I can only remember once, ah since when Gordon and I started in 1949, we started on our own like, we were working for Harry ….. before that and we were talking one day and I think we said “we’re happy to go out on our own”. Anyway we started in 1949 and I can remember once we were working out on ah… Beach up there and I said to Gordon, “we’ve only got about a fortnights work ahead of us”. That’s the only time I can remember us being down to a fortnights work in 25 years.
LB That’s pretty remarkable. Was there any period that was what you’d call a boom?
JM Oh, yeah, oh well I don’t know about - oh it’s been booming lately hasn’t it, since we left Caloundra really, the boom, and around that time, the seventies, but ah we always seemed to have something, something to do.
LB And did you build a lot of houses for people that would use them as (working places) or was it mostly for people who were moving into town.
JM Mostly for people were living in town, we got some species eventually at the last there, I used to - I liked doing those, Gordon liked doing repairing jobs, I hated repairing jobs. I’d sooner get on to a block of land and draw the plan and dig the holes - we used to dig our own trenches then you see, we didn’t have back hoes and things in those days and in fact when we started, we didn’t even have a cement mixer we used to mix it on the board. We soon got a little hand mixer, one of those you turn from the front and we were working that and cement mixing, yeah.
LB And did you get your timber through Tesches?
JM Oh yeah, always through Tesches, yeah, yeah.
LB And were they the main supplier in town?
JM Yes, yes, oh they were the only supplier in town I think, Tesches from ah, up in Maleny, ah Conondale. Yes, Norm and Arthur, I should have seen Arthur, I forgot. I might do that on the way home. Yeah, he’s still living down near Black Flat, down there ……. Norm died years and years ago, a long time ago in fact.
LB And just getting back to the recreation. Did you spend much time at the …… Hall?
JM Oh yes.
LB Did everyone spend a lot of time with ……?
JM Oh yes, you’re telling me, yes.
LB What happened there, what did everyone do?
JM Oh, it was a skating rink, yeah it was a skating rink. I couldn’t skate and oh Godfrey and I thought we’d go around and look one night you see, and I had a pair of light shoes on, and so we’d put our skates on and we’d try and that was it. Once you start, you’re hooked.
LB You couldn’t stop.
JM Oh yes, used go about twice a week.
LB. Round about when was that?
JM And oh, I could skate and could play hockey and reverse, dance, all sorts of things. The girl ah, I used to do a bit of a waltz with, not very well, Joan Austin here, and used to dance around and oh, we could skate. Well, we could skate reasonably well but nothing like good skaters……
LB It was organised? I mean it was organised …?
JM Oh, it was at the start, particularly organised, yes. It was very much organised, it was chaps there ah, working around - oh it used to be crowded you see, and they were keeping everybody in line, you had all these different things you had to do - ah fast skating, go as you please, and aw I forget what all the others were. They had a thing up on the wall they used to wind around with what you were supposed to be doing - properly organised thing yeah.
LB And was there music?
JM Oh yes, yeah.
LB And was that someone playing the piano?
JM No, no a recorder. Yeah, records there, yeah the ah, oh the barrel, the waltz, ah what you call it - Roll Out The Barrel and all those sort of things. You know, different……… ….. do a two step on the skates, that is put one foot behind the other, yeah.
LB Do you remember when it disappeared?
JM Yeah, yeah. I remember ah, I think it was Tim/Ted Hughes ….. took it down
LB They actually pulled it down? Was it reused anywhere, did they use the timber…..?
JM He took the material I don’t remember just what happened. I know he had great lumps of floor and that stacked around the place, I don’t..
LB It was a hard wood floor was it?
JM Yes, she was all hard wood, I remember when they were laying the floor, yeah.
LB Do you know who built it?
JM Ah, I think a chap named (Goosetree) was foreman of it, Bert (Goosetree), I think so, yeah I think it was Bert, ‘cause I think he could skate, he seemed to be …….. He’d skated somewhere else, he was going around skating …try.
LB What about when?
JM Ah, 19, hmmm, 37.
LB About ’37. And who actually operated it?
JM Well, there was a syndicate, Roy Henzell was part of it but I don’t know who else, but they just had ah staff that worked it you see, yeah. I looked after it for awhile there just before I was joined, was ah called up in the army and ah, I used to go of the Saturday and there wasn’t too many playing there then and Roy, I knew how to start the, we didn’t have power then you see, we had a motor underneath the thing, diesel, and he showed me how to start the diesel and so forth and I’d take the money and take it …… whatever few shillings we got there. I liked to have a skate that was all.
LB So, all ages used it, children right through to adults?
JM Oh, yes yes. Everybody.
LB And what about the School of Arts Hall, was that an important part of Caloundra’s life.
JM Oh, it was, yes it was a very important part of Caloundra. I, course it built long before we got here, but I can remember when we, after the war, Harry (Lucas) got the job of renewing the floor. The floor had been ground down right to the tongue and grooves, showed the tongue and grooves, they’d cut that down but that was the soldiers’ boots you see.
LB From dancing?
JM From dancing, … the sand gets in and dance on the floor they just sandpapered it. There used to be hundreds of them in there dancing over a period of time well it cut it and of course I suppose it was a bit worn before that and of course usually the floor is polished up a bit, ah put something on it like a bit of saw dust and candle wax and make it deadly on the dance floor. But of course they ah, the soldiers got in there, come in and out with their shoes, boots on and cut it to bits. But we redid the floor then.
LB And that would’ve been a hard wood floor too?
JM It was (crows) ash before, then I think we put down a, ah ironbark or hard wood floor or something similar. I think it was (crow’s) ash, hard, sort of a hard wood but a lovely timber.
LB And what happened at the School of Arts Hall. I mean there were dances, but were there plays? Did local people put plays or any performances like that on or not much?
JM Ah, I can’t remember any plays early in the piece, it was dances and functions. If anyone had a sendoff it was done up there, we had a sendoff ah, after the war of course for ah, ah, the police sergeant that was here, Cranshaw, Cranshaw. He was the only police sergeant who ever got a sendoff, he was very well liked, a good bloke. Oh, he did his job but just the same he was a nice chap and he got a real public send off. Yeah but ah, no it was used mainly I think, oh I don’t know, dances - I can’t think of anything else that it might’ve been used for. But afterwards ah, ah oh, just a while before we left Caloundra to go away when the Caloundra (crowd), you know …… what’s her name?
LB. Norma (Frost).
JM Norma, yeah, well she started the chorale and ah, there was a few of us in that and ah used to play ah, the wife and I (used to sing); it was lovely I liked that. Then they got ah, they got a bit ambitious and were doing plays and things, it become too hard and I had to give it away then. I didn’t mind just the singing but I couldn’t have the time to study all the rest of it up and ah, go too lazy I suppose... … I really enjoyed the singing, I loved that, I loved to sing, I always did.
LB And did many people sing in town, like was it quite a Caloundra thing to do, just have a big sing-a-long?
JM Oh, ah, they did have some just after the war in the theatre, in the picture show I can remember, yeah, community singing. But ah, just after the war it wasn’t, it didn’t sort of, no there wasn’t a lot of that done as I can remember. I didn’t think so. We were going to, Lou …. came here, he was a young Methodist minister and got to know him and they formed a Rotary Club. He was one of the charter members, so was (I with) the working club and ah, we were going to church - I was sort of bought up as a Methodist Presbyterian and ah, and Salvation Army in ……. I’ve got Salvation Army too. Well anyway, ah, we were in the chorale, had a choir in the church too, you see. It was good, I liked that. Lou was a real larrikin, you know he’d laugh and he was a very nice man, wonderful, one in a thousand he was, a very nice bloke but he could have a good laugh and that sort of thing.
LB And did you tend to travel up to Maroochydore and Mooloolaba at all, I mean for entertainment?
JM No, no.
LB No, it was all pretty well stayed in one place?
JM Yeah, yeah. Go to the pictures here. We didn’t anyway, some people may have done, some people go to Brisbane, and they still do.
LB And to get up to Mooloolaba then you would’ve had to go up the highway wouldn’t you?
JM Yeah, or …to the beach once but never again.
LB You went up ..?
JM By push bike up there when I was a little boy.
LB That would’ve been a long ride.
JM It’s all right this end but the other end the beach gets steep like that and you can’t ride on it, it’s too soft. Yeah, yeah, once that was.
LB And what about Bulcock Street, how do you remember Bulcock Street because it’s changed greatly over the last, oh 30 years.
JM Hasn’t changed as much as it should have but ah, it should’ve changed a lot more if only they’d used their heads when the, before the brick building was built pushed everything back …. street and they tried to put a lane in the back instead of cutting it off the front.
LB. Was the lane always there or..?
JM No, no, the lane was, they chopped bits off the back of the allotments and put the lane there so people couldn’t get access because it was too (short) and narrow in the front to get in with the goods, so they..
LB There’s a lot more um residential than what it is now isn’t it? A lot more people lived in the street, whereas now it’s nearly all retail.
JM Oh yes, yes. Ah, Tommy Dalton, the aboriginal lived in the main street when we first came here.
LB Did he, whereabouts?
JM Ah, let me see, oh round the bank, somewhere down that area, below the Commonwealth Bank somewhere round there. Yeah, ah, I can’t remember what’s there now, ah (Darryl) Lane?
LB. Ah, near the arcade there?
JM Somewhere down in that area there, yes somewhere in that area he was in the main street and of course ah, Roy got him a place over near ah, the bowling green. Moved, got him out of the main street you see, put him out in the bush somewhere of course, but it didn’t remain the bush very long. It sort of all grew around there and ah, I don’t know what happened to Tom then. Dicky Dalton lived on the point at Bribie, that’s another brother
LB. Lived on the ocean side?
JM Yeah, on Bribie Island, lived on there for quite a while and there was Horace Dalton - he lived up Golden Beach. He was, I don’t know who he was, must’ve been one of the sons of one of them or something or other. I can remember him rowing a boat round there and a bit of a shack up there. Somewhere this side of ah, the twin towers, what are they?
JM Gemini, somewhere this side of there. I think that’s were he was, where Horace was. Of course there was nothing at Golden Beach, you see.
LB Nothing at all?
JM No, you couldn’t get up there, the only way you could got to Golden Beach was along the beach.
LB. Was it?
JM Oh yes. ‘Til there was the war on and they put the road up there to get to the jetty, of course…. there was nothing.
LB And no-one lived up there at all?
JM No, there was Slosh - as we called him - Slosh, lived right down this end somewhere behind the surf shop somewhere there and that was it. I think that …… or wait a minute that was after the war I think.
LB And did you go up there to fish or anything?
JM Mainly we fished down this end here but ah, down around the bar in that area but then of course later on after the war I used to get up there a bit further and I got a boat and I’d go up there then and ah, and I ah, oh, just before the war - yeah before the war that’s right I used to row up to (buoys/Moyes), right through …. Rosemary and I used to go up sometimes just for a weekend take a loaf of bread, a bit of butter with us and …. And then ah, 19 ah, that’s where I met the wife up at Gordon Moyes. His wife and my wife were sisters you see, (Nora/Moira) died a few years ago now and they were sisters and ah, you know, have you met Bill (Hoxton) at all? They had boats down there.
LB. Um, I haven’t met him but I have seen photos of …. they had the boats down at….
JM They had the boats down at …. beach, just before the war, that’s right and he was in the same company I was in …yeah. He said, yeah he was working on the Droga, on the boat for Barnett that time, that’s right and I’d been on the ….too and ah, carted rocks down here. “Oh”, he says “there’s a couple of good sorts up at Roy’s” and I said “Oh, is there?” I’d just been up to Bowen and came back you see, for a trip to Bowen - “Oh, is there, I’d better have a look”. So I hopped in the boat, and the weekend was good, that’s where I met the wife. That’s just down ….
LB That’s nice isn’t it. That’s a good story.
JM Yeah, well that’s right, that’s just, just how it happened…..
LB And with the Dalton family were they the only Aboriginal family that lived in town?
JM Ah, there was Dalton and there was another one, ah mmmm, I nearly, I can see him but I can’t –
I’ll think of his name sometime.
LB And they were ah, originally from this area?
JM They lived down, right down in the bottom end on the right hand side, just this side of Pumicestone Creek too at one stage. There was a family living down there, that’s the ones I’m trying to think of I think. Dalton’s were mostly on Bribie, in the town, and then Horace up Golden Beach, that’s the only ones I can Oh, wait a minute! And then at one stage they lived around ah, up this way from that old Hotel Francis, as you come back on the - as your coming back from….. on the left hand side in the corner there. There was a family of Aboriginals lived there and I can’t remember which ones they were. Oh, Bill Dillon/Dylan lived here too, that’s right. He lived over in Parker Street opposite…., yes, I knew Bill quite well and I don’t know whether …… I don’t think so, but I suppose there had been because I remember the Bora Ring over there at well, Leeding Terrace.
LB Leeding Terrace, could you describe where you remember that being?
JM Ah well, as you’re going down the, from the main street you go straight down to the water, ah, when you…. the first turn to the right, that’s where the Lowsby’s lived on the corner.
LB Leeding Terrace there?
JM Yeah, just along from there, that’s where the Bore Ring was. Ah, bullocky, bullocky, bullocky, Frank and Dick, Catherine - Cannon! Frank Cannon got married late in life or something for the second time and they had a house along there. I remember that, somebody went along and tied a tin kettle to …and they were abused. But I know that’s where the Bora Ring was, somewhere in that area, I can remember seeing this depression in the grass.
LB And how deep was the depression?
JM Oh, only perhaps down like that.
LB A couple of feet.
JM Oh, it wouldn’t have been that, no it wasn’t very big.
LB And how wide across?
JM Oh, gee, it’s a long time ago, probably from here to the steps.
LB Not very big?
JM No, something like that roughly, it’s a long time ago that’s ….
LB It would’ve gone now?
JM Oh, long ago, that would’ve been all covered up and changed and built over or something, or … , nobody kept track you see.
LB And that’s the only thing you remember like that, that would be an Aboriginal relic? Do you remember middens, or trees or anything like that?
JM No, no, I don’t remember any of those - I have seen ah there’s a lot of shells up in Burrum and places up there, no I don’t remember anything else around here.
LB. OK, just getting back to Bulcock Street, what would’ve been more or less the main Café for example? Is there one place that people tended to go?
JM Opposite the picture show.
LB. Opposite the picture show and who had that?
JM Ah, (Desi) Cutler’s wife, Mrs Cutler had that at one stage. That’s where we always used to shoot across to get ice cream or something at interval you see. That was ah, I think it was a café, shop or café, that was then ah, let me think was there another café? Oh, there was something up, something up - oh then there was ah yes, down just below Tesches building there was a Greek, you’ve probably heard his name, oh what’s his name?
LB That was a café too?
JM Yeah, a Greek, he had a café there and then there was one opposite, just err, before the war, that’s right it burnt down. Just across, just next door to the School of Arts at the top, there was a café there.
LB On the top of …. Terrace
JM Of course the Glen… was later, on the corner, that’s where Miss Burgum had her block of flats. I think I told you about that ….block of flats that were there.
LB. Was that a boarding house?
JM Yeah, Miss Burgum owned the boarding house there, she bought the …. she must have meals, yes that’s right she was ah, (Duclsie) Bolton used to come across from the back to work there and we never knew where she come from. You see her coming out of the wattle trees, you see a bit of a track from the back. I never knew Boltons lived there they just …… Like people used to say to us, “where do you live?” didn’t know where we lived, just out in the bush, out there you see.
LB They just thought that you lived out in the bush?
JM Clear out in the bush, and we were its true.
LB And how did people get around, did they walk mostly, or were there many cars or horses?
JM Oh, yeah, yeah, cars ah, Alec Ritchie had a dairy in the main street when we first came here and that was on the left hand side going down ah, somewhere near opposite where the council chambers are, somewhere there ah, Cobbs, you remember Cobbs. That, that oh that….long…not there any more now…. Andy Cobb had the block of flats facing the other street, round the back, and he was very keen on bowls so he built himself a one rink bowling green but he was out… the main street, Bulcock Street, he owned the land. He had …..he was retired from somewhere….but I knew the girls, see we used to go skating, there was Heather and Alma, and ah, Althea’s still here her husband is ah, what’s his name, (Lefacci) oh, I can remember running up and down, running up and down.
LB I can’t remember his name.
JM Yeah, (Lefacci) I think it’s ah not a common name, ah anyway, Althea, she was the youngest one. We used to play tennis too with the Cobb girls and I, I was like, ….Lowsbys used to play tennis on the tennis court behind ah, Rinaldi’s store and I used to go and play there and ah Gordon Lowsby used to mainly do that, sort it out saying, right oh, you and you and you and you can have a game and so forth.
LB And was that for hire or would you just go and play there.
JM No no, you just go and play there we….scratch it up…cleaned it up and that…
LB And what were the boarding houses and guest houses do you remember.
JM Ah Kings, oh Kings was a big one around up from the surfing beach up the top up there. Ah -
LB And that was always fairly well used, pretty busy?
JM Oh I think so, it would be in the season, yeah, ah there’s another one back this other side ah, oh, the names elude me some of them. I knew Kings because I knew, I knew Billy King you see. He used to run a hire coach thing or car or something … way back before I came here.
LB And you helped build Strathallen?
JM Yeah, well I was only a lad then you see.
LB And Strathaird?
JM Strathaird I started on and ah, I worked on the ah, in Cobbs building, I was ah, ah what you call it? The ah, labourer for the (sackovers), that was doing the stucco and that, mixing and helping with the scaffolds and so forth, doing everything that was necessary to, what he told you to do you see.
LB And how many of you were on the site?
JM Well there was quite a few builders, yeah, quite a few - I don’t know I can’t remember who built it. I knew some of the chaps the drivers ……ah but that was my job the stucco bloke’s work. Then I did other work … work …..I worked, well I was working really for Ken Allen-Waters when I was on Strathallen because I, well I took orders from Harry when we were working but Ken Allen-Waters I’d worked all over one Christmas,….. there wasn’t a lot of work around and Dad just said, “well if you’ve got work to do, they want you to work, you work”. So I only took a couple of days off and worked through painting - we got to the stage where we were painting windows, I was painting the walls the room inside, ceilings and walls and that sort of thing.
LB And what do you remember about that family?
LB The Allen-Waters family.
JM The two sisters, Hilda and ah, hmm forgot the other one.
JM Jesse! That’s right, Jesse and Hilda, yeah.
LB I’ve heard they made great scones.
JM Oh, there too. Yeah, yeah oh, yes, when I was fishing with Dave Manners I used to take some fish around sometimes, I’d call in there and sell them fish.
LB Did you? And were they young women or middle aged.
JM They were older than I was yes. They would’ve been, oh they weren’t that old when they ran Caloundra House, possibly their forties or something or other I think, it’s hard to remember you know. You’re that age anybody else is years old I suppose.
LB Until you become old.
JM That’s right. Yes, so they did …very efficient used to get a few more up there.
LB Well it’s still standing isn’t it?
JM No, no they pulled it all down. That is up in Burrum Heads part of that now I think.
LB Is it?
JM Mmm, they built a block flats I think, I’m told it is up there anyway, Larsen built a block of flats but he didn’t stick completely to the council regulations and they wouldn’t let him use it or something. But somebody bought it a few years ago and did some alterations on it, and I don’t know you don’t see anybody in it much…
LB There was a lot of moving around of buildings and demolished buildings -
JM Oh yes, same at Burrum Heads you see there, that was what they used to do there. (Big buildings and drop them), I thought they did the same thing here but then of course ah, the things change. When we first started you could draw a plan in pencil then it had to be done in biro and triplicate and everything. Well some smart boy would draw it in pencil and he’d change it afterwards, said himself and ah, that stopped that.
LB So that’s how you had to deal with the council, you still had to pass all the regulations etcetera.
JM Oh, yeah, oh sure yeah well you’ve got that down here too, we didn’t always stick to all the regulations, you had to have cards but ah, we didn’t always have the cards, we had a ah foundation ready to pour, we’d tell them we were going to pour it and if they weren’t there well, it got poured.
LB It got poured.
JM You can’t have a cement mixer sitting there waiting, you’ve got to go.
LB I think it’s the same story today.
JM Oh, never been worried about that, we’d have a bit of an argument sometimes. The best one, the best argument we had was with Alf (Paton/Paynton) when he was building inspector he was the only one you see….
LB And when was that?
JM Oh, that was before they got so big here, before they built the big place you see. Now (we’d all) have a good old Barney with Alf sometime and then if you ever went to a function somewhere there, Alf would come up and …. you see work was all forgotten then, you’d have an argument but that didn’t matter, he was a good bloke, I liked Alf.
LB So it was a pretty good town to be a builder in…?
JM Oh, it was then, yes, yes.
LB What about other work, if you weren’t a builder and you lived in the town was it hard to get work, or did people have to travel for it?
JM Well, there would mostly only be the services and in the shops, I don’t know of anything else - fishermen, what else was there? What else is there now?
LB Not much else.
JM You see. Shops, ah servicing, ah flats, things like that. Building, building was the thing -1934 there was a ah, mmm, we came here, can’t remember their names, chap was here anyway, he was building houses with Roy Henzell too, ’34, ’35, fairly cheaply - 3 or 4 hundred pounds you could get a house built like this, pretty rudimentary sort of a house but anyway (blocks out the sun), of course a lot of them got pulled down afterwards, but it was just….. When we started, we built ours on ….wooden stumps laundry, bathroom and toilet out the back, but things will change as you go along - everything changes. It’s far different now to what it was then.
LB That’s right. Do you remember any particularly noticeable cyclones for example, um, that might have affected Caloundra particularly?
JM Oh, yeah, we did a little bit of work after some of those places…… You see we never had what they call a cyclone here instead, until 1954, ’55.
LB. ’54, ’54 I’ve seen some photos of cyclones.
JM ’54 there was two of them, one in January/February and one in July that’s right. A few toilets got blown over, a few roofs got blown over of course… was blown over too. That was a funny one but ah, I don’t think he thought it was funny but everyone else did. Anyway we did a fair bit of ah, oh, patching roofs all after the cyclone for a couple of weeks, did nothing else but fixing roofs, and fixing this and that around the place ……
LB And are there any areas that didn’t fare very well that are now, have now got quite a lot of houses like some parts of Golden Beach that are quite…
JM They never got knocked about much, no, no - as I say there was a few toilets blown off a bit of roof here and there and not as much devastated like, like you know (oh let me think), anything with ah, with ah Darwin like that, it was only a little bit of a…..
LB And the beaches were eroded?
JM Oh yes, the beaches were bashed, sand taken of the beaches ……but when we first came here from Barwon ….remember I told you, the house was …during the night you’d think the house was …..and that was just a bit of a (rickety) south eastern gale you know, nobody’s ever - well there may have been cyclones out somewhere but they weren’t reported (as far as you can see) you see that’s where it was but then of course they got that sophisticated with their reporting of where they were and - ’54 is the first one I can remember.
LB And that was a good one.
JM Yeah, it blew.
LB Now just getting back to um, the water transport companies and the people that were working - um, how long did most of them operate for, like for example the fellow that you were working for?
JM Oh ah, Col Barnett? I don’t know. He was working when we came here in ’34 and he was working for quite a few years after. That’s to the war years or more, yeah.
LB And how about Tom Maloney, he would’ve been working….
JM Oh he was operating before we came here and ah, he operated for quite a good while, yeah.
LB And did they carry all sorts of things like …
JM Fibro building materials, cars -
JM Groceries, wireless sets, everything. I can remember ….I was with, on old Droga with Bill one night we got stuck in the shallows, trying to get through with the Droga, we got stuck and we had to wait for the flood tide and we got off and charged off and went running to the other side and bang, into the darn thing and knocked some things off there but I tell you what we got along but we picked them up and set them up again.
LB And that was a barge, a flat barge?
JM That was a big flat barge, oh a terrible thing to control, oh 40-50 feet long, oh a big wide thing yeah, take a lot - oh I might be a bit out, I think it must’ve been 40-50 feet long. Two, two little four cylinder engines - that was one thing you could Barnett, he was never bothered to fix anything. Two four cylinder engines out the back and that was all it was powered by. Sometimes they wouldn’t go very well.
LB And what did you do then just (put a sail out)?
JM Oh, just try to get it to go, you’ve got it on one engine imagine trying to push a thing like that with one engine, oh it’s terrible.
LB And was there just the two of you on board or extra crew.
JM Yeah, just the one, well I didn’t work there much, I just helped, did a bit of time to see….taking a rock up there and they were starting to put a road up into the fort up there.
LB You took the rock up for that?
JM Yeah, we dumped it on a little barge and we putt putted up there and then those soldiers up there could come and take it off by hand and load it on to trucks - they’d take it all off. Tom Maloney used to back, run his ah (water hen), tie it up against the black …..(Jackie) down there, I suppose that’s - I can’t remember where the Drogie was loaded, that must have been loaded down there too, yeah could’ve been. And the trucks would back off from the back of the jetty and tip it over on to the barge; it was an awful roar on to the barge. There was rock…..rock back up to the roads you see, terrible job.
LB And did anyone else work other than um, Barnett and Maloney on a regular basis?
JM No, not in goods carrying I don’t think, I can’t remember, not water goods carrying. Eventually of course there was roads goods carrying.
LB And what about the citrus orchards in the middle of the passage there, how did they unload the….?
JM First off, ah when they first started….Roy, his mother and father had a house down here - old ah, old ah (Hopshaw) he was (a trucker)……and he had a boat about a 20 odd foot boat and he could, he fixed it…..and he used to come down the passage loaded up, packed with cases of oranges. Somehow or other they got them on the boat, loaded them on to the boat, not very big cases,…..built cases something or other - come down to Caloundra, off load them on to the truck, drove up to Landsborough and put them on the train. Very unwieldy lot of work but it had to be done….you see. Of course eventually they got the road, the (Baxter) road through and put ah, stud bridges over the top of gullies and creeks and went out that way out to Beerwah.
LB And were they the only family that really lived in the passage there then?
JM Ah, the Chaplins lived up (Pitcher Creek), the fisherman, they lived up the passage before Roy’s did. Westerway’s owned the land but Roy’s bought the land from Westerways. It was known as Westerway’s and of course now it’s known as Roy’s because they were there so many years. But ah, oh…..a bit later…..I can remember….ah...
LB What was Chaplin’s first name?
JM The ah?
LB The fisherman.
JM The old man? Charlie.
JM Oh, wait a minute I don’t know whether it was. I think it was Frederick George, I think it was, yeah.
LB He was called as Charlie?
JM I think it was, now just when you mentioned it that came to my mind. I think it was, because one of his boys was named Frederick, Fred anyway, yeah. I liked old Charlie; he was a nice bloke, yeah. Wild man, you know, I remember he had an accident going to Brisbane once, had to ….broke up. He was a good bloke, become the shire councillor up at Tewantin there somewhere, when they moved up there, yeah. Charlie’s his name. Oh, I knew them all, I knew one of his daughters married ah, Harry Roy, a cousin, Rene, Irene yeah.
LB And did people use the passage um, for, did they go sailing in it, or anything along those lines, not really?
JM Oh, not a great deal. I suppose there would’ve been - there weren’t that many boats either earlier. A few putt putt boats, Alf (Round) had a launch with a smaller boat down there, and a few others had boats. Some odd (types/times) used to come through from Brisbane occasionally with boats but it wasn’t used extensively or anything like that.
LB It’s pretty shallow really, isn’t it?
JM Oh, there’s a lot of shallow water up around the shallows and up around the ‘W’s’ and all that part up there - I’ve been right through it a few times, a lot of times up there. You’ve got to know your P’s & Q’s up there when the tides down and…quick smart, yes.
LB And did I hear you say before you put the spring boards in at Bulcock Beach.
JM Yeah, Alf (Round) ah, ah contacted the council, he wanted a spring board …..or something or other and Alf said, “oh, I’ll fix that”, and he got on to the council, he knew someone on the council and he got them to supply the material and then with him supervising we put the posts up and the board out, Godfrey and I did. Built the first spring board in ah Caloundra.
LB And was there one or two?
JM There’s only one board, yeah, one board and some big (bugger) got on it one day and broke it.
LB And so did you put a new one up?
JM Yeah, it was replaced, yeah yeah.
LB And it went right out into the deep part of the channel?
JM Ah, fairly deep there yeah, it was good, you could run out and dive off it you see, we used to get - I remember Stan Clark/e particularly, he was Lloyd Clark/e’s younger brother, Stan and I, I didn’t, I never knew Lloyd Clark/e well but I knew Stan you see. But I sort of never went around in the same circles as Lloyd did, we were, didn’t sort of mix with the same people or something because I just know Lloyd, I could speak to him but I didn’t know him very well. But I knew Stan, I liked Stan he was a nice lad, we used to go fishing occasionally together too. And ah, we’d got out both of us onto the board and jump on the board and bend it down and he would drop off the side and the awful kick from too many (bounce) so that the bloke on the outside oh, you did a beautiful (bounce) you were way up in the air and you had to time it beautifully though you see, if you didn’t just time it perfectly it didn’t work. You see what he’d do you get behind him, you’d run out together, bang and then he’d drop off quickly before he let it kick him and drop off the side, he’d fell off the other side.
LB And he’d be gone.
JM He’d drop off the side and you’d be right out on the end. We used to do it for one another, one side…
LB. (All) stayed there for many years those boards didn’t they became quite a feature.
JM Well a long time, oh I suppose somebody else replaced them after that but we definitely put the first one there.
LB And was there a bathing shed on the beach then?
JM Yeah, there were bathing sheds on the beach. My uncle Ben Dennis had a shed on the beach when we first came to Caloundra. Oh, I think this was before, I think before we came to live here, ah he had a shed and a boat on the beach yeah, there were sheds a couple of them had….
LB. Were any of them used for getting changed in, were they change sheds or mostly for private people.
JM They were just for private people, I don’t think there was, oh there was originally, eventually a change shed built there. I’ve got an idea there was, I think we, ah, I think I was, helped carry, build
something down there, I can’t remember what it was now.
LB Well there’s a bathing shed in the George Street depot that’s supposed to have come from Bulcock Beach.
JM Well, it could be, could be yeah, yeah, that’s right could be one there, there was one there. We did something there because I remember it’s just I hadn’t known the wife very long and ah, she was down there staying with the aunt and ah, ah, Gordon Roy’s mother really, my father’s sister, elder sister you see, and ah, and the wife came along there one afternoon and she was staying with Aunty Rachel and ah, she ah, came along to see me just …..and ah, he come down and stayed with…………………..so that was alright, so they stayed with us there. Now I think that was when we were building ah something there but for the life of me I can’t remember what it was - it must’ve been a boat shed, a change shed or something.
LB Well from the pictures I’ve seen, it’s tucked right in the corner there.
JM Oh, yeah.
LB But it’s hard to tell, because it’s not a …..And what about the Happy Valley area was it used much the same way as it’s used (today)?
JM Oh yes, it was popular. Yeah, Happy Valley was a flat bit of land and a lot of timber behind it and vines and everything growing up.
LB. Backing on to where the road is now?
JM Ah, backing on towards the bar way, the eastern side of it and the road was up above I suppose. Yeah the hill was up there but it was all foliage and people used to come there every year and put their tents up and it was oh a nice quiet place, you know. Yeah, it was really nice there a lot of people loved it.
LB Still is a lovely spot. So it was a camping ground really?
JM Oh well, I don’t know whether, you see you could camp there still anywhere unofficially. See that Lowsby’s used to let people come into their yard for years and they put up tents and so forth - they had an old slab hut in the yard they used to let. Mrs Lowsby’s mother used to live in it when they first went there and ah, they used to let that, and then of course things changed and the authorities got on them and they couldn’t do that sort of thing you see.
LB Where did the old slab hut come from, was that just a really old building?
JM No, no that was there when they put the old house there because Harry ah, did some work on the house and we worked …there and then we were working for the Lowsbys and we worked on it, changed it about a bit and that’s when they didn’t think we’d ….the house you see, taking boarders in, they used to take boarders. That’s how they got Charlie ….straight after the, that time…..making him come and Gordon he worked at the forestry…….
LB The forestry out at Beerburrum?
JM Yes, at Beerwah, Beerburrum, Beerwah I think it was, yeah. He had an old Rugby car.
LB And what was the road like going out there then?
JM Not very -
JM No, no. Not bitumenned until oh, not when he was going out there at the start but 1935 I think they put the road in towards the Big Plain, like the road where it is now down from Corbould Park, otherwise it used to run up around the back of where the race course is and then come out round the back of the, down past the high school, somewhere there, the Sugarbag Road - that’s called the Sugarbag Road. I have been on it ah that old road too.
LB. Sugarbag Road is still called Sugarbag Road.
JM Yeah, possibly is, that’s right yeah, but I don’t think anybody goes out around the back of the race course now unless they live (out there).
LB So were there any other camping areas. Where the camping grounds are now what was ……?
JM Black Flat was a camping area, yeah oh yes some people used to come and camp there yes.
LB. Was that mainly busy on holidays or was it busy all year?
JM Busy on holidays, yeah. Yeah, then of course they put the caravan park the other side of the creek, Black Flat’s this side of the creek, yeah.
LB This side of the creek?
JM Yeah, that’s Black Flat, known as Black Flat.
LB Why was it called as Black Flat?
JM Well it had black dirt I think, heavy black soil, that was all.
LB It had nothing to do with any (Aborigines?)
JM Nothing to do with Aboriginals, not as far as I know, no I don’t think so.
LB And was that creek always quite a healthy…?
JM Pumicestone Creek? Oh, well all the water used to run through where, where are we, we’re in the civic centre, yeah - come up through the hills and run through here. This was a water course; this was just a bit of desolate land for years. Nobody did anything.
LB. …..the remains of the creek and then they virtually covered it.
JM They covered it, yeah, yeah….
LB What about Kings, there was a bit of a creek at Kings Beach too somewhere, wasn’t there?
JM Yes, that’s right, run out ah, oh well when I first knew Kings Beach it was all sand dunes behind there, there was no bitumen, there was no …., there was no houses there was nothing, it was just all -
LB It was just all sand dunes right round it.
JM Just all and dunes and then about, oh it must have been very early in the piece ’35 or ’36, or something like that, I can’t remember the year, but they flattened it all out at … and they built the ah, ….(wharf) underneath it, there’s still, it must still be there. There’s a 6 foot pipe that comes from up the back somewhere that feeds …..and we used to wander around up in the pipes and come out some of the manholes when we were kids.
LB Did you?
JM Yes, the only people there, (we did) all sorts of things. It was 6 foot diameter you see, you could walk through it.
LB It’s a big pipe; it must be what trickles out onto the beach.
JM Yeah, yeah. I’m sure it must still be there, I can’t see that they would’ve, they couldn’t have.
LB And was the Pavilion well used. I mean what do people use the Pavilion for?
JM Oh, dressing sheds and a café type thing, one that sold things in there, soft drinks, ice-creams… and there were dressing sheds. I’ve used the dressing sheds, yeah showers and dressing sheds. I don’t know if it’s still there like that or not.
LB. Yeah, it’s still there, actually it’s in fairly good condition for its age and its use.
JM It was built somewhere around ….oh, I can’t remember the exact date but I know it was very early after we came here to Caloundra.
LB It was about ’36 or ’37 I think.
JM Oh it must have been, no later than that.
LB What about surf life saving, were the beaches patrolled?
JM Ah only in the season, Benny Bennett was one of the star life savers.
LB. Was he?
JM Yeah, Benny Bennett was sweep oarsman of the boat, mmm.
LB And was that Kings only?
JM That was Kings, yes.
LB Not any of the others?
JM No, I don’t think so, not at that stage, possibly later, yeah. I don’t know, I don’t think oh there’s anybody out there…..I can remember when the ah, there’s a weatherboard two storey building on the corner remember when you go down to Dicky Beach and turn the corner to go out?
LB Yes, yes, quite a noticeable building, tall and thin.
JM Yeah, yeah that’s right, I remember when that was built - I think they said it cost 64 pounds for the labour.
JM Yes, I think that’s what somebody told me it was anyway.
LB I wondered about that house because it’s quite….
JM Yeah, that was built way back, yeas, that was the original sort of shoppage, shop building, yeah it was a shop underneath it and property residence up top.
LB And there was nothing much else around?
JM No, no, oh, oh of course Battery Hill there, out to Currimundi, there was nothing absolutely nothing. In fact when we were building here near the school in the war years we were out there and I remember us walking right across there coming home from some ….. out there and there was nothing there.
LB And was it thick timber or …?
JM No, it was all open, all that area there, it was all open, they used, well in fact you know about the shells and bullets ……