Nell Guthrie

Nell was born 1913 at home in Maleny. Her husband Stephen was the local barber and had the casket agency in Maleny

Nell Guthrie

Interview with: Ellen (Nell) Guthrie (nee Bryce)

Date of Interview: 20 August 1987

Interviewer: Amanda Wilson

Transcriber: Tapuitea Hartogh

Tapes: 2

Ellen Guthrie was born on 13 September 1913 at home in Maleny. Ellen (Nell) married Stephen Thomas Guthrie at Toowong in Brisbane in 1937. Stephen was the local barber and had the casket agency in Maleny.

Image: Bryce Family at home,"Rosemount" near Howells Knob, 1926.

Images and documents of the Bryce family in the Sunshine Coast Libraries catalogue.


Nell Guthrie oral history - part one [MP3 45MB]

Nell Guthrie oral history - part two [MP3 44MB]

Nell Guthrie oral history - part three [MP3 44MB]

Nell Guthrie oral history - part four [MP3 34MB]


Tape 1/Side A

AW Starting off with a bit of your family history Nell, were you born in Maleny?


AW Whereabouts?

At home.

AW Where was home?

Reesville, at Rosemount

So, Rosemount was your parent's farm?


AW When were you born?

On 13th September, 1913. My eldest brother was born in Maleny, Bill, but then they went to Toowoomba.

AW When you say Maleny, was he born at home?

Yes, at home. There was no hospital.

AW So, did your father own the farm, Rosemount, when Bill was born?

No, he was out at Wootha.

AW What was the first farm the Bryce's had, called?

Toorworra, and that's arrowroot back to front.

AW Now, why arrowroot?

Because Grandfather grew arrowroot, when he came to Maleny first.

AW Now, what was your grandfather's name?

Alexander Bryce. Yes, and he grew arrowroot and that's why they called the farm, I think they grew arrowroot where they came from, I don't know where it was. And he grew arrowroot so, they called the farm Toorworra.

AW Do you know when your grandfather first came to Wootha?

No, to Maleny, I don't know, but it would be about 1904 I'd say, I'm not sure.

AW So, your father was brought up out at Wootha?

Well, no. He was a grown man then, because he was born in 1881 and, oh, he would have been a bit more than twenty, but he came up and cut scrub up here. And then I think, Bill and perhaps Bob came up here just round about the same time.

AW Now, they were brothers?

Alexander's brothers. Not my Father's brothers, my Grandfather's brothers.

AW So, they would be your great uncles?

Yes, and they cut scrub, because Dad got married I think in about 1906, and he was up here a few years before he got married. I think Minnie Lawley would have known him before Mum knew him, and she was Minnie Clarke, from out at Reesville. Anyway, then they moved to Toowoomba from there, because I think my Mother got sick of the mud, so they tell me. And they moved to Toowoomba and had three years of drought and they came back to Rosemount.

AW So, he bought Rosemount?

Yes, he bought Rosemount.

AW Do you know roughly when he bought that?

No, I don't know.

AW The other day you were telling me, it would have been probably about 1910?

Well, I'd say so. Yes, it would have been, because my brother had been born and was nine months old.

AW Right, that's your older brother?

My third brother. See, there was one child born in 1907, three years between the first three children. So, he would have been born in April 1910. And he was nine months old when he came back, so he came back about 1910.

AW Do you know whose property it was?

No, I don't because I think they had to build a house and everything. I think they started from scratch. I just know that Jean was born there and I was born, I think the rest of us were born at home, I think Collin was the only one born in the Hospital.

AW So, how many brothers and sisters did you have?

There were four boys and four girls.

AW And what were their names or are their names?

Well, Bill is dead now, Gordon died at twenty one, he was the one that got killed while falling a tree and Vernie, then Jean, then myself, Ethel, Joy and Collin.

AW That's a big family.

Eight, yes.

AW Nice size family.

Well, yes. It was a good family, but my Father was a good farmer and grew a lot of vegetables, he said, "if you couldn't eat it you didn't grow it". So, he kept us in vegetables, potatoes and everything, corn. We used to have about a hundred chooks out there, that was funny. They would lay everywhere you know! He grew corn up in the top paddock and then all through it he grew melons, watermelons and rockmelons and piemelons and pumpkins and things like that, through his corn. And of course that fed the chooks and then there was a patch of cane near the house. And if Mum was short of eggs, they'd lay anywhere because they were free range, she would have to wait for the hens to cackle. So, we had to go and find a nest. We'd find a nest with about twenty eggs in it and we'd be in business again.

AW Why didn't you ever build a chicken coop?

Well, they had a chook run.

AW But they'd get out?

No, Dad used to let them out. You see, he used to let them out to run in the fields, so we had nice eggs. Sometimes they'd lay in the thing, they used to lay in the barn, they used to lay anywhere. Then of course, Sunday, there was always a chook, a rooster killed or something. They weren't all hens, you had to run and chase the chooks or catch a rooster for dinner.

AW So, you did that, did you?

No, the boys mostly caught the cooks, but that was fun.

AW You were in the fun of the chase?

Oh, yes. No, I could never ever chop the head of a chook but, Mum was a good cook. She used to make a big plum pudding in a boiler, a copper. You know the copper outside?

AW Yes.

She'd make a plum pudding, I think it was about every Sunday, that there would be a big plum pudding in a bag.

AW So she would cook outside?

No, but the plum pudding was cooked out there in the boiler, in the copper.

AW That was the copper you did the washing in?


AW Oh, really?


AW And what, she'd just put it in a cloth and hang it in the water?

Yes, in the water and boil it, for three or four hours.

AW That makes sense.

Yes, oh well, she used to make a pudding for us. There were five of us going to school at once and she used to make these puddings in the biggest pie dish I've ever seen. It was, oh I don't know, but it was a huge pie dish. And it would either be a rice custard or a baked custard or a bread and butter custard, in this thing. That was our afternoon tea, when we got home, but there would be another sweet for dinner.

AW For dinner that night.

But you see, that was for afternoon tea. I could never understand why we always had puddings in the afternoon, when we got home from school. But you see, with five of us, we would have eaten a loaf of bread, we would have been avenous. And see, bread was more precious than eggs and milk, on a farm.

AW Why is that?

Because we had so much of it. See, you had so many cows, you'd have milk laid on. You know, you'd bring a big bucket of milk up to the house of a morning, and you'd have these hundred chooks that would provide you with eggs. We always had, there'd be about a dozen eggs in that custard.

AW But with the bread you actually had to make it yourself?

Well, we used to get it out three days a week, when I knew about it, I suppose Mum made bread before that, I don't know, but she used to make it Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and perhaps Sundays. And we'd get it out Monday, Wednesday and Friday. But see, with five kids, cutting lunch for five kids for school.

AW It's a lot of bread.

Yes, the bread would run out before the milk and the eggs.

AW Well, getting back to the family property Rosemount, why was it called Rosemount?

Because Mum wanted a rose garden. She was just going to have roses.

AW And mount because if was on top of the mountain?

I suppose, oh well, Rosemount.

AW Now, where about at Reesville was it actually situated?

It was just around the Howell's Knob, you know.

AW Is the house still there today?

Yes, it's there, but it's not like what it used to be.

AW Who owns it now?

Nandor and Mary Nagy.

AW Oh right. So, that's the house that's out on the knoll by itself?

Yes, they've built it all in. It had verandahs all around, it was lovely.

AW I notice there's a big fig tree there?

Yes, there was a big fig tree at the back. Is it still there?

AW Yes. Do you know if your father planted that at all?

Of course.

AW He probably did?

Yes, it grew in a stump. It was a huge tree and they had another big fig tree down at the bails, down where the yard was. But yes, it was a huge tree.

AW Now, you were saying before you had a barn. So, you had a fairly big farm out there?

Yes, I don't know how many acres to start with. And then Dad bought more, he bought the top part. Yes, he used to grow all his corn you see, and potatoes and he would put all the corn and things like that in it. It was a fairly big barn.

AW Were there many neighbours out there that you remember of when you were a child?

Oh yes. There were the Rees', Edgar Rees lived up the road, and Olly Rees lived over the road.

AW So, Olly Rees lived opposite your place?

No, Edgar. Then Deans lived down and there was people by the name of Watsons. But they, well, neighbours you say, but that would be a mile away.

AW But these were all the people within the Reesville district?

Oh, yes, and Clarkes and Flessers.

AW Now, Watsons, are they the same brothers that run the Watson's Garage in town?

No, they lived right down, I forget who's living in there now.

AW Yes, but is it the same family, the Watsons from the Garage; different Watsons?

No, different, I don't know where they came from. But, there was Flitcrofts who lived right out, and there was the Crannys, and Clan Thow, owned the place that Crannys were on.

AW How do you spell that?

T h o w. There was Arthur Aplin, there was Flitcroft, and then Arthur Aplin and then Clan Thow. This is coming in to town from the back of Reesville, towards Maleny.

AW And was Arthur Aplin, Bill Aplin's...?


AW Right. Bill Aplin senior's brother?

Yes, Bill's father's brother.

AW Now, I understand Bill Aplin senior bought Howell's Knob from Xazavier Howell earlier in the piece.


AW Now, there was always some contention, I understand, of why the area was known as Ressville, when it had always been called Howell's Knob. What did you call it, when you were a child?

Howell's Knob, because we used to ride over the top of that.

AW Right over the top of Howell's Knob?

Yes, there was no road round. They used to bring the cream in over the top of that Knob.

AW So what? It zig zagged up the side of the Knob?

No, it used to just go straight up. Not like it does now, it used to go straight up and straight down. We rode our horses to school that way. There was no road, oh that's a long time and then they had a curved bridge there.

AW Below the Knob?

When they put the road round, it was a bridge on a curve.

AW Do you remember that being built?


AW How old were you roughly? Were you going to school?

I was going to school, yes.

AW So, you started school in 1919 you were telling me?

I used to ride that way when I went to work, so it was before 1927.

AW So, it's between 1919 and 1927?

Probably be after the War. Oh yes, I rode over that Knob for a long time. It would be well and truly after the war.

AW So, it was built in the 1920's?

Yes, and it was on a curve.

AW Why was that?

Well, it just went round with the curve of the thing.

AW I heard rumours that Bullockies couldn't get their teams across there, because of the curve in the bridge.

That could be right. They probably went over the top.

AW Why did they decide to put a bridge in?

Well, they had to I suppose, I don't know; and now, they've got the road round it, they just cut more into the mountain I suppose

now. But you see, there was a great big gully there, so they had to put the bridge across, but it was quite a unique bridge.

AW So, the road over the top wasn't suitable, that they built a bridge?

Oh well, over the tope of the Knob, it was steep for the cars I suppose in those days. Cars wouldn't climb that hill. You had to have a horse or a cart. Bill Aplin still owns that place right up to that Knob, but I don't know whether the government must have taken over some of it.

AW That is now a public Lookout?

Yes, but Bill Aplin's property runs right up to that.

AW Do you ever remember any Lookout buildings up there?

Yes, there used to be one.

AW Where was that?

What did they call that? That used to look over the mountain.

AW Because I was told that the Maleny Ladie's Progress Association built a rotunda up there.

Yes, that was right.

AW Did the ladies actually build it themselves?

Oh no, they wouldn't have built it. They would have just paid some money.

AW They just paid for it?

No, I don't think they would have built it. There was a Lookout up there.

AW Would you get many tourists going up there?

No, I don't think so, not then. It wasn't advertised enough. Maleny has always been beautiful.

AW Well, let us get back to the naming of the area. You were telling me that Mr Rees took a deputation to the Landsborough Shire Council. Which Mr Rees?

Well, I don't know, it might have been H.O., might have been the old fellow, you know, the older man, their father.

AW And what did he go to the council for?

He wanted it called Reesville. This was after the war. I think my father was dead against it. Dad never ever called it Reesville, he called it Howell's Knob. He said Reesville started the other side of his property. No, he didn't like the name Reesville.

AW And were there other locals in the area that also only called it Howell's Knob?

Yes, I think that the other people might have objected too, they mightn't have liked it.

AW So, it really was just the Rees family wanting an area named after themselves?

Well, you see it's the same everywhere now. There was a road out at Witta, at Curramore, it was called Bryce Road, Bryce something. ANd now a fellow came in by the name of Schultz and he got on the Council, so that was promptly changed to Schultz's Road.

AW Really.

Yes. So, you see they used to do those sort of things.

AW Now why was it called Bryce Road?

Well, because that's where Bill Bryce came to, at Witta and they owned that property out there.

AW That was of course, called another name when you were young, wasn't it?

What's that?

AW Out at Witta.


AW Yes.

Yes, that was during the war I think it was changed to Witta.

AW First World War?

yes, would have been. Well, they changed it to Witta because it was a German settlement before then.

AW Do you know much about that, because you would have only been young?

Yes, very young. Well, I wasn't very old. I don't remember much about that, I know some of the people were interned, stupidly.

AW Were they? Do you know any of the people that were interned?

No, I don't know. I wouldn't know for sure but, I knew some at the time that some of them were interned during the war, stupidly, because they were all good settlers.

AW Well, most of them were original selectors, weren't they?

Yes, that's right.

AW What were some of the names of the people that lived down at Witta?

At that time?

AW Yes.

Well, there was Manitzky and there was Nothling's, there was Ben and Charlie Nothling, there was Vandrieke's, Bergann's, two lots of Bergann's, Charlie and Bill Bergann and Otto, there were three Bregann's. The Harch's, I think the Sommer's, they're still there.

AW Oehmichen?

Oehmichen, yes, two lots of Oehmichen's, Bill and Edith.

AW So, there were a lot of German people who worked out there and lived out there?

They all had their farms out there.

AW Now, do you ever remember anything about a shop being out at Witta?

No, I don't think so. I think that may be it was only when Manitzky had the Post Office.

AW So there was a Post Office at Witta?

Yes, that people got their mail. I think it was at a house, you know, like their home.

AW So, who had the Post Office?

August Manitzky, the first one that I know of; there might have been other people. There were other people there, there were Donovan's lived at Witta too.

AW Donovan?

Yes, they had a property out at Witta. I don't think they were German settlement, they were Irish.

AW I was going to say Donovan is more Irish.

Yes, they were Irish.

AW Were they Donovan's of "Donovan's Knob"?

I think they might have owned part of that, they might have owned that property. That was right out.

AW That's past Curramore, really, isn't it?

Yes, they probably owned that property, in the good old days, I don't know.

AW So, you don't actually remember the names of any people that were interned but you know some were?

No. I know there were some who were interned.

AW Do you remember your parents talking about any animosity from the remainder of the community towards the German people?

No, they weren't, they were all with them.

AW So, it was really just the government at the time?

Government, yes. It wasn't any animosity of local people because they all thought it was all a bit stupid.

AW Was there any bitterness towards the government because of that then?

Oh, I don't know, I can't remember.

AW Because you were too young. Now, you were also telling me you had a school teacher that was of German origin and he changed his name.

Yes, he changed it, that was Bruce.

AW Now, what was his German name?

Breusch, and he changed it to Bruce.

AW So, it was the people.

Because of that, oh well, probably. I don't know why he did it but people always thought it was a bit silly to do it I think.

AW Now, also about Witta, I was looking the other day and I noticed that there was a sub division out on the corner of the Curramore Road, where it goes off to Curramore and then the road goes down to Conondale, and there were all these half acre blocks, sub divided off in 1912, so they must have had some plans for a big settlement out at Witta?

Oh, I don't know. No, I don't know anything about that. And they are still there, are they?

AW Yes, there's an area called Margaret Street which is only just been developed recently and I notice it was sub divided first in 1912 and I just thought it was interesting, because it was very rare in those days to have such small blocks divided off.

No, I don't know anything about that.

AW So, may be there were some plans of having...

See, the Nothlings might know about that because they lived around that area. Len probably will know about that or old Goidser, she might remember that.

AW So, was the Witta's Sport's Ground always out there, where it is now opposite the cemetery, when you were a child?

Well, we played tennis there, yes. Oh, that's been there a long time. I used to play tennis out there.

AW How long, did you play tennis from when you were really young?

Yes, we had our own tennis court.

AW At "Rosemount"?

Yes, and oh, I was only a kid. I suppose twelve, ten. I don't know, about ten I suppose. Well, I used to play when I was thirteen or fourteen out at Witta.

AW Right, so Witta had had a...

Oh, they had their Sport's ground even before then.

AW From the early twenties?

Yes, it would be. They had about three courts I think, then. They were nice courts too.

AW Did they have the Show ground as well?

It wasn't a Show ground, it was a Sport's Ground. They played

cricket I think and football, they had a football team.

AW And was the pavilion there?

Yes, it was always there. It was great days of tennis out there.

AW So, it's always been a big community out that way, very active?

Yes, because they had that for their young people. Something for them to do at weekends.

AW Of course there was a Lutheran Church out at Witta too, wasn't there?

Still there, it's still there.

AW And also they had a school I believe.

Yes, that's still there. And they kept the school for the, I think the Pine Rivers have taken that over.

AW And they had their summer camps up there?

Not always summer, they come up periodically. You know, different schools come up.

AW So, they use it sort of like a rural retreat?


AW Oh, that's good.

They all have good fun there I think.

AW When you went to school, what school did you go to?


AW Now, why did you go to Maleny when you could have chosen from Wootha or Witta?

Because Maleny was closer.

AW Was it?

Yes, much.

AW How long would it take you to get from Reesville?

Now you're asking! It all depends how fast my brothers rode the horses and how late we were. No, it didn't take long on a horse, it's only three miles, a little over three miles.

AW What so, half and hour, three quarters of an hour?

Oh, half an hour I suppose.

AW And you said it depended on how fast your brothers rode the horse, so you'd go double up?

Yes, well, till they left, I used to double up. Perhaps somebody doubled behind me afterwards, I don't know. I can't remember.

AW Was there ever any stage in your family's history of where all the eight children went to school at the same time?

No, no, five. There were five of us, I think that was the most that went.

AW Right, so three of your brothers were much older that the rest of you?

No, not really. No, there were only eighteen months between them and then there was another eighteen months, no, there was a bit more between Jean and Vernie, then there was only eighteen months between Jean and I.

AW Was it usual for families to have so many children going to school?

Oh, I don't know. I never ever thought about it. It's just that we went to school and I never thought about it, no.

AW Did you wear uniforms?

No, We didn't wear uniforms. We just wore ordinary dresses.

AW Did you wear stockings or tights?

No, those sort of things weren't heard of.

AW What sort of shoes did you have?

Just ordinary shoes, ordinary school shoes.

AW What, little flat shoes?

Probably, I don't know. I can't remember.

AW Because most of the photos I've seen, the children have really big laced up boots?

Bare feet! No, we didn't. I can't see what we wore here, just ordinary shoes I think. (refers to photo)

AW You just wear normal shoes?


AW Now, I've seen quite a few class photographs. Did you have an annual photograph taken at the school?

I think so, yes.

AW And was it an exciting event?

Oh, I suppose it was, I don't know. I took such a dreadful photo though. I was never photogenic, I was always looking sour. You'd think, oh, another chore. Oh, I never worried about them much.

AW Photography would have been something interesting in those days though, because not many people would have been able to afford to have their photos taken.

Possibly not, but I don't know. You can see the photos that are around now, the cameras must have been alright, mustn't they, because they came out pretty clear.

AW I think most of them were taken with little box brownies.

Yes, that's right, and they're still good, aren't they?

AW That's true. Did you have a camera in your family?

Oh, yes. We had the box browny.

AW And who was the master of the box browny?

Oh, I don't know. The boys probably, they took over everything.

AW Did they?

The probably were boss and the eldest.

AW Now, getting back to daily life on the farm, did you have a dairy?


AW How many cows did you have?

No, I don't know. There were a lot of cows.

AW What breed were they?

Illawarrah Short Horn, AIS.

AW Right. So, was your father's farm a stud farm.

Yes, he had a stud farm. They reared all the calves, because they were valuable. We milked by hand for a long time, but you know, some of the people had machines. The man opposite us had a machine at about 1906 or 1907, or something. Maddson lived on that farm. That was before Rees'.

AW What Rees' bought Maddson's farm?

No, it wasn't Rees. He sold to different ones. Kirkwood I think owned it before Rees' took it. Maddson had it when we were kids, he was a Swede and he had milking machines.

AW Now, do you remember that or have you been told that?

Well, I was told that, I don't remember it, but there supposed to be the old boiler, that ran it, still out there. Yes, I didn't know about it myself, but the son told me lat time he came up to look at the old farm. And he told me that they had a milking machine about 1907 or '08 or something like that; but we didn't. They milked by hand because I suppose three boys and Dad.

AW Now, how did they keep the milk? Did you have to keep it hot or keep it cold?

No, they separated the milk and fed the milk to the calves. The separated milk went to the calves, the cream went to the factory. It wasn't milk in those days, it was cream. They had a cream shed and they kept it in this cream shed, which was rather cool. I think they had you know, air vents and cement floor and I think that they used to stir it about two or three times a day anyway.

AW And how often would you take your cream into the Co op?

Three days a week.

AW Now, you were telling me that your father in the very early piece, was one of the first consignors to the Butter Factory?

Yes, he was. He was the first.

AW The very first?

Yes. I think he raced down the hill in front of somebody else, I don't know who it was. He was coming this way and somebody else was coming that way. And Dad got there first.

AW So, he went in the records of being the first consignor of the Maleny Butter Factory?

Yes. I suppose it was fun for him. He had a horse and cart. I think he used to take a couple of lots of cream, I think in the old days, so they tell me. But later he had the cream carters take it in.

AW Now, was your father a shreholder of the Co op?

Yes. He was one of the directors for a long time, but I don't know how many years. My brother knows, but I don't know. I was not interested in it.

AW Was he a director when you were really young? Do you remember him going off to meetings?

Oh, yes. I remember him going off to meetings. But he used to go in the day time to the meetings and the meetings were always held in the day time. No, I can't remember much about it. You know at that age, girls are not very interested in that, I don't think.

AW So, if you weren't interested in the dairy side, what did you do with your day, before you went to school?

Before we went to school, we didn't have much time. We got up out of bed, swallowed our breakfast and went to school.

AW No, before you went to school. You said you started school in 1919 when you were six, so, what did you do before then?

I don't know what we did.

AW Just played games. Did you have dolls when you were young?

Oh, yes.

AW And what sort of toys did the boys have?

I can's remember. I suppose they had cricket bats and tennis, I don't know. They always seem to be playing tennis and when I remember, they probably had cricket bats, they played cricket the same as they do now, a box for stumps or something like that.

AW Now, how did they transport the butter from the factory down to Landsborough in the early days, before the road was properly made?

The butter? Well, I don't remember that. I think that it all went by horse and cart. Because they used to bring passengers up by horse from Landsborough.

AW See, this area was notorious for it's bad weather and muddy roads.

Yes, and bad roads and steep hills. We didn't go down very often, down to Landsborough, but I think they had waggons, with two horses or four horses that they took down. I don't know how often.

AW Can you remember the names of any cream carters out at your district?

I remember most of them.

AW What are their names?

Out our way? Frank Higgins was the first one I remember at Reesville. No, Harry Lewis was the firest, Frank Higgins took over from him. And when they went to the war, George Brown took over.

AW Now, were they people that lived out at Reesville themselves, that they were carting from out there?

Yes, they lived out at Reesville and they had four horses and a wagon, they called them German Wagons, I think. And they used to have to ride over the top of that Knob.

AW With all the cream?

With the cream on.

AW Now, in the old days, they put the cream in a big old metal containers, as they do today?


AW Same things, so, that would have been a very heavy load?

Yes, it would have been. But there were a fair few suppliers out there.

AW Do you remember any of the other carters?

Yes, I think I remember most of them. I don't know about the real early days, but that would have been in from my day on. I think there was at Wootha, there was a Claude Campbell, and there was a Dick Johnson I think took over from him. And Ben Martin then was later. He took over, I think he bought some of Dick Johnson's horses and he took over from there. And the Baroon Pocket I know was Bill Rough. I don't know anybody else but he must have been there in the early stages.

AW So, were there many farms down in Baroon Pocket?

Oh, yes. There was a fair, well the Roughs were all down there and the Thynne's.

AW The Thynne's?

Yes, they had that silo down there. No, I can't remember but there were a fair few.

AW So, Bill Rough would take the cream from North Maleny and Baroon Pocket?

Yes, and they had, I think it was Balmoral was Tom Sinclair and Witta was Frank Riordan and they used to call him "Pinky".

AW Why did they call him "Pinky"?

I don't know. And then afterwards of course when the trucks came on.

AW Who got it from Conondale, because Conondale would have come up here, would it?

I can't remember. I don't think Conondale was sort of supplying cream until they more or less had trucks. I think they more or less had trucks before they were established down there on farms.

AW Was Conondale regarded as being an outlying districk of Maleny in the arly days?

Oh, well yes, it was. I think there were mostly trucks by the time that Conondale people came there.

AW Do you know anything of the Conondale Butter Factory? Do you ever remember any main things?

No, they built it but they never ever supplied cream there.

AW I wonder why it never started?

I don't know.

AW Did your father ever talk about it?

Not to me, Dad was always too busy on the farm. We didn't get to tak to Dad much.

AW Do you remember any of the cream prices?

No, I don't. You'll have to find out from Bill Aplin I think. He'd know the cream prices. But Len Nothling told me the other day that he had a cheque book of his father's that was in the early 1920's, it went back to that. And there was a cheque written to the Tytherleigh's and I think it was about one pound and fifteen shillings or something like that. And he said that would have been the month's groceries. He thought that that would have been the bill for the month.

AW So, butter you wouldn't have got much of for your cream actually?

No, I don't know.

AW Now, in the arly days, did the farmers have quotas as they do toady?


AW You just supplied as much as you could?

Yes, there were no quotas then. I don't know when that came in. That's only recent, isn't it?

AW Probably that would be just to regulate the industry so that it didn't over produce. Did your father ever have to cultivate cow cane for fodder for the cows?


AW Do you ever remember any big droughts?

Not really. No, I don't remember droughts, I can remember the floods.

AW Were you aware of other children at school having to do lots of work before they went to school?

Yes, I was with some children.

AW And what sort of things would they have to do?

Well, they had to milk cows and I suppose separate. They had to do everything and then come to school! They had it a bit harder. No, we didn't have it that hard, really. I suppose having the three brothers older.

AW So, that, you feel made your load a bit easier?

Well, we didn't have to go to the yard. My Mother never milked a cow in her life.

AW Really?

No, she never milked a cow. I don't think she could milk, no, she never milked a cow in her life. She had led a much more sheltered life than I did. And you know, even having eight kids, she had a good life, I think.

AW And she had most of her children at home, you were saying?

Yes, right up until, we had a mid wife, a Mrs Ewen.

AW Where was she from?

I think she lived at Wootha. She used to ride a horse when the stalk started to come I think. She used to come by horseback.

AW And would she come and stay with you?

Yes, she'd stay just, oh, the baby wouldn't be very old. I can't remember that, but no, I don't think she stayed very long. But she'd deliver the baby and she might stay a day or two, but I suppose she might have been the mid wife of Maleny. She must have been a busy lady.

AW And what was her name again?

Mrs. Ewen.

AW Now, of course you were telling me you started school in 1919 at the end of World War One. Do you have any memories of the soldiers coming back from the War?

No, I can't remember.

AW Because I was told by somebody else that they can remember as a child meeting the soldiers down at the bridge. Did you hear that?

Yes, people met them when they came back. They gave them a reception, but I can't remember. Perhaps because we lived out from the town and we didn't get to meet them.

AW I understand there was a big drought in 1919, the Obi stopped running?

Yes, there was a drought.

AW So that was your first year at school?

Yes, but I can't remember it.

AW So, you must have had a dry year that year?

Yes, the Obi might have stopped running, but I don't think that we ever had worry with water on our farm.

AW Because you had a good creek. Now, also I was reading the other day that there was a flu epidemic which closed most of the schools in Queensland in 1919 and you told me that you remember your mother being ill around that time.

Yes, Mother was sick with that, she had the flu but she wasn't desperately ill or anything.

AW Do you remember many of the children when you first started school being ill?

No, I don't. I remember the teacher died, I think from that flu, Miss Harding.

AW Now, Miss Harding, her father?

He was the manager of Tytherleigh's.

AW Everybody seems to remember that one.


AW Do you remember the Prince of Wales visiting Landsborough in 1920?


AW Now, after the War, in Maleny, they decided to build a Soldiers Memorial Hospital, do you remember while the hospital was being built?

No, I don't.

AW You would have been going past it when you went to school?

Yes, I suppose I saw it built, but it didn't sort of register much with me. That was built in 1922, wasn't it?

AW Well, everybody seems to think it was opened in 1922, but I've looked up records andit was actually running as a private hospital in August 1920.

That could have been right, because my brother was born in the hospital up here and that was August 1922. But it was running as a hospital then. My Mother told me the story, see all the other children in our family were born at home and Mum went to the hospital for this baby, and I think she was in and out about four times. She had about four false alarms.

Tape 1/Side B

AW What were you saying about 1916?

There was a great big hail storm at Witta and Reesville.

AW Do you remember that?

No, I remember photos of it.

AW Because you would have only been three.

Yes, but there was a great big hail storm, hail as big as hen eggs, or something. But there are photos of it.

AW I've actually seen a photo, it looks like snow on the ground. So, have you ever seen any big hail storms similar to that since?

No, we had a cyclone.

AW When was that? How old were you?

I must have been about ten.

AW So that would have been in 1923, roughly?

Yes, a big cyclone. Yes, it was out that way. (Reesville) It went through Reesville and Witta and knocked a few houses over and a few toilets and a few cream houses. And we were coming home from school and our horses went down the lane, they didn't go to the house, they went down the lane to the dairy. We had to just let the horses go because we were in this cyclone.

AW So you walked them home?

No, we didn't, we were riding them. But they made for the dairy so we stayed down the dairy. Mum was upstairs worrying about the house, worrying about us and we were down at the dairy. Yes, quite a few people got hurt in that storm.

AW There was a bit of excitement in the community?

Yes, but it's very similar to the storm that blew through here a few years ago and it went in practically the same path.

AW There's always been really strange freak winds that just blow through that Reesville area.

Yes, well, the last one that was out there, was very similar pattern to the storm in 1916.

AW Of course you can see it sway, definitely where the wind had blown and trees, everything on its path has been blown over.

Yes, well that was practically the same path as the other cyclone.

AW Really. That's interesting. Well, we were talking before about the hospital and when it opened in 1920. What did people in Maleny do if they were very ill, before the hospital was opened, was there a doctor here?

I don't know. There was a doctor that used to ride out to patients on the sulky or something.

AW Did you ever have to go to a doctor?

When I was young?

AW Yes.

I think we were tough kids. No, I remember, see that nail........................

AW Yes, so you cut that, mashed it?

I jammed it in the cow bail and split right through there.

AW What did you do?

One nail is half in there and one is half.......My Mother wrapped that up with the bandage and kept it on for a week or fortnight or something and then took it off.

AW Do you remember any old home remedies?


AW ...............

Oh yes. Well, we used to have to have the sulphur and treacle

AW What was that for?

I think that was any sores you have.

AW Was that on the sore or internal?

No, eat it. Eat that.

AW Sulphur and treacle?

Yes, you mix it up in a spoon.

AW Were you given cod liver oil?

Oh, my brother lived on cod liver oil because he was asthmatic. And he used to opiarum and cod liver oil every night going to bed. I remember opiarum but he used to have rum and cod liver oil. No, he lived on cod liver oil, but that was the one that got killed. But he had cod liver oil. We used to have, it wasn't epsom salt, what was it?

AW What was it for?

Senna leaves, senna tea.

AW Oh yes, to make you regular?

Yes, the senna tea, I think you had to have that ones a week, keep the worms away, I don't know.

AW Oh, I was just interested in the old remedies. I've heard about spider's webs, if you cut yourself, you wrap spider's webs around the wound to stop the bleeding.

No, we never did that. Oh, I don't know, my Mother just wrapped that up and once I fell over a gorge down and cut myself there, we never went to the doctor for that. We were healthy mob, survival of the fittest.

AW Now, do you remember William Burgum and his son drowning in the Obi, that was in 1921?

I remember when it did, that was the floods.

AW Was there?

No, I didn't know about it. But there was a girl down out at Gardener's Fall.

AW Oh yes. Was she swimming or?

Yes, they were swimming. My husband dragged her out of the pool.

AW Oh really. When was that? Was he your husband then?

No, they were out at north Maleny.

AW When did Steve come to Maleny?

I can't remember, no I can't remember. He was grown, I think he was about eighteen. I don't know. They were all swimming; there was a crowd swimming down in the big pool and I think she was swimming out further. And I think there were a lot of girls and then they started screaming and shrieking and I don't think anyone took much notice to start with, because they thought they were just fooling. Then they heard that she was at the bottom of the pool and I think Steve dived down and brought her out. But I think they sent the ambulance or sent for something, somebody. But you see, they didn't know about mouth to mouth or anything then.

AW So, she was a Gardener?

Yes, she wouldn't have been in the falls, she wouldn't have been in the water long. You know, they could have probably saved her today. But they didn't know anything about that.

AW So, you were saying she was at Gardener's Fall, so that was a well known swimming spot?

Oh, yes.

AW What about other swimming spots?

Well, they got the Narrows, they used to go down to the Narrows. That was down in Baroon Pocket too. And this Maleny pool over here has been here since.......

AW What about, I've heard about the Bridge Creek Road.

That is the Narrows, isn't it?

AW No, the Narrows is down Baroon Pocket.

I don't know about that. There was a big pool at Gibsons out there. We used to call it Gibsons; I think it's where the nut farm is now. There was a big pool there.

AW That would be in the Obi, wouldn't it?

And they used to have swimming carnivals there.

AW Did they? What, schools swimming carnivals?

No, just people. I can't remember.

AW How old were you when they had those?

I can't remember how old I was. I remember going there to this. And then there was another big pool, a different one. We had one out at Clark's.

AW Down at Reesville?


AW Now they live down behind Fleeses' Road.

We could ride through there, Reesville. Go through the property and get on to Wootha.

AW Go diagonally across.?


AW So you'd have to cross the Obi?


AW You would come out roughly where Bill Aplin lives now?

No, you'd have come out further this way. You'd have come out more where Denings are.

AW Was Reesville road as we know it today, the bitumen road running along the top of the ridge, around Howell's Knob, was it there when you were a child?

No, that's only recent. No, there were two separate entrances. You came from Reesville this way and Wootha from the other way.

AW So the two roads didn't connect. Now there's a property out at Reesville that I'm interested to know who owned. It is down the very end of what is call Flesser's Road now. A big farm house and bails, was that Clark's property?

Where Thomas live now?

AW I don't know who lives there now. It's a house that's been just available for rent ever since I've lived in Maleny and it's right at the very end of the road. There's a little one on the end of the road and then you go through the paddock and then it's about half a mile through the paddock.

What is this, before you get to where?

AW You got Flesser's Road, you got Reesville Park on the corner.


AW It's call Reesville Park, it's that place with the big metal molases tank, looks like a bullet on the side of the road.

Is that before Rosemount or opposite Rosemount?

AW Opposite Rosemount, and then Flesser's Road goes down and it's right at very end of Flesser's Road. Now, you're at the end of Flesser's Road and then there's a house there on the right and then there's a gate right infront of you and you go through that gate and it's about half a mile round and it's all red soil down the hill, down around and up. And then there's this house up on the hill, whose farm was that?

I don't know.

AW Which one was Clark's farm?

Well Clarks Thomas, where Ted Thomas lived, I don't know who owns that now.

AW Where was it?

You went in a gate from Flesser's lane.

AW It's got a house there.

That's probably the house you mean.

AW So, that's the swimming hole, because I know there's a swimming hole there.

Yes, that's it.

AW What creek is that?

Well, it's still the Obi, isn't it?

AW Is it the Obi out there too?

Yes, I think it's the Obi. Starts up there.

AW So, did all the local children know how to swim?

I don't know, probably.

AW Did you know how to swim?

No, I didn't.

AW You were never taught?

No, and I was petrified of the water.

AW So if you didn't have a swimming hole on your property, you probably didn't learn to swim?

No. We used to go down and probably dog paddle on whatever. We went over ther to the creeks, over to the Clarks. It was a big there, but there was a big one down here at the back where Jim Gibson used to live. Now, Joan and George Gibson should have been there, they should be able to tell you about that. It's at the back of Jim Gibson's, what was his property. I think it's all the nut farm now, isn't it?

AW Right.

It was a great big swimming pool. They used to have swimming competition or carnivals or whatever there.

AW So it was bigger than Gardener's Falls on the Obi Obi?

Bigger area, but not as deep as Gardener's. No, it was a bigger area really in those days. But you know when you're young, everything looks monsterous, you know. You say, "Oh, that's huge." And then when you see it again, "Oh, that's not nearly as big as I used to think it was."

AW Can you remember the names of any of the Cream carters ?

I remember most of them.

AW What are their names?

Out our way? I wrote it down somewhere. Frank Hickins was the first one I remember at Reesville. No, Harry Lewis was the first, Frank Hickins took over from him. And when they went to the war, George Brown took over.

AW Now, were they people that lived out at Reesville themselves?

Yes, they lived out at Reesville and they used to bring down; they had four horses and a waggon,...............what they called them German waggons I think, they used to call them. And they used to have to ride over the top of that Knob.

AW With all the cream?

With the cream on.

AW Now, in the old days, they put the cream in a big old metal containers.......................?


AW So, that would have been a very heavy load?

Yes, it would have been. But there were few suppliers out there.

AW Do you remember any of the other carters?

Yes, I think I remember most of them. I don't know about the real early days but that would have been in from my day on. I think there was at Wootha, there was a Claude Campbell, and there was a Dick Johnson I think took over from him. And then Martin then was later. He took over, I think he bought some of Dick Johnson's horses and he took over from there. And the Baroon Pocket I know was Bill Rough I don't know of anybody else but he must have been there in the early stages.

AW So, were there many farms down

The tape jumped here, I don't know what happened but adjust here.

AW Now we were talking about medical service before and accidents. I heard that there was young girl; a circus came to town and she was bald by a lion. Do you remember that?


AW Did you go to the show.

Yes, it was in the hall.

AW Now, why on earth did they have lions in the School of Art?

Oh, I guess they put the show on for kids and show them the kids didn't know what a lion looked.

AW Do you remember who it was?


AW What was her name?

Do I have to tell you?

AW Yes.

Well, it's Mary McLean. She still lives at Caloundra.

AW Does she?

Yes, she lives in Caloundra somewhere.

AW And who helped her, who saved her?

Oh, I don't know. Somebody rushed to her aid. I suppose it was a kid. Mary Burgum knows all about that I think. I remember her with the head in the lion's mouth.

AW You saw it.

Yes, we all saw it there. Yes, they get too close. I wouldn't have got that close to a lion anyway. Would you?

AW No, I wouldn't. We were also talking the other day, I remember reading in the Nambour Chronicle about somebody been shot in Maleny. Now we were working this out the other day and you said it was Mr Parrot's son, Hew.

No, it wasn't Hew, it was Jim. I remember that after you left, I thought it's not Hew, Hew was younger. It was Jim. Now Jim I thought was a school boy, but I think he must have left school and I think he must have been working with his father.

AW Now, he father was a builder?


AW And we worked out, who was it who shot him, Mr Rickerbree, now he was a saddler, didn't you say?

I don't know if he was a saddler at the time. I think they had the boarding house then. I'm not sure about that. But it was the Bank teller, Bank clerk or teller that brought the gun out and didn't think it was loaded.

AW So, did that cause a big fuss in the town at the time?

I can't remember. He didn't get charged or anything.

AW Do you remember roughly how old you were? Were you working?

No, I wasn't working.

AW So, you were still at school?


AW So, it was before 1927.

He must have been about fourteen or fifteen. I could have found out how old he was.

AW Was he much older than you?

Not a lot. He would have been perhaps two years older, but I must have been about thirteen or twelve when that happened. I don't know.

AW So, it would have been about 1926.

Yes, I think it would have been 1925, '26 because I thought he was still going to school but I think he might have left or he was helping his father...............his father. No, I don't think there was do about it. But I think that fellow came back as a manager later.

AW The Bank clerk?

Yes, I think he came. I could tell you his name but I'm just not quite sure on his name. But he came back as a manager later.

AW Why, you're not sure if it's him or not?

No, not really. I didn't ask any more questions. But I was told he came back as manager.

AW Who do you think it was?

It doesn't matter. He's dead now anyway, the poor fellow.

AW Yes, I was going to say he probably punished himself forever for bringing the gun out anyway.

Probably not, I don't know. Do they think about it?

AW I don't know. I think I would.

I would too, especially if I kill somebody and I was the cause of it. I think he probably would have had thoughts about it. He was a nice kid.

AW Now, when there were accidents, was there a code of mourning. I was going to say a few people have spoken to me how late women had to wear black stockings for six months and you don't out.

It didn't happen in out family.

AW When your brother was killed?

No, there was no black arm bands or, no.

AW Do you remember other people in the community doing that procedure?

I can remember people wearing black arm bands. I don't remember whether they'd be Australians, I don't know; some martyrs, I think.

AW So, that was more of a European tradition you feel.

I think it was. I don't know. No, there were people who used to wear black, some people used to wear black for a while, black hats, black dresses. But it didn't happen in our family, I don't know.

AW Has Maleny got a cemetery?


AW Out at Witta. So that's where most of the people would be buried?

Yes, my parents are buried out there.

AW Are they? So, when your brother died, when Gordon was killed, were you at home when that accident happened?

No, I was working then.

AW So, he was killed in a tree felling accident.

Yes. Oh, he was chopping a tree down, 5'6" through and didn't know anything about it. They were chopping it and sawing it; it took days and weeks really because they were just doing it in their spare time, you know, they used to go up. I can't remember whether it was a week day, it must have been a week day. I can't remember much about it really. The accident was so horrific really for all of us. But you know, you sort of put it out of your mind or you try to. My two brothers and Dick Flaser, he used to come down, they were all trying to get this tree down.

AW You were saying it was a miracle that your other brother?


AW Who was that?


AW That he wasn't killed too?

Yes, it was a miracle, it was. You know, he just laid down on the ground. He said something seemed to tell him to lie down on the ground and he laid down there and the fork of the tree hit the ground and that's where he crawled out of. But you know there are miracles, aren't there?

AW Yes, and Gordon was hit by a flying limb?

He was actually well away from the tree but a flying limb hit him.

AW So, were accidents like timber accidents like that common in the early days?

I can't remember. Actually I wasn't in the timber, we weren't in the timber.

AW May be your father would have told you stories.

In the earlier days yes, when it happened to him but I don't think anything ever happened to Dad in the timber.

AW I also heard that before there was the hospital that Mr Skerman from the mill used to do a lot of first aid?

Oh, I think he was first aid man, yes. From the Butter Factory?

AW Yes, sorry. I thought it was the mill, it was the Butter Factory.

Yes, that's right. I think he was the first aid man. Oh, I think he probably would have. We did our own first aid I think at home.

AW Now, after the first World War, the government had a Soldiers Settlement Scheme, where they brought soldiers from Britain out to Australia and gave them or granted them land. Do you know about any Soldiers Settlement Scheme out this way?

Not here.

AW I heard there was one at Bald Knob?

It could have been. I don't know.

AW You don't know about it?

No, I don't know about Bald Knob. The only I know was Beerburrum and Glass House Mountains.

AW And did you know much about those at the time when they were happening?

No, not really. They were growing tobacco and that. I didn't know first thing about it. If it was happening now, you see, they've all made fortunes later because of the fertilizer. You see, they were just put there. They didn't know a weed from a plant, you know. And I suppose the government didn't help.

AW So, I assume that the farmers in this area used to talk about them a lot saying, "Oh, you know, they don't know this, they don't know that."

No, they didn't because you see, the German settlers, they came here and they were good farmers, you see. And they came here with knowledge.

AW They brought their skills with them?

Yes, and they were good workers. But you see, the other ones, if they came from England or where ever, the soldiers themselves; they didn't know a weed from a plant, and I suppose they just didn't know and they didn't have the fertilizers and things like that.

AW I understand a lot of them just walked off the farms in the end?

Yes, they did.

AW What did the general community think about that?

I don't know. I suppose they didn't think about it. They were too busy thinking about themselves, don't you think?

AW You don't remember your parents talking about it?

No, my Father never went down the paddock without a brush within his hand.

AW And what would he do?

He'd brush ferns and lantana or whatever was on his road.

AW Did he ever use chemicals?

No, not in those days. It was all high ...........................

AW So, he'd go down and get rid of all the weeds?

Yes, as he went. I think the place has grown up since, I don't know. Yes, they dug out the weeds as they went.

AW So really, the job of the farmer in those days was not to get on your tractor and run around the plough?

That plough was the horse, two horses.

AW Did your dad ever have a tractor?


AW Always hand ploughed?

Yes. I think Collin might have later.

AW Collin is your brother, isn't he?

Yes. No, I don't think Collin ever had a tractor, I don't think they had the ...........You see, afterwards, it was the ............and things like that, they didn't, and my Father grew oats and corn; we had a big batch of corn. He grew cow cane and he used to chop that up with a, they had a chop cutter and he used to chop that up.

AW Would you feed the cow cane to the cows fresh or dry.


AW And that was a substitute fodder when you had no grass or something.

I don't know, it was extra at our place as far as I remember. You see, there always seem to be an abundance of grass. See, they never overstocked and there'd be grass about that high.

AW About three feet high?

Yes. I can never remember them being short of grass. But they, for the show cattle; of course they had show cattle; they used to feed them on cracked corn and oats. They used to put them in the oats for half an hour or something like that.

AW Just let them munch away?

Yes, and they'd come out when they were full. And cow cane, they used to chop that up and that went on.

AW Now, you were just saying to me that your father used to show cattle. Now, the first Maleny show was in 1923. Did you go to that?

I sure did! Yes, I went.

AW Did you ever exhibit anything in the show?

No, I wasn't show minded. I was forced to ride a horse in the Girl Rider events. I don't know if I ever won a price, it wasn't my bit.

AW I thought you said you were a nervous rider?

I was.

AW And you were forced to ride?

Yes, I was nervous. I rode a horse from when I was five until I was twenty three. I might have been a bit more, twenty four. I rode a horse just about every day. I've got my hands to show it, see, all sunburnt. No, I was nervous.

AW Did you ever have a bad fall?

Not really, no. My sister did and my brother. Two of them had bad accidents on horse, but I didn't. But I was nervous.

AW And you rode in the show?

Well, only when I was a child. When I got a bit older I didn't ride. Dad and Mum would force me "you must exhibit, you must show".

AW Why was that?

Oh, well, they were show minded and they wanted to..........for the community and this sort of thing.

AW Now, you were telling me your mother used to always into jams and jellies and pickles?

Yes, and preserves, everything; cakes, scones, fruitcakes, you name it. She had an awful lot of everything.

AW Wasn't your mother a dress maker?


AW Did she ever enter any needle work?

No, I don't know whether they had that, but she crochet, she knitted, she sewed, she did fancy work. I don't know where she got the time.

AW In between taking care of all these children and the farm!

Well, she had the hired help until we were old enough. I suppose we must have been twelve or thirteen.

AW Going back to the show, do you remember when the Show Pavilion was built?


AW Was it there for the first show?

No, I don't know. I can remember they had a grandstand.

AW That was probably built in the first year, I'd say. Now, you were telling me also that your mother would; you know, today is the show and tomorrow she'd start cooking again for next year's show.

Yes, the jam. The next lot of jam was put; the best jar was put up in the cupboard for the next show. She always had it in the pantry.

AW And you weren't allowed to touch that?

Oh well, we couldn't eat that but my Father was a jam eater. He used to eat jam and bread. But no, we had plenty because she made jam out of everything. There were pinemelons, you know we'd have to cut the pinemelons up and take the seeds out, you know. We had to peel and we'd cut that up and she'd make when there were pinemelons. And then there would be rubbarb jams, she'd make rubbard jams, she'd make passionfruit jam. She'd make apricot, peaches and all those sort of thing............We didn't have..........

AW And where would you get the fruits from?

Well, we had peach trees. They'd be cut up and made into jam. And apricot, dried apricot, she'd make dried apricot jam, oranges, you know, citrus, all that. Everything, anything that was be able to be made into jam, she made it into jam.

AW Now, you were telling also that the district exhibitions were fiercely competitive.

What's that?

AW The district exhibitions. So, they'd do a display, everybody from that district would put something in.

Yes, they did.

AW Who always won?

I don't remember who won. They were all very good anyway. They were all very proud of it.

AW Who used to judge them?

Oh, they used to get judges from outside. Not from local.

AW So, it was a big thing in the community to have the show?

Oh, yes. That was the event of the year. We all have new dresses and new shoes and new hats and whatever.

AW Did you go to the ball?

Yes, I suppose I did go to the ball. I can't remember much about the dancing. I wasn't really fussy about dancing, not really. I used to go occasionally. I used to like the modern dancing, I didn't like the old time.

AW The old waltz?


AW Well, what was modern dancing?

Well, the jazz and the poxtroph, and the one step and the quick step.

AW So, when was this. This is in the early thirties?


AW When you were a bit older?

Yes, probably in the thirties.

AW And would you get dresses especially for a dance?

For dancing?

AW Yes.

Oh yes.

AW Where would you get those from?

Mum used to make them.

AW ................

Oh well, whenever we wanted a dress Mum made it, that was no problem.

AW What about the ...............when you wore the beautiful slinky......................dresses.

Yes, I had those.

AW Yes, and your mum would make those for you?

Yes, oh Mum, she did beautiful work. Yes, sometimes I wish she was still here. She used to do .............on linen. Oh, it was beautiful. And babies dresses, oh, they were absolutely magnificent. She had smocking and rulaye, you know up the top there, Lenor had some beautiful frocks that Mum made.

AW Who is Lenor?

My daughter. They were beautiful; Mum can do anything like that. But she did..............linen dresses, never let me have a green dress.

AW Why not?

She was very superstitious.

AW Well, what's wrong with green?

Well, she'd say you wear black after green. So, she would never let me wear a green dress. Never made a green dress for me. Later on I did, I got some. She was a very superstitious lady.

AW Did she believe in the rabbits foot and the salt shaker and all that?

No, I don't so. She wouldn't sit down thirteen to a table.

AW Really?

No, and of course there were ten of us and it wasn't very hard to get thirteen. No she wouldn't sit thirteen to a table. She wouldn't open an umbrella in the house.

AW Was she of Irish decent?

No, she wasn't.

AW It's usually the Irish that are very superstitious.

That's right.

AW When did you finish school?

In 1927.

AW So, you would have been fourteen years old. What did you do then?

I went to Tytherleighs.

AW You went to work for Tytherleigh's.


AW And that was John Tytherleigh's.


AW Was John Tytherleigh running the store when you first went there?

John Tytherleigh owned it.

AW But was he managing it?


AW Where was he working?

Who, John?

AW Yes.

With Landsborough.

AW Oh, he still ran the Landsborough store?

Yes. When I went in, Ted Tytherleigh was the manager. I think he opened it about 1904.

AW In Maleny?


AW That was John?

Yes. So, I don't know managed it earlier but I know there was Harding and Syd Tytherleigh before Ted. But I wasn't there with Syd. I was there when Ted Tytherleigh was the manager.

AW Now, what were you employed there to do?

As a bookkeeper, a clerk; clerk, bookkeeper, typist.

AW Do remember your first wages?

Thirteen shillings a week.

AW And what were your hours?

Must have been fourty eight hours a week, was it?

AW What was that? So, you were doing roughly, 8:30 am to 5:30 pm?

Yes, and then I don't know what was on Saturday. It was about forty eight hours. I don't know whether it was forty eight or forty four; forty eight I think it must have been.

AW Probably it would have been. So, how did you get to work?

I rode a horse.

AW So, if you started at 8:30am, you'd have to leave Reesville, what, a quarter to eight on a horse and you'd have been sometimes leaving; it wouldn't be dark but it would be....

At night time?

AW At night it would be dark.

Not in the morning, no.

AW Weren't you scared riding your horse home in the dark?

Yes, I was petrified.

AW What were you scared of?

All the noises round that, because the bridge, that was round the Knob in those days. I wasn't going over the top. I used to go round that Knob and I used to hurry. It was all bush, you know, it was scrub or bush and there'd be owls going you know, hooting and possums probably jumping around and kangaroos or wallabies or something.

Sunshine Coast Council acknowledges the Sunshine Coast Country, home of the Kabi Kabi peoples and the Jinibara peoples, the Traditional Custodians, whose lands and waters we all now share.
We commit to working in partnership with the Traditional Custodians and the broader First Nations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) community to support self-determination through economic and community development.
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