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Steele Rudd

On Our Selection

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Personalised B Telephone: (07) 3373 7833 Fax: (07) 3373 8611 PO Box 113 Moorooka, Qld 4105 1/655 Toohey Road Salisbury, Qld 4107

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The Hornet Bank Massacre

St Helena Island: Queensland’s Alcatraz?

Queensland Museum:150 years


Contents Features

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Steele Rudd: On Our Selection

9

The Sarina Diner

Upon a small amount of digging, it became clear that On Our Selection was Rudd’s most famous and successful creation, a series of comedic books that over time were adapted into multiple platforms and made their way into Australia’s heart. There would be few Queenslanders without fond memories around “the highway”, and one of David taylor’s icons is the Sarina Diner.

Ship that Stole 10 The my Father

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Edith, at 15 years of age, remembered the night of the collision with the iceberg, going into lifeboat 14 with her mother and waving goodbye to her father and never seeing him again.

St Helena Island, Queensland’s Alcatraz? Exploring the authentic story of colonial Queensland's "notorious" prison on St Helena Island in Moreton Bay

17 Henry Plantagenet Somerset

Lodge Murray-Prior 19 Thomas & the Hornet Bank Massacre

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Tom, after having tried the military life, decided that Australia might be the best place for him.

Early Days of the Queensland Museum Many of us have fond childhood memories of visits to the Queensland Museum, an institution beloved by generations of Queenslanders.

26 The Baker of Bamford

In 1916 Lee Lung was the baker at Bamford. Being the only baker in the district he baked over a thousand loaves a week and all agreed his was the whitest, nicest bread in the north.

When I was five, I slept under the same roof as my grandfather, Henry Plantagenet Somerset, when he died in my parents’ home, Mt Beppo, Upper Brisbane Valley in 1936.

EVERY ISSUE

27 28 Profiling

School celebration

Queensland historians who have established themselves as experts in their field.

MacDonald family, Bromelton House 1872. John Oxley Library.

29 Event review 30 32 Test your knowledge Book reviews

New-release historical books.

Historical sites, buildings and museums of interest in Queensland.


Steele Ru dd On Our Selection

A View by Generation Y Intro and Brief History

needs… a bloody good laugh!” Looking at On Our Selection with the eyes of a total novice, I’ll take a look over a few of the adventures the Rudd clan has dealt with in various formats, and outline how they show elements of Australian life and history.

Portrait of Mr. and Mrs. Davis, parents of Steele Rudd, ca. 1859. National Library of Australia.

I’d never heard of On Our Selection before, nor their creator, Steele Rudd, alias of the noted author Arthur Hoey Davis. Upon a small amount of digging, it became clear that On Our Selection was Rudd’s most famous and successful creation, a series of comedic books that over time were adapted into multiple platforms and made their way into Australia’s heart. Over a period that ranged from 1899 (with the original piece that started it all, On Our Selection) all the way through to the not-so-distant 1995 (with a film simply called Dad and Dave: On Our Selection), Rudd’s work endured almost 100 years in a wide array of formats,

changing from the original home in the weekly magazine The Bulletin to plays, radio shows and finally a movie. This popularity, along with its long run period, made Rudd’s main characters, outbackers Dad and Dave Rudd, into minor Australian Cultural Icons. Although ultimately his creations would be slightly perverted by others (as some of the jokes commonly associated to Dad and Dave were not of Rudd’s creation, and flew in the face of the type of humour Steele used), On Our Selection remains to many what the 1995 movie claimed it to be: “Just what Australia

The Queenslander, Saturday 28 October 1899. Trove Australia. | Arthur Hoey Davis (Steele Rudd), 1922. John Oxley Library.

History Queensland

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d n a l s I a St Helen

? z a r t a c l A s ' d slan

Queen

Not So! Says Jarvis Finger In exploring the authentic story of colonial Queensland's "notorious" prison on St Helena Island in Moreton Bay, this question must be asked.

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History Queensland


Father of the Somerset Dam When I was five, I slept under the same roof as my grandfather, Henry Plantagenet Somerset, when he died in my parents’ home, Mt Beppo, Upper Brisbane Valley in 1936. He was virtually unknown to me. As Denise Bender was editing his autobiography, Trombones Troubles, I wrote a version of these, Discovering my Grandfather, mostly in the third person, which included analysing the sort of man that he was and the times in which he lived.

HENRY PLANTAGENET SOMERSET 1852-1888

I found him to be a fairly typical product of a British background dramatically portrayed in a recent SBS documentary about the education and development of such men as Henry in Britain during the zenith of Queen Victoria’s 19th Century British Empire. Educated in posh schools, such privileged, young men were indoctrinated to become leaders who would advance the glorious cause of the British Empire, particularly in the colonies. How intriguing it is to look through a window of the past into the Kiplingesque days of the Indian Raj. There was the pomp and ceremony of his family as influential military personnel (father and uncles) and his grandfather as Governor and Commander in Chief of the Bombay presidency. Then there was all the exotic mystery of daily life in the streets - magicians, snake charmers, strange Hindu ceremonies. Henry came from a proud aristocratic family, the Somersets, which purported to be related to John of Gaunt and Katherine Swinford. The story goes that the 8th Duke of Beaufort (a close relative) went to Queen Victoria with papers that Henry Plantagent Somerset. Author’s documents.

History Queensland

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Thomas Lodge Murray-Prior k n a B t e n the Hor e r c a s s a M Thomas Lodge Murray-Prior, 1819-1892, pastoralist and politician. John Oxley Library | Bromelton Lagoon. John Oxley Library.

&

Tom Prior, as he was sometimes called, was born into an Irish-English family who proudly claimed descent from European royalty (Charlemagne, for starters). Sadly they had fallen on what they no doubt saw as ‘hard times’, and young Tom, after having tried the military life , decided that Australia might be the best place for him. His ambition was to become a “gentleman squattah”, and although he sadly lacked the money, he had two sisters who were prepared to lend him enough to make a start. He sailed for the Antipodes, reaching Sydney in 1839, 19 years old, with few practical skills, but with a burning desire to succeed. Letters of introduction soon gained him a “job” in the Hunter Valley region, where he could at least learn some of the basic skills needed

History Queensland

to survive in the strange new country he had found himself in. Here he met up with Ludwig Leichhardt, who was doing much the same thing as Tom, though his major interests were in botany, geology and biology. Eventually these two travelled together to the new settlement at Moreton Bay in the far north of New South Wales, Tom to settle eventually on Bromelton, near the present town of Beaudesert, while Leichhardt began making plans for an inland expedition, aiming at Port Essington, near Darwin. Tom’s next decade was spent trying to make a living, but distance from suitable markets, frequent floods, often being completely cut off from the rest of humanity, not to mention food supplies, meant that this was becoming more and more difficult, especially as he now had a

growing family to provide for. Some two years after settling on Bromelton, and on one of his frequent trips to Sydney, he had married the beautiful dark-eyed Irish lass Matilda Harpur, whose family he had befriended soon after his arrival in Sydney. They were married on the 3rd of September,

1846, at St Mary Magdalen Anglican Church, in South Creek, to the west of Sydney, now known as St Mary’s.

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Old Queensland Museum, William Street, Brisbane, ca. 1885. John Oxley Library.

Early Days of the Queensland Museum Many of us have fond childhood memories of visits to the Queensland Museum, an institution beloved by generations of Queenslanders. The wonderful and the weird were there for our inspection – a fascinating spectacle in that era before David Attenborough’s films showed nature in vivid detail in our own sitting rooms. What we may not have realised at the time was that we were seeing only half the museum. Behind the doors labelled Staff Only, was

another world altogether, and not one devoted solely to the preparation and storage of exhibits or the identification of snakes and insects brought in by members of the public. The other museum is a world of scientific researchers with their laboratories, complex equipment and publications in preparation, all supported by a large research library. The library besides containing the most recent publications has many old leather-bound

volumes of historical importance, some of great rarity. These include a fine copy of the spectacular Londonpublished Birds of Australia by John Gould from 1840-48 and Silvester Diggles’ own copy of his Ornithology of Australia 1865-70, published in Brisbane. This was the first zoological book to commence publication in Australia after J.W. Lewin’s Birds of New South Wales in 1813. Such is the institution today, but how did it begin? The Queensland Museum is currently recalling and celebrating its remote origins from 150 years ago. In 1862, only three years after Queensland’s separation from New South Wales, a collection of articles of curiosity was put together on the first floor of the old stone windmill on Wickham Terrace, which although stripped of its sails, dominated the skyline of the town of Brisbane. This was the embryonic museum of the Queensland Philosophical Society, a small group of citizens who met monthly to discuss scientific topics, chiefly the curious novel Australian animals, plants and minerals. The evening meetings were held at the time of the full moon, not for any mystical reasons, but because the pot-holed streets of Brisbane were unsafe in the town’s feeble gas lighting. The membership was an amalgam of businessmen, graziers, clergymen, doctors, lawyers and anyone else who was interested. They were a group of Charles Coxen’s official notice of the opening of the Museum at Parliament House, George St. 1871.

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History Queensland


Tangled town

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Crossword

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Test your knowledge

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What year? 1. John Campbell Miles discovered lead ore while travelling through the region now known as Mount Isa. 2. Jackie Howe shore 321 sheep in 7 hours and 40 minutes. 3. The Fitzgerald Inquiry commenced. 4. Robert Herbert became Queensland’s first Premier. 5. Grasshopper, owned by Robert Herbert, won the Corinthian Handicap for gentlemen riders at Eagle Farm racecourse.

Clues Across

1. The City of Mackay’s 5. Edmund James …… (1852-1923). Buried on Dunk Island. 8. Andrew ……. 9. Matthew …… aboard the Norfolk. 13. The…… operated by the Adelaide Steamship Coy. 14. …… on the Gulf of Carpentaria. 15. …… with ‘Dad & Dave’ territory to be found on the Darling Downs. 16. The …… River flows into the Gulf of Carpentaria. Down

2. Sir John ……, was Lord Mayor of Brisbane, a businessman and pioneer of radio stations. 3. The …… Cross is an element of the present Queensland flag. 4. …… on Curtis Island is linked to Matthew Flinders’ circumnavigation of the continent in 1802. 6. The Memorial is an especially dedicated hall at …… near Chinchilla. 7. A Premier of Queensland (February 1911- June 1915). 10. After marriage to Charles Armstrong, the future Dame Nellie Melba moved to …… 11. Thomas Welsby wrote many books, including ……… the Basket Maker. 12. The Central Queensland hamlet …… has an association with nearby Port Alma in havesting salt.

Did you know? William Alfred Jolly (1881-1955) became the first Lord Mayor of the Greater Brisbane City Council in 1925. The Grey Street Bridge was built from 1928-1932. It is actually a steelframed bridge with a concrete veneer. It was built by Manuel Hornibrook (Hornibrook Highway). The bridge was renamed William Jolly Bridge after William Jolly’s death.

Where is it?

(Visit http://www.historyqld.com.au/puzzle for the answers!)

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History Queensland

History Queensland Issue 3  

A quarterly magazine on the history of Queensland, Australia.

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