GOLDEN BUTTER WORTH
Milk Product Beats Gympie's Record Gold Output!
HAD Gympie ended with the termination of the mining activities, it would have nobly played its part in the de-
yelopment of the State, but great as was its past, it has advanced to greater heights as an agricultural producer. Contrary to the usual experience of mineral areas, the soil in Gympie and district is fertile, and with a generous rainfall and genial climate, has become one of the leading agricultural centres in Queensland. Golden butter has replaced metallic gold as the principal product of the district, and quite appropriately the Gympie factory of the Wide Bay Co- operative Dairy Association Ltd., packs its choicest butter under the trade mark, "Golden Nugget." The value of the district's butter exhibit this year will easily beat Gympie's record gold output, and while there is only one crop of gold, butter production continues year after year without any ending, so long as due attention is paid to the land, and rain supplies the moisture. No matter how rich a goldfield may be there must be an end to it, but with agri- culture conducted on proper lines there is no end, and so Gympie has settled down to a solid, though perhaps less sen- sational basis of prosperity after a hectic mining past. Dairying as conducted in the Gympie district is mainly a grazing proposition, but each year more land is being brought under the plough and greater attention is paid to grassland management. Though the dairy cow gets her food from grass and clovers, the bulk of the butter comes from the land which was originally dense vine scrubs. To fall this scrub and put it into grass costs £4 to £5 an acre, for it then provides a very rich milk-producing pasture. In fact Gympie's progress to first place in the dairying industry has been built up on the rich scrub lands in the heavy rainfall areas.
That is the reason why the Gympie district has always striven to get the lands most suitable for agriculture reserved for farm settlement, instead of being placed under forestry control in the attempt to grow timber. The latest available statistics covering the year to 1937 as issued by the Govern- ment Statistician show that by the Petty Sessions district of Gympie is again at the head of the list in Queensland with a milk production of of 16,147,000 gallons three and a half million gallons ahead of its nearest competitors.. The World's Largest Butter Factory It was also first in butter production with 7,710,000lb. Gympie likewise had the greatest number of dairy cattle in milk, namely, 57,000. A reference to the statistical return for purebred stock shows that considerable at- tention has been paid to the breeding, as the district has more purebred dairy cattle than any other in the State. The A.I.S. is the favourite, the returns showing 4284 head, with Jerseys next with 3244, and Ayrshires third with 176. Gympie district includes a much larger area than comprised in the petty sessions district, as the boundary of the latter comes within seven miles of the city, and the population of the larger area is about 25,000. When the present Gympie butter factory was opened on September 25, 1925 it was claimed to be the world's largest. The cost was £60,000, and it has since been added to. It was only fitting that the world's largest butter factory should establish a world's record for butter production in one month. In January, 1935, this was done, the output of the one factory for that month being 1,077,844lb. Should the present favourable weather conditions continue, it seems likely that Gympie will break its own record, and possibly reach 500 tons in one month. Already this year several monthly records have been broken, and the present year's total will probably excel the pre- vious highest figure. The Gympie butter factory is owned by the Wide Bay Co-operative Dairy Associa- tion, which also has the Cooroy factory. For many months this year the associa- tion paid to cream suppliers £50,000 a month. For the 12 months ended June 30 last, butter to the value of more than £500,000 was sold, and cream suppliers were paid £4161,937. As other butter factories also draw sup- plies from the Gympie district, it will be realised what a valuable asset dairying is to the district, and Queensland. Although the parish of Gympie is com- paratively small, it carries large quantities of beef stock, including some purebred Hereford and Shorthorn studs. At the be- ginning of 1937 there were 122,600 head of cattle in the district, of which approxi- mately 90,000 were dairy bred. A valuable adjunct to dairying is the pig, and to this animal is given the task of profitably using the millions of gallons of separated milk not required for the raising of calves. This forms the basis for the best dairy- fed pork and bacon, and statistics show there were 19,300 pigs in the district at the beginning of 1937. Large consignments of baconers and porkers are sent to the bacon factories and saleyards every week. Large Whites and Tamworths are the favourite breeds on the farms, but several of the other breeds also find favour. Gym- pie is noted for the high quality of its breeding stock, many championships hav-
ing been won in Brisbane and Sydney shows, as well as locally. Only three districts in Queensland have a greater pig population than Gympie. While milk is the foundation of the pig industry, yet the most successful farmers grow crops to supplement it, and to carry stock over periods when milk production declines. Generally it is found more economical to grow the crops and allow the pigs to do the harvesting. Maize is usually picked and stored, but sweet potatoes, rape, cereal pastures, lucerne, and grass can be more cheaply handled as a grazing propo- sition for pigs. At one period Gympie produced half the bananas grown in Queensland, but disease and insect pests, combined with a period of low prices, caused a decline in their cul- tivation, so that this district now only ranks fourth in the list. Latterly, however, more interest has been manifested in banana cultivation, and the area is once more increasing. The bananas are of good quality, and many thousands of cases have been retailed in the South. With the decline in bananas, more atten- tion was paid to pineapples, and the acre age has increased year by year. Gympie is now second on the list, with a production of 210,000 dozen fruit, or one-sixth of Queensland's output. Large quantities are sent by rail to the canneries, but district pineapples have a good name in the southern market, and careful growers receive a better price on these markets than the canneries will pay. The richness of the soil was at one time a difficulty, as the pineapples grew too large for market requirements. However, this difficulty was soon overcome, as well as other troubles which were peculiar to the Mary Valley, and fruit of exceptionally good table quality is produced. Both bananas and pineapples require frost-free sections, but another competitor for the same class of country in recent years is the French bean. Grown to produce in the winter and spring, when southern growers are unable to supply Sydney and Melbourne, this dis- trict has found a very profitable market in the south. The last statistical return shows Gympie first in the list in Queens- land with 60,700 bags of green beans, but this year's output will exceed that total. Prices in the South this year were ex- ceptionally good, and for the cool weather, crop probably more than £50,000 was re ceived in the four months, July to October. It is a very pretty sight in the winter months to ascend the high lands and see the varied crops, bananas, pineapples, and brilliant green of the bean crops against a background of red-soil. The high lands above frost level are becoming more valu- able, especially where level enough to plough, as their use for winter crops gives a greater range of products. Tomatoes are also grown in such areas, but have not reached the dimensions of a big crop. Even before the gold prospector had ap- peared on the Upper Mary River, the cedar-getter had gone through the country. From that time to the present, the timber industry has been of considerable import ance to the district. Mary River cedar was for years wanted for cabinet work because of its bright red colour, but to- day very little is left. Next in importance were the softwoods, hoop, kauri, and bunya pine, and the richly clad scrubs have supplied enormous quan- tities of timber, providing work for timber- getters and sawmills. In the last 20 years the Government has engaged in active forestry work with the aim of providing timber when the natural supplies have been exhausted. The method adopted has been to fall the scrub and, after burning off, plant young seed- ling pines in rows, which later are thinned out, as the trees grow and require more room for development. Hoop and bunya pine and silky oak have been planted in the richer soils of the dis- trict, but on the sandy coastal areas, kauri pine and some of the imported Junus varieties are being tried. Rather unfor- tunately for Gympie, no big sawmills were retained locally, so that the larger saw- mills and joinery work have been estab- lished in other towns. History of Gympie's Civic Government Gympie is now a city, but since gold was discovered in 1867 it has passed through every form of civic government Until 1880 control and maintenance of roads and bridges was a matter for the Government, a point which was emphas- ised when the Governor, the Marquis of Normanby, was visiting the goldfield in 1873, and was hurt in a buggy accident on a bad piece of road in the One Mile. Much to the disgust of residents, when the responsibility for the maintenance of roads, was passed over to Local Authori- ties in 1880, control was placed in the hands of the Gympie Divisional Board. Public indignation had effect, for Gym- pie was gazetted a borough within three months, and an election of aldermen was held in August, the first Mayor being Matthew Nellor, afterwards M.L.A. for Wide Bay, for Gympie. Gympie was proclaimed a town In 1903. and in 1905 was raised to the dignity of city. The present Mayor (Alderman L.J.
Thomas) has had several terms of office, first taking the Civic Chair in 1920. The City Council also controls the water sup- 9ly, the water being pumped from the Mary River, to a reservoir on Jones' Hill, from which it is reticulated throughout the city. When Gympie was constituted a Local Authority, the area around the town was formed into the Glastonbury Divisional Board, with its office in Gympie. A large area beyond the Glastonbury division was placed in the Widgee Divisional Board, which also had its headquarters in Gym pie. In later years, Glastonbury division ceased to exist, its territory being distri- btued between Gympie and Widgee. The Kilkivan Divisional Board was formed in 1886, taking a large section of the Wid- gee division, and, in 1910, another area was excised from Widgee, and formed into the Shire of Noosa. A very big improvement to the roads of the city and district has been effected in the last 15 years, so that many tourists now use the roads, which were once almost impassable. The Nursery Of Eminent Men Politically, Gympie has been the nurs- ery for many eminent figures in State and Commonwealth activities. In the early days the goldfield took its politics very seri- ously. When Gympie was discovered in 1867, the area was included in the elec- torate of Wide Bay, which was represented by Mr. G. Elliot, the Speaker of the Queensland Legislative Assembly. It was constituted a separate electorate in 1874, being given the name of Gympie, which it still retains. Glancing through the list of members, it will be noted that many of the early rep- resentatives were miners or closely asso- ciated with the mining industry. They were strong, virile characters. John Hamilton represented Gympie from 1879 to 1883, and later for a number of years was M.L.A. for Cook, in which elec- torate the Palmer and other mining fields were situated. He was succeeded by Mr. Wm. Smyth, an idol of the Gympie public. Starting as a miner, he was one of the lucky holders of 1 North Phoenix, which paid nearly £22 a share in dividends, and also added to his wealth from other mining invest- ments. Mr. Smyth was noted for his gen- erosity, and amongst his many donations was £500 to the building of a new hospii- tal. He was undefeated, and retired after 16 years in Parliament. In 1893 Andrew Fisher was elected as the second member for Gympie in association with Wm. Smyth, and sat for three years. He was again elected in 1899, but retired in 1901, when the Commonwealth was in- augurated. Standing for Federal Wide Bay, he was the choice of the electors, and he con- tinued as its representative until his re- tirement from politics in 1916. He was Minister for Trade and Customs in 1904; Prime Minister and Treasurer in 1908-9, 1910-13, and 1914-15. He then resigned, and was later High Commissioner for Aus- tralia in London. He was made a P.C. in 1911 In 1896, J. Stumm was chosen as the associate of Wm. Smyth in the representa- tion of Gympie, but he retired after one term. Later he was M.H.R. for Lilley in the Commonwealth Parliament from 1913 to 1917. One of Labour's stalwart organisers was Geo. Ryland, who represented Gympie from 1899 to 1912. Subsequently he was Administrator of the Northern Territory. In 1912, G. H. Mackay won the Gympie seat in the State Parliament, and later he moved on to the Commonwealth Parlia- ment, representing Lilley from 1917 for several terms. He was also Speaker of the House of Representatives until his retirement from politics. T. Dunstan. who is the sitting member for Gympie, was first elected in 1915, and represented the seat until 1929. He was again successful in 1935. For several
WHEN the Gympie batter factory was opened in September 25, 1925, it was claimed to be the largest in the world. The cost was £60,000, and it has since been enlarged.
ITS WEIGHT IN GOLD
Gympie In Pride of Place In The Dairying Industry!
years he held the portfolio of Minister for Lands. The adjoining electorates have also been represented in Parliament by notable Gym- pie residents, Horace (afterwards Sir Horace) Tozer was elected M.L.A. for Wide Bay in 1888, and held the seat until 1898. He was Colonial (later Home) Sec- retary, 1892-98, and was Agent-General for Queensland in London from 1898 to 1908. His son, Vivian H. Hozer, repre- sented Gympie in the State Parliament from 1929 to 1935. Mr. H. F. Walker, the present "father of the House," made his entrance into politics as M.L.A. for Wide Bay, but on a redistribution of seats, transferred to Cooroora which he still represents. Major-General Sir Win. Glasgow was a Gympie resident for many years, and is regarded by Gympie as one of its most dis- tinguished sons. He is the only "Gym- pieite" who has had a seat in the Senate, and while in Parliament he held the port- folio of Minister for Defence. City Has Modern Public Service Very early in its history the need of a hospital was felt in Gympie. It was started as the Nashville Miners' Hospital on January 31, 1868, but later changed its name to Gympie Hospital. Very generous contributions were re- ceived from the public, and it was con- tinued as a contributory hospital until 1926, when it was taken over by the Gov- ernment, and is still controlled under the Hospitals Act. The hospital has been steadily added to, and now covers a big area, with a large staff, under the direction of the medical superintendent (Dr. MacGregor) and his assistant. Starting from small beginnings in 1902, the Gympie Ambulance Brigade has ad- vanced step by step until it is to-day a most efficient organisation, with three ambulance motors ever ready to answer calls to any part of the district. The superintendent and secretary is Mr. L. H. Dean, who resides at the headquar- ters, Crown Road. Although affiliated with the Q.A.T.B.,
the Gympie brigade is a separate unit sup- ported by public subscriptions. So satis- factory is the service it gives that contri- butions are ample for its upkeep, and the public has readily responded to calls for extensions of operations. An idea has been Riven of the immense material wealth that Gympie has contri- buted and still daily adds to the State's resources. It undoubtedly saved Queens- land in a time of severe financial crisis. What the driving force of the influx of thousands of virile, adventurous men, at- tracted by the gold discovery, was worth to the young colony can never be esti- mated. The population was only about 70,000 in 1867, but it rapidly advanced. Charters Towers, the Palmer. Croydon, all were opened up by men who were attracted to Gympie and went further afield. These mining centres save an advanced demo- cratic trend to politics, first in the State Parliament, and then in the Common- wealth. It was a leaven that was required at the time when the squatting influence was very strong in Queensland. Gympie still is intensely music-loving, the best artists in Australia were attracted to the digginhg. Brass bands were early formed, and Gympie led Queensland for many years. The great Eisteddfod movement in Queensland had its beginning in Gympie, the first Eisteddfod being on March 2. 1885. Although Gympie was late in the day de- veloping its dairying industry it is interest- ing to note that the first cream separa- tor to reach Australia was imported and installed in 1882 by a Swedish architect (Mr. H. W. Durietz) on a farm he had acquired near Gympie. Thus the ground work was laid for the beginning of a very big industry. Only those who have lived on a mining field in its adventurous days can realise the intensely human feeling that existed. The cry for aid, no matter how great the danger, was never unheeded. Those stricken by accident were assisted in gener- ous fashion. The calls were many before legislation placed the burden on industry, but a subscription list always met a good response on pay day. Sporting activities in the early days were not so diversified as now. Horse racing and foot racing were among the first sports in-
troduced by the miners, and the whole population made holiday on the days set aside for racing events. It is rather peculiar that in recent years both should have drooped out. Cricket found many devotees amongst all classes of the community, and fixtures were arranged with Maryborough and Bris- bane. The enthusiasm was so great that two of the early English elevens visited Gympie in the 80's, and the top-scorers were presented with golden nuggets or specimens. At the present time Gympie is pressing its claims for a match during the next English tour, and the local cricket ground has been recommended for a fixture. Recently Albert Park has been made into a fine sports ground, with an up-to-date pavilion and dressing rooms, and as there are two good turf wickets it should be ideal for the purpose. Football has passed through three stages. Victorian or Australian Rules, Rugby Union, and now Rugby League, but in all branches Gympie players have done well. If attendance is a guide, then football is the most popular sport in the district. Tennis probably has the most actual players, as courts are to be seen every few miles on the roads outside the city, as well as inside its boundaries. Bowls date back to 1905 in Gvmpie, the first games being plaved at the Iona green. Later in the year the Gympie Bowling Club was formed, and the nresent property in Wickham Street was acquired. A splendid green and club house on the property make Wickham Street a very popular rendezvous for bowlers.
In the last few years women's clubs have been formed, and their green is on a con- tinuation of the Gympie Bowling Club's property. Although golf is the last claimant for popular favour, it has gained it. Golf links have been established at the Two- Mile end, and a fine club house provides all the comforts necessary for players. For many years Gympie' s one thought was to produce gold. Nature's finest efforts were devastated if it were thought gold could be won. The beautiful Mary River was piled bank high with tailings, sands, and its crystal clear waters defiled. In such an atmosphere there was little civic pride and no desire to create or protect beauty spots. A naturally pretty town was made ugly by the debris from the mines, garish grey mullock heaps. Now all is changed. Time has toned down the colouring of the mullock heaps, or they have been taken away for road metal or ballasting the railway lines. The hillsides are covered with pretty homes, and effective shade trees and gar- dens, and roads lead out to many beauty spots around the town. The seaside resorts of Tewantin and Noosa Heads are long recognised as Gympie's watering places, even before good roads had been made. Tin Can Bay has lately been added, a trafficable motor road providing rapid means of transit. Both places attract large numbers of Gympie residents at the week-end, and tourists from the South visit the places regularly, more particularly in the winter. Their attractions include river and sea fishing, boating, swimming, and surfing, rendering them ideal holiday resorts.
A GROUP of weaners on the Wide Bay Stud Piggery—pig-raising contributes largely to the prosperity of Gympie and district.