THE CENTRAL BURNETT
GAYNDAH, "THE CAPITAL"
ENTERING A NEW ERA.
[From Our Special Representative,]
In a previous article dealing with the Gayndah district the question of land settlement and primary production with special reference to the cotton industry, was discussed but it would be incom plete without some reference to old history and the different public institutions of the capital of the Central Burnett
Through the courtesy of Mr A E Nagel, the proprietor of the 'Gayndah Gazette', the writer was privileged to see the first copy of a paper published in Gayndah. It was named the 'Burnett Argus and North Queensland Advertiser ',
and was the first paper published north of Brisbane at that time namely, April 21, 1861 when No 1 of vol 1 was printed. Mr Thomas White was proprietor, and he wielded an able pen. He was particularly drastic on Brisbane and Ipswich, and many of the statements made in the leading columns, published at the present time would have provided fine fees for the legal fraternity. Peculiar to relate, there was not a single Brisbane advertiser, although a number ofSydney merchants thought fit to make themselves known The circulation of the first issue was stated at 455. To give some idea of the different business places m the town, the following list of advertisers will prove of interest to many of the old timers - Symes solicitor, Maryborough, J Auerbach, auctioneer, Gayndah, T G Connolly, auctioneer and commission agent, Royal Hotel, H T Fenwick, plumber, painter, and glazier; Phillips and Anderson, builders and contractors, J A Adeville, saddler and harness makoi, Charles Chavey, Shearer's Arms, T Skelton, Prince of Wales Hotel Mundubbera, Charles Lamond, blacksmith, Powers, and Con nelly, merchants, Louis Wedemeyer, boots and shoes John Moles The Old Home at Home," Boondooma, Alex" Walker, rams for sale Mayne's patent breaking saddles, Sydney; J H. Robertson, drugs Maryborough; Michael Haynes, P M, public announcement; Shmierer and Baker, boots and shoes; E Hughes, saddle and harness maker, Sydney and Gayndah; John Hughes stores, Sydney; Donald Hood, Matten Mertz, N. Dangley, B Bannister, Robert Walker, R C G Johnson, Chas. Dougherty, overseer Arranbanga; Kehlet and Gill, Power's Hotel;
P. M. White auctioneer, Maryborough; Hall and Anderson, tanners and curriers, Sydney; John Keep, wholesale iron, Sydney; Franck Bros, and Gans, general importers, Sydney; J J Town, builder; E C Weeks, galvanised iron, Sydney. In the list all names in which no address is given refer to Gayndah.
In the same issue a public meeting was convened to form a private company of 200 shares at £2 per share to supply cheap meat to the public. Even in those distant days there was an hospital in Gayndah, for at the end of March, 1861, alter six had been discharged, three remained. It appears that this hospital was in existence prior to separation, and that a grant was made from New South Wales. Dr Thomas and Dr Stevenson seem to have been the medical advisers. In the issue of May 30, 1861, land sales were advertised to take place at Rockhampton, Taroom, Maryborough, Brisbane, Drayton, Dalby, and Gayndah. A distribution of blankets to the blacks after returning from one of the great feasts at the Bunyas took place on May 14. The public were requested to leave exhibits for the London International Exhibition at the Argus office. During the same week the Gayndah and Burnett Volunteer Corps was formed with the following committee; Messrs J Walker, M S Persse, C Dougherty, E P Phillips, and A Walker. Arrangements were also in train for a ball during the race meeting when visitors
were expected from all parts of the colony, and particularly the Dawson, Wide Bay, and Burnett districts.
Even in those dim days the condition of the Burnett Terrace, a reserve running along on the river of the same name, was severly commented upon, and the writer of a letter pointed out the beauties of Gayndah, and the need for improvements. The same letter could be published today, and no one would be able to state that it was 62 years old.
Apparently the whole of the mail routes in Queensland were advertised in the issue and were as follows -Brisbane to Cleveland, Brisbane to Ipswich, Drayton Toowoomba, and Ipswich, Drayton to Dalby, Drayton to Toowoomba, Drayton to Leyburn, Calandoon, Dalby to Condamine, Dalby to Gundawindi, Dalby to Auburn, Condamine to Surat, Condamine to Taroom, Surat to Yarrowa, Drayton to Nanango, Nanango to Gayndah, Gayndah to Maryborough, Gayndah to Gladstone, Gayndah to Taroom, Taroom to Rockhampton, Rockhampton to Maryborough,
Ipswich to Nanango, Warwick to Leyburn, Maryland, Warwick to Drayton, Warwick to Ipswich, Westwood to Nulabin. The people growl at the railways to-day, but one would not like to hear them on a tour along those old
In the first issue of the paper an ad- vertisement appeared dealing with racing. It read :- " The Queensland Meet- ing will take place at Gayndah on Tues- day, Wednesday, and Thursday, June 25, 26 and 27 1861 under Queensland Jockey Club Rules.' No person, unless a mem- ber of the Queensland Jockev Club, or a subscriber of at least £3/3/, was permitted to enter horses except in the hack events. The first day the events were five¡-Maiden Plate, £60; Gayndah Plate, £75. Welter Race, £50; Hack Selling Race, £15, or a total of £200. The shortest distance was 1 1/2 miles. The second day was taken up with private matches, Hurdle Race of £45; Hack Hurdle Races, Produce Plate, Corinthian, and Hack Race. The third day was advertised with about £150 prize money. The officials were:-Judge, Mr. G. Elliot, jun. ; stewards. Dr. W. H. Stevenson, Messrs. Alpin Cameron, A. Ivory. J. Broadbent, Osmond de Prior Brock ; clerk of course, Mr. Francis Glynn
Connolly; and secretary» Mr. John Auerbach. It is also on record that the first Queensland Derby was run at Gayndah.
The inaugural meeting of the Gayndah Town Council was held in 1867, when the
following aldermen were present:- F Glynn Connolly (who was elected mayor), A Walker, John Connolly, W
Hercules Stevenson MD, William Hampson and Daniell Perry with Mr
W G Franklin as town clerk. The total area of the present town is 31 square miles with a population of 1289, and with 293 occupied dwellings. The ratable value of the land is £58,328, and the revenue £2400. A low level bridge has been erected to connect North and
South Gayndah, while £4000 was spent on drainage and main street improve-
ments. It is proposed to borrow money to erect a spacious town hall. The present council is as follows -Alderman E P Elliot, (mayor), L G Wragge, M J Kann, W L Elsbach, L Sheehan, L Roach, J J Connolly and G Deem.
The Gayndah Shire Council, which up
to a late date was known as Rawbelle, held its first meeting on March 29, 1880. when the following were present -Hon B.B. Moreton, the present Earl of Ducie (chairman), Henry St. John, A. L. Ivory,
R. Hamilton, W. F. M'Cord, W. Gibson. |
and George Munro, Mr. P. G. Elliot was the first valuator while Mr. J. J. Connolly was the first clerk. He died at the ripe old age of 103. and was known throughout the Commonwealth as " The Father of Gayndah." During the long period since the formation of the council only two clerks have held sway, namely
Mr. Connolly for 12 years, and Mr. W D. Maltby, the present clerk, for 30 years. The present council is constituted as fol-
lows:-H. F. M. Leggett (chairman), C. H. A. Grevell, J. Hallahan, J. Stines, C H. Day, A C. Gordon, S. J. N. Gilbert. F. G. Hunter, J. W. B. Cooper, J. B. D. Cadell. R. L. Boyd, R. C. Gray, and T. Trotter-Rough. Extensive road works are being carried out in the area by the Main Roads Board.
The Show Society.
Mr. H. H. Wilson, president of the Gayndah Pastoral, Industrial, Agricultural, and Horticultural Society, is proud of the progress made. In 1921, there were 400 members, while it was the first society that offered £100 prize for a camp draft. The greatest prize money in one year was £700. The first championship camp
draft was also held in Gayndah. Mr.
Wilson is a noted judge of stock, and, in addition he has acted as judge on 83 different occasions on the racecourse, which he thinks is a record. Mr. E. M. Stevenson is an energetic secretary.
Gayndah boasts one of the finest hospitals in the State. The situation is ideal, and the reinforced concrete structure stands out prominently for miles around. The new building was opened in 1921 at
THE PICTURESQUE BURNETT TERRACE PARK.
a cost of somewhere near £10,000 There is room for 24 patients. Mr R R Briggs is patron, Mr C J Mikkelsen president, Mr E M Stevenson secretary, and Dr P J Townley medical officer.
Other Public Bodies
The Ambulance Brigade was started in 1914 with two honorarv bearers and a hand litter. To-day they have the benefit of two well equipped cars, two bearers, 60 odd honorary bearers under Mr F T Bowdler (superintendent and secretary), and Mr R Matthew s as chairman of com-
The School of Arts has been awakened from its sleep, and with Mr G Glasgow as president, and Mr J J Fitzsimon as secretary, that necessary adjunct to any town should reach its proper plane.
The Volunteer Fire Brigade, with Mr A E Nagel as president, and Mr P Finnemore as superintendent has justi- fied its creation. Like many other country
towns the interests of all sections are safeguarded by a Chamber of Commerce. Mr J A Overell is president, and Mr D T Trudgian secretary. Mr H E M Leggett is chairman of the Cotton Growing Association, and Mr L G Wragge secre tary. Gayndah is lighted by electricity supplied by a private company. At night the streets are brilliantly illuminated. A cricket association, tennis and football clubs, cater for the amusement of the people, while an attempt is being made to hold race meetings again.
A Boom in New Works.
With the construction of the ginnery, additions to the butter factory, a new town hall, and other works, it is ex pected that £36,000 will be spent in the town, while for other public works another £24 000 will be spent within a five mile radius. There are apparently no unemployed.
Owing to the generosity of Mr H H Wilson, a fine honour board was erected in Soldiers' Row, containing 284 names of those who had answered the call, while 55 had paid the supreme sacrifice. At present the roll, which is of metal, is being attended to for certain improve-
The progress made of late in Gayndah
turns from the Gayndah railway
1908 .. .. £2391
1911 ..... 7468 1917 ...... 10364 1921 .... 12014
The visitor to Gayndah is impressed by the number of trees that have been planted in the different streets. All this is the work of one man, Mr. A. P. Maltby, who seems to have the true idea of town beautification. In one street in which he lives he has planted the trees, erected seats, and a swing for the children. It is a perfect little playground. He is one of the old pioneers, and when he has passed hence his name will be re- membered by future generations as the man with a vision. Much was done out of his own pocket, while in other cases public subscriptions have helped. Still, he has fathered all the street trees. In addition he went to endless trouble in getting the cricket ground into a fit state
to play and entertain the public. He is ' secretary of the Burnett Dingo Board»