Childers, the Thriving Capital of a Fertile Districts
Favoured Portion of State.
Childers and Its Institutions.
(By Our Special Representative.)
I Beautiful scenery, rich soil, and an invig- J . orating climate combine to make the Isis district +
I and the town of Childers one of the most fav- | . oured portions of Queensland. Sugar cane \ ¿ growing is the principal industry, but dairying î 1 __ and poultry raising also are adding to the wealth | '- of the district.
JOURNEYING towalds Childers by
train the traveller is at first unimpressed, but so rapid is the transformation in scenery that he is soon entranced by the beauty of the fertile Isis Valley. To reach Childers one has to connect with a tram at Isis Junction, situated on the main North- ern railway between Maryboiough and Bundaberg Foi a few miles inland poor Wallum scrub country which surrounds the Isis, is passed thiough, but the lailvvay line suddenly emerges into beautiful open sugai lands In bygone ages this particulai stietch of country apparently suffered a tie mendous upheaval foi the soil is red volcanic to a depth of at least 60ft
From the carriage v, indows one looks i out upon rich and highly cultivated small settlements, probably unexcelled in any district in Australia The land is covered with a luxuriant growth of cane while hei e and there small areas of red and chocolate coloured soils, ready foi cultivation with gieen manure, make a charming con- trast to the waving gieen of the cane plantations The Is's is a. district that has been greatly neglected from a sight-seeing point of view, particulailv as it enjojs such an i invigoratiiur climate but as more at-
tention is paid to the natural beauty
j of our State Childers should be a
favoured tourist icsoit It his the advantage of being handy to Wood- gate-an attractive seaside íesort while the Isis Rivei 15 miles awav furnishes an excellent fishing giound Burnett salmon kingfish, and perch abound in its waters.
The town of Childers is of course, the business centre of the Isis district. It is picturesque and well laid out, beautiful shade trees giacing its wide main thoioughfaie and by-streets An imposing low of shops piactically all of concrete with modem fronts is indicative of piogiess while a con-
crete footpath the full length of one i block lends to the shopping centie
a clean appearance The public buildjngs aro of modem dcifeii
beneath. The eastern wing comprises a room used as a meeting place for re- turned men, while the central portion is used as the Council Chambers. The structure was erected by public sub- scription at a cost of £4300. A new Isis Hospital is at present nearing com- pletion. It. is being erected by the Bundaberg Hospital Board at an ap- proximate cost of £15,000. The board considered that it would be more econ- omical to erect a new hospital, owing to the great amount of repair work that would have been necessary if the old building had been retained.
GROWTH OF THE SHIRE.
When the Isis Divisional Board was proclaimed in 1886 the annual valua- tion of the shire was £10,617, and the population 1480. To-day the capital valuation is £338,158, and the population 3500. Councillor Thos. Gaydon, a well known Childers man, is chairman of the Isis Shire Council, and Mr. Epps is Shire Clerk. Mr. Epps has done a great deal for Childers, and took a leading part in the work of raising £4300 for the Memorial Hall. The Isis has an area of approximately 36,000 acres, of which about 16,000 are devoted en- tirely to sugar growing. The country adjacent to the Isis is more or less in- ferior and unsuited for closer settle- ment. In the '80's and '90's of last century the whole area was thickly tim- bered, principally with hoop pine, and for a number of years timbergetters reaped a harvest out of the forest. In the early '90's settlers cleared the land for cane growing, which has been the mainstay of the Isis to this day. Last season the two mills in the district crushed 115,443 tons of cane, produc- ing 14,630. tons of sugar at a time when the seasons were against the industry. Two thousand acres of sugar owned by the Fairymead interests was treated at the company's mill at Bundaberg, and, of course, that has to be taken hito ac- count. The 1900 Seedling and Black Innis varieties are among the standard canes of the district, although there are other species being ' experimented with, particularly Oramboo, Pomple,
and P.O.J. (Java). The Oramboo cane is shoving remarkable premise, and
Mr. C. R. Fletclier (manager of the C.S.R. mill, Childers)
and Mrs. Fletcher and their beautiful garden.
Perhaps the most imposing is the Isis Shire Council Chambers, which in- corporates the Isis District War Memorial. The stmctu-» was built in memory of 5» Isis men who made the supreme sacrifice out of 400 who en- listed in the district, and is in the shape Of a'cross. The memorial hall on the western end contains 58 tablets, each containing a photograph of a deceased soldier, with his achievements recorded
most growers aro now experimenting with it. Being entirely clean of disease, it is becoming very popular, and it has a very high ces. Occasionally growers have to combat diseases in their crops, the most' prevalent being gumosis ana mosaic.
ISIS CENTRAL MILL.
The Isis Central Mill is situated about nine miles from Childers, near Cordal- ba, and is owned and controlled by grower. It is capable of crushing lOO.OOC tons per season, and was erected about 1897, under the Sugar Works Act of 1893. As an indication of its progress 2443 tons were treated in 1919; in 1927 75,000 tons were crushed, 88,000 in 1928. and in 1929 62,000 tons. This year a crushing of .about 85,000 tons is ex- pected, but this depends on the wea- ther conditions. The mill has 270 suppliers drawing cane from the whole oi the Isis, taking in Doolbi, Booyal, and the districts of Dallarnil and Pi- alba. In the crushing season work is found for 150 men. Mr. John Alison, the capable general manager of the company since 1914, has had the bene- fit of a long and sound experience.
The Colonial Sugar Refinery CO.'E mill is the only other mill in the Isis. This mill, which is capable of crush- ing 150,000 tons of cane a season, was erected in 1893, and has 135 suppliers. Tonnage treated in recent years has been as follows:-1925, 70,887; 1926, 22,070; 1927, 87,814; 1923, 82,962; and 1929, 53,418. The plant is.up to date. The manager (Mr. C. R. Fletcher) has had extensive experience in the sugar growing industry, and this has been a great factor in the success achieved by the company's mill in the Isis. He has managed the concern for 20 years, having succeeded Mr Helms, another capable manager, in 1912. Mr. Fletcher is leaving Childers
MR. JOHN ALISON,
general manager of the Isis Cen-
tral Mill, Childers.
on long leave at the latter end of this
PUBLIC BODIES. .
An excellent community spirit pre- vails in- Childers. Prominent among the public bodies is the Isis Pastoral, Agricultural, and Industrial Soviet" which has as its president Mr. N. C. Woodroffe, who is the editor of the "Isis Recorder." The secretary of the society is Mr. C. M. Wrench. The so- ciety intends conducting its annual show on June 3 and 4 next. Mr. Woodroffe also is the president of the Isis and District Cricket Association. The town and district are fortunate in having an up-to-date Ambulance Brigade, the superintendent of which is Mr. C. T. Larsen. Mr. W. W. Gar- land is president of the committee. In the Isis Shire are 10 schools-nine primary and one High, the latter be- ing attached to the Childers State School, with Mr. C. R. Irvine, B.A., as
As the outcome cf a musical festival conducted in Childers last year, and initiated by the Agricultural Society, a fine musical union has been formed, of which Mr. E. W. C. Holdaway, B.A.. M.Ed, (head teacher of Apple Tree Creek School), is conductor. Childers possesses talent, and the unisn intends participating in future Eistsdrlfodau. There are two brass bands in the dis- trict-Childers Town and Apple Tree Creek Citizens' Band. Messrs. J. C. Thompson and D. W. Mitchell are the respective conductors. An acauisit'.on to the town and district is the Isis Club, which has incorporated with it a bowling club. The green of six rinks is very fine. The large club premises are handsomely appointed, and have 1 two fine billiard tables, an excellent
reading-room, bar accommodation, and comfortable lounges. Mr. W. Kingston is the club's president, and Mr. F. C. .<cr is the honorary secretary. An ex- cellent three-rink green is. situated in the picturesque grounds of the resi- dence of the manager of the Central Mill (Mr. Alison). The work of con- structing the green was all done volun- tarily, and 600 tens of filling material was carted six miles. Messrs. Alison. Ascoli, Adie, and Cocking are among those who took a very prominent part in its construction. Mr. W. Lehane is secretary of the new club. Employees of the ' Central Mill have been per- suaded by Mr. Alison to learn the game,' and some of them are becoming skilful bowlers. This display of esprit de corps between P--'-->.. and employee
most commendable. . Golf en- thusiasts have a i.i.j g-Ji course, situ- ated about two miles from town on a well-chosen piece of land which is all turf. Mr. Butler, who is now on a world tour, is the club's Dresident. and Mr. 'P. Grout is honorary secretary.
DAIRYING AND POULTRY
In those localities unsuited for cane growing dairying on a moderate scale is being carried on with success, and lhere Is every possibility of the in- dustry extending. Among the most progressive dairymen in the district are Messrs, W. and A. Campbell, w. Cook, W. Pitt, jun., V. Kling, and T. Kelly. Much interest is now being centred on
I Kuuiiiy-uiueaing vvnicn lias promise of
becoming a luciative industiy in the Isis Valley aiea This is due principally to the success achieved by Mi G Pitt who devotes the whole of his time to this woik, and has made remarkable progress on his model poultry farm Commencing In business as a poultry faimer in Childeis li veais ago »n a small way Mr Pitt has now a larce and highly efficient farm Mi Pitt favours White Leghorns and Black Orpingtons Last year this farms incubators turned out 15,000 chickens which found a ready maiket as fal as beyond Calms m the Noith and New South Wales and Victoria in the South Mr Pitt has 700 White Leghorns and Black Orping- tons penned undei the intensive system in which he is a Aim believei Prom 600 breeders last year more than 200 eggs per bird were averaged, or a total of 120,000 eggs Mr Pitt's stud birds have won numerous com- petitions Two years in succession with White Leghorns he annexed the Gov I einment prize offered at the Mt Gravatt competition and his stock hold the record at Mt Gravatt in egg laying-1571 eggs from six birds in 360 aays A number of residents aie fol- lowing in Mi Pitt's footsteps, and are doing well out of then farms, par- ticularly Messis E Humes, N Bunn, Chappell bi others and W Pitt fun Twelve months ago the Isis and Dis- trict Poultry Club, of which Mi J H Robinson is president was opened and it now boasts moie than 100 mem- bers The club purchases feed in bulk for membeis thus effecting a con sideraDle saving to them At present it is conducting an egg-laving com- petition for sevcial cups d»nated by Childers business men Eighty-four birds are competing Childeis Biis bane Maryborough Gympie Nundah Kingaroy and Goodwood being repre- sented The competition staited on Mareil 16 last and will conclude on February 28, 1931
SOME PROGRESSIVE GROWERS
Progiessive growers of the district include Mi W Brand one of the pioneers and a much-respected citizen In 1884 he took up a scrub selection
and devoted it to maize growing, which ' was then an important indushv in
The Memorial Hall and Council Chambers at Childers, erected
at a cost of £4300 by public subscription.
the Isis Not long after«aids cne gromnj became established and Mi
Bland comeited his pioreity into n sugai cane propos't on cultivitmg 160 acres He is still gi owing cane on an °\ten-.ive scle and is one of the suc- cessful farmers of the Isis Mt W A Bland, MLA, sen of the formel
chairman of the Isis Shire Council.
grower, has approximately 200 acres under cultivation. His crop locks par- ticularly strong and healthy, and most of it is well advanced. In common with most groweis in the district, Mr. Brand has gone in for the standard variety-1900 Seedling-but also Is ex- perimenting with Oramboo, which is showing promise. The Black Innti
Mr. W. A. Brand, M.I.A., and some of the Black Innis cane
growing on his plantation at Childers.
The C.S.R, mill, Childers, which has a seasonal capacity of .
150j000 tons of cane.
The Isis Central mill, Childers, which has an annual capacity j
of 100,000 tons of cane.
species also is doing well on this plantation.
Mr. Brand's two brothers-Messrs. H. J. and R. M. J. Brand-also are en- gaged in sugar growing, and are making a success of it. A well-known figure in the Isis is Mr. Alexander Adie, chairman of directors of the Isis Cential Mill and one of its founders He is one of the original settlers of the district, and his cane plantation is highly developed. In addition to cane growing he engages in other businesses, including the Isis Butcher- ing .Co. Mr. Adie takes a prominent part in civic affairs. Mr. F. J. Ascoli. a director of the Isis Central Mill, is another successful grower, and a prominent personage of the district He has over 200 acres of land, 105 acres being under cane. As far back as 1897 Mr. Ascoli planted his first crop of cane, and harvested 1800 tons from 60 acres. He is a very keen bowler, mid is often to be-seen on one or other of the two greens In the district. One of the best known growers In the district is Mr. John Broadhurst, of Rosehill Farm. North Isis. He has 296 acres in two areas, of which 136 acres are under cane. His crops look remarkably well at the present time, although in conversation he stated that he was anxiously wait- ing for rain, an early fall of which will make all the difference to this year's crushing. Mr. Broadhurst has the reputation of being one of the most efficient farmers in the district, and his crops are always said to be among the cleanest areas of cane to be found anywhere. Mr. Broadhurst is one of the early pioneers. When a boy he settled in the district with his father, the late Mr. Wm. Broadhurst, who took up a dairy selection on what was then scrub land. In 1891 Mr. Broadhurst) engaged in cane-growing. He has al- ways taken a lively interest in the welfare of the district, and is one of the foundation members of the Show Society, and has been a member of the committee for 25 years, and a con- siderable portion of that time presi- dent. He has been associated with the Shire Council for 17 years, for four of which he was chairman. When' the Childers Cane Growers' Association was formed in 1893 Mr. Broadhurst
MR. JOHN BROADHURST,
a prominent Childers farmer.
took a keen interest in its welfare, and is still connected with it, having been president for many years. Mr. F. W. Adam, a splendid type of grower, is the owner of one of the most up-to date farms in the whole of the Isis. He is the son of the late Mr. C. E. Adam, who took up scrub land in the early days, after having managed the Colonial Sugar Refinery Co.'s interests at Goondi. Other well-known and suc- cessful growers in the Isis Valley in- clude Messrs. W. E. Cocking and R. Webb, Grant and Brand, the Eversley Estate, A. J. S. Thompson, W. T. Buss, and Chappell Bros. The largest plant- ations in the Isis Valley are Haps- burg and Lynwood, owned by the Fairymead Sugar Co., Bundaberg. These plantations comprise about 2000 acres, and excellent results have been achieved. Up-to-date farming methods are adopted. The cane from these plantations is crushed at the company's mill at Bundaberg.