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STREETS OF BRISBANE

    Some Primitive Harmonies

(By Harrie Nowland.)

"How did the main streets of Bris- bane get such names!' The question often has been asked by newcomers, who have noted the prepon- derance of "Christian" names in such

connection, without reflecting on the early habit of complimenting the royal family of Great Britain in Australian geography and town-planning. A land sale occurred ou the site of Brisbane in 1842, but the first survey was completed in 1843, and the ruling monarch, Queen Victoria, then received the usual compliment of having her royal title attached to the name of that pro- posed street of the contemplated village which was destined to be tbe capital city of Queensland. The name Queensland, bestowed later, after the vast northern area had been separated from New 8outh Wales, complimented the ruling monarch still more. Had a king been on the throne the new colony undoubtedly would have been named Kingsland, and King

street, not Queen-street, would have been our main street. Next, the names of English princesses were applied to all streets running paral- lel with Queen-street — Adelaide, Eliza- beth, Ann, Charlotte, Mary, Alice — but perhaps even when the dear, dead ladies were living exponents of court etiquette, they remained gracefully ignorant of the pretty compliment. Could they have sailed away to see the crude town on the site where Brisbane city was to be, they might perhaps on arrival have been driven by some route other than Queen- street to the Government Residency, that they might not witness the last survival of the convict system — a public flogging. But the princesses wisely remained at home, and even the princes, whose names were applied to streets crossing Queen- street, never had any ocular proof of so permanent a demonstration in loyalty. William, George, Albert, Edward. The town-planners of Government House, Sydney, chief of whom was Governor Gippe, no doubt believed they were in- dulging in extravagant anticipations by right royallv naming seven east-west streets with four equally right royally named streets to cross them; perhaps even had an idea that it was useless and wanton to disturb primitive harmo- nies, in the making of a rash experiment of extension of colonisation in a sub- tropical area. The iron of Governor Gipp's vice-regal -will prevailed not merely in the naming and renaming of streets, but also in the m&tter of re- ducing their width, as decreed in the original plan made by a surveyor whose vision was of nobler sort. LARGER IDEAS ABANDONED. The original plan reserved a roadway along the northern bank of the river, from the present site of Victoria Bridge to New Farm, but of that reserve only the Domain and Botanic Gardens area was allowed to remain. The vice-regal town-planning altered Parker-street to Charlotte-street, and Thomas-street to George-street, but history does not tell who was Parker or what was Thomas. Prior to the survey in 1843 the only residences were those of Government of- ficials. South Brisbane then promised to be much more important from the busi- ness point of view, and Stanley Quay was designed to present a noble front- age to the river. But, alas! for the aesthetic point of view. Stanley Quay passed into the limbo of noble but un- fulfilled intentions, and instead of a noble avenue and green lawns as river

frontage, there evolved a narrow, com- monplace street, which in our time has beeonfie a place of one-way traffic only. Edmonstone-street, South Brisbane, originally was Vemon-street, but was re- named in compliment to an alderman who also was a successful man of busi- ness. Those were the days when strap- ping timber-getters wore still cutting through scrub, and sawing through the trunks of patriarchal gum-trees at Kan- garoo Point, and a dozen varieties of closely crowding golden wattle were scenting the wild atmosphere of that   which now is darkest Woolloongabba. There were lovely fern-fledged gullies where now are back-yards and clothes- lines; pleasantly turbulent creeks with stony margins appeared like magic when Jupiter Pluvius worked himself into a watery temper, yea, even where now are, more or less, proud thoroughfares and urban density. Though, assuredly, the ghouliness of

the carrion crow had discovered the gal- lows and slaughteryards of an invading race of meat-eaters, and the frank brutality of the epicurean eagle-hawk made havoc among the tenderest of the pioneer chickens, the ambushed song of that greatest of Australian soloists, the magpie, was no farther away than the chartered certainty of the proposed cen- tral town lots, in which columnar euca lyptus loftily held up their heads, as though in haughty unbelief of human forces that would destroy them. A beau- tiful and harmonious landscape the un- touched site must have been, when the first official with a eoal to take note of such things surveyed it and the winding river from the higher lands. SOME WHO BUILT WISELY. Creek-street evolved after the creek that was had been drained and filled in. Wharf-street began when the traffic diverged by that route from the hill to the ships. Up on a hill overlooking old river and new town, Mr. Duncan, Cus- toms House officer, had a home and a farm soon after commerce began to force its way. He called it Dara, and, after Ann-street was extended by cutting through Dara 's solid rock, tbe Roman   Catholic Church secured what were left of Mr. Duncan's higher acres, and there founded the first of the- great convents which now number so many in Queens- land. Duncan-street, Valley, commemo- rates the name of Duncan of Dara, or, as the older spelling had it, Darra, and really marks the boundary of Duncan's original and certainly stony farm. Adelaide-street, similarly quarried through, took away a large slice of the garden of good Dr. Hobbs, who first came to Moreton Bay as a ship's sur- geon, and who liked the Brisbane village so well that he built a substantial stone house for his place of residence. This house was used as the official residence of the first Queensland Governor, and still stands on the quarried cliff besides St. John's Cathedral, making a substan- tial, though rather gloomy-looking home for one of the Anglican dignitaries. Only very inattentive readers of Bris- bane newspapers do not know that "The     Valley" — a name which newcomers are apt to regard as very inappropriately applied to a big business centre — came to be so called, because the immigrants who arrived by the ship Fortitude Valley camped on that site as a preliminary to settling down in the territory. Farther out, at the junction of creek and river, was the still new villa of

the Government Resident. Still farther on was the German missionaries' farm, but round about the Valley, as the im migrants swung their axes, there were untouched landscapes in which the querulous calls of startled birds made a chorus of protest against the encroach- ments of men. Who, at this stage of Time 's obiterations, dare say that there were not also, sometimes, sable ladies of the soil, clad only in native innocence, amazedly peeping round the edges of the scrub at rosy-faced women immigrants clad in flagrant examples of the latest modes of London and Edinbro' town? When a man begins to shout his good deeds from the housetops it is your cue to look in the cellar for his evil ones.

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