Tuesday, April 13, 2010


There’s an amusing story tied up in the title, however, until I get to know you better it shall remain untold! Suffice to say that because of the misguided politically-correct world in which we dwell these days it would go down like a lead balloon or worse! Sexual harassments cases would be rife if one was so inclined! More the pity when something innocent and fun can be contorted into something evil and defamatory. Speaking of “gold”; time spent reading is golden.

As children growing up in the gold town of Gympie, my brother and I were encouraged to read, receiving books as gifts for birthdays, Christmas and times in between. Also, our fertile, impressionable imaginations were nurtured by our Nana whose fascinating tales of her “golden olden days” growing up in the Gympie area kept us enthralled night after night. There’s a lot of history emanating from Gympie.

This morning I was struck by a bug...a violent bug! I started cleaning out the drawers of my computer desk and those of a nearby chest of drawers. Boy! I'm a hoarder of paper; paper with many notations upon it! So far I've managed to fill five bags full of rubbish!

However, on going through my many jottings and other bits and pieces, I came upon "The Beadle", a little Gympie newsletter published in February, 1918! "The Beadle", apparently, was published by the Gympie Presbyterian Church. Reading it, I came across the following:

"We regret to record the death of Mr. Robert Hose, who was killed in the Scottish Gympie Mine (gold mine...at the time acclaimed to be the biggest in the southern hemisphere) by the fall of a rock. He was buried on the 24th, the Rev. W.J. Taylor officiated.

Mr. Hose was just over 50 years of age, and within a few days would have left the mine to take up land at Goomboorian."

Said Robert Hose was my great-grandfather. He usually didn't work underground but that particular day he was covering for another workmate who had called in sick.

Reading an article a short while ago I learned that Tom Bath, the grandfather of Clarissa Dickson Wright, one of the famous “Two Fat Ladies” was born in Gympie. “Bath Terrace” in Gympie was obviously named after him, a fact of which I was unaware.

Judy Cornwell who played Daisy, Hyacinth’s daggy sister in “Keeping Up Appearances” came from the Gold Town. I knew Judy’s brother, Max quite well when he and I were members of the Gympie Drama Group. Their father, Barry was a writer with the “Gympie Times”. And, of course, I come from Gympie…there has to be something golden in that, don’t you think? No? Okay…perhaps that’s a load of bullion!


  1. There are some fascinating facts there, Lee. I didn't realise Judy Cornwell was even Australian...shows what I know...

    I'd love to hear that story...smirk.

    I so agree about this political correctness idiocy...there are some really strange bods out there who read offence into the most minor of things.

  2. Hi Robyn...re Judy Cornwell...when the parents separated and divorced the mother headed back to England taking the daughter, Judy, with her and the son, Max, remained here with their father. The parents were English and Judy who was older than Max could probably have been born in England...I'm not totally sure, but I think that's how the story went.

    I'll tell you "that" story one day! ;)

  3. Through rose coloured glasses I also like reading old newspapers and find it fascinating too learn more about past family roots. After all reality is always stranger than fiction. I like to think we have a mixture of free will within determinism. It was determined you were always going on that holiday but you can stop off and vary your tour along the way and make the most of your time within that relative freedom. We naturally enough assume we have complete free will. But I think free will is prevalent only in a casual manner along a predetermined path. Hence all we can do in an existential sense as I see it is to make the most of our life by using our gifts as was intended. Like trying on some rose colored glasses occasionally to see things differently and or cooking up a storm.
    For we may not ever discover all the gold up in the hills !!
    Best wishes

  4. Well said, Lindsay...one must never cease the search, that's for sure. I've yet to find the end of that confounded rainbow!

  5. Gympie!? What a wonderful name. Is it pronounced with a hard "G"? What dores it mean, or is it just a name of some founding family?

  6. Hard "G"...The name Gympie comes from the aboriginal 'gimpi', meaning a 'stinging nettle bush'.
    It was the scene of a gold rush in 1867 when James Nash found gold at the Mary River and the influx of people and the wealth it generated was instrumental in propping up the flagging economy of the young state.

    Queensland's treasury was down to about eleven pence in its coffers at the time, Voyager.

    It is now an important dairy, fruit and vegetable producing area with large forest plantations.

    Gympie is near the Great Sandy National Park, Fraser Island and Cooloola Beach. There is an old mine where you can go fossicking or panning for gold.
    There are several museums including a forestry museum displaying timber cutting and techniques and with an old steam driven saw-mill.

    The 4 room home of Australia's first Prime Minister, Andrew Fisher, is in the gold-mining museum adjacent to Lake Alford on the Brisbane Road.

    Thanks for your interest. :)

  7. The "G" as is in "Garden"

  8. Very interesting, Lee.

    I live in California the original Gold country. That's one of the reasons California is call the golden state, plus we're really dry it looks gold from the dead plants.


  9. An interesting glimpse of Gympie Lee.
    The wedding setting was Lake Alford "The duck pond" near the Mining Museum I'm not surprised that you didn't know anyone in the photos, apart from Ken, Jackie and myself they hail from all points... from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania to Victoria with a smattering from the Sunshine Coast area.

  10. Gympie's not in a dry area, Janice...the rich green valleys of the Mary River see to that.

    Hi Peter...well, there you go...out there where the mining museum is where the Scottish Mines were. I may have mentioned once before that sculpture there of the miner was done by the father of a school friend of mine. Hussman was his name, the sculptor, that is...not the miner.

  11. Lee,
    It's a good thing we don't occupy the same living space; we'd be buried in collections of paper, much of which would be in the form of books.
    I love a good story, especially if it has some Sex-ual harrassment conotations for interpretation! ;)

  12. It is just as well, Rel...I have more books here than the library, I think...and I've got three of theirs out on loan, too!!! Plus I'm always jotting stuff down...so I've got paper, paper everywhere, it would seem...though with my bit of a clean-up the other day....a little less...very little less!!!

  13. Thanks for telling me about Gympie. I cycle-toured in Queensland years ago, but I'm sure I never went through Gympie, I would have remembered the name.

  14. I think you know most of us quite well and I just hate the POLITICAL CORRECTNESS. I am very bad at directions so I would refer to myself as being directional retarded and I was slamed for that one big time. I am happy that you found the obit because it gave you a chance to share more of you with us. Really 5 bags. I love the show Keeping Up Appearance and also Are You Being Served. Peace

  15. Just finished a book that took place in Australia, On The Beach. I remember it mentioning Queensland, but not Gympie.

    I'm reluctant to go underground or up in the air (flying). Both sound naturally dangerous to me.

  16. I'm not sure what's going on, but I did reply to your posting, Big Dave...the other day, but it's not showing up for reasons that are unknown to me! Neville Shute wrote "On The Beach" and the movie starring Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire (serious, non-dancing role) and Anthony Perkins was film down this way in Melbourne, Victoria. I never wanted to see it when I was a kid because it scared the daylights out of me...I only got around to watching the movie finally, probably about 15 years ago!!

  17. Silly me...I found that I'd posted my first reply to Big Dave on my previous post! Here it is again -

    "Yes..that is a scary story, Big Dave...even these days, but more so even, I think, when it first was published and then the movie was made. I was still in school then, but I was terrified to see the movie and didn't until years after its release. Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Anthony Perkins and Fred Astaire all came Down Under to make the film.

    Neville Shute was a good writer of good stories. He died a year after the movie was made.

    See if you can grab hold of his "A Town Like Alice"...that's a good story, too. The subsequent movie starred Peter Finch and Virginia McKenna of "Born Free" fame. And then in the early Eighties it was made into a TV mini-series here as well starring Bryan Brown. "