Tuesday, August 20, 2013



Teewah Beach, North of Noosa Heads
The Coloured Sands

View from atop of Double Island Point
Randall, Lee and Jill...in the "Fire Truck" at Teewah Beach

Troy (chef) and me at Teewah
Randall and me at hard at rest on the beach in front of our block of land at Teewah

Still on “The Laguna Belle”…I’m unable to disembark without telling this story…

After firing the owner’s daughter that fateful Friday afternoon described in a previous post, we never set eyes upon her again.  If the truth be known, she probably was happy not to be working; preferring to spend her time with her deadbeat friends, sharing pipes and needles rather than battering fish; slicing potatoes and standing over hot deep fryers in the fish shop.  She preferred her crumby mates to crumbed fish fillets, prawns and squid rings.

Things were going along smoothly.  “The Belle” was making her way; old and new bills were being paid.  The debt outstanding was diminishing at a very satisfying rate of knots.  The locals had started filtering back through the doors.  It was smooth sailing or cruising; nothing was rocking the boat other than the wake of a passing speed boat once in a while.  However, the peaceful ambience of the Noosa River didn’t encourage many thoughtless speed boat operators, or jet skis.  Once upon the river, everyone soon fell under its calm, harmonious spell.

After closing the doors on Sunday afternoons following the luncheon cruises, time was ours to play with as we wished until around 8.30 am Tuesday mornings when once again, willingly, we were back in business and work mode.  It became a habit on Sunday afternoons when the last guests departed and everythin was back in order in the restaurant, our staff joined Randall and me at the “Banksia Lounge” for a few leisurely drinks where a lot of high-spirited laughter and nonsensical conversation filled the air; sometimes late into the evenings. 

The infamous “Banksia Lounge” was situated under what is commonly known as a Coastal Banksia Tree. The hardy tree grew to the side of our land upon which our cottage sat at Sunshine Beach. The tree stood at the start of the track that led down to the shops at Sunshine Beach as described in an early post.

Relishing the sea breezes and sunny skies, the Banksia’s roots were set firmly in the sandy soil. The nectar produced by the tree’s uniquely beautiful flower spikes attracted the cheeky, boisterous lorikeets and various honeyeaters.  Our large, round barbecue table sat beneath its leafy limbs; a perfect spot for an outdoor lounge bar.

The botanical name of the Coastal Banksia is “Banksia Integrifolia”; it’s one of many in the Banksia species. The species of Banksias were named after Sir Joseph Banks, the botanist who was travelling with Captain Cook on the “Endeavour” when they bumped into the land Down Under.

There were the odd times, too, when one or another, or more, of our staff, at a loss what to do on his, her or their day off turned up on a Monday at our small cottage. It didn’t take much persuasion for us to drop tools and step outside to our “watering hole”.  It soon became our oasis, to be shared with friends. 
On other occasions we’d load up our old 1948 Land Rover and head off up to our vacant, beachfront block of land at Teewah Beach for a day’s outing, fishing or just lapping up the sun; whatever we felt like doing or not doing.  There were days some of our staff went along with us for a day’s fishing or just to cop out and laze on the beach or under a shady She-Oak. 

Our days spent on the beach at Teewah were free of stresses and pressures.

Teewah Beach is just north of Noosa…north of the mouth of the Noosa River.  Teewah is the only developed area of a lengthy expanse of beach that runs from the river mouth at the southern end north to Double Island Point.  The distance between the southern point and the northern is around 51kms (31.6 miles).  The Teewah end of the beach, the southern end, oddly enough is referred to as “the north shore” by the people of Noosa.

Randall and I, at the time, owned one of the very few beachfront blocks of land at Teewah   There were either only nine or eleven beachfront blocks available; I forget the exact number. There were no plans in place for any more land to be legislated for development.  We ended up selling our piece of paradise a few years later when our marriage broke down.

Further north along the beach from Teewah; between Teewah Beach and the Freshwater camping spot at the Double Island end is an area known as the “Coloured Sands”; high, wind-sculptured sand dunes; vibrantly-coloured cliffs that stand like beacons looking out upon the ocean, while, in the meantime, staunchly protecting the inland lakes, paper-bark swamps and natural forests.

Randall and I bought the old Land Rover specifically for the purpose of going to the “north shore”. We had two other cars, but the old Land Rover was for driving along the sandy, saltwater-washed beaches and for fishing purposes, only. It didn’t matter if the vehicle got covered in sand, inside and out; or that it came in contact with ocean. 

Once we arrived back home, we’d just hose the car down, and then let the garden sprinkler run for a while on the vehicle’s underside to wash away the day’s effects.  The body was aluminum; and once the sprinkler had fulfilled its duty spraying water all over and through the chassis underneath, all was well in the land of the Land Rover; it was ready for its next beach adventure.

Upon purchasing the old Rover Randall removed its top/hood and painted the body bright, fire-engine red!  We referred to it as being our high-rise sports car.  Tongue-in-cheek, we also named our fishing transporter the “Fire Truck”; which was a playful anagram!  At some stage, a re-conditioned Holden motor had been put into place; our high-rise sports car performed well. Never once did it let us down. It was an ideal vehicle for driving along sandy beaches.  It had a winch on the front and one at its rear end, too.  There were times our humble little red “Fire Truck” pulled much fancier and more expensive 4WDs out of bogged situations along the beach.

I’ve digressed from the core of this story, but I wanted to give a bit of background into what comes next.  I veered off the beaten sandy track, but now I’ll step back onto it!

Friends of ours had twin boys who, at the time, were attending the Peregian Beach Kindergarten.  The father of the little boys was one of the people who asked Randall and me to take over the management of “The Belle”.  Peter was a Chartered Accountant; and he was the accountant handling the restaurant’s accounts etc. 

Peter and Randall were good mates, and had been for quite a while.  Both shared a common love of fishing and mud crabbing.  Over dinner one night it was decided that “The Belle” would play host to a fashion parade on a Sunday afternoon lunch cruise along the Noosa River. The purpose and intention was to raise money for the Peregian Beach Kindergarten Association.

Plans were put into place. Local boutiques owners were approached regarding their fashions and if they’d be willing to put them on display at our parade. I contacted some local models asking if they’d partake in the event.  Surprisingly, and fortunately for the kindergarten, the girls generously offered their services for the afternoon free of charge, believing the parade was for a worthy charitable cause.  We promised them lots of good, pictorial and editorial coverage in the local newspaper - “The Noosa News”; it was a win-win situation for all parties concerned.

Having had previous experience putting together similar shows when I was employed by The Kolotex Group of Companies in Brisbane, I took over the reins in the planning of the fashion parade, and all that was needed to make the afternoon a success.

I didn’t want a catwalk as such. We needed as many “bums on seats” as we could possibly seat to make the afternoon profitable for the kindergarten (and us, of course); so no tables were removed to add a catwalk to the area. Instead, I choreographed it in a way that the models would walk around the aisles between the tables and diners. Their change-room was a cordoned off area upstairs where the cocktail bar was.  The models gracefully descended the spiral staircase to the lower dining level.  I chose Grace Jones and David Bowie tracks for them to strut along to in rhythmical motion; good strutting music, I believed – and, it all did blend together well.  Fashionable outfits befitting the coastal atmosphere and lifestyle were shown accompanied by music that put the models and the spectator-diners in the mood for a pleasant interlude.

It turned out to be a wonderful, fun-filled happy afternoon on “The Laguna Belle”; and a profitable one, too; not only for us, the operators, but also for the Peregian Beach Kindergarten Association. And, in turn, further down the line…for the boutique owners.

Randall and I planned a picnic/fishing/leisure day on the Monday following the charity fashion parade.  Jill, our kitchen-hand and Troy, our new chef who had replaced Phil (another story for another time) asked if they could come along with us.  We told them we’d pick them up at “The Belle” as a central point of collection at 9 am  Monday morning. 

Randall and I arrived at the restaurant earlier than the arranged pick-up because we wanted to do a couple of chores on board “The Belle” before the appointed meet-up.  So we arrived before 8 am to attend to whatever it was we needed to do.

We entered “The Belle”. Everything was in place on the lower level of the boat where the dining room and kitchen were; but when we went upstairs to the bar area both of us picked up on a strange vibe, simultaneously. 

The bar had been left neat and tidy with everything in place when we’d closed the doors the previous day after the parade was over; and after everyone had left.  On the shelves behind the bar that usually held bottles of spirits and liqueurs were many gaps; empty places where bottles had once stood.  The drawer to the cash register was open wide; and one of the windows on the riverside…the outer side away from the street and jetty side of the restaurant…was ajar!

The cash register hadn’t been forced open because after every shift, once we removed the takings and the float for the next service, the drawer was never locked; it was closed, but not latched or locked.  And, of course, we never left any cash on the premises.  We weren’t that silly!  Or if we did, there would not be a thief in this world who would have found it!

We were hit immediately with the thought of who had conducted the heist.  Randall instantly laid the blame on the owner’s daughter, perhaps done with the help of a drugged-up mate as her partner-in-crime.  I agreed with his suspicions.

Randall’s reasoning was because all the sweet spirits and liqueur were the stolen goods. After his years managing a bar in the Upper East Side of New York City, he was familiar with the tastes of “junkies”.  Apparently, their taste leans towards sweet things.  (And I don’t mean me)!

We called the police; they arrived on the scene post haste.  Inspections were done; questions were asked.  They asked us if we had any suspicions as to who we thought may have perpetrated the crime.  We answered we did have an idea; but we named no names; however we did make clear inferences.  The police knew who and what we were talking about without us needing to go into further minute detail. They weren’t fools; neither were we.

It was all was sorted out in the end; and dealt with accordingly.  Our suspicions proved to be correct. 

As I mentioned earlier, we never set eyes on the daughter again from the afternoon of her sacking forth; but we did feel her presence in the bar area that Monday morning. 

We figured she thought it was her way of getting back at us.  We believed also that she and her dumber-than-dumb assistant in the robbery thought, wrongly, that after the huge event we’d held at “The Laguna Belle” the previous day…Sunday’s fashion parade…that there would be a lot of takings for the taking!

As it turned out, there were a lot of takings, but the takings were not theirs for the taking


  1. How nice to hear that justice was served.
    And goodness that looks like an idyllic spot. Bliss.
    Hard work, followed by lots of fun. Who could ask for more?

  2. Yes, EC...it was good when we learned justice had been served! :)

    It's great up along the beach there from Teewah to Double Island Point.

    There still are only about 20 houses built at Teewah...everything else is left to Nature...other than those travelling by 4WDs along the beaches for fishing sites and the designated camping sites.

  3. Wow, this sounds way too familiar! We had similar Sundays as our day off from our restaurant except not as nice location as yours. But that's when we started doing our weekly champagne brunches which we continue to this day.

    We also has a similar theft. Ex-employee rammed his car through the back door to steal the very small amount of petty cash on hand. He'd have been better off stealing wine or liquor! Idiot actually showed up in the parking lot later that week with his smashed up car. Police never did anything but considering his car got the worst of it, I guess it was okay.

  4. Hi Dexter...our little soirees around the round table at the "Banksia Lounge" with our staff were lots of fun; as were the times we headed up the beach.

    And we always had a couple of drinks with staff at the bar on the restaurant after work each night...the time taken was fruitful in many ways.

    Your guy sounds as dumb as our perpetrator...they'd have made a good pair! ;)

  5. Oh, my - so there were more dramas behind that idyllic beach life. It sounds as if you made such a lot out of beach life and it was such fun. Love your stories!

  6. Ahhh...there's nothing quite like a quiet life by the beach, Jenny!

    Not all is what it seems! lol

    I'm glad you enjoy my stories, Jenny...thanks.

  7. Keep the stories coming! By the way, I just got through asking another friend in a comment why there are never any pictures of him strutting his stuff on his site. (Great minds--huh?)

  8. Hi Lee, thanks for your comment at holtieshouse nice to know there are still people out there who visit hh.
    I'm impressed by the detail you manage to include in your posts.. Do you have a photographic memory, Stacks of old very detailed diaries, Or do you simply make up the bits that you can't recall ????????

  9. Well, there you go, Jerry! There are still a couple of us left in this world with great minds! ;)

  10. It sounds like you were busy as hell, I am amazed you had even one afternoon on the beach! I hate person-on-person theft more than anything. It's just disgusting.

  11. Hi there Peter...I always keep an eye on your blog to see when you're going to make your next appearance. You can't get away with anything when I'm around! ;)

    I have a very good memory...no diaries; and no making up bit and pieces as fillers. To embellish would be cheating to my way of thinking. My imagination isn't that good to make things up!

    All is as it happened; and I don't even give all the details! Just you wait until I start doing that! ;)

    It's great to see you're doing so well, Peter. Enjoy The Muster. :)

  12. By the way, Peter...I am a Scorpio...and it is said Scorpios never forget anything! So watch out! ;)

  13. As ever, a great story, I love to hear stories, sagas, being shown the world as experienced by someone else, it's like being invited to live countless lives.

    Unless the Red Dirt Girl and I win the lottery, we'll never get to drive that beach in an old Landrover, but you tell us how it is.

    Keep on writing, I love it.

  14. Hi Soub...I'm so glad you enjoyed your ride up along the wide expanse of beach on the old "Fire Truck". I wish I could do it again, too. It's been far too long since I've been up to the north shore.

    I hope all is progressing with you up your way and you're getting closer to your goal. :)

  15. Hey RC...time spent on the beach, no matter how short, was the best thing for re-charging our batteries. We didn't do it on every day off, but we did when we could.

  16. Your suspicions were correct! I can't stand a thief.

    I love the thought of the Banksia Lounge!

  17. Hey there Lynn...many happy hours were spent under that Banksia tree at The Banksia Lounge...and the good thing about it was...the floor didn't need sweeping or washing; and if a drink was dropped, it just soaked into the ground! ;)

  18. Loved the post, Lee. I've been to Noosa but not that end. As for the playful anagram...lol!

    I worked in hospitality for 17 years and it's bloody hard work. I couldn't imagine being the owner although my parents owned a licenced restaurant in the 60s. Me and my brothers were commandeered into service during the Christmas break so staff could have the time off.

  19. Hey there, Robyn! Welcome back! It's great to see you back in the fold. :)

    Aha! I should've known you'd know what our name for our beach bus meant! ;)

  20. Entertainment at its' best here on your blog. The scum surfaces in every community around the world it seems.
    Glad they were dealt with.
    We had two local bars broken into last year. Dummies would have gotten away with it if not for the security cameras that recorede every move.

  21. Yes, goog to know justice was done. Love the pics.

  22. Hiya Cliff...yes...there are idiots throughout the world, unfortunately.

    I'm glad you enjoy my blog. It's always a pleasure to see you. :)

  23. G'day Pat...likewise...it's always nice to see you, too. Thanks for coming by and commenting. Hugs to you and Simi. :)

  24. Loved the 'thing' between you and the cops, along with the 'evidence' that junkies prefer the sweet things.
    Thanks for calling by my blog, too.

  25. Hi Christine - nice to see you.

    It was kind of a case of "dumb and dumber" with those two idiots who broke into "The Belle". Not much thinking or planning going on "up top"! If you're going to do a heist, at least do it properly! lol

  26. I enjoy your stories. You have lived in some beautiful places! I finally got the anagram. I am pretty dense.

  27. Hahahahaha, RM....you're forgiven! ;)