|Tin Can Bay Esplanade in Forefront || |
|Acrylic painting by me...Tin Can Bay|
|Top Photo of Graham with a friend...taken the 1998 May long weekend he visited me...and the lower photos were taken on his birthday, 28th February, 1996|
Prawns, in an abundant supply, were discovered in the waters surrounding Tin Can Bay in 1954/55...thereabouts. Along with the discovery of the prawns, sea scallops were also part of the bounty.
Once the prawn trawlers were alerted to the fact, prawns and sea scallops became welcome accompaniments to our seafood feasts. Until then, I’d not had sea scallops...and, very soon, I couldn’t get enough of them!
As a child, I loved to paint and draw. The scallop shells became my “canvases”. Using poster paints, I’d paint scenes on the shells.
Not only did Tin Can Bay have the best fresh seafood in the world in those days, but it also boasted the best meat pies in the world!
Hind's Bakery...a little bakery on the Esplanade made the best pies. If I set my mind to it, I can still savour the flavour of those luscious, juicy meat pies!
Pies with golden, flaky-pastry tops that burned the roof of your mouth, but you didn't care, because the hot gravy from the meat running down your chin burned even hotter...and, you still didn't care...because the pies were so delicious.
One of our primary school teachers, Mr. Doug Enright, owned a holiday home on the Esplanade at Tin Can. He and his wife, who was the Matron at a Gympie’s Lister Hospital, were often in residence at their home during our many visits to the "Bay".
Mr. Enright, a tall, striking gentleman with a shock of silver-grey hair, was a favourite teacher of both my brother and me. In fact, I can confidently state 99.9%, if not100% of his students at that time... present, and past...respected him, holding him in high regard.
He would have been around the age of 60 years, give or take, when he taught me.
As a teacher he was firm, but objective, and even-handed. In a courteous, solicitous manner, Mr. Enright commanded his students’ attention
Way back when in the "olden days" as we called the days of our grandmother's younger years, Doug Enright was a member of our Nana’s circle of friends. I think at one stage, when in their teens, they were sweet on each other.
I remember clearly the day he was wandering up and down the aisles between our school desks, making a point about a lesson he was teaching...something he did regularly. Impressing upon the class the importance, the intrinsic value of the lesson, as he walked by, Mr. Enright whacked his ruler on my desk. Unfortunately, the ruler missed the desk, and accidently struck my left thumb!
Boy! It hurt!
Tears filled my eyes, but I hung my head, to hide my throbbing discomfort, not wanting to make a fuss. I knew he’d not purposely struck me. It was not the kind of person...the kind of teacher...Doug Enright was.
Immediately, Mr. Enright’s genuine distress was evident for the rest of the class to see.
Almost in tears himself, he couldn’t apologise enough. Even though my thumb was hurting, I felt sorry for him.
The moment wasn’t forgotten by him. The next time he met Nana, he apologised to her, as well, explaining what had occurred had been an unfortunate accident. Nana understood. I had told her about the innocent incident when I arrived home from school the day it happened. I had no bad feelings towards my teacher.
I’d never been struck by a teacher before, or after that particular day. Once was enough, even if accidental!
A fine, pure white clay...the palest shade of the palest grey, actually... was found along the beach, at low time, across from Mr. Enright’s Tin Can Bay holiday home.
My brother, Graham and I collected the clay to form different and fun objets d'art. Our imagination went wild, as our hands followed its lead.
Mr. Enright allowed us to 'bake' what we created in his ovens, both at the 'Bay' and in Gympie.
He and his wife’s lovely Gympie home on the corner of Nash and Lawrence Streets, was the large, lovely home of Mr. and Mrs. Enright, only a short stroll from where we lived in Fern Street.
When I was living back in Gympie between the years 1998-2002, I was very pleased to see that their home had been purchased by a builder who was lovingly restoring the home to its former glory. Some things...some buildings must be preserved.
The day of Mr. Doug Enright's funeral remains in my memory.
School children from the Gympie State Primary School, of which my brother and I were two, formed sombre honour lines down each side of Mary Street, the main street of Gympie, as his gasket passed by.
Mr. Enright was loved and respected by all who were fortunate enough to have known him.
Throughout our childhood, along with our mother and grandmother, we continued visiting Tin Can Bay...and we continued enjoying feasts of fresh seafood. Mum’s favourite fish to catch, and eat, was flathead
Graham, my brother spent the long weekend in May...the Labour Day weekend, May, 1998...with me in Gympie. I had arrived back in Gympie, on ANZAC Day....25th April, 1998.
Graham left my home in the very early hours of the Monday morning...he preferred to drive long distances during the night hours. (as do I...or as did I). Having been transferred from Townsville Hospital here he had been receiving treatment for cancer, he was staying with his daughter and her husband. They lived here on the mountain, at that time.
On the Tuesday, following his couple of days spent with me, Graham entered Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital. Six weeks later he passed away.
The last thing Graham as he was about to climb into his car to leave that night was...
“When all of this rot is over...when I get through this thing, I think I will find myself a little place at Tin Can Bay...and spend my time fishing and crabbing.”
Hiding my heartache, I smiled, and replied...”That sounds like a bloody good idea!”
I knew his dream would not come true.....
Like our mother, Graham loved to go fishing.