Tuesday, September 29, 2020


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.





  1. Crabs, prawns, scallops, clay for modelling, your childhood really was quite idyllic.

    1. At times it was, River...and they are the times I prefer to dwell on...to remember. :)

      Thanks for coming by. :)

  2. I love the thought of painting scenes on shells! What a wonderful hobby for child or adult. Your teacher, Mr. Enright sounds like one of the special ones. If we have even one teacher like him in our school years we are fortunate indeed. It is sad to hear about your brother Graham's passing. Cancer is such a heartbreaking disease. I lost my Mother and one of my brothers to cancer and I know well how it leaves scars for all involved.

    1. G'day, Bonnie...It was fun painting on the shells. I expect now that Mum and Nana got sick of the sight of them! lol

      Mr. Enright was a lovely man...a memorable man.

      Graham passed away far too young at the age of 56. I will always miss him. We may not have always agreed on everything...that is normal..who ever does...but we were brother and sister...and were always there for each other when the need arose...and even when it didn't.

      Take care...my best wishes to you and Tom...I hope all is well. Thanks for coming by. :)

  3. Your acrylic picture of Tin Can Bay is beautiful, Lee!
    It appears your primary school teacher, Doug Enright,was one of a kind teacher, and a fine person!
    Year 1998 was a tragic year for me too as I lost my only brother who died untimely during a trip abroad.

    1. I'm sad to hear about the loss of your only brother, too, DUTA. 1998 is a year that remains well-embedded in my mind, too...and not for happy reasons.

      Doug Enright was a gentleman of the first degree...an unforgettable person. We were fortunate to have him as a teacher...a patient, wise mentor.

      Thanks for your comment, and for coming by. :)

  4. Awww. How i wish, as i know you do, too, that he could have gone back there.

    1. Yes, messymimi...I wish my brother's dream had come true. He deserved to live his older years in a peaceful area...atmosphere...enjoying doing what he loved. Sadly, it was not to be.

      Thanks for coming...take good care. :)

  5. I expect your brother is up there fishing in Heaven having a great time looking down on you.
    Sounds like a nice man, the teacher. He had respect which is more than most teachers have these days.
    Like your painting, it is lovely as much patience as I have can't see myself painting, yet I admire paintings of others.
    Love scallops, used to get them off the rocks when a teenager take home wash and put tomato sauce all over them..
    Take care..

    1. Hey, Margaret. Did you really eat scallops that way? Wow! I've never tried them raw...oysters, yes, of course...but never scallops.

      I used always take Graham's bait, too...I'd always "bite", much to his amusement! :)

      I keep telling myself I should start painting and drawing again...one day soon I will listen and take heed! I bought new pencils and pads a few months ago...so that was a start!!

      Thanks for coming by. :)

  6. Oh gosh, what an emotional post. I loved Graham's I'll-keep-fighting attitude AND poor little thumb:(
    Take special care.

    1. Hi,Sandra. It was difficult for me to keep myself together when Graham said those words to me. I managed to do so until he'd driven out of my driveway, and onto the street.

      Thanks for coming by...take care :)

  7. I just love little fishing villages. We've been to a few on the coast of Maine. People there have a great respect for the land, the sea, the weather and eachother. Ouch! I could feel your pain getting whacked on the thumb. In this day and age, the teacher would have been pilloried on social media and probably out of a job. My daughter-in-law was called to task for using harsh words on a recalcitrant first-grader in her class. (She told him to "sit down").

    You really bring your characters to life. It's a credit to your memory and to those people so important to your life.

    1. Hi, Bob. A slower, less demanding lifestyle is conducive to happiness. :)

      Mr. Enright was an upright man, in character and and in physique. I think he was as shocked and distressed as I was, if not more, when he accidentally whacked my thumb.

      As you say, the way too many people are these days, he would have undeserved copped undue criticism etc., from those who, in their ignorance,enjoy beating their drum, spreading their unfounded opinions, without having the facts. It must be very difficult being a teacher nowadays with all the loud-mouthed "experts" around. Give your daughter-in-law a pat on the back for me. :)

      Take good care...best wishes to you and Wendy. Thanks for coming by. :)

  8. Every child should have at least one teacher in their school years like your Mr. Enright. I'll never forget the nun who influenced me the most and can name the teachers of my children who helped mould them into the lovely adults they became.
    As usual you get me thinking about things. Today it's the importance of our last words, we never know when an exchange with someone is the last we will be have. We are fast approaching the 14th anniversary of my sister's death, her last words to my brother were, "The jacarands will be out soon!" We loved jacarandas when we were kids and would sometimes walk the long way home from school to see an avenue of them near Nudgee Cemetery. And she was right, Brisbane was a riot of colour the day she was buried. Needless to say in my mind she seems more alive in my mind when I see a jacaranda. Take care, Lee.

    1. G'day, Pauline. Yes...Jacaranda season has begun here. Many trees fringe the road between where I live and our local supermarket. Every jacaranda season Gympie was alive with lilac blooms.

      I love jacarandas...they mean a lot to me, too. I understand how you must feel about them...and the loving memories they hold for you.

      I thinking last night about Mr. Enright...my writing about him rekindled memories. During my childhood...my school years...and beyond...I don't recall another teacher receiving the honour he did on his passing. He was a special man.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

  9. I think your acrylic picture of Tin Can Bay is very good.
    Reading your post and your comments, your brother passed away far too young ...


    All the best Jan

    1. Thanks, Jan re my painting.

      Yes...Graham was far too young. It all happened pretty quickly. He died from throat cancer..and he never...not once...smoked a cigarette in his life. Not once even when a teenager did he experiment with cigarettes. He was so anti-smoking from when he was a little boy. One just never knows...

      Thanks for coming by...take good care :)