Queenslanders celebrate NYE, 1934

Illustrated front cover from The Queenslander, December 27, 1934

Illustrated front cover from The Queenslander, December 27, 1934

On the evening of December 31, 1934, partygoers across the state prepared to celebrate the coming of the new year, as illustrated in The Queenslander newspaper (above). As with most years, 1934 had its high and low moments on the domestic scene and overseas. In March, 75 lives were lost when a cyclone crossed the coast north of Port Douglas in the state’s far north. In Europe, a storm was brewing that would eventually lead to a world war, with Adolf Hitler becoming Fuhrer of Germany after the death of President Paul von Hindenburg.

On New Year’s Eve in outback Longreach, an all-night ball was held at the shire hall with more than 600 people in attendance. Dancing and music supplied by Pope and Carter’s orchestra kept the crowd entertained until the event finally wrapped up at 5.15am.

In Thargomindah in the state’s south-west, the new year was welcomed with fireworks and the clattering of tin cans – "enough to wake the dead", the Charleville Times reported. A group of young revellers decided to create more noise by ringing the bell at the shire hall.

Unfortunately, they rang it so vigorously the bell and its entire stand collapsed.

In the inner-northern Brisbane suburb of New Farm, members and guests played bowls under electric lights until 10pm, followed by a buffet supper and dancing. Around 1.30am, revellers in south-east Queensland were fortunate enough to experience some celestial fireworks. "A large meteor … [blazed] a brilliant trail across the heavens, leaving a glare in its wake which lingered for some seconds on the velvet background of the night", reported The Courier-Mail.

Myles Sinnamon – Project Coordinator, State Library of Queensland

80th anniversary – First women’s international cricket test match was played in Brisbane

Souvenir and official programme of the visit of the English Women Cricketers to Queensland 1934-35

Souvenir and official programme of the visit of the English Women Cricketers to Queensland 1934-35

On 28 December, 1934, Queensland hosted the very first women’s international cricket test match. This historic match, Australia vs England, was played at the Brisbane Exhibition Grounds over three days.

From their arrival by the Kyogle train on 20 December until they left on 1 January, the English team had a busy schedule, conducting radio interviews, a reception at the Town Hall and a dinner at the Belle-Vue Hotel. The team did have some free time to explore, including a specially arranged visit to Southport.

Visitors Itinerary from the souvenir programme

Visitors Itinerary from the souvenir programme

Visit to Southport by the English Women's Cricket Team - Courier Mail, 20 December 1934, p.16

Visit to Southport by the English Women's Cricket Team

A warm-up match between England and Queensland was played at the Brisbane Exhibition Grounds on 22 and 24 December. The visitors thrashed the locals by an innings and 41 runs.

Queensland women's cricket team, December 1934 - Sunday Mail, 16 December 1934, p.5

Queensland women's cricket team, December 1934

On 28 December, over three thousand curious spectators turned out on the first day of the test match. Australia batted first and were bowled out for 47 runs off 49.3 overs, with a very slow run rate of 0.94 runs per over. The Aussie side struggled against some of the English bowling attack and at one point there were 11 consecutive maiden overs. England followed with 154 runs, scoring slightly faster at 2.10 runs per over.

The Aussies fared slightly better in their second innings with a total of 138, leaving the visitors to chase 34 runs for victory. The England team easily compiled the necessary runs with 9 wickets to spare.

The State Library of Queensland is very fortunate to hold a souvenir and official program for the English cricket team’s visit to Queensland. The start of the program contains a welcome from the President of the Queensland Women’s Cricket Association, stating that although the Queensland association was not “strong numerically” and in its “infancy”, that their “enthusiasm [is] keen and sincere”. Within the program is an article titled “Women in sport”, which highlights the rights of women to compete in previously male dominated sports – “…the entry of women into cricket is but another instance of the modern girl’s challenge to the supremacy of the male”.

Two members of the English cricket team - taken from the souvenir programme

Two members of the English cricket team

The program also provides an overview and profile of each English player. For instance, J. Lidert – according to her brief bio- “May be called the Bohemian of the party, as she is an art student in London. When not wielding the brush or holding the palette she wields a flashing bat and is a useful change bowler.”

England eventually wrapped up the 1934/5 test series against Australia 2 nil. In a Sunday Mail interview with the England captain, Dot Waldron, she commented on Australia’s attitude towards the game of cricket – “Our aim is to play the game for the game’s sake, and give our opponents a good game. The trouble with Australians as a whole, is that you take the game too seriously”.

Kath Smith - Sunday Mail, 2 December 1934, p.9

Kath Smith - vice-captain and Queenslander

The Australian team featured one Queenslander, Kath Smith. Smith was the vice-captain and an all-rounder. Kath Smith top scored in the first innings with 25 runs. She was the only Australian player to reach double figures in that innings. In the second innings Smith scored 12 runs. Smith went on to play 6 tests in her career with a batting average of just under 28. She also has taken 13 wickets at an average of 31. Kath Smith continues to be a source of inspiration for Women’s Grade Cricket with the Kath Smith Medal awarded annually to the best and fairest women’s cricketer of the season in first grade cricket.

Myles Sinnamon – Project Coordinator, State Library of Queensland

Queensland Government Steam Yacht Lucinda

Guest blogger: Jo Seccombe – Senior Reference Archivist, Queensland State Archives

150 years ago this month, the QGSY Lucinda steamed from Dumbarton, Scotland bound ultimately for Queensland. This extract from the Chief Engineer’s log records an estimated 80 tons of coal on board for the journey on 30 December 1884.

Extract from the logbook of the Queensland Government Steam Yacht Lucinda kept by the Chief Engineer on a voyage from Dumbarton towards Brisbane, 30 December 1884 - 2 January 1885. Queensland State Archives Digital Image ID 2788

Extract from the logbook of the Queensland Government Steam Yacht Lucinda kept by the Chief Engineer on a voyage from Dumbarton towards Brisbane, 30 December 1884 - 2 January 1885. Queensland State Archives Digital Image ID 2788

The QGSY Lucinda arrived in Brisbane on 7 May 1885. Named for Lady Jeannie Lucinda Musgrave, the second wife of the then Governor Sir Anthony Musgrave, the QGSY Lucinda was built for government business. A sad duty was when she helped to rescue passengers from the Pearl ferry disaster on the Brisbane River in 1896. A highlight of her service was accommodating the Constitution Committee during the drafting of the Australian Constitution, as documented in the caption of this photograph.

Queensland Government yacht Lucinda, Brisbane River. Queensland State Archives Digital Image ID 8326

Queensland Government yacht Lucinda, Brisbane River. Queensland State Archives Digital Image ID 8326

Read more about the officers who served on the QGSY Lucinda in the Register of public servants and the Queensland blue books held at Queensland State Archives. More detail about the voyages of the QGSY Lucinda can be found in the Log Books of QGSY Lucinda.

Podcast: The Medical Front (A night in the JOL)

Medicos from Queensland played significant roles during the First World War. The John Oxley Library features holdings such as the Marks Family Papers, which include the letters and photographs of three brothers who served as doctors throughout the bloody conflicts of Gallipoli and the Western Front.

Captain A.G. Butler from Kilcoy, Regimental Medical Officer with the 9th Battalion was aboard one of the first boats ashore at Anzac Cove. He would go on to write the official account of Australian Army Medical Services in the War of 1914–1918.

Listen to distinguished army medical officers and historians Professor John Pearn AO, RFD and Dr Robert Likeman CSM in discussion with ABC Radio National broadcaster Ian Townsend.

Recorded on 21 Ocfober 2014, State Library of Queensland, South Bank.

Queensland Places – Normanton – Normanton State School

The history of the Normanton State School began with a public meeting of local residents on 14 February 1879, called to promote the establishment of a school for the area. Government approval was eventually given, subject to the local community providing a fifth of the total cost to construct the school buildings.

After some delays and difficulties in raising the funds required, the goal was reached, land was allocated and construction commenced. The school was opened on 28 August 1882, with an initial enrolment of twenty-eight students. The first head teacher was Mr. John McKeague. Reflecting the area’s growth during the 1880s, the school grew quickly, with enrolments rising to around 160 students by 1890.

The original school building remained in use until 1965, when it was replaced by a number of new school buildings. Unlike other schools in the surrounding mining districts, Normanton State School has remained open almost continuously since 1882. The only exceptions are three short closures for specific reasons beyond the school’s control. The first of these short closures was in April 1897, as a consequence of an outbreak of dengue fever. The second closure was from January to March 1942, as the result of war precautions. The third of these short closures was in 1974, as a result of severe flooding.

The Normanton School has generally grown and prospered during its more than 140 years of operation, with students and teacher numbers continuing to grow. In 1976, a secondary school was added with Mrs. Annette Peach being the first secondary teacher appointed.

Normanton State School - Residence, ca. 1900, State Library of Queensland Neg. No. 89135

Normanton State School - Residence, ca. 1900

This image, dating to around 1900, shows the Normanton State School residence. We can speculate that the children standing on the veranda are family members of the teacher as well as students of the school. By the time this photograph was taken, the school was well established. The pride in the school and its appearance can be seen through this well cared for residence, with its neat appearance enhanced by flowering vines along the veranda rails.

Brian Randall, Queensland Places Coordinator, State Library of Queensland

Accession 6341: Dr Wilhelm Lorenz Rechnitz Papers, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Reverend Dr. Wilhelm Rechnitz, 1930 (Image number 6341-0001-0001)

In 2006 the State Library of Queensland received an extensive collection of correspondence, personal papers, photographs and scholarly articles of Dr Wilhelm Rechnitz (1899-1979).
Wilhelm Lorenz Rechnitz was a German citizen born in Cottbus, southeast of Berlin, on 24 October 1899. In the mid 1930s he was living in England, working as a teacher and a private tutor.

In 1940 Rechnitz was deported to Australia on HMT Dunera and imprisoned at Tatura Internment Camp in Victoria. After his release, he lived in Melbourne and in the Torres Strait. On 28 March 1954 Rechnitz was ordained as an Anglican priest. Until his retirement in 1973, he worked as a priest for the Diocese of Carpentaria.

A linguist by training, Rechnitz worked for many years on translations of The Church of England services and of sections of the Bible into the Meriam language (a Papuan language spoken by the people on the Torres Strait Islands of Erub, Ugar and Mer). Many letters in this accession are from various publishing houses responding to Rechnitz’s requests to have his articles and books published.

In the early 1970s Wilhelm Rechnitz retired to Brisbane, where he died in 1979.

I have started listing and describing the collection, beginning with Rechnitz’s correspondence. A prolific writer of letters, Rechnitz kept in touch throughout his life with many relatives, friends and acquaintances in England, Germany and The United States.

Accession 6341, Series 1: Correspondence

Accession 6341, Series 1: Correspondence


Accession 6341, Series 1: Correspondence


Accession 6341, Series 1: Correspondence

Several letters are about the loss of Rechnitz’s book collection. Before his forced departure for Australia, Rechnitz left his books in the care of Reverend P. Wilton Vale. The books were stored in Vale’s church in London and were destroyed when the church was hit by a bomb.

Accession 6341, Series 1: Correspondence

A friend, Fred Robinson, writes often from England and Germany. In a letter from 1964, he describes his shock at seeing Berlin again after the war. Some parts of the city had simply disappeared in the bombing raids. In another letter, sent from London, Robinson writes about his visits to the theatre and ballet performances, expressing his lack of enthusiasm for Rudolf Nurejev. In a letter sent in 1966, Robinson writes about being bored by the current theatre productions of plays by Chekhov and Turgenev, despite the fact that Ingrid Bergman, John Gielgud and Michael Redgrave had parts in them.

Another friend, John Egles, a teacher, writes from England in 1962 about exhibitions and theatre performances. He mentions an exhibition of Oscar Kokoschka’s paintings and a performance of Ibsen’s Peer Gynt.

Series 1 of this accession, Correspondence, contains many letters from publishing houses, German and Australian, discussing manuscripts sent by Rechnitz to be considered for publication.

There are several letters in the collection from a young woman, Gisela, whom Rechintz met through his friend Joseph Moffett in London before World War II. These were sent in 1943 and 1944. Gisela repeatedly asks Rechnitz if he has any plans to travel to Europe. In one letter Gisela asks Rechnitz what makes him believe in God.


John A. Moses and Wilhelm Lorenz Rechnitz, Wilhelm Lorenz Rechnitz: altphilologe und priester: schriften (St Lucia, Qld: Broughton Press, 1992)

“A lost plea (a curiosity from the archives),” Tom Wrobel, accessed on 10 November, 2014, http://dmlbs.wordpress.com/tag/wilhelm-lorenz-rechnitz/

Veronika Farley, Archivist, Queensland Memory, State Library of Queensland

Paula Stafford, Henry Talbot and Spike Milligan

Guest bloggers: Nadia Buick and Madeleine King from The Fashion Archives

Paula Stafford—the Gold Coast fashion designer responsible for introducing the bikini to our beaches in the mid 20th century, and putting Queensland fashion on a global stage—was an impressive record keeper, with seemingly every new business venture, every new ad campaign, and every new swimsuit documented extensively. It’s a wonderful collection, but the scale is overwhelming! As we tackle box after box of archival documents and photos, we wonder if we’ll ever get closer to making a new discovery. Such was our state of mind when we pulled out the fifth box of photos for the day. We’d seen so many of the images before—some we’d sifted through previously, some the library have already digitized and catalogued online, and others were doubles. We’d already given up hope as we flicked through the final photo album in the last box of the day. Page after page returned what we’d seen before. Until of course, we flipped to the very last page, and turned over a photograph that had been slipped in loose. Just at a glance we could spot it wasn’t quite like the others. It didn’t feature the shop, or the Gold Coast locations that set the scene of the other Paula Stafford fashion shoots we’d encountered. No, this was quite different: a clean white studio environment. The models didn’t look like the bronzed girl-next-door types and rugged hairy-chested brutes Stafford seemed to favour for her shoots. They looked somehow more urbane, a pale London look. And actually, the male model didn’t look like a model at all. He looked like… Spike Milligan.

Photograph of Spike Milligan and model from Courier Mail

The photograph as it appeared in the Courier Mail

It’s a cliché of research that new discoveries are made once all hope is lost, the pursuit goes cold and then some unassuming scrap of evidence appears at the 11th hour. It’s just that it’s a cliché that rings true more often than not. Therefore, it’s a cliché that tortures researchers into sustaining a seemingly fruitless mission.

But back to the photograph: we flip it over for more clues. A hand-written caption reads, ‘Spike Milligan ‘Goons!’ fame with model wearing Paula Stafford outfit (reversible)’. A printed stamp on the back reads, ‘Helmut Newton & Henry Talbot Photographers. 578 Bourke Street’.

Spike Milligan and model reverse, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

An international photography studio, an international comedy star, and Paula Stafford. What lead to this strange constellation in Australia at this time?

We know that the German born photographers Helmut Newton and Henry Talbot had immigrated to Melbourne during World War II. They were sustained here by fashion publishing based predominately in Sydney. Their time in Australia was hugely influential. They produced a vast amount of photographs, and were not always credited, making it sometimes difficult to identify their work.

A quick search on Trove led us to discover that Spike Milligan was in Australia for a number of months in 1962, filming a comedy series for the ABC. But what was he doing in a fashion shoot?

We started looking for other shoots by Newton or Talbot, using Australian fashion, or models, or even featuring Spike Milligan. We knew Helmut Newton had left Australia for Paris in 1961, but his partner Henry Talbot continued to use the studio name. The photo was undated, but based on the styling and our knowledge of Paula Stafford’s work from this time, it looked like the early 1960s. We began searching for more Henry Talbot fashion photographs, and discovered some in the Powerhouse Museum collection for a campaign called ‘Everglaze’ (the product name of an American engineered cotton used by fashion designers all over the world). We located other photos from this campaign held by photographic dealers, featuring the same model, Kaia Stanford, seen in our photo with Spike Milligan. These credit the photograph as ‘Henry Talbot for Everglaze, 1962’.

Armed now with a date and a few keywords, we went looking for coverage in local newspapers. The Paula Stafford collection contains hundreds of newspaper clippings, so we figured it was likely she had kept a memento of this shoot with a significant photographer and an international comedy star. After a lot of digging, we discovered a partial clipping from The Courier Mail in 1962, featuring the photoshoot with Kaia Stanford and Spike Milligan. Unfortunately it was torn, but with access to the library’s microfilm collection, we were able to find the full-page feature.

Courier Mail November 28 1962 page 20

Courier Mail November 28 1962

Under the headline, “Spike the Goon Clown Shows How Fashions Can be Fun” (November 28, 1962), the piece features a collection of ‘leading Australian sportswear designers’, namely Paula Stafford, Kenneth Pirrie, Prestige, and Sports du Jour. The real focus of the piece, however, is the models that were in town for a major event on the Australian fashion calendar: the ‘All-Australian Fashion Parade’.

This was no ordinary fashion parade. It was an extraordinarily ambitious charity event presented by the Australian Women’s Weekly and the Myer Emporium featuring only the work of Australian designers. It toured from Sydney to Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide. It ran for two months over the 4 capitals, and in each city offered a staggering two parades a day over a week or two, some with multiple evening parades.  In Brisbane, it was held at upscale hotel, Lennon’s, with considerable fanfare.

Courier Mail 17 August 1962 page 3

Courier Mail 17 August 1962

Along with Kaia Stanford, the Courier Mail spread features London model Jill Stinchcombe as a second foil to Spike Milligan’s comic antics. With her exciting mod hair-cut and ‘It Girl’ aura, Stinchcombe was a high-profile international addition to the All-Australian Parade line-up. The visiting models were followed intently by Australian press, with regular appearances in advertising campaigns and interviews for newspapers, magazines and television in the months surrounding the event. Everyone wanted to know what they ate, what they cooked, what make-up products they favoured, and what they did in their spare time.

Courier Mail 20 August 1962 page 14

Courier Mail 20 August 1962

There’s no mention of Everglaze in the Courier Mail piece—they’re referred to mysteriously as a ‘Swiss Fashion Group’—but it’s not unusual for fashion shoots to become separated from their original commercial purpose in the media, especially when celebrity subjects provide adequate newsworthiness.

Stafford’s garment is given prominence in the piece. It’s a coat featuring a geometric bamboo design—Everglaze cotton, of course—and a mandarin collar to complete the ‘oriental’ look. It’s cut at the front and sides from the hem to the waist to reveal a pair of orange Bermuda shorts beneath. The open sleeve cuff shows off an unmistakable trademark of Paula Stafford designs: it’s reversible, to be worn with the bold print or turned inside-out for a plainer look.

Paula Stafford’s position as an international trailblazer has been well established, but images like these remind us just how successful she was. This shoot demonstrates that in her second decade of trade, she was able to maintain an edgy, risqué image when the youthfulness and change of 1960s fashion saw many other designers of her generation left behind.

More on Paula Stafford at The Fashion Archives

The Suburb of Daisy Hill, Brisbane


Daisy Hill, looking towards Loganlea and Waterford, 1831

Daisy Hill, a suburb of Logan City, is situated 22 km south-east of the centre of Brisbane.

The Dennis family were the first European settlers in Daisy Hill. They arrived in Australia from Cornwall on the ‘Flying Cloud’ in 1864. James Dennis married Mary Ann Markwell, whose family came to Australia on the ship ‘Chaseley’ in 1849.

James and Mary Ann Dennis


The couple settled in Daisy Hill in 1870, having married in 1867. Mary Ann was born in Brisbane and died on 22 August at Daisy Hill. James Dennis was born at ‘Rosevin Cottage’, Penzance, in Cornwall on 7 June 1842. He died on 10 October 1893 at Dennisvale, the family property at Daisy Hill and was burried in the family cemetery, on the edge of Daisy Hill State Forest.


Dennisvale, James and Mary Ann Dennis' family house (built in 1890)


Dennis family cemetery, Daisy Hill State Forest

The forest known today as Daisy Hill State Forest was in a sorry state in 1903: ‘Daisy Hill did not always look so good. When the first forester inspected the forest  in 1903, he found that white settlers had devastated the area by indiscriminate timber removal’ (Courrier Mail, 14 September, 1996, p. 3).

An oral history collection at the John Oxley Library (Accession OH50) contains interviews with Florence Ellen Hampson and Charles Glen Shailer, whose families lived in the area that is now Daisy Hill State Forest: ‘Timber was used for building houses, girders for bridges and sleepers for tram and railway lines. Many of the sleepers for the tramways in Brisbane came from Daisy Hill State Forest in the early days. Timber was also used for electric light poles, house stumps, fence palings, shingles, boat keels, wood for boilers, wood for household stoves and for use in the jails.’ (Charles Glen Shailer, OH50, Item 2).

Mr Shailer’s great grandfather arrived in 1866 and his family has lived in the area ever since. He talks about the animals in the forest and Aboriginal people’s use of  the forest: ‘Yes, there were some Aboriginal people in both my father’s time and my time, but they lived under very different circumstances. My maternal grandmother spoke of Aboriginals burning the flat and part of where the rifle range was later built. The reason for the burn was to attract the wallabies to green grass shoots. On another occasion my aunt Sally Dennis told me that late one day a party of Aboriginals visited the homestead and grandfather gave them a bag of sweet potatoes. They made a fire and sat in a ring around the fire until the potatoes were cooked.’

In 2003 Mary Howells interviewed Florence Ellen (Poppy) Hampson for Logan City Council Oral History Project. Poppy Hampson was the daughter of Joseph and Lily Dennis. Joseph Dennis was the youngest son of James and Mary Ann Dennis.

Poppy Hampson talks about her childhood at Daisy Hill. Her father grew fruit and vegetables—papaws, pineapples and bananas, peas, beans and tomatoes.  The family also had a mango plantation. They used to sell mangoes to State Jams at Woolloongabba. As there were no grocery shops in Slacks Creek or Daisy Hill, Poppy’s father had to go to Beenleigh to buy food. The family had seven or eight cows at one time, cats and dogs as pats, and even a pet snake that would crawl amongst the papaws when they were being packed for the market.

Mrs Hampson went to Slacks Creek School as a child in the 1930s and she remembers her teachers—Miss Roberts, Miss Carmody and especially Mr Wilkes: ‘He’d scream and yell and he wouldn’t be short of using the cane, but a wonderful teacher’ (OH116-38, Box 9702, John Oxley Library).

Daisy Hill State Forest is a place of significant historic, scientific and natural value. The authors of Cultural heritage study of Daisy Hill State Forest Park : a report for the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage have listed cultural heritage places within the forest, including: Wrights Water Hole, Dennis Family Burial Ground and early snigging tracks, created by hauling timber from the forest in the early days of logging at Daisy Hill.


Resources about Daisy Hill, John Oxley Library

OH 50: Daisy Hill State Forest Oral History (Box 14304), John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

OH 116: Logan City Council Libraries Oral History Project (Boxes 9701 and 9702), John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Newspaper clippings, John Oxley Library: Logan-Suburbs-Daisy Hill

Photographs, John Oxley Library: Logan City-Suburbs-Daisy Hill

Anderson, Judith; et al. (1995), Cultural heritage study of Daisy Hill State Forest Park : a report for the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage


Veronika Farley, Archivist, Queensland Memory, State Library of Queensland

Queensland Places – Shipping via Torres Strait – The Queensland Line

As Queensland continued to develop through the last quarter of the nineteenth century, there was a growing need for efficient and regular access, via shipping, to overseas markets. In 1880, as a means of ensuring stable and regular shipping to Queensland, the government entered into an agreement with the British-India Steam Navigation Company for a Torres Strait route. This contract was initially described as a mail contract but quickly developed into a comprehensive shipping service.

The initial term of the agreement was eight years and the terminus of this so called “Queensland Line” was to be Brisbane. A number of terms and conditions were negotiated by the Queensland government, as part of this service, including “Queensland Line” ships not being permitted to sail south of Brisbane without the sanction of the government. As well, there was a series of ports of call stipulated in both directions along the route. These ports of call included the Queensland ports Keppel Bay, Bowen, Townsville, Cooktown and Thursday Island. Overseas ports stipulated were Batavia or Singapore, Colombo, Aden, Port Said, Naples, London and other English ports. The “Queensland Line” was initially established as a four-weekly service.

In addition to the carrying of general cargo, the “Queensland Line” ships brought many immigrants to Queensland, with the service being continued successfully up until the years following the First World War. The “Queensland Line” provided a range of benefits for Queensland. The commercial interests of central and northern Queensland were safe guarded by this reliable and effective shipping service. As well, the service enabled migrants to make their way to Queensland by the shortest route and avoid the long voyage via the southern Australian ports.

Over time, the British-India Steam Navigation Company went through a complex history of company amalgamation, eventually becoming part of the P & O Group.

Duke of Portland, State Library of Queensland Neg. No. 54208

Duke of Portland

This image shows one of the Queensland Line ships, the Duke of Portland at anchor in Brisbane in around 1900.

Brian Randall, Queensland Places Coordinator, State Library of Queensland.

Accession M 1750: Jules Guerassimoff Cutting Books

Accession M 1750

This interesting accession contains two large scrapbooks with press cuttings and photographs about Jules Guerassimoff’s rugby career with the Wallabies, including newspaper articles about tours to South Africa (1963), New Zealand (1964), England, France and Canada (1966-1967).

Accession M 1750

Accession M 1750

Guerassimoff was born in Thangoll, central Queensland, on 28 June 1940. His grandparents were Russians who left Siberia in the late 1920s with false papers, reaching Australia after travelling through Japan, Canada and China.

Jules Guerassimoff, Accession M 1750

Accession M 1750

Accession M 1750

Jules Guerassimoff played interstate rugby during the 1960s and international rugby with the Wallabies in the 1960s and 1970s. His Wallaby number was 490 and his position flanker. He played 12 tests for the Wallabies.

Interestingly, most players received no pay during the tour to South Africa: ‘Most of the Wallabies have made a big financial sacrifice to come on the present tour. Only three of them are receiving full pay from their employers during an absence of more than three months, some are on half pay and a number of others, including two schoolteachers and 12 students, will be heavily out of pocket. (by A. C. Parker)

Accession M 1750

In one of the newpspaper articles in this accession, entitled ‘Jules changed mind’, we learn that Guerassimoff had no particular interest in playing rugby union (he played rugby league at school), until he won a State reserve jersey against France at the end of the 1961 season. That year, aged 22, he was included in the Queensland team going on a tour to New Zealand: ‘After four tough matches on that tour he was ready to face the Australian selectors in a tough series of trials in Sydney.’

After Australia defeated South Africa in the Second test (9-5), Guerassimoff’s teammate Greg Davis said: ‘I could not have played nearly as well without Jules. He was tremendous. I knew that if I went for a man or the ball and missed, Jules would be there to succeed.’


“2013 CLASSIC WALLABIES STATESMEN BIOS”, accessed on 10 November, 2014,


Veronika Farley, Archivist, Queensland Memory, State Library of Queensland