Remarkable images…remarkable stories!

Every day is an opportunity to discover the remarkable content being digitised and shared through One Search, State Library’s catalogue.

While working on a recent project at State Library, which involved heritage leaders, cultural heritage officers and volunteer members of history societies, museums, RSL sub-branch members and libraries – all participating in the Q ANZAC 100 event over several days, I was reminded of this valuable resource and the collections that are even more remarkable because of their connection to place throughout Queensland.

I was reminded it was the new stories and conversations this material revealed, encouraging wider connections to the content at a local level and more globally.

Thank you everyone – especially our heritage leaders of regional Queensland for reminding us of the timeless quality these images represent. Following is a selection of remarkable digitised images showcasing communities in North Queensland. Each are likely to get a few tongues wagging! Starting with:-

Charters Towers

A school operetta performance by St Mary's College students, Charters Towers, ca. 1930.

A school operetta performance by St Mary’s College students, Charters Towers, ca. 1930.

Pictured from L-R: Peggy Tooher, Carmel Chaplain, Poppy Anning, Evelyn Simpson, Florence Anning, Marie Welsh. The performance was organised by Mother Bonaventure, the school principal, who taught music and elocution at the school. Image: John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Acc: 84-6-14.

Innisfail

Bananas being loaded onto open wagons for transport to Innisfail, ca. 1902.

Bananas being loaded onto open wagons for transport to Innisfail, ca. 1902.

The description supplied with the photograph tells us the bananas were being shipped to Geraldtown. Presumably several of the men loading the carts were of Chinese heritage.
Did you know the location was named after the sugar plantation pioneered by Thomas Henry Fitzgerald (1824- 1888), a sugar grower and politician in the area. Fitzgerald named the township Geraldtown from ca.1880 to 1910, but it was officially changed to Innisfail to avoid confusion with Geraldton in Western Australia. Information supplied from Queensland Place Names tells us Innisfail is the ancient poetic name for Ireland.

Atherton

Golfers at the links in Atherton, ca. 1925. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.

Golfers at the links in Atherton, ca. 1925. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.

The women photographed in this 1925 image are wearing cloche hats, and formal attire. Each has her own set of golf clubs, made up of a driver, one iron and a putter and is part of the Graham Jenkinson Collection of North Queensland Photographs.

Mareeba

Image number 6670-0001-0059 from the same collection tells us cotton was growing in the Mareeba district at one time.

Bales of cotton from W. Smallwood, Mareeba, 1922  John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.

Bales of cotton from W. Smallwood, Mareeba, 1922 John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.

Upon closer scrutiny, seven gentleman were photographed standing alongside the driver and his load. Was this a significant volume being delivered and who was R. Hamp, whose named was chalked on the side tray of the International truck?

Cairns

The image below typifies the pioneering spirit of North Queensland, with an interesting photograph of a landslide  and vehicle taken on the range road in Cairns. It is hard to tell if this image was taken on the Kuranda Range or the exposed coastal road travelling to Port Douglas, but a typical ‘wet season’ and metres of rain meant travel and transportation was arduous at times.

Landslide on the Cairns Range Road, ca. 1930. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. 6670 Graham Jenkinson Collection of North Queensland Photographs.

Landslide on the Cairns Range Road, ca. 1930. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.
6670 Graham Jenkinson Collection of North Queensland Photographs.

Anne Scheu

Distributed Collections Coordinator, State Library of Queensland