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Delpratt Family Function

On Monday 17th September members of the Delpratt Family joined State Library staff to celebrate the completion of digitization of the Maurice George Delpratt Collection.  This collection comprises the correspondence of Sergeant Maurice George Delpratt who was captured at Gallipoli and held as a prisoner of war in Turkey until the end of hostilities in 1918.  The moving and informative letters were written to his family who were from Tamborine in Queensland  The two hundred or so letters and postcards span a three and a half year period and vividly describe the conditions in the prison camp and later his journey to London after the end of the first World War.

Eleven members of the Delpratt Family, spanning three generations, attended the function and included Maurice George Delpratt’s three daughters; Professor Emeritus Janet Delpratt AM, who was instrumental in donating the collection, Mrs Catherine Hambling and Mrs Barbara Johnson.

Members of the Delpratt Family viewing items from the Maurice George Delpratt collection

Members of the Delpratt Family viewing items from the Maurice George Delpratt collection

Louise Denoon, Executive Manager of Queensland Memory, welcomed the family and thanked them for this highly significant donation, also paying tribute to the many State Library staff who had been involved in the accessioning of the material and the digitization process.  Professor Delpratt then gave a moving tribute to her father, remembering him as a humble man with a wonderful sense of humour who felt incredible guilt about being captured and therefore unable to serve his country.

Louise Denoon, Executive Manager Queensland Memory, welcoming family and staff to the event.

Louise Denoon, Executive Manager Queensland Memory, welcoming family and staff to the event.

Simon Farley, Manager of the Arts Portfolio, contextualized the collection by providing an overview of the World War I material held in the John Oxley Library.  This material includes nominal rolls, photographs, photographic albums and diaries, including the 2nd Light Horse Association Records 1914-1920 (OM77-14).  This collection comprises the diaries and journals of the Reverend George Green and includes information about Maurice George Delpratt’s brother, Bertram Barnard Delpratt, who fortunately also survived World War I and returned to the family.

Simon Farley presenting an overview of World War I material.

Simon Farley presenting an overview of World War I material.

Beautifully bound copies of the collection were presented to the family by State Librarian, Janette Wright, and a delicious morning tea was enjoyed by all.

State Librarian, Janette Wright, handing copies of the collection to the family.

State Librarian, Janette Wright, handing copies of the collection to the family.

Professor Emeritus Janet Delpratt AM receiving the copies of the collection on behalf of the family.Professor Delpratt and Louise Denoon, Executive Manager Queensland Memory.Professor Delpratt and Louise Denoon, Executive Manager Queensland Memory.

  
Professor Delpratt and Louise Denoon, Executive Manager Queensland Memory.

Professor Delpratt and Louise Denoon, Executive Manager Queensland Memory.

 
The Maurice George Delpratt Correspondence (Acc: 28115, Boxes 16808-16809 O/S A3) may be viewed at the John Oxley Library.  The digitized collection will shortly appear on our One Search catalogue.
 

Lynn Meyers – Original Materials Librarian, State Library of Queensland

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New Acquisition: Garland Family Personal Papers

Three generations of the Garland family

Three generations of the Garland family

A recent acquisition to the John Oxley Library is the personal papers and photographs of three generations of the Garland Family of Tarragindi who were a prominent Brisbane family.  The treasures were unearthed when the last surviving member of the family relocated to a nursing home.  Fortunately those clearing out the house recognized the significance of the material being uncovered and contacted State Library.

The collection includes the correspondence, papers and photographs of Canon David Garland (1864-1939).  Canon Garland was born in Ireland in 1864 before migrating with his family to New South Wales.  In 1889 he joined the Church of England ministry serving in Grafton and Perth.  In 1902 he became rector of Charters Towers before becoming rector of Ithaca in Brisbane.  He served in 1918-19 as a chaplain in the Middle East where he founded eight clubs for Australian troops.  He has also been described as the architect of Anzac Day, initiating many important aspects of the ceremony including the Anzac Day march, wreath- laying and the two minutes silence.

Canon David John Garland

Canon David John Garland

Canon Garland and his wife Mary had one child, a son named David James Garland, born in Perth in 1896.  David James was educated at Wellington College, New Zealand, and graduated from Sydney University with a Bachelor of Engineering in 1922.  In that same year he married Beatrice Florence Monteath and built the family home “Ripponlea” at 50 Tarragindi Road, Tarragindi.  The collection includes the original plans and specifications for the house as well as a real estate map of the original subdivision of the land.  During World War I David James Garland served with the Australian Wireless squadron in Mesopotamia and during WWII served with the Royal Australian Engineers at Australian Headquarters in Melbourne.

David James Garland during WWI

David James Garland during WWI

 

David James Garland during WWI

Photograph album kept by David James Garland in WWI

Photograph album kept by David James Garland in WWI

Beatrice Garland, wife of David James Garland

Beatrice Garland, wife of David James Garland

After World War I he joined the Main Roads Department of Queensland as an engineer rising steadily through the ranks until he reached the position of Chief Engineer in 1953 until his retirement in 1961.  From 1945-49 he was Foundation and Sub-Structure Engineer for the Burdekin River Bridge, visiting India in 1946 to investigate the problems associated with the erection of bridges over wide sandy river beds.  The collection includes his reports and correspondence from this time as well as photographs of bridge projects with which he was involved.  In 1962 he was awarded the M.B.E. for outstanding service to the State.  David James Garland died in 1970 after many years of ill health.

Logan River Bridge, ca. 1930s

Logan River Bridge, ca. 1930s

David James Garland and his wife Beatrice had one child, David Kelvin Garland, who was born in Brisbane in 1927.  He graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering from the University of Queensland in 1951 and worked for the Queensland Electricity Commission until his retirement in 1987.  David Kelvin never married, a fact lamented by his parents in several letters in the collection.

All of the family were great correspondents and their letters provide a rich picture of the social and political life of the times.  The Garland collection also includes photographs, certificates, reports, house plans and medals spanning the period 1893 to 1980 and vividly depicting the life of a Brisbane family over three generations.

Lynn Meyers – Original Materials Librarian, State Library of Queensland

 

 

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  1. So lovely to be reminded of Kelvin by seeing this entry on-line. Furthermore, it is significant that I knew the man and discussed his family history, often looking at these photographs. Along with these writings, journals and correspondence, Kelvin kept a significant collection of china sourced on his many travels around the world. He also fondly kept relics collected by his father And grandfather, including broken crockery fom roman times, rocks and relics from ancient lands including Egypt, and European countries. He was very proud of antique collectible s and wartime paraphernalia that had been passed onto him for safe keeping. He would be most impressed that part of his collection is now held in the library, to be cared for and shared for generations to come. His legacy for us all.

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New Acquisition: Maurice George Delpratt Correspondence, A Turkish Prisoner of War

The John Oxley Library has been fortunate to receive a significant and moving collection of World War I correspondence between Sergeant Maurice George Delpratt of the 5th Light Horse Regiment and his family from Tamborine in Queensland.  Delpratt was captured at Gallipoli and spent three and a half years as a prisoner of the Turks at Hadji-Kiri, near Belemedik in the Taurus Mountains.  He worked on the construction of tunnels for the Baghdad Railway.

The collection comprises about 200 letters and postcards, mainly written by Maurice George Delpratt to his elder sister Nell.

Maurice was born at Tamborine, Queensland, in 1888 and was one of the first pupils to attend the Southport School.  He became a teacher and housemaster at the school before he resigned in 1910 to take up pastoral pursuits in the west.  At the outbreak of World War I  he volunteered for the 5th Light Horse Regiment and embarked for Egypt on the 21st December 1914.  His mother, Ada, died while he was on his way to Egypt.

Postcard from M.G. Delpratt in Egypt to family, 20 May 1915, featuring a street view of Cairo.

Postcard from M.G. Delpratt in Egypt to family, 20 May 1915, featuring a street view of Cairo. Acc: 28115/1

Verso of postcard, 20 May 1915.  Acc: 28115/1

Verso of postcard, 20 May 1915. Acc: 28115/1

Delpratt fought at Gallipoli and finding himself on the wrong side of the enemy lines was taken prisoner on the 28th June 1915.  He was officially listed as missing in action and the family was informed of this status in July that year.  It was not until September that they received a letter from Maurice informing them of his capture.  He writes  “Here I am a prisoner of war, having failed in my mission and no longer able to serve my country, but in good health and looking forward to the day when the war ends and I can go home.  With the Australians it is considered a disgrace to be captured.  It was bad soldiering on my part to get within the enemy’s advanced lines, but I know you will understand it is not lack of courage makes a man do that”. (28115/7, copy of a document held by the Australian War Memorial)

Letter from Maurice's sister, Nell, to the family informing them that Maurice is missing in action, 22 July 1915 (Acc: 28115/9).  Note the black border on the letter.

Letter from Maurice's sister, Nell, to the family informing them that Maurice is missing in action, 22 July 1915 (Acc: 28115/9). Note the black border on the letter.

Maurice was released after the armistice of November 1918 and after a brief stay in England was repatriated to Australia on the 3rd July 1919.  He spent six years at Tamborine and later became involved in fruit growing in Palmwoods.  In 1928 he married Mary Esher Davies of Toowoomba and had three daughters.  He later worked at the Warwick Post Office and died in Warwick on the 8th March 1957.

The letters are both intimate and informative, providing a detailed account of life in the camp and the hardships the prisoners faced such as malaria and other diseases.  One always gets the impression, however, that he is putting a good face on things to save his family from anxiety and worry.

Letter from Maurice George Delpratt to his sister Nell, 29 September 1917.  Acc: 28115/71

Letter from Maurice George Delpratt to his sister Nell, 29 September 1917. Acc: 28115/71

Official photograph of the prisoners.  Maurice George Delpratt is seated, second from left. Received in Australia 28 February 1919.  Acc: 28115/121

Official photograph of the prisoners at the camp in Hadji-Kiri. Maurice George Delpratt is seated, third from left. Received in Australia 28 February 1919. Acc: 28115/121

Letter from Maurice in London to his sister Nell after his release, 19 December 1918. Acc: 28115/114

Letter from Maurice in London to his sister Nell after his release, 19 December 1918. Acc: 28115/114

Letter from Maurice in London to Nell, 19 December 1918, page 2.  Acc: 28115/114

Letter from Maurice in London to Nell, 19 December 1918, page 2. Acc: 28115/114

Letter from Maurice in London to Nell, 19 December 1918, page 3.  Acc: 28115/114

Letter from Maurice in London to Nell, 19 December 1918, page 3. Acc: 28115/114

The collection may be viewed at the John Oxley Library, Accession 28115,  Boxes 16808 O/S A3 – 16809 O/S A3.  The collection has also been digitized and will shortly appear on our catalogue.

Lynn Meyers – Original Materials Librarian, State Library of Queensland

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Hall and Dods Architectural Drawings: conservation and digitization

Robert Smith Dods (Robin) was born on 9th June 1868 in Dunedin, New Zealand. His family later returned to England and then migrated to Brisbane where Dod’s mother married Dr Charles Marks. Robin studied architecture in Edinburgh and later practiced in London before returning to Brisbane in 1896 where he set up in partnership with Francis Hall. His domestic work adopted many local techniques in wood but had a sophisticated discipline and a common-sense response to climate which were radically new.

 Proposed house at Auchenflower, for W Davies Esquire - Sheet No 4 [architectural drawing], 1904. Hall and Dods Architectural Drawings. State Library of Queensland

Proposed additional cold storage chambers Zillmere bacon factory [architectural drawing], Mar 1901. Hall and Dods Architectural Drawings. State Library of Queensland

In early 2010 the State Library of Queensland acquired 297 architectural drawings as part of the Hall and Dods Collection. The architectural drawings are dated from 1898 to 1984 and are a mixture of building projects, competition designs and tenders prepared by the company for commercial buildings, hospitals, public building, churches and private residences. Many of the plans were very fragile and required specialist treatment to conserve them which included digitization. The conservation team at State Library has recently completed conservation work on this valuable collection ensuring its preservation for future generations. These plans are now accessible to all via the State Library’s website , with a small amount approximately fifty, still in the process of being digitized.  Alternatively you can visit the State Library of Queensland and request these items at the reference desk on level 4 in the John Oxley Library reading room.

            Sketch plan of proposed offices at Cairns for AMP Society [architectural drawing], Nov 1907. Hall and Dods Architectural Drawings. State Library of Queensland

Janette Garrad – Library Technician, State Library of Queensland

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Symphonia Eluvium by Elena Kats-Chernin

In late 2010, commissioned by the Brisbane Festival 2011, acclaimed Australian composer Elena Kats-Chernin began a symphonic work for Brisbane. When the floodwaters engulfed the city in January 2011, Elena put aside the composition she had drafted thus far and started again.Elena Kats-Chernin

Symphonia Eluvium (Symphony of the Floods) is Elena’s response to the devastation and heartbreak of the 2011 Brisbane flood, but also to the community spirit and determination of the people who lived through it. In four movements, the choral symphony tells the story of that time, and according to its composer was inspired by ‘turbulence and noise, survival and loss, the mud army and resilience, optimism and moving on’. Lyrics include excerpts from the ‘We are Queenslanders’ speech given by then Premier Anna Bligh at the height of the flood.

In January 2012, Ms Kats-Chernin very kindly donated to State Library a selection of her manuscripts for Symphonia Eluvium. These handwritten and annotated typeset draftsshow the composer’s process as she refined and distilled her ideas, and translated her emotions and experiences into an evocative soundscape. Handwritten manuscript

Symphonia Eluvium (Symphony of the Floods) made its world premiere on September 2011 as part of the Brisbane Festival, performed by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, led by noted Israeli conductor Asher Fisch, and accompanied by the Brisbane Chorale and the Canticum Chamber Choir. This performance has also been heard on ABC Classic FM, and can be seen on ABC iview.

From 7 April to 19 August State Library ‘s exhibition Floodlines shares contemporary and historical memories of Queensland’s floods – making sense of the past and celebrating the spirit of recovery. Divided into two spaces, Floodlines: a living memory pays tribute to the resilience and community spirit of Queenslanders in the face of devastasting natural disasters of the summer of 2010-11, and Floodlines: 19th century Brisbane tells stories of survival, loss and recovery from floods past. 

The selection of Symphonia Eluvium manuscripts can be viewed in display cases in the John Oxley Library on Level 4. 

Typeset annotated manuscript

Robyn Hamilton – Queensland Music Coordinator

 

 

 

 

Looking back at the Ekka

Since the first Exhibition of 1876 held at Bowen Park with an estimated attendance of 15,000-17,000 when Brisbane’s total non indigenous population was only 27,000,  Brisbane’s RNA Exhibition has been an annual event.  Initially a grand affair, with men attending in their suits and ladies in their finest garments, food was served on long tables and the first show bag was not full of chocolate or chips but was a free bag of coal.

At the 1911 Brisbane Coronation Exhibition the 36th annual show, which ran from the 7 – 12 August there were 42 display sections.  Attendance for the principal day, Wednesday, was estimated at 54,000 although there was some skepticism as to the accuracy of the final numbers.  On people’s day, footpaths were black with pedestrians, all good-naturedly elbowing their way along. The Women’s Christian Temperance Union had the catering rights for meals.   The show was opened by the Queensland Governor Sir William MacGregor who declared it “one of the most important national institutions in the corporate life of our great and progressive country”.

Milling crowds at the Brisbane Exhibition, August 1935 - John Oxley Library Image number 121272  Edward, Prince of Wales, at the Brisbane show, July 1920 - John Oxley Library image number 203784  National Exhibition at the Show Grounds Brisbane - John Oxley Library Image number 67420 Children enjoying a ride on the miniature railway at the Brisbane Ekka in 1948 - John Oxley Library image number 74901

Visitors came from all over Australia and included the Governor of South Australia, Sir Day Bosanquet and his wife.   On one day, 800 excursionists travelled from Tweed Heads to Brisbane on a special train and reportedly anyone who hadn’t planned ahead had trouble getting accommodation in the city.    In celebration during the festival, the principal streets of Brisbane were decorated with flags and businesses decorated their shop windows.  The Richmond Examiner said “one cannot help but be impressed with the magnificent exhibits and the diversity of climate.  Taken all through, the show is a splendid advertisement for the state”.

Horse team in action at the Exhibition Ground, RNA Show Brisbane, 1925 - John Oxley Library Image Number 48616  Children admiring a prize winning horse at the Ekka, Brisbane, ca. 1906 - John Oxley Library image number 147707 an image of a pencil drawing by William Robinson, 2007. John Oxley Library Image 8149-4v000r001

As well as being a great exhibition of all things Queensland, competition is an integral part of the show.  According to the book Showtime “the opportunity to vie for prizes and the precision of the regulations that govern competition have been constant feature”. P31.  Now advertised as Queensland’s premier competition judging event, the Royal Queensland Show, now receives around 24,000 entries across 20 major categories each year.

The RNA recruits nationally and internationally recognised experts for each competition area to ensure the highest standard of judging.   Some exhibits have been around since the very first exhibition.  The first sheepdog trials were held in 1889 and the wood chop dates from 1899. Some competitions have enviable prizes such as the Quilts across Queensland competition with a prize pool of $14,000.  There is a constant revision of the exhibition schedules.

Exhibit to promote the sisal and hemp production industry in Queensland, 1907 - John Oxley Library image numer 257530  State Farm disply at the Exhibition, Brisbane, 1912 - John Oxley Library image number 254930  Illustrated front cover from The Queenslander, August 22, 1935 - John Oxley Library image number 505749

State Library of Queensland has some significant Exhibition Records including Royal National Agricultural and Industrial Association Records 1875-1948, Prize schedules for various years, ring programmes, art exhibition catalogues, OM74-23 National Agricultural and Industrial Association of Queensland Records 1909, various posters including 10 days in August : memories of the Ekka, How to win at the Ekka : Queensland College of Art, Department of Education Stand, The Frank Nicklin Pavilion and a range of illustrated newspaper front pages especially of Queenslander, hundreds of photographs including API-44 Brisbane Show Photograph Album 1912, ephemera items including advertisements and badges, also  Arthur J Hingston Cartoons 1899-1910.

Browse Ekka materials in One Search, the library catalogue

A set of photographs of the Ekka from times past is also available on Flickr Commons

The Ekka website has been archived by the State Library for a number of years. You can view the site over time on PANDORA, the web archive.

SLQ’s new digital volunteer program Pitch In! is looking for volunteers to contribute their own memories of the Ekka to Historypin. You don’t have to have been at the Ekka in 1940s to get involved, we’re looking for stories young and old. Any stories relating to the iconic images are welcomed. Explore the Ekka images on Historypin via the map. Click on the image and contribute your own story in the comments section.

Karen Hind – Librarian, State Library of Queensland