July Newsletter



Welcome to New Member

Laureen Jones







Whitsunday Lone Graves

Includes name, date, reg No, place, remarks, parents, age, how died

DVD – $15 incl postage


Whitsunday Pioneer Register Pre 1920

Book 1 – $15 per copy incl postage

Book 2 – $30 per copy incl postage


Proserpine Cemetery Photographs of Graves and MIs to 2007

DVD –      $40 incl postage



Whitsunday Family History Group is in the process of compiling the names and details of the men and women, from the Proserpine and Whitsunday area, who enlisted and volunteered for World War II.

The information we are seeking is for anyone who was born, lived or worked in this area prior to WWII, or in the years following, as they all had a contribution to the area.

We need people to contact us with names and details of anyone in their families who can be included.

Their war records can be accessed on National Archives of Australia.  Some of the files are opened.  For the names that have not yet been opened, we are endeavouring to gain access for them.  Please contact us if anyone has any information regarding these people.





Continued from March

Lois Ross-Soden has loaned us a collection of letters sent to her grandfather, Alfred Ross-Soden, and to their Mother, during WWI, by his brothers.  Alfred  had tried to enlist but initially was too short to be accepted.

            John (Jack)       –           a doctor           –           Field Ambulance

Henry (Harry)  –           a solicitor        –           Machine Gun Corps

Gordon            –           a farmer          –           British Airforce




Sept 7th 16

Dear Alf

                        It’s no good me telling you that I haven’t been writing lately for I haven’t had the opportunity.  I have been at the above place for the last month and am now, through hard work and brains, going to be made “Wing Instructor of Aerial Gunning”, which means that first of all I am to be promoted to Capt, in command of a flight, secondly I fly from one squadron to another and see that proper instruction in gunning is given and dodge over to the front and pick up new ideas from gunners and start them going in England, so you see it’s not a bad job and although I have worked damned hard I have got the end in sight.  I’m damned sorry to hear your shoulder is so bad.  H wrote and told me about it.

Well I’ve got the best dose I ever hope to have and from a skilled lady.  I have been under canvas for a long time now and writing is a bugger when I start for I have to get off so many.

It was a grand sight the other night seeing the Zspp brought down.  I happened to be in London that night and saw the whole affair,  you could see to read 10 miles away by the light.

I was only going to be on this course for about 3 weeks but a little while ago the General came and asked me if I would take on wing instructing as I had got such a good report and seemed especially adapted to it and when he told me what it meant I said “not arf”.  And between you and me, I’m not over keen to go over the lines much for nearly all who do soon come back with shattered nerves, so can you blame me (on the quiet).

Am jolly glad to hear you got good rains for I was getting anxious as to how you were getting along.  Well old bean as you see I haven’t much news but shall endeavour to write again.

                                                Your flying pal




On showing their current WFHG Membership card, our members are permitted to use facilities at


Old Gympie Railway Station, Gympie                                         Phone:-  5482 8211

What’s in a Name?


When doing our family history research we’ve all come across very common names and sometimes – the ones we really want – unusual names in our families.  No-one wants John Smiths.  However unusual names can also have their own problems – often they have many different spellings on documents – many of which we may not think of.
It’s great for most of us when they have middle names especially if it’s a maiden name in the family. But sometimes we have no idea from where this name has originated.  Take the case of one of my great-great grandfathers – James Kosciusko McDonald bc 1840 in Liverpool, Lancashire ,England.  Although I’ve found his baptism there appears to be no birth registration and they arrived in Australia soon after. No 1841 census for me.  He married in 1865 in Brisbane, Qld to Jane Wyvill. They had two children, Sarah Jane and James Kosciusko Jr before he died in 1871 from an abdominal tumour. Some months later, William Wilcock Wyvill McDonald was born (great names !). She soon remarried but died in 1875 from a fever leaving the three children as orphans. I know that my great grandmother, Sarah Jane was brought up by the Pownall family who were no relation but I have no idea what happened to the boys.  They were both alive when Jane Hedge (her second married name) died.  The only thing I know is that Uncle Will used to visit from Sydney from time to time and that according to my grandmother (his niece b1898) he died when she was about 12.  I have been unable to find any evidence of William and his brother, James, under their real names but if they went by only William and James McDonald the chances of finding them are slim.  But if they had used their real full names I would have found them quickly I have no doubt.
Now I know you are all wondering where the name Kosciusko came from.  His father was Kosciusko James McDonald and he was supposedly born about 1796 in Bedfordshire but although I have found his parents (James McDonald from St Luke’s, Chelsea and Elizabeth Batchelor who married in Milton Bryan, Bedfordshire in 1796) marriage there has been no issue found – perhaps they were Nonconformists.  So the mystery remains perhaps his father admired Thadeus Kosciusko, the Polish patriot.  Another great name was George Hornby August – he was born and baptised in York, Yorkshire but when I received his baptism it said for residence Honduras in Mexico!  Well that stumped me but luckily not a relative of mine who had done lots of research over there.  But that’s another story. George’s mother, Sarah Maskell, was on a trip home when he was born and now we have her line going back many generations (in Cawood/Kelfield/Stillingfleet areas of Yorkshire) including a Sarah Hornby.  That’s when you know that you’re on the right line! 

Another name in my family is my great grandfather, Herbert Smallman Clemens (whose father was Edward Williams Clemens b Bradford on Avon in Wiltshire to William Clemens and Frances Williams), who was born in NZ in 1870.  I always wondered about his middle name and there it stayed for many years until only a couple of years ago when I came across the marriage of an Ann Clemens to a William Smallman in 1842 in Bristol, Gloucestershire.  It took my notice especially when I found that Ann’s father was William Clemens.  A eureka moment!
So I’m sure that even though  there are times when we are frustrated by these names like William Wilcock Wyvill McDonald, we would still rather have these names than not.
Anyone with these names or ideas on how to solve Kosciusko’s birth/baptism  or indeed find his first marriage or the other children (there’s supposed to be at least 7 but I’ve only got three to his second wife, Sarah Boulstridge, who he married in 1830 as a widower) please contact

Sue Buckley   24 Florence Street    Proserpine     Q     4800


Bushells’ Centenary   1883 – 1983                     (Continued from March)

1900-1910 –       First Decade of the Commonwealth

The first decade of the new century sees the newly created Commonwealth struggling to find its feet, with much huffing and puffing to get the nation underway.  Various federal departments have to be set up and made to function and legislation for these travels an arduous, rocky road.  There is much political bickering and the early years are marked by untold resignations and many political casualties.  There are a total of nine ministries in the thirteen years up to the outbreak of the First World War.

The long depression starts to lift and prosperity slowly returns.  By the end of the decade the country is entering a period of phenomenal growth, sadly interrupted after just four years by the outbreak of war.

Electricity arrives in time for celebrations to mark the birth of the nation and Sydney is illuminated for the occasion.  The night sky is lit with the words ‘One People:  One Destiny’ and in Melbourne, the Exhibition Building is decorated with 10,000 electric light bulbs for the opening of the first Federal Parliament.

In the home, the piano is meeting with fierce competition from the gramophone for musical entertainment.  Invented in 1887 by Emil Berliner, it is now gaining in popularity.

The hobble skirt reigns supreme in women’s fashion.  A long garment which is gathered round the ankles, its name aptly describes its effect on the walking ability of the wearer.   Bathing costumes are now being sported generally and not only on the beach.  Up to the outbreak of the war, they are also worn travelling to and from the beaches.



At the first meeting of the Proserpine Junior Rugby League Club in 1966 it was stated the objective of the league would be to ‘foster, promote and control schoolboy football’, according to the Proserpine Guardian.

It is clear 50 years after that statement was made the objectives have been achieved.

The opening games of the league on Anzac Day in 1966 saw the under-10s Rovers defeat the Giants 3-0.

The most outstanding players were D Daly, G Ironside and C Carey.  In the under-15 division the Giants hit back and just managed to take the win from the Rovers, 24-22.

Later that year in June, Stewart Relf, Ron O’Brien, Robin Fraser, Jeff Compton and Alan Steele plus reserves Paul Stevens and Graham Leeder, all made the Southern Zone Under-12 team and played in a curtain raiser for the Great Britain vs North Queensland game in Townsville.

Early in the history of the Proserpine Junior Rugby League Club a strong foundation was established.  However at the 1968 annual meeting there was talk of disbanding after poor attendance from players.

Les Stagg, in his report as President of the committee, said although the small committee had done a remarkable job in its inaugural year it was hoped that more parents would take an interest.

In 1995 the PWJRL started mixing with junior clubs from Mackay in what was described as a ‘bold move’ by the Proserpine Guardian at the time.

By 1995 the PWJRL club was well on the way to becoming a successful club in the Mackay competition and a five-team squad travelled to Collinsville to play a round robin with Bowen and Collinsville.  More than 60 children represented Proserpine in this competition.

During its 50-year history the PWJRL club has come through some tough times to deliver champions such as Paul Bowman and cement its place as a respected and successful club.  Through the tireless efforts of parents, referees, linesmen, coaches, managers, supporters and of course players, the PWJRL can bask in what it has achieved – certainly its original goal of ‘fostering and promoting schoolboy football’.


Junior League

Round Robin

Carnival –

Mt Isa c1985

Photo – Proserpine/


-Whitsunday Team











Perhaps because it had been a pioneering country where people needed to be strong, Australians had always encouraged and admired ability in sport.

When their runners and swimmers and cricketers took on the world’s best and beat them it seemed to prove that Australia really counted.  A lot of Australia’s national pride grew out of the achievements of her sporting heroes.

In 1956 the Olympic Games were held in Melbourne.  It was the greatest thing to happen in that city since the Great Exhibition of 1880.  For a fortnight the world’s attention would be focused on Melbourne.  The Games would put Australia on the map.

They turned out better than most Australians ever dreamed.

One hundred thousand d people went to the Melbourne Cricket Ground on the sunny opening day.  People who could not go to the ground listened to the descriptions on the radio or watched the action on the new television sets.

Ron Clarke, the Australian junior mile champion, carried the Olympic torch into the arena and climbed to a great bowl above the grandstands to light the Olympic flame.  The flame burnt throughout the Games as a symbol of peace – the nations coming together in peaceful competition.

Some of the competition was not very peaceful.  Hungary had recently been invaded by the Soviet Union.  There were Soviet tanks in the Hungarian capital, Budapest.  A water polo match between teams from the two countries turned into a vicious brawl.

There was very little sympathy for the Soviet Union among Australians in the 1950s, but there was one Russian at the games they took to their hearts.  Vladimir Kutz proved himself a hero and a gentleman by winning both the 5000 metres and 10,000 metres, and waiting at the finishing line to shake hands with all the other competitors as they finished.

But Australian athletes stole the show.  The swimmers, Dawn Fraser, Lorraine Crapp, Murray Rose and Jon Hendricks broke Olympic and world records.  On the running track Shirley Strickland, who had won a gold medal at Helsinki four years earlier, won two more.

Betty Cuthbert, a shy eighteen year old from Sydney was the hero of the Games.  Running with her mouth wide open she stormed down the track to win both the 100 metres and 200 metres.  And she won a third gold medal for Australia and for herself when she ran the last leg of the 4 x 100 metres relay.

Betty Cuthbert became known as Australia’s Golden Girl.  Eight years later she won another gold medal in the 400 metres at the Tokyo Olympics.

Australian athletes won thirteen gold medals at the games.  Only the United States and the Soviet Union won more.  It was an extraordinary achievement for a country with such a small population, and Australians were very proud of themselves.      From ‘The Story of Australia’ by Don Watson




NAME:         L. Price

ADDRESS:   PO Box 957, Proserpine, QLD  4800

Email:                   t.l.price@bigpond.com





































N Wheatley





Sutton Bonnington





Burton Joyce










East Markham















North Leverton






























PROSERPINE GUARDIAN      –        On This Day


21 July 1912       –        The first pole connection with the Proserpine telephonic service has been brought in.

Cold bright nights have been experienced during the week.  Our local Wragge predicts a dry moon.  (The late C.L. Wragge was the weather expert in the old days.  His job was taken over by his son-in-law, Indigo Jones, who was in turn succeeded by Lennox Walker.  Ed)  Lennox Walker’s son followed and is believed to live in Ceduna, SA (2007).  (Clement Wragge named cyclones in the late nineteenth century but lapsed after his retirement in 1902.  Names were reintroduced by Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) in 1963.)

21 June 1919      –        Influenza in Proserpine:       The influenza epidemic has now reached Proserpine.  Seven cases have been admitted into the State School which has been commandeered by the Council to be used as an isolation hospital for the ‘ flu cases.

Dr Turnbull states that the disease was brought to Proserpine by people attending the Bowen Show.

The seven patients in hospital are:     Mr and Mrs A. Rogers, Miss Hinschen, Messrs T. Harrison, Wm McNeill, M. McCormack and S. Soper.

The Food Situation:     The prospects for the food situation in Proserpine do not look promising, owing to the shipping strike.  On Monday the stores landed 8 tons of flour and the first batch of bread out in Tuesday.  Unfortunately Mr Soper is ill, but arrangements have been made with Mr Snellgrove to do the baking.

There is still about a week’s supply of flour in the town, but butter ran out yesterday.

The Chamber of Commerce has sent urgent wires to Mr Bamford in Canberra and Mr Collins in Brisbane.  Mr Bamford states that while the seamen remain on strike the difficulty will be hard to overcome, and he fears matters may become even worse.

29 June 1919      –        For the first time Australia is to mint her own bronze coins.  The machinery and dies are in readiness and the first bronze pennies will come immediately from the Melbourne Mint.  The Sydney mint will deal with the halfpennies.

Influenza Epidemic:     The influenza epidemic has spread rapidly and now there are forty cases in the district.  Dr Turnbull is kept very busy.

6 July 1919                   –        Jack Frost was noticeable on the grass yesterday morning.

Burnt Cane:         In connection with cane accidentally burnt, growers must make personal arrangements for the use of neighbours trucks to harvest same.

27 July 1919       –        The influenza epidemic has practically died out in our midst.  No fresh cases have been reported during the week.  Since the outbreak 140 cases have been notified to the Council and forty odd have been treated at the isolation ward.  The only fatal case was that of Sandy Tanna, a South Sea Islander.

The Council intends lifting the restrictions placed upon entertainment, and the Eldorado Pictures will be opened for the first time since the outbreak, next Thursday.

5 July 1920                  –        It is expected that the crushing season will commence about the middle of August.

For Sale:    Freehold farm, 505 acres on the Northern and Western slopes of Mt Julian and Brandy Creek.  150 acres scrub and virgin forest capable of producing heavy crops of cane.  Two miles from State School and Post Office and only a quarter of a mile from the points on the main Strathdickie line.

Five room cottage, 30 x/o on high piles.  Another cottage, 20×12 with 10 ft verandah.  Thirty head mixed cattle, 20 head horses.  Sell as going concern or can be divided.  No reasonable offer refused.  Property must be sold.  Apply:  S.M.A. Banks

clip_image008[4]Excerpts from the Proserpine Guardian, ‘On This Day’ compiled by Barbara Barnett.


A birth certificate shows you were born,

A death certificate shows you have died,

A photograph shows you have lived…



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