Branching Out November 2016



B 339     Proserpine State School Magazine 2013

B 346     Proserpine State School Magazine 2014

D003      School Pupils Index Number 6


B 329     Memories and Memorabilia (recognizing and preserving Australian War History)


B 422     Dictionary of First Names

F 153      DNA info


B 321     Explore Your Family’s Past

B 314     Devon, A Visitors Guide

B 315     The Story of Where you Live

D 004     1841 Leicestershire Census

D 004     1841 Rutland Census

D 004     1841 Lincolnshire Census

Ms 097  The Map of Special Places, UK National Trust

Ms 098  Devon UK

Ms 099  Street Atlas of London England

Ms 100  Road Book of Ireland

B 328     Discover Scotland (Lonely Planet)




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.


Hello All

The Whitsunday Family History Group is coming to the end of another year.  We are progressing smoothly with WWII research.  Many thanks to the great crew involved with the research.  We have 941 names so far.  Keep up the great work everybody.  Well done!

We have had 4 sausage sizzles at Bunnings for the year, which has been a great success each time, to raise money for our Group.  Thank you to the helpers who keep supporting this fundraiser.

Whitsunday Rotary have a raffle each year for all local clubs to sell raffle tickets. This is a fantastic way to raise much needed funds.  The more tickets you sell the more money you get back.

In June the Discussion Group had the chance to visit an old house belonging to Warren Barry. It was very interesting walking through it as Warren spoke about it giving us a bit of history of the house and who had owned it before him.

This year I have been trying to organize different ways for your Discussion Group to go outside of our research room and explore different places around the town, e.g. old houses, visit the cemetery to find a very old grave who is not related to you and then go and research that person.  Next month come back and discuss what you have found out.  We managed to go to the cemetery in September, there was great work researched.  Now we will collate it together and keep it in the Library.

I handed out a question sheet this month with about 119 questions on it for our members to complete and do research on themselves, and report back on our first Discussion Group in 2017.  I’ve started answering about 40 of the questions and I’m having fun with all the memories that are flooding back to me.  It will be very interesting when we report back over a few discussion groups next year.  When finished we will collate it for our descendants in the future for them to know about us.

Our Christmas breakup will be on Sunday 11th  December, and hope to see many faces at the party.

We are always seeking for new members to our Group.  Everyone is welcome.

Happy hunting in your research.  Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year.


Bev Gordon

President W.F.H.G.Inc. 2016





Continued from July

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

This is a letter written by Gordon to his brother Alf, July 1917.  The letter folds up to become the envelope, shown below.clip_image002                clip_image004




Bushells’ Centenary   1883 – 1983                    (Continued from July)

1900 –       Queen Victoria gives her assent to a Commonwealth of Australia.  Bubonic Plague breaks out in Sydney.

Edmund Barton presents the proposed Constitution to the British Parliament and the Bill is passed.  Queen Victoria then gives her assent to the Act which will constitute the Commonwealth of Australia.

A case of bubonic plague is detected in a wharf employee in Sydney.  Within six months more than one hundred deaths have been recorded from the disease.  In an effort to contain the outbreak, the slum areas are cleared of vast amounts of garbage and sewage.  Rat catchers are despatched throughout the city and tens of thousands of the rodents are destroyed.

Donald Mackay successfully completes a round-Australia trip on a bicycle.  The journey takes 240 days.

The New South Wales Government purchases houses in the Rocks area of Sydney to accommodate waterfront workers, thus introducing the first public housing in Australia.

1901 –                The Commonwealth of Australia comes into being & Queen Victoria dies.

Eighty-two year old Queen Victoria dies just 21 days after the Commonwealth of Australia is proclaimed in a huge ceremony in Centennial Park, Sydney, attended by one hundred and fifty thousand people.  Lord Hopetown takes the Oath of Allegiance and becomes Australia’s first Governor General.

On March 29th, the first Federal Election is held and Edmund Barton becomes Australia’s first Prime Minister.  In May, the Duke of York opens the first Federal Parliament in Melbourne, and a grand ball is held to celebrate the occasion.  Musical comedy star, Nellie Stewart, returns to Australia from London’s Drury Lane to sing the specially composed ode ‘Australia’ at the evening’s festivities.

The first Commonwealth census is taken and the population (excluding Aborigines) is shown at over three and three quarter million.  It also shows the average wage for a white collar worker to be £300 a year.  Income tax is at a flat rate of 6d in the pound.

1902  –       Women gain the Vote.               Federation Wheat is introduced.

The Commonwealth passes a Law which gives women over 21 years the right to vote, though they are still unable to stand for parliamentary office.

A group of federal members of Parliament tour a number of potential sites for a Federal Capital.  Each township is more than enthusiastic at the thought of being chosen and the group is lavishly entertained at each stop on the tour.

William Farrer introduces a new strain of wheat, called Federation Wheat, in honour of the new Commonwealth.  Within seven years it will have become the main strain of wheat used in all dry areas over the whole continent.

Dame Nellie Melba returns to Australia and, in Melbourne people turn out in tens of thousands to greet the star.  When she visits the small town of Lilydale, site of her father’s quarries, the local newspaper is printed in gold and blue.

Three months before the end of the Boer War, Lieutenant Harry (The Breaker) Morant is court martialed and shot at dawn after being found guilty of shooting Boer prisoners.  His execution causes a public outcry and the Government then decides never to allow Australian Servicemen to be tried by a British court martial.

Alfred Bushell and his sons Philip Howard and Alfred Thomas, join in partnership to consolidate the business of Bushel & Co in Sydney.

Also in Sydney, the question of surfbathing in daylight hours is finally brought to a head when newspaper editors W.H. Gocher flouts the law and swims in Manly at noon.  When he is not prosecuted, others follow suit.

Daylight bathing soon gains public acceptance and the laws are relaxed, with the proviso that ‘neck to knee’ attire is worn.

1903  –       Australia gains its own flag & Alfred Deakin becomes Prime Minister

The high court of Australia is formed under the provisions of the Constitution.  Sir Samuel Griffith becomes the first Chief Justice and Edmund Barton resigns as Prime Minister to become one of the two other High Court judges.  He is succeeded by Attorney General Alfred Deakin.

The design chosen from entries in an Australian Flag competition is published in the Government Gazette and is approved by His Majesty the King.

The British Government installs a Marconi Wireless Company plant in Brisbane, thus introducing the nation’s first radio communications base.

The year old partnership of the Bushell brothers and their father is dissolved.  Alfred Senior retains control of the Queensland operation and the two brothers retain the New South Wales and Victorian businesses.



NAME:         L. Price

ADDRESS:   PO Box 957, Proserpine, QLD  4800



























































PROSERPINE GUARDIAN      –        On This Day


14 December 1919      –        Lucky escape:     While riding his bike along Brandy Creek road on Wednesday, the Agricultural Bank Inspector, Mr G. Wright, noticed a burning tree about to fall.  Mr Wright lost no time in getting off his bike and to a safe distance from the tree which fell across the bike, greatly damaging it.  Mr Wright was then in the unfortunate position of having to walk eleven miles back to town.

8 November 1920        –        Northern Railway:        It is expected that the Great Northern Railway will be completed to Mackay within a year.  A person who toured the district recently stated that the line is laid to St. Lawrence on the southern side, but there is a gap of forty miles between St. Lawrence and Mackay.  Preparations on this forty mile stretch are complete but rails are short.  Cement and steel also is in short supply and it has been necessary to erect a temporary wooden bridge over the Styx River.

6 November 1921        –        Melbourne Cup:  The Melbourne Cup run last Tuesday  resulted in a win for Sister Olive, with The Rover second and Amazonia third.

The Crushing:     Although no definite finishing date for the crushing has been set so far, it is expected that the Mill will run very close to Christmas.

13 November 1921      –        Pocket School:    A meeting of those concerned in the establishment of a provisional school at Banana Pocket (now Lethebrook) is to be held on November 28th.

27 November 1921      –        Station Robbery:                   Last Sunday morning the local railway station was broken into and the safe blown with gelignite.  Entry was made through the ticket window, which was forced, but only £4.2.0 was obtained and one pound of that was a cheque.  The explosion was heard by residents in the locality, but no notice was taken of it by anyone.

The Post Office Clock was stopped at 3 o’clock and it is supposed that the concussion of the blast stopped the clock.  Two men have been arrested at Longford Creek by Constables Dunles and Collins and will be charged with robbery.

24 September 1922     –        Banana Pocket Line:    Plate laying on the Banana Pocket line ceased this week owing to the shortage of rails.  However sleepers and other material are being sent out in readiness for a start when rails come to hand.

Light rails on other tramways are being replaced with heavier rails and the light rails are to be used at Banana Pocket.

Pocket Cane:       About thirty-five acres already are under cane at Banana Pocket, and this area is expected to produce from 600 to 700 tons of cane next season.  Only 500 tons of this will go to the mill, remainder being required for plants.

Scrub falling and clearing of land in preparation for new farms is going on at Banana Pocket and anything up to 5000 tons could be produced for 1924.

6 September 1925       –        Drunken drivers:          The Home Secretary intends to bring into force a new law  to deal with drunken motor car drivers.  He said that this offence is becoming serious and there is no justification of the risk of innocent lives being lost through drunken drivers who are just as bad as men with guns.

This sort of thing has to be stamped out at once and it is possible that the police may be compelled to go as far as cancelling driving licences.

22 November 1925      –        Painful accident:          A very painful accident befell Mr W. Worthington, a moulder at the Mill on Thursday afternoon.

He was pouring molten metal into a mould when some of the contents splashed up into his right eye and destroyed the sight.  The left eye was not injured.

Mr Worthington was treated by Dr Turnbull, but on the advice from the doctor, left by this morning’s train for Brisbane, where he will receive specialist attention.

29 November 1926      –        Conway Worries:                   In a letter received at the last Council meeting, Mr F J Wilson complained about the ruts and holes in the Conway road and added that since the tramline had been paid a good deal of the road had been taken up with the result that it now was very narrow.  Mr Wilson also advised that he was being rated on an incorrect area for his selection.  The Clerk advised that the rate book showed an area of 278 acres an area which had been given to the Clerk by Mr Wilson himself.

Regarding the road, it was pointed out that the farmers themselves had pegged out the tramline, so they only had themselves to blame.

The present state of the Council’s finances did not allow any repairs to the road.

Tourist operations:      The Chamber of Commerce forwarded a letter, received from the Associated Chambers of Commerce, Brisbane in connection with the opening up of Tourist Traffic in this area.  On motion by Crs Quod and Lascelles, it was decided to refer the letter back to the Chamber advising that tourism did not come within the scope of the Council’s operations.

Car Burnt:            Early Thursday morning Mr J Busuttin’s Maxwell car caught fire and was destroyed.  Mr Busuttin was preparing to take friends to the railway station, but just as he was leaving Mr A L Scott’s place, where he resides, he notices a tyre a bit low, and ran back for a spare, leaving the engine running.,

He had returned, and was getting tools from under the front seat, when there was an explosion, and the car burst into flames, which soon wrecked it.

This is the very first car to be destroyed by fire in Proserpine, and later in the morning there was a stream of visitors to the wreck, some alas, obviously intent upon taking any removable item upon which they could lay their thieving hands.

13 November 1928      –        Dancer:      In the NQ open Highland Fling Championships held at Townsville on Halloween Night, Joyce Andrews, daughter of Mr and Mrs C Andrews, Proserpine gained fourth place.  There were 40 competitors.

20 November 1928      –        New Solicitor:     Mr J M Barry has opened practice as a solicitor in Proserpine.

Faster Than Train:        A ‘Willys-Knight’ car has completed the run from Brisbane to Townsville, on roads that can only be described as deplorable, in 61 hours 33 minutes.  Actual running time for the 983 miles was 37 hours 42 minutes, which is two hours faster than the mail train.  And the motor was still putting beautifully upon arrival in Townsville.

For those who want the finest, this splendid car can be yours for £435.

Wilson & Berry, Local Agents.

Johnston’s Road:                   Mr W. Johnston wrote advising the Council that he was not prepared to repair his road as requested by the Council.

Cr Telford advised the meeting that he had been advised earlier, and had secured a man to do the job.  The culvert had been filled in, but it cost the Council thirty shillings.

27 November 1928      –        Streets Protest:  Residents of Robert and Marathon Street have protested about the condition of their streets, and have asked that something be done before the wet season sets in.  councilors agreed that drainage is the problem here, and Mr Mackenzie is to be asked to take levels in this area.

Cannonvale Sheds:                At the last Council meeting Cr Debney presented a cheque for £17-9-0 which had been collected for the erection of dressing sheds, etc., at Cannonvale Beach.  He requested a subsidy on this money for the above job, stating that the local people could say what was needed, and the Council could call tenders.

Crs Debney and Dimmock moved that a subsidy of £5 be granted for this work.  Cr Ruddle was against the proposal.  He said money was needed for roads not for pleasure structures.  However, the motion was carried.


From the Editor

Following a very successful visit to Ireland last year in the quest to find Prendergast ancestors, WFHG member, Jennifer Wood has decided to continue her research by travelling back to Ireland in 2017.

For further details see Jenny’s  blog –


As 2015 drew to a close if someone had told me that during the next 12 months I should brace myself for the United Kingdom voting to leave the European Union, Donald Trump winning the presidential election and Leicester City taking out the English Premier League trophy in football, I would have checked to see whether it was actually the first day of April !”

I found these thoughts from the Editor of ‘Journey’, December issue,

and it will be interesting to see what events of the world take us by surprise in 2017.                                See you all next year                                 Editor



Submitted by Elizabeth Ranah Long

Isaac Mendoza’s great-grandfather was my 5 x great-grandfather

‘THE MENDOZA FAMILY IN AUSTRALIA’ continued in next issue.

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DUTCH TERMS        –           from Dutch Genealogy News

A lijkkleed is a burial pall, the cloth used to cover the coffin. Many churches had a pall that could be rented. The rents were used to benefit the poor. In some cases, the account ledgers of the pall rents survived and can be used as death records.

Doodgeboren, literally “born dead,” is the Dutch word for stillborn.  Since the introduction of the civil registration, stillborn children who were born after 24 weeks of pregnancy only received a death record.  As of 19 September 2016, parents can now also request that a birth record is drawn up.

A polder is a section of land that was claimed from the sea or marsh. This was traditionally done by building a dike around it the land and draining the water using mills. A polder will typically have many drainage canals crisscrossing the landscape.

Oogst is the Dutch word for harvest. During harvest time, most schools in the countryside would be nearly empty because children were kept home from school to help with the harvest.

A soldaat is a soldier, the lowest rank in the army.  Before the French occupation, the Netherlands only had a professional army. Soldiers were recruited from all over Europe, bringing many Scots, Swiss and other soldiers to the country. Conscription for men between the ages of 20 and 45 was introduced in 1810.  It was suspended in 1997, though never officially abolished.



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