Friday, May 6, 2016

BRM 5. 3 Bracken Ridge becomes a Community

There are two meanings of the word  community:
  A group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common

Those words express exactly what happened in 1972/73

Our involvement began by attending a meeting of the local  Bracken Ridge Progress Association which met at the Bracken Ridge State School, and at the time they were trying to get funding and land for the construction of a kindergarten.

As the suburb was "nappy valley", this was something that we believed strongly should happen.   Needless to say after many often fiery debates and meetings, we were successful in obtaining land in the area adjoining the Bald Hills Cemetery.  At the time it was gazetted Cemetery lands.

Nev. Warburton was the Council Alderman for Sandgate at the time.  But in order to build the kindergarten, the bank wanted guarantees from  residents before it would lend us the funds.  Those of us who raised our hands, probably couldn't have found the $5000 to repay the loan if anything went wrong.  We were all friends and enjoyed each other's company.

Clive and Jeanette Mitchell, Cheryl and Trevor Tinworth, Nancy and Mervyn Dick, Ross and Sue Barry, Russell and Nola Brown, Marilyn and Doug Linnett, John and Kris Herron, and Nev and Gloria Czislowski

By the time the kindergarten opened, 3rd term in 1976 some of the children of the hard working committee and guarantors were already in school, and missed the experience.  For years we worked very hard with so many different functions to raise funds. 

We potted cocos palm trees by the hundreds, and sold them for 50c.  Nowadays it costs more than $500 to remove them!  We sewed.  Hundreds of beautiful garments were created.   And we held a yearly fete. 

The first treasurer was Jeanette Mitchell During my time as treasurer, the loan was repaid in full, from memory, 8 years before the due date.  No, we weren't rolling in fundraising, but just thought outside the square in terms of our required deposits.  Applying contingency funds against our debt resulted in a better cash flow all round.

Even our fetes became a "must go to" affair.  We invited marching bands to compete in a competition, and that brought in outside people to "spread" the load.

It was in 1996 when one of the children Christopher Mc Burney and his mother Annette, and the family Labroador were killed in a car crash.  His dad was driving and they were going on an errand.  A drunk driver forced them off the road, causing the crash.

The family were part of the kindy, and it was the very first time that as a community we experienced the loss of one of our own. 

A memorial grove of shrubs was later planted in the kindy grounds, and a plaque erected in their honour. 
But the saddest thing happened one morning in early 1979.  Our very popular teacher Jenny Baylis, didn't arrive at work, and so a couple of us went looking for her.

 We didn't have to go very far. She was driving to work, but only made it to the bottom of Barrett Street.

 Jenny managed to park her car, and then died.  It was just the saddest thing, especially to find her, and we all felt her loss very deeply.

It was also the first time that our 3 and 4 year olds learnt to look to the sky for new "stars". 


 The Kindy Celebrated its 21st Birthday in 1997, and President Donna Wells, along with Cr. Carol Cashman, surprised us all with certificates and mementos. Joan Roseworn our long term assistant joined us.

For the current Kindy family, this is what it looked like in 1982.

Memories - Recollections from the past.  The photo of the Class of 78

Some of the family, Ivan Blanch, Narelle Dick, Janelle Page, Irene Horne, James Twiford, Anthony Caruso, Jeffrey Herron, along with Jenny Bayliss and Joan Rosewarn.

Looking at this photo makes me realise the wonderful people that I have known, and worked with throughout those many years. I can picture the mothers, as most of them were customers of mine in 1974!

Our next director was Lyn Anthill.  It is wonderful to see that the children of the children are now the ones gaining and benefiting from the hard work of the many "Bracken Ridge Grandparents", and loving their time with a new breed of Directors.  

Thanks to current director Julie O'Toole for the photos.

Memories of the Bracken Ridge Kindergarten   -   Joan Roseworn.   The Assistant for 10 years.

The first Director for the Bracken Ridge Kindergarten was Jennifer Whitehouse - and I was the first Assistant.
The first intake was for the last term of school in 1976.
There were various people who decided a kindergarten was wanted - so over a few years they held street stalls, Raffles, cake stalls etc to kelp them see the Kindergarten coming to a realty. In fact some families mortgaged their house and go guarantors to the Bank for a loan of $40,000 over 20 years.  Amazing (though to a lot of effort - the loan was paid out in 8 years.  Yes we did celebrate a grand effort for all concerned.
One fund-raising event was carried out by purchasing 1 large drum of Red Wine and another of White Wine.  The bottles were labelled with a special label i.e. "Bracken Ridge Kindergarten etc.  Bottling was done some parents plus Jenny, I, and husband's Kerry and Clive.  The only downside was on opening the doors the next day "it smelt like a winery".  Thank goodness for air spray.  Of course the wine was sold very quickly!!
Sadly Jenny had a heart attack on the way to work, did manage to part the car outside the shopping centre in Barrett.  A very sad time for us all.
There was a special painting placed on the wall of the Kindergarten in her memory, which SHOULD still be there.  Naturally another Director was chosen and over the years others too.
During my time at the Kindergarten, I always felt it a privilege to have been part of it.  The current staff are no doubt feeling the same
Jenny and I were workmates, but also socialised outside of work.  No doubt she would look down on the Bracken Ridge Kindergarten and say "WOW, I was there at the first day"
My time there was at the first intake, and over the years met a lot of families - even now, I meet other parents from then and hear of their child's doings - now they are adults.
Best wishes to all connected to the Kindergarten founders and the current staff now and in future years.

Joan Roseworn.
15th March 2016

Lovely words from Joan Roseworn.  Her handwriting is just as it was yesterday, she couldn't have just celebrated the birthday that she did!  Where have the years gone. 
(NB Jenny was parked a little way from the shopping centre, it was a very distressing time)                                                        

Roll Call  -   Pay  Attention   -   Where are they now?

Joan kindly visited the kindly and supplied these lists 2 Day Group 1977

Paul Aitkin

Paul Amos

Heidi Blanch

Mardi Stevens

Mark Carlile

Melissa White

Sharon Hocking

Nathan Ivey

Wendy Czislowski

Melissa Hislopp

Linda Mitchell

Jodi Mc Cann

Jodine Mc Sweeney

Stephen Alexander

Bradley Hill

Kylie Bloomfield

Brook Vetier

Ingrad Pampuch

Tony Butterly

Susanna Lister

Brett Wyatt

Annamarie Horne

Corey Reader

Tanya Rowe

                                            The list of 3 Day Group in 1977

Lisa Podlich

David Ryan

Brendan Brown

Larnee Richards

Debbie Hinchfliffe

Beth Mc Neill

Joe Pole

Susan Dick

Johathan Cooper

Mandy Wats
Louise Blair

Tony Blair

Recollections of my Association with the Bracken Ridge Crèche & Kindergarten Association
Ross and Bev Barry 

Bev and I joined the Association a few years before the Kindy was built.  We were influenced to make contact with the group by our third neighbours, Nev and Gloria Czislowski, who were already members.  We had no children at the time and we regarded the Association as a means of getting to know some of the locals.
Meetings were held at Bracken Ridge State School in the early days, but plans for a new Kindy were fairly well advanced by the time we joined.  Nev Czislowski was president of the Association and I think it can be fairly said that Nev was the principal "mover & shaker" behind the establishment of the Kindy.  Not long after we joined the State Government allocated land adjoining the cemetery reserve for the Kindy and it was duly transferred to the c&K as trustee.  A small group of residents who lived opposite the Kindy in Barrett Street were strongly opposed to the proposed site on the grounds that traffic movement in Barrett Street would be a safety hazard for the children.  I always suspected that they were motivated by self interest rather than the safety of the children.
As I recall, Nev Czislowski then prepared building plans which required a number of amendments in order to comply with the meticulous specifiactions of the c&K Assoc.  I vaguely recall that tenders were invited for the construction of the Kindy and a builder who lived in Barbour Road was awarded the contract.  A building loan application was approved by the Commonwealth Bank and after a little explanation of the responsibilities of a guarantor, about 6 to 8 people agreed to act as guarantors for the loan.  As an employee of the Bank, I was informed that staff were not favoured as guarantors.  However, Russell Brown, who was also a Bank employee, agreed to act as guarantor and so I followed suit.
Nev Czislowski supervised construction of what was to be a single unit Kindy, but with provision for the building to be extended in a northerly direction to incorporate a second unit, if demand eventuated.  A series of fairly regular working bees followed during which members undertook a range of voluntary work including: Interior painting with Clive Mitchell in charge (painting those exposed roof trusses was an awkward job), construction of a boundary fence, playground equipment and landscaping.
In order to save costs, Nev thought we could build some of the furniture ourselves.  I made a couple of shelf type cupboards on castors; varnished particle board style.  Fortunately, Nev built the more demanding stuff.  I also recall making a number of notice boards covered with a mustard coloured hession.  Peter Crompton who lived in Tarwarri Street and was a floorcovering contractor, laid the vinyl sheeting.  A local resident who was a Wormald employee, arranged for Wormald to supply and install a complete security system, free of charge.  False activation of the system was a small problem at the outset.
Without Nev Czislowski, the Kindy would have taken much longer to have been built.  He was a skilled and tireless worker.  Although having a variety of talents, he did not want any part of the official opening ceremony and stepped down from the position of president just before the official opening.  I think I must have been vice-president because I stepped into his shoes for a brief period at the time of the official opening.  I remember being quite nervous when delivering the President's address at the opening ceremony.   So much so that my left leg was shaking.  I recall that Nev made a derogatory reference to my nervousness, which I felt was out of place considering his refusal to take part in the official ceremony.

The fund raising brings back memories.  They were held on land just to the north of the Kindy.  Bev and I ran a few stalls with the magnetic fishing games and the tongue depressor in the barrow of sand both proving quite popular.  Trevor Tinworth acted as MC come DJ on the PA system. Nev built a chocolate wheel and I did some fairly ordinary sign writing on the wheel.

Not long after the Kindy was completed, our involvement diminished for a few years until he first of our children was due to start.  It was then that we appreciated the priority that was given to the children of guarantors.

28th July 1997  Recollections from John Herron 21 year celebration

This is all a bit fuzzy so the dates and times may be up to 6-12 months out.  Also I think the association had been going since 1968 and we only joined in 1973.  I do not recall who was the instigator of the project.

The association had been granted land that was excised from the central reserve in 1972 (I think).  Fund raising had been going on since probably 1968 or so and they had had some very successful ventures especially in things like progressive dinners. There were some very excellent people in the group at different times but as time went by and there was no sign of building and their children were going past kindergarten they dropped off.  Nonethless other very good people were joining and I think there was a very good core of people in the 1974-76 period when things started to get off the ground because of what had happened previously and what we made happen in that period.

I can only relate to a group of the blokes on the building side.  The girls on the fund raising side were undoubtedly doing as good a job but I wasn’t as involved there so I don’t know what transpired.

This mainly revolves around Ross Barry, Nev Czilowski, Trevor Tinworth, Vince Caruso, Clive Mitchell, Russell Brown John Herron and a few others.


And that’s one way in which we raised funds in 1974-76.  At the rear of the Sandgate RSL there was a small hall where we ran bingo on Wednesday nights.  Ross Barry did the calling and Viv Tabrett did most of the winning - mainly because she bought four times as many tickets as anybody else.  We had a loyal following of players but somewhere along the line the enthusiasm waned after a few months.

Somewhere along the line I landed the PR job and I think the above ad which we placed in the local paper was the best of the ones that I came up with.  We were fighting for crowds from among about 12 other “bingo” groups at the time.

The Building:

I don’t know who got the plans drawn up (probably Nev Czilowski).  They were pretty impressive to me so I took them down to the Sandgate Echo (pre Bayside Star) and we managed front page headlines with a picture. That was probably 1975.  Unfortunately, it was about 12 months before it was to be built.

We needed a lot of money.  $48,000 to be precise and I think we had about $6000. A considerable amount of money for those days because it was about the average annual salary of a qualified person.

Ross Barry and Nev Czislowski were presidents about 1975-6 and I think I was VP.  There seemed to be a very strong rumour that Willmore and Randall (who did most of the development in Bracken Ridge at the time) had promised $5000 towards construction of the kindergarten. 

Either Ross or Nev, and myself went to see them at their offices in Spring Hill - I remember it was opposite Albert Park and down a long corridor at the back of this old building.  And it turned out to be a very small dark office.   We were kept waiting about 15 minutes.  We told them what we were doing and what we wanted and how they had promised $5000.  They acknowledged that they had indicated that they would give money but they weren’t going to give us any of it anyway.  Several times they told us that we were not going to get any money.  After about 15 minutes we gave up. We didn’t even have a piece of paper to argue on.  It couldn’t have taken 30 minutes because I happened to get a park outside and the 30 minutes on the meter hadn’t expired.

So what now?  We would have to scrape, beg and borrow everything I reckon.  Ross Barry was the prime mover on the financing side.  He worked at the Commonwealth Bank and managed to work out a package in that the bank would finance the building if he could get guarantors for half of the cost - $24,000. Twelve of us guaranteed $2000 each.  Apart from paying off cars, houses, furniture - colour TV’s had just arrived on the scene, and raising kids - mostly on a single salary, it was highly unusual for the bank to accept such a deal because we had as much hope of paying the guarantee as flying if the whole thing fell over.  I’d like to see what it was that I signed back in those days. It must have been some document.

Once this was settled in place we were ready to move.  Nev Czilowski was probably the person who organised the project as he was about the only tradesman and probably the only one who know what had to be done.  The rest of us were desk-jockeys. 

I can’t remember that we had much to do with the actual building. However Trevor Tinworth and I raided some bricks from the old brickworks as Virginia for the sandpits.  (It was on the western side of the rail line opposite the station). Trev and I spent a couple of hours one morning from about 6:00 am pulling these old bricks from out of the undergrowth and anywhere else we could find them. We didn’t manage to get bitten by any spiders or snakes but lost a bit of skin off the hands.  And of course if you empty the sandpits you’ll also notice the wonderful brick work that we carried out.

Painting the rafters inside was quite an act. I’m sure everyone had a go at some stage - including the ladies.  Maybe Clive Mitchell the master painter was involved here.  I can remember building the fence.  Nothing unusual happened except the ground outside the fence was very rough and pretty near impossible to stand on.  There was only a very narrow strip (about 6-12 inches) between the fence and where it plunged over the escarpment.  I don’t think anyone twisted any ankles.  Over the years we managed to widen the strip as we had to mow along there.

The car park:  Nothing exciting here except that Nev turned up one afternoon with the re-inforcing mesh and I went up to give him a hand to get it off the racks on his ute.  I thought that it was a good idea to just pull it off sideways and proceeded to do same.  I hadn’t thought that Nev, on the other side, would have his fingers entwined through a couple of sheets trying to get then disentangled.  So when it seemed to get stuck I gave it any extra hard pull - the blood curdling scream indicated to me that I’d probably just about ripped his fingers off.  The concrete on the western side of the building was added a few months later when heavy rains washed the soil down from the banks and against the side of the building - filled the drain there and washed out through the car park onto the road.  What a mess!  The concrete is rough because we used a rake as a trowel.  

The Sheds:  The sheds went up later when they need more room for stuff. First one shed and later another.  I can’t remember who I got the first shed from. I don't think we got much of a discount either. The salesman told me it was real easy to put up but I conned him into coming out and at least putting the frame up.   Then Vince Caruso and I put up the rest of it on a rainy afternoon. Since the rain had swelled the timber, the drilled holes in the rafters wouldn’t match the holes in the steel frame. As a builder I figured that he’d have more idea of putting on the roof than I did.  I came to the conclusion that he only put on tiled roofs and so if the roof still leaks because we put some nails in the bottoms of the corrugations instead of the top then it was Vince’s fault.

 We had more idea with the second shed.  We put the frame up one Saturday and Tinny and I put the rest of it together on the Sunday.  Tinny had some roofing nails and that is why he was involved. See in those days you only got the materials, not the bits to put it together with.  I think we also got a better deal with the second shed - if I remember we got it $130 cheaper.  It’s just a figure that I seem to associate with the second shed.

The other story I remember concerns the second shed.  I was mowing one Saturday morning and looking for a rake.  Someone said there was one in the back shed.  It wasn’t used much and only held stuff for the fete such as a tent.  I don’t think it had been opened for about 4-5 weeks.  When I opened the door it was a mass of red-back spider webs with hundreds of them in there.  I remember slamming the door closed and grabbed Jeffrey (my son) and got out of there.  I don't remember what happened although I think we got the pest exterminator to do the job.

The Opening:

This was quite a bit of planning. I seem to remember John Kerlin being involved somehow although I’m sure Ross Barry was president at the time.  We’d arranged for Fred Campbell to do the opening. He was the local state member as we were in the state electorate of Aspley at the time.  He was minister for Industrial Relations in the government at the time.  My family had known him before he went into parliament – in 1959 he ran a chook farm in Bronson Road at the Beams Road end of what is now Pinaroo - so there was no problem getting him to do the opening.

I wrote two or three pages of notes for him to put together a speech.  These included most of everything that had happened.  Then two things happened - neither of which I expected.  Ross Barry spoke first and told most of what I had written for Fred.  Then Fred came on and read my notes virtually word for word.  The audience took it as it happened and didn’t appear fazed. I was embarrassed and hiding down the back.

I was unaware in my youthful(?) naivety that politicians didn’t write their own speeches.  I expected Fred to carpet me over Ross stealing his thunder and basically why couldn’t we get our act together.  But nothing was said which didn’t make me feel any better anyway.

Apart from mowing and mowing and mowing that’s about all that I can remember from the early days. 

Note:  This was originally written in 1997 – I fixed some spelling errors in 2016.   John Herron

The only thing that gets difficult in writing one's memories is the recollection of events and places of those who are no longer here.


Looking back the project to build a kindergarten was probably the first time that Bracken Ridge residents came together as a "community".  

We were very proud of the Bracken Ridge Kindergarten!


Later the land surrounding the kindergarten became known as Ferguson Park (Utah Foundation Playground)

The name Ferguson Park is in honour of the Ferguson settlers, and the Utah Foundation?  It is a charitable trust.
BRISBANE. Tuesday.— The Utah Foundation was launched in Brisbane today by the chairman of its honorary board of governors. Professor Zelman Cowen 

$400,000 to start charity trust     (The headline)

The Utah Foundation was launched in Brisbane today by the chairman of its honorary board of governors, Professor Zelman Cowen.

The foundation, expected to become Australia's largest private charitable trust, aims to promote and advance the welfare of the Australian community.

Founded by the Utah Development Company, one of Australia's largest exporters of coking coal, the foundation will be maintained for public charitable purposes within Australia.

Professor Cowen, the Vice-Chancellor of Queensland University, accepted today Utah's first annual grant to fund the foundation.

The initial grant of $400,000 is for the rest of this year.

Professor Cowen said after the first meeting of the board of governors that the foundation would consider proposals submitted for projects which would be of benefit to the Australian community.

The general manager of Utah Development Company, Mr RA Seashore, said the original idea of the foundation was conceived by company executives more than two years ago.

The board of governors of the Utah Foundation are: Professor Cowen, Dame Annabelle Rankin, Mr J Egerton, Mr. Seashore and Alderman A.F, Abbot the Mayor of Mackay.

While researching the Progress Association, this news item from the Melbourne Age of 1979 appeared.

Teacher: Cash Offered For Signatures . - Google News
... asked the Bracken Ridae Progress Association to get 1000 signatures on the ... corner of Bracken Street and Bald Hills Road, Bracken Ridge, north Brisbane.   The Age - Sep 25, 1979 Page 12

A Brisbane schoolteacher has claimed that a Melbourne company offered $20,000 to a progress association to organise a petition supporting a shopping centre proposal.
The schoolteacher claimed that the company Bexley Corporation Pty Ltd, asked the Bracken Ridge Progress Association to get 1000 signatures on the petition.

On completing the project the Association would receive $20,000, he said. 
Melbourne businessman Mr Ian Rice is chairman of the Bexley Corporation Pty Ltd.

In September last year the company submitted an "application for consent" to the Brisbane city Council.

The company sought approval to build a shopping centre on land at the corner of Bracken Street and Bald Hills Road, Bracken Ridge north Brisbane.

The application was not heard by the council before a new town plan was introduced on December 5.
The next day the company submitted plans to the land re-zoned to "special use" (shopping centre)."

The schoolteacher is Mr Colin Campbell Colston, employed at Nashville High School in Brisbane's northern suburb.  In a statutory declaration given to "the Age" Mr Colston claimed the Bexley Corporation contacted the progress association late in January.

Mr Colston said in the statutory declaration "An approach was made by Bexley Corporation to the Bracken Ridge Progress Association asking them to obtain 1000 signatures of persons wishing a proposed shopping complex to proceed. In return to this the sum of $20,000 would be paid on completion of the building," he said.

"As the progress association could not handle this, the proposal was passed on to me as president of the Bracken Ridge Parents' and Citizens; Association through the principal of the school.

"The executive and myself turned this offer down, and I believe that subsequent to this an approach was made to the Lions Club to conduct this petition.  This organisation too, turned down the offer".

All news to me, but perhaps someone will remember.   The location of this is near probably the site opposite where St John Fisher College is located.  The timing is correct, as the college opened in 1981.  Now my grand-daughter is a student there.  How the girls manage to keep those hats white has always intrigued me!

Some years later and with much  difficulty, one of our clients was able to get approval to build Rascals Child Care Centre.  The surrounding landscape is certainly an improvement on how it was back then!  It was the very first childcare centre in Bracken Ridge.  

Sometimes reading Hansard provides the most interesting information.  1979 Hansard

 One of these is the contentious Gold Coast development, a second is the supermarket now being constructed in Gympie on the Bruce Highway, and the other three are located in the Brisbane suburbs of Everton Park, Bracken Ridge and Sunnybank. Bexley's applications for Everton Park and Bracken Ridge were disapproved by the Brisbane City Council and are subject to appeal, while the Sunnybank scheme is still being discussed.   

Those years in Queensland State Government were filled with white shoes and controversy!

1 comment:

  1. Anyone who has sold englobo land parcels, will tell just how difficult it is to get consensus from all landowners in a particular area, in order to create an estate. fence builders brisbane west