Topics:  beryl johnston, mona cottage, opinion, times past

Early education at Mona Cottage

OLD IPSWICH: The Chestnuts on Denmark Hill.
OLD IPSWICH: The Chestnuts on Denmark Hill. Contributed

ON March 26, 1888, Messrs Hughes and Cameron advertised for sale by public auction: "That valuable residence built of brick known as Mona Cottage, situated on Denmark Hill fronting the residences of J D Oswald and Harry Hooper, having frontages of one chain to Nicholas Street, also a lane on side. The building which is substantial consists of 10 rooms with every convenience; also out buildings with large underground tank."

Apparently Mona Cottage was not sold as it was reported that Mrs Morrison enlarged her establishment in late 1888.

At that time she advertised: "She would again receive pupils as boarders as well as an additional number of daily pupils."

Her French governess was from Paris and her German master from Hanover.

It was reported by December 1888 that at Mona Cottage at The Chestnuts on Denmark Hill, prizes were given for the following classes: scripture and scripture history; arithmetic; English history and chronology; painting in oil and watercolours; punctuality; good conduct and silence; English subjects; pen-holding; drawing; grammar; progress: geography; reading and diction; spelling and writing.

Mrs Morrison took only a limited number of pupils - in fact - just a dozen, but next year intended to extend her operations.

WORKING WEEK

A SHORTER working week came into being in June 1915. It was with the adoption of the 44-hour week.

In a report regarding the shorter working week it was stated that the most drastic change would be in the hours of shop assistants as it was perhaps in that area that the greatest change had taken place in hours during the past 50 years.

Around 1875, the hours were from 7am until 6pm if the work in hand was finished; if not, the day was lengthened accordingly. Six days were worked and Saturday was the longest day as shops closed at 9pm.

The lunch break was not recognised as a full hour and employees were not allowed to keep customers waiting in order that their lunch hour might be enjoyed - so much for the early days.

By the 1900s some shops granted employees a half-day break on Wednesdays; others observed it on Thursday and others took Saturday afternoon off.

There were some problems with these conditions and a poll was taken which claimed that it would be necessary to have the shops open on Friday nights and it became the practice to close on Friday nights at 9pm.

The working day was shortened around 1910 when the Wages Board reduced the weekly hours to 48, also annual holidays were introduced as well as breaks at Christmas and Easter.

It was in the 1920s that night shopping was abolished and this meant that Saturday mornings in Ipswich were usually very busy.

This was partly due to the fact that the railway employees were off work every Saturday.

CANBERRA - 100 YEARS

THE meaning of the word "Canberra" which was the name given to the Federal Capital City of Australia in March 1913 was, according to Mr A Meston, "young jackass" (kookaburra).

Mr Meston was director of the Queensland Bureau and had had many years experience as a protector of Aborigines concerning whose customs and language he was a recognised authority.

He said: "In naming the capital city, the Federal Government apparently entirely ignored the essential preliminary precaution of ascertaining the Aboriginal meaning of Canberra which ought to be spelt 'Kanburra' as no Australian philologist ever spells an Aboriginal word with the letter 'c'; there being no 'c', 'f', 'v', 'x' or 'z' in the language."

The word "Kanburra" is the name of the young jackass, the fully grown bird being "kokoburra", "kukuburra" and "kukugalka". The naming of the capital without first ascertaining the meaning would leave room for the irreverent to refer to it as the "jackass city".

CWA HOSTEL

SINCE its opening under the matronship of Mrs Ostenfeld in June 1943, the Hostel of the Ipswich branch of the Country Women's Association has accommodated 140 adults and 19 children.



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