Beryl Johnston, The Queensland Times history columnist, is photographed in front of a portrait of her late grandfather, John Livingston Auld, who was a mine owner in the late 1800's in Ipswich.
Beryl Johnston, The Queensland Times history columnist, is photographed in front of a portrait of her late grandfather, John Livingston Auld, who was a mine owner in the late 1800's in Ipswich. Claudia Baxter

Hunt for "bunyip" has district agog with excitment

LOWOOD had a "Bunyip" in December 1939. News had been circulated that some strange creature in the Brisbane River was taking Mr John Roulston's calves. A watch was kept but nothing definite could be established.

This "strange creature" was "seen" at Wivenhoe, Lowood and Fernvale, yet no one could explain what it was really like.

One night, Mr C.H.D. Lindemann, among other opossum shooters, when walking along the river bank near Lowood caught sight of what appeared to be a bunyip crossing the river. Shots were fired at it but missed the creature.

The whole district was soon agog with the excitement of the hunt and a reward of 200 pounds was offered for finding the creature.

An organised hunt was arranged and rifles and ammunition were made available at the Drill Hall. In charge of the hunt was an officer of the K Company Moreton Regiment.

With so much firing of guns, one of the bullets "cut the wire" which had been pulling the strange animal across the river.

The whole thing had been a hoax and it was later found that Mr C.H.D. Lindemann was the perpetrator.

The "bunyip" was a box covered with wallaby hide with swansdown ears and leather sewn on for its nose. It had been made by Messrs Lindemann and F.Smythe who was a bootmaker.

The two men had fastened the "bunyip" to a wire across the river and it was worked by a device and pulleys by Mr Jack Lindemann on the Lowood side.

Later the body of the "strange creature" was taken to Lowood where it was viewed by hundreds of people. All southern newspapers gave it widespread publicity.

 

FROM METAL TO MUSIC: Mr Tom Bird (fifth from the right, front) stands proudly with the Silkstone/Booval Choral Union after winning trophies at the Queensland Eisteddfod in Brisbane (c1950s).
FROM METAL TO MUSIC: Mr Tom Bird (fifth from the right, front) stands proudly with the Silkstone/Booval Choral Union after winning trophies at the Queensland Eisteddfod in Brisbane (c1950s). Contributed

MR TOM BIRD

OFFICER-IN-CHARGE of the metal section of the Ipswich Railway Workshops, Mr Tom Bird, retired on February 28, 1950 after 49 years service.

Mr Bird entered the railway service on February 28, 1901 as an apprentice boilermaker, earning one shilling a day, and the workshop was then situated on the north side of the Bremer Bridge.

He was among the first workmen to be transferred to the present site of the workshops in 1902. He stayed in the railway until March 7, 1906 and took up work outside the department to gain further experience.

After marrying Miss Mary Palmer in 1911, Tom returned to the railway as a boilermaker and later served as a draftsman; did service as the representative on the Suggestions and Inventions Board and was made departmental member of that board and was chairman until he retired.

Tom Bird was also patron of the Ipswich Railway Swimming Club, conducted the Bundamba Methodist Church Choir and the Silkstone/Booval Choral Union and was a keen gardener.

 

CITY'S FIRST AUSTRALIAN CRICKETER

MR LEN Johnson, fast medium bowler, left in 1950 with the Australian cricket team for New Zealand and prior to his leaving was given a public farewell in the Ipswich Town Hall on February 1.

He was presented with a wallet containing 143 pounds.

The Mayor, Ald J.T. Finimore said: "This presentation is being made to you because the people appreciate your qualities that you are loyal to them and play the game for what it is worth."

At the Railway Workshops, Len Johnson was handed 120 pounds.

The patron of the Ipswich & West Moreton Cricket Association, Mr R.G. Andrew said: "Len is the first Australian cricketer to represent Ipswich."



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