LOOKING BACK: An Ipswich confectioner of the 1800s.
LOOKING BACK: An Ipswich confectioner of the 1800s. bez

From silly school howlers to indecent acts


A TALE often told is of two Australians visiting the city of Cairo on leave in January 1943, giving the place its best laugh in years.

The Aussies wandered into a hotel and found their resources were sixpence short of the price asked for a bottle of beer.

One of them promptly went out into the street where he grabbed a sandbag from a heap piled against the hotel walls as a protection against bombing. With the bag over his shoulder, he returned to the hotel, yelling "Tobruk sand, take home a souvenir".

His friend, meanwhile, exclaimed that it was the finest quality sand, straight from the desert and was being sold for sixpence. They received the required sum from a delighted waiter who proudly took the trophy away. This was probably the first time on record that anyone succeeded in selling sand to an Egyptian.


In January 1943, it was reported that boys on school holidays in Ipswich were earning up to 15 pounds a week by polishing the boots of Allied soldiers.

One boy said that he never made less than three pounds a day.

The boys at first had difficulty obtaining tan boot polish, but then the Americans supplied it to them.



Paynes Depot sold many items in the 19th century.
Paynes Depot sold many items in the 19th century. bez



Vic Gambling, of Ipswich, built a telescope for Sid Reeves in 1962.

This telescope was the only officially notified one of its kind in Queensland and possibly in Australia.

It was a ten-inch reflecting one with Springfield mounting and Newtonian focus and was capable of picking up craters on the moon a mile wide in "pinhead" proportions.




(1) The first book of the Bible is Guinesses.


(2) The chief end of a man is the end with the head on.


(3) Joan of Arc was the wife of Noah.


(4) Milton wrote blank verse because he was blind.


(5) What is water divining? Water used by the clergy for christening babies.


Government mining inspector Mr J Haggarty reported an unusual happening from the New Chum Colliery on June 20, 1931.

Ten misfires were reported, and on inquiries being made as to the cause, it transpired white ants were to blame. It appears the ants had found their way through the outer covering of the fuses and eaten or otherwise destroyed the cores.



The menu for patients of the Woogaroo lunatic asylum in 1875 was as follows - Breakfast: half a pound of bread, 10 ounces of porridge, one pint of tea, two tablespoons of treacle and one gill of milk. Dinner: One pound of meat (beef or mutton either as a roast of boiled) one pound of potatoes, one pint of soup and vegetables. Supper: One pint of tea and a quarter pound of bread.


In 1894, a bill was to be introduced into the legislature titled, An Act For The Suppression Of Indecent Dance In Public Places.

It provided that no woman shall appear at a public performance in a dress or skirt which does not come within at least four inches of the floor and that no part of her person is exposed below the neck.



Eighteen-year-old Queensland swimmer Denise Spencer created an Australian record for 440 yards at the National Swimming championship at the North Sydney Olympic Pool on February 7, 1948.

She swam the distance in five minutes, 31.5 seconds, clipping 7.5 seconds from her time in the New South Wales championships in January 1948.



Taken from the Queensland Times of December 20, 1947, It is doubtful if a bowler ever obtained a better result than William J (Ginger) Jones of Blackstone who, about 1932 captured seven wickets with seven balls.

This happened in a match between Blackstone and Hibernians, second grade, played on the flat at Blackstone just after the introduction of the eight-ball over. Some of the Blackstone players in that match were Tom Halls, Dave Evans, John Law, Charles Morgan, Bridson Cribb and Pagel Evans.

BURNT ALIVE: A story of faith, family and forgiveness

premium_icon BURNT ALIVE: A story of faith, family and forgiveness

20 years on from the shocking attack on Graham Staines and his boys