MUSIC: Members of the accordian band which featured in many of the Bluebird Concert Party's stage shows were (from left) John Evans, Les Heinemann, Don Doherty, Val Mole & Trevor Scriven.
MUSIC: Members of the accordian band which featured in many of the Bluebird Concert Party's stage shows were (from left) John Evans, Les Heinemann, Don Doherty, Val Mole & Trevor Scriven.

When the Bluebirds played in a jail

THE following article regarding the formation of the Bluebird Concert Party Band was taken from the Ipswich Advertiser of Thursday, March 16, 1961.

On March 20, 1954, Lilly and Ron Lewis and Edna Wensley formed a concert party Band in Ipswich. The first members were and above named along with Sylvia and Graham Lewis and Edna Wensley John Evans, Bill Young and Alex Ross.

For its first performance in the Town Hall Ipswich on May 6, 1954, 22 artists were featured among them being Lily and Ron Lewis, Edna Wensley, John Evans, Bill Young and Denise Russell.

Others who joined the group a little later were Noela Moore, Helen Lewis, Kay Barratt, Beth George and Dan Doherty.

In the seven years of the group's existence, approximately 4000 pounds was raised for charitable organisations and almost 200 concerts were given at various institutions including the Goodna and Sandy Gallop Mental Hospital, Montrose Home, Boggo Rd Goal, Peel Island, and the Riverview Salvation Army's home for elder men.

The Bluebirds travelled many miles also to provide entertainment in country towns around Ipswich.

 

The accordian band which featured (from left) John Evans, Les Heinemann, Don Doherty, Val Mole & Trevor Scriven.
The accordian band which featured (from left) John Evans, Les Heinemann, Don Doherty, Val Mole & Trevor Scriven.

AMUSING INCIDENTS

On one occasion, after having entertained the inmates of the Goodna Mental Hospital, the Bluebirds missed their train home and decided to walk, carrying large ports, piano accordions and guitars, the girls in evening dress swinging their shoes, they walked to Redbank Station before eventually being given lifts home.

On another occasion, the company travelled on a cattle truck to present a concert at Rosevale.

As it was the middle of winter, the members were half frozen, very dirty and dusty when they finally arrived at their destination - still the concert went on and was very well received.

At Boggo Road jail, compere Bill Young concluded a short speech with the remarks that he would not take up any more of the audience's time.

Quick as a flash the answer came from one of the inmates "That's okay, mate, we've got plenty of that here."

BLUEBIRDS DISBAND

The write up concluded: "With all their varied experience and all the good times and all the many friends they have made, it is with regret that the Bluebird Concert Party Band has decided to disband as many of its members have secured professional engagements.

Of course, television was making its appearance around this time. The first commercial service in Queensland was Channel 9 with Ipswich's Hugh Cornish as anchor man. This was in 1959 and with this "new" attraction, people were not so interested in live entertainment but preferred to stay at home and watch TV.

ROSEWOOD

Rosewood was settled in 1871 on an area of not less than 12sq miles of scrub and forest.

The front settlement nearest the railway station was chiefly taken up by British colonist, while behind in the interior of the scrub, the population was almost entirely German.

The holdings did not exceed 80 acres although there were some of 300 acres. Crops at that time were maize and potatoes and grapes were also mentioned as "doing very well".

In the year 1879, 22,000 bags (approx. 90,000 bushels) of maize was sent away from Rosewood Railway Station.

FURTHER SNIPPETS ABOUT ROSEWOOD

The temperature in the town in January 1884 reached 46C in the shade. Arthur Bentley managed the Honey Bank Aviary in 1886. He sold Italian and queen bees. There was a coach building factory in the late 1800s and it was owned by Mr P J Gilligan.

Ploughing matches and horse jumping contests were held in 1894. The sound of a church bell was heard for the first time on August 11, 1907. The bell had been presented to the Anglican Church by the Women's Guild.

ST BRIGIDS CHURCH

This Rosewood church was officially opened on Sunday, February 13, 1910, bybishop Duhig. For the opening, a special train of 22 carriages transported people from Esk, Ipswich and Brisbane.

The church was divided into a nave and two aisles on the same plan as St Mary's Church, Ipswich, and had ornate domes and pressed steel ceilings, colourful stained-glass windows and a magnificent altar.

Erection of the church was supervised by R.J. Murphy as builder and Contractor.

Because of its stunning interior and exterior St Brigid's was used in the Australian film The Settlement which was made in 1982.



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